The Canary Mastiff, also known as Dogo Canario or Perro de Presa Canario, is a large Molosser-type dog breed that originated in the Canary Islands of Spain. Its lineage traces back to dogs brought to the islands by Spanish conquistadors and settlers in the 15th and 16th centuries, which interbred with local breeds. Historically, they were used for herding cattle and for protection against wild dogs and predators. The Perro de Presa Canario had a bit of a revival in the late 20th century after a decline, with breeders in the 1970s and 1980s taking great care to restore the breed's numbers and maintain its distinctive traits. By 2001, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed.
Canary Mastiffs (aka Dogocanarios) may suffer from cryptorchidism, demodectic mange, epilepsy, multifocal retinopathy (CMR1), osteochondrodysplasia, and patellar luxation, but are generally considered a healthy breed.
The Canary Mastiff is known for its confident and vigilant nature. These dogs are known to be quite protective and territorial, making them excellent guard dogs. They are generally reserved with strangers but are affectionate and loyal to their families. They are not inherently aggressive, but their size, strength, and protective instincts require that they be well-socialized and trained from an early age to prevent problematic behavior. These dogs are known to do better in one pet households. They also require plenty of mental and physical stimulation due to their working dog heritage.
The Presa Canario is an official mascot of Gran Canaria of the Canary Islands.
They love the water and are very strong swimmers.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), several theories about the genetics behind the creation of the Presa Canario exist. However, many agree that the Iberian Presa (Perro de Ganado Majorero) cattle dog was part of the foundation stock for the breed.