Perro de Presa Canario | Dog Breed Information & Facts


A formidable appearance, tremendous strength, loyalty to the owner and distrust, an increased level of aggression towards strangers – this is the Perro de Presa Canario. For his family, such a dog is a reliable protector and loyal friend, but not everyone can bring it up.

The Perro de Presa Canario is a breed of Molosser type dog, originally bred to work with cattle. The breed is sometimes also called : Canary Mastiff, Canary Catch Dog, Canarian Dogo, Presa Canario, Dogo Canario, or simply the Presa.

Perro de Presa Canario dog

It is the animal symbol of the island of Gran Canaria.

It is a large and strong dog, but also very resistant and ready to carry out many different tasks, mainly those of guard dog and cattle breeder.

Unfortunately, for years the Perro de Presa Canario has also been used for other less noble activities such as dog fighting … something that ended up being banned and the Canary Mastiff was about to switch off. Fortunately, this did not happen, being currently a very popular and sought after breed.

With timely socialization and proper training, the Perro de Presa Canario is characterized by balance, adequacy in relation to surrounding people, events. But if the dog notices a threat directed at him or at one of the household members, it is almost impossible to restrain his anger.

In some countries, it is forbidden to keep Perro de Presa Canario. With the wrong upbringing, under certain circumstances, the breed can be dangerous and can cause harm.

Origin of the Perro de Presa Canario

As its name suggests, this Molosser-type dog comes from the Canary Islands, mainly from the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Spain). In fact, a law of the government of the Canary Islands designates the Canary Mastiff as one of the symbols of the island of Gran Canaria.

These dogs are descended from ancient “majoreros” dogs, which have existed in the archipelago since pre-Hispanic times, before the 14th century. At that time, the large island dogs were used by the natives as guardians, protectors and also as cattle dogs. Later, with the arrival of Europeans on the islands and in particular with the subsequent conquest of them by the Crown of Castile, the majoreros began to be used as auxiliary dogs for butchers. They are also starting to experiment with crossbreeding with other dogs on the continent.

However, the modern breed finally defined itself in the 18th century, when there was a strong English migration to the islands. The English took bulldog and bull terrier dogs to the archipelago which used dog fighting, which was so popular at the time. Logically, local dogs were also used for this horrible pastime, as well as for crosses between majoreros and bull terrier dogs.

Thus, the Perro de Presa Canario today, mainly blood of the local majoreros of the islands, but also the blood of English Molosser-type dogs. At the moment, Dogo canario, is a very popular dog almost everywhere in the world. As with other breeds, the Canary Mastiff is considered a potentially dangerous dog in Spain and other countries.

Perro de Presa Canario dog

Physical characteristics of the Perro de Presa Canario

The dogo Canario is a medium to large size dog. Its appearance is imposing and although its height at the cross is similar to that of the German shepherd, it is much more robust and muscular. The Perro de Presa Canario measures are:

  • Males: height between 60 and 66 cm at the cross and weight between 50 and 65 kg.
  • Females: height between 56 and 62 cm at the cross and weight between 40 and 55 kg.

The head of this dog is solid, compact and has thick, loose skin. The nose is black and the nasofrontal depression is pronounced. The muzzle is shorter than the skull, broad and powerful. The eyes are medium to large, slightly oval and brown. The ears are medium and fall on both sides of the head. The current standard does not require their amputation, but unfortunately, we can still see many of these dogs with their ears cut off.

The body is longer than it is tall (rectangular profile). The upper line is straight and rises slightly from the cross to the rump. The chest is deep and wide, while the flanks are slightly gathered. The tail is thick at the base, medium insertion and must not exceed the hock.

The coat of the Perro de Presa Canario is short, smooth and rough. According to the racial norm approved by the Fédération cynologique internationale (FCI), the hairs must be of a certain shade of brindle and always with a black mask. There may also be white marks on the chest, throat, front feet and rear toes, but these marks should be minimal. Standards recognized by other organizations also allow a solid black color.

Perro de Presa Canario dog

Character and temperament of the Perro de Presa Canario

The Canary Mastiff is a calm and balanced dog, very docile and loyal to its owner, although due to its strong watchdog instinct it can be aggressive with strangers and has often been included in the category of dogs potentially dangerous.

However, if he has been well-educated and socialized since a puppy, the Perro de Presa Canario will have no problem living in a house, with children or other dogs who may be under the same roof.

The most common is that the opposite occurs and ends up developing a great affection as well as a marked protective instinct towards those who consider their peers. In fact, this dog is used as an effective defense weapon for women victims of gender violence.

Despite all these innate virtues, he must be educated in a practical manner from a puppy to ensure that his behavior is adequate in a home.

His watchdog past predisposes him to have a shy and reserved attitude with strangers, but very noble and serene with his loved ones. It is undoubtedly one of the most loyal dogs that exist. In addition, the Perro de Presa Canario is a very obedient dog, with whom we can work obedience exercises and other activities that include mental stimulation, such as canine skills.

Perro de Presa Canario

Perro de Presa Canario Health

Take your pet to the veterinary clinic regularly for routine checkups. Such visits will help to keep the health of the Perro de Presa Canario under control and to start treatment of the detected diseases on time.

Representatives of the breed are not predisposed to serious hereditary diseases; they have strong immune defenses. But, like any living creature, the dogo canario often has the following health problems:

  • Epilepsy – The disease does not respond to treatment, but it can be controlled by reducing the number of seizures with seizures.
  • Dysplasia of the joints – characterized by severe pain, sometimes intolerable. Without timely treatment, the dog may lose the ability to move.
  • Twist, eversion of the eyelid – cannot be treated, requires surgical intervention.
  • Scabies is a skin disease caused by mites.
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract – volvulus, bloating, diarrhea.

It is imperative to get vaccinated on time. Deworming and treatment for skin parasites is also important.

In addition to strictly following the dog’s vaccination schedule and his deworming (internal and external), it will be essential to consult a specialist every 6 to 12 months to ensure his good health and detect any disease in time.

Remember that degenerative diseases, such as elbow or hip dysplasia, can be less severe if detected early. If you follow his advice you will enjoy a healthy and happy dog ​​for a long time.

The life expectancy of the Perro de Presa Canario is between 9 and 11 years.

Perro de Presa Canario dog

Basic care

The recommended conditions for keeping the Perro de Presa Canario are a country house with a large garden plot. Such a dog feels great in an aviary, where a large booth or house is installed. The booth should be heated in winter.

The chain for this dog is completely unsuitable. He is also not comfortable in a small apartment in a city. Apartment living is possible, but subject to a sufficiently large area of ​​housing, daily long walks and a course of city obedience.

Walking without a muzzle and leash is prohibited in public places. In order for the Perro de Presa Canario to run freely, you need to find an opportunity to take the pet out into nature, to deserted places.

Perro de Presa Canario

Caring for the Perro de Presa Canario is not difficult at all. It is important to follow these procedures:

  • We comb out the wool 2 times a week.
  • We bathe 2 times a year in warm weather. It is not recommended to abuse detergents in order not to disturb the natural protective balance.
  • We examine the ears daily, clean them once a week using the pharmacy products recommended by the veterinarian.
  • The teeth are easier to clean by purchasing special bones. It is not easy to accustom him to paste and brush.
  • We cut off the claws as they grow back with a claw cutter designed for large breeds.

A large dog like the Perro de Presa Canario expends a lot of energy every day. He has a vital need for movement. Naturally, the joints receive a serious load due to the large weight of the animal. For this reason, in order to avoid health problems, you need to carefully select the diet. Nutrition should help strengthen joints, ligaments and bones.

The diet should contain proteins, vitamins, calcium. It is better to give preference to natural way of feeding, especially for puppies and young dogs. If you decide to feed dry food, it should be premium.

Do not forget to ensure that the Perro de Presa Canario has enough fresh, cool water in the drinker around the clock.

Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet to develop and grow as they should, and it is preferable to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:

Once a puppy is 18 months old, it can be fed with food for adult dogs.

Training and education

The Perro de Presa Canario must attend obedience training courses for service dogs. It is not recommended to engage in training yourself, especially if there is no experience in this matter. The ideal option is training, education under the guidance of a dog handler.

Improper upbringing, as well as the lack of training will turn any Perro de Presa Canario dog into an uncontrollable, dangerous animal.

Representatives of the breed are difficult to train. They tend to dominate, stubborn, willfulness. The basis of the education of the dogo canario is obedience and obedience. The main thing is to become a leader for the dog, a leader whose word is law.

It is worth noting that the mental abilities of the Perro de Presa Canario are at the highest level. But the dog does not always direct them in the right direction. For example, often a dog takes off from classes, is cunning, depicting fatigue. In such cases, it is important not to succumb to his tricks and achieve the execution of commands. Otherwise, such tricks will continue to appear in the future.

Perro de Presa Canario dog

Perro de Presa Canario Dog Fun Facts

  • The Perro de Presa Canario dog is prohibited in several countries: Italy, Romania, USA, Australia, Ukraine, Belarus, New Zealand
  • The attack of the Canary Mastiff is absolutely hopeless for his adversary.
  • This dog is fearless.
  • There are known cases of fatal attacks by dogo canario to people. For example, in Florida in 2006, a Presa Canario attacked his mistress, the woman did not survive.
  • The name ” Perro de Presa Canario ” means “a dog with a powerful grip from the Canary Islands.” This translation is explained by the following: “Perro” in the translation “dog”, “presa” in the translation “crush”, “Canario” are the Canary Islands.
Perro de Presa Canario

Breed Highlights

You can’t have the Perro de Presa Canario as a beginner, or a person with disabilities. Such a pet is not recommended for families with small children. It is important to remember that the breed is on the list of the most dangerous dogs in the world.

Before buying a puppy Perro de Presa Canario, familiarize yourself with its main pros and cons, then evaluate your strength and capabilities sensibly.


  • Devotion.
  • The mind and quick wits.
  • Fearlessness.
  • No complicated care.
  • Excellent guard, security qualities.


  • An increased level of aggression.
  • Not suitable for families with children.
  • The tendency to dominate.
  • It is difficult to train.
  • Requires daily exercise.