About the Perro de Presa Canario one has written quite a lot -some might say too much-, but not enough. When a dog breed is born, everything is still to be done. This is our case. In any case, something has been done, better or worse. From practically nothing, the Perro de Presa Canario has been taking shape, at least in theory. No, there are the dogs, someone may object, that in the first monographic of the breed in Las Palmas, 117 dogs were registered, and in the first one in Tenerife, 83 were registered. Yes, that is true. But which dogs were given Initial Registration in La Palmas, and which dogs were given Initial Registration in Tenerife? Let’s not be optimistic, let’s not be naïve, let’s not be ignorant (ignorant to ignore, not to insult). In Las Palmas an unforgivable mistake was made with so much registration, and we denounced it through these pages, of course, on that occasion the mistake was made by people from Madrid (from the Real Sociedad Canina Española), who were not very familiar with the subject and came with the intention to please as many fanciers as possible. Tenerife is another story. In this case we cannot say, “no, it’s that people in Madrid…”. The registration of the first Tenerife monograph was carried out by local specialists (one from Gran Canaria and the other from Tenerife (Agustín López Melo and Manuel Martín Bethencourt). Was there bad faith on the part of these judges? I don’t think so, yes, instead, there was a lack of courage and knowledge. They should have given NO APT to more dogs, many more. The fan is not stupid and would have ended up understanding, and therefore accepting, the judges’ decision. What happens now? Now it happens that 83 dams in Tenerife, and 117 in Gran Canaria are reproducing as much as they can because their offspring will have “papers” (pedigree). And what will be the result? Well, the projected Presa Canario Dog described in the Racial Pattern recognized by the Real Sociedad Canina Española may never become a reality, much less the one described in the second “Racial Pattern recommended by the Club Español del Perro de Presa Canario”, which was elaborated by the different forces of the Presa Canario of both Canary provinces in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
It is well known that in the first registrations of a breed (or of what is theoretically a breed) there is a lot of leeway, especially when there are few specimens to choose from. This has not been the case in Gran Canaria, and neither has it been the case in Tenerife. There are more, many more, than desirable in both provinces: tall, short, narrow, wide the least, far from the Racial Pattern most of them, and lacking in temperament, almost all of them in Tenerife.
In the Registry of Las Palmas, the courage test was not practiced with males and females of more than one year of age, then we talked about it at length, and it was agreed that this test would be compulsory in all registries and in all monographic shows. And it has not been fulfilled; in the last Tenerife show it was forgotten. Why? Because they are afraid of the courage test. And why are they afraid of the courage test, simply because the organizers know that the dogs to be judged (and theirs are among them) do not have it. What will happen in the future?
The Perro de Presa Canario either has a proven temperament or is worthless. Temperament, coat color, structure, eye color and guarding instinct are the product of careful selection. If we take a well-structured, typical male with a strong temperament and mate him with a female of similar characteristics, there will be a very high probability that the offspring will inherit those qualities; and the opposite if the parents are atypical, poorly structured and lacking in temperament.
It seems to me to be absolutely convenient and necessary for the breed club to seriously consider what is proposed here; creating a dog breed is not a game, and much less a breed that must fulfill a guarding, defense and attacking function. The canary prey dog that does not really guard, that does not really defend, that does not really attack when necessary is not such a canary prey dog.
In every breed registry, in every single-breed show, the courage test must be given to all dogs and bitches over one year of age, or at least from one and a half years of age. Moreover, if it is true that puppy tattooing is to be carried out for better litter control, it should be denied to those puppies whose parents have not passed the courage test.
The courage test is not a joke, and should be performed by a professional and impartial person. This means that at no time should the person performing the test be influenced by the interests of anyone in particular, and it should be done in a proper manner, without concessions of any kind. If we have to bring in people from outside, we bring them in, the race we have projected deserves it.
And now let’s go for hip dysplasia. We know that this disease, hereditary and degenerative, affects all dog breeds, and therefore also the Presa Canario. Many of the dogs registered in Gran Canaria, and later in Tenerife, suffer from this disease; the Club Español del Perro de Presa Canario knows it, as do all breeders and fanciers who are interested in the subject. And these specimens (males and females) are being bred.
Let’s see, if we add hip dysplasia to the lack of temperament, to the insufficient structure, to the lack of typicality of our dogs of prey, what we are left with, a dog without any attraction, useless, and also sick. That is, then, what abounds at the moment, and if we do not remedy it soon, the C.E.P.P.C. is the one with the maximum responsibility.
Published by the author in the newspaper El Dia Tenerife on June 2, 1991.