Dog Discussions: Is Presa Canario a Good Family Dog?


Choosing a dog breed is a big decision, especially since certain dogs can be a part of your family for around 20 years.

If you have a family, then deciding on the breed can be an even trickier choice. You want to make sure you get a dog that’s calm and non-aggressive—one that has no problem being around children.

Many people are fans of the Presa Canario. They’re confident, big, and have had an eventful history. But is Presa Canario a good family dog?

Keep reading for a guide that will help you answer that question.

About the Presa Canario

The Presa Canario, also known as the Canary Dog of Prey or Canary Mastiff, originated in 15th century Spain. Spanish conquistadors brought them to the Canary Islands, where they later appeared in funeral ceremonies and local myths.

For hundreds of years, people relied on the Presa Canario to guard and protect their livestock. They also helped to herd the animals.

As time passed, however, people began to take advantage of their size and strength. They began to use Presa Canarios for dogfighting and other violent tasks, and for a period of time, the breed almost went extinct.

Today, with their violent past behind them, Gran Canaria recognizes them as their national animal.

How Dangerous Are They?

The violent history of the Presa Canario might make it hard for some people to see them as family dogs.

It’s true that Presa Canarios were bred for violent tasks, and that incidents of aggression towards humans in recent years do exist. However, the same goes for Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and other large dogs.

With a proper training regimen, socialization with other dogs, and unconditional love and affection, your Presa Canario companion will never harm you or anyone close to you.

Is Presa Canario a Good Family Dog?

Presa Canarios are attentive and confident, which is one reason why they’ve made such excellent guard dogs throughout history. Today, as most people use them for pets, those traits translate into loyalty and affection.

When Presa Canarios are with their family members, you’ll find them to have a balanced and calm temperament. While you should always keep an eye on any large dog, you can sleep soundly knowing that your family is safe.

Be aware that all of that confidence means that reserved or unconfident owners might have a difficult time managing them. If you’re not certain about your dog training abilities, obedience lessons are a must.

How to Take Care of a Presa Canario

Aside from enrolling them in training classes or teaching them obedience yourself, Presa Canarios will require other forms of care as well.

As they originated on farms and the outdoors, Presa Canarios need a fair amount of exercise. Regular walks are a must, as are activities that get them moving, such as swimming, hiking, or a game of frisbee.

Presa Canarios also enjoy participating in games and tasks that give them a purpose. They excel at things like obedience and agility training.

Some owners like to use muzzles when walking their dogs, however, that depends on you and the individual dog that you get.

Are They Healthy?

When you get a dog, especially one that will become a part of your family, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be together for a long time.

Presa Canarios have an average lifespan of between 9 and 11 years, which is around the same as other large dogs. You can expect them to live a healthy and happy life, however, there are some health conditions you’ll want to watch out for.

Being a super-sized breed means that the Presa Canario is likely to suffer from mobility problems later on in life, such as hip displacement and mobility-impairing diseases. They might also run into heart problems, skin cysts, and epilepsy.

How Much Do They Cost?

Unless you find one at a shelter or foster home (which isn’t likely), you should know that Presa Canarios are not for people on a budget.

Prices for Presa Canarios can go up to $2000, especially if they come from a respectable breeder. Although it might seem tempting to get one at a lower price from a less expensive place, this might end up costing you more in the form of vet bills later on.

Being so big means that Presa Canarios also eat a lot. Remember to look past the initial cost and take food, vet bills, and other costs into account as well. You don’t want to adopt a dog then realize that you can’t afford to take care of them.

Similar Breeds

Although we think that Presa Canarios are pretty great, there are some similar breeds that you can also consider adopting.

The Boerboel is the fierce and powerful cousin of the Presa Canario. It originates from South Africa, and has a history of working with livestock. There are even recorded instances of it standing up to hyenas and lions.

The Italian Cane Corso is another similar breed, renowned for its strength and hunting abilities. Check out this guide for a further breakdown on which to choose.

Train Your New Companion

If you’re looking for a big, loveable, and loyal dog, the Presa Canario comes in as a top contender. Is Presa Canario a good family dog? Although breeders used them for aggressive purposes in the past, with proper training and a lot of love they’ll make the perfect addition to any family.

Do you now have a better understanding of why a properly trained Pressa Canario can make a good family dog? If you do, make sure to take a look at some of our other posts for more pet-related guides and tips.

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