Male Height (typical): 58-66 cm. (23-26 inches)
Female Height (typical): 56-63 cm. (22-25 inches)
Male Weight (typical): 45 kg. (100 pounds)
Female Weight (typical): 39 kg. (85 pounds)
Country of Origin: Spain
Exercise Required: Daily long walks.
Expected Life Span: 8 – 12 Years
Best suited as: Working Dog, Guard Dog
This is a historical article – the Perro de Presa Canario is now a banned breed in Australia.
Description – The Perro de Presa Canario is a large Mastiff style dog with a large head and strong stature. The dog is mostly muscle and is quick to engage an intruder and will stick to the fight once engaged. The dog has oval, wide-set eyes that are known for their stare. This helps give the Perro de Presa Canario its aggressive appearance and stands as a warning to intruders who encounter one. The dog has a well-proportioned frame that has a slightly elevated hindquarters. This aids in the dogs speed and agility by allowing him a strong and smooth stride when running. The Perro de Presa Canario sports a short coat of hair that can range in color from red to grey, brown and blond with white often found on the muzzle.
Origin & History – The breed originated on the Canary islands as far back as 50BC and have been introduced all over the world ever since. They were initially used to slaughter cattle and were only kept by butchers to help in their work. As this dog became more domesticated its popularity grew. These dogs were also bred for fighting and up until the banning of dogfights in 1940 they were a very popular breed for this sport. Because of its aggressive nature the breed almost became extinct when dog fighting was banned. The modern breed was started in 1970 from a set of purebreds and all subsequent generations emanate from there.
Temperament – The modern breeds of Perro de Presa Canario are much less aggressive than the original bloodline but are still not a good fit for families with very small children. Even though the dog will follow a strong master, its size and power cause concern to many families. It is an excellent working dog and can make a great companion as well if trained properly. It seeks direction and if you choose to own a dog like this you need to always be in control. If the dog senses any hesitation in your dominance it will try to take advantage and disobey. The Perro de Presa Canario can be tolerant of other pets if introduced to them at a young enough age.
Exercise & Grooming – The Perro de Presa Canario is primarily a working dog and needs to have room to run when not working. Even though daily walks will help with some of this exercise, a large backyard is the perfect outlet for its energy. If the dog is used for working this should be all the exercise it requires to stay healthy. Because the dog has a shorthaired coat, grooming needs are minimal. A good brushing several times a week can help remove the loose hair and tangles that may develop. The dog does not require regular baths and is naturally a clean pet.
Health Concerns – This breed has no known health problems and will live a very long life if cared for properly. The one exception is injuries it may encounter as a result of protecting a herd or home. Because the breed is devoted to a task, it can encounter animals much larger than its own size and suffer injuries as a result of a confrontation. It is important to help the dog avoid these physical encounters as much as possible as it’s difficult to interrupt a fight once the dog has engaged.