Presa Canario

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Presa Canario
a heavy-jawed dog with brindle fawn coat
Other names
  • Dogo Canario
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Canary Mastiff
  • Canary Catch Dog
  • Canarian Dogo
DistributionCanary Islands
Height Males
60–66 cm (24–26 in)[1]
56–62 cm (22–24 in)[1]
Weight Males
50–65 kg (110–145 lb)[1]
40–55 kg (90–120 lb)[1]
Kennel club standards
Real Sociedad Canina de España standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Presa Canario is a Spanish breed of large dog of mastiff or catch dog type. It originates in the autonomous region of the Canary Islands, and is found mostly in the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife.[2]: 587  It was formerly known as the Dogo Canario. It was traditionally used as a guard dog, as a herding dog for both sheep and cattle, and for dog fighting, which was legal in Spain until 1936 and may have continued clandestinely thereafter.[2]: 587 


The Presa Canario derives from the Bardino Majorero, which was formerly distributed throughout the Canary Islands. Dogs of this type were cross-bred with various dogs of molossoid type introduced to the islands at different times during the colonial period. The Presa Canario was particularly influenced by dogs brought from the British Isles with the large influx of British residents in the late nineteenth century.[2]: 587 

By the 1960s it was close to extinction. A breed society, the Club Español del Presa Canario, was formed in 1982, and drew up a provisional breed standard, which was published by the government of the islands. The standard was approved by the Real Sociedad Canina de España in 1989.[2]: 588  In 1991 the dog was included in an official list of national symbols of the Canary Islands as a symbol of the island of Gran Canaria.[3]: 2610  It was officially recognised by the Spanish national government in 2001.[4]

The breed was provisionally accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 2001 under the name Dogo Canario;[5] it was fully accepted in 2011.[6] In December 2018, at the request of the Real Sociedad Canina de España, the name was changed to Presa Canario.[7]

Importation and sale of the breed is prohibited in Australia[8] and New Zealand.[9]


Brindle presa Canario with cropped ears

The Presa Canario is a large dog with a heavy muscular body.[10] Dogs stand 60–66 cm at the withers and weigh some 50–65 kg; bitches stand about 56–62 cm and weigh approximately 10 kg less.[1]

The head is broad, massive, square, and powerful brachycephalic shape. If cropped, the ears stand erect. In countries where ear-cropping is banned, the ears are close fitting to the head; they hang down and should be pendant or "rose"-shaped. The upper lip is pendulous, although not excessively. Seen from the front, the upper and lower lips come together to form an inverted V. The flews are slightly divergent. The inside of the lips is a dark colour.[1]

The breed is also characterized by a sloping topline (with the rear being slightly higher than the shoulders). Another characteristic of the breed is the shape of the paws (cat foot) and the catlike movement of the animal. The body is mesomorphic, that is, slightly longer than the dog is tall, contributing to the feline movement.


The Presa Canario was traditionally used as a guard dog, as a herding dog for both sheep and cattle, and for dog fighting, which was legal in Spain until 1936 and may have continued clandestinely thereafter.[2]: 587 [11][12][13] Until the 1950s it remained a common practice in all of the islands.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Brígida Nestler, Miguel Ángel Martínez (2018). FCI-Standard N° 346 Presa Canario. Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed February 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Miguel Fernández Rodríguez, Mariano Gómez Fernández, Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo, Silvia Adán Belmonte, Miguel Jiménez Cabras (editors) (2009). Guía de campo de las razas autóctonas españolas (in Spanish). Madrid: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. ISBN 9788449109461.
  3. ^ Lorenzo Olarte Cullen (30 April 1991). Disposiciones Generales - Presidencia del Gobierno: 577 - LEY 7/1991, de 30 de abril, de símbolos de la naturaleza para las Islas Canarias (in Spanish). Boletín Oficial de Canarias. 61 (10 May 1991): 2610–2611.
  4. ^ [Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación] (25 May 2001). Real Decreto 558/2001, de 25 de mayo, por el que se regula el reconocimiento oficial de las organizaciones o asociaciones de criadores de perros de raza pura (in Spanish). Boletín Oficial del Estado 142 (14 June 2001): 21156–21182. Reference: BOE-A-2001-11347.
  5. ^ Nomenclature des races: Races acceptées provisoirement. Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Archived 6 February 2002.
  6. ^ FCI breeds nomenclature: Presa Canario. Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed February 2021.
  7. ^ Y. De Clercq (6 December 2018). New name for Dogo Canario (346). Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Accessed February 2021.
  8. ^ "Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation 1956". Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Another dog added to banned list". Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  10. ^ Santana, Clemente Reyes. "El Perro de Presa Canario". Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  11. ^ Brough, Graham (7 February 2006). "EXCLUSIVE: COP ALERT OVER 'PIT BULL ON STEROIDS'". mirror. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Killer Dog Sparks Interest in Rare Breed". ABC News. 7 January 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  13. ^ Gracia, Manuel Curto (20 November 2012). Perro De Presa Canario: Special Rare-Breed Edition : A Comprehensive Owner's Guide. i5 Publishing. ISBN 9781621870753. Retrieved 29 August 2018 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Canary Island dog incident will provoke anti-dog backlash". Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Presa Demand Grows for All Wrong Reasons / Dogs wanted for killing, fighting". San Francisco Gate. 7 February 2001. Retrieved 29 August 2018.