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.
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.
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.