The Dogo Canario (Canarian Mastiff) has many other names: Perro de Presa, Perro de Toro, Presa Canario or Alano. This powerful and athletic dog is a recognized Spanish dog breed since 2011. It is also the natural symbol of the island of Gran Canaria. In recent years, the interest in this breed has increased significantly.
The Dogo Canario is a strong and brawny dog. He has a muscular, well-proportioned build. Males have a height at the withers of 60 to 66 cm, while females are slightly smaller at 56 to 60 cm. The weight of the Dogo Canario ranges from 40 to 65 kilograms. The body length exceeds the height at withers. In females, this characteristic is more pronounced than in males. The skull is large and massive, being broad and cube-shaped. The dog carries its head only slightly above the height at the withers.
According to his appearance the Dogo Canario is a typical Molosser. The FCI systematics (international cynological umbrella organization) counts him to the mastiff dogs. The tail is broad at the base and narrower towards the tip. It does not normally extend beyond the hocks.
The ears are medium in size and pendulous in the natural state. In Spain the docking of the ears is partly still permitted. These then stand pointed upwards. The easy-care coat of the Dogo Canario is short, has no undercoat and is smooth to the touch. It has a slight sheen and is rough to the touch. It is very fine and short on the ears, and slightly longer on the back and backs of the thighs. The coat coloration is brindle and occurs in different varieties. The colors range from pale gray to light blond to dark brown. White markings occur on the chest, throat and base of the neck. The face mask is always black.
Despite its imposing appearance, the Dogo Canario has a calm and balanced nature. He also has a high threshold for irritation. His pronounced protective instinct makes him a good watchdog. In addition, he has strong nerves, is self-confident and shows his mood straightforward. In the family he is friendly and teachable. He fits in well, is teachable and fond of children. The bond with his master is intense. Towards other family members he is always good-natured and loyal.
The Dogo Canario is also robust, resilient, easy to care for and undemanding. He rarely barks and has a loud and deep voice. Many molossoid dog breeds are overbred and often behave lethargically. The Dogo Canario, on the other hand, is an active dog that loves to move.
The right food
The proper diet of the Dogo Canario is based mainly on meat and contains as little grain as possible. Accordingly, high-quality dog food has a high meat content. It does not contain additional fat or vegetable fiber. Artificial ingredients are also not healthy for the animals and can lead to liver or kidney diseases.
The dogs of this breed have high energy and nutritional needs. This is due to their muscle mass and eagerness to move. At the same time, the matching of the feed to the individual animal is important. Size, weight, age and activity play a role here. With the right diet, your Dogo Canario will stay healthy for a long time and can reach an age of up to twelve years.
What one dog likes, the other does not eat - the taste is also very individual with the four-legged friends. So you should also make sure that your dog likes to eat his food. Dry or wet food are equally good alternatives.
Slow weight gain is important for Dogo Canario puppies. If the dogs reach their final size too quickly, there is a risk of illness, including joint damage or bone cancer. Puppy food with a lot of nutrients should therefore only be fed in a limited way. Here, consultation with the vet and regular weight control are important.
In general, the Dogo Canario does not have a sensitive stomach and is not prone to allergies. This makes his diet simple.
Health & Care
The Dogo Canario is considered an undemanding and low-maintenance dog. Its coat is short and only requires grooming with a brush from time to time.
The breed generally does not belong in the city and is not suitable for a small apartment. The dogs need to run and get plenty of exercise every day. In the countryside, they can fulfill their movement instinct in a species-appropriate way. In addition, here there are more opportunities for their own territory, which corresponds to the natural guarding and protective instinct of the animals. Tasks and games are also important for the intelligent and eager to learn Dogo Canario. With enough daily activities, this dog breed is balanced and calm.
In general, the breed needs a consistent education. As a dog owner, you should have experience for a Dogo Canario. You as the owner set the tone and ensure good socialization. Self-confidence and natural authority is important in these dogs, which tends to dominance and independent action.
Already as a puppy, the Dogo Canario should know commands and accept you as a leader. Also, to avoid collisions with people or other dogs, the animal must learn to physically restrain itself in everyday life.
The visit of a good dog school is recommended for the right education. With proper training, the Dogo Canario is also suitable as an assistance or protection dog.
The Dogo Canario does not require any special accessories, as it is undemanding and easy to care for.
A well-fitting collar and leash are important for these strong and powerful dogs. A chest harness is also an option. It exerts less pull on the sensitive neck. Collars, leashes and chest harnesses are available in synthetic and leather. The artificial material is easier to clean and does not become as heavy as leather products when wet.
In Bavaria and Berlin - Brandenburg the Dogo Canario is on the list of dangerous breeds. Here there is a general leash and muzzle obligation for them. A muzzle, like the collar, should fit well and not be uncomfortable for the dog. Drinking and panting must not be restricted by the muzzle. Otherwise circulation problems may occur, especially in summer. Muzzles are available in plastic or leather.
Dog toys and chewing products are other useful accessories for the Dogo Canario. They satisfy his urge to play and chew. They also contribute to dental care.
For sleeping and resting, a dog blanket, dog basket or dog bed is also the right thing for this undemanding breed. These items are also available in sizes suitable for the Dogo Canario.
The bowls for water and food the dog needs a suitable size. A height-adjustable stand is also practical. It prevents slipping on a smooth surface. Bowls are available in plastic, ceramic or stainless steel.
Origin & History
The Spanish Mastiff is the ancestor of the Dogo Canario. This served as a hunting and driving dog for cattle herds, as well as a guard and protection dog. The Spanish Mastiff (also known as Alano ) also found use in war. Likewise, it was present in the conquest of South America by the conquistadors in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Canary Islands were a stopover during the crossing to the American continent. Many of the Alanos stayed behind. They mixed them with the native dogs (Majoreros) which gave rise to the breed of Dogo Canario. In the Canary Islands, the Dogo Canario served mainly as a farm and guard dog for livestock. The breeding was therefore mainly in the direction of nerve strength and alertness. On the other hand, the breeding goals of combat readiness and hunting instinct took a back seat.
In the 1970s in Spain began the planned breeding of the Dogo Canario. This as a guard of rural estates so popular that government of Gran Canaria declared him the nature symbol of the island. In the 1980s, breeding associations were founded and exhibitions were held worldwide. Thus, the breed also became known internationally.
However, there was a long disagreement about the name of the molossoid dog. Perro de Presa Canario, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Español, Alano or Canary Dog are some names. The canine governing body (FCI) officially recognized the dog breed as Dogo Canario in 2011. The characteristics of hunting and grabbing the prey (Spanish presa) no longer plays a role in breeding.
For this reason, some of the old breeders bred under the name of Presa Canario with hunting instinct as a breeding goal. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture then recognized the Presa Canario as its own breed of dog. In contrast to the Presa Canario, breeders emphasize balance and a calm character in the Dogo Canario.