"To propose an idea, you can tolerate the fact that you become wrapped up in it because passion is the motor, it is the propulsive force of an idea; ideas born without passion are born dead."
-Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez
In the early 1900's, 2 brothers, Antonio and Agustin, were born to Antonio Nores Sr., and Isabel Martinez Berroetaran Martinda in the city of Cordoba, Argentina. In 1925 Antonio, 18, and Agustin, 17, with a passion for dogs, decided to develop a big game hunting dog that was also a loving companion. Antonio began the blueprint, and the idea was born.
Antonio's fondness of the Viejo Perro De Pelea Cordobés (Old Fighting Dog of Cordoba), led him to use this specific breed as the base of his design. Due to its aggressive nature, they understood that this breed was not ideal for hunting in packs but believed that the breeds extraordinary courage and fighting spirit were paramount to the design. The goal was to introduce other breeds that would contribute to the dogs height, sense of smell, hunting instincts, and eliminate their useless aggression towards other dogs.
In the early 1900s, landowners, who imported wild boars, fell into financial problems and neglected fence maintenance. The wild boars managed to escape, mate with domestic boars, and without a natural predator, they spread like a plague, destroyed farmlands and valuable agriculture. As a result, Monteria Criolla was initiated to help control the growing population of the boars. Monteria Criolla was a style of hunting, which can be traced back to the middle ages where, on horseback, noblemen hunted wild boars with knives, spears, and a pack of dogs. In order for the Monteria to be successful , a scenting dogs, sighthounds, tracking dogs, etc. were needed to handle the task.
Dr. Antonio and his younger brother set forth in creating a companion in the Monteria that only required one dog that could handle the task of many. In order to achieve this design, the brothers added 9 different breeds to the Fighting Dog of Cordoba. Each of these breeds served a purpose:
Fighting Dog of Cordoba: extraordinary courage and fighting spirit;
Pointer: a keen sense of smell;
Great Dane: height;
Bull Terrier: fearlessness;
Dogue de Bordeaux: powerful jaws;
English Bulldog: full chest and boldness;
Boxer: intelligence and gentleness;
Irish Wolfhound: hunting instincts;
Great Pyrenees: a beautiful white coat to be visible during the hunt;
Spanish Mastiff: gave the dog power. (Arguable).
In 1947 the Dogo Argentino was officially presented in the province of San Luis, Argentina. Antonio organized an exhibition which fought one of his dogs against a wild boar and puma. The Dogo was the only surviving victor in both exhibitions proving his design successful.
In 1964, about 20 years later, the Cinologic Federation of Argentina and the Argentine Rural Society finally acknowledged the rare breed. 10 years after that, the Argentine Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale had their attention drawn to the breed as well. In 2001, the Dogo Argentino's name traveled over to North America and the United Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club also recognized the breed.
"I have personally witness the sacrifices of my brother, Antonio, to form a new breed, his anxieties, his sorrows, his debilitation, and his hopes until the culmination of his work. Thinking of him and seeing the fruits of his efforts, I have not wanted his dream made real, to disappear. Therefore, since his death twelve years ago, I have continued his work of selection. Upon his death the breed was perfectly defined, but obtaining official recognition, keeping a genealogical register, and trying to make the standards as they were fixed many years ago has been my work of continuity."
-Dr. Agustin Nores Martinez