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Presa Canario

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Presa Canario

The Presa Canario is a large Molosser-type dog breed originally bred for working livestock. They are great family protectors and are bred to be family companions as well as guardians.
Presa Canario content overview


History of Presa Canario

There are several theories regarding the genetic contributions to the creation of the Presa Canario. There are many local stories that date from the 15th and 16th centuries that feature the Molosser breed dogs on the island, the Presa Canario included. They were used to guard farms, wrangle cattle and drive off or kill other stray or wild dogs.

They were first bred in the Canary Islands during the 19th Century, for dog fighting, guarding and herding.

The Presa Canario today is primarily used as a guard or companion dog.

The Perro de Presa Canario is recognized around the world, though the sad truth is that its celebrity status is mainly brought about by the negative press it receives. In the 1940s, the prohibition of dog fighting was ordered throughout the islands, although clandestine fights were known to continue during the next decade. It was during this period the Presa Canario numbers truly faltered.

In the 1940s, the breed began to decline in numbers. It was revived again in the 1970s when reputable breeders developed and bred Presas true to their original size and character. The Perro de Presa Canario was recognized by United Kennel Club on January 1, 2003. Reputable breeders bred strong Presas that was rustic, massive, vigorous, and functional, who had acute watchdog instincts, a strong temperament, calm yet confident and were extremely territorial with unlimited courage.

Different names or Types

Other names

  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Dogo Canario
  • Canary Dog
  • Presa
  • Canary Mastiff
  • Canarian Molosser

Recognized Names


  • United Kennel Club – UKC
  • American Pet Registry, Inc. – APRI
  • American Canine Association – ACA
  • Dog Registry of America, Inc. – DRA
  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale – FCI
  • North American Purebred Registry, Inc. – NAPR
  • American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service® Program – AKC/FSS


Appearance & Characteristics

The Presa has a massive head, heavy rectangular body, and a short coat in brindle, black, fawn, or any combination of those colors.

Breed basic characteristics

Origin Spain (Canary Islands)
Group Mastiff
Size:  Large
Lifespan:  9-11 years
Trainability:  Moderately Easy Training
Exercise Needs: Daily, long walk
Grooming:  Low Maintenance
Barking:  Occasional
Shedding: Moderate to average
Protective Ability: Not Good with Kids
Brushing:  Brush once or twice a week
Hypoallergenic Breed:  No
Space Requirements: Large space
Compatibility With Other Pets: No
Average Puppy Price: $800 to $1,250 USD
Height 22-26 inches
Weight 84-110 pounds
Litter size 7 to 9 puppies



Calm appearance; attentive expression. Especially suited to guarding and traditionally used for herding cattle. Balanced temperament and very self-confident. Low and deep bark.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size: Desirable height at withers for a mature male is 23-26 inches. Desirable height at withers for a mature female is 22-25 inches.

Proportion: A moderately large sized molossoid, with a rectilinear profile and black mask. Robust and well-proportioned.

Serious Faults:


The head is massive, cuboid in shape. When viewed from the side, the top lines of the skull and muzzle are roughly parallel to one another and are joined by a well-defined, but not abrupt, stop.

Skull: Their skulls are slightly dome-shaped and broad and dogs have a deep median furrow and well-developed cheeks, but not overly so.
Muzzle: Their muzzles taper slightly to the nose with the bridge being straight and flat.
Eyes: Eyes can be a range of colors which includes medium through to dark brown so it matches a dog’s coat color, but their eyelids are always black and tight fitting.
Ears: Ears are of medium size, set just above the line of the eye and wide apart, and covered with short, fine hair.
Teeth: The Perro de Presa Canario has a complete set of evenly spaced teeth, set in a wide jaw. A scissors or reverse scissors bite is preferred.
Serious Faults: Blue, gray, or yellow eyes, non-matching eyes.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck: The neck is cylindrical, thick, well muscled, and slightly shorter than the length of the head. Loose folds of skin at the throat form a slight dewlap.
Topline: The topline is sloping with the rear is a little higher than its shoulders and its body is a little longer than it is tall.
Body: The body is longer than the height at the withers; this characteristic is more noticeable in the female.
Serious Faults:


Shoulders: Shoulders are muscular and well laid back. The upper arm is of a good length and well-angled so that the front legs are set well behind the point of the shoulder.
Front legs: Front legs are straight, well muscled, and heavy boned. Pasterns are strong, short, and nearly vertical.


Hindquarters are powerful and well muscled. In profile, the croup is sloping. The angulation of the hindquarters is moderate.

Rear Legs:
Hind Feet:
Tail:  The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked. A tail is to be left natural, never docked short.


The Presa Canario has a smooth coat that sheds. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Presa on the rare occasions that he’s dirty.

Color and Markings

All shades of brindle, from warm dark brown to pale grey or blond. All shades of fawn to sandy. White marks are acceptable on the chest, at the base of the neck or throat, forefeet and toes of hind feet, but these should be kept to a minimum.

Coat Color and Markings

Gait: When trotting, the stride is long, effortless and well coordinated and the tail is carried above the topline.

Personality and Temperament


This Perro de Presa Canario is large, powerful, intelligent, and headstrong. The breed standard says he should be calm, attentive and self-confident, obedient, and docile with family members and suspicious of strangers. The Presa Canario is incredibly strong and remarkably well-muscled.


They are great family protectors and are bred to be family companions as well as guardians. 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. Presa Canario’s require a very dominant owner and is not recommended for first-time dog owners. The Presa Canario can be highly dangerous if placed with the wrong owner.

Activity Requirements

The Presa has a high activity level and needs a job to do, which can be anything from being your on-leash walking companion to daily training activities. 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,

Behavioral Traits

The Perro de Presa Canario is naturally protective and suspicious of strangers, so it makes a good guard dog. It is important to be careful with this breed around cats and other pets because it has a high prey drive and strong territorial instincts.


They require a good deal of commitment and patience, and trainers will need to assert their dominance and not tolerate any bad behavior. Training of the Presa Canarios requires firm and consistent method. Presa Canarios can be challenging to train, as the breed can be willful and dominant.

Health & problems

Perro de Presa Canario Health & Problems

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. One of the biggest concerns facing Perro de Presa Canario breeders is hip dysplasia, a hereditary condition that affects many large dog breeds.  The breed may also be prone to gastric torsion/bloat, and anterior cruciate ligament tears. Ask the breeder to show evidence that a puppy’s parents have hips that have been rated as fair, good or excellent by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.

Feeding Plan

Perro De Presa Canario pups should probably be given excellent-quality, name brand puppy food. Premium-quality dry dog food ensures balanced nutrition for grown Perro de Presa Canario and can mix with canned food, broth, or water.

Feeding a dog fruit and vegetables is sort of a “hit or miss” as not every Presa will eat fruit or vegetables. A simple trial and error experiment will help you find out what kinds of fruits or vegetables your dog likes.

  • Perro De Presa Canario puppies between eight and 12 weeks old need four bowls of food in a day.
  • Feed Perro de Presa Canario puppies 3 to 6 months old 3 meals daily.
  • Feed puppies 6 months old to 1-year-old two times each day.

Here is the recipe how to feed your dogs.

Adult female Presa over 2 years old eats 2 lbs of food 2 x a day. Total of 4lbs per day. Male Presa eats 2-1/2 to 3 lbs of food 2x a day. Total of 5 lbs per day.

1-1/2 lbs of raw meat,
10 oz of fully cooked rice
3 tbsp of carrot puree
100 mg of vitamin C
200 IU of vitamin E, or 1 tbsp of cooked livers
1/2 cup of milk
1 tbsp of oats soaked in milk

1-1/2 lbs of raw meat,
10 oz of fully cooked rice
2 tbsp of berries
100 mg of vitamin C
6 drops of fish oil
8-10 drops of liquid vitamin B complex
1 tsp of dry kelp (dust form for better digestion)

Living conditions

The Presa Canario needs a lot of space to run and plenty of work to keep them busy. They are not good pets for first-time dog owners or for people with small children or other pets unless they are properly trained. If the Perro de Presa Canario will be spending a lot of time outdoors, make sure he has access to covering and plenty of cool water in hot weather, and a covered, dry, warm shelter when it’s cold.

How to take care?

Owning dogs, especially taking care of the Perro de Presa Canario, is a specialty of people across the world. The Perro de Presa Canario is also a popular choice among dog owners. Many owners are unaware, however, of many of the most crucial Perro de Presa Canario care tips. Here are we provide some basic tips on how to tack care of Presa Canario.


Perro De Presa Canarios must get exercise so they can stay fit, recharge their minds, and maintain their health. Daily exercise also seems to help Perro de Presa Canarios avoid boredom, which would often lead to naughty behavior.

Grooming & Bruising

The Presa is actually known for minimal shedding. This coat is also very easy to groom. Use a firm bristle brush and then as a finish, you can wipe the coat with a towel. You can help keep your Perro de Presa Canario clean and reduce shedding with frequent brushing. Inspect for ticks and fleas daily during warm weather.

Dental Health check up

Dental disease is the most common chronic problem in pets, affecting 80% of all dogs by age two. And unfortunately, your Perro De Presa Canario is more likely than other dogs to have problems with her teeth. It starts with tartar build-up on the teeth and progresses to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth.

Proper dental health care is as important for every dog similarly it is very important for the Presa Canario dog. Brush your dog’s teeth at least 2 or 3 times a week. You get a special toothbrush for dogs and your vet can guide you on how to use them. If you don’t attend to your pet’s teeth, he can experience tartar build up. This can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Not only that, bad teeth can affect other parts of the body too.

Love & affection

Love and affection are useful for every dog. If you give a love and affection to your Staffy dog than the dog will love you back. Your Presa Canario puppy will be a member of your family, So Give lots of love and affection for your cute puppy. Most importantly, spend time with your dog because that your dog needs love and affection.

Feed Healthy food

Feeding a healthy food in the dog’s life is the most important. In this day there are many healthy foods are available on the market so that you can choose any healthy food for your dog. Because healthy food is the most important for dog health care.  The young Presa dog is not a hearty eater as most breeds his size. He must often encourage with meat juices or bacon grease mix in the food to entice him to eat.

The Presa Canario should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. In general, Presa needs a high protein, low grain diet, which helps prevent diarrhea and bloat. always make sure that they have clean, fresh water for drinking. However, their diet needs, including the amount and frequency you feed them, will change over time as they age.

Feed your puppy several times a day so they can grow up to be big and strong. Don’t forget to provide your Presa Canario with plenty of exercises to keep them from becoming overweight or obese.

The following items should never be feed to Presa Canario

  • Alcohol, beer, wine or liquor
  • Chocolate, coffee, or tea
  • Grapes or raisins
  • Moldy or spoiled food of any kind
  • Onions, chives, and garlic
  • Poultry bones
  • Salt & salty foods
  • Tomato leaves stem or unripe fruit
  • Yeast dough


Puppy information

Puppy Training

The Perro de Presa Canario is a smart and trainable breed, but it can sometimes be difficult to handle due to its massive size and independent will. The Presa Canario is a very reliable watchdog, and it can also be a wonderful companion for the entire family. The single most important aspect of Presa Canario puppy training is that you reward and praise your Presa Canario puppy each and every time she does the right thing.

Training your Perro de Presa Canario is not an easy job for first-time dog owners. This breed requires a very stern owner and one that can give a decent amount of time to every day and reoccurring training lessons.

Crate training

Crate Training is one of the most efficient and effective ways to train a Presa Canario puppy. It’s can be an efficient and effective way to house train a Presa Canario puppy. Puppies do not like to soil their resting or sleeping quarters if given adequate opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. Crate training also helps teach your Presa Canario puppy to have bladder and bowel control. Instead of going whenever she feels like it, she learns to hold it and go at conveniently scheduled times.

Presa Canario Behavior training

Before teaching it the basic commands it is important to establish a close emotional relationship between the dog and the owner. Behavioral training is very important for any dog. At some point in time all of us dog owners need to administer some dog behavior training. This training is very helpful for taking care of the dog. First of all, if you want to train your puppy to behavioral training to find out some common behavioral issues like breaking, aggression, food guarding, howling, mouthing and chewing, separation anxiety, etc and stop this behavioral issues and train your dog easily.

Obedience training

Take your Presa Canario to puppy and adult obedience classes. While basic training is required for this breed. Train your Presa using only positive, reward-based techniques; punishment-based training can encourage and foster aggression in this breed. Enroll your Presa in the AKC’s Good Citizen Program to ensure your dog is polite and well-behaved at all times; this also impresses potential landlords and insurance companies. This makes your dog a breed ambassador, showing others in your community that the pit bull can be well-behaved and well-mannered.


Presa Canario requires early socialization and obedience training in some situations, the Presa can be aggressive toward other dogs and suspicious of strangers. Socialize your Presa Canario puppy from a young age of 7 weeks. Expose your new dog of any age to as many other dogs and people as possible, making all of these experiences positive ones involving play and dog treats.


Presa Canario puppy price

The cost to buy a Presa Canario varies greatly and depends on many factors such as the breeders’ location, reputation, litter size, the lineage of the puppy, breed popularity, training, socialization efforts, breed lines and much more. Review how much Presa Canario puppies for sale sell for below.
The current median price for all Presa Canarios sold is $1,200.00. You should budget anywhere from $3,500 upwards to $7,500 or even more for a Presa Canario with top breed lines and a superior pedigree. The average cost for all Presa Canarios sold is $1,300.

Things to consider adopting a Presa Canario

If you are a confident dog owner and are looking for an active, intelligent and protective dog to keep you company, then the Presa Canario temperament may suit you perfectly.

If you’re seriously considering adopting this dog, you should know.

  • Before you adopt a Presa, consider how much time your new family member will spend alone. Remember, a puppy requires constant attention.
  • Before you adopt a puppy, ask yourself if you are available to walk your dog several times throughout the day.
  • You also have the advantage of knowing that your dog is physically able to “hold it” for several hours at a stretch.
  • Ask anybody who has adopted an adult dog then after adopts an adult dog.
  • If you’re unsure of whether the new dog you’ve chosen is right for your family and lifestyle, consider fostering before making a commitment.


Advantages of Presa Canario

  • They have low maintenance coats
  • They make good family pets in households with older children
  • Presa Canarios are loyal and devoted by nature
  • They are good “natural” watchdogs

Disadvantages of Presa Canario

  • They have a very high prey drive
  • They can be stubborn and willful when it suits them
  • Presa Canarios are not the best choice for first-time dog owners
  • They are not a good choice for families with toddlers or younger children
  • They are extremely powerful dogs when fully mature

Presa Canario photo gallery

Canary Mastiff

Credit: @carpatcan

Credit: @carpatcan


Presa canario photo

Credit @carpatcan

Canary Dog

Credit @carpatcan

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