Dog breeds: Dogo Sardo

Dog breeds: Dogo Sardo

Origin, classification and history

Sard├Čngia / Sardinia (Italy)
F.C.I classification:RACE NOT RECOGNIZED

Dogo Sardo - Tzitzone, progenitor of the best bloodlines existing today (photo Pietro Perra)

General aspect

Typical light molossoid, square head and short muzzle which can sometimes also be in the shape of a truncated cone, with the presence of well developed masseters. Being a working breed, its selection was based on the usefulness of the dog, for this reason today there is a great variety of phenotypes, which however can always be traced back to light molossus.

Morphological characteristics

The size can vary greatly from specimen to specimen and from line to line, but on average it is high at the withers (which we remember to be lower than the rump) from 55 cm to 65 cm for 30-45 kg, it has a short hair (but not satin or even worse as shiny as the boxer, while dogs with matted or wild boar hair betray crossbreeds with the Fonnese dog) fawn in various shades, wheat (rare color considered very typical and ancient), brindle in various shades, rare black and gray . The masseter muscles must be prominent and the scissor or pincer dentition. Brachycephalic, has very pronounced occipital lymphophysis.

Dogo Sardo - Tiger specimens in a sheepfold in Gavoi (photo Pietro Perra)

Dogo Sardo - Nur, son of Tzitzone (photo Pietro Perra)

Attitudes and character

Excellent guard dog, it came and is used in big game hunts as a catch dog. Excellent as a dog to recover Sardinian semi-wild cattle, bred in the wild in the mountains.


There is no standard.

Recovery project

At the beginning of 2000, the expert dog expert Roberto Balia began to write the results of years and years of studies in our countryside in search of the Sardinian dog (but not only, also the Fonnese dog, the Sardinian greyhound and the Sardinian fox). Numerous quality articles in the major Sardinian newspapers have revived interest in this breed and many specimens have been made available to start a serious and accurate selection and to avoid the danger of mestizo always lurking, given the presence of boxer and pit bull. The turning point in the recovery process was the publication in 2005 of the book Canis Gherradoris, also by Roberto Balia.
To date it can be said that the breed, although rare, is no longer in danger of extinction.

curated by Pietro Perra