Perro de Presa Canario Dog Breed

Perro de Presa Canario At-a-Glance

Perro de Presa Canarios are a large and powerful breed from the Canary Islands, where their primary jobs were guarding and herding livestock. But their powerful and aggressive nature resulted in them frequently being used for dogfighting. While they are a very loyal breed, they are also naturally dominant and potentially aggressive, so early training and socialization are crucial for this breed.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 85-110
Female: 70-95
Height (inches)
Male: 24-26
Female: 22-24
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group
Foundation Stock

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Protective Nature

Neutral Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Easy to Train
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Tolerates Hot Climate
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • High Intelligence

Lowest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Drooling
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Handles Change Easily
  • High Energy Level
  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Good General Health

General Overview

When socialized and trained early in life, Presa Canarios are loyal and protective family dogs. They can also be good with children, so long as they are supervised, although they are probably not the best choice if you have small children. Their high energy can be overwhelming for a small child, and their size and immense strength can easily knock over your little ones.

Presa Canarios were bred to protect and guard, which makes them naturally dominant and aggressive. Combine this with their loyalty and courage and you have the ideal protective guard dog.

However, this does mean they can be aggressive towards any human or animal they perceive as a threat. Even when properly trained and socialized, they can still show territorial behavior to anyone outside of their immediate family.

They can learn to tolerate strangers but may never fully accept them.

When it comes to other dogs, Presa Canarios are not welcoming, particularly with dogs of the same sex. They also have a strong prey drive and can view smaller dogs as prey, so you must always supervise them when around small dogs.

Actually, they should be supervised around any dog, as they will usually try to assert dominance. This is not a dog that will happily play with other dogs at the dog park!

When it comes to maintenance, they can be a bit on the high side. They are medium shedders and can be heavy drollers at mealtime. Fortunately, their coats are relatively easy to maintain, requiring only occasional brushing.

Presa Canarios do love their families and therefore suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. The best way to minimize this is to gradually increase the time periods they are left alone.

These are large, muscular dogs with high levels of energy, making them a poor choice for small yards or apartment living. They take up a lot of space and need large amounts of play and exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Presa Canarios are also a bad choice for first-time dog owners. These are large, powerful (and stubborn!) dogs. They need an experienced owner who knows how to train and can handle their size, energy, and aggression toward strangers and other dogs.

Speaking of energy, Presa Canarios have it in spades! They were bred for hard work, which required lots of exercise and stimulation. They have tremendous stamina and can easily run long distances.

If what you want is a dog to lounge on the couch with, you should probably look at a different breed. For you runners, they can be a great choice!

On the plus side, these are extremely intelligent dogs. They learn fast and are eager to please their owners.

Their background in herding and guarding required quick thinking and the ability to solve problems, traits which continue to this day.

While their intelligence and quick learning ability is impressive, this does not mean they are easy to train. Yes, they are smart and eager to please, but they are also stubborn and independent. They require an experienced trainer and consistent training.

The good news is that with proper training and socialization, your Presa Canario will be a loyal, protective, and intelligent companion.

On the health front, Presa Canarios only get a rating of average. They are prone to most of the health issues common to larger breeds. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, and certain eye problems.

They are also prone to weight gain if overfed and under-exercised, which can lead to other health issues. This means it’s important to monitor your Presa Canarios weight.

They have an average lifespan for a large breed of 9-11 years.

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