Presa Carnario Breed & Standard
ANCIENT HISTORY AND MYTH
The Presa Canario hails from the Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago of seven islands and several islets that lies off the coast of Africa. For thousands of years, the islands were inhabited by a people known as the Guanche, whose origins are shrouded in mystery. Various historical documents show that the Guanche civilization may have trained their dogs for hunting and for war.
History tells us that the Canary Islands derive their name from the writings of Pliny the Elder. According to Pliny in his Natural History, King Juba II of Mauritania sent an expedition sent to the then mythical Fortunate Islands in 60 AD that even returned with a pair of dogs for king. The expedition found throughout one island in particular, a breed of large and ferocious dogs and named the island “Canaria” derived from the Latin word for dog “canis.” Interestingly, the island known today as Gran Canaria was inhabited by a tribe who called themselves the “canarii.” Eventually, all of the islands came to be known as the Canary Islands, the Isles of the Dogs.
For the next millennium, the islands remained relatively untouched by the outside world. In 1402 Jean de Bethencourt set sail to the Canary Islands, returning in 1404 to begin the conquest in earnest. Some islands fell quickly to the invaders- Gran Canaria, Tenerife and La Palma fiercely resisted for nearly a century until they were finally conquered in 1495. One Canarian legend relays how the Guanche warriors sent their fierce war dogs down to the beachheads where it is claimed these dogs massacred the marauding invaders. Eventually, the Guanche could not withstand the superior weaponry of the Conquerors and the Guanche people and language were vanquished.
CREATION OF THE PRESA
The role the mythical dogs of the Canary Islands played in the development of the Presa Canario is largely unknown. However, the role of one indigenous breed in the composition of the Presa Canario is clear. The Perro de Bardino Majorero, a prehistoric herding dog believed to have originated in Fuerteventura that was well dispersed throughout the archipelago. According to the history of the breed, the “Majorero” (formerly believed to be extinct) provides the “verdino” (greenish-tinted) brindling, rustic coat, expression, courage, remarkable set of teeth, and disposition for “bullfighting” with cattle.
It is also believed that a number of Spanish and breeds may have contributed to the development of the Presa Canario. The Perro de Ganado Majorero was an Iberian cattle dog who it is believed is almost certainly a component in the breed. Also important were the various types of Presa Español and Alano Español (the alano actually refers to Spanish bulldogs and not the modern breed) that were also used in the conquest of the Americas. (What is particularly interesting here is the origin of the Alano. In 1556 Philip II of Spain introduced great numbers of the “English Alaunt”- the old bulldogs of England)*. The mestizo or mixed breed created by the combination of the Spanish breeds was used widely by butchers and farmers as holding dogs, catchdogs, and guardians for cattle and livestock. Historical documents list the Bardino Majorero as a co-existing separate breed until the 18th century.
During the 18th century, English traders and merchants came to the Canary Islands as temporary and permanent residents, bringing with them their working and gladiator dogs, notably the Mastiff of England and the Bulldog. Equally importantly, the English brought with them their traditions of pit fighting for which their breeds and the island dogs were inevitably mixed and eventually bred to produce the ultimate fighter.
Perro de Presa Canario literally means the Canarian Dog of Prey. The word presa can also be translated to mean catch or hold and also means the dog’s actual grip. Presa Canario can even be loosely translated to mean Canarian Bulldog. At the time, the dog was bred solely for function and not for type. For these working dogs, both as combatants and livestock catch dogs and guardians, physical power and stamina combined with heart, drive, and gameness to produce low-slung, muscular dogs with large heads and strong jaws. No phenotype existed, but the traditional coat patterns would eventually emerge as fawn, brindle, and black, many with white markings.
In the 1940′s dog fighting was banned and the Perro de Presa Canario decreased greatly in numbers. It was relegated to farms and hillsides primarily as a guardian for domestic livestock which was clearly far less widespread than it was during the late middle ages.
RECONSTRUCTION- THE CREATION OF A MODERN BREED
Reconstruction of the breed began in the early 1970′s by various aficionados who sought to preserve the heritage of the Presa Canario. Throughout the next decade, breeders began searching for what they believed were the most traditional examples in temperament, courage, guard instinct, and aspect. Several breeds were used in the reconstruction by several breeders for various objectives. These breeds may have included the Bullterrier, the American Pit bull Terrier, the Great Dane, the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro, the American Bulldog, the English Bulldog, the Bullmastiff, the Spanish Mastiff, the Doberman, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Spanish Alano and the Perro de Ganado Majorero. Clearly, the gene pool for the modern Presa Canario is quite extensive and can still produce atypical specimens of this nascent breed.
In 1982 a group of breeders formed the CEPRC (Club Español del Presa Canario) in Tenerife which was recognized the following year by the RSCE (Real Sociedad de España) in Spain to further their breeding ideals. This group of breeders continued breeding and developing the Presa Canario breed through today. Several dogs were exported abroad during the 1980′s, including the United States. In 2001, the Presa Canario name and standard were amended to gain admittance to the FCI (Fédérattion Cynologique Internationale). Black was excluded as a traditional coat color and the Presa Canario distanced itself from its working and fighting heritage by changing the breed name to “Dogo Canario” or Canarian Dog.
According to some of the most respected Presa Canario breeders and judges, the Presa Canario breed in Spain has undergone an enormous evolution since the early days of the reconstruction and is truly a modern breed.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR SANDERS PRESA CANARIO
The Presa Canario breed is known for its great loyalty to its human family, natural distrust of strangers, severe gaze, and nobility in temperament. The Presa is never known to stray and is a superior guardian.
FCI STANDARD #346 Dogo Canario, Canarian Dog
UTILIZATION: Guardian and cattle dog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 2 Section 2.1: Molosser – Type: Dogo
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Molosser dog native of the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, in the Canary Archipelago. Emerging as a result of crosses between the “majorero”, a pre-Hispanic cattle dog originating from the islands, and molosser dogs brought to the archipelago.
These crosses originated an ethnic grouping of dogs of “dogo” type, of medium size, of brindle or fawn color, marked with white, of robust morphology, characteristic of a molosser, but with agility and drive Of tremendous temperament, rustic and of an active and loyal character.
During the XVI and XVII centuries their population increased considerably. Numerous mentions of them exist in the historical texts prior to the conquest, mainly in the “Documents of the Town Council” which explained the functions that they fulfilled. Essentially they functioned as a guardian and cattle dog, as well subdued the cattle for the butchers.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Molosser dog of medium size, well balanced, of straight profile, with a black mask. Rustic and well proportioned. It is mesomorphic; the body is longer than the height to the withers. Females accentuate this characteristic being slightly longer.
TEMPERAMENT/ BEHAVIOR: Their appearance is calm. Attentive gaze. Especially equipped for the function of guarding and traditionally used for the handling and driving of cattle. Their temperament is balanced and of great self-security. Serious and profound bark. He is gentle and noble with his family, with great affection to his owner, and suspicious with strangers.
Expression is confident, noble and a little distant. When alert his attitude is very firm and the gaze watchful.
HEAD: Is massive, Brach cephalic, of solid appearance, and covered with loose hanging skin. Its shape is a somewhat lengthened cube.
The proportions of cranium-muzzle are 60%- 40%. The width of the cranium is 3/5 of the total longitude of the head.
- CRANIUM: Lightly convex in anteroposterior and transversal directions, although the frontal bone is flatten to the plane. Zygomatic arch very pronounced, with well developed temporal and mastoid muscles, but without being pronounced. The occipital crest is unappreciable.
- NASOFRONTAL DEPRESSION (STOP): Defined, but not abrupt. The middle furrow between the frontal sinuses is marked and occupies approximately two thirds of the cranium. The craniofacial lines are parallel or lightly convergent.
- MUZZLE: Shorter than the cranium. Normally 40% of the total head. The width is 2/3 of the cranium. It is of very wide base and diminishes slightly toward the nose. The nasal line is flat, of straight profile and without ridges.
- NOSE: Wide, strongly pigmented in black. It is inserted on the same line as the nasal cana. The front is set slightly behind the front of the lips. The nostrils are large, appropriate for easy breathing.
- LIPS: The upper lips hang, but without excess and when viewed from the front form an inverted “V” where they join. The interior lips are dark.
- MANDIBLE/ TEETH: Scissor bite. Level bite is accepted although not desirable due to the tooth ware that it causes. Slight pragmatism permitted. The canines show wide transverse distance. The teeth are wide, with a strong base of implantation, with large molars, small incisors and well-developed and correct fitting canines.
- EYES: Slightly oval, medium to large size, well separated, brevilineal, neither sunken nor bulging. They are well pigmented in black and tight, never drooping. The color fluctuates between medium to dark chestnut, in accordance with the color of the coat. Never light.
- EARS: Of medium size, well separated, with short and fine hair, they drop effortlessly to both sides of the head. If they are folded, they are rose shaped, close fitting to the head. The base is at a point slighter higher than the eye line. Ears set very high and joined are atypical and excessively crowd the top of the cranium. If cropped they are erect.
-NECK: Somewhat shorter than the total length of the head. The lower portion presents loose skin that contributes to the formation of a slight dewlap. It is solid, straight, cylindrical and very muscular.
-BODY: Straight lined, wide, deep, the length is 18-20% longer than the height at the withers, this being more accentuated in females. The flanks are not very marked.
- TOP LINE: Straight, without deformities, supported by well developed, but not very visible musculature. It ascends slightly from withers to the croup. Never saddled nor roached.
- CROUP: Medium, wide and rounded. It should not be long, because it would limit movement. Females normally wider.
- CHEST: With great width, pectoral muscles very marked. The depth should arrive to a minimum at the elbow, from the profile and from front. The thoracic perimeter will be normally equal to the height at the withers plus 45%s. Ribs very arched.
-LOWER LINE: Lightly tucked, never descending.
-TAIL: Thick base, narrowing until the tip and not surpassing the hock. Insertion medium. In action it rises in shape of a saber, without coiling or pointing toward the back. It in rest hangs straight with a slight curve in the tip.
· Shoulders: With good inclination.
· Forelimbs: Well angulated, oblique and perfectly composed, straight, of wide bones and with good musculature
· Elbows: They should not be affixed to the chest or pointing outward. The distance of the elbow to the ground normally represents 50% of the total height in the males and somewhat less in the females.
· Metacarpals: Very solid and slightly inclined.
· Front Feet: Cat foot with rounded toes, not very close together. The pads are well developed and black. The nails are dark, white is undesirable, although they can appear according to the coat.
HIND LIMBS: Strong and parallel, without deviations.
· Thigh: Long and very muscular. The angulations is not pronounced, but without being scarce.
· Hocks: Always low.
· Rear Feet: Slightly longer than the front and of the same characteristics.
MOVEMENT: The movement should be agile, elastic and cover a lot of ground. Long steps. The carriage of the tail is low and barely rises above the dorsal line. At attention, the position of the head and the tail is raised.
SKIN: Thick and elastic. Loose in and around the neck. When alert it forms several symmetrical wrinkles in the middle furrow between the front sinuses like axis in the head.
- HAIR: Short, rustic, very flat, without undercoat (at times might be found, in neck and buttocks) and with a certain harshness to the touch. Is very short and fine in the ears, slightly longer in the withers and crest of the buttocks.
- COLOR: Brindle all ranges, from dark very warm tones to the very light gray or blond. Fawn to sandy in all ranges. Markings can appear on the chest, at the base of the neck or throat, on front and rear toes, it is desirable that it is reduced as much as possible.
Mask always black and should not surpasses the height of the eyes
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
- Height to the Withers:
Males: 60 to 65 cm.(23.5-25.5 in.) Females: 56 to 61 cm. (22-24 in.)
In the case of very typical specimens, a 1cm deviation from the set maximum and minimum will be allowed.
Males: 50 kg (110 lbs) Females: 40 kg ( 88 lbs)
FAULTS: Any deviation of the afore mentioned is considered a fault and the seriousness of it is considered to the degree of deviation from the standard.
- Excessive wrinkles in the craniofacial region, which does not spoil the expression.
- Pincer bite.
- Head that doesn’t complete the established proportion.
- Craniofacial lines very convergent (excessive stop, very marked).
- Mask that surpasses the eyes
- Front and rear feet turned inward or outward.
- Lips excessively hanging, limited or forward
- Equal height croup-withers.
- Excessive dewlap.
- Drooping lids.
- Dorsonasal roach.
- Very scarce or excessive angulations.
- Descending lower line.
- Chest not very deep.
- Splayed feet.
- High tail insertion.
- Fine tail.
- Slender bones.
VERY SERIOUS FAULTS:
- Square profile.
- Head triangular, narrow, not cubed.
- Slight appearance
- Tail coiled, very fine, of the same thickness the entire length or deformed.
- Very short or excessive size.
- Saddled or roached top line.
- Scarce posterior chest. Weak front. Ribs not well arched.
- Absence of wrinkles in the facial cranium region (tight skin without elasticity).
- Eyes light (yellow). Eyes very close together or oblique. Protruding or sunken.
- Excessive prognathism.
- Absence of any tooth (except the P.1).
- Ears set very high.
- Cranium round or arched.
- Craniofacial lines divergent.
- Hair satiny and fine.
- Poor mask
- Neck long, not massive.
- Character unbalanced and any indication of aggressiveness.
- Total depigmentation of the nose or inside of the lips.
- Total absence of mask.
- Undesirable white markings.
- Croup lower than the withers, descending dorsal line.
- Blue eyes or with different colors.
- Amputated tail.
- Monorchids or crypt orchids
-Under developed chest, (Cathedral chest).
NOTE: The males should have two testicles of normal appearance and completely descended in the scrotum
Accepted FCI June 3, 2001
* The Evolution of the Bulldog: A Historical Survey, RH Voss.
Adult Male Presa Canario For Sale | Female Presa Canario Puppies | Adult Female Presa Canario For Sale | Male Presa Canario Puppies For Sale