The Presa Canario dog which also goes by any one of the following names:
- Canary dog
- Perro de Presa Canario
- Dogo Canario
- Canary mastiff
…is certainly not a dog for the faint of heart or the novice dog owner. The Presa Canario hails from the Canary Islands a place to which the Canary bird owes its name but contrary to popular belief is not name d for! The Canary Islands derive their name from the dogs that used to abound all across the archipelago which were referred to as canis (Latin word for dog) by the ancient Romans and as “canario” by the Spaniard settlers (canario means dogs).
The Presa Canario is undoubtedly a Mastiff descendant characterized by a powerful cuboid-shaped head that houses tremendously powerful jaws. The overall appearance of the Presa Canario is of a solid, muscular dog with thick-boned legs that though not short are not overly long so as to compromise the dogs well balanced center of gravity. All in all the Presa Canario paints the picture of a powerful yet agile dog of medium height.
Though this dog breed was originally bred as a livestock guard dog as well as herder, soon enough its days based as a farming dog were superseded as a fighter! One glance at the Canary dog’s build is more than enough to hint at its fighting pedigree. In fact to the untrained eye the Presa Canario looks remarkably like a very large, somewhat long-legged Pit Bull.
Long before the arrival of the Spaniards and other European settlers, the Canary Islands were host to an indigenous dog that was locally known as the Bardino Majorero. Indeed it was as attribute to those local breed of dogs that the Islands got their name of Canary from the Romans via the Latin word “canis” which means dog.
The Bardino Majorero was described as an exceptionally savage dog of fiery and tempestuous disposition. That said, the dog proved to be very trainable and made for an excellent guard dog that excelled in both courage and loyalty and was renowned for never backing down. Woe betide the man or beast that ever incited the ire of this dog!
The now extinct Bardino Majorero not only passed on its unparalleled ferocity and tenacity to its descendant, the Presa Canario, it also passed on its rather unusual habit of rarely barking if ever (guess that’s where the saying “beware of the silent dog” comes from).
Article on Presa Canario written by Kayye Nynne