Species group: Unrecognized and Rare Breed dogs
Other name(s): Dogo Canario; Presa; Presa Canario; Canary Dog; Canary Mastiff
The Perro de Presa Canario was developed in the Canary Islands for dog-fighting, and these large, powerful animals with a strong drive to attack perceived intruders have no place in the hands of inexperienced or irresponsible owners. Only a top dog handler with plenty of experience managing large guardian dogs and the ability to provide consistent training should even consider this breed. With a strong human alpha in charge, these dogs can learn to become loyal protectors who present a real deterrant to intruders. However, if the Presa Canario is owned by an abusive or irresponsible owner, all bets are off.
This is the breed that rose to public notoriety in 2001 after two dogs terrorized and killed a San Francisco woman in an unprovoked attack, resulting in one of the few cases where negligent dog owners were jailed for manslaughter. In many places, the breed is banned, and many insurers will drop your coverage if they learn you own the Presa Canario. Be very sure you know what you're doing before you choose this dog.
Although the Perro de Presa Canario is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), it has been recorded in the AKC Foundation Stock Service since 1996 and has been assigned the Working Group designation.
Appearance / health:
The Perro de Presa Canario has a powerfully built, square head. The muzzle is compact and the lips are thick and full. The upper lip droops, forming an inverted V. The chest is deep, while the rump is slightly raised. This breed has thick skin. The body structure is muscular and heavy, with a massive head with a large jaw. The ears are often cropped. The eyes are slightly oval and set apart.
Presas require minimal grooming. Their short, rough coat may be brushed over with a bristle brush. Wiping it with a piece of toweling or chamois will impart a shine to the coat. The dog may occasionally need to be bathed. This breed sheds an average amount of hair.
This is a big, energetic dog that needs a good amount of exercise daily.
As a large breed, the Presa Canario is susceptible to hip dysplasia (deformation of the hips which causes lameness). Other possible, though generally uncommon, health problems include epilepsy, osteochondrodysplasias (abnormal bone lengths, joints, and angles between limbs), and cryptorchidism (failure of the testis to descend from its intra-abdominal location into the scrotum).
Health issues unique to Spain include canine herpes virus and canine visceral leishmaniasis. An outbreak of herpes can be fatal for a canine population, and particularly for newborn puppies. Leishmaniasis is a blood parasite that has a long incubation period (of several years), and most often leads to death in this breed.
Behavior / temperament:
Presas make exceptional watchdogs. They have an intimidating look and a low bark and appear aggressive with strangers. They are courageous and are ever ready to retaliate if their master is threatened.
The Perro de Presa Canario responds well to a trainer who can command authority and understands canine nature. In the absence of such an owner, there is a danger of these dogs trying to assert their dominance. Once they know who the boss is, Presas will protect the family even at the cost of their lives.
They have a deep bark and bark only at strangers.
perfect family guard, great protector, sweetest temperament, gentle loving, BIG DOG SECURITY
strong willed owner, assertive commands, strong alpha, aggressive barking, strange dog
socialization, pure muscle
Living with King
We are King's foster parents, now his forever family, he came to us from a family member with young children. They had to move and could not take King. King weighs about 150 pounds and is pure muscle. This breed is known for aggressive behavior with strangers and sometimes with small children.
We've had issues with him in social settings with other dogs and as well as a few nips, growls, aggressive barking at neighbors and always with strangers. He barks all of the time when people watching or when a knock is at the door, cars drives by, plan flies over, etc.
All of that being said. He is very, very loyal. He is very intimidating to strangers and noone comes near us when walking on the park trails. We call him BDS Alarms! As in "BIG DOG SECURITY!" He will protect a family member from a stranger until the family member visually welcomes the stranger into the home.
An example is a cousin coming over for the first time. King would not let him pass until we hugged and greeted our distant cousins. In an instant King was their best friend and almost a lap dog. The down side is that he is always nervous about strangers and when he plays it instantly turns into rough play. Stick with fetch and running to burn off energy.
Also, he has adapted to living inside much of the time. He has his indoor dog cushion in his spot and he'll sleep there all day on a rainy day. This breed can nap with the best of them.
This breed is a snap to groom. Easy to bath, no issues with ear problems, teeth etc. Clipping nails has been tough. He sheds as much as our Golden Retrieves just the hair is smaller... but there is a lot of it.
We've just started to notice some health issues now that he's over 7 years old. Stiff walking, possible joint issues, etc which are expected with a larger breed of dog. His vet said this is normal for his breed and we are treating with vitamins and preventive meds. So far his health bills have consisted of yearly shots and city tags but that's starting to creep up.
I would not recommend this breed of dog to a family with children or a family that does not understand being "Alpha" with a pet. However, King has learned over the last couple of years what the house rules are and he has fit in very well. He loves to walk, hike, find stuff, bury things, fish, camp, run after other animals and eat sticks.
Any owner of this breed just needs to realize that the owner is the "Alpha" or the breed could have issues. And the issues could be as small as sleeping on the couch or possibly biting someone if not properly controlled. That control also letting visitors and guest know the ground rules. Rule one with a Presa "Don't get in his face and make cute noises.".
From whitakermk Nov 18 2014 1:35PM
A great dog if it's well trained
My dad got two of the "Presa Canario" dogs, their origin is from the Canary Islands in Spain. These are very strong and tough dogs, but if they are trained correctly and you get them to obey and respect you, then they will be the best guard dogs but still very well behaved with your family (even little children).
The good: this is a breed of dog that is often compared with pitbulls (in my experience), but they are totally different in every aspect. Presa Canarios are sweet dogs (with people) that look very tough and ARE tough with other animals; which leads me to the bad...
The bad: in order to protect you or your house, they don't measure the harm they can do. They don't try to hurt an intruder, they try to kill it (other animals, not people). They sadly hurt to death a dog that got into our house.
Overall, I'd say this is a dog to have in a big house with its own space, and you need to be very careful with its training, after that, they are trustworthy dogs and will never betray or disobey you or your family..
From liligrinch Jun 28 2015 9:29PM
From the perspective of a social owner
My dog is just a full 115 pounds of arrogance. He is so nice with me, never even mouths me or pretends in play to put his mouth on me. He is so careful with me, but with my brother, neighbors, and parents he is not. He chases my little brother and corners him like a fox. This dog could make a great hunting dog. He relieved himself on my neighbors leg when my neighbor went to pet the dog, and he also bit my other neighbors doberman pincer guard dog for no reason - just because he had the chance to bite. Beautiful grey and white markings on him. Sad he had three strikes in the end for biting and had to be put to sleep..
From ribbons May 11 2014 9:29AM
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