Canary Islands Mastiff

Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Good With Dogs
Watchdog Ability


The history of Canary Islands Matsiff began in the 19th century in the Canary Islands. The representatives of the breed were grown mainly for involvement in dog fighting. The dog is directly linked to the history of the island of Gran Canaria. Its inhabitants were breeding large detention dogs. A cross between them and the Anglo-Saxon Molos, bring to life the "Perro da Presa Canario". During the Second World War the breed was threatened with extinction, but thanks to breeding programs carried out in the 70s, it was saved.

The Canary Islands Mastiff emerged from the shadow of the past in 1986 and took his first steps in the Spanish Cynology. At the FCI this breed is not especially popular, because of its similarity with the fighting dogs. But anyway, it is now officially an accepted breed and sometimes even appears in the exhibition rings.

Physical characteristics

Perro da Presa Canario has a strong, big body covered with short and rough to the touch fur. Coloration can be one color or a combination of black-tiger, tiger and brown, with a black mask. The height varies from 55 to 70 cm and their weight - from 45 to 70 kg. The head is large and square, with a wide muzzle, black nose, oval eyes and usually cropped ears. The chest is deep and wide and the tail is carried upwards.

Character and behavior

These dogs have a very solid and respectful expression. The Canary dog, despite his size, is quiet and obedient at home. Extremely attached to the family, he is an excellent home guard. He needs training from an early age and experienced owner who can implement him in the family the right way.

Training and education

The approach to these dogs in education during growth should be very careful and methodical. The dog should not be forced in any case. It is better to not overload them in cold weather because they are prone to problems with the tendons. Like all good athletes, a small warm-up before the big run is a must.

Health Problems

Like most large breeds, the Presa Canario can be prone to hip dysplasia. Other known health issues are heart problems, cardiomyopathy, mast-cell tumors, patellar luxation, cancer, skin cysts, osteochondrodysplasias epilepsy, demodectic mange and cryptorchidism.

The average life expectancy of the Canary Islands Mastiff is between 8 and 12 years.

Grooming and care

The rough, short coat of this dog is easy to groom. Brush once or twice per week and wipe with a towel for brilliance. Bathe only when it is really necessary, using dry shampoo. The representatives of this breed are “average shedders”.

Children and other pets

These dogs are good guards, suspicious towards strangers and can be very vigilant, but are also very attached to the family. Sometimes it is difficult for them to overcome their pride. They will get along well with younger children, but only if they were raised together.

Can be aggressive towards other dogs.

Interesting facts

An breed club advertise these dogs in Spain and throughout Europe. Dr. Karl Semensik conducted research and presented the breed in North America in recent years.

These dogs were selected and bred specifically for organized fighting and became extremely strong and capable fighting machines. Banned in 1940, the dog fighting continued illegaly, as in most countries, and the quality and purity of the breed deteriorated. In 1960, when the breed was in its “worst shape”, were imported quite a lot of German shepherd dogs who became the most popular breed in the Canary Islands. In the early 1970s, however, the interest in local breeds was resumed and Spaniards began to look for Spanish puppies for sale. They were fortunate because breeders kept pure representatives in rural and isolated areas where Canary Islands Mastiff dogs were discovered in fantastic shape.

The legend says that the Canary Islands were actually named so because of the fierce dogs lived there, not because of their small yellow singing birds.

Puppies for sale can't be found in Australia and New Zealand, due to the restriction of import or sale.