I would like to say a big "THANK YOU" to our friends Brigitte and Peter - the owners of Perro Pelea Cordobes kennel, because they agree and found a time to answer at the numerous questions of our fans.
CDAB: In the beginning you can tell us more about your beginning and experience. About the history of your kennel and how you started?
Brigitte: My first own dog was a black Labrador retriever, a present from my aunt,I got him when I was 14 years old. This dog I took everywhere, and he followed me every day to the riding school, where I was teaching. I continued my love for Labradors, since my aunt were breeding them for drug
dogs to the police and I was following her interesting work, and I started a little later breeding with them. I participated in hunts and hunting competitions.
It however became to boring for me, and I bought a pair of Rottweilers in Germany and one in Denmark. I participated in the club work and mental tests in the Rottweilerclub, and I had a male and female I used to IPO training.
I read about the Dogo Argentino in a book and took contact to a breeder in Holland, from whom I got my first dogo, a male of 7 years old. Then things developed fast, it was for sure the breed for me, I had 2 females and 1 import from Argentina when I met Peter first time. I was looking for a special female for breeding, since the 2 females I had were not the best quality, so I contacted Peter. I saw Perro Pelea Cordobes Artera Zoe on fotos, and I just needed to see that female in live version. I went down+ saw her pregnant with Rayo+and I asked for possibility to have a puppy from her+ Do not know what happened : ) but 4 month later Peter moved in with me in Denmark : )
Peter: My first dogs was a mix between Malois and Bullterrier. As a youngster I was already drawn of dogs with strong characters and personality. This female was a mean bitch and was for sure a dog who needed to work. I have had 2 of these mixes, they are used in the police in Holland. I got the
interest in these dogs, seeing the local police training at the dog training center of my city.
In 1987 I started my interest in the Dogo, I visited a lot of shows and talked to breeders. This ended with my first dogo Artera, a wonderful strong pirate female, with a character full of spirit. She lives all her life in Holland regretting there were no wild boar+ she compensated her hunting fever with cats-rabbits and birds, she is for me a legend. Always healthy, NEVER ever sick, a real alpha female. The basis of my kennel. Her pedigree goes back from Boleo Bravo del Barbian to Fellow Flash de Agallas, to Blanca Dama de Agallas, Tilcara (Nores Martinez) and the Chubut lines.
I was LUCKY to be able to have her as the foundation of my blood. She has given her health and character very strong to her offspring and even much further.After breeding on this bitch for 3 years I saw that what she gave was worth continuing with, I went on with this blood. Today the most healthy and best breeding dogs in our kennel is from this old bloodline.
I met Birgitte and her big passion for dogs, and can only say to future breeders, you need full back up in you family for using so much time and money on this passion. Me and Birgitte is a great team. Our knowledge and experience is a great partnership. Without each other, we have not been where we are now.
CDAB: Is Denmark the best country for the breed of dogo? Some of the regulations for breeding in Denmark?
Birgitte and Peter: YES, in some ways Denmark is the best country for the dogo, we have here the strongest breeding restrictions of the world. - that makes sure that the lazy and unmorally people are not busy with our breed. Also it prevents that too many pups are born. Chips marking is required when the pup are 6 week old, official BAER test must be done between 6-7 weeks old, test follow pedigree, that are given out when the pup are 7-8 weeks old, pedigree and BAER test ALWAYS must follow puppy when it leaves. ALL puppies in the litter are registrated when they are 3 weeks old, and the same number of pups must be BAERTESTED. Deaf puppies also.
Deaf puppies must be put to sleep immediately after the test. Parents must be officially BAER tested also and have a FCI dysplasia result - only A B and C is allowed for breeding, and C only with A. The parents must be mentally tested - if not passed - NO permission for breeding. You have only 1 chance.So, regarding breeding, YES, Denmark is good for the Dogos future regarding health and character. Here you can not breed a dysplastic dog with a vicious character or weak character, just because he is pretty. These regulations makes the people more aware of what breeding a dogo means - and select out the lazy people with the wrong motivation.
Regarding Hunting, breeding the dogo is not the most easy thing here, but that counts almost all over the world. However, we see the hunters here do NOT have a preoccupied opinion of the Dogo, since here Dogos have been proven in tracking wounded game and the Dogo have been seen in other circumstances than only as a "Macho Dog, playing with his hormones on a show".
The Dogo in Denmark have a good reputation, but that was NOT just the work for one weekend. We have had BSL here as well - in 2000 many molosser breeds and the dogo were victims for a witch hunt. We worked hard to present our dogs out in the society and together with the molosser club
and kennel club we fought the breedbans and managed to create a new dog law here in Denmark that bans owners and not dogs. It is possible to maintain a good hunting dog, it is just a matter of being
willing to give good dogs to hunters and be willing to take the opportunities that are across the boarders, but also working the dogo in other types of hunting tells a lot about the character and instincts of the dog.
CDAB: Where your dogos are living - in a kennels or with you in your home? How much space the dogo needs for its energy?
Birgitte and Peter: We have 2 stables where our dogos are in the nights, due to climate we can not keep them outside all year. We have a big fenced area with a 180 cm deerfence, where we put out the dogs out in big flocks several times a day, so they maintain social and keep a natural uninterrupted ranking. This is highly important for the dogos social behaviour - to keep them in a flock makes them aware of other dogs strength and positions. In the summer they are out all day.
We also have 5 in our house, Caneca and Pochita who are now neutered, Mataco and right now Duna with puppies and Nacha who is very near giving birth. The dogs inour house accepts the females, we take in when they are going to have puppies, without problems. They can be all together.
A dogo need lot of space and free to be happy and not frustrated. A dogo needs to run with full speed and play rough. We also bicycle with our dogs to keep them in good physical condition.
CDAB: How many dogos you have now in your kennel? How you care for them? This is not cheap. How you cope?
Birgitte and Peter: We have right now 17 dogos here.We start early mornings feeding and cleaning the boxes, after that they get their period on the fenced area, all day long we switch dogs, so they at least have had 3 hours of playing and running in all kind of weather. Some get a extra trip with bike
when needed. Our Royal Canin bill a year is 9.000 Euros. - but luckily this year they found us good enough for a little sponsorship at 1000 Euros : )
We both have a full time job also, and the puppies we sell cover a part of the expenses. Peter works in nights and is home in daytime with the dogs, at the moment Birgitte is studying half day. On top we have a little dog pension. Of course we have a lot of other expenses than food for the dogs,
chips marking, BAERtest, vaccines, health papers and health tests, pedigrees, vet. help, shows, hunting trips etc. etc.
If the passion was not there in both of us, for sure it would be impossible to live this way.
CDAB: What kind of food you use to feed your dogs? Some advices? What you think about raw feeding?
Birgitte and Peter: We feed our dogos with Royal Canin "maxi", our puppies gets from 2-3 weeks old, Starter food also from Royal Canin. We have had good results with RC, since it have different food for different ages f the dogs life. No, Raw, we believe it is to insecure. Since the dogo is a fast growing breed, that needs the perfect balance between protein and vitamins/minerals to develop most correct. We only give extra meat - but not raw - when a female have just given birth to a litter to make her eat much to recover fast after delievery and to be able to produce a lot of milk.
Here we give boiled chicken and add the water also to the food, we mix the chicken and water with high energy food or puppy food.
Our dogs gets from time to time raw hib bones from cow, to give them a good work for the jaws and teeths.
CDAB: You have 1-2 litters per year. This is not much ... in deed you are not one of the commercial breeders. If we look at the expenses, that you are making for shows and trips, is it just one expensive hobby?
Birgitte and Peter: Yes, it is. BUT a great hobby, which have given us wonderful experiences and friends.
CDAB: Do you have some problems with two males or with two females? How you cope with these situations?
Birgitte and Peter: Yes, we have males that can not face each other, we simply keep them away from each other, and they have each their flock of females. But this we are changing with our young males. We want them to be able to be with other males, in the hunting it is a MUST.
Regarding females, no, all our females can be out in the fenced area with other females, we will NOT accept the fighting anymore in the females, and we have 2 years ago, worked a lot with this and have been more aware of it, and simply put them all together, it was difficult in the beginning ...and had a couple of fights, but now we see it changing. It is also a matter of trusting
your dogs. The males who are fighting is our old ones, at this time we did not dare to let them together and they build up a opinion about themselves, due to the lack of social life with other males - that they were unbeatable.
Our young ones we put together with other males, if they start to act - we do not jump in amediately, we wait and see if they sort things out themselves, we only interrupt if it comes to a full bite and they need to be separated from each other.
In heat seasons, we are very careful, not to provoke a fight, since the dogo is highly instinctive reacting in this period. Like with wolfs, the strongest get the females, here the dogo pure natural also.
The sexual instincts of the dogo is very high, I guess all owners of a male dogo is nodding their head now : )
CDAB: What it costs to import a dog from Argentina (not only for money)?
Birgitte and Peter: Importing from Argentina is very difficult and expensive. The puppies you can find there from 1000 Dollars up to 3000 dollars. 3000 dollars is in our opinion a IN SAIN price for a puppy.
If we should pay this price for a puppy, we wanted to see totally health screened parents and information of the whole litter also, and on top a guaranty on the pup too. Flight is difficult also, since more and more flight companies are having hard rules to cope with. A cargo flight from Buenos
Aires to Amsterdam, Bruxelles or Frankfurt is around 1000 dollars for a small puppy. For sure we can recommend always to visit the breeders in Argentina and select that way.
CDAB: How you make your choice for the future dogo owners? Is the dogo, a dog for people who was not cared for a dog before? What guarantee you could give for your puppies?
Birgitte and Peter: NO, the dogo is NOT for first time dog owners. NEVER. We want Dog experience, we require that they know the dogo, and have had a big dogs before. We want the buyers to take our advices and always seek help here if needed. They also have to have a interest in working the dog, to be sure that he dog will have a active life, since that prevents a lot of social problems. The more the dogo do the better. Here it is important to add, that there are several works that the dogo fit into.
People who are willing to travel here and meet us - spend time with us and the dogs - show interest in our work and not only in having a puppy. They take a big part of our work with us, when they leave from here with a pup, and we appreciate very much the people who spend resources in this.
Personally we never ourselves would buy a puppy unseen and the kennel too. Since we also have compensated dog who the owners are still able to keep: that give the dogs so much problems that he must be put down.
We compensate for dogs with invalidating dysplasia or a invalidating disease or genetic failure.
1 compensated for heart failure, the line were taken out for breeding in our kennel after this.
1 compensated for 2 times problems with the broken knee ligament.
1 compensated because the female had a uterus infection quite young and had to be neutered.
1 compensated because of growing problems. The puppy seemed to have a dwarf genetic in him.
1. compensated for a brain bleeding.
CDAB: What kind of man should be the new owner of dogo?
Birgitte and Peter: A new owner of dogo is aware of his strength and needs, therefore not a lazy city person who will not work with the dog and only want him to be a nice beautiful dog in his house. This is asking for problems. A new dogo owner is a responsible and morally correct person, with the right motivations for the breed.
A new dogo owner is a benefit to the breeds reputation here in Europe, meaning he will ambassador for the breed. A new dogo owner is interested in working the dogo, and who have enough experience to this or at least the will to learn.
Wrong motivations are a person who like the dogo to be aggressive, this is what makes us most sad to see, since the dogo from nature is a very social dog to humans. BUT we see when the dogo gets into hands of unsocial people that it can be changed easily, due to the sensitive nature of dogo.
This breaks our heart to see, and we are very careful in this selection.
CDAB: Dogo is young breed but every breed has its legends. What are the legends for a dogo?
Birgitte and Peter: The dual nature is the legend of the Dogo Argentino. The angel among its family and the devil on the prey. To be the most docile and easygoing dog in the family, with a wonderful kindness and patience and at the same time the most hardcore hunter when needed, must be the
most characteristic for the Dogo.
CDAB: By your opinion who are the most famous kennels who work really serious - in Europe and in Argentina?
Birgitte and Peter: Difficult question, we see all over the world good passionate breeders but we also see people who are only in for the Dogo because of commercial interests. It would not be correct to start mentioning names since many kennels we have not visited and do not know about, therefore we could miss some.
We see some very good old breeders, long time busy with the breed, and in the end, also starting finally focusing on health. This makes us happy to see. Also we see some new breeders with the right motivation and with a lot of enthusiasm for the breed coming up. To mention names is difficult and is incorrect to do, we leave that up to people themselves to find out.
When you say "really serious breeders", we can define what we think "serious is ".
A serious breeder select hard in dogs with health problems.
A serious breeder make sure that his dogs goes to good people and give full back up.
A serious breeder do NOT only focus on exterior, but mostly on health and character (Functionality).
A serious breeder show documented results.
A serious breeder is willing to look worldwide to find the best breeding partner for his females.
A serious breeder is aware of his responsibility for the future of the Dogo Argentino.
CDAB: Every breeder has its dream to leave own vestige in the breed and when people see some dog to say: This is a dog from this kennel! What is your object in the breeding as blood and visuality?
Birgitte and Peter: We have never focused on visually totally, there is so much more to focus on. BUT A PPC dogo should leave his marks as a multifunctional dog with stabile character that lives a long and healthy life.
CDAB: You have a great dogs - World champions, World Vice champions, European champions... Mataco, Yatay, Pochita, Raya, Rebecca...What is the most important for making a champion?
Birgitte and Peter: The most easy thing is making a exterior champion.. so what you need for this - the answer is the EXTERIOR and a good ring training.
This is NOT our main focus area. There exist no formula that say, if you breed this and this, you get a champion.
Champion, do not say anything about the dogs qualities for breeding - else than exterior - in our opinion.
Even many champion are not worth the title, but people select shows without any competitions at all to sample titles like mad and most from all round judges without any knowledge of the breed.
We do not support showing dogos like that. Our dogs are not shown much, in fact very little, we try to select the biggest shows and the best judges.
Again, the people who are going from show to show and profiling their dogs in this way,we sometimes do not understand, what are the satisfaction in this? For us NO, when the dog have shown to be good in exterior, we have so much more on the program for the dog, before the dog have proven to us to be a dog for reproduction. We say over and over again, and will also do it here: the Champions are mostly not the best breeding dogs.
CDAB: What you think about the political judging? Are this kind of judges spoil the work of many breeders?
Birgitte and Peter: That sucks!!!! ( a word we learned to use in the US : )
NO; they can not spoil A GOOD BREEDERS WORK, since a good breeder is able to recognize a good dog, even if he is not placed among the winners. A political judge have huge responsibility and influence to NEW people in the breed - and that worries us. Especially some important judges in Argentina should remember the quote from Agustin Nores Martinez in his book "Historia del Dogo Argentino": "A judge should be a professor of moral integrity. The judges of the canine exibitions and especially those for the Dogo Argentino, must re?nite in addition to the moral factors and for the sake of the breed and knowing the standard. Judging dogs, not friends! They must rembember the function of the breed and which specific characteristcs this demands. This is the only way the judge can gain respect from breeders and hunters.
CDAB: What is the most important at the shows - winning titles or something else?
Birgitte and Peter: Meeting friends and see dogos.
CDAB: The world dog show have to be a real section for the condition of the breed in the moment. Is that in practice? Even there came how much... 2-3 dogos from Argentina? Who was your favorite in Poznan between the males?
Birgitte and Peter: NO, The show in Poznan, proved that a lot of breeders stayed home with good dogs, us included partly, we left our males home. Of the present males in Poznan, we liked the look of Virus De Los Hijos De La Luna, Head type of Aragorn, the charisma of Valentino de Los Hijos De La Luna, Incubo Dei Falchi Bianchi correct structure, Yanni House young dogs to.. we could continue, many dogs had something excellent for the breed.
CDAB: Do you think the Argentinian breeders realize their responsibility to the breed? You visited some Argentinian breeders, what is the truth of the breeding there? What kind of people are the Argentinian dogueros?
Birgitte and Peter: No, unfortunately no, if they did, they would have started SERIOUS health selection and test many years ago. The truth+Most breeders we visited are only focusing very much on exterior. The argentine breeders and hunters are very hospital and nice people. We felt very welcome all over Argentina.
CDAB: Here we know only and mainly the most popular bloodlines and these dogs who are shown in public. What are the Argentinian legends that we still don't know about?
Birgitte and Peter: They live in the interior of Argentina, ready to be discovered. But these owners are NOT on the internet, and do not have the commercial interest. These dogs might not even be in the hands of breeders. But there is not many dogs in Argentina undiscovered.
interview by CLUB DOGO ARGENTINO-BULGARIA
The second part of interview you can read here