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The Presa Canario of today (1990s)

As a consequence of the labor of diffusion and promotion of the Presa Canario carried out especially by the breeding club during the preceding decade, the interest in this dog has again penetrated the old fans that knew it and bred it. It has inspired new generations who contemplate enthusiastically the Perro de Presa of the islands. Today it astonishes the people who see how the breed progresses and goes beyond the limits in which once was.

That is to say the farm or herd dog, or a fighting dog. It was a gladiator above all, showing its magnificent aptitudes as a guard, faithful and incorruptible.

The Presa Canario is found at this moment to be diffused more and more into all social classes. We find it in the country and in the city, in the parks and in the suburbs, in the stone streets and in the most remote neighborhoods. One works unceasingly with the goal of all fans seeing it as it never was before–as a breed, fulfilling the standard, searching for the homogenization and the constant fixing of its genetic characteristics.

The jump since fifteen years ago to here has been gigantic since the population has increased one hundredfold in quantity and quality year by year. From one ethnic group, very functional but heterogeneous, it has changed into the presence of a phenotype that repeats itself hereditary each time with more frequency.

That is not to say there are no failures, or at times depression, these are inherent with the labor, but the job of establishing a breed is full of innumerable handicaps and one must make them right. To this one must add the disorientation that they infuse and the bad influence on breeding of isolated important persons, between pathetic and solitary, of warm and negative thought who try to spread their own failure and depression to the fans, adopting high attitudes and many times hard criticism toward all that is not their personal labor. One must expect these people, and rejecting them must continue with the breeding and selection of the Presa Canario because here is the future of the breed.

To the labor of stability and incessant search one must unite the work of improving in the mouths the general structure, in the hind quarters and in the disposition. One must look for well set maxillaries, good bones, healthy buttocks of powerful stride and frank character, banishing all timidity and in spite of many failures that this brings with itself, the breeding continues, encouraged by the optimistic attitude of the Spanish Club of the Presa Canario, for which discouragement does not exist.

We repeat that the leap has been gigantic. The dogs of today surpass by leaps and bounds the dogs of last year. Today they are much more perfect, of better equilibrium, as much physical as psychic. Nevertheless, of course, they resemble their predecessors. Today we find numerous specimen that are exactly the same, only that they are much more beautiful than those we remember from the 50’s. I refer not only to their general proportion, but to their expression. And it is from this point of genetic view, the form and the content of the Molosos de Presa cannot experience so much variation in only 4O or 5O years, since their genetic foundation is very similar, and within the dogs of prey there are many dogs but very few breeds. Its depth is similar to those of before, but their circumstances have changed. The treatment, the feeding, the veterinary attention and especially the mentality of the owners. Today one tries to possess or to breed Presas Canarios, not only violent and hard fighting for the pit, but a well balanced dog of the breed, conserving all its traditional aptitudes.

by Manuel Martin Bethencourt 

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