Rottweiler vs. Presa Canario: 8 Key Differences

Written by Kristin Hitchcock

Updated: November 1, 2023

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Both the Rottweiler and the Presa Canario are strong, muscular dogs that may seem quite similar at first. However, when you look at the differences between a Rottweiler vs. Presa Canario, it becomes clear that they are not the same breed in the least.

There are many significant differences that you need to look at when considering one of these dogs. We’ll look at some of the most significant differences below.

1. Origin

A dog’s origin plays a huge role in its temperament and health. After all, how the dog was bred plays a huge role in how the dog looks and acts.

Rottweilers originally originated from Germany. They were bred primarily to herd cattle, but they also had significant guarding instincts to protect that flock too. Later, they were used to guard other things, as well, including homes and people. Today that is the primary purpose they are used for

On the other hand, the Presa Canario originates from the Canary Islands, which has a much different climate than Germany. However, these dogs were used for a similar purpose, including guarding livestock. They weren’t often used as herding dogs, though.

2. Size

Stunning proud Adult pedigree male Rottweiler sitting and laying grass posing for a photograph, taken at eye level with studio lights on the lawn looking inquisitive, ready to protect

Like many herding breeds, Rottweilers were also bred to guard their charges.

Rottweilers are typically larger than Presa Canarios. Males may weigh up to 135 pounds, while females only weigh up to 100 pounds. Similarly, the Presa Canarios may weigh up to 130 pounds if they are a male, while females only reach 110.

However, Rottweilers do have a larger size difference. Males may weigh as little as 95 pounds, while Presa Canarios males can only weigh as little as 110.

Therefore, Rottweilers can weigh more than the Presa Canarios, but they can also weigh less.

3. Appearance

Rottweilers often have pretty distinctive black coats with tan markings on their face, chest, legs, and paws. They’re pretty strong, muscular dogs that tend to look stocky. Because they were raised to guard livestock and property, this isn’t surprising. These dogs look imposing, which is half of the point.

Presa Canarios have coarse coats that come in fawn, brindle, and black. They don’t have the same tan marking as Rottweilers, and they come in a larger variety of colors. These dogs are also muscular and stocky, though. They do tend to be a bit more compact than Rottweilers, though. They aren’t quite as imposing, though they can be pretty large.

4. Temperament

Rottweilers are often described as loyal and confident. They have very strong guarding instincts, which means that they can make good guard dogs. However, they must be socialized and properly trained to prevent unbridled guarding instincts from causing behavioral problems. In some cases, they can be aggressive when not raised and socialized well.

The Presa Canarios are known as being reserved and aloof. They will bond closely with their owners, but they aren’t known for being friendly with strangers. They also require early socialization and training to prevent potential behavioral issues.

For both of these dogs, socialization is vital for their overall health and behavior. You should plan on signing them up for puppy classes and regularly taking them out into public to socialize.

5. Exercise

A brindle and white Perro De Presa Canarios dog with cropped ears sitting outdoors by a rustic wooden fence.

Presa Canarios are often larger and need less exercise than Rottweilers.

Both of these dogs need regular exercise. They are working dogs, after all, which means that they were bred to do stuff all day. Without anything to do, they can quickly become bored and destructive. If you plan on having either of these dogs as a companion, you should plan on taking them out for exercise at least twice a day.

That said, Rottweilers tend to be slightly more energetic than Presa Canarios. However, there is a lot of individual differences here, so it is important to understand that both breeds will need significant amounts of exercise.

6. Training

Because both breeds are intelligent, they are pretty easy to train. Both have protective instincts, which means they require a great deal of training to properly direct those instincts. You must teach these dogs what counts as a threat and what doesn’t.

That said, Rottweilers tend to be more eager to train and easier to control. They have been bred to work closely with people, and this sort of breeding has led to a more obedient dog. Presa Canarios may be a bit more challenging to train, as they were bred primarily to stay with their flocks and guard them naturally.

7. Guarding Instincts

Both Rottweilers and Presa Canarios were bred to guard livestock. However, this behavior is more pronounced in the Presa Canario. These dogs were only bred for this purpose, and they haven’t gone through much modern selective breeding to make this behavior more controllable.

On the other hand, the Rottweiler is a pretty popular breed today and is often kept as companion animals. Furthermore, they were also utilized as herding dogs, which has led to their guarding instincts being a bit less pronounced.

8. Health

Both of these dogs are pretty healthy. They are purpose-bred dogs, and sick dogs cannot help much with the livestock. Therefore, for much of their history, health was extremely important. For the Presa Canario, this is still true.

However, Rottweilers are often bred for show and companion purposes – not work. Therefore, they are often more likely to experience health problems as breeders prioritize appearance over function. It’s very important to purchase your Rottweiler puppy from a qualified breeder that provides health guarantees. There are many puppy mills and backyard breeders out there trying to make money off of Rottweiler puppies.

Is Rottweiler a Good Family Dog?

Ferocious Rottweiler Barking

Despite the Rott’s reputation for aggression, Rottweilers can be loyal and affectionate animals.

Rottweilers are known for their loyalty and affection, making them a favored choice for families. While this breed is fiercely protective, it doesn’t make it a bad dog. It’s truly about the training and treatment of the individual animal.

These gentle giants generally get along well with children, but their playful nature might sometimes lead to over-exuberance, especially with younger or smaller kids whom they might accidentally overpower.

With their natural protective instincts and intelligence, Rottweilers can integrate into family life, provided they receive proper training and mental stimulation.

These large and powerful dogs thrive in environments where their breed-specific characteristics are understood, emphasizing the importance of early socialization and consistent, reward-based training to ensure that they remain on their best behavior.

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

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