Dogo Argentino vs. Great Dane: 5 Differences


Written by Kristin Hitchcock

Published: November 16, 2023

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Dogo Argentinos and Great Danes are both huge dogs. Therefore, it only makes sense that many people would consider them pretty similar. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

While both of these dogs fit in the “large” category, they are completely different from each other in terms of needs and temperament. Therefore, we highly recommend that you consider which breed fits your home and family, as they work best for very different individuals.

Below, we’ll explore the major differences between the Dogo Argentino vs. Great Dane.

Dogo Argentino vs. Great Dane: Temperment

A Dogo Argentino dog laying by the water.

Dogos tend to be a lot of dog, which can make them harder to own, especially for beginners.

©Eve Photography/

While both of these breeds are relatively big, they have very different temperaments. Great Danes are known as “gentle giants.” They tend to be extremely easygoing and mild-mannered. They’re often very friendly (though some may be a bit more standoffish, depending on their socialization).

Great Danes tend to get along just fine with other pets. They don’t usually have a high prey drive, usually, and this helps them coexist peacefully with cats and other dogs. However, they still require extensive socialization and training, as they can become bossy if not taught otherwise.

You may be surprised by just how destructive a young Great Dane can be, given their reputation.

On the other hand, Dogo Argentinos tend to be much more assertive and strong-willed. They tend to be incredibly fearless, though they can also be sensitive (especially to the discipline of their owner). Luckily, these dogs are often friendly, though they have strong guarding instincts. Many people train them as guardians of their home and family.

These dogs crave physical affection and are known to follow their humans around the house. They’re notorious for sitting on their owner’s feet and leaning against them, which can be problematic given their huge size.

Dogo Argentinos tend to be strong-willed, but they are also highly intelligent. They need an owner who is very confident and experienced, as they tend to be very independent.

Great Danes are typically much easier to handle than a Dogo Argentino. They’re easier to train, despite being slightly less intelligent. They’re more willing to follow their owners, while Dogo Argentinos tend to make their own decisions.

Great Dane vs. Dogo Argentino: Training and Socialization

An adorable great Dane puppy carrying a tennis ball in its mouth walks towards the viewer

Great Danes are known for being pretty laidback and obedient. However, a lot of this depends on their breeding!


Both of these breeds need extensive training and socialization. Because they are larger dogs, they can do a lot more damage if things go south. Training and socialization can help prevent fearfulness and aggression, making them a requirement for both breeds.

Dogos have significant protective instincts, so they tend to be aloof with strangers. They need lots of socialization from an early age to prevent them from misunderstanding friendly people. You don’t want them assuming your friendly friend is an enemy breaking into your house!

These dogs can quickly become suspicious of everyone if they aren’t socialized heavily as puppies. Of course, this takes a lot of time, so be prepared to dedicate hours each week to socialization alone when your Dogo is young – not counting all their other needs.

We don’t recommend these dogs for those with children. Young Dogos tend to be very exuberant and don’t know their own body size. Therefore, they can run around the house and send things flying, including smaller children. They may also try to defend children from their own friends, especially if they get confused by roughhousing or typical children’s play.

Great Danes also need careful socialization and training. Those who are well-bred tend to be naturally friendly, which can be helpful for socialization. However, it’s important that you don’t rely on this trait alone, as others may be standoffish with strangers. Luckily, they are typically easier to socialize than Dogos and often need less of it.

They also tend to be less independent, which makes them easier to train overall. They aren;t necessarily pushovers, and some can be quite willful. Breeding matters a lot in this regard, as Great Danes are sadly one of the breeds many puppy mills have taken to breeding.

The vast majority of Great Danes get along well with other pets. However, they still require careful socialization around other dogs and cats. Many may also have chasing instincts, leading to them chasing felines that run. Of course, when you consider their massive size, this can be a huge issue.

Dogo Argentinos can be dominant with dogs of the same sex, so they often do best in one-dog homes. Socialization can occasionally help with this. However, these dogs tend not to get along well with others.

They also have strong hunting instincts, as they were originally bred as hunting dogs. They tend to chase cats and don’t do well with small pets, either. These canines can absolutely catch and even kill a cat, so we don’t recommend keeping them in the same household.

Great Dane vs. Dogo Argentino: Health

Owner with her Great dane at veterinary.

Great Danes aren’t very healthy dogs. Their larger size takes a toll on their joints, bones, and heart.


Sadly, Great Danes are prone to several health issues, largely due to their bigger size. They are not generally considered healthy, and their bone structure can quickly break down with the littlest incident. They’re often affected pretty early by joint and bone disorders, which range from minor to crippling.

Plus, they’re also prone to heart disease and cancer. Because of their large chest, they are also prone to bloat, a life-threatening digestive disorder that requires very quick surgical intervention. It can cost thousands to treat, and some Great Danes may end up getting it several times.

Sadly, their life span is one of the shortest in the dog world.

Dogo Argentinos are much healthier. They are still prone to some issues, mostly due to their larger size (similar to the Great Dane). However, they tend to be affected much less often. You can expect them to develop joint issues, especially later in life. Careful breeding can help with this, but at some point, you just can’t defeat their massive size.

Great Dane vs. Dogo Argentino: Exercise

A Dogo Argentino dog running

Dogo Argentinos need lots of vigorous exercise, so they should only be owned by active individuals.

©NSC Photography/

Great Danes and Dogo Argentinos need substantial exercise. However, Great Danes need much more careful exercise due to their tendency to get joint and bone disorders. A young Great Dane needs enough exercise to stay lean (an obese Great Dane is even more likely to run into problems). However, you have to limit their exercise at the same time to prevent joint issues.

Because you can’t just let a Great Dane go and go, younger ones can be more rambunctious. You’ll never be able to wear these dogs out without potentially damaging their joints, so you’ll have to put up with them galloping through your house.

They’re also more likely to become destructive and bored. Extra companionship and mental stimulation are needed to make up for their limited exercise.

Dogo Argentinos are very impressive dogs in their physique, and they also need very vigorous exercise. However, unlike Great Danes, you don’t have to limit their exercise quite as much. This means more time outside playing fetch and walking briskly but less time trying to handle a hyperactive youngster.

For those who are already very active, the Dogo may make more sense. Those who aren’t active may want to select the Great Dane, as they shouldn’t be excesses quite as heavily.

Summary of Great Dane vs. Dogo Argentino

TraitGreat DaneDogo Argentino
Temperament“Gentle Giant”Protective and Athletic
TrainabilityEasy to PleaseIntelligent but Stubborn
Good with ChildrenWith SocializationNo
Good with Other PetsWith SocializationNo
Exercise NeedsLowVery High

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

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