Perro de Presa Canario

The Perro de Presa Canario has a calm appearance and attentive expression. He is also intelligent, protective, active and independent.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Presa Canario has a short, flat, single coat with a harsh texture. It sheds but is easy to groom. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Bathe the Presa on the rare occasions that he’s dirty.
You can expect him to shed seasonally in the spring and fall. Brush him more frequently during that time to remove dead hair. Warm baths and thorough blow-drying (use a low setting to avoid burning the dog) will also help to loosen the coat and get rid of dead hair more quickly.
The Presa doesn’t drool as much as some mastiff-typedogs, though some drooling is inevitable after he eats or drinks or during hot weather. Wipe his mouth after to prevent him from wiping drool on your clothing, walls, or furniture.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once every week or two. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. Begin grooming early so the Presa learns to accept handling willingly.

Exercise Tips

Options for exercise include playtime in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks.
Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

Feeding Tips

As a large-breed dog, the Perro de Presa Canario should be fed a dog food diet formulated for breeds of its size. If you plan to train your Perro de Presa Canario for some kind of job, you may want to feed him an active or working breed formula. Be sure to choose a dog food made with high-quality ingredients including animal proteins and digestible carbohydrates.
Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.
Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

The Perro de Presa Canario is a fairly healthy breed, though it is prone to a number of orthopedic problems due to its massive size. This breed has a high risk for hip and elbow dysplasia, plus it has been known to develop osteochondritis dissecans. Other health problems seen in the Perro de Presa Canario breed include eye problems, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and bloat (also known as gastric dilation-volvulus). Responsible breeding practices and DNA testing can reduce the risk for congenital conditions in this breed.


The Perro de Presa Canario is a smart and trainable breed, but it can sometimes be difficult to handle due to its massive size and independent will. These dogs are headstrong and powerful, so they require a firm and consistent hand in training.
Early socialization is incredibly important for this breed to keep its aggression and protective nature under control. Throughout its life, the Perro de Presa Canario requires obedience refresher courses and the owner must always maintain a position of dominance over the dog.


The Presa Canario is thought to date to the 15thand 16thcenturies, perhaps descended from mastiff-type dogs brought to the Canary Islands by Spanish conquistadores. There they guarded farms, helped wrangle cattle, and drove off or killed stray or wild dogs.
The dogs that likely figured in the development of the Presa Canario include the Iberian Presa, amastifftype, and various types ofbulldogs, known as Alanos. With British colonists came other types ofbulldogsandmastiffs, which also contributed to the Presa’s background. A sheepdog called the Bardino Majorero, notable for intelligence, guardian instincts, courage, and an impressive set of teeth, was the final addition to the mix.
With all that power behind them, Presas became popular in dog-fighting circles. The practice was prohibited in the 1940s, although it continued clandestinely for at least another 10 years. The breed’s numbers began to drop, not only because of the dog-fighting prohibition but also because of the introduction of other protective breeds such as theDoberman PinscherandGerman Shepherd Dog. They captured the interest of island dog owners, and the Presa was relegated to farm work.
In the 1970s, however, people took an interest in the breed and began to reconstruct it, seeking to create a dog that was massive, strong, confident, courageous, highly territorial, and calm. A dog who would never give up no matter what the odds were against him. A breed club was formed on the islands in 1982. The Presa has been a part of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service since 1996. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2003.