The Presa Canario temperament is known as the island temperament - gentle, affectionate and noble with the family but wary and distrustful of strangers. The Presa forms a strong bond with the human family. This dog is affectionate and loyal. They are devoted to the family and known to be very protective of the children. A Presa would seem to be indifferent, quietly observing. This dog is noted for its intense gaze. Any sign of danger to the family will make this dog pounce. This dog however is not recommended for families with babies.
The Presa is tough and aggressive by nature. The massive appearance of the dog compounds its ferocious attributes. This dog would not hesitate to confront any intruder. Intensive training is therefore necessary as an untrained Presa can be a very dangerous dog. Training a Canary Dog can be challenging. Training must be done while the dog is still young. A matured dog can be stubborn and domineering. These are very intelligent dogs and there is no doubt that they will understand the commands. However, the dog may choose not to obey.
A well trained Presa will be a devoted pet, one that will adapt to any kind of environment. A well socialized dog make excellent home companions as it will tolerate other pets. Presa are known to live comfortably with other dogs, cats, horses and other animals. A Canary Dog is pretty versatile. It can live in a house in an urban area or in a farm. The owner however, must ensure that the dog is provided with enough space where it can run. These are working dog and they would naturally need vigorous exercise.These dogs are relatively inactive indoors but it would not be a good idea to constantly keep them indoors for they will be bored and be destructive.
The Dogo Canario is a dog of powerful appearance with a severe expression. His look should denote strength and courage. The dog is a noble breed of great confidence and self security. The dog is never excessively aggressive. An overly aggressive animal is not one of "strong temperament" but one that is unbalanced and insecure. This is neither typical or desirable in the breed.
The breed is gentle and affectionate with his family, including children. He should always be tolerant and gentle with them. A dog that shows aggression towards children is a dog of insecurity and unstable character.
The Spanish standard states "desconfiado" which literally translates to "distrustful, wary or suspicious". It has been translated by some as "unfriendly", but mistakenly interpreted as "aggressiveness". The best English description of this temperament is aloof or reserved. Aloof is also often mistaken for unfriendliness or aggressiveness. Aloofness in an animal is best described as indifference. The dog acknowledges your presence, but neither reacts positively or negatively towards you. This is the correct description of the Dogo Canario. Upon meeting a stranger, the dog should be watchful and "suspicious", ever keeping his eye out for trouble, but should not react with aggression to a situation not warranted. The dog should accept friendly strangers and even petting from them, but typically show no real enthusiasm for it, never backing away fearfully or reacting aggressively to a friendly person.
The Dogo Canario does not have the instant dislike of strangers or "ojeriza" that is associated with the Fila Brasilerio breed. In the Dogo Canario, this atypical and is associated with an insecure and unbalanced dog.
The Presa Canario breed is known for its calm temperament, which is often referred to as the "island temperament." It is considered "gentle and noble" with the family, and distrusting of strangers. The Presa Canario forms a strong bond with its master and human family and can be very protective. The breed is intelligent and is known to possess a "severe gaze." In some situations, the Presa can be aggressive toward animals, other dogs, and even humans in rare cases. Once the dog has been properly socialized and trained, this becomes the exception rather than the rule. Many Presas share their homes with birds, cats, dogs, horses, reptiles and other animals.A dog attack that received much media attention involved a pair of Presa Canario/Mastiff hybrids. These two dogs broke away from their owner and killed [[Diane Whipple]] in front of her apartment door on January, 26, 2001. Allegedly, the dogs had been bred and trained for aggression.