The Presa Canario has a powerful, square head that is nearly as wide as it is long. The muzzle is broad. The chest is deep and broad. The rump is slightly raised. This breed has thick skin, dense bones and powerful muscles and a massive head with a large jaw. The ears are usually cropped. Colors include fawn and various brindles, white markings are sometimes seen.
The Presa Canario requires a very dominant owner who understands the alpha nature in canines. No member of the family can be uncomfortable around the dog. Canaries make outstanding guard dogs. Just their appearance is a deterrent not to mention their ability to confront any intruder. In the wrong hands this dog can be dangerous, but with the right owner it can make a nice, devoted companion. This is not a breed for first time dog owners. Owners must take their dogs for daily pack walks to satisfy their migration instincts. The dog must not walk in front of the human who is holding the lead, as the pack leader goes first. The dog must walk beside or behind the human. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.
Weight: 80-130 pounds (36-59 kg.)
Height: 21-25 inches (55-65 cm.)
The Presa Canario will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.
This breed needs to be taken on a daily, long walk. Do not allow this dog to walk out in front of the handler while out on a walk. Pack leader goes first and the Presa must understand that all humans are above him in the pecking order. The Presa will thrive if given a job to do.
The short, rough coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush and wipe over with a piece of toweling or chamois for a gleaming finish. Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
The Presa Canario ancestry probably includes the now extinct naive and indigenous Bardino Majero, crossed with imported English Mastiffs. It was developed in the Canary Islands in the 1800’s specifically for dog fighting. At one time dog fighting was a common and popular entertainment in most European countries, and breeds were developed specially for their tenacity and endurance. In some countries, such as Ireland, fights were staged in open fields, but more often, as was the case in the Canary Islands, fighting took place in rings or pits. With the outlawing of dogfighting on the island and the introduction of foreign dogs such as the German Shepherd Dog, by the 1960s the breed was nearly extinct. It was revived by the American veterinarian Dr. Carl Semencic.