The Perro de Presa Canario (also Canary Dog, Dogo Canario or Presa Canaria) is a large sized, short coated, athleticly muscular, molosser type dog that was developed in Canary Islands, Spain.
The Presa should be powerful, balanced, and imposing in appearance. It is heavily built, but able to move with great athleticism.
The Perro de Presa Canario History
The breed is originally from the Canary Islands in the 1700s, notably Gran Canaria. Its exact ancestry is unknown, but enthusiasts believe that the Perro de Bardino Majorero, an established farm dog from the Canary Islands, was crossed with the Mastiff and other English dogs brought to the Islands by visitors and colonists, creating the foundation for the modern Presa Canario.
Presa type guard and catch dogs are mentioned in historical documents of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is believed that the Perro de Presa Canario was created during the 18th century for the purpose of property and flock guarding as well as the holding and driving of livestock. The breed was also used for dog fighting (Canary Fighting Dog, pechadas (the particular Canarian word for dog fights)), a tradition the English settlers transplanted along with their Mastiff and Bulldog breeds. Canary Islanders consider these fights "honor fights" and not the sole purpose of the animal. Presa type dogs were referred to as the "perro de la tierra" or "dog of the land."
The breed became nearly extinct after dog fighting was outlawed in the 1940s, but the breed was revived in the 1970s with the help of several crosses by various breeders. This period is generally known as the reconstruction of the breed, with atypical specimens becoming less common.
Perro de Presa Canario Appearance
Body: the Dogo the Presa Canario has a rectangular body build with a short, straight back. The rear is somewhat higher than the shoulder (sloping topline). The high incited tail is thick at the beginning and runs down into a point. The ribs are very well welved and the abdomen line is slightly tucked. The very broad chest reaches until its elbows, which may not stand twisted towards the inside nor to the outside. The forepaws stand broadly. They are right and rightstanding viewed from any angle, and contain solid bones. The cornering is moderately apparent at the backhand and the jumps are quite low. The feet are round and compact. The backfeet are somewhat longer than the frontpaws. The neck is round, massive and muscular, and shows a loose throat skin.
Head: the large and massive skull makes a square impression and has a clear, but not abrupt stopper. The nicely filled up front muzzle is shorter than the skull. The proportion is ideally 4:6. The nose's back is straight. The lips are quite thick and fleshy. The upperlips slightly cover the lower lips. The jaws are very well developed. The rather small to medium sized ears are incited high and normally are carried backwards folded. The medium sized eyes stand quite far apart from each other and have an oval form. Teethings are fitting or with a slight underbite.
Height at Withers: the dogs have a shoulderheight of 59 up to 66 centimetres and bitches measure 55 up to 62 centimetres.
Weight: dogs weigh 45 up to 57 kilos and bitches 40 up to 50 kilos.
Coat: the hard, short coat holds course flat against the skin. Undercoat is lacking.
Colors: the breed occurs in several brindle, fawn and black (also known as Black Presa which is a true historic color for the breed, unlike what some experts will wrongly say about this) shades. A black face mask is obligatory. It may extend itself towards the eyes. Small patterns of white have been permitted. The eyes are brown. The lip- and eye-edges as well as the nose must be pigmented with black.
Perro de Presa Canario Temperament
Character: the Dogo the Presa Canario is rather quiet and balanced dog with a large self-confidence. These intelligent dogs are very faithful to their own people and under normal circumstances benign and pleasant. Their inner drive is very territorial and also very watchful and defensive. Unknown people that want to enter your garden or house are offered absoletely no chance by these dogs. Should one of the family be threatened, then this dog will definetly intervene. Such as with most dog breeds; bitches are generally easier to handle than dogs.
Social Build: dogs of this breed, if well socialised and educated, is well suited with children. They will however take action for your children if they are teased by friends. The vicinity of cats and other house animals does not need attract problems if the dog is well socialised with these animals on a young age. Towards other dogs they are considerably dominant and combative. They will not leave a challenge unanswered. They are watchfull and suspicious towards unkown people, a property which will certainly manifest itself in own area.
Perro de Presa Canario Socially
Care: the coat care of this breed requires a minimum effort. The coat moults a very short period and only little. Brush the dog once a week with a hard hairbrush and keep the nails trimed. In the moult period a rubber massage glove is ideal to simply remove the loose coat.
Education: the breed is very intelligent and gladly works for the owner, but needs strict control by an owner that stands firmly in his shoes. This breed is definitely not for everyone. Education must happen in full harmony and should definetly not be too hard, but very consequent. Make sure you reserve much time for a good socialisation, coupled with a strict and discouraging policy against its combativeness towards other dogs.
Activity: this breed is rather quiet in house, but wants to be busy. You must regulary spend time with this dog. The Presa hangs a lot towards its own people, but can sometimes amuse themselves in the garden for up to an hour, for example with a rag or a (safe) ball. The garden should be soundly fenced.
Usability: so far this breed occurs only little. The dog is mainly kept as watchful companion.
Perro de Presa Canario Quotes / Trivia
It's said the Presa has a somewhat catlike appearance. The shape of the paws look kinda like cat feet, as well as the body that is, slightly longer than the dog is tall (mesomorphic), contributing to a feline movement.