Is the Perro de Presa Canario the Right Dog for You?The Presa Canario is not an appropriate choice for an inexperienced dog owner. First-time dog owners and people who have had only “soft” breeds such as retrievers, spaniels or toy breeds need not apply. This dog is large, powerful, intelligent, active and headstrong. A Presa Canario needs a leader who can guide him with firmness and consistency and without using force or cruelty.
Early, frequent socialization is essential. Purchase a Presa Canario puppy from a breeder who raises the pups in the home and ensures that they are exposed to many different household sights and sounds, as well as people, before they go off to their new homes.
Continue socializing your Presa Canario throughout his life by taking him to puppy kindergarten class, visits to friends and neighbors, and outings to local shops and businesses. This is the only way he can learn to be discriminating, recognizing what is normal and what is truly a threat. That said, no amount of socialization will make him friendly toward one and all. The Presa Canario is first and foremost a guard dog, and he takes his responsibilities seriously.
Begin training as soon as you bring your Perro de Presa Canario puppy home, while he is still at a manageable size. A nothing-in-life-is-free program, requiring puppies to “work” for everything they get by performing a command before receiving meals, toys, treats or play, often works well with this breed. It’s always a good idea to take a Presa Canario to puppy kindergarten followed by basic obedience class, especially if you are working with a trainer who understands the Perro de Presa Canario mindset.
The Presa Canario has a high activity level and needs a job to do, which can be anything from being your on-leash jogging companion to daily training activities. He will not be satisfied to lie around and do nothing all the time.
He must also be prevented from chasing and killing cats or small dogs belonging to the neighbors. The Presa Canario has a high prey drive and a territorial nature, so he needs a strong, solid fence at least six feet high to keep him on his own property. An underground electronic fence is never appropriate for this breed.
Like any dog, Perro de Presa Canario puppies are inveterate chewers and because of their size can do a whole lot of damage. Don’t give them the run of the house until they’ve reached trustworthy maturity. And keep your Perro de Presa Canario puppy busy with training, play and socialization experiences. A bored Perro de Presa Canario is a destructive Perro de Presa Canario, taking up digging, chewing and other undesirable behaviors.
The Perro de Presa Canario should spend plenty of time indoors and outdoors with his family. Chaining a Presa Canario out in the yard and giving him little or no attention is not only cruel, it can also lead to aggression and destructive behavior.
The Perro de Presa Canario has a smooth coat that sheds. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Presa Canario on the rare occasions that he’s dirty.