History of the Perro de Presa Canario

Dog breeds often have interesting histories. Learning about the history of your dog breed is important because the history of a dog breed will often affect the dog’s behavior and help owners better understand why their dog behaves the way it does and why it has certain characteristics. In this quick guide, we will look at the Presa Canario breed history

Presa Canario

The Presa Canario breed has its origins in the Canary Islands. This dog has been in existence since the 15th and 16th centuries. They feature an intimidating appearance and acute awareness of their surroundings. In the past, they were often used as guard dogs because of these characteristics. Traditionally, they were used to guard and guide cattle. They were useful for keeping wild dogs away from the livestock.


The Presa Canario was bred as a cattle dog called the Iberian Presa. This dog was of average size. But there were also Mastiff breeds as well. These larger dogs were famous for their intuitive natures. Today, this breed of dog is also known for its guarding and intuitive nature.


The bloodline of the Presa Canario is not necessarily pure, as it is molded from other Hispanic breeds. Dog breeders would often breed the Presa Canario with other types of dogs with similar characteristics of bravery and intuition. Over time, the breed evolved into a unique type of dog with acute sensibilities for protection and loyalty.

Presa Canario Misuse

They are famous for their ability to intimidate intruders. Unfortunately, some of these characteristics have attracted people to use this breed in dog fighting. Dog fighting abuse almost led to the extinction of these amazing dogs. Over the years, careful, responsible breeding has reestablished the breed.

Because of their intimidating qualities, these dogs were often used in other countries to hunt and kill wild dogs that bothered communities.

Presa Canario Today

Owners of this breed of dog often boast that the dogs require little training, but instinctively take on protective roles. These dogs are still used as reliable guard dogs and, in some cases, are also used on cattle farms.

Because of the long history of misuse and abuse of this breed, today, it is not recommended to keep this particular breed around children. The characteristics and behaviors of dogs are not easily trained out due to decades or centuries of specific use. If Presa Canario puppies are purchased, they will need careful training.