What to Know About the Presa Canario Breed

The presa canario breed might not be a familiar one to most Americans, but those who have their own know that they’re a loyal, friendly breed who can act as powerful guard dogs and pleasant companions. You may have heard them referred to as Canary mastiffs, a nod to their original home in the Canary Islands.

Could a presa canario be right for you? Here’s an overview of the most helpful presa canario information to help you determine whether you can give one a good home:

  • Breed origin: Although no one knows where and when the breed came into existence, exactly, it is suspected that presa canarios are a mix of Spanish bulldogs and perro majorero, two Spanish working dog breeds.
  • Height, weight and lifespan: Typically, presa canarios range from 22 to 26 inches and weigh 80 to 130 pounds (males are larger than females). While nine to 11 years is the typical average lifespan for the breed, although Cabeza Grande Kennel’s presas average 12 to 14 years.
  • Diet: Your presa needs to consume between 2,500 and 3,000 calories per day—big dogs have big dietary requirements. They should be fed raw food or high-quality dry kibble formulated for large dogs.
  • Temperament: This breed is stubborn, thus requiring firm training. However, if you figure out what motivates your presa and use their natural drive to your advantage, the breed can be extremely workable. Presa puppies are particularly energetic and busy, and the breed in general does best in an active home. If they’re well-trained and socialized from an early age, they can be excellent companions to a family. They’re relatively calm, but wary of strangers—which is why they make such excellent guard dogs, along with their low bark and impressive size. Presa owners love their loyal, protective nature, which can be quite affectionate, depending on the dog.
  • Best type of owner: Since presa canarios are quite smart and were bred to be guard dogs, an owner who is experienced and firm with dog training and who has plenty of time to dedicate to working with their presa are the best fit for this breed.
  • Best type of home environment: Presa canarios fit in well with families, and while it’s generally easiest for them to be the only animal in the home, with sufficient focus and management, they can be integrated with other pets. (Same sex and similar breeds are not recommended.) If your family has small children, it’s important that your presa is well-trained to be used to children, and that the kids understand how to treat the dog properly.
  • Shedding and grooming: Presas tend to shed very little thanks to their lack of an undercoat, and their grooming needs are fairly low maintenance. You should brush your presa once per week. They’re a bit resistant to having their teeth brushed, so expect to rely on dental treats and chews to keep up on their oral hygiene.
  • Exercise: Presas love to get their exercise! Plan on a few hours a day at a minimum, plus brain training games

Your source for presa canario information

Cabeza Grande Kennel has been breeding the “total” presa canario since 1998. Our dogs are specifically bred for working ability, temperament and health in conformity with the true Spanish presa canario type. Our goal is to breed great examples of the presa canario and match them with equally great owners. For more presa canario information, or if you’re interested in adopting your own, call Cabeza Grande Kennel today to learn more.

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