The Presa Canario, also known as the Dogo Canario or Canary Mastiff, isn’t your average dog. This powerful breed, hailing from the Canary Islands, commands attention with its imposing stature and unwavering loyalty. 

But beneath the muscular frame lies a surprisingly gentle soul fiercely devoted to its family. This article delves into the rich history of the Presa Canario, explores its temperament and needs, and helps you decide if this guardian giant might be the perfect protector for your home.

Origins and History of The Presa Canario

The Presa Canario originated in the Canary Islands, specifically on the island of Gran Canaria. While the exact origin is not known, it is believed that the breed was created by crossing native dogs (most probably Bardino Majorero) with Mastiffs and Bulldogs brought to the island by Spanish conquistadors. 

These powerful dogs were used to protect farms and livestock from wild animals and were also used in dog fighting. However, with the banning of dog fighting in the 1940s, the Presa Canario’s role shifted to that of a guardian and protector.

By the mid-20th century, the Presa Canario faced near extinction due to a decline in its working roles and lack of focused breeding. However, dedicated breeders began a revival effort in the 1970s. They aimed to standardize the breed while preserving its working abilities and temperament. The Club Español del Presa Canario was formed in 1982 and established a breed standard that the Canary Islands government officially recognized.

The Presa Canario Breed Overview 

Presa Canario Breed Overview

In this section, we will dive deep into the world of the Presa Canario, exploring its physical and behavioral characteristics, as well as the responsibilities that come with owning one.

Physical Characteristics:

The Presa Canario is a muscular and large breed, with male dogs standing at 22 to 26 inches and weighing between 100 to 130 pounds, while female dogs are somewhat smaller, standing at 21 to 25 inches and weighing between 85 to 110 pounds. 

They have a thick and powerful neck, a broad chest, and a deep, wide muzzle. Their large, round, and expressive eyes are one of their most striking features, and they come in various colors, including brown, hazel, and amber.

One of the most distinctive physical features of the Presa Canario is its large head, which is proportionate to its body. This breed has a strong, square-shaped jaw, and their ears are usually cropped to stand erect, giving them an alert and attentive expression. 

However, ear cropping is now banned in many countries, and the Presa Canario can still look just as impressive with its natural, floppy ears.

The Presa Canario has a short and coarse coat that comes in a variety of colors, including brindle, fawn, and black. Their double coat provides protection against harsh weather and is low maintenance, only requiring occasional brushing to remove dead hair.

Temperament And Behavior:

The Presa Canario has a reputation for being a serious and protective breed, and while these traits are true, they also have a gentle and affectionate side. This breed is fiercely loyal and devoted to its family, making them excellent guard dogs. They are naturally suspicious of strangers and will not hesitate to protect their homes and loved ones from any perceived threats.

Due to their strong guardian instincts, Presa Canarios need to be socialized and trained from a young age. Early and consistent training is crucial in ensuring they become well-mannered and well-adjusted dogs. They respond well to positive reinforcement and are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train.

Owners of Presa Canarios must understand their responsibility to properly socialize and train their dogs. This breed has a strong prey drive, and without proper training and socialization, they may exhibit aggressive behavior toward other animals. As with any large and powerful breed, responsible ownership is essential to avoid any potential issues.

Exercise And Living Environment:

The Presa Canario is an energetic and athletic breed that requires regular physical and mental stimulation. They enjoy long walks and hikes. 

They also like engaging in activities that challenge their minds, such as obedience training and agility courses. Moreover, a fenced yard is ideal for this breed to run around and play, but they can adapt to apartment living as long as they receive enough exercise. 

Due to their size and strength, Presa Canarios are not recommended for first-time dog owners or families with small children. They do well in homes with experienced owners. These people can provide them with the necessary exercise, training, and socialization they need. 

Health Concerns:

On average, Presa Canarios have a lifespan of 9 to 11 years. As with any breed, they are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Taking them to the vet for check-ups on a regular basis is crucial. Moreover, proper nutrition is vital in maintaining their overall health and well-being. 

As a responsible owner, it is essential to research and educate yourself on the breed’s health concerns. You should also acquire your dog from a reputable breeder who conducts health tests on their breeding dogs.

How Much Does A Presa Canario Dog Cost?

Presa Canario Dog Cost

Presa Canarios can be quite expensive due to their relative rarity. If you plan on getting a Presa Canario puppy from a reputable breeder, then expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 and $3,500. For a show-quality puppy with exceptional pedigree, the price may be even higher. It can be around $7,000 or more. 

Where To Get A Presa Canario?

Finding a reputable Presa Canario breeder can be a bit challenging. Here are some tips that may help you to find a breeder quickly.

  • Look for breeders who prioritize the breed’s health, temperament, and working ability.
  • Reputable breeders should be able to provide health clearances for the parents and information about the puppy’s lineage.
  • Consider contacting the United Perro de Presa Canario Club (UPCC) in the US. They provide referrals to breeders who adhere to their high standards.

Wrapping Up

The Presa Canario is a unique and fascinating breed that has a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to its family. With proper training and socialization, they make excellent companions and protectors. 

However, owners of this breed must understand the responsibility that comes with owning a Presa Canario, including providing them with adequate exercise, training, and a safe and loving environment.

If you are considering adding a Presa Canario to your family, it is crucial to do extensive research and ensure you are prepared for the commitment it requires. With proper care and love, the Presa Canario will be a loyal and devoted companion for years to come.

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