Before the Presa Canario Entered the United Kennel Club

If you’re just learning about purebred dogs and the organizations that breeders and owners join, you may not know about the United Kennel Club—and why it’s so important that the presa canario is a recognized breed with it. This breed, which originated in the Canary Islands and is known for being a loyal, protective guard dog, has not always been recognized in kennel clubs.

What is the UKC?

The UKC was founded in 1898 to register performance breeds in order to develop and maintain the best qualities, including appearance, temperament, health and intelligence, in those specific breeds. To join and register a dog with the United Kennel Club, an owner must submit proof of their registration with another approved kennel club, three generations of parentage and a registration fee. This registration allows your dog to be regarded as one of the best examples of a purebred breed, and makes it easier for other purebred owners and breeders to find each other or verify lineage.

Over the years, there have been controversies in the dog breeding world regarding whether UKC recognition is a good thing—some people feel that it makes it easier for unethical breeders and puppy mills to raise unhealthy dogs. However, defenders of the UKC make it clear that the organization is against such practices, and that the confirmation of their breed standards does not harm either the dogs or the owners.

In fact, they argue it’s a good thing—having strict breed standards allows potential owners to narrow down dogs who were bred for the best health, temperament and intelligence while also ensuring they have a great example of this breed.

History of the presa canario

The presa canario originated in the Spanish Canary Islands, and is sometimes referred to as the Canary mastiff. It’s thought to date back to the 16th century, and may be a cross between the Spanish bulldog and the perro majorero—although no one knows where the breed originated from for sure. It is also unknown as to whether they came to the Canary Islands with the Spanish or were a natural result of the existing dog population.

Presa canarios were often used as guard dogs, thanks to their confident temperament and wariness around strangers, as well as for cornering, catching and holding livestock. In the 18th century, the English caught on to these characteristics and began breeding presa canarios for fighting purposes.

Today, the presa canario is a valuable purebred, and especially suited as a guard dog. Experienced dog owners are the best suited to train and handle this breed, which can be stubborn, but also loyal, affectionate and protective.

If you’re interested in owning your own presa canario, Cabeza Grande Kennel is dedicated to breeding the best possible examples of this smart, calm and protective breed. Our dogs are stringently tested for health and temperament, as well as conformity to the UKC’s high standards for the breed. We make the effort to breed all of our dogs for excellence, so you can be assured a perfect companion. Call us today to learn more.

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