This Creole breed is little known outside its native Sardinia. Sardinian farmers value their Dogos so highly that they do not sell them for fear of the breed disappearing. Local breeders of Dogo Sardo, for their part, are more interested in enhancing their excellent watchdog qualities than in forming a breed club or receiving recognition.
Nevertheless, its popularity is gaining popularity in mainland Italy, given its bravery and ferocity as a protective dog, both of people and possessions. His facial expression denotes an incisive personality in a permanent state of alert. We are sure that after getting to know him in these lines, the Sardinian Dogo will not leave you indifferent.
Characteristics of the Sardinian Dogo
These dogs are large, compactly built with a broad chest, powerful neck and strong limbs. In spite of their wingspan, they are athletic and move with great agility. They do not have a stable standard, but if there is one thing that characterizes them, it is the frontal position of their eyes. These are small, round, amber and very lively.
The head is large, square, with a scissor bite and pronounced cheeks. The muzzle is black and shorter than the skull. The ears are medium-sized and are usually folded on both sides of the head. Although this practice is no longer used, Sardinian farmers used to trim them.
The tail is long and a short stump is usually attached to trim it. A gesture that contributes to a more aggressive appearance. Thirty percent of Sardinian Dogs are naturally short-haired. The coat is short, smooth, thick and rough. In the males, its extension lengthens in the neck area giving rise to a sort of mane.
- Height between 56 and 68 cm in males and between 54 and 66 cm in females.
- Weight between 35 and 45 kg in males and between 30 and 40 kg in females.
- Short, smooth and rough to the touch. It consists of a double coat. The inner coat is woolly and dense, and the outer coat is thicker. The extension of the hair is greater in the area of the eyes, muzzle and chin. The accepted colors are gray, black, brown, white, red and brindle. Some specimens have black masks.
- Docile, dominant and loyal character.
- Good health but with a tendency to suffer from hip dysplasia and retinal atrophy.
- Estimated life expectancy between 8 and 10 years.
The temperament of the Sardinian Dogo
If this dog is appreciated for anything, it is for its courage and full dedication to those it considers to be its pack. They are extraordinary as guard dogs and self-defense dogs. They will not hesitate to protect you with their lives if necessary. They are not very suitable for families with children under 10 years old because they tend to be very dominant.
The same can be said about coexistence with other dogs. Because of their strong territoriality they do not make good friends with other dogs. If you want canine company for a Sardinian Dogue Sardinian it should be a single dog and of the opposite sex, they will get along better. However, if they have been used to living with other pets (cats, rabbits, etc.) since puppyhood, they will protect them.
They are extremely distrustful of strangers and their defensive reaction will not be long in coming. Despite their intelligence, they are not easy to train. You will need more patience and dedication than with other breeds. To educate and socialize them you should use short sessions and positive reinforcement. On the other hand, he will go out of his way to please you as a 100% loyal pet.
What care does the Sardinian Dogo require?
Its maintenance is very simple. You should brush him every week or every 10 days, trim his nails regularly, as well as clean his ears and offer him daily intense physical activity. A minimum of 1 hour a day, and if it is more, much better. In this way, you will prevent irascibility, destructive behaviors and persistent barking.
He will be the happiest dog in the world if you allow him to run free in a green space. A fenced garden or a country house is his ideal home. The Dogo Sardinian is not a dog suitable to live in an urban apartment. If this is your case, it will require you to intensify the dose of outings and daily physical exercise.
As for food, being a large breed, you will have to ration the recommended daily dose in several doses throughout the day to keep obesity at bay, as well as to make sure it gets the proteins, minerals and carbohydrates that its organs require. Omega 3 supplements will take care of his joints.
There are a multitude of theories about the creation of this breed. However, two theories are the most widely held among specialists. The first points to its kinship with the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corsican. The second, to the Greek, Minoan and Phoenician traders who may have introduced them to Sardinia 7000 years ago.
A genomic study conducted in 2016 concluded that the Sardinian Dogo could be related to Middle Eastern sighthounds, such as the Saluki, and to Hungarian mastiffs (the Komondor). In turn, there are written records from 1800 in which these dogs are alluded to as allies of the Sardinian bandits in their robberies.
These dogs are highly valued by the Sardinians who have historically used them to herd, hunt and protect their livestock and family from wolves, foxes and invaders. They were even used by the Italian army in 1912 in the Libyan campaign. With the introduction of other breeds specialized in hunting wild pigs, Sardinian Dogo dogs are no longer used for hunting.
Curiosities of the Sardinian Dogo
This breed is called by many names: Molossian Sardinian, Sardinian Dogo, Pertogatzu, Sorgolinu, etc. It is not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), something that does not seem to worry its breeders or the Sardinian population in general. For them, the priority is to preserve the breed on the island for its value as a protective dog.
There is a tendency to confuse the Sardinian Dogo with the Fonnese pastore and the Fonnese Mastino. The former is another Sardinian long-haired breed used for herding, while the latter is the result of crossing the Fonnese pastore with the Dogo sardo or Pertiatzu cani, as the natives call it.