And finally the standard of the Perro de Presa Canario has arrived.

On April 18, 1989, the Sociedad Canina de Canarias received the recently elaborated, approved and homologated standard for the Perro de Presa Canario, a jewel for posterity, a display of good work, the brilliant work of…, shall we say it? No, let’s leave it. Of course, this marvel is a copy (with some unfortunate touches) of the standard that the CEPRC will send to the Spanish Kennel Club. This is how the Commission of Spanish Breeds of Dogs works, which according to what a judge of Spanish breeds of dogs told me at one time they (its members) used to meet periodically to discuss Spanish dogs, but today this commission exists only on paper, and no one meets at all. Carlos Salas Melero (member of this Commission) came to Tenerife, and then to Las Palmas, to see the Canary Island Presa dogs (I and II Canary Island Presa Dog Shows), and talked, and listened, or did not listen, or did not want to listen (because he already had it all figured out a priori) or it went in one ear and out the other, and he returned to Madrid, arrogant, saying that (in El Mundo del Perro) that they had made an impact (he and his partner Ana Mesto). Oh, Lord!


I.NAME AND SYNONYM: Denomination: “Perro Rústico”. “Verdino” for those specimens of brindle color.

II.ORIGINS AND DIFFUSION OF THE BREED: Molosser dog originating from the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, in the Canary Archipelago, where it arose due to its function, which was fighting. It was essentially the result of crosses between the Bardino or Majorero, a dog native to the island of Fuerteventura and molossoid dogs brought to the islands. Its fiery temperament was inherited from its ancestor the Bardino or Majorero, a pre-Hispanic cattle dog, spread since ancient times throughout the archipelago, rustic, hard-working and with a fiery character. These crosses gave rise to an ethnic grouping of intermediate and predominant prey, brindle or fawn in color and both spotted in white. It would take several decades for the resurgence of the Presa Canario to begin uninterruptedly at the hands of a few breeders who had lived and known its tradition and existence. From that moment on, the incessant work of breeding has ensured that the Presa Canario has spread throughout the Archipelago, where there is a very large population and where it is bred and selected with the breed concept that we have today, without forgetting the function for which it was created.


Overall description (general characteristics)

Medium size dog, eumetric, straight profile. Rustic in appearance and well proportioned. It is a mesomorph whose trunk is longer than its height at the withers, accentuating the slightly more long-limbed character in females. Solid head, square in appearance and broad skull. The upper lips cover the lower lips with some flaccidity. Black mucous membranes. Strong teeth, wide set and generally well set. Brown eyes, medium size. Ears of high insertion. Cylindrical neck, strongly muscled and covered by thick, detached and elastic skin. Slight double chin. Short and straight back. Implantation of the wide tail. Wide and broad chest. Belly moderately tucked up. Perfectly plumb forelegs with broad, strong bones. Cat’s foot. Powerful and muscular hindquarters, with not very marked angulations and correct aplomb, with a cat’s foot slightly longer than the front. Elastic and thick skin. Short hair, without undercoat, which presents some roughness. Coat within the brindle and fawn range with black mask.

2. Character and aptitude

Its appearance denotes power. Stern look. Specially equipped for guarding and defense and traditionally for driving cattle. Impetuous temperament. Skillful fighter, a tendency he shows by atavism. Deep, deep bark. He is gentle and noble in the family and distrustful of strangers. In the past it was used especially as a fighting dog.


Height at withers Males, from 59 to 64. Females, 55 to 59

In specimens that may exceed the height limit, a correct proportion between the size of the limbs and the volume of the trunk must be required.


Brachycephalic type. Cuboid tendency. Appearance

solid. The skull-to-face ratio is 6 to 4. The fronto-nasal depression is not abrupt, but well marked.


Convex anteroposteriorly and transversely. Very marked zygomatic arch with great development of the temporalis and masseter muscles. The depression between frontal sinuses is marked. Occipital crest not very marked.

2.2.Nose or truffle

Broad, heavily pigmented in black. With wide open holes.

2.3.Lips or lip lips

Medium thick and fleshy. The upper one is slightly pendulous and in its conjunction, seen from the front, forms an inverted V shape. The mucous membranes are dark in color, although a pinkish tone may appear, although dark is desirable.


Teeth with a very strong implant base and generally well set. Given its origin, a slight prognathism is admitted, a bite typical of prey molossers. The absence of a premolar is not penalized, since the prey mission is carried out by incisors and canines, which must be well aligned and arranged. The canines have a wide transverse distance.


With well marked striae, with a pinkish tone.


Slightly oval, with good separation. Eyelids pigmented in black. The color ranges from medium to dark brown according to the color of the coat.


Pendants when complete. Medium-sized, medium start-up and high implantation. They are usually folded in pink. If trimmed, according to tradition, they are erect or semi-erect and triangular in shape. Dogs with complete ears will compete under the same conditions as those with amputated ears.


Cylindrical, straight, massive and very muscular. It is rather short and its lower edge has loose skin that contributes to the formation of medium dewlap. Average length: between 18 and 20 cms.


Their length normally exceeds the height at the withers by 10 to 12 percent. Chest wide and broad, with well marked pectoral muscles. Seen from the front, it should reach at least to the elbow. The thoracic perimeter will normally be equal to the height plus 1/4 of it, although it is desirable to exceed this proportion. Ribs well arched, almost cylindrical in structure.

7.-Dorsal-lumbar line

Straight, rising slightly towards the rump. Apparent saddling on the back, just behind the withers.


Straight, medium and wide. The height at the croup is normally 1.5 cm. Over in relation to the height at the withers.


Little marked, only insinuated. 7.3. Belly moderately tucked up forming an arched line prolongation of the rib.

7.4.Sexual organs

The male must present a complete and perfect development of both testicles.


High set, flexible, thick and fleshy, tapering towards the tip, up to the hock. Slight lateral deviation may be observed at rest. In action it rises in the shape of a saber with the tip forward, without curling.

9.-Posterior extremities

Powerful, well plumbed in front and profile. Very muscular thighs. Medium angulations. Cat’s foot. Normally they do not present spur. Hocks without deviations and low. The existence of a spur may detract from the score, but does not constitute a reason for disqualification.



Short throughout, generally thicker on withers, throat and ridge of buttocks. No undercoat. Compact at the tail. Rustic in appearance, it presents a certain roughness.


brindle (brownish) in all its range, from very warm dark to very light neutral gray or blond. Lions in all its range up to the sand. Occasionally there may be spots around the neck (collared) or on the limbs (shod), although it is desirable that the presence of white be as small as possible. It usually has a white spot on the chest, more or less long. The mask is always dark in color and can reach up to eye level.


Average in males: 42 to 50 Kg. Average in females: 38 to 45 kg.



Excessive wrinkles in the craniofacial region. 12.2.Serious

Scarce pigmentation of the truffle. Excessively dangling belfos.

Excessive prognathism.

Specimens of slightly agalgado aspect. Mask poverty.

Incorrect or deviated aplombs.

Character imbalance.

Fragile appearance and poor build. Head that does not meet the skull-face proportion.

Tail curled, of equal thickness along its entire length, amputated or deformed


Monorchid, cryptorchid or castrated specimens.

White spotting greater than 40%. Enognatism.

Total depigmentation of the truffle or mucous membranes.


Every standard, no matter what breed of dog it is, deserves a comment. This one of the Perro de Presa Español… Sorry, I was already making a mistake. But then again, isn’t this standard describing any dog of prey that could very well be Spanish? Because what I have no doubt about is that the one we are dealing with does not fit, not even remotely, the Perro de Presa Canario. In the section “Denomination and synonymy” we read: “Presa Canario”, “Perro rústico”, “Verdino”. Presa Canario yes, but the rustic dog will be in mainland Spain, because in the Canary Islands this denomination, referring to dogs, is not used, as far as I know. In any case Perro Basto (north of Tenerife). But coarse dog does not mean breed, coarse dog is all that corpulent dog of coarse aspect that is used for the guard of the properties.

And verdino is said to all dogs of the prey type (Tenerife), whether or not they have the bardino mantle, but this is by mistake, due to ignorance of the autochthonous. And it is not verdino but berdino (with b), a degenerate word of bardino. The Canarian peasant uses this word to refer to dogs, horses, cows, goats of barcino mantle. And, of course, also the word barcino-a, derived from the Arabic word “baraxa”, widely used in Spanish-speaking peninsular Spain. Bardino-a is a Castilian word that has fallen into disuse in the Peninsula, but has been preserved in the Canary Islands, and it should be said, once again, that it does not mean breed, in any case, neither in what refers to the Perro de Ganado Majorero, nor to the Perro de Presa Canario. In the section “Origins and Diffusion of the Breed” we are told that “It was – do you mean the dog you have just recognized? -essentially the result of crosses between the Bardino (again the same mistake, bardino-verdino) or Majorero, and molossoid dogs brought to the islands”. If I say that they are referring to another dog. We have already seen, and we will continue to see, of what crosses the Perro de Presa Canario that the Sociedad Central Canina Española has recognized. And we are told, in the standard, that the Perro de Presa Canario must be brindle or fawn, and that the white color cannot exceed forty percent of the totality of the dog. And they do not refer to the black coat. That is to say, the judge, standard in hand, can not give registration to those dogs with black coat, and therefore they will not be able to compete for the CAC, even if they have ten generations of strict genetic selection behind them, on the other hand, a son of a Bullmastiff bitch – Rokote del Jardín Canario case -, by the mere fact of being brindle can win the Spanish Championship, as it has happened. In Gran Canaria, black dogs have been bred since who knows how long -many years-, and they will continue breeding them (no doubt about it), because it is of public domain (in the Canary Islands) that the Presa dogs were selected for their qualities, never for the color of the coat. This reality is not going to change in Gran Canaria, where the dogs are still selected for their aptitudes. Most of the breeders are not going to take into account what is said in the approved standard nor what the judges say and they will continue breeding presas with their own criteria, black or bardino, fawn or spotted, and they will not go to the shows with them. And probably this attitude will be the salvation of the Presa Canario, because we all know what dog shows are, in which only the very debatable aesthetics of the dogs count, and not their functionality. And we read in the standard that the ears of the Presa Canario when they are full “are generally folded in pink”. Certainly, the ears of some of the CEPRC dogs have this characteristic, and this is due to the fact that these dogs are the product of crosses with English Bulldogs and Bullmastiffs. Now, the vast majority of the dogs bred in the Canary Islands have ears that fall flat on both sides of the head, what do we do with them? Do we continue with the standard, do we continue with the prognathism, with the lack of premolars, do we continue…? No, let’s stop.

Tenerife 1989

Manuel Curtó Gracia

Manuel Curtó Gracia

Propietario del criadero de Presas Canarios "Irema Curtó" desde 1975. Además de ser el criador de esta raza más antiguo del mundo, y de que sus perros sean la base de gran parte de las líneas de Presa Canario, también es autor del libro "El perro de Presa Canario ,su verdadero origen", del libro "El Presa", colaborador en periódicos, revistas especializadas, documentales, debates, programas de radio, televisión, etc.

Sitio web
Manuel Curtó Gracia

Manuel Curtó Gracia

Propietario del criadero de Presas Canarios "Irema Curtó" desde 1975. Además de ser el criador de esta raza más antiguo del mundo, y de que sus perros sean la base de gran parte de las líneas de Presa Canario, también es autor del libro "El perro de Presa Canario ,su verdadero origen", del libro "El Presa", colaborador en periódicos, revistas especializadas, documentales, debates, programas de radio, televisión, etc.

Sitio web