The Dogo Sardesco: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re considering adding the large and loyal Dogo Sardesco to your family, it’s essential to have all the details you need to make an informed decision.

From the breed’s history and origin to its temperament and health, this article will explain everything you need to know about the unique Dogo Sardesco.

History and Origin of the Dogo Sardesco

The Dogo Sardesco, also known as the Dogo Sardo, Sardinian Mastiff, and Sardinian Molosser, is a fascinating and ancient dog breed that has a rich history and a significant place in Sardinian culture.

Ancient Roots of the Breed

The Dogo Sardesco was developed on the Italian island of Sardinia. The powerful dog was used for hunting large game, including wild boar and deer. It was also used as a guardian of property and livestock, making it an essential part of daily life in Sardinia.

With its impressive strength, agility, and intelligence, the Dogo Sardesco was a favorite among the locals. Breed members were highly valued for their ability to protect their owners and help them in every way possible.

The Role of Dogo Sardesco in Sardinian Culture

The Dogo Sardesco has played an essential role in Sardinian culture for centuries. They were not only valued for their working abilities but also for their loyalty and companionship.

In Sardinian culture, the Dogo Sardesco was considered a symbol of strength, courage, and loyalty. Members of the breed participated in local festivals and celebrations, where they would showcase their skills in hunting and guarding.

The breed was so highly regarded that it even appeared on Sardinia’s coat of arms. Despite their popularity, the Dogo Sardesco faced some challenges in the early 20th century.

The breed was almost extinct due to the introduction of new breeds and changes in hunting practices. However, dedicated breeders worked tirelessly to preserve the Dogo Sardesco breed, and their efforts paid off.

Modern Developments and Recognition

Today, the Dogo Sardesco is still a relatively rare breed outside of Sardinia. However, it has gained recognition in other parts of Europe and the world.

In 1973, the breed standard was established, which helped to ensure that the breed remained true to its original characteristics. In 1993, the Dogo Sardesco was officially recognized by the Italian Kennel Club, which helped to increase its popularity and visibility.

Physical Characteristics of the Dogo Sardesco

Size and Build

The Dogo Sardesco is a large and muscular dog breed that commands attention wherever it goes. It typically weighs between 66 and 99 pounds and stands about 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulders.

One of the most impressive things about the Dogo Sardesco is its athletic build. These dogs have broad chests and powerful legs that allow for quick bursts of speed. They are incredibly agile and can move quickly in any direction.

Coat and Color

The Dogo Sardesco has a short, shiny coat that is easy to maintain. This breed sheds moderately, so regular grooming is important to keep their coat looking healthy and clean.

The coat can come in a range of colors, including red, black, brown, gray, and brindle. Some members of the breed have small patches of color on the heads or ears, but these are not common.

Distinctive Features

One of the most distinctive features of the Dogo Sardesco is its powerful jaw and bite force. This makes it an excellent hunter and guardian but also requires careful training and socialization to prevent any potential aggression.

The Dogo Sardesco has a powerful and muscular build, which allows it to perform its duties as a hunting dog. It has a broad, square head with a strong jaw and a powerful neck. 

Temperament and Personality Traits

Despite its protective nature, the Dogo Sardesco is also known for being affectionate and loving towards its family. It thrives on human companionship and is happiest when with its owners.

Socialization and Training

Socialization and training are essential for Dogo Sardesco breed members to grow into well-behaved and well-adjusted dogs. Early socialization with other people, animals, and environments can help prevent any potential aggression or fearfulness.

Training should also begin at a young age and should be positive and consistent. Treat-based training can be very effective for this intelligent breed. The Dogo Sardesco responds well to praise and rewards and can quickly learn new commands.

Compatibility with Families and Other Pets

The Dogo Sardesco can make an excellent family pet, but it’s important to note that they do have a strong protective instinct. They are with children as long as they’re raised together from a young age.

They may not be the best choice for a household with other pets, especially smaller animals. Their prey drive and natural instincts can make them intolerant of other pets and potentially aggressive toward them.

Health and Lifespan of the Dogo Sardesco

Common Health Issues

Like all breeds, the Dogo Sardesco is susceptible to certain health issues, such as: 

  • Orthopedic Issues: The most common joint problems in the breed are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which, if left untreated, are very painful and impair the dog’s mobility & life quality 
  • Eye Problems: Breed members are frequently diagnosed with eye conditions like primary lens luxation, lens dislocation, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can result in blindness 
  • Eyelid Conditions: The breed is also prone to issues with the eyelids, including cherry eye (protrusion of the third eyelid), ectropion (outward eyelid inversion), and entropion (inward eyelid inversion)

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential for keeping your dog healthy and happy throughout their lifetime. Regular checkups with a veterinarian, routine vaccinations, and proper dental care are all essential.

Dogo Sardescos also require regular exercise and a balanced diet to maintain their health and prevent obesity or other weight-related health concerns.

Expected Lifespan

The expected lifespan of the Dogo Sardesco is between 10 and 12 years. This average lifespan is common for a dog of its size. Many breed members can live for over 12 years with the right genetics and care. 


The Dogo Sardesco is a fascinating and unique breed with a long and storied history. They can make excellent family pets, but they require careful training, socialization, and preventative care.

With the right care and attention, a Dogo Sardesco can be a loyal and loving companion for years to come. Research the breed carefully and keep in mind it is rare if you want to get one for your family. 

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