Dogo Canario

Description Dogo Canario

Calm, Patient, Good-natured
The Dogo Canario (Canary Mastiff) has many other names: Perro de Presa, Perro de Toro, Presa Canario or Alano. This powerful and athletic dog has been a recognized Spanish dog breed since 2011. It is also the natural symbol of the island of Gran Canaria. Interest in this breed has increased significantly in recent years.FCI Group: Pinscher – Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 40-65kg
  • Life expectancy: 9-12 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: Yellow/brown, grey/black with white markings, black mask

Character Dogo Canario

The Dogo Canario is a strong and brawny dog. He has a muscular, well-proportioned physique. The males have a height at the withers of 60 to 66 cm, the females are slightly smaller at 56 to 60 cm. The weight of the Dogo Canario is between 40 and 65 kilograms. The body length exceeds the height at the withers.

In females, this trait is more evident than in males. The skull is large and massive, while broad and cube-shaped. The dog carries its head just above the height at the withers.
In terms of appearance, the Dogo Canario is a typical Molosser. The FCI system (international cynological umbrella organization) counts him among the mastiff-like dogs .

The tail is wide at the base and narrows towards the tip. It usually doesn’t extend past the hocks.
In the natural state, the ears are medium-sized and drooping. In Spain, cropping the ears is still permitted in some cases. These then point upwards.

The easy-care coat of the Dogo Canario is short, has no undercoat and is smooth. It has a slight sheen and is rough to the touch. It is very fine and short on the ears, slightly longer on the back and the back of the thighs. The fur coloring is brindle and occurs in different varieties. The colors range from pale gray to light blonde to dark brown.

White markings appear 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 personality. He also has a high stimulus threshold. His strong protective instinct makes him a good guard dog.

In addition, he has strong nerves, is self-confident and shows his mood directly. In the family he is friendly and studious. He fits in well, is teachable and fond of children. The bond with his master is intense. However, he is always good-natured and loyal to other family members.

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 over-bred and often behave lethargically. The Dogo Canario, on the other hand, is a lively and active dog.

Diet Dogo Canario

The right diet for the Dogo Canario is mainly based on meat and contains as few grains as possible. Accordingly, high-quality dog ​​food has a high meat content. It contains no added fat or plant fibers. 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 requirements.

This is due to their muscle mass and mobility. At the same time, matching the feed to the individual animal is important. Height, weight, age and activity play a role here. With the right diet, your Dogo Canario stays healthy for a long time and can live up to twelve years.
What one dog likes, another won’t eat – taste is also very individual for four-legged friends.

So you should also make sure that your dog likes to eat his food. Dry or wet food are equivalent alternatives.
Slow weight gain is important in Dogo Canario puppies. If the dogs reach their final size too quickly, there is a risk of diseases, joint damage or bone cancer. You should therefore only feed puppy food with lots of nutrients to a limited extent.

Consultation with the veterinarian and regular weight checks are important here.
In general, the Dogo Canario does not have a sensitive stomach and is not prone to allergies. This makes his diet easy.


The Dogo Canario is considered an undemanding and easy-care dog. His coat is short and only needs the occasional brushing with a brush.
The breed generally does not belong in the city and is not suitable for a small apartment. The dogs need exercise and a lot of daily exercise. In the countryside, they can fulfill their urge to move in a manner appropriate to their species.

In addition, there are more opportunities for your own territory, which corresponds to the natural guard and protective instinct of the animals. Tasks and games are also important for the intelligent and willing Dogo Canario. With enough daily activities, this dog breed is even-tempered and calm.
In general, the breed needs consistent training. As a dog owner, you should have experience for a Dogo Canario.

As the owner, you set the tone and ensure good socialization. Self-confidence and natural authority are important in these dogs, which tend to be dominant and act independently. Even as a puppy, the Dogo Canario should know commands and accept you as a leader. In order to avoid collisions with people or other dogs, the animal must also learn to physically restrain itself in everyday life.
Visiting a good dog school is recommended for proper training.

With appropriate training, the Dogo Canario is also suitable as an assistance or protection dog.


The Spanish Mastiff is the ancestor of the Dogo Canario. This served as a hunting and driving dog for herds of cattle, as well as a guard and protection dog. The Spanish mastiff (also known as the Alano ) was also used in war. She was also involved in the conquest of South America by the conquistadors in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Canary Islands were a stopover on the crossing to the American continent.

Many of the Alanos remained here. They mixed them with the local dogs (majoreros) which resulted in the Dogo Canario breed. In the Canary Islands, the Dogo Canario was primarily used as a yard and guard dog for livestock. The breed was therefore mainly in the direction of nerves of steel and vigilance. In contrast, the breeding goals of willingness to fight and hunting instinct took a back seat.

In the 1970s, systematic breeding of the Dogo Canario began in Spain. So popular as a guardian of rural properties that the Gran Canaria government has declared it the natural symbol of the island. In the 1980s, breeding associations were founded and exhibitions were held worldwide. This is how the breed became internationally known.
However, there has long been disagreement over the name of the molossoid dog.

Perro de Presa Canario, Presa Canario, Perro de Presa Español, Alano or Canary Mastiff are some of the names. The cynological umbrella organization (FCI) officially recognized the dog breed in 2011 as Dogo Canario. 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 Presa Canario with hunting instinct as the breeding goal. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture then recognized the Presa Canario as a separate dog breed.

In contrast to the Presa Canario, the breeders of the Dogo Canario value balance and a calm character.

Dogo Canario Accessories

The Dogo Canario does not need any special accessories as it is undemanding and easy to care for. A well-fitting collar and the right leash are important for these strong and powerful dogs. A harness is also an option. It puts less strain on the sensitive neck. Collars, leashes and harnesses are made of plastic 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. There is a general leash and muzzle obligation for them. Like the collar, a muzzle should fit well and not be uncomfortable for the dog. Drinking and panting must not be restricted by the muzzle.

Otherwise, circulatory problems can occur, especially in summer. Muzzles are made of plastic or leather. Dog toys and chews are other useful accessories for the Dogo Canario. They satisfy his urge to play and chew. They also help with dental care.

A dog blanket, a dog basket or a dog bed is also the right thing for this undemanding breed for sleeping and resting. These items are also available in sizes suitable for the Dogo Canario. The dog needs the bowls for water and food in a suitable size. A height-adjustable stand is also useful. It prevents slipping on smooth surfaces.

Bowls are made of plastic, ceramic or stainless steel.

6Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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