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Dogo Canario

Dogo Canario

The Dogo Canario is a large Molosser-type dog breed originally bred for working livestock. The breed is also called Presa Canario or Perro de Presa Canario. The name of the breed is Spanish, means "Canarian blood hound," and is often shortened to "Presa Canario" or simply "Presa."




Description

First introduced to the world outside of Spain's Canary Islands by the American Anthropologist Dr. Carl Semencic in an article for Dogworld Magazine and in his books on the subject of rare breeds of dogs, the Presa Canario or "Canary Dog" is a large sized dog with a thick and muscular body. The head is broad, massive, square, and powerful. Proper head and good expression are part of the breed standard, and are manifest in the best breed specimens. The ears are normally cropped, both to create a more formidable expression and to prevent damage while working with cattle. If cropped the ears stand erect. In countries where ear cropping is banned the ears are close fitting to the head, they hang down and should be pendant or "rose" shaped. The lips are thick and hang in an inverted V where they join; the flews may be slightly loose. The interior lips are dark.

Males average between 23 to 26 inches (58 to 66 cm) at the withers with a minimum weight of 100 pounds (45 kg) and a maximum weight of 160 pounds (73 kg). Females average between 22 to 25 inches (56 to 63 cm) at the withers with a minimum weight of 85 pounds (39 kg) and a maximum weight of 150 pounds (68 kg). Very high weights could lead to a number of health problems. Too much weight is also known to compromise the dog's athleticism and working ability.

The breed is also characterized by a sloping topline (with the rear being slightly higher than the shoulders). Another characteristic of the breed is the shape of the paws (cat foot) and the catlike movement of the animal. The body is mesomorphic, that is, slightly longer than the dog is tall, contributing to the feline movement. The Presa should be powerful, balanced, and imposing in appearance. It is heavily built, but able to move with great athleticism.

The coat is short with no undercoating and slightly coarse to the touch. The coat comes in all shades of fawn and brindle. The acceptance of the black coat is a point of contention among fanciers as it is allowed by the AKC-FSS, UKC and UPPCC standards, but not by the FCI or FIC standards. White is allowed up to 20 percent and is most commonly found on the chest and feet, and occasionally on a blaze on the muzzle. The breed standard requires black pigmentation and dogs should have a black mask that does not extend above the eyes. The breed is known for its minimal shedding.


Temperament

Presas are of strong character and are dominant animals requiring early socialization and obedience training. In some situations, the Presa can be aggressive toward other dogs and suspicious of strangers. Once the dog has been properly socialized and trained this becomes the exception rather than the rule. Many Presas share their homes with children, other dogs, cats, horses and other farm animals.

Presas are an intelligent breed. Very responsive to an owner whom is familiar with large breed, mastiff or mollosor dogs. Due to the natural stregnth and power of the breed, positive reinforcement is best when training Presa Canarios. During the first two years, the dog should be exercised/walked daily as it is trained to ensure proper bonding with its family and to develop excellent temperament. After two years, it is common that Presas who are not actively working or game dogs, can be very calm, lazy loveable beasts in the family home.


Health

As a large breed, the Presa Canario can be susceptible to hip dysplasia. Other reported health problems include patellar luxation and patellar evulsions, skin cysts, epilepsy, osteochondrodysplasias, demodectic mange and cryptorchidism. A health issue unique to Spain is canine visceral leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is a blood parasite that has a long incubation period (of several years) and most often leads to death.


Lifespan

The average lifespan for the Presa Canario is 8–12 years.