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Presa Canario - Characteristics, Size, Behavior, Main diseases, Basic care, Curiosities

Presa Canario
The Presa Canario is a dog originating in the Canary Islands, especially known for being a large dog and a dangerous breed, since, as its name indicates, it has a bite that makes it prey and does not open easily. However, any dog, regardless of its characteristics, can be a family pet if it is properly educated as a puppy and if it is properly socialized.

It has come to be considered as a natural symbol of the island of Gran Canaria by the Government of the Canary Islands for its importance, along with the cardon plant species. The ancestors of this breed are believed to have inhabited the island since its inception, especially the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

The first dogs of prey of the Canary Islands were major Eros, and date from the fourteenth century. The indigenous people of the islands had a close relationship with these dogs, since together with them they found protection, guard, and guide of the cattle. When the Canary Islands were conquered by the Crown of Castile and other Europeans began to arrive in that territory, these first dogs were extended for other uses, and some crosses were also tried on them to achieve greater effectiveness in their new jobs. .

From the mix of the major Eros with other Spanish dogs of prey, such as the Alano or the Spanish Bulldog, strong and robust animals emerged, which also stood out in terms of agility and thrust. These dogs were mainly used for livestock-related tasks or as support for butchers who needed the strength of dogs to hold animals when they were to be slaughtered.

Also for a time, towards the 18th century, dogs similar to the Canary Presa as we know it today, were used in dogfights fighting against other dogs arrived together with the British who came both provisionally and definitely. During this time, the character of the dogs was modified to develop a fighting instinct, or at least a good predisposition. Thus, they generally became champions when fighting against other breeds of the bulldog or bullterrier type, much less powerful than the Presa Canario.

However, over time, many breeds influenced the genetics of the current breed. From the first major Eros, to the bulldog and bullterrier themselves brought by the English. At this time a particularly strong type of dog was sought with characteristics suitable for fighting, and the aesthetics of the animal were hardly taken into account. Hence, even today it is a mainly functional dog with enviable physical qualities.

As the story progresses, the time came when dogfighting was banned throughout Spain, which also meant the loss of interest in the breed of most people. This made the Canary prey almost disappear extinct, also due to the fact that many other breeds arrived on the islands. At this point, around 1960, very few specimens of the breed could be found.

Luckily for the survival of the breed, a group of people decided to save it about 10 years later, and a recovery program was started through which to get the same robust and strong specimens, but that also had specific physical characteristics. After this effort, the breed was constituted again, capturing the interest of the people of the islands who saw it as part of their heritage. It also began to be exported to other places in the world, although it is not one of the most numerous breeds in the whole globe.

Currently, there is an important controversy around this animal and the dogue canario, two very similar breeds, which some assure are the same, and others guarantee that they are different. The truth is that both come from the same place and from the same crossings, but at present they are regulated by different clubs, and each with slightly unique characteristics. The dogue canario has been registered by the FCI since 2001, and the canary dog ​​of prey has been registered by the UKC since 2003. In addition, in the description of the standard of both breeds there are some important differences such as morphology intended for different purposes. In any case, both races are currently recognized and have the same relevance in homes around the world.

Canary Presa Characteristics
The Presa Canario is an animal of medium or large size, very strong and robust, with a remarkable muscle mass that, however, does not detract from its agility or power when it comes to moving. Its average height is not much larger than some sheepdogs, it may even be somewhat smaller, but its corpulence and musculature make it perceived as a larger animal, very imposing for any other dog and also for humans.

Among the characteristics of the Canarian prey stands out its head, square and compact, quite large in proportion to the rest of its body. The muzzle is not too long, but it is large and strong, also in a square shape that indicates the power of its teeth. It also ends in a large black nose, which gives it its characteristic expression. Also striking on his face are the almond-shaped eyes and brown or darker, and medium-sized ears, which naturally fall on both sides of the head but unfortunately puppies are still amputated today to acquire an upright and pointed shape with the intention of giving the animal a feeling of greater danger.

As for the body, it should be noted that it is longer than it is tall, also straight and of adequate and marked proportions. Its chest is wide and also very deep, and the back culminates in a thick tail that tapers towards the end, of medium length. The legs are not excessively long, but they are strong and wide, and they provide the animal with all the necessary power when it is in movement or when it has to make a specific physical effort.

Although the canary prey cannot be considered as a giant, the truth is that it is a very powerful animal, which is why it is classified as a dangerous dog. However, dangerous prey dogs are not dangerous because they belong to a certain breed. Most of the time an animal's character has much more to do with its education than with its genetics, and any dog ​​can be a great companion animal if properly educated.

Canary dam size
The Presa Canario is a very corpulent and robust breed of dog, but it is not one of the largest known. Females can measure between 56 and 62 centimeters at the withers, and males between 60 and 66. As for weight, it is usually around 50 kilos, although male specimens of the breed are known to have come to weigh up to 65 kilos. It is the combination of muscle mass and power that makes this animal is seen as one of the most dangerous in the canine world.

Canary prey coat
The coat of this breed stands out for being rough to the touch, very short and smooth. She hardly loses hair all year round, so her care is reduced to brushing occasionally and bathing only when necessary. As for color, it is required in the breed standard that he is always brindle, and generally with a black mask on much of the face. It can also sometimes show white spots on various areas of the body, such as the chest, throat, legs or fingers, although it is never too conspicuous. Completely black specimens may also appear, although these are not always recognized in other organizations' standards.

Canary prey behavior
With all the bad reputation this breed has, its temperament is really very calm and calm. He is sure of himself, but he does not tend to get nervous or upset in any situation. It is a perfect companion animal for the family, since it is extremely loyal and noble with its own, although it can be somewhat shy and reserved with strangers due to its heritage as a guard dog.

On the other hand, the Presa Canario is an intelligent and very obedient dog, who will be willing to learn all kinds of tricks and will always have a good predisposition. The character with children of the Presa Canario is generally good, but it will be necessary to be careful with its games because it is an animal with a lot of strength that could harm them inadvertently.

Main diseases of the Canary Presa
This breed is generally in good health, although it may be prone to certain hereditary diseases due to its size and characteristics. Among the most common diseases in the breed are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, or gastric torsion. All of them controllable to a greater or lesser extent if good general habits are maintained in the animal.

Basic care of the presa canario
The Presa Canario is not an animal that requires excessive care, although it does require a great deal of attention and exercise to stay healthy and balanced at all levels. It is especially important for your health to go to the vet as often as possible to check it up and to keep your vaccination schedule and deworming up to date.

As for aesthetics, the little dead hair that is loose can be removed with a weekly brushing with a soft comb that does not harm it. It is also advisable to bathe him every 6 or 8 weeks so as not to damage the protective layer of his skin and that it is always shiny.

Another of the issues to take into account to guarantee the best state of health of the animal is food. You should always opt for a high quality food and in the appropriate ration. In addition, it is recommended to divide your ration into several doses a day to avoid possible and dangerous gastric torsion.

The demand for exercise of the Presa Canario is quite high, since it has a large amount of energy that can lead to stress and other behavioral problems if it is not eliminated properly. Daily walks will be mandatory, in addition to other more powerful exercises and activities that pose a mental challenge for the animal.

This breed is not recommended for people with no experience dealing with dangerous breed dogs. Through proper education, it is possible to enjoy a balanced dog and a great pet, but it will require specific knowledge on the part of the owner, in addition to knowing how to handle an animal of such dimensions and characteristics. As for education, it is very important to train him in obedience from a young age, if possible with the help of a professional trainer. As for their socialization, it is basic from 3 months of life, with all the animals and people possible, so that as an adult you never have the impulse to act in an unfriendly way.

Curiosities of the Presa Canario
Many people insist on comparing the presa canario vs dogo argentino. The truth is that their characteristics as races are both similar and different. They are both powerful dogs of prey, but physically differ in terms of morphology and aesthetics. In general, the Argentine bulldog is more athletic and stylized, while the Presa Canario is a muscular and very robust animal.

If you think that this breed is the most suitable for you, the first step is to go to a specialized and experienced breeder with it. Only then will you have all the guarantees of the puppy's health, and also his temperament. In addition, it can also help you in your education and in any questions that may arise over time so that your relationship is unbeatable and safe both for you and for other people.

This is the Presa Canario, a dangerous dog that has killed its owner in Madrid

The breed of the Presa Canario, to which the dog that yesterday killed its owner in Madrid with its bites, belongs to those considered as potentially dangerous. It is a guard and defense dog, which sometimes intervenes in clandestine fights. It comes from the cross between the majorero bardino and the English mastiff. Its size, with a height between 54 and 65 centimeters, is of average type, but with a robust body.

The weight of the specimen of the Presa Canario (also called the Dogo Canario, the vast or green dog) ranges from 45 to 57 kilos for the male and 40 and 50 kilos for the female. In the sixties it was on the verge of extinction when dog fighting was banned in Spain. However, from 1970 the recovery of this breed begins.

Among its general characteristics stands out the strong temperament it has. It is dominant and highlights its strong guarding instinct. True to its owners, it is usually very suspicious of outsiders. Hence, it is necessary to socialize it at very early stages.

It has a straight and solid neck, very muscular, like its chest, in which the pecs are very marked. Its thoracic perimeter is about 90 centimeters. The head is powerful and large, about 25 centimeters, with a convex skull and an arcade in which a very marked development of the temporal and masseter muscles stands out. It usually bites into a pincer or scissors.

These specimens are considered as a potentially dangerous breed, so their owners must take out civil liability insurance. Others included in this denomination are the Pit Bull Terrier, the Boxer, the Argentine Bulldog, the Rottweiler, the Bullmastiff, the Fila Brasileiro, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Mallorcan Prey (Ca de Bou), among others. This breed has a very important symbolic value in the Canary Islands. It is the emblem of the island of Gran Canaria.

These characteristics have made this dog be used as a defense for women victims of gender violence. The animal defends them until the police arrive and manages to capture the attacker.


In September 2007, a specimen of this breed seriously injured a nine-year-old boy when he was riding a bicycle with his 14-year-old brother in front of Rocío Dúrcal Avenue in the La Berzosilla urbanization, near Torrelodones, where the The animal was found untied and with the garden door of its owner's house wide open.

Presa Canario photos:








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