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Presa Canario

(Perro de Presa Canario) (Dogo Canario) (Canary Dog)

Tobatacaya de Rey Gladiador, a 12-month-old Dogo Canario female and Junior Champion of Poland, photo courtesy of Rey Gladiador


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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, 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 is a docile, affectionate dog. They are great family protectors and are bred to be family companions as well as guardians. They are distrustful of strangers, but should accept strangers if the owner accepts them. They should be very alert and ready to defend the owner or property if necessary. It is generally a quiet breed but has a very intimidating bark. This breed requires an owner who understands the alpha nature of 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. As with all guardian type dogs early socialization and obedience training are a must. Occasionally you will have some dog aggression in the Presa Canario, but with proper socialization and training this is the exception and not the rule. The Presa Canario competes and does well in many conformation, obedience, iron dogs, agility, dock diving, schutzhund and other working trials. Many are raised with other dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. 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 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.

Height, Weight

Weight: 80 - 100 pounds and above (36 - 45 kg)
Height: 21 - 25 inches (55 - 65 cm)

Health Problems


Living Conditions

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.

Life Expectancy

9-11 years


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’s 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 1800s as a farm utility dog. The Canary Island was named after the dog. It was a catch dog that caught unruly cattle and wild boars. It was used to protect the livestock from wild predators and humans. Later it was used for a brief period in time as a dog fighter by bored farmers for entertainment. Dog fighting was later outlawed and other dogs became more popular. But there were some farmers that continued to keep the breed and work them as a farm dog.



FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
UKC = United Kennel Club

APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.

NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
AKC/FSS = American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service® Program

Ares the purebred Presa Canario at about 1 year old.

Ares the purebred Presa Canario at about 1 year old

Ares the purebred Presa Canario at about 5 months old.

Ares the purebred Presa Canario at about 5 months old


Drago De Dona Aurora at 3 years old weighing 116 pounds.

Drago de Dona Aurora at 3 years old, weighing 116 pounds

Topatacaya de Rey Gladiador the Dogo Canario as a 2-month-old puppy, photo courtesy of Rey Gladiador

Tarantulito de Rey Gladiador as a 3.5-month-old Dogo Canario puppy, photo courtesy of Rey Gladiador

Tobatacaya de Rey Gladiador, a 12-month-old Dogo Canario female and Junior Champion of Poland, photo courtesy of Rey Gladiador


Tobatacaya de Rey Gladiador, a 12-month-old Dogo Canario female and Junior Champion of Poland, photo courtesy of Rey Gladiador

Presa Canario Pictures 1


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