Is a Dogo Argentino or German Shepherd Better?
Stacy Reed
Author: Stacy Reed
Stacy is a freelance writer who has always shared her life with dogs, especially German Shepherds.
Published date: September 11, 2019
Updated date: May 23, 2023
This article was reviewed and fact checked If you have found any errors, please contact us!

Is a Dogo Argentino or German Shepherd Better?

The Dogo Argentino and German Shepherd are both very popular big dogs. Fans of both breeds are convinced that their preferred breed is the better of the two.

This is mostly a matter of preference for most people, as many dog enthusiasts see it.

Both breeds hail from different parts of the world and enjoy different histories. They are both prevalent breeds that many are interested in learning more about.

Is the Dogo Argentino or German Shepherd better?

The answer to this question will depend on your family’s lifestyle and needs, as well as your experience as a dog owner.


What is a Dogo Argentino?

According to dog trainer Michele Welton, the Dogo Argentino is a type of dog known for being fearless yet gentle.

This breed might also be known as the Argentine Dogo, the Argentine Mastiff, or the Dogo. The dog, when properly socialized, is a loyal family pet ideal for the needs of an active family.

These dogs were bred to hunt game like boars and panthers originally.

Argentine Dogos are large, muscular dogs that have intense hunting and guarding instincts. They require a lot of mental stimulation and physical exercise to stay fit.

When raised by competent owners, these dogs usually have a friendly attitude coupled with a protective nature.

Because this breed has such a strong guarding instinct, early socialization with as many new people as possible is vital.

Dogo Argentinos have a reputation for being very loyal to their families and demonstrating a lot of affection towards members.

They will usually stay as close to family members as possible and crave a lot of petting and other affection.

Two areas where Dogo owners need to exercise caution is in interactions with other dogs and with cats.

These dogs should only be kept with another dog of the opposite sex because of an urge to fight that many of them still retain.

Argentine Mastiffs require caution around cats that they were not raised with because of their strong prey drive.

Owners will need to maintain gentle but firm control over this breed to keep their prey drive in check and avoid tragic incidents.


What Are Some Good Dogo Argentino Traits?

These dogs are very muscular and hardy, making them perfect companions for people who live an active lifestyle.

Their size and large build help promote a strong image of a protector not to be crossed, despite their gentle nature with family members.

Their coats are short, reducing issues with shedding and requiring minimal care.

One thing that stands out to a lot of people is how dignified the dogs appear.

What Are Some Bad Dogo Traits?

Argentine Mastiffs require a lot of exercises, with an owner capable of keeping them controlled when leashed.

Younger dogs tend to be somewhat hyper, and they are big enough to injure people by jumping. This breed also pants and drools a lot.

As with any dog, a Dogo Argentino can get destructive when bored and left to their own devices.

Depending on the lines they’re bred from, some individual dogs have fearful or aggressive tendencies that require careful socialization and training to avoid trouble.


What Should Argentine Dogo Owners Be Prepared For?

If you are going to add one of these dogs to your family, be prepared to provide more substantial exercise than a run around the backyard.

Running and swimming are both excellent activities for this breed that requires major interaction with its owner.

Be prepared for your dog to be wary of strangers and even go on the defensive due to their protective nature.

Your dog will do best with being socialized to others who visit your home regularly so that they don’t view these visitors as a threat.

Dogos are a breed that many homeowner’s insurance companies, apartment communities, and municipalities discriminate against because of a resemblance to pit bulls.

Prospective owners need to be fully aware of legal liabilities with these misunderstood dogs.

What is a German Shepherd?

According to Dogster, German Shepherds have a long history that includes guarding flocks, as well as being trained for police work or service dogs, particularly for the blind.

German Shepherds might also be called German Shepherd Dogs, GDSs, or Shepherds.

No matter what you prefer to call this dog, it possesses several traits that make it ideal for households with members of all ages, as well as dogs and other animals.

German Shepherd Dogs have a reputation for being fierce protectors who can also be friendly.

They do well in family settings, and can also be trained to perform a variety of tasks ranging from functional to purely entertaining.

These dogs are usually large, with a lean but sturdy build. Several coat patterns that include the usual tan and black are possible.

German Shepherds can have short, medium, or long coats that are relatively low-maintenance.

Daily brushing will usually help keep a GSD’s coat in good shape. This breed sheds a lot but requires relatively little bathing in comparison to some breeds.


What Are Some Good German Shepherd Dog Traits?

German Shepherds are very intelligent and always eager to please their human family members. Their high intelligence level helps them learn new commands very quickly.

Regardless of the task, you want your dog to complete, he or she will be diligent about seeing it through.

Once trained, a GSD will usually follow commands given very reliably, without the owner requiring a lot of repetition most of the time.

German Shepherds’ loyalty to their family members is easy to see in their protective nature. They are quick to protect their family members against even perceived threats.

Most will get along with very with other pets, including other dogs.

What Are Some Bad GSD Traits?

Although it is relatively rare for German Shepherds to attack without provocation, they can take their protective duties a little too seriously.

Barking when they see or hear something they treat as a threat is a behavior your neighbors might not like.

A German Shepherd Dog, while not overly hostile, might seem standoffish around people outside their household. This trait is tied to their protective instincts.

Regular exercise and other activities that require stimulation are a must; otherwise, your Shepherd might get bored and come up with an activity of their own that doesn’t appeal to you.

Examples of bad behavior due to boredom include digging, chewing, or nuisance barking.

If left unsupervised in a yard, German Shepherds will often jump the fence and start wandering.


What Should Shepherd Owners Be Prepared For?

German Shepherd Dog owners should be prepared to have a pet that will want to be part of their lives.

This dog is a large breed that will require obedience training and plenty of calm leadership for optimal behavior.

Although most of these dogs are healthy, they are prone to hip dysplasia. According to Dr. Ernest Ward, GSDs are one of the breeds most susceptible to this crippling condition.

Anyone thinking about getting a German Shepherd should give careful consideration to their living situation.

A house with a yard is essential, as dogs this size do not adjust well to apartment living.

How Do You Make the Decision?

According to The Dog Breed Expert, many dogs in pounds or shelters are there because of poor planning on their former owners’ part.

Choosing wisely is crucial for you and especially for the dog’s sake. Making a bad decision could disrupt your life as well as your dogs.

Choosing the wrong place for the dog to go could also cost him or her their life.

According to the No Kill Advocacy Center, three million dogs end up in shelters yearly, including Dogo and Shepherd-type dogs.

Proper planning is an integral part of making your decision. If you think things through, you’ll have better odds of choosing the right dog.

Knowing as much as possible about each of the breeds is beneficial. However, that is only part of the equation when you’re deciding.

You’ll also need to think about your family’s lifestyle and how well it blends in with the needs of these breeds.

If you’re trying to choose between the Dogo Argentino and the German Shepherd, there are enough significant differences between the two that you’ll need to measure carefully.

Think about some of the critical differences between the two breeds and how important each of these is to your family and everyone’s needs.

Differences in the two breeds that might not seem like a big deal at the outset could be a problem later.


What Do You Want Most Out of a Dog?

Although this might seem like a simple question, there is more to it than you might realize.

Breeds originally used for the same or similar purposes might not necessarily have the same personality traits. Personality matters a great deal with dogs.

An example is how both Dogos and Shepherds are useful for personal protection.

However, Argentine Dogos have served as hunting and guard dogs, while GSDs have been used for flock guarding and police dogs for much of their history.

Both dogs are large enough to serve as effective deterrents against burglars or assailants. However, each of the two has different needs that set them apart.

These needs will all need to be considered, along with the dog’s protective nature.

Even if a significant part of your dog’s life will revolve around providing protection, you should still think of your dog living in the house with you, regardless of your choice.

Both breeds do the best living with their family, not in the backyard.

Are There Children or People with Disabilities in Your House?

Although both breeds are good with children if properly supervised, the traits that each of the breeds has could play a role in your decision-making.

German Shepherds tend to “herd” children because of their protective instincts.

Dogo Argentinos are often rambunctious when young, and can easily knock over a child or even an adult who is not in the best physical condition.

Homes with smaller children, older adults, or disabled people may find a Shepherd a better option.

What Do You Have for Other Pets?

Even though socialization is critical for any dog, other pets should play a role in your decision.

German Shepherds usually get along well with other pets, but still need supervision around smaller pets, including small dogs.

Argentine Mastiffs, because of the difficulties they might have with other pets, are best in settings less likely to cause conflict.

As a quick recap, this would mean homes without cats the dog didn’t grow up with, and dogs of the same sex.

Dogo Argentino vs German Shepherd

How Much Time Do You Have for Grooming?

Of the two, GSDs have more grooming needs due to their chances of having longer or thicker coats. However, these needs are not usually burdensome for most owners.

Both breeds have relatively few bathing needs. If keeping your dog clean is an important consideration, you’ll find that both breeds are satisfactory.

Making the Final Choice

There are enough considerations to keep in mind when selecting one of these breeds. No dog breed is ideal for every household.

However, making an informed decision with plenty of facts at hand makes a difference in choosing the right dog.

Athletic owners who can handle a strong-willed dog and do not have vulnerable pets might do well with a Dogo Argentino.

These dogs provide a lot of enjoyment for people who are physically active all the time and up to handling a strong dog.

Owners who want a dog that adjusts well to different family settings and learns quickly may be suited to having a German Shepherd.

For people who are looking for a dog with fewer safety concerns around small children and pets, Shepherds win hands-down.

Regardless of which breed you choose, you can be well-assured of having a loyal companion that enjoys your family’s company.

Both of these dogs are protective of your whole family, helping to prove their popularity.

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