Perro de Presa Canario – The Guardian

What makes the Perro de Presa Canario Unique?

The Perro de Presa Canario is a large Molosser-type dog breed originally bred for working livestock. The name of the breed is Spanish, means “Canarian catch dog”, and is often shortened to “Presa Canario” or simply “Presa”. The breed is sometimes also called Dogo Canario, meaning “Canarian Molosser”.


Size: Males – 23 to 26 inches (58 to 66 cm)
Females – 22 to 25 inches (56 to 64 cm)
Weight: Males – 100 – 126 pounds (45-57kg)
Females – 85 – 110 pounds (39-50 kg)
Origin: Spain
Life Span: 8 – 12 Years
Colour: Black, Fawn, Red Brindle, Silver Fawn, Red Fawn, Brindle
Litter Size: 7. puppies

Is the Perro de Presa Canario Right For You?

The Perro de Presa Canario or the Presas are a very rare breed. Sometimes, they are even confused with Molosser Breeds. The Presa or the Canary Dog has a powerful, square head. It is also worth noting that its head is nearly as wide as it is long. Its muzzle is broad while the chest is very deep and likewise broad. The rump is slightly raised. Perro de Presa Canarios have dense bones, thick skin, powerful muscles and a massive head with a large jaw. Instead of the usual hanging types as with most dogs, their ears are cropped. As for its body, white markings are sometimes seen. They also have long, straight legs, even or slightly undershot mouth and great power with agility.

In 5 Words

  • Strong Willed
  • Gentle
  • Calm
  • Suspicious
  • Dominant
Fun Fact

The Perro de Presa Canario is also known as the Canary Dog of Prey because he comes from the Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa.


Health Issues

Learn About the Perro de Presa Canario



General Description
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.

Short History

Short History of the Perro de Presa Canario

The Perro de Presa Canario is a cross between Bulldogs, Mastiffs and Native dogs, in the 1800s English settlers brought over mastiffs and old-style bulldogs that bred with the Canario. This resulted in very powerful, muscular, large-boned dogs, which were used for fighting until 1940, when dog fighting was banned. The Presa Canario was not solely a fighting dog, however, and was quite often used as a herding dog, guard dog, and all-purpose farm dog. In the 1940s the breed started to diminish but was revived once again in the 1970s by Spaniards searching for the native dogs that were able to find pure blooded specimens of the species. Within ten years, the breed was back on its feet again, not in high numbers but in good bloodlines and back in the show ring. Today the breed is known in the U.S., unfortunately, as a threatening breed that has attacked people. Although these dogs can be aggressive, proper training and socialization are key in their development to produce a calm and responsible dog.



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.

Caring for Your Perro de Presa Canario


General Health

rone to hip and elbow dysplasia as well as entropion, epilepsy, mange and OCD.

Grooming & Bathing

Grooming & Bathing

Presas are average shedders. It is also very easy to groom their rough and short coat. Just wiping off with a towel usually already result in a gleaming finish.

Exercise & Training

Exercise & Training

They are very flexible and would enjoy almost any family outing – be it a picnic at the park, a swim, or just a walk around the neighborhood.