The Dogo Guatemalteco was developed at the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century by crossing Bull Terrier, Boxer and Dalmatian. It is possible, that Cordoba Fighting Dog and Dogue de Bordeaux also played a role in the breeds development, but we can not say it on 100%.
Bull Terrier is the main ancestor, but it is important to say, that back in 1900s the Bull Terrier was completely different breed than the present day Bull Terrier.
The three Guatemalan families that are credited for developing this breed are Galusser family, Gerardi family and Montenegro family, even though there are disputes who was the most important and influential breeder.
The first written evidence about this breed dates back to 1930s. Because the main ancestor of this breed is the old type of Bull Terrier, for a long time, this breed was known as Bullterrier Guatemalteco, but it was later changed by ACANGUA to Dogo Guatemalteco.
In 1981 the Guatemalan government officially named the Dogo Guatemalteco as their national dog breed.
You probably noticed, that the Dogo Guatemalteco has similar appearance to Dogo Argentino and it would only be logical to assume, that these two breeds are related, but that is not true. They only share the same ancestor, which is the Bull Terrier. The Dogo Guatemalteco is slightly older breed than the Dogo Argentino.
The Dogo Guatemalteco is a well-muscled dog with massive head, with average height between 52-60 cm which is 20-24 in and weight is usually between 35-45 kg (77-99 lb). Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The appearance of Dogo Guatemalteco is quite intimidating, but some dogs might look more stocky and some more streamlined and agile. The Dogo Guatemalteco comes in white color, but they can have some black spots, most commonly on their head. The coat is very short, shiny and smooth.
The Dogo Guatemalteco was bred specificaly for one main utilization and that is guarding, which shaped its temperament. This is a naturally suspicious and fearless dog, wary of strangers, very territorial and he should not tolerate unknown strangers approach its property. They truly have very strong guarding instinct and even without much training, you can count on these dogs to protect your household.
But, of course, just like all dogs in the world, even the Dogo Guatemalteco is a good family companion. When it is around its own family, than this is extremely loyal dog that creates a very strong bond with its owner, that is tolerant and quite gentle towards everyone in the family and it is quite obedient and you can even say affectionate and playful dog. Their loyalty is very very strong and it can be extremely hard to re-home a Dogo Guatemalteco.
They can live with kids and they are typically quite gentle towards them, but of course, you should always supervise any interaction between Dogo Guatemalteco and young children. They can even be socialized to live with other pets and other dogs, especially if they live together from the puppyhood.
This is moderately active breed – not a total coach potatoe, but neither extremely hyperactive breed. Few daily longer walks accompanied with some playtime or fun training sessions are typically enough to satisfy this dogs exercise needs.
Health and grooming
It is not hard to keep the coat of Dogo Guatemalteco in good shape, but be prepared, that they do shed all year long and it is adviced to brush their coats regularly in order to minimize the shedding and to redistribute natural oils all over the coat. No other grooming is required, but just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed. You should also be prepared for some ammount of drooling, especially after eating or drinking.
I could not find any studies about the breeds health, but it should typically be rather healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 12 years, which is okay for dog of this size. They should not suffer much from any serious health issues, but just like every other dog breed, they might have problems with hip and elbow dysplasia, some allergies and infections and with deafness.