Del Rio Dogo Argentinos
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Our dog experience ...


            Since birth, I have always lived with indoor dogs.  In the 80s and early 90s I was heavily involved with Jack Russell Terriers and even helped start the first JRT club in AZ in 1989.  I served on the BOD for 4 years.  My “Heather” was the very first JRTCA registered JRT who was born in AZ.  Heather passed away in 2002.  I will always have a love for the terriers, but for now, I only own dogos.


            In 1987 after seeing a picture of a dogo in a rare breed book, I decided I wanted one.  By 1992 I had been in contact with several dogo breeders across the US and had even met a few adult dogos.  I was still infatuated with the breed.  However, I then met some “undesireable” dogo owners and their dogs, and took several years second guessing if this was indeed the breed for me.


In 1997 there was a Dogo kennel in Phoenix who had some of the best Dogos in the world.  Unfortunately, the owner of the kennel had a major change in his life and left town.  The Dogos were left alone.  Huaica (wyka) was one of them. 


Her name was Huaica de el Tumi and had come to AZ from Argentina.  She was still owned by her Argentine breeder and was only to be in the US to be shown, she was then to return to Argentina.  I contacted her breeder in Argentina and learned all I could about her.  The word huaica (ooh-ie-ka) was feminine for huaico (ooh-ie-ko) which meant flowing river in the native language.  I learned that Huaica had had 2 litters of pups in Argentina before coming to AZ.  I knew Huaica was a fantastic dog, and agreed to purchase her from her breeder.


Huaica was with me for 5 short years.  She died on June 13, 2002 of Lung Cancer.  She was only 9 years old.  We were living in our second home and the neighbor kids had set up a dog walking and washing business.  On June 12, 2002, Huaica was their first customer.  The 3 kids walked her in the park, brushed her, bathed her and had her do all of her tricks for treats.  I watched from the balcony in blissful happiness.  The dog I loved so much was also so well loved by the neighborhood children, and she loved them just the same.


At about 6am on the morning of June 13th, Brillante (bri-yawn-taye) woke me up by whining and crying.  I pleaded with her to just give me 15 more minutes, but she persisted.  I got up and walked to the stairs to see what the matter was.  I saw Huaica laying on the floor next to Bri.  When I asked, whats wrong girl? Huaica just thumped her tail against the carpet, but didnt raise her head.


It looked like her collar may have been stuck in the carpet, so I went down to investigate.  It wasnt suck.  Huaica was breathing differently and wouldnt get up.   She just thumped her tail.  Both Brillante and Heather, then 14, knew something was wrong & kept whimpering.  Huaica loved going for rides and when I grabbed my car keys to take her to the vet, she jumped right up, she even jumped into the SUV. 


We arrived at Saguaro Veterinary Clinic as they opened at 7am.  Huaica walked in and sat in the waiting room like a good dog.  Her breathing was still labored, but she was happy.  The vet took a sample of her blood and immediately did an X-ray of her chest.  Within minutes, he told me she wouldn’t be coming home.  Her lungs were full of cancer, she only had 5% use of her lungs.  If she laid down again, shed suffocate.  There was nothing that could be done to save her.


I wasn’t ready.  I called my family and friends from my cell phone.  Everyone said their goodbyes.  I took Huaica outside for our last walk together.  She stood proud and carried her head high.  She wanted to go somewhere and lead me to a tree.  I sat down and she laid down and rested her head on my lap.  The doctor came out and gave her a quick shot.  She never flinched, just closed her eyes.


Its been over 3 years now, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of Huaica.  She was the BEST dog I've ever had, and my best friend.  I miss her terribly.


Today, we own two Dogo Argentinos, Brillante (bri-yawn-taye) and her son, Detroit.  These are our family companions who live and sleep in the house with us.


            Brillante’s full name is Multi CH Parrish Acres Brillante del Rio.  She came to live with me as a 9-week-old puppy in 1999.  She is the collaborative work of 3 very important dogo breeders in the US, Michelle SmithBarbour, Karolyn Harris and Tim Parr.  Her parents are some of the best foundation dogos in the world.  Her mother is the only breeding female out of the legendary French Ring titled dogos, “Gator” and “Cuda.”  Bri's mom, "Sassy," has OFA certified hips & CERF clear eyes, as do both Gator and Cuda.  Sassy brought health and performance to Brillante.  Bri’s father was the most titled dogo in the world, Multi CH Nanday de los Medanos.  He gave Bri her beauty, bone and presence.  Brillante is the best of both of her parents.  She has passed her AKC CGC test, has OFA clear hips, elbows & thyroid and CERF clear eyes.  I have enjoyed showing Brillante in conformation with UKC, ARBA and FCM (Mexico).  Bri has not only earned 3 CH titles, but has also earned 3 Best in Show (BIS) wins! 


Besides enjoying conformation shows, Brillante has also participated in agility with me for several years.  She is a natural – except for weave poles.


Bri also LOVES to go hiking with my husband and the horses.  She is very horse safe and can be taken along off lead through the desert.


Detroit is Bri’s son from her second litter sired by Multi CH & Junior World CH Leguero de los Medanos.  Leguero is a very important/special dog for us.  He is the grandson of our late Huaica.  Leguero was born in Argentina and went to live with Michelle SmithBarbour in Florida as a puppy.  Although I had fallen in love with the many pictures I had seen of Leguero, when I met him in person, it was love at first site.  He reminds me immensely of Huaica.  Detroit was chosen to stay with our family as our pet due to his resemblance to Huaica, his wonderful disposition and extreme brilliance. 


Detroit was shown in UKC as a young pup, but his brother Dexter kept beating him.  In October of 2004, I showed Detroit with a new show venue, National Canine Association, and we took 3 Group 1st places and 1 Supreme Best in Show.  That means that we not only beat the other dogs, but that we beat dogs who were handled by professional handlers as well!


Detroit was neutered in 2004 – before he ever went through the “nasty” stage that teenage dogos often go through.  I did have him collected though & “stud service” will be available on a very limited basis.


Detroit’s registered name is Del Rio Detroit.  He has also passed his AKC CGC test and has OFA certified cardiac, hips and elbows.  Like his mom, he is also DNA profiled with AKC & UKC and has normal hearing in both ears.


Detroit is also a natural at agility like his mother – he will even do the weave poles!  He has his USDAA agility number & as of March, 2005, has competed in 7 USDAA events. Detroit has also competed in Rally-O and obedience with APDT.  He is the ultimate performance dog.


Brillante has had 3 litters of puppies and out of the 6 pups who left my home with show/breeding rights, 4 of them have completed their CH titles!  Nine of her pups have passed the AKC CGC test and most of them have at least completed a basic obedience class.


Our goals as breeders (as small as we are with only one breeding dog) are to create a legacy for the breed.  Breedings will only be done to  create better dogs than what we have, while at the same time, preserving Brillante’s wonderful attributes to the breed.  Bri has the most spectacular topline and poetic movement, and this is passed on to most of her pups.  She is also brilliant, hence her name, and has a very stable temperament, and she has passed more health clearances than any other living dogo to date.  Brillante also has phenomenal prey drive which allows her to have extreme concentration in the tasks we present to her.  As of December, 2004, Brillante is the only living Register of Merit for the breed in the USA.


When we occasionally have a litter of dogo pups, they are raised in the home, underfoot and with lots and lots of socialization.  We make sure that our pups have met at least 60 different people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds before they leave our home.  I've learned from another respected breeder (Gladiator Dogos) that the most important thing to teach dogo pups is love.  Each individual pup is held and cuddled and loved upon at least 100 hours before it goes to its new home.  They are all given special "river" names at birth (which their new owners have every right to change) as a way to commemorate my beloved Huaica.  Huaica's translated name meant "flowing river of the gods," Brillante's translated name simply menas "brilliant" and our special pups simply have "river names" like Detroit, Hudson, and even Mississippi.


To read more about our puppies, please go to our puppy link


Our puppies only go to the most qualified of owners who agree to sign a contract which includes a code of ethics.  Potential puppy owners must meet at least 3 adult dogos owned by at least 2 different families before they will be considered to own one of our pups.  Our puppy owners must also be homeowners and have a fenced yard.  This helps to ensure that our pups are placed in a stable home where the owner is the one who is responsible for homeowners insurance and not the landlord.  


If you ever have any questions about my dogs or dogos in general, feel free to contact us.  We love to talk dogs – even if we don’t have any puppies. 

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