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Perro de Presa Canario

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Perro de Presa Canario
Alternative names
Canary Dog
Presa Canario
Country of origin
Canary Islands
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 2 Section 2 #?  
AKC: Working (FSS)  
UKC: Guardian Dogs  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct
FCI recognition is still pending.

The Perro de Presa Canario is a large breed of dog. These dogs were originally bred to hold and guard. They are a separate breed from the Dogo Canario.


Presa Canarios have thick skin and short fur that comes in fawn, brindle (various shades), and black; white is allowed up to 20 percent. No shades of blue are allowed in competition. Males average around 125 pounds and females roughly 105 pounds.

Many breeders are trying to change the functionality of this breed by breeding males above 140 pounds, which causes health, endurance, and other issues.


The breed is originally from the Canary Islands in the 1800s. Its exact ancestry is unknown, but enthusiasts believe that an already established farm dog from the Canary Islands by the name of Majero bardino majorero was crossed with the Mastiffs and Old-Style Bulldogs that were brought from Europe to the Islands, creating the modern Presa Canario. Like many fighting dogs, the breed became nearly extinct after dog fighting was outlawed in the 1940s, but it was revived in the 1970s.


Hip dysplasia is known to occur in this breed.


As with any breed, those interested in purchasing a Presa Canario should carefully research breeders and a dog's ancestry to ensure that the breeding lines are healthy. Some enthusiasts hold that, if the dog's pedigree cannot be traced back to the Canary Islands, it is not a true Presa Canario but rather a Bandog.

As Presa Canarios are often bred for fighting or as attack dogs, this breed has a reputation of fierce loyalty to its owners and vicious aggression to any other person or animal perceived as a threat. Owners should be vigilant about purchasing from reputable dealers and ensuring the dog receives obedience training.

The breed received considerably press noterity after Diane Whipple was mauled to death in 2001 by a neighbor's two Presa Canario in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building. The dogs' caretakers were convicted of manslaughter.

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