Guatemalan Dogo (Dogo Guatemalteco), formerly known as the Guatemalan Bull Terrier (Bullterrier Guatemalteco), is a Molosser-type dog breed originating in Guatemala. It is neither recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) nor the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, it has the official national recognition of the Asociación Canofila Guatemalteca (ACANGUA) where it belongs to the Group 2.2.1 - Mastiffs. As the unique breed originating in Guatemala, it is also the national dog of the country. Nowadays it has spread to various other countries, such as the USA.
History The breed was created from crosses between the old type Bull Terrier, Boxer, and Dalmatian at the end of the 19th century. The two most remarkable breeders in the early history were the family Gerardi in the 1910's and the family Gallusser in the 1930's. Because of the significant Bull Terrier influence and similar appearance (the original Bull Terrier resembled more Latin American Dogos than the modern breed does), in the 20th century it was called Bullterrier Guatemalteco. Finally at the end of the 20th century, the ACANGUA officially changed the name to the Dogo Guatemalteco. Although the ACANGUA published the first official standard already in 1972, the FCI has still not considered the international recognition of the breed.
Appearance The Guatemalan Dogo represents the Dogo subtype of mastiffs. It is a medium-sized, robust, strong and agile dog with an appearance similar to the Argentine Dogo and the Brazilian Dogo - however, these breeds are not closely related, but only share partially same ancestors. Males are 54 – 60 cm tall and weigh 40 – 45 kg; females 52 – 58 cm tall and weigh 35 – 40 kg. The short, shiny coat has a smooth and hard texture. The colour must always be white in the body, but in the head markings or spots of any other colour are preferred (although not required).
Behaviour The Guatemalan Dogo is fearless, balanced and stable. Towards its family, it is obedient, tranquil, loyal, and affectionate. However, it is reserved and alert towards strangers and will usually accept only the friends of the family. It is very territorial and has a strong guarding instinct.
Utilization The Guatemalan Dogo is used as a guardian, defence, service, and companion dog. In the early history of the breed, it was also used for bull-fighting.