Dogo (dog type)

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Dogo, Dogue, or Dogge is a sub-type of dog, which represents a medium-sized intermediate between the mastiff and the bulldog. They were originally developed as catch dogs for large game in the Middle Ages. They were also used for baiting, and cattle work.[1][2][3][4] Typically, dogo type dogs have a much lighter structure than mastiff type dogs, and most of them have a longer muzzle - with the exception of the Dogue de Bordeaux.


Spanish bull-baiting with dogs

The term Dogo[3] is Spanish, derived from the Old English word docga[5]. Docga/dogo originally referred to hounds used to track and hold large game, and to guard estates. The meaning of the word has expanded over time to include dogs who also do other kinds of related work. This expansion of meaning has caused some conflation between the term dogo and the terms presa and fila. The Spanish Dogos are sometimes known as presas[4] - for instance, the Dogo Canario is also called presa canario and the Dogo Mallorquín is alternately known by Spaniards as presa mallorquín. The extinct Perro de Presa Español was closely related to them and might have been one of their ancestors. However, the Latin American Dogos - the Dogo Argentino, the Dogue Brasileiro, and the Dogo Guatemalteco - are not called presas because they have traditionally been used only as hunting and guard dogs, the original meaning of the term dogo. Presas and filas were often used as fighting, cattle or butcher’s dogs in addition to hunting and guarding.

In French and Portuguese, Dogos are called dogues and in German Dogges. Therefore, in Spanish, the Dogue de Bordeaux is known as dogo de Burdeos and the Great Dane (Deutsche Dogge) as dogo alemán. In addition, the Portuguese word fila is basically an equivalent for the word presa and a Portuguese dictionary published in 1813 explains the term cão fila as being "a dog that catches a prey without releasing it"[6] - so it refers to the same kind of catch dogs as the Spanish Dogos.[7]

In Spanish, French and German, tipo dogo, type dogue or doggenartige Hunde also refers to the whole Mastiff-type dog subgroup of the FCI.[8][9] However, more massive and heavier mastiff breeds belonging to the same FCI subgroup are still usually called mastín, mâtin and Mastiff.


Actual Dogos[edit]

The following breeds are counted as Dogos or Presas (Filas):

Other breeds of the Dogo type[edit]

The following breeds are not called Dogos, but they practically represent the same type and have partially the same origins:

Debatable Dogos[edit]

The following breeds are known as Dogos in Spanish, French and German, but do not fulfill typical characteristics of the Dogo type:

  • Great Dane (Spanish dogo alemán; French dogue allemand; German Deutsche Dogge) - differs from the typical dogos by its size
  • Tibetan Mastiff (Spanish dogo del Tibet; French dogue du Tibet; German Tibet-Dogge) - differs from the typical dogos by many factors, such as the size, proportions and coat and is more commonly considered to represent the mountain dog subtype

The following breeds are very similar to some Dogo breeds, but have very different origins and are usually considered as molosser-type terriers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ HogarMania - Molosos tipo dogo (Dogo-type molosser dogs) (in Spanish)
  2. ^ TopperCan - Perros dogo (Dogo dogs) (in Spanish)
  3. ^ a b MisAnimales - Cuantos tipo de perro dogo existen (How many dogo-type dogs exist?) (in Spanish)
  4. ^ a b Molosos y Perros de presa - Perros de presa (Dogo/Catch dogs) (in Spanish)
  5. ^
  6. ^ (in Portuguese)
  7. ^ Horter, R. (Jan 10th 2013). "Cao Fila de Sao Miguel – aka Saint Miguel Cattle Dog". The Canine Chronicle, Vol 306. Retrieved May 16th 2014.
  8. ^ FCI. Grupo 2 Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. FCI. Retrieved May 16th 2014. (in Spanish)
  9. ^ FCI. Gruppe 2 Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. FCI. Retrieved May 16th 2014. (in German)
  10. ^ Krämer, E.-M. (2009). Der grosse Kosmos Hundeführer, s. 229. Kosmos: Stuttgart.