≡ Menu

Perro de Presa Canario Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Canary Islands are a set of Spanish Islands off the coast of Africa, just to the west of Morocco and Western Sahara. It’s here that the Perro de Presa Canario dog originates. Now the name may be hard to remember if you’re not a Spanish speaker, but the dog will probably look familiar.

You see…

Some people call it a Canary Mastiff for the sake of ease which should give you some idea of what this guy is going to look like.  It should also give you a clue as to whether or not you’ll want to own one of these guys because at the end of the day let’s face it, owning a really large dog isn’t for everyone!

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own one of these awesome animals so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to make one of them your own, you’ll know for sure if it’s going to be a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right it!

Perro de Presa Canario Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Spain (Canary Islands)

Original Purpose: Catch and Drive Cattle

Height: 20 to 26 inches at shoulder

Weight: 80 to 115 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Not “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) currently only holds Foundation Stock Service acknowledgment

Lifespan: 10 to 14 years

Origin of the Perro de Presa Canario Dog Breed

This island-born dog is a powerful dog with a strong body used to do important work around the farm. He first came into existence as early as the 15th century.


It’s most likely a breed that came from breeding various Mastiffs and Bulldogs such as Alanos that came when the British colonized the islands. They were probably also bred with the Bardino Majorero, which is why sometimes you here this dog referred to as a Perro de Ganado Majorero.

Early on…

In the early 1900s, the dogs were used in dog fighting until it became illegal in the 1940s. Though as it is with most prohibitions, the practice still occurred underground for some time. The dog became less popular, and almost went into extinction due to the fights as well as the rise in popularity of other big dogs such as the German Shepherd, Great Dane and Doberman Pinscher.


They did rise in popularity and in 1982 a club for Perro de Presa Canario dogs was formed on the Canary Islands. Then in 1996, the dog joined the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service (a step in the direction of joining the AKC officially).

This dog may also go by the names:

  • Godo Canario,
  • Canary Mastiff,
  • Dogo Canario,
  • Canary Dog,
  • and Presa.

Physical Characteristics of the Perro de Presa Canario

This is a large dog. Weighing in at 80-110 pounds, it’s easily bigger than most children under 12 and some petite adults. This dog is well-built and powerful. With a broad body and chest, this dog makes his presence felt. He can be black and tan (or other brindles), tan, or some shades of grey. You may also see a few white markings on this dog.

Personality of the Perro de Presa Canario

This dog is alert and though gentle, can really be an alpha dog. These characteristics make him a great guard dog.


You will want to train Presa Canario puppies from early on. Like with most dogs, if you don’t train them when they are a puppy, they may have obedience issues.


They will likely be hesitant around strangers, demanding to win their trust before feeling totally comfortable. The breed standard notes these dogs as a bit aggressive around other animals, particularly dogs. It’s part of their territorial nature and “macho” nature – after all, they were bred for dog fights, so it’s probably still in their blood. Because of this stuff, it’s probably a dog for experienced dog owners rather than a first-time dog parent.

Health of a Perro de Presa Canario

Like any dog, a Perro de Presa Canario runs the risk of developing a genetic health problem or just getting a disease from an unknown factor. By getting your dog from any known Presa Canario breeders, you can minimize the risk factor, but you won’t be able to completely wipe out the chances of something problematic.

Some of the common health problems you might see include:

  • Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid under performs. If a dog has this, he may have to be on medication for the rest of his/her life.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a problem of the hip that can impact the way he or she walks. For a female dog, it could mean she will not be able to give birth. Surgery could be an option.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This means the way the elbow bends could be problematic. Again, it will impact the dog’s walking and running. Surgery could be an option.
  • Cryptorchidism: This is a testicular problem which could impact reproduction. It is not life threatening and may not need any medical attention.

In addition to any of these genetic issues, a dog can also encounter any other number of health issues. When you purchase a puppy of any kind, you need to ask yourself: What will I do if my dog needs medical attention?

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • David J O. May 6, 2021, 6:07 am

    Thanks for the research, describes My Dog to a T.He is the most Loyal and Smartest Dog I ever owned! At 87 lbs and an Alpha, he is so strong that I have worked with him endlessly and got so many good Results. He plays soccer, frisbee, catch, watches tv, and is Very Territorial, Great WatchDog! Playing with Grandchildren Endlessly and wears them down with his Energy! He follows me everywhere and threw Covid he kept me busy! For anyone that would want a dog like this, you would need the Time to Train, Strength, Activities, and the Calmness to Discipline which they Respond To! If You’re a Screamer,older this breed is Not for You !

Leave a Comment