Presa Canario is a large-sized molosser dog, bred for tending livestock. Having a robust, muscular built alongside a well-proportioned body, these breeds are further characterized with a broad (brachycephalic), square-shaped head, a short muzzle, oval-shaped eyes which are medium or large in size, well-set hanging ears that resemble a rose when folded, and a medium-sized tail that is thick at the base and tapering at its tip. Versatile in temperament, it is a great companion but a fierce protector, which in turn makes it a perfect house pet.
|Other names||Canary Mastiff, Dogo Canario, Canary Catch Dog, Canarian Molosser, Perro de Presa Canario|
|Coat||Short and coarse devoid of any undercoating|
|Color||Black, brindle, red brindle, fawn, red fawn, silver fawn|
|Group||Molossers, Rare dogs, Fighting dogs|
|Average lifespan/ life expectancy||8 to 12 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Big|
|Height||22 to 26 inches|
|Weight||80 to 110 pounds|
|Litter size||7 to 9 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Calm, affectionate, devoted, confident, strong-willed|
|Good with children||No (unless it is well-trained)|
|Climate Compatibility||Prefers warm climate over cold or chilling temperatures|
|Do they bark||Yes, but mostly on purpose|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Moderate|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||ACA, AKC/FSS, DRA, APRI, NAPR, UKC,|
|Country||Spain (Canary Islands)|
Historians have written several books regarding the development of these dogs which is speculated to date back to the 15th and 16th century. When the Canary Islands were conquered these big-sized dogs were said to have either existed there from before or brought in by the Spanish explorers. The Iberian Presa or Perro de Ganado Majorero, a mastiff-type, rustic breed having an intelligent, fearless and intuitive demeanor were said to have contributed in the development of the Canary Mastiff. Other canines from which these dogs derive their ancestry are the Alanos (bulldog breed which is extinct in the present times), as well as the Bardino Majorero (sheepdog of the pre-Hispanic era known for its intelligence, courage and guarding skills). After this breed had been developed, it began to be used in fighting rings as it bore traits similar to that of its ancestors. However, with dog fighting banned in the Canary Islands during the 1940s, their numbers dwindled rapidly. The introduction of guarding breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, and German Shepherd were also responsible in their downfall. In fact at this point the little numbers of Presa that remained put to use as herdsmen and farmers to guard their properties. These close to extinct breed was revived in the 1970s by some reputable breeders who intended in developing dogs that were massive, vigorous, functional, courageous, calm yet confident and highly territorial. The formation of a club solely devoted for this breed in 1982, helped in improving their standards even further. Its popularity spread in the United States too, and it was enlisted in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service in 1996.
The Presa Canario is regarded as a dangerous breed since it has a reputation of attacking with the consequence sometimes even being fatal because of its strong bite force (540 psi), extensive jaw pressure, and sturdy built. In 2001, there were reports of dual attacks by this breed in San Francisco, claiming the lives of the victims. One Kelly Jaime died inside her apartment door after she was attacked by two Canario Mastiffs that belonged to her relatives. In another incident occurring in the same year Diane Whipple, also a San Francisco resident was killed by two Presas which combinedly weighed 233 pounds.
The islands of Jersey situated in between France and England has banned this breed. Importing of the Presa Canario or selling it is also considered illegal in New Zealand and Australia. Though rare in the United States, it is restricted in some of the cities if not all, though most insurance companies keep this breed in their list of prohibited dogs.
English Presa Bulldog: Presa Canario x English Bulldog
Presa Dane: Presa Canario x Great Dane
Both the breeds have a lot of similarities in appearance as well as temperament, though the Presa Canario looks bulkier than the Cane Corso.
The Dogo Canario’s calm appearance, obedient and affectionate nature is reserved only for the members of its family, as beneath it lays a fierce, courageous protector who does not fear in encountering a situation of any kind.
These fighting dogs are extremely suspicious of strangers and can brutally pounce upon an intruder going to the extent of slaying him… a trait that puts them in the list of one of the top guard dogs.
They are generally not excessive barkers but would let out a shrill, deep cry whenever they sense any danger. However, it might at times even bark without any reason, mainly when left alone for prolonged periods.
Owning a Canarian Molosser is not suitable for homes with small children unless well-socialized. Even if you have a friendly Presa, it is always required to supervise your child’s interaction to avoid any unpleasant occurrences. These territorial dogs are noted for their high prey drive since they were traditionally employed to guard livestock, hence not being an excellent choice to keep with other dogs as well as smaller pets, unless all of them have been brought up together.
Though it thrives well in an apartment when exercised properly, it still should be kept by those dwelling in large areas perhaps in the countryside. In fact owing to its powerful and attacking nature, keeping these dogs in apartments could be a problem for the neighbors.
Note: Always leash your Presa Canario when you take it out, be it on a long walk or even for a short play. Check the rules well in the area where you live to ensure whether a leash would be sufficient or you would need to implement other measures when they are out in the open.
These dogs are not suited for a novice owner but need an experienced master to handle it rightfully.
Even if you have a trained Presa Canario, you should still be cautious during its interaction with guests.
High-quality dry dog food along with a nutritious homemade diet comprising of vegetables and protein sources should be given but in a measured amount.