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Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso

They may be tough, muscular dogs, but both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso breeds can become loyal, affectionate companions when properly trained and socialized. These Mediterranean Mastiffs may appear to be twins, but there are actually numerous differences between the Presa Canario and Cane Corso dog breeds—for starters, the origins of these nearly identical dogs are based in two completely different European countries.

 

Beautiful Presa Canario Dog

An Italian breed, the Cane Corso is both a hunter and lovable companion, while the Presa Canario hails from the Canary Islands and is a protective guardian by nature (that can also make a great family pet).

When determining which breed might make the perfect addition to your family, you’ll want to consider a few differentiating factors, ranging from their appearance and individual temperaments to their unique breed histories.

Appearances of Cane Corso & Presa Canario

Both the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario belong to the Molosser group, which means they are among a group of solidly-built, large dog breeds descending from common ancestry. Their average height (around 25 inches) is also similar. Both breeds are generally healthy (though they are predisposed to certain larger-dog conditions, such as elbow and hip dysplasia), and they can be expected to live to around 10 years of age.

Though the Presa Canario tends to be slightly longer and generally a bit shorter in size, they weigh more than the Cane Corso (Presas tip the scales at 110 to 130 pounds, compared to the Cane Corso’s 99 to 110 pounds).

However, the two dogs do have a few distinct differences in their appearance.

For starters, the Presa Canario is often compared to a cat due to their unique cat-like paws—and they often even stride like cats. They also have a thick, muscular body coupled with a massive square-shaped head.

The Cane Corso also has its own distinct characteristics; these dogs have a long, wide muzzle and they’re known for having their tail docked.

Both dogs tend to have their ears cropped, which was historically done to protect them from injury as they were hunting wild animals or fending off stray dogs. If left untouched, both dogs have large ears that dropdown.

Beautiful Brown Presa Canario

Though both breeds have short, straight hair that requires minimal grooming and bathing, the Cane Corso’s coat is slightly denser. They also have an undercoat that the Presa Canario does not.

For anyone concerned about the impact of either of these breeds on their furniture, they are both light shedders…but heavy droolers. Both dogs can come in a variety of different colors, but brindle is the one they share. You’ll often find Cane Corsos with black or fawn-colored coats (at times with brindle), while the Presa Canario can come in all shades of fawn and brindle with patches of white on their chest, paws, or muzzle.

You’ll also know it’s a Presa Canario because these dogs have a black mask, and their nose, lips, and eye rims are also black.

Personality/Temperament

Both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso have a genetic predisposition to be somewhat aggressive, particularly towards strangers, and therefore early socialization and obedience training is of the utmost importance for these breeds.

Like many dogs, both breeds will respond well to positive reinforcement training, and they can be taught to become well-mannered puppies and remain at ease in a variety of situations.

When properly socialized, both breeds can become loveable, cuddly companions that are fiercely loyal (and, of course, they make excellent guard dogs). They will always be naturally protective of their families; the Cane Corso is generally a bit more likely to act as a true bodyguard for his master, but both breeds will be quick to jump into action to alert their families to immediate danger.

Presa Canarios are good family dogs

 

It’s also important to note that the Presa Canario tends to be more stubborn and demanding than the Cane Corso, so it’s even more important to adhere to consistent training and boundaries in the home to prevent these dogs from becoming uncontrollable or even aggressive.

The Presa Canario and Cane Corso are trainable because they’re eager to please their masters. Both dogs have bold, confident personalities and are highly intelligent, and thus will need a dominant pack leader who can provide appropriate training (so they are not the best choices for first-time pet owners).

History of Cane Corso and Presa Canario 

Despite the fact that they are lookalikes, both the Cane Corso and Presa Canario have completely different histories. The Italian Cane Corso was bred primarily to serve the purposes of guarding and hunting (and as a companion dog), while the Presa Canarios have historically been best suited for working livestock.

Hailing from the Canary Islands, the Presa Canario was relied upon as a guard dog and for herding cattle, as well as for the unsavory tasks of exterminating wild dogs that threatened the flock. The breed was heavily involved in dogfighting; they became nearly extinct in the 1940s, but were saved by an intense breeding program in the 1970s.

canary islands home of presa canario

Likewise, the Cane Corso was also threatened with extinction during both World Wars. This Italian breed was used during wartime efforts to charge enemy lines (they would actually be “armed” with flaming oil buckets strapped to their backs). On the homefront, these multi-purpose dogs would fulfill roles ranging from estate and flock guardian to farmhand and hunting dog…as well as a devoted family companion, which they remain today.

 

Is the Presa Canario a Good Family Dog?

Like other Molosser breeds, the Presa Canario has earned a reputation for being a tough and rugged guard dog. But that doesn’t mean these massive canines can’t make affectionate, devoted family pets.

If you’re fortunate enough to welcome a member of this rare dog breed into your home, as long as you provide your new four-legged family member with plenty of opportunities for socialization--as well as firm handling and positive reinforcement training--you can expect a gentle and loving dog that will look out for your family for years to come.

Weighing in at upwards of 125 pounds, the adult Presa Canario can have a somewhat intimidating, imposing appearance. Known for their strong guarding instinct, Presa Canarios are considered to be an owner-focused breed that's highly intelligent and trainable. With ample socialization and proper training, the Presa Canario can become a loyal family pet—and model canine citizens.

 

Bianca-Presa-Canario-Female-La-Nobleza-Kennel

Since they were historically bred as a fighting dog, training will be absolutely necessary to keep any potential aggressive behaviors at bay. But Presa Canarios were also bred to guard livestock, which is why this strong and powerful breed can make such a dependable watchdog for your home…and, of course, your kiddos. Potential Presa Canario owners should be aware that this is a dog that will not hesitate to do whatever he thinks is necessary to protect his family in a time of potential danger, which is another reason why training is of the utmost importance when welcoming a Presa Canario into your home as a family pet. It’s also why you should always take precautions when introducing strangers to your pooch.

Since they are such an intelligent, hard-working breed, Presa Canarios are more than capable of being trained to perform everything from basic obedience cues like “sit” and “stay” to completing other tasks around the house. Since they love having a job to do, the Presa Canario is known to excel in competitions that test agility, obedience, and strength, so dog competitions are also an option. It’s important to keep your Presa Canario both physically and mentally stimulated, which is why they can make such a great match for families with children who are young enough to want to run around in the backyard but old enough to understand their dog's boundaries and limits. However, this is a breed that tends to be more strong-willed and sometimes even stubborn, so they will require a strong “pack leader"…ideally an established, dog-oriented family with previous experience raising similar breeds.

 

La Nobleza Presa Canario Breeder

If you happen to be a family who loves the Great Outdoors, the Presa Canario might just be your perfect match. These are dogs who need exercise and love nothing more than being active with their owners, whether it’s going for a hike or playing a rousing game of frisbee with the kids. But unlike many other breeds of their size, they aren’t extremely high-energy and won’t require hours of intense exercise, so a daily walk or two (or ample backyard time) is enough to satisfy their physical needs. Another added bonus? When your Presa Canario is hanging out indoors, you’ll rarely have to vacuum your rugs or furniture—these big cuddly dogs also happen to be minimal shedders.

Lastly, the Presa Canario can be a great choice for a family pet since they likely won’t require many trips to the vet. Though the breed is rare and their potential health issues aren’t well-documented, the Presa Canario is generally considered a healthy breed. They may be predisposed to some common issues that affect larger dogs, such as elbow and hip dysplasia and panosteitis (bone inflammation). However, since these conditions are often hereditary, you can always ask your breeder about the health of your pup’s parents. You can also expect these dogs to live upwards of ten years, so they will grow upright alongside your children as both their best friend and protector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Train a Presa Canario Puppy

A powerful, courageous guard dog that was initially bred to protect livestock, the Presa Canario is a breed that generally requires a bit of extra training to become the loyal, gentle, and affectionate family pet they can be.

The Presa Canario is a large mastiff dog breed that’s fearless, powerful, and generally isn't too fond of strangers—whether it's humans, dogs, or any other animals. That’s why it's imperative that you properly train and socialize your Presa Canario in their puppy years, as it will help your dog avoid developing violent or aggressive behaviors later in life.

Presa Canario Breeder

Though this particular breed isn’t recommended for first-time or inexperienced pet owners, there are some general rules of thumb to follow when it comes to training your Presa Canario puppy. Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Be The Leader, Get Your Presa To Listen To Your Commands.

The Presa Canario is a breed that demands calm yet assertive leadership. They will respond best to someone who exudes true leadership qualities and clearly lets their dog know that they are in control. That's why these dogs respond best to an experienced dog trainer, so don't hesitate to get help from a professional when bringing your pooch home.

Black Presa Canario - La Nobleza Kennel Georgia

2. Have Patience, Remember You Have A Puppy.

Some dog breeds are easier to train than others, and the Presa Canario happens to fall into the more difficult category. Though these dogs are well-known for their intelligence, they have a tendency to be stubborn—which means they will quickly learn the desired behaviors but may not always be so willing to do what you want. Training will require a great deal of consistency and patience, and always be sure to use positive reinforcement techniques--any forms of punishment will not be an effective training approach.

Black Presa Canario - La Nobleza Kennel In Georgia

3. Play Time Is Crucial For Presa Canarios.

It’s crucial to ensure that your Presa Canario puppy gets as many opportunities to socialize as possible. The idea is that the more he or she interacts with other humans, dogs, and pets in puppyhood, the less likely it is that they’ll be seen as threats as your pooch gets older. Though socialization is important for all dogs, this breed in particular will need to be raised in an environment with a variety of people, animals, and surroundings from their earliest days of life.

Presa Canarios are good family dogs

It’s also why you should ensure you’re adopting your Presa Canario puppy from a responsible breeder who isn’t keeping the dogs separated from other humans or animals. You’ll, of course, want to ensure your dog has received its full round of shots from potentially deadly diseases before setting up those puppy playdates, but after that, consider puppy kindergarten classes (which offer both opportunities for socialization as well as basic obedience training), visits to the park, or invite friends and family over to play with your newest addition.

4. Presa Canarios Must Stay Active, Keep Them Busy.

The Presa Canario is not a dog that likes to be bored, and since puppies are already full of energy, you’ll want to be sure that your pup has lots to do to ensure optimal training success. That means taking your Presa Canario for walks and/or offering plenty of time to romp in the backyard, as well as ensuring your pet has ample physical stimulation at home, whether it's through puzzle toys or playtime with the kids.

Light Brown Perro De Presa Canario - La Nobleza Kennel

5. Be Careful.

No matter how well trained your pooch is, owners of Presa Canarios should always be aware that their innate instincts are hard to completely eliminate. So if there’s ever any indication that their family is in danger, they will not hesitate to jump in and protect them. That’s why even if your Presa Canario has been properly trained and socialized, you’ll always want to behave in a way that lets your dog know that they are fully in control in any situation. And, of course, you should always take precautions and be on alert when introducing strangers to your dog.

Angry Presa Canario - La Nobleza Kennel

Conclusion

Loving your Presa puppy and caring for them like you would your own child will result in a long and happy relationship between you and your Presa. 

 

How Much Does a Presa Canario Puppy Cost?

Unlike a Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, or Beagle, the Presa Canario is a dog breed that you’re not likely to see being walked through your neighborhood or playing with their owners at the local park. Though there are Presa Canario breeders across the United States, because they are considered to be a rare breed, the price for a purebred puppy can vary greatly.

Hailing from the Canary Islands and traditionally used for herding cattle, the Presa Canario’s somewhat intimidating appearance (and hyper-awareness) make this breed an ideal guard dog. These powerful, courageous dogs were a popular go-to breed for dog-fighting, which almost caused their extinction in the 1940s.

As a result, to welcome one of these hard-working and fiercely protective dogs into your home can cost anywhere from $1,200 to closer to $3,000. Potential Presa owners should expect to pay an even higher premium for a puppy with breeding rights, as well as for a puppy that’s advertised as show quality (they will come with papers)—these dogs can run anywhere from $3,500 to $7,000 or more assuming the dog is from top breed lines and is of superior pedigree. Potential adopters should also be prepared to pay a deposit that will be applied towards the final purchase price for your new four-legged best friend.

Part of the reason these dogs typically come with a higher price tag is that the Presa Canario is a member of the Molosser family, which are known for their larger size and strong guard dog instincts along with other unique qualities.  The most prestigious bloodlines for your Presa Canario may be imported from countries including Spain, Germany, China, Romania, and the United Kingdom, which can be strategically paired to create the optimal temperament, health, and appearance. Your breeder should also provide health check certificates for each puppy.

Though they’ve earned a reputation for being an aggressive breed, as long as the Presa Canario is properly trained and socialized as a puppy, they can grow up to be devoted and affectionate family pets you can rely on to keep your home and family well-protected for years to come…and they are well worth the price tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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