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The Presa Canario Dog Breed And Some Interesting Info About Breeding

Jul 3, 2008
The interest in Perro de Presa Canario was revived in the beginning of the 70s, when the group of Spanish dog-scientists, which was working on the revivement of ancient national breeds, collected several remaining thoroughbred species of Canary dog on isolated farms, which became the beginning of all modern species.

In this beginning a great role was played by cross-breeding blood of different types of Presa of the first decade of the 20 th century, which were left on the Islands and other representatives of the Moloss group. This began a slow but continuous recovery of the breed.It was especially difficult to strengthen genetic traits, i.e. to give stability and typicality to the breed.

With the aim of uniting forces to revive the Canary dog, the group of the breed-fanciers on Tenerife, which is by the way responsible for the major part of the currently existing population of Perro de Presa in Spain, in 1982 founded the Club Espanol del Presa Canario. Due to their purposeful work, in ten years the number of the breed increased so much that nowadays the dogs show up on the exhibition circuit regularly and gain popularity in other countries, first of all in the USA, where its appearance and spread is due to Karl Semenchik.

This long work culminated with the approval of the Official Standart of the Presa Canario on January 24, 1986. And since 1993 registrations of the breed have extended within the Canary Archipelago to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Without any doubt this popularity was promoted by traditional annual national specialised shows, which are aimed at the analysis of morphological and temperamental aspects of the present generation for further improvement of its breed signs.

Official recognition of Perro de Presa influenced its further breeding: if until that moment the numerous breeders reproduced continuing with their just personal, valuing of the temperament of the animal, the good structure, good head, good front, good bone etc., now the standard became the guiding principle. Nevertheless, Presa Canario remaind polytypic, which was explained by non-co-ordination of its use.

For example, there is an amount of tension between specialists from Canary Islands and Tenerife, where was concentrated the most important nuclei of the population. Canary Islands insisted on using the best species, which could be successfully used in dog-fighting: in the selection powerful, brave, aggressive, persistent and large size animals dominate. It mettered to them less the phenotype and they looked for the strong character of the animal mainly. In order to strengthen these qualities, for some time it was considered possible to cross Canary dog with distant and foreign breeds, for example: English and Neapolitan Mastino, in smaller part Great Dane and others.

The most important defects were coats where there was an excess of white, oval eyes, with conjunctivas open to the air, excesses in the sizes and flat ribs. As for Tenerife, local scientists are more concerned about recovering the biotype of the breed, which had began in the prior decade and gaining the antique outlook of Canary dog. Their work ruled by a model that was formalized through historical photos, oral history of all time breeders and the population of the most representative examples of the time.

Attention was paid to head structure, coat (where the special brindle color named "Verdino" was preferable), good movements. The typical or racial expression should dictate above everything. They wanted to be Presa Canario a medium animal, been accustomed to right propotions, rectangular, with balanced character.

However, crossing with foreign breeds, like Bulldogs, Bullmastiffs, Staffordshire bull terriers, Dogue de Bordeaux and others also took place. Nowadays the Perro de Presa Canario, as a result of all the crosses we have talked about, lacks of a precise phenotype. This is not a big problem because it could be solved by the passing of time with working in the right way.

All Presa breeders should be very responsible breeding their dogs. Selecting the crossings must be accomplished carefully in order to obtain a dog with the precise phenotype and balanced but very pronounced character with the natural working qualities of excellents guardians, man-stoppers and attack-dogs. Of course, should not breed Presa with lack of temperament or health problems like HIP and should test their dogs before using them in their breeding-programs.It is very important to remember that Presa Canario is a dog, which is more suitable for experienced trainers than for exhibition shows and prestige lovers.
About the Author
Get more info and advice on the Presa Canario or a full list of dog breeds at this Dog Behaviour website.
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