Presa Canario
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1904
    Does anyone have any experiences with this breed? I think that they've evolved into one of my canine-crushes.

    When London was going for his Therapy Dog cert way back when, I met two of these guys taking their test in the same day. I was interested in them before, but my interest really hit an all-time high when I got to see them in person. They were really amazing dogs and not at all as big as I had really thought they would be. I got into a conversation with the owners and got to see their dogs in action. It was a very cool experience.

    I loved how alert, dignified, and calm the dogs were. They always looked like they knew everything that was going on in their environment and absolutely loved every second of their test. They reacted to no part of the test further than an "oh, what was that? Oh, okay, that's cool" - I'm sure part of it was socialization, training, and time, but it was interesting to see two unrelated Presa from two unrelated owners reacted to the things they were presented with (and more) in such similar ways.

    I think there was someone on the forum who had a Presa (@atlas, maybe?), so I figured I'd throw this out there and find out what the forum thought. :)
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 ||
    Post edited by Crispy at 2013-05-10 11:39:45
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3016
    @atlas owns one his name is Baldr. :) I love seeing his puppy pics so cute! He's big now.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • atlasatlas
    Posts: 81
    I do have a presa! He's 9 months old right now and weighs 83 pounds already. He's about as tall as my dalmatian (who's around 75 pounds), but he's built a lot thicker — paws, snout, chest, they're all huge.

    I think you chose some great adjectives for the presa canario. I would agree that Baldr is all those things — alert, dignified, and calm. Especially calm. This was very important to me, because I also own a shiba that can be bratty at times, so I wanted a dog that would be chill around that kind of attitude, and Baldr totally is. He's super easygoing and not really bothered by anything. Sometimes we call him lazy, because he's pretty content to just lounge around, but that's not really fair to him, because he's always aware of what's going on, and always ready to jump up and play or train or whatever, really, at the slightly indicator.

    He basically exists to be loved by anyone and everyone. If we go places, he'll sit patiently and wait for someone to come pet him, which makes vet trips and the like a breeze. He now barks at the fence if someone approaches, but there has been an instance where a neighbor has reached her hand over the fence despite this and he just dissolved into happy licks and tail wagging.

    He's also an extremely fast learner, and teaching him certain concepts came naturally to him. For instance, we never had to formally teach heel or drop it. He has only ever chewed his own toys, never the furniture, without us having to set those boundaries.

    He's great with other dogs too. I always wonder if this will change as he gets older (as it did with my shiba) but so far it shows no signs of changing. He thinks other dogs are the best and he will modify his play according to what the other dogs like. With my shiba, he'll go all-out, because she plays extremely rough — using his paws to knock her around and such — but with other dogs out and about, especially nervous dogs, he tones it down. When we took him to puppy socialization and basic obedience, we would stay after with the instructor and some of the shy dogs to use Baldr to help them get a little more comfortable.

    As such, he's pretty much my go-anywhere dog.

    When my niece (age 2) is over, he just follows her around everywhere like he's keeping an eye on her, and he's instinctively very gentle with her. I've never had to step in between them. My other dogs are good with my niece too, but my shiba sometimes gets enthusiastic about playing tug and I'll intervene just to be safe. But Baldr just gets it — although that might be in part because he spent a lot of his puppyhood around my niece, and the other dogs didn't have that opportunity.

    I think presas, if well-socialized, can make great therapy dogs. It's something that we want to consider with Baldr. He has already been through his canine good citizen.

    I suppose that's enough rambling. Let me know if there's anything you want to know in particular. He's the only one I've owned, so it's possible my experiences will be different from others, but I think they're great dogs.

    (Toys are all over my living room these days because every time I put them away, Baldr takes them all out.)
  • CrispyCrispy
    Posts: 1904
    @atlas Thank you! Your experience with Baldr is basically what I am looking for out of a 'big dog'. With my Malamute's health, my boyfriend and I were forced to face the idea that he really won't be around forever and while we absolutely want to add another NK to the clan, I am really interested in the Presa breed after meeting a couple and looking into them.

    If and when I get another large dog, I want a dog I can mold into a bombproof personality (with therapy dog potential), with the ability to cope with some bratty NK, and... of course, a healthy and happy companion. A 'go anywhere' and 'do anything' kind of dog.

    Baldr is very handsome, too! Some Presa I've been coming across through breeder websites are so gross-looking to me. Way too squat and strange looking. The only breeder I really liked that I've seen so far is Cabeza Grande (Crisp says, like she's getting a Presa puppy tomorrow and isn't broke with London vet bills).
    Akiyama no Roushya || 秋山の狼室 ||
  • atlasatlas
    Posts: 81
    My pleasure! Glad I could be of some help. Meeting presas in person is what sold me, as I was a little unsure of what it would be like to have one around my shiba. But when I saw how awesome they are, I was hooked too :)

    I really think that presas have the potential to be great companions to NK breeds, especially after seeing Baldr and how he puts up with Mitsu's bratty attitude. She really does love him (now, although she was entirely keen on him in the beginning - lots of crate rotation before we got to that point!), but she still tries to push his buttons. Baldr just lets her do her thing, though, and doesn't ever get annoyed or impatient with her. Despite his size, he's really a great playmate for her too. My dalmatian isn't huge on playing rough, so I think Mitsu really enjoys being able to wrestle with a dog that can take just about anything. Sometimes it looks like she bites him kind of hard when they play, but Baldr is never phased and just keeps on playing.

    I know what you mean about the way some presas look on breeder websites. This was my husband's dream dog, so he was almost as particular about the way the dogs looked as he was about temperament, and he didn't want to settle for a dog that didn't have the whole package. We've interacted with and/or visited a few breeders so if you do decide to go down the presa route and if you're interested in hearing about any of them, just let me know and I can send you a message about some of the ones with which we have experience. There are a couple out there that you definitely want to be wary of, because they have some questionable practices (for example, we met one here in Texas that told us they would let the puppies go at 5 weeks for local buyers).

    Keep in mind, though, that if you don't own a house you may have some trouble getting approval to own a presa, and if you do own a house, your insurance rates may go up if you do own one. Unfortunately, they're considered a dangerous breed :/

    Also, I'm sorry to hear about your malamute. I hope he feels better soon.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2082
    @Atlas what a handsome guy! I love how he looks.
    I don't know too much about Presas, but they are on my list of breeds to own someday.
  • NanookNanook
    Posts: 111
    I met one while i was in chicago at the doggy daycare my aunt takes her dog to he was 8 months old and my height in height and length im 5''2 135ibs lol his head and mouth was the size of my head but he was so sweet and gentle his name was mouse lol his owner was shocked that I knew what he was. She had an e-collar on him though just in case if he was to get too out of hand where she couldnt control him even though she did thorough training for him. It's funny because my aunts dog (lab pit mixed) started a fight with my aunts friends rescue (greyhound) because my aunts dog became possessive. And while this happened mouse just stayed by his owner swimming in the doggy pool and also allowing me to play with him X3. I think like with most breeds that are labeled as "aggressive" all just depends on how the owner trains him I met another presa when I worked for petsmart in staten island and she was sweet also very calm. Another time I met a presa was in BK she was very underweight she was ok with people but shy. Gorgeous dogs
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 280
    What a handsome dog! I've never seen one before. Love the look.
  • atlasatlas
    Posts: 81
    Thanks guys :) And I agree - training and socialization are extremely important!
    Post edited by atlas at 2013-05-11 11:22:10

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