Before talking about a goal we need to understand what good Presa Canario is. We need to understand not only breed standard, but also history and function of the breed and how it shaped the dog we see today.

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 breed 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 XIX century people decided to put those characteristics in writing and first breed standards were formed. Function was present but looks that followed started to go into first plan and after this dog shows were formed and quickly gained popularity. This approach slowly changed the dogs, witch indead started to look more uniform but with time majority of the breeds fall into the trap of chasing trends and exaggerations slowly created 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 the modern way in the 1970’s. 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 standard done in later years at least a few times. We believe in keeping this dog as 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 this modified standards and is forcing comeback to the original form from 1989 along with canceling name “Dogo Canario” and coming back to Presa Canario. 

From breeds standard: 

PRESA CANARIO is a multipurpose breed originally breed for guard and protection as well as conduct of cattle. Functional, serious, very intelligent while loving and dedicated towards his family.

I always say when choosing one particular function we can find a better predispositioned breed to do it – but we will not find another one that can fulfil many different functions at high level like Presa Canario do. A dog that can be shaped by his owner towards his needs and capable to adjust into 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. 

Ewa Ziemska
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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