The Presa Canario is a moderately large, powerfully constructed dog with a harsh-textured flat coat. Ears are set just above the line of the eye and may be cropped. The body of the Presa Canario is slightly longer than its height at the withers, with a broad, deep chest, but females may be slightly longer and possess somewhat less rib spring than the males. Their skin is thick and elastic. The overall impression is that of an imposing, solid guard dog. The Presa is extremely affectionate, docile and well behaved with its owner and family, but is wary of strangers and aggressive with other dogs.
Presa Canarios or Dogo Canario (Canary dog) as they are also known, were developed during the 19th Century in the Canary Islands for use in dog fights, guarding and herding. They are a large Molosser-type dog breed. Both the Bardino Majero breed, which was indigenous to the Canaries but is now extinct, and imported English Mastiffs are believed to have been involved in the development of this breed. By the 1960’s, this breed was facing extinction as a result of the outlawing of dog fighting and the introduction of popular foreign dog breeds such as the German Shepherd Dog, Doberman Pinscher and Great Dane. The breed’s revival was the result of the work of an American vet called Dr Carl Semencie. The breed is a member of the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Service.