Is Presa Canario good as a first dog?

Are Presa Canarios good as a dog for first-time owners? They can be but under certain conditions.

Presa Canarios aren’t usually advised for first-time owners, as they’re a big powerful breed skilled in guarding and protection. Because of this, they require owners who know how to handle and train them properly. Does it mean that if one had a dog before they’re good to own a Presa? 

There is no short answer to this as many factors play a role. And experienced dog owners of very different dogs might use routine methods from those other breeds that will fail when raising a Presa. And first-time owners will be so aware of the responsibility of owning a Presa that they will prepare themselves well and seek the help of professionals with training and advice when they’re not sure if they’re doing a good job. 

I was a first-time owner with a Presa once, and it did bring challenges but at the same time I wasn’t any special and we made it out with pretty good results. I did know what I’m getting myself into but I still made mistakes. And in the process, I also learned (looking from perspective) it’s not always easy to find professionals who understand the breed. But I had an amazing dog who is still remembered many years after he died, not only by breed enthusiasts but also friends and family members (to many by his home name “Kingo” and to those in the breed also as Ch King Size de Presa Awangarda). 

How to survive being a first-time Presa Canario owner:

1. Know the breed some before you get one, read about them and truthfully answer a question why do you want a Presa? Most people getting a Presa want a good family companion and a dog who can go with them places, be company on hikes or during other activities but at the same time still have predispositions to protect them if needed. It’s usually a breed of choice for people who want their family to feel safe in these uncertain times and a dog that with just looks is enough of a deterrent if needed. Many breeds have changed and lost a lot of their natural guarding and protection instincts making Canario stand out with still a lot of rusticity in them and good character and balanced temperament making them good, calm dogs in the household not as demanding as very narrowly specified protection breeds like for example Malinois. 

2. Pick a good breeder. It’s essential. Presa Canarios aren’t a uniform breed and there is variation not only in looks but in characters and temperaments as well. 



Ewa Ziemska

Breeder and researcher of Presa Canario. Lived in Poland, London UK and presently stays in Kentucky, USA and traveled through whole Europe and 22 States discovering the breed. Speaks Polish, English and Spanish. Master of Science of Management and Computer Modeling and Engineer of Production Engineering of Kielce University of Technology. Avid traveler, photographer and dog book collector. Instagram @reygladiador