Guatemalan Bull Terrier

The Dogo Guatelmateco is a medium sized dog breed that was developed in Guatemala in the 1930s. This rare breed is relatively unknown outside its country of origin. To an uninformed eye, this bred can be easily mistaken for a Dogo Argentino. This breed also resembles an American Pit Bull Terrier although both breeds were not named as the progenitors of the Dogo Guatelmateco. Formal breeding was started in 1930s but dogs of this type are already seen in Guatemala as early as 1920s. However breeding then was done randomly and it was only in the 1930s when the breeding was defined.

The Guatemalan Bull Terrier’s progenitors are the Dalmatian, Dogue de Bordeaux, Boxer, Bull Terrier and the Fighting Dog of Cordova. With this ancestry it would not be surprising for the Dogo Guatelmateco to be a celebrated breed of fighting dog. The Dogo Guatelmateco is the first native breed not only of Guatemala but also of Central America. Former Guatemala President George Ubico has owned this breed. This breed was specifically developed to be a protection and guarding dog. This breed is really an excellent protector but the dog also has a stable and balanced temperament that makes it an excellent addition to the family.

Dogo Guatelmateco exits in two types – the standard and the larger or giant type. The giant type though is considered by breed enthusiasts to be a hybrid. It was speculated that these larger dogs resulted by crossing Dogo Guatelmateco with Dogo Argentino. Both types show the desired qualities of being dependable and excellent protection dogs. This breed is highly valued in Guatemala where crime rate is quite high. With these dogs in the home, the owners will be assured that the family and the property will be protected at all cost.


A Dogo Guatelmateco’s appearance is similar to that of the American Pit Bull Terrier and to an American Bulldog. This is a medium sized breed with a muscular longer than tall body. This dog stands from 22 to 24 inches and weighs from 55 to 79 pounds although larger strains measure up to 27 inches at the withers and weighs up to 121 pounds. This breed has a large head that is rather square in shape. Being a brachycephalic molossus, the dog is noted to have a square muzzle and a slightly undershot jaw. The jaws though are very strong. This breed has slightly hung lips. Strong teeth meet in a scissor bite. The ears can either be left in its natural pendent style or cropped to make it look like the ears of a Boxer or a Doberman. The tail can be docked or left in its natural state. A Dogo Guatelmateco is a rustic dog. This breed has a tight fitting skin that is covered with smooth dense coat that is a little rough to the touch. A Dogo Guatelmateco is a white coated breed. The dog may have a black eyes patch and small black spots on the head.


The Dogo Guatelmateco was developed to assume protection work but because of the dog fighting ancestry of its progenitors, the breed has evolved into celebrated fighting dogs. This does not mean though that the dog cannot be trusted to stay with the family. True, this strong and ferocious dog would make intruders tremble in fear but the dog remains controlled and calm in the presence of the family. This breed enjoys being with its people. When properly trained and socialized, this dog can be the best friend of a child it has grown up with. A Dogo Guatelmateco though is not a suitable breed for a novice dog owner. This breed needs to look up to the leader of the pack. An owner that does not have the ability to be firm with the dog would best opt for another breed. Socialization and obedience training is very necessary for this breed. A well socialized Dogo Guatelmateco would tolerate other dogs and would learn to accept strangers accepted by the family as guests. This medium sized dog would do well in apartments. This breed is not very active but they would appreciate a long walk everyday or a romp in a well fenced yard.


A Dogo Guatelmateco is a low maintenance breed. This is a short coated breed. Occasional brushing would be sufficient to maintain the good condition of the coat. Frequent bathing will not be necessary as well. A damp cloth rubbed on the coat will be enough to remove dirt and dead hair. Of course the dog would benefit from regular ear and teeth cleaning. Nails must be regularly trimmed as well. This fairly healthy breed is expected to live for about 11 to 12 years.


The Guatemalan Bull Terrier was developed in the 1930s by Hector Montenegro. This medium sized and white coated dog is a celebrated fighting dog in Guatemala although the breed has also excelled in being guard dogs. The Guatemalan Bull Terrier is also an affectionate, loyal and devoted home companion. There is no doubt that Hector Montenegro had created an outstanding breed. However, the Guatemalan Bull Terrier has a sketchy ancestry. The progenitors of this breed remained a secret that the developer took to his grave. Hector Montenegro died in 1994 without disclosing the ancestors of the Guatemalan Bull Terrier. Hector Montenegro registered his dogs with the National Canine Genealogical Register. Being the founder of the breed, his dogs landed the first numbers on the register. Other families have contributed to the development of the breed. Arturo Gallusa and his wife were one of the pioneer breeders of the Guatemalan Bull Terrier. The breeding program of the family was continued by the Gallusa sons. The Urquizo family and Ricardo Ramirez and the Romeros are known to have bred the dogs as well. Bloodlines developed by these families are the most respected purebred Guatemalan Bull Terrier today. The researches conducted on long time breeders have revealed that the Guatemalan Bull Terrier have originated for the Dogue de Bordeaux, Dalmatian, Boxer, Bull Terrier and from the now extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog. The immense endurance of the breed was attributed to the Dalmatian, trainability and intelligence is the contribution of the Boxer. The Dogue de Bordeaux and the Fighting Dog of Cordoba gave the Guatemalan Bull Terrier unwavering determination, courage and great strength. A double dose of Bull Terrier blood ensured that the resulting breed would have a white colored coat. The tenacity and the fearless temperament were attributed to the Bull Terrier as well.

These dogs are randomly seen in Guatemala in the 1920’s. Back then the dogs are noted to have black or brown large spots on their white coats. These spots that were attributed to the Dalmatian ancestry were eventually bred out when breeding was defined in 1930. The dogs were then called Bull Terrier Guatemalteco because of the large influence of the English Bull Terrier. For over five decades after its development the Guatemalan Bull Terrier has remained a stable breed. Dr. Antonio R. Chavez, a veterinarian and the grandson of the Hector Montenegro, had extensively studied the breed. He set the first breed standard and worked to have the breed internationally recognized by aiming for the approval of FCI. Dr. Chavez heads the Guatemalan Association and Clubs. He instigated the changing of the name from Guatemalan Bull Terrier to Guatemalan Bull Terrier. In 1981the Guatemalan Bull Terrier was made the official breed of Guatemala.

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