In 2007, the phrase "can we have a dog " became all too often in a household of six kids. The truth is, my wife and I shared a passion for dogs, but cringed at the idea because of our early marriage failures at dog ownership. I could not understand where my wife and I went wrong, especially, since we both grew up in homes with well mannered dogs, and so the obvious answer we gave was: "Lets wait till we get a larger house." We had a pretty successful run of ignoring our kids requests until 2009. We purchased a larger house, and, once again, the question was resurrected with reminder attached, "You said if we buy a bigger house." So I had no choice but to attach an ultimatum that was sure to fail: "If all 4 of you kids bring me straight A's on your report card, we will buy a dog." After noticing the kids coming home from school assisting each other with homework, checking their grades online, tutoring, and studying as hard as they could, my wife and I felt doomed! This was the first time in my adult life where I did not mind them slacking and even conspiring how to sabotage their efforts, but deep down inside I was a proud father!
I grew up with Doberman Pinschers and my wife grew up with Rottweilers, so we naturally had two very different views on which was the world's best breed. In order to end the feud (sleeping on the couch), we hesitantly opted out from both breeds and embarked on a journey on finding the next breed to join our family. Months have gone by and our research has only added to the confusion to which dog would be best suited. We were still miles apart from any decisions, and the children were growing antsy, but one thing we did agree on were the characteristics we felt we ideal:
- Large breed (Equally Agreed)
- Molosser/ Bully Type (My Idea)
- 1 coat (Her Idea)
- Athletic (My Idea)
- Great with kids (Equally Agreed)
- Friendly with people (Equally Agreed)
- Easy to train (My Idea)
- Smart(Equally Agreed)
- Easy Grooming (Her Idea)
- Calm (Her Idea)
- Not many health Issues (Equally Agreed)
On one lazy Saturday morning, during a Netflix marathon, the kids and I stumbled across a National Geographic documentary called "The Science of Dogs". The documentary's narrator opened up with "And no breed better represents the human desire to make the perfect dog, than the Dogo Argentino". I immediately dove into my smartphone to research, and, by the time the Dogo Argentino segment in the documentary was done, I was blown away! Before we made a definite decision, we wanted to take a few months to research and, after absorbing all the information available online or in hardcover books, it seemed that everything we read about the Dogo Argentino just felt right.
Now that the Dogo Argentino was the decided breed, we knew we had some soul searching to do to get over our fears of early marriage failures at dog ownership. Luckily, running small businesses and having a large family taught us that success starts at the very top, and, in order to achieve success, you had to be equipped with the right information and the right people to help you along the way. I have bought dozens of books, downloaded countless ebooks and training videos from Cesar Millan (the dog Whisperer), Don Sullivan (The Perfect Dog), Leerburg (Leerburg.com), Jack & Wendy Volhard (Dog Training for Dummies), and much more! We have also got involved with, and under the supervision, one of Chicago's most successful dog trainer, who is currently in Hollywood, California putting together a reality television show!
Finally, we were at the point in our lives where we were confident, faced our fears, educated ourselves, and the only thing left to do was find the perfect Dogo Argentino puppy. It was a Saturday morning when we received an email from a dog trainer friend that had a link attached with some Dogo Argentino puppies for sale in Mason City, Iowa. After looking into the litter, we realized that both parents of the puppies were from the exact same breeder located in Buenos Aires, Argentina that we decided to get a puppy from! After emailing the breeder in Argentina and verifying that both dogs were from his kennel, everything was a go. Within 2 hours, we were packed and on our way from Chicago to Mason City, Iowa (6.5 hours away) with a van stuffed to the rim with kids! It took about a year and a half since we decided to get a companion, from researching the perfect breed, educating ourselves, overcoming our fears, to now, driving home with our new companion Stomps (What a ride)...........
So, here we are today. The proud owners of two beautiful Dogo Argentinos, Stomps our first, and Fina, who was imported directly from Argentina from the breeder whom we admired (and a ultimately inspired the last minute 6.5 hour drive with six kids). Never in a million years did we imagine ourselves owning another dog let alone breeding a litter of Dogo Argentinos. Stomps and Fina have added so much onto our families lives and we wanted to share this experience with others.