Official Translation of the Breed Standard of the Club Espanol de Presa Canario (1989)



Name: Presa Canario (in Spanish) Synonym: Perro Basto and Verdino for brindled specimens.


Molossian dog native to the Canary Islands. In the Agreements of the Cabildo of Tenerife, in the Ordinances of Tenerife, and in the Agreements of the Cabildo of Fuerteventura, from the 16th century, there is talk, among other canine breeds, of hunting dogs. The most logical thing is to think that this dog was introduced in the Canary Islands by the Spanish conquerors and settlers. Then, with time and isolation, it was able to develop into a completely different breed. It is also possible to think about the possibility that, due to the influence of other hunting dogs brought from other places, its typology was modified to some extent. The truth is that this prey dog, with a voluminous body and head, somewhat lymphatic, and extraordinary temperament, was used in the Canary Archipelago to guard the haciendas, to care for the cattle and as a butcher’s assistant in slaughter of cattle.

In its evolution, from the end of the XIX century, what we could consider the modern presa dog, is outlined from the racial point of view, with the influence of the Perro de Ganado Majorero, or Bardino Majorero, which is what gives it that Such a peculiar characteristic that makes the Presa Canario dog different from the other Molossian breeds. In recent decades it has been used frequently as a fighting dog. The incessant work of rearing has achieved that the Presa Canario is widely disseminated and currently it is bred and selected with the concept of breed that we have today.


Physical Description:Dog of medium size, eumetric, with a straight profile. Rustic in appearance and well proportioned. It is a mesomorph whose trunk is longer than its height at the withers. Females generally longer than males. Solid head, square in appearance and broad skull. The upper lips cover the lower ones. Black mucous membranes. Strong teeth, wide set and well set. Brown eyes, of medium size. High set ears. Cylindrical neck, strongly muscled and covered by thick, detached and elastic skin. With not excessive double chin. High tail implantation. Wide chest and great thoracic width. Belly moderately gathered. Perfectly plumbed forelimbs, with broad and strong bones and pronounced angulations that guarantee good cushioning and a long trot. Cat’s foot. Powerful and muscular hindquarters, with medium angles and correct poise, with a climbing shoe slightly longer than the previous one. Elastic and thick skin. Short hair, without undercoat, which has a certain roughness. Brindle, tawny and black cape. Generally black mask.

Character and Temperament :His appearance is of extraordinary power. Severe look. Specially equipped for the function of guard and defence and for the driving of cattle. Of firm temperament. Skillful fighter, a tendency that shows by atavism. Low, deep barking. He is noble and meek in family and distrustful of strangers. In the past it was frequently used as a fighting dog.


Height: Males: 61 to 66 cm (24 to 26 in). Females: 57 to 62 cm. (22.5 to 24.5 in). In specimens that may exceed the height limit, a correct proportion must be required between the dimension of the extremities and the volume of the trunk.

Head:Brachiocephalic type. Cuboid trend. Solid appearance. The skull-to-face ratio is 6 to 4. The fronto-nasal depression is not very pronounced. Average length: 25 cm.

Skull:Convex anteroposterior and transverse. Flat frontal bone. Very marked zygomatic arch, with great development of the temporal and masseter muscles and the suborbital region. The depression between the frontal sinuses is marked. The occipital crest is practically erased by the muscles of the neck.

Mid-head circumference: 60 cm

Muzzle:Shorter than the skull. It normally represents 40% of the total head. It is of great width, in prolongation of the skull. The craniofacial lines are straight or slightly convergent.

Nose: Broad, strongly pigmented in black. With well open holes.

Lips:Medium thick and meaty. The upper one covers the lower one and as a whole, seen from the front, forms an inverted V. The mucous membranes are dark in color, although a pinkish tone may appear, although black is desirable. He does not normally drool.

Jaws: Teeth with a very strong wide base, generally fitting. Slight prognathism (slightly undershot) acceptable, given the dog’s origins. Bite typical of molossoid dogs. The absence of one or two premolars is not a fault, since the dog’s function depends on its canines and incisors which should be well in line and well placed.

Palate: Well-marked pinkish grooves.

Eyes: Slightly oval. Well separated. Black eyelids. Colour varies with coat from medium to very dark brown.

Ears: Pendants when complete. Of abrupt start and medium size and high implantation. They keep them flat on the skull or folded in pink. If they are trimmed, according to tradition, they remain erect and triangular in shape. The specimens with full ears will compete under the same conditions as those with cropped ears.

Neck:Cylindrical, straight, massive and very muscular, especially in the upper part. It is rather short and its lower edge has loose skin that contributes to the formation of a double chin, not excessive, in the longitudinal direction. Average length: between 18 and 20 cm (7- 8 in).

Forelimbs:Perfectly poised, broad boned and covered with powerful and visible musculature. The elbows should not be too close to the ribs, nor open outwards. Cat’s foot. Solid nails, black or white, in relation to the coloration of the coat. Average forearm length: 23 cm (9 in). Average of the anterior shaft: 14 cm (5.5 in).

Body:Its length normally exceeds the height at the withers by 10 or 12 percent. Wide and ample chest, with well marked pectoral muscles. Viewed from the side, it must reach at least the elbow. The thoracic circumference will normally be equal to the height plus 1/3 of this, although it is desirable to exceed this proportion. Well sprung ribs. The thoracic joint tends to be cylindrical. Mid thoracic circumference: 88 cm (34.6 in).

Dorso-lumbar line (from withers to loins): Straight, ascending slightly towards the rump. Apparent saddle on the back, just behind the withers.

Rump: Straight, medium length and wide. The height at the croup is normally 1.5 cm (0.6 in) higher than the withers.

Flanks:Little marked, only hinted.

Belly: Moderately collected, forming an arched line prolonging the ribs.

Sex organs:The male must present a complete and perfect development of both testicles. The scrotum must be collected.

Tail:Set high, flexible, thick and fleshy at birth, tapering towards the tip, up to the hock. In action it rises in the shape of a saber with the point forward, without curling up.

Hind limbs:Powerful. Correctly plumb from the front and in profile. Long, muscular thighs. The little pronounced angulations. Cat’s foot. It does not normally present a spur. Hocks without deviations and low The existence of a dewclaw may subtract score, but does not constitute a reason for disqualification.

Coat: Hair: Short in its entirety. Generally thickest at the withers, throat and crest of the buttocks. No undercoat. Compact on the tail. Rustic in appearance, it has a certain roughness.

Colour:Brindle (Bardino) throughout its range, from very warm dark to very light neutral grey and blonde. Fawn throughout its range, even the sand. Sometimes they can present white spots around the neck that can extend towards the skull, or on the extremities, although it is desirable that the presence of white is as small as possible. They usually have a white patch on the chest, more or less long. The mask is always dark in color and can reach the eye level.

Weight: Average male: 45-57 kg. (99-126 lb.). Average female: 40-50 kg. (88-110 lb.).


Slight defects:

  • Excessive wrinkling of the craneo-facial region.
  • Presence of spur.

Serious defects:

  • Poor nose pigmentation.
  • Excessive prognathism.
  • Specimens with slight hound-like appearance.

The gait, or movement, of the dog is assessed by the judge when the dog is competing.

  • Poor mask
  • Sickle legged or cow hocks.
  • Unbalanced character.
  • Frail or thinnish appearance.
  • Craneo-facial disproportion.
  • Curled tail, of equal thickness all the way, amputated or mutilated.

Total disqualification:

  • Monorchid, cryptorchid or castrated specimens.
  • More than 20% white markings.
  • Totally unpigmented nose or mouth lining.

Most important aspects:

Head (typicality): Massive. Muzzle well filled out. Dark colored eyes, well separated. Stop defined, but not too abrupt. Straight nose, not arched. Upper lip not withdrawn. Sufficient wrinkle. Well aligned bite, but not level. Reject specimens with level bite.

Body: Rectangular, longish, medium sized. Reject height that is neither functional nor characteristic. Well-sloped shoulders. Very arching ribs. Chest deep and the wider the better. Very well-developed pectorals. Separate elbows, not turned out. Strong-boned. Loins higher than withers, well developed. Slight angulation of hind-legs.