Perro De Presa Canario

Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
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The breed has feet like a cat, with rounded toes that are not too close together. His unique feet give him a distinctive, long, elastic stride.


Perro De Presa Canario Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

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Perro De Presa Canario Locations

Perro De Presa Canario Locations

Perro De Presa Canario Facts

Fun Fact
The breed has feet like a cat, with rounded toes that are not too close together. His unique feet give him a distinctive, long, elastic stride.
Calm, Aloof, and Strong-Willed

Perro De Presa Canario Physical Characteristics

  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Silver
Skin Type
9 – 11 years
143 lbs

Perro De Presa Canario as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$1500 to $2500
Dog group
Male weight
110-143 lbs
Female weight
80-121 lbs

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The Perro De Presa Canario’s cat-like feet give it a distinctive, graceful gait.

The Perro De Presa Canario is an ancient breed, dating back to the 15th century. Developed in the Canary Islands, the breed was used to protect and herd cattle. Unfortunately, his size and strength made him a popular choice for those involved in dog fighting. After many generations, with a history of attacking predators and fighting dogs in his bloodlines, today’s version can be a good companion for the right household but does not generally do well in homes with other pets and children.

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Unfortunately, the tremendous strength and bite force of the breed, along with some fatal attacks that have made the news, means the Presa is not welcome in some areas.


The Perro De Presa Canario is a rare breed, so many breeders choose to devote their efforts to purebred breeding. There are a few crosses that are available for those looking for something different. They include a cross between the Presa Canario and Bulldog, known as the English Presa Bulldog, the Presa Canario, and Great Dane, known as the Presa Dane, and the Presa and the Mastiff, known as the English Presa Mastiff.

History Of The Breed

The Perro De Presa Canario, also called the Presa Canario, originates from the Canary Islands of Spain and was once known as the Dogo Canario, also sometimes referred to now as the Canary Mastiff. This breed is said to have derived from the Bardino Majorero, another dog common to the Canary Islands and used as a cattle and guard dog. It is believed that the Presa Canario first originated during the 15th and 16th centuries.

3 Pros And Cons Of Owning A Perro De Presa Canario

A short coat with no undercoat means minimal grooming.Often dominant and strong-willed.
Excellent watchdog capabilities.Tremendous bite force and history of attacks make the breed unwelcome in many communities and may make finding homeowner’s insurance a challenge.
LoyalRequire an experienced, dedicated owner for training.
Perro De Presa Canarios in the city park.
Perro De Presa Canarios is dominant and strong-willed.

Size And Weight

The breed is a large, short-haired dog that can reach 26 inches at the shoulder and routinely tops 100 lbs. In fact, males may reach nearly 150 lbs at maturity. The dog is longer than he is tall and has a sturdy build.

Health and Entertainment for your Perro De Presa Canario

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Height (Male) 26″ Tall
Height (Female) 24″ Tall
Weight (Male) 143 lbs, fully grown
Weight (Female) 110 lbs, fully grown

Common Health Issues

Most large breeds are predisposed to the same health conditions, and the Perro De Presa Canario is no different. Hip dysplasia, patellar avulsions, patellar luxation, and osteochondrodysplasia can all affect the breed. In addition, they are also prone to dilated cardiomyopathy and other heart conditions, cancers, and mast-cell tumors. Less serious conditions they may develop include demodectic mange and skin cysts.


The breed is expected to be calm and attentive. Very confident, the breed is obedient to those he knows and suspicious of strangers. They have a tendency towards expressing dominance, making it important they have an experienced owner. If other pets are in the home, they should always be supervised.

How To Take Care Of A Perro De Presa Canario

Owning a Perro De Presa Canario is not a commitment to take lightly. Even the cost of providing quality food is significantly more than with many other breeds. Combined with the time and energy needed to keep the dog exercised and trained, it is easy to see that this isn’t the breed for everyone.

The Best Dog Food For Perro De Presa Canarios

Feeding a high-quality, commercially prepared diet ensures that your Perro De Presa Canario has the nutrients needed to develop into a strong, healthy dog. Feed young dogs 3 times a day.

As adults, twice-a-day meals ensure your dog doesn’t need huge portions at each meal and he is more likely to take his time eating. Like other large breeds, using an elevated feeder makes eating easier and reduces the risk of gastric torsion.

Since Perro De Presa Canario have an elevated risk of dilated cardiomyopathy, it might benefit your dog to eat dog food free from legumes. There is a link between legumes in dog food and heart failure.

Our suggestion at A-Z Animals for the Perro de Presa Canario is Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food.

That’s because, with real chicken and salmon for high-quality protein, this dog food has all the glucosamine and chondroitin a Perro De Presa Canarios needs for mobile joints, and none of the ingredients your dog absolutely doesn’t need. Your Perro De Presa Canarios can do great without all the corn, wheat, soy, peas, lentils, and artificial additives found in many dog foods. Instead, this food offers dogs balanced nutrition with vital amino acids, vitamins, and more for energy and longevity.

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Overall Best
Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Lamb and brown rice recipe for large dog breeds
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints
  • Antioxidants for immune health
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Maintenance And Grooming

While the size and temperament of the Presa raise the price on nearly everything involved in dog ownership, the short coat makes grooming a breeze. Brushing with a bristle brush a few times a week and wiping with a damp cloth to remove loose hair and surface dirt is all you need to keep your dog looking good. He only needs the occasional bath.

It is important to clean his ears regularly and trim his fast-growing nails frequently. Both of these tasks are easiest if you introduce the process to your dog when he is young.


Perro De Presa Canarios running in the garden.

Perro De Presa Canarios are stubborn, with plenty of energy, and do best with multiple walks.

This breed is intelligent but lacks the eagerness to please which makes many breeds easy to train. Instead, expect a dog that can be stubborn, strong-willed, and test boundaries. Patience and experience are needed for successful training. It is also important to socialize the dog from a young age. The breed is suspicious of strangers by nature, and lack of socialization will only encourage this trait.


Despite his ponderous size, the Perro De Presa Canario has plenty of energy. Bred to be a working dog, he does best with multiple daily walks along with outdoor play.


The Perro De Presa Canario typically has between 7 and 9 puppies in each litter. Because of the Presa’s rapid growth and eventual size, it is important to offer high-quality puppy food from an early age.

Take advantage of the Presa’s natural curiosity as a pup for intensive socialization. Don’t take the pup in public until you get the okay from your veterinarian. Most vets prefer that you wait until your pup has at least one round of vaccinations before taking them out. Once it is safe to do so, spend time walking and playing with your pup in parks and other areas where he can observe other people and pets. Enrolling him in a puppy obedience class is another great way to work on socialization.

Perro De Presa Canarios puppy sitting outdoors on green grass.
Perro De Presa Canarios puppies have a natural curiosity and should be socialized early.

Perro De Presa Canario And Children

This breed is large, stubborn, and aloof. Combined with a bite force of 540 PSI, it is easy to see why they are not a good choice for most families. Attacks from a dog of this size and strength are devastating. In fact, the Perro De Presa Canario is a challenging breed and should be eliminated as the breed of choice for many people. Only an experienced dog owner with time to dedicate to training should consider one.

Dogs Similar To The Perro De Presa Canario

If you are interested in large guardian breeds, there are several to choose from.

  • Cane Corso – Often mistaken for the Presa. Lower prey drive and more affectionate temperament than the Presa, although still a guardian that requires experienced handling.
  • English Mastiff – A good choice for those looking for a large guardian who is also loving and fits in well with the family.
  • Fila Brasileiro – Also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, this large guardian breed has superior tracking skills, making him prone to following his nose.

Perro De Presa Canario Vs Cane Corso

The Perro De Presa Canario and Cane Corso have many similarities, but there are some key differences between the two breeds. The first is height. The Cane Corso is slightly taller, reaching up to 27″ at the shoulder, however, it is not as stocky, and weighs less than the Perro De Presa Canario.

The Presa has a black mask, regardless of his body color. While both have short coats, the Cane Corso’s feels rougher, because it is denser. While both breeds make excellent watchdogs, the Cane Corso is friendlier with both his family and strangers than the Presa.

The Cane Corso has a lower prey drive and tends to get along better with other pets and children than the Presa.

The breed’s large size makes it the target for distinctive names. Common names for males include

  • Titan
  • Hulk
  • Zeus

Common female names include

  • Athena
  • Onyx
  • Willow

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About the Author

Melissa Bauernfeind was born in NYC and got her degree in Journalism from Boston University. She lived in San Diego for 10 years and is now back in NYC. She loves adventure and traveling the world with her husband but always misses her favorite little man, "P", half Chihuahua/half Jack Russell, all trouble. She got dive-certified so she could dive with the Great White Sharks someday and is hoping to swim with the Orcas as well.

Perro De Presa Canario FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does the Perro De Presa Canario cost to own?

Puppies can be purchased for $1500 to $2500. Ongoing costs can be high, due to the breed’s size. Expect a higher price for everything from food to beds.

Is the Perro De Presa Canario good with kids?

No, the breed is generally not considered kid-friendly. If he is brought into a home with children, it is better done while he is young. Children should always be supervised around the breed.

How long does the Perro De Presa Canario live?

9 to 11 years

Where did the Perro De Presa Canario originate?

The Canary Islands. The bloodlines of the Presa include mastiffs, the Bardino Majorero, and the Presa Espanol. The breed was nearly extinct in the 1960s. In the 1980s, a breed society formed to establish a breed standard and begin to record bloodlines.

How much do Perro De Presa Canarios cost?

$1500 to $2500. You may find a more affordable price through adoption.

How big do Perro De Presa Canarios get?

Up to 26″ at the shoulder and nearly 150 pounds

At what age is the Perro De Presa Canario fully grown?


What is the difference between a Cane Corso and a Presa Canario?

The Presa Canario and the Cane Corso are often mistaken for each other, as they occasionally share a similar fawn coloration and overall appearance. Both are classified as large breed dogs and have a short coat of fur with little shedding.

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  1. American Kennel Club / Accessed October 4, 2021
  2. Wag! / Accessed October 4, 2021
  3. PCCA Club / Accessed October 4, 2021
  4. So Cal Presa / Accessed October 4, 2021