All About the Breed Perro De Presa Canario

Have you recently fallen for the Perro de Presa Canario or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Presa, Canary Dog, Presa Canario, and the Dogo Canario, the Perro de Presa Canario is a strong character with a highly dominant nature. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Perro de Presa Canario can be traced back to 15th century Spain. While the history of the breed has been greatly disputed, it is believed that this breed descended from the Perro de Bardino Majorero, Mastiff, and various English breeds, though this has never been confirmed scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Perro de Presa Canario has been most commonly used for fighting and guarding. In the 1940's, fighting was strictly prohibited in the breed's native Canary Islands, making the sport more popular than ever. Shortly after the onset of illegal fights, the Perro de Presa Canario was threatened by complete extinction. Its number dwindling dramatically, several breeders and enthusiasts worked until the 1970's to restore the breed to the stable numbers it remains at today.

In 1996, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club's Foundation Stock Service.

Today, while the Perro de Presa Canario has attained underground popularity, the breed remains rather rare outside of its native Spain.

Personality Traits

Best known for its protective and dominant nature, the Perro de Presa Canario is a highly territorial animal. This breed is intelligent and bright, yet stubborn, overly confident, and self-assured, causing great difficulty in training. These dogs are very playful and energetic, especially when young, and enjoy games such as fetch and frisbee. As a pet, this breed is loyal, protective, and loving.


Due to its dominant and protective attitude, the Perro de Presa Canario can prove rather challenging to train. These dogs are overly confident, even from a young age, and often ignore any attempts made at displaying correction or control.

Establishing immediate dominance and trust is key to successfully training the Perro de Presa Canario. This breed requires a strong, confident, and experienced trainer with a stern, patient, and serious approach to handling.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Perro de Presa Canario, such as their no hassle, low maintenance coat. When properly socialized from a young age, these dogs get along well with small children and other pets. This breed is very territorial and protective, making an impressive and effective guard dog and deterrent. These dogs are loyal, loving, and dependable, making excellent family pets and companions alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Perro de Presa Canario. This large breed requires daily exercise and room to run and play, especially when young. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Perro de Presa Canario not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

Proper socialization and training is absolutely required with this breed. Without training, the Perro de Presa Canario may become a danger to other animals, small children, and even its owner. While these dogs generally respond well to repetitive and ongoing training, professional intervention is occasionally necessary.

As previously mentioned, the Perro de Presa Canario remains rather rare outside of its native Spain and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Perro de Presa Canario is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, epilepsy, skin cysts, osteochondrodysplasias - a disorder affecting the development of bone and cartilage, and cryptorchidism - failure of one or both of the testes to fully descend.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Perro de Presa Canario? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.