Dr. Marcelo Fernandez (MD) of Buenos Aires, an Argentine boar hunter and the owner ofDE CALFUCURA DOGOS , has built his reputation all around the world not only as a passionate hunter but also as an educator and mentor of many dogueros.
He has spent years hunting with dogos and writing extraordinary articles from his adventures which include legendary courage and incredible determination of El Dogo Argentino.
JT: Since you are the breeder (De Calfucura Dogos Argentinos), can you please point
out your breeding priorities?
MF: My breeding priorities are centered in producing sound and healthy dogs who are functional and conform to the Standard. I do not breed with the purpose of developing a certain morphological "type" that identifies my line. My personal belief is that at some point in breeding you are forced to compromise: Either you choose to make a breeding because the dogs have certain morphological characteristics that you might be looking for, or you choose a breeding based on functional ability.
Of course, you might be good enough -or lucky enough- that you can breed dogs on a morphological basis that at the same time turn out to be world champions and outstanding hunters. I don't think I am that good -or lucky-; nor do I honestly believe that doing that is possible on a consistent, every-day basis. Many good breeders have lines that you can recognize in a show just by taking a quick look at the dogs being shown; they can consistently produce dogs that are very much look-alikes, like cookie-cutter dogs. I admit that I don't. You could say I have a "golf philosophy" when approaching breeding: I don't compete against other players (other breeders); I compete against the course, and I like to think of function (hunting ability) as the course-par. If I happen to find an exceptional hunting dogo that, from a morphological point of view, falls perfectly within the standard and is a healthy specimen, I won't hesitate to use it in my breeding program, provided I have what I think is the adequate counterpart.
An example would be JAQUE DE ANTARES. I got Jaque as a 2-month old male pup from María Angélica, owner of Antares Kennel. I took Jaque to hunting grounds when he was 5 or 6 months old; very quickly he showed his potential and he has already spent 2 full hunting seasons with excellent results; having caught over 100 boars. Jaque is not an easy dogo to breed in the sense that he is big (in the upper limit of the standard) and he needs females that can lower the offspring a little bit, in my opinion.
Also, I think he has a more "mastiffy" -albeit huge- head than the line of dogos I am used to work with. Yet, he is an outstanding hunter, has a great mouth (full mouth, scissors bite), his BAER test was 100% ok and his hips were x-rayed and they are fine (something which was easy to predict just by riding a horse alongside him and watching him run and hunt). So, I don't care if what I get from him doesn't "look" exactly like other dogos I have bred; I want him. I have seen him run, I have seen him scent, fight and catch; I have cured his wounds, and I know what he has inside. Believe me, no x-ray or any other device can show a dogo's inside (read "heart & ability") better than watching him hunt over and over again.
So, rounding up, like I said, my goal is to produce good hunting dogos that are healthy and at the same time, morphologically within the standard. I don't breed for show nor do I compete in shows.