On May 13, a very important (unofficial) exhibition of Canary Island Presa dogs was held at the Tenerife Fairgrounds, organized by the Club Español del Perro de Presa Canario, with the collaboration of the Club de Perros de Presa Canarios de Gran Canaria and independently of Mr. Clemente Reyes Santana and Manuel Curtó Gracia (the undersigned). This was not just another exhibition, you could see it in the details and in the content. Although there were no prisoners from Gran Canaria (we know that travel between islands is somewhat cumbersome and expensive), the people from Gran Canaria were here. Don Agustín López Melo came to judge the Presa dogs, and Don Clemente Reyes Santana assisted him as Ring Commissioner (both invited by the organizing club). That is to say, the Official Breed Club and the breeders and exhibitors of Tenerife prey put their dogs in the hands of these specialists to be judged, classified or eliminated. There is no doubt that this way of proceeding on the part of the Club de la Raza is beginning to be convincing, and there is no doubt that it will bear fruit.
It has taken a long time to reach this understanding between the clubs of both provinces and independents. There have been many meetings, and many joint work sessions, and some mistrust and mistrust on both sides.
The trials began at 10 a.m. on Sunday 13, after an hour and a half of waiting and a lot of nerves. First, puppies of both sexes, from five months to one year old. Then the females, followed by the males from one year of age onwards.
The guest judge, grateful and prudent, was benevolent at all times, so as not to offend the fans or the dam presenters.
The puppy class left much to be desired, and was small in number. That means that it is being bred poorly and without regard to the breed standard. And of the adults I must say that if the judge had judged them with the rigor that the standard demands, more than seventy percent would not have passed the Breed Registry. And I will explain why.
The Perro de Presa Canario is characterized (should be characterized) by its enormous head, and by its wide ribs, wider than those of any molosser of prey.
The Presa Canario has (must have) a very broad and strong back, the forelimbs considerably separated from each other, because if it is short of arms it is because it is short of chest, and therefore has a flat rib.
The bones of the Presa canario are broad and strong, both in the forelimbs and hind limbs, and it rests its hands securely, carrying most of its body weight on them.
These characteristics could hardly be seen in the dogs presented, except for seven or eight, and we should be very aware (all of us) of such deficiencies.
The breeder must take the Race Pattern into account. Good dogs are not born by chance. Color is not everything, far from it, in the Presa Canario. Let us abandon once and for all this erroneous idea of the bardic-coated bird of prey dog. The Presa Canario can be bardino, fawn, black, and spotted (without white on the back). Structure, character, temperament, typicity… There is typicality when there is a balance between the different parts. Flat ribs, wiry necks, narrow heads, etc., etc., can never give typicality to the dog we are interested in.
The Standard, gentlemen, let us read it again and again carefully. Let us not mate a dog and a bitch of prey until we are clear about the content, down to the smallest detail, of the Breed Standard.
If there is no typicity there is no race, and if there is no expression there is no typicity. The expression (let’s keep this in mind) focuses especially on the animal’s head.
In this exhibition, all dogs over one year of age were given a character test. For the first time. And the major did not measure up, the public could see that. Unforgivable in Presa Canario.
The Perro de Presa Canario is and must continue to be a guard and defense dog and if it is not capable of guarding and defending with true courage it lacks value.
To sum up and to finish. Many dogs in this show, but few of quality. The three finalist males were/are very different, phenotypically, and the same is true of the females and puppies of both sexes. And something fundamental, which should not be overlooked, the premolars. More than seventy percent of the specimens presented lacked a premolar. And prognathism. Several were/are prognathous. The Perro de Presa Canario should have an impeccable mouth, with a scissor bite.
INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF GRAN CANARIA
In Las Palmas, next June 23rd and 24th, the International Dog Show will be held once again, and there, Canary Island Presa dogs will be presented, and the reality will not be very different: little uniformity, little quality. And in it will judge (we will judge) breeders from Tenerife and Gran Canaria (authorized by the Sociedad Central Canina Española), as it should be. Thus, with united wills, we will achieve that the Perro de Presa Canario is truly a different and unique canine breed.
APPOINTMENT OF JUDGES
Finally, a long awaited letter has arrived at the CEPPC headquarters, dated May 3rd of this year in Madrid, which reads as follows: “Dear Sirs. Once studied by the Committee – it refers to the Committee of Spanish Canine Breeds – the subject of the appointment of Judges proposed by this Club, with the conformity of this RSC, the Committee, in its meeting of April 25 of the present year, has agreed to recognize as judges of the breed Perro de Presa Canario, Mr. Manuel Martín Bethencourt and Mr. Manuel Curtó Gracia for Tenerife, and for Las Palmas, Mr. Agustín López Melo and Mr. Clemente Reyes Santana”. Signed: Andrés del Río Pérez, General Secretary of the Spanish Canine Society.
And in another letter, also dated May 3 of the present year, the Spanish Canine Society communicates to the CEPPC the following: “In response to the request made to us in your letter dated December 12 of last year, the Committee, at its meeting of 22- III- 1990, has agreed as follows:
1º. At the International Dog Show in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, two of the four judges proposed by the Club will participate, one from each province (Tenerife and Gran Canaria) and the judge who will judge the Spanish Breeds at that show.
2º. In the Special Show of Spanish Breeds in Cuellar and in the International Shows in Madrid, the two Judges of Spanish Breeds designated by this RSC and, at the request of the Club, one of the four judges proposed by the Club, will be in charge of the judges. The travel expenses of the judge designated by you will be paid by the Spanish Presa Canario Club.
Signed: Andrés del Río Pérez. Published by the author in the newspaper El Día (Tenerife) on June 3, 1990.