New breed standard of the Perro de Presa Canario



I.2. Synonymy: In Tenerife it is also called “Perro Basto”, or “Berdino”, for those dogs with a bardino (brindle) coat.


Molossoid dog native to the Canary Islands. In the Agreements of the Cabildo of Tenerife, in the Ordinances of Tenerife, and in the Agreements of the Cabildo of Fuerteventura, from the 16th century onwards, there is mention, among other canine breeds, of prey dogs. It is logical to think that this dog was introduced in the Canary Islands by the Spanish conquerors and settlers. Then, with time and isolation, it could have evolved into a completely differentiated race. It is also possible that, due to the influence of other prey dogs brought from elsewhere, their typology was modified to some extent. The truth is that this canine of prey, with a voluminous body and head, somewhat lymphatic, and with an extraordinary temperament, was used in the Canary Archipelago to guard farms, to take care of cattle and as an assistant butcher in the slaughter of cattle.

In its evolution, from the end of the XIX century, what we could consider the modern Presa de Presa dog, is outlined from the racial point of view, with the influence of the Perro de Ganado Majorero, or Bardino Majorero, which is the one that gives it that peculiar characteristic that makes the Perro de Presa Canario different from the other molossian breeds. In recent decades it has been frequently used as a combat dog. The incessant work of breeding has made the Presa Canario widely spread and nowadays it is bred and selected with the breed concept that we have today.


1.-Description of the whole (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. Females are generally longer than males. Solid head, square in appearance and broad skull. The upper lips cover the lower lips. Black mucous membranes. Strong, wide-set, well-set teeth. Brown eyes, medium size. Ears of high insertion. Cylindrical neck, strongly muscled and covered by thick, detached and elastic skin. With double chin not excessive. Implantation of the high tail. Chest broad and of great thoracic amplitude Belly moderately tucked up. Perfectly plumb forelegs, with broad, strong bones and pronounced angulations that guarantee good cushioning and a long trot. Cat’s foot. Powerful and muscular hindquarters, with medium angulations and correct aplomb, with a cat foot slightly longer than the front. Elastic and thick skin. Short hair, without undercoat, which presents some roughness. Tabby, fawn and black coat. Generally black mask.

2.-Character and aptitude:

Its appearance is of extraordinary power. Stern look. Specially equipped for guard and defense functions and for driving cattle. Of firm temperament. Skillful fighter, a tendency he shows by atavism. Deep, deep bark. He is noble and gentle in the family and distrustful of strangers. In the past it was frequently used as a combat dog.


Elevation to the cross:

Males, from 61 to 66 cm.

Females, from 57 to 62 cm.

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.

2.- Head:

Brachycephalic type. Cuboid tendency. Solid appearance. The skull to face ratio is 6 to 4. The fronto-nasal depression is not very pronounced. Average length: 25 cm.

2.1.- Skull:

Convex anteroposteriorly and transversely. Flat frontal bone. Very marked zygomatic arch, with great development of the temporalis and masseter muscles and the suborbital region. The depression between frontal sinuses is marked. The occipital crest practically erased by the muscles of the nape of the neck.

Average head circumference: 60 cm.

2.2.- Face or muzzle:

Shorter in length than the skull. It normally represents 40% of the total head. It is of great width, in prolongation of the skull. Craniofacial lines are straight or slightly convergent.

2.3.- Nose or truffle:

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

2.4.- Lips or lips:

Medium thick and fleshy. The upper one covers the lower one and as a whole, seen from the front, forms an inverted V shape. The mucous membranes are dark in color, although a pinkish tone may appear, although black is desirable. He does not normally drool.

2.6.- Maxillae:

Teeth with very strong, well-fitted insertion base. Generally, it does not present prognathism. Pincer or scissor bite. Incisors and canines should be well aligned and arranged. The canines have a wide transverse distance.

4.- Ears:

Pendants when complete. Medium-sized, medium start-up and high implantation. They keep them flat on the skull or folded in pink. If they are trimmed, according to tradition, they remain erect and triangular in shape. Full-eared horses will compete under the same conditions as those with cropped ears.

5.- Neck:

Cylindrical, straight, massive and very muscular, especially in the upper part. It is rather short and its lower edge has loose skin that contributes to the formation of double dewlap, not excessive, longitudinally. Average length: between 18 and 20 cm.

6.- Forelimbs:

Perfectly plumb, broad-boned and covered with powerful and visible musculature. The elbows should not be too close to the ribs, nor open outwards. Cat’s foot. Solid nails, black or white, in relation to the coloration of the coat. Average forearm length: 23 cm. Average front shank: 14 cm.

7.- Trunk:

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 side, it should reach at least to the elbow. The thoracic perimeter will normally be equal to the height plus 1/3 of it, although it is desirable to exceed this proportion. Ribs well sprung. The thoracic set tends to be cylindrical. Average thoracic perimeter: 88 cm.

7.1. -Dorsolumbar line:

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

7.2.- Rump:

Straight, medium length and wide. The height at the croup is normally 1.5 cm higher than the height at the withers.

7.3.- Flanks:

Little marked, only insinuated.

7.4.- Belly:

Moderately tucked up, forming an arched line prolonging the ribcage.

7.5.- Sexual organs:

The male must present a complete and perfect development of both testicles. The scrotum should be collected.

8.- Tail

High set, flexible, thick and fleshy, tapering towards the tip, up to the hock. In action it rises in the shape of a saber with the tip forward, without curling.

9.- Hind limbs:

Powerful. Correctly plumed in front and profile. Long and muscular thighs. The angulations are not very pronounced. Cat’s foot. Normally it does not present spur. The existence of a dewclaw may detract from the score, but does not constitute a reason for disqualification.

10.- Mantle:

10.1. Hair:

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

10.2.- Color:

brindle (Bardino) in all its range, from very warm dark to very light neutral gray and blond. Lions in all its range, up to the sand. Occasionally they may present white spots around the neck that may extend towards the skull or on the extremities, although it is desirable that the presence of white be as small as possible. They usually have a white spot on the chest, more or less long. The mask is always dark in color and may reach eye level.


Average in males: 45 to 57 k. Average in females: 40 to 50 k.

12.- Defects


Equal group-cross height. Slight prognathism. Excessive wrinkles in the craniofacial region. Presence of spur. Light-colored eyes. Atypical barking.

12.2.- Serious

Scarce pigmentation of the truffle. Excessively dangling belfos. Eyes of different shades. Excessive prognathism. Specimens of slightly agalgado aspect. Incorrect or deviated aplombs. Absence of premolars. Character imbalance, shyness, etc. Fragile appearance and poor structure. Head that does not meet the skull-face proportion. Tail curled, of equal thickness along its entire length, amputated or deformed.

12.3.- Eliminatory

Monorchid, cryptorchid or castrated specimens. White stains greater than 30%, or with stains on the back. Enognatism. total depigmentation of the nose or mucous membranes.

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