I Brief History of The Dogo Argentino It was year 1925. My brother Antonio and I had yet to reach our eighteenth birthday (he was a year older than me), and by that time we were both absorbed by a true passion for dogs of all breeds, passion which was to remain constant through our entire lives, since so it was, till his untimely death, and so it will be, God willing, till the upcoming of my own. I have expressed to my own people my last will, which is to die with a Dogo Argentino under my bed, having my grave, where my bones will lie, in the solitude of the Andes, covered just with a rough cross, and the vigilant figure of a Dogo guarding my sleep. They have shared with me every instant of my troubled life, and it is my desire that they accompany me in my final resting place. That passion we had since childhood took us to translate, dictionary in hand, the book Notre Ami Le Chien, that wonderful source of dog-breeding knowledge to which we must all resort when we want to learn about the origins of any European breed; literary wonder which my father had in his bookcase and I keep as a precious and inherited treasure among the many hundreds of books related to the topic that I still have and consult. More or less at that time we started translating from English, specially the hunting and working breeds we were interested in, from the Hutchinson Dog Encyclopedia, which was also in my father’s library, among hundreds of medicine books which he, as a surgeon and university professor, studied continuously. Our love for dogs was so great that during the summers, in Santa Isabel, our villa, we managed to borrow, feed and heal the appallingly skinny dogs from workers who went to harvest the crops throughout the region. During those months we dedicated ourselves to healing the animals’ wounds, cleaning them out of bugs, fattening them, and at the end of the season, when their masters returned from the harvest, we gave them back their dogs in such a fine condition that, had they had a pedigree of any kind, they could have been exhibited in a dog show. I mention these anecdotal memories, seemingly unimportant, because they reflect our passion for man’s best friend, passion without which it is not possible to confront and succeed in a task so hard, so full of setbacks, even painful, as creating a new canine breed is. It was during that time when my brother Antonio developed the idea of creating, via the crossbreeding of various existing breeds -finally they were 10, as we will see further on- a strain of dogs capable of hunting in our farmlands and woods, capable of racing towards the quarry and killing it, or at least grabbing it till the arrival of the hunter. This idea appeared mainly due to the failure of many European hounds which, by the nature of our very vast lands, the size and strength of our wild boar, and other reasons which I explain in detail in my other book El Dogo Argentino, were not up to the task. I can still remember as if it had happened yesterday -and more than 50 years have gone by- the day my brother Antonio told me about his idea, and his intention of using the dog known as “Viejo Perro de pelea Cordobés” (Old Cordoba Fighting Dog) as a basis for it. This dog was a descendant of Spanish mastiffs brought to America by the colonists, crossbred with Bullterriers and other fighting breeds for the sole purpose of dog fighting. The idea was to use the extraordinary courage and fighting spirit of these dogs as a basis, adding other breeds which could give them height, sense of smell, speed, hunting instinct, and above all take away from them that “fighting among themselves” instinct which made them useless for pack hunting. We wanted them to be friendly and capable of living freely within families and in farmlands; to maintain the bravery of the primitive breed but focused on a useful cause: big-game hunting as a sport and as a means of controlling predatory species. And with that stubbornness which comes to us from our Spanish and Basque ancestors (Nores Martínez, Garzón, Berrotarán, Bas) we put ourselves to work. And I say “we” without false modesty, since from the very first day I was by his side, helping in everything and fully identified with the goal he had traced for ourselves: Creating a dog useful to man from the basis of those poor Cordoba fighting dogs, those ferocious beasts sentenced for life to yoke and chain imprisonment, and to the painful dilemma of having to kill or be killed. I want to state here again, as I did in my previous book El Dogo Argentino, that I consider my brother, Dr. Antonio Nores Martínez, the real creator of the breed in its genetic aspect, even if he could not see the hunting Dogo with which he dreamed, due to his premature death. And I consider this, because it was him who developed the original idea, and he continued fighting for it for as long as he lived, putting in it all of his youth’s passion. Later on, when he became a physician, he applied to it all his knowledge of biogenetics, physiology and anatomy, which were so useful for the development of the new breed. I am the witness of how a failure made him start the fight again with renewed spirit. In front of the tricks of genetics or surprises of the road taken he never gave himself up, and he always got back to the search for the path to success through the mess of difficulties regarding height, color, jaw shape, etc.. The scientific warrior, determined and even stubborn, faced the problems once and again until victory was glimpsed, and with his experience and success, he taught me the wonderful lesson of the one who knew himself a winner. Says Renan: “To create is to kill death”; that is why I have stated in my previous book that my brother Antonio will perpetuate himself in the forthcoming years, through the noble hunting Dogos he created. I will not say then, that I vindicate for him the creation of the breed, because nobody could in good faith doubt it, but I feel his work has to be known. On my behalf I want to say that, having assisted my brother in the genesis of the breed, and with more than half a century “making Dogos”, watching, studying and correcting their anatomy, making crossbreeds, hunting with them from the Pilcomayo river to the Andes, breeding hundreds and hundreds of them, spending a lifetime with them, selecting and sending them to the five continents, keeping in touch with the many good breeders here and overseas, and learning with pride about their performances in countries so far away as Japan and Israel, I feel authorized to know my brother’s intentions and what he thought about how a Dogo Argentino should be like. I feel as a duty to establish, very clearly, the true history of the Dogo, the breeds that took part in its conformation, what it was that we proposed to ourselves, and the requirements or conditions that a Dogo has to fulfill to be a typical example of the breed. This enhancement is in fact a ratification of what I wrote in my first book. The fears I pointed out in the preface of the four editions turn into reality many times when we see young men who ten years ago had not seen a Dogo acting as judges in the shows, awarding prizes to specimens which are a far cry from what a good Dogo should be. This book, which contains the step by step, true story of the development of the breed, and the glossary of the standard, is dedicated to all the good faith enthusiasts and judges who want to know how the Dogo Argentino should be. For the others, those who crossbreed Dogos with Bullterriers to make them smaller and fighters between themselves, this book is not intended, but I can offer a piece of advice: Dedicate yourselves to the breeding of the Bullterrier in any of its two varieties -white and colored Bullterrier or Staffordshire Terrier-, breeds which were created for the pit (very noble and courageous ones, by the way), so you can satisfy your low instincts that way, if that is what you want, but, for goodness sake, do not destroy a breed which was created, after many sacrifices, with the purpose of being useful to man! Since 1937 we are developing in the Patagonia, with true sacrifice, the hunting instinct of the Dogo, while trying, at the same time, to eradicate that fighting tendency of his ancestor. Instead, a few generations of Dogos fighting among themselves will make them involution (and we have already seen it, painfully) towards the useless Cordoba fighting dog, unsociable with his own species, harmful towards domestic animals, and useless as hunters and guard dogs. Happily there are, both in the country and abroad, many groups of judges and enthusiasts, who know what a Dogo is and what it should be, and use it for big game hunting and guard work. This will undoubtedly benefit the new generations, and each one of them will be nearer to what our ultimate goal was, 50 years ago. We have seen many field trials in Buenos Aires and La Pampa, and we have been really impressed with the courage showed by some puppies while fighting wild boar, making discipline and obedience demonstrations, and attack and defense exhibitions (protection work). II The Old Cordoba Fighting Dog From the first moment my brother and I agreed that the basis for the new breed had to be that fearless gladiator whom we had seen fighting in the Cordoba of our childhood; a dog now fortunately extinct, who had no further destiny in life than fighting to death in the arena. I recall them, and my memory gets flooded with names from the past: Tom, Bull, Johnson, Dempsey; all of them property of my uncle Oscar Martínez. For many years I trained them, most of all Tom, who had such a huge strength that he usually carried me virtually flying when pulling from the leash. He was so strong that we used to make him carry wheelbarrows full of sand from our grandparent’s house to the stream, about 100 meters away. And he did not pull with a harness, but with a wide collar instead, which gave his neck a great musculature. I also remember Caradura- Tom’s father-, owned by another uncle of mine, Mr. Rogelio Martínez; Roy, of the Deheza family; Taitu, property of the Villafañe family, tailors who lived in New Cordoba and who impressed us with their training system: Couches hanging from the roof which the dogs, between them Taitu, used to bite and shake, staying suspended in the air for several minutes. I recall several more: Pimienta, winner of many fights, owned by Mr. Pepe Peña; Mancha, property of the Bas family; Matón and Tunney, of my own; Yarará, of the Dalves family; and finally Tomsito, who belonged to my cousin Dr. Héctor Martínez; his legendary courage made him win many fights in the pit. Obviously we have known many more, but their names and those of their owners are lost in times gone by. III The Starting of the New Breed These dogs I have mentioned were the foundations. Being so young as we were, it was very difficult for us to obtain the bitches, the place to kennel them, the food, and the keeper, since our ongoing studies prevented us from being personally in charge of all the minor details. Our uncle Oscar Martínez, whom we owe so much for everything he did for the breed, lent us a large yard where we started taking the females we managed to get from friends and relatives who sympathized with our project. We were able to gather 10 bitches in a relatively short period of time, sisters and daughters of the dogs I have mentioned before. This number grew fairly quickly until we reached around 30 mothers. We had already secured a place, but we still had the problems of finding a keeper and getting the food. At that time, we were attending high school, day-boarding, and we only had weekends to go to that laboratory where we started, more than 50 years ago, that long and passionate alchemy. For we had learned that “natura non facet saltus”, and Mendel’s law was always to be fulfilled, slowly but surely. As our father had taught us, based on his scientific expertise, creating a new breed of any animal species is more than just the result of mixing randomly some already existing breeds; you have to take into account a series of genetic laws, such as those from the wise Augustinian monk, in order to reach the proposed goal. You cannot infringe, without being punished, the preestablished, eternal, and immutable laws of nature. “Rome was not built in a day”, says an old English proverb, and that, we found out since the very first day. We knew the path we had started would be rough, long and difficult, plenty of obstacles; we also knew it would demand many sacrifices from us and from the ones who would follow us in our passion. But in our young 18 years everything seemed to be possible, and that youth was the great spur we had which made us accomplish the most arduous tasks. The problem of feeding the bitches -sometimes 30 or more- was urgent; and I say bitches for males we never had more than 2 or 3, since we brought them from outside whenever we needed them for service. We fed them with our savings from the pocket-money our mother used to give us on Sundays. We used this money to buy some big cheeses (around 40 pounds each) which we got for 3$ each in an old soap factory. This cheese, mixed with other foods, made quite a good meal. But the real solution was provided to us by the generosity of a noble Spaniard called Merino, owner of a sandwich store (“El Buen Sandwich”). This man was a friend of our father’s who, as far as I know, was his family’s doctor. One day, after visiting our premises, he was so enthusiastic that he decided to spare for us several bags full of leftovers from the manufacturing of sandwiches each Saturday. The “fuel” to keep the boilers of the “factory” burning was momentarily secure. The problem of finding and hiring a keeper was also a very urgent one, but finally our father, with his characteristic kindness and that typical concern for anything that was spiritually sound, solved it by paying the corresponding salary. We were able to have, in different occasions, two or three different keepers. Finally, when my brother Antonio went to study at the Rosario University, he met Mr. Antonio Orelo, a Spaniard who worked as a male nurse in hospitals, and a fervent dog-enthusiast. While my brother was away, I had to manage the kennel by myself. When he finally returned home, he brought Mr. Orelo with himself, and he started working as our kennels’ keeper. He did the job with utmost loyalty for many years. Later on, my brother gave him two acres of land and a house in our villa Santa Isabel, where he finally died and where his wife and some of his children still live. This constitutes, to the best of my knowledge, a brief account of the way the breed started, and of how we managed to solve, despite being so young, the three biggest problems we encountered when trying to make my brother Antonio’s dream come true: The place for the experiment, the people in charge, and the food for the mothers and their litters. IV Breeds That Took Part In The Formation Of The Dogo Argentino Now, the big problem arose: Which breeds would we select and put inside the melting pot where the miracle of a new hunting breed had to be produced? Childhood’s dream, which was to become real only after many years of hard-fought battle, when the Dogo Argentino was finally accepted as a breed by the Sociedad Rural and the Federación Cinológica Argentina (1964), and, a year later, by the Federación Cinológica Internacional (Belgium). Also the Kennel Club Argentino (1973), and all the institutions with international jurisdiction which adhered to the latter. While we were studying the different breeds which appealed to us as the most appropriate for our purposes we were impressed, almost from the outset, by the Irish Wolfhound. Everything we read, regarding his great size, strength, speed and courage to fight wolves, caught our attention, specially in the book “Chien a loupes Irlandais”. There I read for the first time William Spencer’s poem in its French version (I translated the English version to Spanish many years later). We were vividly impressed by that which said: En verité, c’etait un chien sans pair La fleur de toute sa race Si fidele, si brave: un agneeu a la maison Un lion a la chasse. Unfortunately, after multiple searches we had to give up momentarily, as there was not one single specimen in the country. Even today, the only specimens available here are descendants of the ones I brought from USA and Canada many years later, when I came back from my position as Argentine ambassador before the latter. Lately I have been informed that a male specimen has been introduced from England by the Argentine ambassador before that country, Manuel de Anchorena. They are very expensive indeed. Some years ago, Dr. Hugo Miguel Arrambide brought me from England an excellent female specimen, who died in Esquel without having puppies. Then my brother decided on the Great Dane (or German Dogue), for his great size; the Pointer, for his nose; the English Bulldog and the Bullterrier for their courage and jaw; the Dogue de Bordeaux and the Boxer, for their courage too, and also their intelligence and head shape; the Pyrenean Mastiff -huge mountain dog-, for his size, white color, rusticity, and good nose. There were also no specimens of the latter breed in the country until I managed to import a couple, years later. In what refers to the giant Irish Wolfhound -the tallest dog in the world-, which constituted, due to all we had read, a golden dream for my brother and me, we were only able to use him much later on, when life itself put me in the position of being able to import them, as I stated above. However, in 1938 or 39 I got a crossbred between the Irish and Great Dane with which I covered some transitional Dogo bitches in Esquel and later on in Cordoba. In order to make things clear we are going to deal separately with breeds in particular. V Bullterrier, Boxer, Mastiff and Bulldog Those were the breeds that had shaped the Old Cordoba Fighting Dog. That was the conclusion to which Antonio and I arrived, after talking for hours with the “Criollos” and Spanish descendants who roamed around dogfights and pits. The Mastiffs had been brought by the Spaniards, who liked and encouraged dogfights, on the previous century and even earlier. Proof of this lies on the fact that they were used in America’s conquest, to pursue the indians, and in the conquest war. In USA, Cuba and Brazil, they were used until the past century, for the hunting of slaves who tried to find their path for freedom. In that respect, Dr. José Antonio Güemez, history and philosophy professor at the Universities of Buenos Aires, La Plata and Mar del Plata, stated in his book “Apuntes de Historia Americanística”: “Another great advantage for the conquerors were the dogs. Unknown to the indians in what referred to size and ferocity, some dogs wrote pages of victories and horror. In the entry of Cortés -writes Sahagun- the hounds they brought produced great fear; they were big, with their mouths open, tongues pending, spiked collars, and they scared everybody who saw them. The names of the most famous of them -Becerillo, Lencico, Bruto- were preserved by the chroniclers, and some of their feats narrated as extraordinary things. That is why they earned salary, and sometimes even more than the halberdier, be it for their intelligence, or their ferocity. In the chronicles they are referred to as hounds or Alaunts. During some time I investigated, trying to get a true idea of the dog the Spaniards brought for the conquest and which scared the indians so much. The mystery -which bothered me for many years- was solved by some Italian manuscripts, from 1445 and later, in which, amidst images of war, an Alaunt dog was depicted, equipped with a special harness and a backpack full of fire. This dog was released, in full rage, against the cavalry. The shape and detail of this Alaunt dog are coincidental, in every bit, with those of the Dogo Argentino, which has been produced, after multiple cross-breeding, by the passion and love of the Nores Martínez family. So you could say that, genetically, it has been possible to reconstruct a type of dog that was thought to be extinct”. So, there is no doubt that the Mastiff existed in our country, and by extension in Cordoba, since the times of the Colony; and this is established by a reputable historian. The Boxer, Bullterrier and English Bulldog mixed in their blood at the end of the past century and beginning of the actual one. When we started the mix to shape the new dog these three breeds, Boxer, Bullterrier and Bulldog, were pretty common in Cordoba, and it was easy for us to get some pure specimens to put inside the test tube. I remember one Bullterrier, called Centauro, whom the Major Sebastián Baltazarre had brought from La Plata. As he had to travel to Uruguay in 1930 for political reasons, his wife gave me the dog, who stayed definitively in our hands. He serviced several bitches in our kennel. Mrs. Fanny Howard Baltazarre always kept in touch with us by mail, since she loved that dog very much. Centauro had an athletic build, and he was much taller than the Bullterriers we see today. My brother managed to get another Bullterrier we called Donkey, whose pedigree name was Don Quijote de La Mancha; we used him in different times for stud services in our kennel. There was also some blood infusion from a deaf Bullterrier, whom we used due to his extraordinary bravery, but the disastrous consequences of this troubled us for many years. Several Boxers serviced female crossbreds between Old Cordoba Fighting Dog and Pointers, Danes, Bulldogs or Bullterriers. I particularly remember one, very brave, owned by our relative, Dr. Juan C. Cafferata (Jr.), who came to live with us when his parents went to Buenos Aires due to political duties. Dr. Cafferata had the dog living in his grandfather’s yard, and he made him fight. Since he was so courageous, we used him in the breeding process. Another Boxer who had a fair amount of responsibility in the formation of the breed was one owned by our uncle, Dr. Enrique Martínez. When he was elected for governor in Cordoba, in 1928, and later on Vice-president of the country after Beiró’s death, he had to establish himself in Buenos Aires, so he decided to leave the Boxer with us. This dog gave us several litters. Both Boxers were much taller and stronger than the stylized specimens we see nowadays in the show-rings. Probably other Boxers had something to do with our Dogos by that time, but I really cannot recall their names or origins. After that, a beautiful Boxer from Neuquén was used, servicing several Dogo bitches, but that belongs to the second and definitive era of the Dogo, after the death of my brother, when the breed became for all purposes extinct in Cordoba, and I had to reconstruct it in the Patagonia with the specimens my brother had brought me until 1955 and the ones I had taken to Esquel and other places in southern Argentina since 1937. VI English Bulldog We used only very few specimens of this breed, first of all because it was already part of the Old Cordoba Fighting Dog, and also, because they produced prognatism (undershot bite), and small size in our dogs. It needs to be emphasized that, from the very first moment, my brother and I were concerned that our dogs should have good height. That was the main reason to use the blood of three giant breeds: Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound and Great Pyrenees. Whenever we saw our Dogo becoming too short, we included some of this giants. Notwithstanding the inconvenients mentioned above, the Bulldog blood contributed with a strong jaw and tenacity for the fight, among other characteristics of this noble breed. I remember one of the first Bulldogs we used , brindle and with a good pedigree, property of a Mr. Brusco, who lived in a beautiful house in the Chacabuco Boulevard. He was a friend of my brother’s, and he lent us the dog several times. We had the dog for services, under the condition of returning him on the same day. He had a bad temper, and he made an unfriendly snore when breathing. Splitting him from a bitch in heat was truly a titanic feat. He was an extraordinary specimen of the noble breed. After that I took a Bulldog to Cordoba; he was imported from England by Dr. José Arce, and given to me as a gift. The dog’s name was Churchill John Bull; he had a white coat and was a typical specimen of the breed, good-natured and gentle. I carried another Bulldog to Cordoba later on, whom I left with my brother since I was by then embarked in my law career in Capital Federal. I bought this dog from Mr. Benito Demaría, a significant breeder who during many years was the only one to present Bulldogs in the shows at the Kennel Club or the Sociedad Rural. This dog was also white. Finally, there was a last white Bulldog, not so pure, called Boy, who serviced some of the bitches. He was obtained by my brother, but I cannot remember either his origin or previous owners. This shows four different bloodlines of English Bulldog running through the veins of our Dogos, adding up, of course, to what was already inside the Old Cordoba Fighting Dog. VII Great Dane The first Great Dane who started shaping the Dogo was Ney, property of my father. He was the son of Sultan, owned by Mr. Gastón Degoy, who had a small hotel in Santa Rosa de Río Primero (Cordoba), where my father and I used to stay when hunting partridges. Ney’s mother was Tigresa de Basqueville, property of our uncle Mr. Rogelio Martínez; she had a good pedigree. She was a typical specimen for those times, brindle in color. Sultan, on the contrary, was harlequin, not very tall, but still among the standards for the breed. I don’t know whether he had a pedigree or not. We also used the services of another harlequin Great Dane called Prince, property of our cousin Dr. Rodolfo Martínez, who was later to become Secretary of Education before the OEA. Another harlequin Great Dane we used was Fox, the biggest Dane I have ever seen in my life, both here and abroad. This dog was owned by Mr. Carlos Cuadro del Viso, and he was the son of a couple imported by a man of German origin whom we called, for reasons I do not know, “Mr.” Scherer. This man was, for some time, the director of Cordoba’s Zoo. Later on, after I returned from a long journey throughout the world, Mr. Cuadros was so kind that he gave me the dog, whom I then took with me to Formosa, where I went to live for some time for job reasons. It seemed that the dog had gotten so attached to me that he had even become hostile towards his owners. It was understandable, though, as I usually fetched the dog for long strolls in the park or stud services. Finally, in 1937, I took him with me to Esquel, where I had been promoted to District Attorney. I also carried several female Dogos, Pointers, etc., who served as the basis for the first Dogos from Chubut. My brother kept bringing new specimens in his trips to Esquel. In one of those trips he brought me a female Great Dane, Countess. I have many pictures from her, some of them teaming with a Saint Bernard (Cadete) to pull a dog sleigh with which my little daughter used to wander those landscapes covered with snow, in that beautiful Andean village, during the winters. Countess, Fox, and the Irish Wolfhounds, were responsible for the good size of Esquel’s Dogos. Countess herself gave us many litters, and died of old age in the mountains. We used another harlequin Dane, with pedigree, to service some of our bitches. He was owned by Mr. Juan Minetti (Jr.), who lent him to us in several occasions. Years later, thanks to the kindness of Mr. Ludi Ranochia, from Castex, La Pampa, and the mediation of Mr. Enrique Nervi, I obtained a superb specimen of harlequin Dane, called Noble, whom I used when the Dogos from Esquel started to lose height and weight. This dog produced a little white dot in some eyes of certain offspring, which took me several generations to erase. But his height and overall strength were very useful to me in the reconstruction of the breed, as it will be seen in the corresponding chapter. The Great Dane also had some indirect influence in the early developments of the breed. This was through two dogs: One was a crossbred between Dane and Irish Wolfhound, property of the Ricciardi family. The other, around 1935, was the famous Yarará, an “almost Dogo” who had such a height that it was clear he had blood from the giant breed. Yarará was more than 30 inches tall and heavy. He still had many characteristics of the Old Cordoba Fighting Dog, but his biotype was that of the future Dogo Argentino. He was owned by Mr. Raúl Dalves, police officer in Esquel since 1935, who had obtained him from my brother Antonio. By the way, it was Dalves himself who encouraged me to ask to be transferred from Formosa to Esquel to continue my law career, which happened in 1937. I was then designated as District Attorney in that wonderful town, where I lived more than half of my life. My friendship with Mr. Dalves has extended in time with the affection that bonds me to his children and grandchildren. Yarará was one of the cornerstones of the breed in Esquel. In this way, I pay homage to that great wild boar hunter, who had such extraordinary power, height, weight and stamina, strengthened by long runs through mountains and valleys. He serviced many of our bitches, among them Ibote, Bugati, Ñata, Paloma. He died very old in Rawson, and is buried in a place where the Police’s headquarters now stand. VIII Pointer One of the first Pointers we put in the breed was Zug de Tregroas, imported from France by engineer Miguel Arrambide, around 1927, jointly with a female called Hantippe de Saint Fargot. Arrambide gave them as a gift to my father, of whom he was a friend. He was also friend of us; a gentleman, in sport and in life; legendary figure in Cordoba, of whom I keep the best of memories. He joined us in memorable partridge hunting journeys, in the fields of Cordoba, south of Santiago del Estero and Santa Fe. Those Pointers, who had cost him a real fortune, brought with themselves the titles of French and European champions, both in structure and work. I myself hunted with Hantippe for several years. In this breed we also used the stud services of Crack, a white and chocolate Pointer, son of the former couple, belonging to Arrambide, as well as Champion, black and white, and Cup, white and chocolate, with whom my father and some brothers hunted for many years. These dogs were registered in the Sociedad Rural Argentina, after which, Dr. Rafael Magnelli Ferrari, a known pointerman who did very much for the breed, traded with my father a son of the aforementioned couple for a puppy son of Dados Pigal and Mora, two dogs imported by him. That puppy was also introduced by us in the breeding process, and years later Dr. Magnelli Ferrari -who was the founder of the magazine called “La Diosa Cazadora”, which later evolved into the magazine “La Diana”- gave my father a son of You de Grand Charmon, a French champion Pointer imported by him. And with my brother we also utilized this new Pointer blood-line to introduce it in our melting pot. Much later on, we used blood from a nearly all-white Pointer that I got from Mr. Julio Alberto, who sent it to me as a gift to Esquel. In 1937 my brother brought to Esquel an excellent Pointer, Tom, who was son of Diana, sent to my father in Cordoba by Dr. José María Cullen. Diana was daughter of Lord, a dog who had won several field trials and structure shows, and was considered to be one of the best Pointers of his time in the country. Tom gave us many litters with great nose, and I credit him for the good temper of the Dogos I found when I established myself in Esquel, 20 years later. These dogs, in spite of my continuous traveling to Esquel and all my contacts, were the result of natural selection, enforced by hard work in the mountains, hostile climate, the hard and even cruel life they faced, the snow and the icy water rivers, which they swam across, the fangs of the wild boar, and the claws of the puma. This natural selection is an indispensable ingredient that goes along with the human work. No doubt Mr. Solanet would not have been able to create his magnificent “Criollo” horse had he been not helped by the harsh climate for example, which was the same as that where the Dogos were forged. These are , briefly, the different lines belonging to the best stocks of Pointer blood which we used for the Dogo. IX Irish Wolfhound As I have said before, this dog represented, both for my brother and me, the “non plus ultra” of all breeds. We admired it and read about it from the book Le Bon de Vaux, which finally turned into our dog bible. We had the obsession of getting a specimen of the breed, but despite exhausting all our resources, writing to the Kennel Club, the Sociedad Rural Argentina, and friends from all over the place, we found no trace of it in the country. Apparently, no one had ever introduced one of these dogs in Argentina, and that obviously had to do with their high price-tag. One day, while skiing at the Otto mountain, Bariloche -the Catedral was not yet in use- I made friends with Dr. Antonio Parodi Cantilo, married to Alicia Lalor, who owned the Tunkelén Hotel, neighbor to the Llao-Llao, later on expropriated by the government. Alicia Lalor’s father owned several estates in the southern part of Cordoba (General Viamonte and Laboulaye), where my father, Arrambide and I used to go every winter to hunt red partridge, which existed there in fabulous quantities. I soon discovered that the couple was going to Europe in a pleasure trip, and as I knew they were enthusiasts of pure-bred dogs, I urged them to buy a male Irish Wolfhound, which was our golden dream. There was a circumstance in my favor: Alicia Lalor was of Irish origin, and they would be visiting Ireland. When they finally came back they brought a female, Diana, and even if it was not exactly what we had hoped for, it was no doubt a step forward. Since there were no males of the breed in the country, they decided to service her with a Great Dane they had, property of Mr. Luis Ricciardi. I followed the traces of two of their sons: Nahuel, owned by Mr. Luis Ortiz Basualdo, and Don Patricio, property of Duke Jones. Both dogs developed themselves in their corresponding estates in the margins of the lake Nahuel Huapi, in the area which limits with the Huemul peninsula, Neuquén. They reached exceptional size, mainly Don Patricio, who was an impressive specimen; and both evolved into such good hunters that they finally surrendered their lives fighting against wild boars in the mountains. Mr. Luis Ortiz Basualdo, who, as well as his daughter and grandchildren, was a great friend of mine, lent me his Nahuel, whom I took to Esquel and used for stud service on several transitional Dogo bitches, with which I introduced at least 50 % Irish Wolfhound blood. Later on, he lent him to me again, and I sent him to my brother in Cordoba, where he stayed for several months servicing some bitches which by then were already fixing the desired biotype. We then returned Nahuel to his owner, who some short time later told me that as soon as the dog arrived he went out in a wild boar hunt where he got killed by one of the hogs. This was the first Irish Wolfhound blood that entered into the shaping of the Dogo Argentino, admittedly not pure. Years later I established myself as crime judge in Buenos Aires, and moved to a big house with a great yard in Palermo Chico, in the intersection of streets Juez Tedín and Bustamante. I took with me a couple of Irish Wolfhounds, which had been imported from the US and previously owned by Mr. Natalio Botana. Mr. Botana had already died, and I managed to get the dogs through one of his sons. Finally our long-cherished dream became real. My brother sent me several Dogo bitches, which were serviced by Max de Wopourmil -that was the male’s name- and I coupled the bitch with a male Dogo called Pancho, who was also sent from Cordoba by my brother. The litters, with the sole exception of one puppy who was taken to Ecuador by the Cultural Attaché at that country’s embassy, Dr. León, were all sent to Cordoba to my brother’s hands. Both Irish Wolfhounds are registered in the Kennel Club Argentino. Years later, while I was doing some paperwork concerning the importation of two Irish Wolfhounds in the American Kennel Club in New York, I was asked if I knew anything of Botana’s dogs. I informed them that I had had them for some time, and that both of them had already died. I was careful not to tell them how I had used them , since among such breeders it is a big offense to crossbreed the dogs. In 1948 I traveled from New Orleans, where I was studying at the University of Tulane, to New York, and tried to buy a couple of these dogs, or at least a male, but I found it was very difficult to get one, and besides, the official price for the breed was beyond my financial capabilities. Meanwhile, my brother was very worried because the Dogos, perhaps due to inbreeding, were losing height, which we both thought was crucial, since the Dogo was essentially a big-game hunting dog, destined to fight with wild animals of much greater size. As such, he urged me to try to take back to Argentina a male Irish Wolfhound or at least a Pyrenean dogue, that white giant from the Pyrenean mountains we admired so much. I contacted some friends, among them Dr. Frederik Reiter, who took me to Mrs. Butcher’s kennel. She had won the trophies for Pyrenean Mastiff in the Westminster show, that great event which takes part every year during February in the Madison Square Garden in New York. Once there, I bought the couple of Pyrenean Mastiffs whose blood runs through the Dogos veins, as I will show in the corresponding chapter. Finally, life’s ups and downs allowed me to obtain a couple of Irish Wolfhounds of my own, which constituted the 4th. and 5th. blood streams from that breed that took part in the development of the Dogo. Destiny made me abandon for some years my judiciary career and I resigned my position as President of the Federal Court of Appeals in Capital Federal to hold as Argentina’s ambassador in Canada. Shortly afterwards, I bought a couple of these dogs, with champion parents, and I made themselves champions too. The male, Gelert of Tipperary, was proclaimed International champion, since he became American and Canadian champion. The bitch, Sheelagh Allana of Ottawa, who was younger, became Canadian champion. Both dogs, who were extraordinarily beautiful, were registered in the Kennel Club Argentino, and they participated in several shows, where they always drew the attention due to their aristocratic appearance. They won several prizes, as many of their purebred sons also did. Some of their descendants are still wandering the Patagonia. At the end of this chapter I show data taken from the Harp and Hound, official magazine of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America, which testifies for the quality of the two specimens I imported. Gelert serviced several bitches in Cordoba -where I stayed for a year when back from Canada-, and when I established myself in Santa Rosa I took them with me. They finally ended their days in Esquel, servicing other Dogo bitches. Their pure offspring showed good results when hunting guanacos and ñandú (American ostrich); they were not good for wild boar, puma and red fox, for the reasons I state in detail in the first chapter of my previous book about our Dogos. In the 1952, vol.III, N°2, spring issue of Harp and Hound magazine, page 48, under the heading “Harpings...”, there is an article written by Mrs. Margaret L. Fess, where she speaks about the dogs I bought in the US and took to Canada in the following words: “ The two hounds acquired by Argentina’s ambassador in Canada are Gelert of Tipperary, son of American champion Cyllikity of Ambleside and the female champion Rathain Lorna of Ambleside, and Sheelagh Allana of Ottawa, daughter of champion Corina of Enfelcarne”. Three years later, in vol.VI, N°1, winter 1955, page 12 on, Mrs. Fess states: “Both of the hounds of Dr. Nores Martínez share their bloodlines with the two most famous American champions. The international champion Gelert of Tipperary is littermate of female champion Tralee of Ambleside, who was elected hound of the year, twice best in show, and best Irish Wolfhound in the last specialty show, all of it in 1954. Sheelagh Allana of Ottawa is littermate of champion Makilacudy, who has been elected best of breed in the last 3 shows in the Madison Square Garden”. This means to say that both Irish Wolfhounds whose blood took part in the development of our Dogo Argentino are not only sons of champions and champions themselves, but they also have littermates which became the best dogs in the US. This certifies our determination to use, in every breed, the best possible bloodlines, regardless troubles or expense. X Dogue de Bordeaux This breed had also caught our attention, and after reading its description and that of their qualities, we decided to introduce it in our creation. The problem was, as usual, finding them in Argentina. Luck helped us once more. My father had an estate in Falda del Carmen, near Alta Gracia, a property I inherited many years later, when he died. The man in charge of it was a Pole called Nicolás Milkevich, who, by that time, lived alone in a small house inside the estate. He was a refugee from World War I, and his family had stayed in Europe; some years later my father managed to bring them to Argentina through official negotiations. During partridge season we used to go hunting every Sunday; birds seemed endless at those times. On one of the occasions, we arrived rather early, and when we reached Mr. Nicolás’s house we saw a dead adult puma, hanging from a carob tree, near the water mill. Nearby, lying under the sun, we saw a pair of fairly big dogs, with huge heads and traces of recent fights, like skin tears and blood stains. We talked promptly to our father, asking him if he knew which breed the dogs were, to which, without hesitation, he answered that they had to be Dogues de Bordeaux, since they were identical to the ones he had seen in Europe and especially in France, at dog shows and in family houses as guard dogs. As soon as we returned to Cordoba we looked up for information in our books. That search convinced us that our father was right, since the photograph in the article was an exact reproduction of those two dogs, especially the typical heads. It goes without saying that the following Sunday, as soon as we arrived to the ranch, we asked Mr. Nicolás for a puppy, which we were soon able to take home since the bitch was by then pregnant. We took him to our villa Santa Isabel; once there my father named him Kaiser and used him as guard dog for many years. We also took him to our yard in several occasions for stud service on our incipient Dogo bitches. Mr. Nicolás also had a seemingly pure Bullterrier or Old Cordoba Fighting female dog, who was always on the leash as she was aggressive towards domestic animals. We also serviced her with the Dogue de Bordeaux, and then we took a male puppy which we later used for our purposes. Afterwards, during my trips abroad, especially in France, where I had the chance to see so many Dogues de Bordeaux, I became convinced that those specimens were almost pure, even if I cannot determine whether they had pedigrees or not. What they told us was that they had been obtained from a Frenchman who lived in Alta Gracia for some time and who had brought them from Buenos Aires. Apparently, when he left Alta Gracia he gave them to Mr. Nicolás. A few years ago I had the pleasure of seeing in Paris, in Place Pigalle, an old man walking every afternoon with a beautiful specimen of this breed, which reminded me of our Kaiser, whom my father loved so much. The Dogue de Bordeaux gave us good heads and strong jaws, as well as good height, but they also transmitted a yellowish tinge in the coat, very difficult to eradicate, due to which my brother used them conservatively in stud services. But there can be no doubt that this breed has contributed to the development of the Dogo Argentino. XI Pyrenean Mastiff As I have stated in a previous chapter, when I failed to bring from the US an Irish Wolfhound I met Mrs. Marjorie Butcher, and bought from her two beautiful purebred Pyrenean Mastiff puppies, from champion parents. They were named Cote de Neige Van du Nord and Cote de Neige Pavanne, but we decided to call them Napoleon and Josefina, for the sake of simplicity. I brought them with me when I came back to the country, and I registered them at the Kennel Club Argentino, which means they were the first specimens of the breed arriving to Argentina. We liked them very much because of their excellent nose, size, temper and rusticity. Regarding their smell sense, I will recall an episode we witnessed and which made my brother Antonio a great enthusiast of these mastiffs. We were walking from our parent’s house to my own, which I was building 1 km. away, in our villa Santa Isabel. Napoleon was with us. Suddenly, the dog started sniffing like a Pointer or Setter behind the partridge, and then he began running towards a group of fruit trees. We thought it might be a hare, but few seconds after losing sight of the dog amidst the trees and pastures we heard him barking, and also some human screams. We ran and found a young man cornered by the mastiff against a peach tree, trying to fend off the dog with a sack half-full with the product of his theft, begging us to call the animal back. Fortunately he had not been bitten yet. Of course we let him off with his peaches, not without telling him that next time he wanted some he might better ask for them, since we always used to give fruit to all the kids who went to our house daily. One of the sweetest memories I recall from my childhood is that of my mother giving out fruits among the poor people of our neighborhoods. Back to our subject. We serviced many of our transitional Dogo bitches with that Pyrenean Mastiff. By that time, we had already left the yard our uncle had lent us, and we had established the kennel in my father’s estate, in the southwest part of Santa Isabel. We called it “Puesto de Adé”, in reference to a workman who had lived there in times gone by. After servicing several bitches and rendering us excellent litters, the male mastiff died; the mastiff bitch had passed away a year before. I took several descendants to La Pampa, and later to Esquel. Piri was a good crossbred who lived many years in an estate called “El Refugio”, property of Edelmiro Ardohain, in Doblas, La Pampa. He left us very good puppies. I gave out other similar crossbreds in different estates throughout the province; the great many big Dogos which are seen there nowadays, good hunters, and some of them having rather long coats, trace their origins to that first couple of Pyrenean Mastiffs we introduced. I also took them to Esquel, where they performed well due to that strong and heavy coat. The only defect the Pyrenean brought us was the aberrant finger, which at first was double, and which is typical of the breed. Lately, this does not happen anymore, as the new dog establishes itself and absorbs the old original breeds. The bitch also gave offspring with Dogos, so finally two different blood streams of Pyrenean Mastiff have contributed to the development of the Dogo Argentino. XII And the Dogos Finally Developed Be it because in La Pampa the European wild boar was very abundant and our friendship with Antonio Maura, owner of Parque Luro, allowed us to hunt as if it were our private land; be it because in Cordoba the wild boar never existed; be it because Antonio became discouraged when he saw that neither family nor friends, not even his sons, showed any interest in the new breed; or be it because he foreboded his early, incoming death, the truth is that my brother brought, between 1953 and 1956, his best adult Dogos and even entire litters to my villa in Santa Rosa (La Pampa). These dogs I either gave out among friends or kept for myself. Among these adult Dogos, he brought me Tupac and Inca. These dogs took part in two public fights in the city of San Luis, in 1953; Tupac with a puma and Inca with a wild boar. We had some trouble with the authorities because of an indictment for “cruel acts”, and in order to make the exhibition we had to change the original location, which was a theater, to a beautiful estate, very near the city, property of the then Captain, and today Colonel, Amieva Saravia. The demonstrations finally took part as they had been advertised through the radio and newspapers. They were sponsored by the Sociedad Rural Argentina and the Kennel Club de San Luis, and they were meant to show the efficacy of the new breed in the fight against the predatory species which by that time were decimating sheep flocks and ravaging colts and calves. By the way, let it be said that the people of San Luis had found such a big, fierce and courageous puma that he defeated Tupac without any doubt, and I had to take him out of the cage in order to save his life. The dog did not give up, and behaved as the history of the breed demands. Inca, on the other hand, easily got hold of the wild boar. Along with these dogs, my brother also brought me several bitches, among them Pora, Ayuhue, Penca, Mahuida, Blanca, Chicha, Guayrá, Araí, Yasi, Iboté, etc. From then on, I have my own book with the genealogy of the breed, which starts with Penca’s litter, February 3rd., 1954, going on from parents to sons. By now, there have been 1031 puppies, counting the litter from Huecuvú del Chubut and Pudú del Chubut, born July 9th. of the current year. Among those 1031 Dogos born in my hands, we find the 41 Basic Registries and the 26 1sts. which, registered in the Federación Cinológica and the Sociedad Rural Argentina, constitute the origin of the pedigree Dogos we see nowadays. As such, during those years I multiplied the Dogos a great deal, and gave them out in different estates, so they could develop as hunters. But soon I had to face a tremendous problem, which was that half of the puppies were born deaf. Aside from the genetic problem, it was also a moral and touching issue, since by the time we realized they were deaf the puppies were usually two months old, and it was really very painful for us to sacrifice them after we had already became fond of them. My brother and some colleagues studied the case, and concluded that the reason for this defect was not only the deaf bullterrier we had used years before, but also the issue of inbreeding. My cousin, Captain Justiniano Martínez Achával, left with me for several months his Dogo Yagan, an excellent hunter which my brother had previously given him as a gift in Cordoba; very powerful indeed, but rather short in height. This dog serviced several of my bitches, and gave me very good puppies, among them Yacaré, whom I gave to Mr. Martín Valerdi. Yacaré was a powerful and courageous dog, but he did not prevent me from getting deaf puppies, since it was the same bloodline. I carried Alicacha, one of his sons, to Esquel. Alicacha died in Corcovado, in an estate within the mountains called La Diana (owned by Major Sustaita), after fighting both a wild boar and a puma on the same day. A littermate was kept by a sergeant of the army who, upon retirement, went to live in Cordoba, where he took this dog, called Tip. This Dogo bears the number 41 in my books. Before passing away, Alicacha left me very good puppies, whose blood participated in the reconstruction of the breed. It was evident that we had to introduce new blood streams, or the Dogo as a breed would come to an end, since deafness was becoming more and more frequent. Happily, I had brought with me from Cordoba several Pyrenean Mastiffs, offspring from the ones I had previously imported, and also, several pure Irish Wolfhounds, whom I had also brought from the US and Canada. All of these animals provided me with fresh blood for the Dogos. When I established myself definitively in Esquel, at the beginning of 1957, I took with me a large pack of my Dogos, along with the Irish Wolfhounds. Those ten years which run from 1954 to 1964, when the breed was officially recognized by the Federación Cinológica Argentina and the Sociedad Rural, were decisive for it. When I arrived in Esquel I lodged the dogs in a country house, property of my old friend and cattleman Mr. Antonio Criado. I also lived there myself, until we finished our “Condor’s Nest”, over the slope of the Z mountain, in that city. When that finally happened, I moved there with 20 Dogos, male and female. They were to produce, in a few years, all of the Dogos with pedigree, according to the documentary proof available at the time this book is being written (76/77). Before leaving for “Condor’s Nest”, I gave Major Sustaita 5 Dogos which he took to his estate “La Diana”, in Corcovado, where wild boars and pumas were ravaging cattle and sheep. They hunted very much and very well, guided by Jaramillo, the foreman, but two of them, Alicacha and the bitch Kelghy, died in fierce fights against these animals. Several descendants of these Dogos, distributed among nearby estates, also passed away on the line of duty. So I worked with those Dogos I had brought from La Pampa, adding several ones I kept finding in different estates around Corcovado, Trevelin, Tecka, etc. These were fairly pure descendants of the ones I had taken in 1937 (twenty years before), when I first arrived in Esquel. With these dogs, who had been hunting in the mountains for 20 years, plus the ones I brought, plus some Pointer, Pyrenees, Dane, Irish Wolfhound and Boxer blood, I was able to end the inbreeding problem, open up and reconstruct the breed, which was on the verge of extinction, eliminate the deafness problem, and once again, give the animals good size. In Zapala, Neuquén, I found a good, very big Dogo, who was discovered by my cousin, Dr. Rodolfo Martínez. He was owned by Dr. Posse, who had obtained him as a puppy from some friends in Uspallata. This dog serviced several of my bitches too. Another serious problem I encountered with the Dogos my brother took to La Pampa and which I later brought to Esquel, was that of aggressiveness between each other. I will never forget an embarrassing situation which my brother and I had to bear with when hunting with Mr. Antonio Maura and Mr. Miguel Uranga, the man in charge of Parque Luro. The Dogos had caught a wild boar about 100 meters ahead from us; we rushed, guided by the hog’s screams. When we arrived, the boar was gone, as the dogs had started fighting among themselves. With the education and the new blood, contributed by the Pointer and Irish Wolfhound (which gave them a better temper), plus the 20 years of “functional gymnastics”, hunting boar and puma in packs over the mountains and the marshes of Fofo Cahuel, I managed to tame them, taking away from them that fighting ancestor. A couple of excellent Dogos helped me very much in this task: Jack, an old dog who was hunting in an estate in Corcovado, owned by Mr. Corro, foreman of Dr. Venturino; and a bitch called Lilý, very big and very good hunter, given to me by a close friend, Mr. Juan Goya (Jr.). Lilý gave me very good puppies. As a result, we obtained good hunting, docile dogs, not aggressive among themselves. A friend of mine, Mr. Elías Owen, landowner and Dogo-enthusiast, told me some time ago that in his estates, no Dogo is ever kept chained. He knows very well the efforts we have made to make it possible to have Dogos coexisting in a house, without fighting each other. This explains why we feel so bad when we see them being used in dog fights, either pure or crossbred with Bullterrier. This destroys our hunting breed, causing a regression to the Old Cordoba Fighting Dog, which hides underneath the roots of the Dogo. In this way, in about 10 years, I managed to reconstruct the breed with renewed vigor; and through adequate training, and continuous hunting and fighting with wild boars and pumas in cages, I was able to present a pack of 67 specimens in 1964, required for the official recognition of the breed by the previously mentioned entities. These Dogos are the ones who shaped the pedigree, from whom all of the existing Dogos come from. It starts with Kob de Las Pampas, carrying number 1 in the Registros Genealógicos Base (Base Genealogy Registries), and ends with Tanuki del Chubut, who carries number 41. The Registros Genealógicos Primera (Genealogy Registries -First) start with Conajen del Chubut (N°1), and end with Felder del Chubut, who carries number 26. The Registros Genealógicos closed with them. Then I opened the Registros Genealógicos Definitivos (Definitive Genealogy Registries), with a litter from Mayoco del Chubut (Registro Provisional -temporary entry- N°8) and Barda del Chubut (Registro Provisional -temporary entry- N°7), born October 3, 1969, as it is stated in the Federación Cinológica Argentina. Number 1 in that litter is Camarucho del chubut; N°2 Cacique del Chubut, and the two bitches, Challa del Chubut and Pirren del Chubut, carry numbers 3 and 4 of the Definitive Registries. When I made a trip to Cordoba in 1957 -my brother had already died- , I tried to find purebred Dogos to take south, but it was impossible, since not a single specimen of the near-extinct breed could be traced. I was informed that a Mr. Villegas could have one, but by the time I was able to find him the dog had already died. I was also told of a Mr. Meyer, who had sent a puppy to la Pampa in the past, through my brother (Iboté). I contacted him, only to find out he no longer had Dogos. As such, I returned from the trip without being able to find a single purebred Dogo in all of the Cordoba province. It was evident that after my brother’s death no one else in Cordoba had been interested in the breed. In 1961 my younger brother, Dr. Francisco Nores Martínez, located Mr. Pacuzzi, who had a female Dogo -Paloma- with puppies from a male -Añá-, property of Mr. Palau Posse, who was spending the summer in Tanti (he lived in Buenos Aires). My brother got me two male puppies from that litter, whom I named Uturunco and Lanín; they carry numbers 4 and 5 in the Base Genealogy Registries. These two Dogos are the only ones registered as Base who do not come from Esquel. Uturunco and Lanín had three littermates who were taken to Buenos Aires, to the country house of a Mr. Paz; all of them died without leaving puppies. Paloma also died shortly afterwards, and Añá ended in Dr. Arrambide’s estate in Laboulaye, in the south of Cordoba. I do not know if he left any puppies or not, but if he did, they could not have been registered, since Añá was not. In this way, around 1960, the last Dogos existing in Cordoba disappeared. Afterwards, my brother Francisco took some Dogos to Cordoba, in several trips he made to visit me; and he either kept them for himself or gave them out among friends. I have in my books, among others: Guampa, from my old Kob de Las Pampas and Chicha, a gift from my brother Antonio. He also took Lepá, an adult bitch, from Chala del Chubut and Koby del Chubut; Ñanco del Chubut, Solitario del Chubut, and Suncho, all of them adults; and several puppies from different parents. I personally took Neuquina and Tupac to Mr. Sosa Senestrari; and Tabaré, Alikol, and others I cannot recall, to my nephew Patricio Bustos Fierro. My own Toro del Chubut also spent several months servicing bitches. Uturunco, by now very old, was also taken to Cordoba, where his health got better with the rest and the milder climate; he was able to produce several litters. There were also some specimens taken from Santiago del Estero. These dogs were descendants of several Esquel Dogos who were taken to that province by the then Captain, and today Lt. Colonel, Adolfo Phillipeaux. All of these animals, plus many others which might have come from other places due to the Dogo “Boom”, originated all of the Dogos which have proliferated in that mediterranean province. In 1961 I received a letter from Mr. Amadeo Biló, which I keep in my files, telling me about his failures hunting wild boar with Great Danes and Boxers, and asking me for several Dogo puppies. In that way, I started my relationship with that great Río Negro hunter. Of course, I promised him the dogs he wanted, and I did it with great pleasure, since he would use them for hunting, which is the breed’s specific function. In winter that year, 1961, I went out hunting with Biló and my friend and breeder Mr. Elías Owen. We took Kob and Chicha, which were mine, and Lanín and Uturunco, property of Mr. Owen. We hunted 8 wild boars in a single afternoon. Mr. Biló was marveled by the way the Dogos hunted, and by the end of that year we gave him his first dogs, Day de Trevelín and Dele de Owen. Shortly after I gave him Lenga, Pampa, and other female puppies, with whom Biló started his own breeding kennel, called “Malal Conajén” ( in Mapuche tongue: Corral of the Brave). Day de Trevelín was the Dogo who died in Choele Choel; he was filmed by Americans, and his death was mentioned by Argentine and foreign newspapers. The Secretary General of the OEA said of this dog, in a letter he sent me and which I published in my book El Dogo Argentino, that “he is wrapped in the shine of legend”. Those dogs we sent him from Esquel, plus several ones I gave him later, produced the famous Biló’s Dogos, which spread throughout the shores of the Negro, Colorado, Neuquén, Limay rivers, etc. Biló used them to hunt with many European and American hunters, and their fame expanded abroad. I have read in foreign magazines articles written by Mr. Jack Parry and others; especially the Post Tribune, May 23, 1965, and Field and Stream, November 1967. In these, they praise the Dogo Argentino in a way I have not seen in my life. It is evident that the Americans know very well the meaning of the phrase “To tell, to sell”, whether it is a dog, a car, or a razor blade. Many couples and trios of Dogos have gone from Esquel to USA, Holland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Yugoslavia, Spain, and every country in Latin America. A few months ago, a couple, made up of a bitch of my own and a male provided by the breeder Jorge Wade and his wife, were sent to Israel. These two dogs have now come to San José de Costa Rica for two years, due to the fact that their owners, Mr. Jonathan Bilak and wife, have been hired to work in a cultural program. After that, they will go back to Israel. As we now know that other puppies have been exported from those nations to further countries, and as we also know of fellow native breeders who have already sent dogs abroad, we can say that our Dogos are now spread around the world, with the support provided by the recognition of the breed by the International Federation. In 1973, in a show which took place in Dortmund, West Germany, the bitch Pampa del Chubut, whom I had given to Dr. Erich Schneider Leyer, obtained the title “Weltslegerin”, that is to say, World Champion. By the time this book is being printed, International Champions Tilcara de Norez Martínez and Duda de Tilcara have participated in the International Dog Show in Mexico, obtaining both of them the titles of World Champions, male and female respectively. Tilcara is son of Facundo del Chubut and Mahuida del Chubut, both born and raised in Esquel, and Duda de Tilcara is daughter of Tilcara de Norez Martínez. So, regarding the three World Champions this breed has already produced, we find that one of them was born in Esquel -Pampa del Chubut-, and the remaining two are sons and grandsons of Dogos from Esquel. I did not want to tire the reader, entering into more details, names and facts, but I believe that with what has already been said, I have accomplished my goal, which was to establish, very clearly, how the Dogo was created; which its origins were; the ten breeds which took part in its development; and finally, how we managed to reconstruct the breed when it became nearly extinct. I believe I have done this in a way that nobody could, in good faith, be mistaken about it. Captain Graham, who re-created the old Irish Wolfhound breed in the last decade of the 19th century, was able to do so in ten years, with some pure specimens he found in the Irish mountains. But it was easier for him, since it was a breed with more than 600 years of existence. We ourselves had to face the challenges of a new breed, even though it is also true that the modern means of communication allowed us to get the specimens we needed in little time, in spite of the long distances inherent to our huge country. Here is, then, the authentic history of the Dogo Argentino, to enrich the knowledge of so many admirers of the breed. A dream from our youth which, while becoming a reality, is getting out from our hands, day by day. The breed is taking a life of its own; and blessed be it for that! It was only yesterday, when it seemed an unrealizable youth’s dream; at that age when ideals were dreamed as reality, or reality lived as a dream, until life itself confronted us with that reality. Those dreams from the past, and this present reality, are protected by a group of enthusiasts which maintains, with patriotic fervor, the destiny of the first national breed, the Dogo Argentino, which, as Dr. Gallo Plaza stated, “Is a new breed which reflects the fidelity, courage and persistency that America demanded for its epic past of conquest and liberation, demands for its grave present, and will demand for the fulfillment of its promising future”. Transcription of an article published by “Clarín” journal Buenos Aires, January 9th, 1978 The Dogo Argentino, canine breed obtained in our country via crossbreeding, has readily showed his abilities as a hunter. But now, through a peculiar experience, he has showed another skill: being an excellent alpinist. His capacities to climb and adapt to a different environment were demonstrated days ago in Junín de Los Andes, when Lieutenants Juan Carlos Ribo and Horacio Vicek, assigned to the RIM 26 (Regimiento Infantería de Montaña -Mountain Infantry Regiment-), climbed the Lanín volcano in the company of a Dogo named Olaf. The noble and intelligent animal, owned by Vicek, went all the way up with the climbers, showing his versatility. The ascension Officers Ribo and Vicek started the ascension with Olaf through the sector known as “La espina del pescado” (The fishbone), but before getting to this point they had to cross a thick forest situated between Gendarmerie’s post in Paso Tromen, and the place chosen as the start of the climb. Olaf guided both of them through this section, showing unmatched tracking skills. Later, when in the mountains, the dog behaved himself as if he had always lived in that environment, avoiding obstacles and the sharp stones which characterize that type of land. It is worth mentioning, to further appreciate the dog’s capabilities, that the trip started in complete darkness, which tested both his sight and smell senses. Some time later, the officers told, the Dogo stopped in his tracks in an alert position, and started growling. There was no chance of finding a wild boar in the area they were treading; the mystery came to an end when they reached a shelter at 2500 meters (around 8120 feet). There, they found two persons who were also trying to climb the Lanín, who had stopped for some rest. Both officers and Olaf did the same, resuming the trip at 08 AM next day. Between glaciers There are 1500 meters (around 4870 feet) from the place where they met the fellow climbers to the top of the mountain, a stretch which is considered the most difficult part of the ascension for this particular peak. It is a sector covered by glaciers, huge masses of ice, full of cracks. Considering the risks they were about to face (falling inside the cracks is usually fatal), Ribo and Vicek decided to tie themselves with a cord, leaving Olaf to care for his own. Even then, confronted with great and unforeseen difficulties, the Dogo Argentino behaved magnificently, climbing backwards on some occasions, due to the impossibility of doing it the right way. Finally, at 4.30 PM the day after, the brave trio, made up of two men and a dog, managed to reach the summit. The temperature was - 20° C (around -20° to -30° F). Tough test, for an animal accustomed to warm climates; Olaf however, after eating his meal, decided to jump several times, as if celebrating his feat. The prize was a sip of beer, shared with his master and officer Ribo, whom afterwards decided to start the descent. They previously examined the dog, finding that he had several cuts in his feet, from which he bled slightly. Injuries notwithstanding, as soon as Olaf understood they were going down, he adopted a vigorous walking rhythm, which was followed by his human partners with due effort. They arrived at the base of the volcano at night, so once again, the Dogo turned himself into a proficient guide amidst the darkness, until they reached Tromen’s post, front-line of civilization in an otherwise hostile environment. Conclusions The Dogo Olaf demonstrated several remarkable aspects about himself: 1. He showed to be stronger and more versatile than the average dog. 2. He was able to march several hours without eating, since during the ascension he did not have any food at all. 3. By scenting the presence of people which were 2 miles away, he proved to have an incredible nose. 4. He showed ability to tolerate very low temperatures. 5. He exhibited a remarkable insensibility to pain, walking with his four feet injured without uttering a complaint (proverbial characteristic of the breed). 6. Exceptional fighting spirit. 7. Fidelity to his master, even after making exhausting efforts. 8. Flexibility to adapt himself to any environment. All of these aspects show the worthiness of the Dogo Argentino, not just as a hunting dog but also as an animal with many other applications. As for the fact of reaching Lanín’s summit, it is to be said that a similar feat has been intended with dogs from other breeds, sharing successes and failures. On the occasions in which they succeeded, however, the animals were always object of extreme cares, having their feet protected with special boots, their necks tied up with collars and chains, and being fed high calorie foods and vitamins. The Dogo Argentino did not need those cares to reach the top of the mountain, showing it is not arbitrary to consider his breed as the best in the worldConclusions With this authentic, true and objective history, written, as the old judges required, “a verdad sabida y buena fe guardada”, I have tried to give a trustworthy idea of how our Dogo Argentino was born and shaped, leaving out, “brevitaris causa” (as we judges say when we do not want to be repetitive), many names and details which would make the reading tedious. I have just wanted to enhance objectively the information about the new breed which I give in my first book El Dogo Argentino, so as to dismiss any doubt which our breed’s lovers might have. It is written for those who destine the Dogo Argentino for the purpose my brother Antonio and I envisioned more than half a century ago; a courageous, big-game hunting dog, friendly with children and sociable with his own species, and an incorruptible guardian for our homes. It is therefore perfectly clear, ratified and documented in a way which is easily verifiable, that the breeds which have contributed with their bloods to shape our actual Dogo are 10, as follows: 1. Old Cordoba Fighting Dog 2. Boxer 3. Pointer 4. Bullterrier 5. English Bulldog 6. Mastiff 7. Dogue de Bordeaux 8. Great Dane 9. Pyrenean Mastiff 10.Irish Wolfhound It is to be said before ending, that the different breed specimens we used to shape the Dogo Argentino were purebreds, most of them with pedigree, and many of them descendants of champions from the best bloodlines in the world. In this way, each specimen has left the trace of his blood, mingling the more typical characters of each breed with those of the developing one. This helped us very much to obtain the multiple characteristics we sought for.