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Del Rio Dogo Argentinos
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Yes, Dogos Require Grooming

Coat
   Although the Dogos are a smooth coated dog with a single coat, they still require regular brushing.   My dogs get brushed every single day.  It takes maybe 5 minutes total to brush both dogs. They love the attention and their skin and coat benefit from it.  I've noticed that due to a lack of an undercoat, that the Dogos tend to "feel" dirty quicker than other breeds with a dual coat.  My dogs get bathed or hosed off about every 3 weeks. I then use a show sheen (horse spray on product) after brushing them.
   ** Never use a Slicker Brush
   ** Hound Gloves and Rubber Curry Brushes work the best
   ** use only mild shampoos or Dawn Dishwashing detergent to bathe your Dogo.
      I use a tea tree oil shampoo made for horses. Do not use the blue whitening
      shampoos. They will make the dogo's coat glow white & shine, but at the
      same time, they strip the coat & my dogs have always had itchy skin w/in a
      few days.  I have used this before a show - had a pretty show dog who was
      itchy the day after the show & then for a week following.
 
Skin & Coat Seminar Notes
      On June 20, 2005, I attended a Skin and Coat seminar with emphasis on allergies in dogs. The seminar was intended for groomers, and in a room full of groomers, there was only myself and one other person who were not professional groomers.
     I learned that short coated dogs have more allergy problems than long coated dogs & that dogs lacking pigment have more problems than colored dogs.
    The reason is because pigment is designed to protect the skin. Dogs, like our dogos, are lacking this protection. Also, the smooth single coat that the dogo has is completely man-made. This coat would never appear in nature. All wild animals (wolves, rabbits, deer, etc.) have an undercoat -- the undercoat protects the skin.
    An example that was used was a boxer and an Old English Sheepdog in the snow both have the same body temperature. The reason is not due to the hair, but rather due to the sebum or "grease" that is made to protect their skin and maintain body temperature.
    To maintain their body temperature, a healthy dogo will produce 30% more "grease" than a dog w/an undercoat, like a Labrador.
    Greasy dogs attract more dirt and the smooth coat is the culprit.
    This means that to really clean the dog, you'll need to use a shampoo with a degreaser (reason why mild dishsoap works so well) that is at the same time gentle enough to not irritate the dogs skin. 
    After bathing & removing all the grease that was produced to protect your dogo's skin, it is a must to then replenish the skin to avoid an over-production of the sebum.  You can replenish the skin with a balsam or mink oil type product.  It is a MUST that this be done every single time that the dogo is bathed.
    Never use a shampoo with peroxide or amonia in it to wash a dogo. This is harmful to their skin & w/in two days, you will have a dogo w/irritated skin and an overproduction of grease -- which causes that "doggy order."
    When considering a dogo, keep in mind that smooth single coated dogs need more skin maintenance than all other coat types.
 
Recommended Products for Dogos
   For Dogos who are currently NOT experienceing any allergy problems, it was recommended by Dogma West Coast, that they use Iv San Bernard brand Lemon Shampoo and Lemon Balsam.
   If your dog is currently experiencing allergies, feel free to contact Dogma Westcoast & they can tell you what products they recommend. You can also purchase products directly through them.
   
If your dogo is currently experienceing allergy problems, please see my Allergies page.
 
  
Teeth
   Dogos with level (aka: pinchers or pliers) bites tend to wear their front teeth down within just a few years.  Watch for decay in these teeth.
   Dogos with scissors and reverse scissors bites have little to no problems with wearing down their teeth.
   However, I have noticed with my 3 Dogos and with some of Bri's pups from last year, as well as countless un-related Dogos, that their teeth seem to collect plaque and tarter quicker than other breeds.  I do not know if this is due to soft enamel, poor genetics or what.  However, I do know what works to keep the teeth clean:
  • Dent-A-Rings (sold at Trader Joes for $3 for a 4 pack or sold at PetCo and PetsMart for about $5)  These are cardboard tubes coated in a minty plaque removing film.  I swear by these -- they work wonders.  I warn you to confine your dogo to one room to chew on one of these, otherwise you'll find cardboard everywhere
  • Greenies, Dent-A-bones and Science Diet Rx Dental Food (I have experience with all 3 of these & know that they also work, however the results are not as immediate as the dental rings)
  • Doggie Toothpaste  (I have also tried this method, it works, but is not as convenient as giving the dog a bone)
  • Dry Dog Food (This is all my dogs get -- except for special occasions)
Toes
   I have never before seen toenails on any other breed of dog grow as quickly as the Dogo's nails.  Dogos with flat hare-like feet are more prone to have long quicks and long toe-nails than the Dogos who have more correct cat-like feet.  No matter which type of foot your dogo ends up with, his nails will need to be cut -- often.  I try to trim my dogs nails once a week, if I go more than that, we start hearing them click on the hard ground as they walk.  If your dog has dewclaws, don't forget to keep them trimmed as well.
  • Dremel-like tools work the best on the thick nails of the Dogo.  I use a cordless Dremmel & have to change the sanding drum about ever 4 months.  The Dremmel is by far less dramatic than using clippers.  You can get closer to the quick and there is no squeezing of the nail which dull nail clippers tend to do.  The generic sanding drums are not recommended. They come in a pack of large quantities for little money, however, they ALWAYS split and fly off while using them. I have found that the dremmel brand sanding drums work the best.
  • To see a short video of me using a cordless Dremel to trim my dogs nails, follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/?v=dDli7Hz5itE
Ears
    For some reason, Dogos tend to get dirty ears.  They also tend to get ear infections -- even cropped eared dogos.  It is wise to keep a mild ear wash formula on hand.  I wash out Bri & Detroit's ears about every 5-6 weeks. 
    I have found that dogos with crudely cropped ears tend to get ear infections at a much higher frequency than those with modern ear crops. I have noticed this with my own dogs and with some others who had "at home" ear crops.
    The difference is that in modern crops, the cartilage at the base of the ear is removed and the base is sewn shut. This is the way that modern veterinarians have been cropping ears in the US for over 50 years. It has been found that if the cartilage is not removed, there is a higher chance of it trapping in moisture and causing infection & irritation to the dog.
    I have spoken to a number of pit bull owners who swear by OxyFresh brand ear cleaner for dogs. If your dog has recurrent ear infections - whether cropped or natural -- this cleaner may be worth a try.
 
Anal Glands
   If you notice a red/brown stain around your dogo's rear end, and/or if you notice your dogo continually licking at their rear end, and/or you notice stains on your carpet/flooring from where your dogo was licking itself, your Dogo is most likely experiencing an anal gland problem. In other breeds, the most common sign of anal gland discomfort is "scooting." I have NEVER seen or heard of a dogo exhibiting this scooting behavior, however, I have heard of numerous dogos with anal gland issues. If your dogo has a problem, you will need to routinely clean out the glands, or have your vet or groomer clean them.  If your dog is not experiencing an anal gland problem, there is no need to clean the anal glands. In fact, cleaning a healthy gland can actually cause harm to your dog.
    Anal glands are normally expressed naturally by firm stools. When dogos routinally have soft stools or diarrhea, their stools may not apply enough pressure to completely empty it. It is recommended that if your dogo is experiencing a problem that you first try adjusting his diet. Diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy anal gland. If this does not work, it is recommended that you see your veterinarian.  In rare cases, your vet may recommend removing the glands. This is not a simple surgery and there is a small chance that your dog will loose bowel control as a result of the surgery.
 

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