The Dogo Cubano: Everything You Need to Know

The Dogo Cubano, popularly known as Cuban Bloodhound or Cuban Bullmastiff, is a now-extinct dog breed native to Cuba and historically used for bloody dog sports. 

From their history and origins to their physical characteristics and personality, this article will cover everything you need to know about the courageous and feisty Dogo Cubano.

A Brief History of the Dogo Cubano Breed

The Dogo Cubano was a large breed that originated in Cuba. It was initially used for dog fighting, hunting large game like wild pigs and cattle, and guarding properties.

Origins of the Dogo Cubano

The Dogo Cubano breed was developed in Cuba by crossing large breeds like mastiffs, bulldogs, and cattle dogs. It was the combination of such big and mighty breeds that resulted in the powerful and loyal Dogo Cubano. 

The Role of the Dogo Cubano in Cuban History

The initial purposes of the Dogo Cubano included participating in bloody sports such as dog fighting and bull-baiting. At one point in history, the breed’s job was to track and capture runaway slaves. 

Dogo Cubanos played an essential role in protecting their owners’ properties by keeping intruders and wildlife at bay. They were also used to hunt large game and herding cattle. The breed’s strength and loyalty made them an ideal choice for these tasks.

During the Cuban War of Independence from 1895 to 1898, Dogo Cubanos were used as messenger dogs and to carry supplies to the front lines. They also served as guard dogs for military camps and hospitals.

The Decline and Preservation Efforts

The abolition of slavery and prohibition of bloody sports affected the population of Dogo Cubanos negatively. Many breed members were abandoned or killed, and the breed’s population dwindled until ceasing to exist.

Physical Characteristics of the Dogo Cubano

Size and Build

The Dogo Cubano was a large dog that stood between 20 to 22 inches tall and weighed up to 200 pounds. Males of the breed were usually larger than females.

With a muscular build, the Dogo Cubano was an imposing sight that was both athletic and powerful. The mere body size and construction were a sight to behold. 

Coat and Color

The breed’s coat was short, smooth, and shiny, with a hard texture. The coat color was described as a rusty wolf, with many breed members having black faces, lips, and legs. 

Distinctive Features

Dogo Cubanos had wide and broad heads with black noses and dark brown eyes. They also had straight and long ears that droop down and were usually cropped for practical purposes. 

The hallmark of the breed, in addition to the size and strength, was the powerful jaw and strong teeth that made the Dog Cubano an excellent guard dog, capable of protecting its owner and property.

Personality and Temperament

The Dogo Cubano was a fascinating breed of dog that had a unique personality and temperament. They were known for being loyal and protective dogs that had natural protective instincts. 

The Dogo Cubano was a highly intelligent breed. It was brave and confident but also bonded closely with its human family and handler. Despite the looks, members of the breed had a soft side and were affectionate. 

Health and Lifespan 

Common Health Issues

The Dogo Cubano was a relatively healthy dog breed. However, considering its size, we can assume that many breed members were prone to joint problems, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. 

Lifespan and Aging

The average lifespan of the Dogo Cubano was around 9 to 11 years. However, because of the breed’s original use in blood sports, many Dogo Cubanoes did not reach old age. 


Overall, the Dogo Cubano was a unique and impressively large breed with a rich history and an intimidating appearance. Today, the breed is extinct, but it is still well-respected.

Additionally, it is believed that the Dogo Cubano played an important role in the development of a modern breed that still exists – the Rhodesian Ridgeback. 

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