Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: 5 Key Differences

Scariest Dogs
© iStock.com/VictorRicoFoto

Written by August Croft

Updated: October 28, 2023

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While the Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull look extremely similar at first glance, what might some of the differences be between these two dog breeds?

Both of these dogs are extremely powerful, loveable, and loyal- but what similarities bring them together, and what differences drive them apart?

In this article, we will compare and contrast the Dogo Argentino and the Pitbull so that you can fully understand both of these unique and beautiful breeds. We will go over their appearances in detail so that you can learn how to tell them apart.

Finally, we will address their ancestries and behavioral differences in case you are interested in adopting either breed. Let’s get started now!

Comparing Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull
The Dogo Argentino grows larger than the average Pitbull, in both height and weight.
Dogo ArgentinoPitbull
Size24-27 inches tall; 85-100 pounds13-24 inches tall; 25-80 pounds
AppearanceMuscular body and compact frame; pure white coat with some black on the head, but very little. Short, single-layer fur and erect ears. The head is large and the neck is very thickLarge head and compact body found in a variety of colors. Short, erect ears and a long, straight tail. Short and soft fur; highly muscular and powerful frame
AncestryOriginally bred in the 1920s for fighting, but transitioned into a fantastic hunting dog breed. Used in police and seeing eye dog workDeveloped in 19th century England or Scotland for a variety of illegal fighting activities, including bull and dog fighting 
BehaviorIncredibly brave and loyal to their family and owner; needs a decent amount of structure and training to avoid bad behavior with strangers, but just want to protect their peopleVery loyal, affectionate, and kind to the people it trusts. Has a bad rap and a lot of bias toward the breed, which is largely unfounded. Still requires ample exercise and a firm hand during training to avoid any issues, but makes an ideal guard and family dog
Lifespan11-13 years12-15 years

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: Origins

Dogo Argentinos and Pitbulls are two of the most popular dog breeds in the world. These breeds are both known for their strength, loyalty, and tenacity, but they have distinct differences in terms of their origins and history.

With that said, let’s explore the fascinating origins of Dogo Argentinos and Pitbulls.

Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentinos were first bred in Argentina in the 1920s by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez. Dr. Martinez aimed to create a powerful and versatile hunting dog that could take on big game, such as wild boar and puma. To achieve this, he crossed several breeds, including the Cordoba Fighting Dog, Boxer, Pointer, and Great Dane. The result was a large and muscular dog with a strong prey drive and unwavering loyalty to its owners.

Pitbull

Pitbulls, on the other hand, have a much more controversial history. The breed originated in England in the 19th century, where they were bred for bull-baiting and dog fighting. These brutal sports involved pitting dogs against bulls or other dogs, and the breed was developed for their strength, agility, and aggression. When bull-baiting and dog fighting was outlawed in the 1800s, Pitbulls were used for other purposes, such as hunting and as family pets.

Differences in Origins

The origins of Dogo Argentinos and Pitbulls have led to distinct differences in their temperaments and physical characteristics. While both breeds are known for their strength and loyalty, Dogo Argentinos were specifically bred to be hunting dogs, whereas Pitbulls were bred for fighting. This has led to differences in their prey drive, with Dogo Argentinos being more focused on hunting and Pitbulls being more focused on aggression toward other dogs.

In terms of physical differences, Dogo Argentinos are typically larger and heavier than Pitbulls, with a more muscular build. This is due to their breeding with larger breeds such as the Great Dane. Pitbulls are generally more agile and have a leaner build, which reflects their history as fighting dogs.

In conclusion, the origins of Dogo Argentinos and Pitbulls have shaped their distinct personalities and physical traits. While both breeds have loyal and loving dispositions, it’s important to understand the differences in their origins and personalities before deciding which breed is best for your family and lifestyle.

Key Differences Between Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

The Pitbull comes in far more coat colors compared to the white Dogo Argentino.

©Luxorpictures/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between the pitbull and the Dogo Argentino. For example, the Dogo Argentino grows larger than the average Pitbull, in both height and weight. Additionally, the Pitbull comes in far more coat colors compared to the white Dogo Argentino. Finally, the Dogo Argentino lives a slightly shorter lifespan compared to the average Pitbull.

Let’s check out all of these similarities and differences in more detail now.

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: Size

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

In case you hadn’t guessed already, the average Pitbull weighs much less compared to the Dogo Argentino.

©Ershov_Andrey/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to size, there is an obvious difference between the Pitbull and the Dogo Argentino. For example, the Dogo Argentino frequently reaches sizes 24-27 inches tall, while the Pitbull is much smaller and stockier. They only average 13 to 24 inches tall, depending on gender. But what about the weights of both of these dogs? Let’s take a closer look.

In case you hadn’t guessed already, the average Pitbull weighs much less compared to the Dogo Argentino. Depending on gender and breeding, the average Dogo Argentino weighs anywhere from 85-100 pounds, while the Pitbull weighs only 25-80 pounds. This means that you can easily tell the differences between an adult Dogo Argentino and an adult Pitbull, just by looking at them side by side!

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: Appearance

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

You can easily tell that the legs of the Pitbull are shorter compared to the strong legs of the Dogo Argentino.

©Pulikina Olga/Shutterstock.com

There are a number of physical differences between the Pitbull and the Dogo Argentino, though these dog breeds do indeed look similar. For example, the Dogo Argentino only comes in pure white, while the Pitbull comes in a variety of colors and fur patterns. Additionally, the Pitbull is more likely to have floppy ears compared to the erect ears of the Dogo Argentino. 

While both of these dogs are extremely muscular and powerful, the body of the Dogo Argentino is less compact compared to the stocky Pitbull. You can easily tell that the legs of the Pitbull are shorter compared to the strong legs of the Dogo Argentino, though both of their heads are quite large and rounded.

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: Ancestry and Breeding

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

The Dogo Argentino originated in Argentina in the 1920s, while the Pitbull originated in 19th-century England or Scotland, depending on who you talk to.

©iStock.com/Gerdzhikov

There are some key differences between the breeding of the Dogo Argentino and the breeding of the Pitbull. For example, the Dogo Argentino originated in Argentina in the 1920s, while the Pitbull originated in 19th-century England or Scotland, depending on who you talk to. Something that these two breeds share in common is the initial reason that they were bred- let’s touch on this now.

Both the Dogo Argentino and the Pitbull were originally bred for fighting, though this did not remain for long with the Dogo Argentino. While the Pitbull remained a fighting dog for most of its breed history, the Dogo Argentino transitioned into a competent hunting and guard dog. However, both of these breeds make fantastic companion animals nowadays, with an alert and protective nature.  

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: Behavior

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

The Pitbull exhibits more affectionate tendencies compared to the more stoic Dogo Argentino.

©Ivanova N/Shutterstock.com

The behaviors of the Dogo Argentino and the Pitbull are extremely similar in many ways. Both breeds are alert, protective, and vigilant to their families.

They both require a serious and experienced owner to train them well and ensure that they don’t develop too many issues with strangers or other dogs.

However, the Pitbull exhibits more affectionate tendencies compared to the more stoic Dogo Argentino. While both dogs make fantastic companions, the Pitbull is a bit goofier overall compared to the Dogo Argentino.

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull: Lifespan

Dogo Argentino vs Pitbull

Likely due to their size differences, the Pitbull lives longer on average compared to the Dogo Argentino.

©NSC Photography/Shutterstock.com

A final difference between the Pitbull and the Dogo Argentino is their lifespans. Likely due to their size differences, the Pitbull lives longer on average compared to the Dogo Argentino. Looking closer at the figures, the Pitbull lives an average of 12 to 15 years, while the Dogo Argentino lives an average of 11 to 13 years.

Bonus: Why Do Some Countries Ban Pit Bulls?

Golden Pit Bull Terrier with a black muzzle lying on a public bench

Pit bulls are the most misunderstood, controversial dog breed in the world.

©entreguin/Shutterstock.com

Pit bulls were bred to fight chained bulls and later other dogs – resulting in a strong, muscular canine with a powerful bite force and aggressive tendencies. They are also known for biting and hanging on – refusing to release their bite even if they are lifted off the ground. They have a bad reputation despite support from such organizations as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Pro-ban supporters cite evidence that pit bulls contributed to 66% of all dog attack deaths in the U.S. between 2005 and 2019. Pit bull supporters argue that a dog’s upbringing and environment have a greater impact on behavior than breed-specific tendencies. As a result of the controversy – many countries have chosen to play it safe and ban the breed altogether. Countries that have banned pit bulls include:

  • Argentina
  • Belarus
  • Bermuda
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Venezuela

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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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