Everything you need to know about living with the Presa Canario

Presa Canario
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Presa Canario is a breed well worth considering if you’re looking for a loyal and protective canine companion who’ll fit right in with your family. But as Presa Canario owner and enthusiast Elijah Prada reveals, this isn’t a dog for the faint of heart and firm rules are a must.

“We don’t allow them to just go rampant around the house and start horseplaying or running at full speed because they are a very large dog and we have created boundaries…they can’t just do whatever the heck they want.”

Hailing from Spain, the Presa Canario is a moderately large-sized molossoid with a robust and well proportioned body and a balanced temperament. And while they can be very obedient and docile around their people, they’re vigilant and alert with strangers.

“They’re a complete joy to live with,” Prada explains. “They have this mentality where they can be extremely lovable and I can talk to them like a baby and they’ll go ahead and go over completely submissive and then a split-second later if they hear a noise or something that they feel is an intruder or they feel is a problem, they will deal with it accordingly.”

Prada loves the balanced nature of the Presa, but says enabling it usually requires owners to have the help of a professional dog trainer to ensure this powerful and strong-willed breed knows their place in the pack. 

“With any dog breed there’s going to be an occasional alpha. What that means basically is that one is going to be extremely dominant. Of course with the Presa Canario breed, you have to be the authoritative figure, you have to be the alpha. If you’re a beta male or a beta female, this dog is not for you. You have to be in command and 100% in charge all the time or they will absolutely dominate your life.”

And while people sometimes fear them, Prada says he’s never had any issues with his two Presa’s when out and about.

“As far as the exercise goes, we do walk them through the neighborhood. As a matter of fact, my daughter walks them generally and there’s no issues at all. They have been trained to walk with no issues right next to her, they listen wholeheartedly, obviously she can’t control them if they got out of hand so they don’t get out of hand, they respect her.”

Prada chose the Presa because of its protection value and their loyalty and it’s the extreme bond they form with their family which is one of the reasons he loves them so much. “As long as you give them a lot of love, a lot of discipline, they’re going to watch the family like it’s their own.”

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.