It seems to me entirely appropriate to say once again that the Perro de Presa Canario, the old Presa Canario, the famous fighter, the incomparable Perro de Presa Canario, the incomparable guardian of homes and farms, no longer exists.
Having said this, let’s talk about the prognathism in the canary prey dogs.
It is well known, among the old dog fighters of these islands, that the prognathism in the contending specimens was a defect that placed them in inferior conditions in the fight, a defect that, through selection, was eradicated when it occurred. Of course, there were prognathous dogs that fought well, but due to this prognathism, the prey was lost much earlier than those with a perfect scissor or pincer bite. But were prognathous the prey dogs of the Canary Islands, the traditional ones, those descendants of the Spanish prey dogs, or was this prognathism introduced with the importation, already in our century, or was it before, of the English bulldogs? We do not know. The greater the prognathism, the worse the prey. A prognathous dog cannot be equal, not only in fighting, but also in big game hunting, to a dog with a pincer or scissors bite.
The creators of the Dogo Argentino knew this very well, and were very careful that their dogs were not prognathous. The Dogo Argentino was created for big game hunting, not for fighting, and is an extraordinary gripping dog. If a Dogo Argentino loses its prey at the most critical moment, it is a bad thing. If the Perro de Presa Canario loses the prey at the most critical moment of the fight, it is a bad thing.
But are we going to throw our dogs into a fight now, in our days when there is so much talk of humanitarianism towards animals, of non-violence, of conservation of animal species, of ecology? Of course it’s nothing like that. The point is that if we talk about a breed of dog called Perro de Presa Canario we have to be consistent with the reality of its anatomical parts. We cannot deceive ourselves, and try to deceive others. The Perro de Presa Canario was not prognathous and was considered defective when it was. Why is that? Well, simply because this dog was designed, since ancient times, to prey on other animals, whether they were its own or not. Nowadays, due to the use of foreign prognathous breeds, for the recreation of the Perro de Presa Canario, prognathous products are born, and let’s not try to justify those products. The Perro de Presa Canario was not, and if we want our Presa Canario dogs to resemble those of the past, we should not use in breeding individuals with this defect.
Of course, this question of prognathism is not solved in two days. It is necessary to select without scruples generation after generation.
Published by the author in El Día on November 16, 1984.