Before talking about a goal we need to understand what a good Presa Canario is. We need to understand not only breed standards, but also the history and function of the breed and how it shaped the dog we see today.
Pedigree: What your dog is supposed to be.
Conformation: What your dog appears to be.
Performance and temperament: What your dog is.
„A dog breed is a group of animals that through generations of selective breeding has become uniform in performance, appearance, and selection history”
FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
In the past dogs were bred to do a certain job, selection towards specific traits shaped dogs of different sizes, forms, and characters with time. This is how breeds started to form. Their function started to determine how they look. In the XIX century, people decided to put those characteristics in writing and first breed standards were formed. The function was present but looks that followed started to go into the first plan and after this dog shows were formed and quickly gained popularity. This approach slowly changed the dogs, which indeed started to look more uniform but with time majority of the breeds fall into the trap of chasing trends and exaggerations slowly creating completely different dogs than their original forms (just think of Bullteriers, Great Danes, Mastinos Napoletanos – among many others).
Presa Canario started to become a breed in a modern way in the 1970s. In 1989 first breed standard was officially accepted.
Here in REY GLADIADOR, we believe in keeping the ORIGINAL PERRO DE PRESA CANARIO as it was in the past. We didn’t accept changes in breed standards done in later years at least a few times. We believe in keeping this dog as the honorable heritage of people from Canary Islands and a living relict from the past. After almost 20 years of changed standards now Government of Gran Canaria also forced changes in these modified standards and is forcing come back to the original form from 1989 along with canceling the name “Dogo Canario” and coming back to Presa Canario.
From breeds standard:
PRESA CANARIO is a multipurpose breed originally bred for guard and protection as well as the conduct of cattle. Functional, serious, and very intelligent while loving and dedicated towards his family.
I always say when choosing one particular function we can find a better-predisposition breed to do it – but we will not find another one that can fulfill many different functions at a high level as Presa Canario do. A dog that can be shaped by his owner toward his needs and capable to adjust into the situation.
Presa Canario is best described by first breed standard from 1989:
APPEARANCE: Dog of medium size, of harmonic build and rectilinear profile. Of rustic appearance and well proportioned. It’s mesomorphic with body longer than its height in the withers. Females are usually longer than males. Massive head of cuboid shape and of wide skull. Upper lips cover the lower ones. Mucous membranes are black. Teeth are strong, of wide implantation and well fitted. Eyes are brown and of medium size. Ears set high. Cylindrical neck, strongly muscled and covered with thick, loose and elastic skin. Visible but not excessive dewlap. High insertion of tail. Chest wide and of great volume. Belly slightly tucked. Anterior (front) legs perfectly vertical, of wide and strong bones, with marked angulations allowing good amortization and long trot. Cat feet. Posterior (back) legs powerful and muscular of medium angulations and vertical towards each other, with cat feet slightly larger than the anterior. Skin elastic and thick. Hair short without undercoat presenting certain roughness. Color brindle, fawn and black. Mask usually black.
CHARACTER: Its appearance shows extraordinary power. Sever gaze. Especially suited for function of guard and defense and to conduct cattle. Strong temperament. Skillful fighter what shows as an atavism. Bark serious and deep. Noble and gentle for his family, distrustful towards strangers. In the past frequently used as dog of combat.