Presa Canario Standard

FCI-Standard N° 346 /  03. 10. 2007 / GB

(Dogo Canario)

TRANSLATION: Revised by Jennifer Mulholland in collaboration with Renée Sporre Willes and Jorge Nallem.

ORIGIN: Spain.


UTILIZATION: Guard dog used for protection of cattle.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :    Group     2     Pinscher and
Schnauzer –     
Molossoid breeds –
Swiss Mountain
and Cattle dogs.
Section 2.1     Molossoid:Mastiff
Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : A molossoid type dog, originating from Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). It appears to be the result of matings between the “majorero”, a prehispanic dog indigenous to these islands, and other molossoids introduced to the Canary Islands.
These matings produced an ethnical group of mastiff-type dogs, of medium size, brindle or fawn with white marking, with a specific molossoid morphology but yet agile and powerful, having a strong temperament, robust and lively, loyal character.
During the XVI and XVII centuries, the number of these dogs increased considerably and numerous references to them in pre-Conquest historical texts, especially in the “Cedularios del Cabildo” (municipal registers), which explain their duties essentially as guard dogs and protectors  of cattle.

A medium sized molossoid, with a rectilinear profile and  black mask. Robust and well-proportioned. The body is longer than the height at the withers; this characteristic is more noticeable  in the female.

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT : Calm appearance; attentive expression. Especially suited to guarding and traditionally used for herding cattle. Balanced temperament and very self-confident. Low and deep bark. Obedient and docile with family members, very devoted to its master, but is suspicious of strangers.
Confident attitude, noble and a little distant. When alert, the stance is firm with a vigilant attitude.

HEAD: Massive, brachycephalic and compact in appearance, covered with supple, loose skin. The shape tends towards a slightly elongated cube.
Skull-foreface proportion is 60-40%. The width of the skull is 3/5 of the total length of the head.

Skull : Slightly convex in anteposterior and transversal direction. Frontal bone tends to be flat. The width is almost identical to the  length. Pronounced zygomatic arch, with well developed cheek and jaw muscles, but not prominent. The occipital protuberance is only slightly marked.
Stop: The stop is pronounced, but not abrupt. The furrow between the frontal lobes is well defined and is about two thirds the size of the skull. The cranial-facial lines are parallel or slightly converging.

Nose: Wide, strong black pigmentation.. In line with the muzzle. The upper part is placed slightly behind beginning of the flews. The nostrils are large to facilitate breathing.
Muzzle: Shorter than the skull, normally about 40% of the total length of the head. The width is 2/3 of that of the skull. Very wide base, narrowing slightly towards the nose. Bridge of the nose is flat and straight, without ridges.
Lips: The upper lip is pendulous, although not excessively. Seen from the front, the upper and lower lips come together to form an inverted V. The flews are slightly divergent. The inside of the lips is a dark colour.
Jaws/Teeth: Scissor-bite. Pincer-bite is admitted but not desirable due to the dental erosion produced. Slightly undershot is accepted. The dental arch is wide at the canines. The teeth are wide and solidly set. Large molars, small incisors, well developed canines..
Eyes: Slightly oval in shape, from medium to large in size. Set well apart, but neither sunken nor protruding. Eyelids are black and tight-fitting, never sagging. The colour varies from dark to medium brown, depending on the colour of the coat. They should never be light.
Ears: Medium sized, set well apart, with short and fine hair. They fall naturally on each side of the head. If folded, they do so in the shape of a rose. They are set on slightly above eye level. Ears set too high and very close on the head are considered unusual. In countries were cropping is allowed, they must stand erect.

NECK: Shorter than the length of the head. Skin on the underside is loose, forming a slight dewlap. Solid and straight, it tends to be cylindrical and muscular.
BODY : Long, broad and deep, it is 18 to 20% longer than the height at the withers; this aspect is more pronounced in females. The flanks are only slightly pronounced.
Topline: Straight, without deformations and sustained by well developed but barely visible muscles. Rising slightly from the withers to the croup. Saddle or roach backs are unacceptable.
Croup: Medium, broad and rounded. Should not be long as this would limit movement. The female is usually broader.
Chest: With great capacity and well defined pectoral muscles. Seen from both the front and the side, it should be well let down to at least the elbow. Thoracic perimeter is usually equal to the height at the withers plus 45%. Well sprung ribcage.
Underline : Slightly tucked up, never sagging.

TAIL: Thick base, tapering to the tip, down to the hock but no longer. Medium set on. In action it rises like a sabre, but without curling nor leaning towards the back. At rest it hangs straight with a slight curve at the tip.


Shoulders:  Well  laid back.
Upper arms : Well angulated, oblique with forearms well balanced, straight. Strong boned and well muscled.
Elbows : Must be neither too close to the ribs nor sticking out.  The distance from elbow to ground should be 50% of the  height at the withers for males and a little less for females.
Metacarpus (Pasterns): Very solid and slightly sloping.
Feet : Cat feet with rounded toes, not too close together. Well developed and black pads. Nails are dark, white nails should be avoided, although they can occur in function of coat colour.

HINDQUARTERS: Strong and parallel, without deviation.
Upper Thigh: Long and well muscled thighs. Angulation not very pronounced but should not be insufficient.
Hocks : Always well let down.
Hind feet: Slightly longer than the front feet, otherwise identical.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: On the move, the Dogo Canario is agile and supple and should cover a lot of ground. Long reach. The tail is carried low and the head is carried only a little  above the level of the back.
When alert, the head and tail are carried high.

SKIN: Thick and elastic. Loose on and around the neck. When alert, the skin on the head forms symmetrical wrinkles which fan  out from the furrow between the front lobes.


HAIR: Short, coarse, flat with no undercoat (it can appear in neck and behind the thighs). Rather coarse to the touch.  Very short and fine in the ears, slightly longer on the withers and on the back of thighs.
COLOUR: All shades of brindle, from  warm dark brown to pale grey or blond. All shades of fawn to sandy.  White marks are acceptable on the chest, at the base of the neck or throat, forefeet and toes of hind feet, but these should be kept to a minimum.
The mask is always black, and should not spread above eyelevel.

Height at the withers :     Males :     60 to 65 cm.
Females:     56 to 61 cm.

For very typical specimens, a tolerance of 1 cm. over or under these limits is accepted.

Minimum:    Males:     50 kg.
Females:     40 kg.

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

·    Too many facial wrinkles,  but not affecting the expression.
·    Pincer bite.

·    Incorrect head-face proportions
·    Extremely convergent facial-cranial lines (over pronounced stop)
·    Extremely divergent facial-cranial lines.
·    Excessive mask (above the level of eyes)
·    Feet and toes turning outwards or inwards
·    Excessively pendulous, small or prominent flews.
·    Loins and withers of the same height.
·    Too large dewlap
·    Sagging eyelids
·    Bridge of nose not flat.
·    Excessive or poor angulations.
·    Sagging underline.
·    Chest not deep enough.
·    Incorrect position of limbs.
·    Thin tail. Set on too high.
·    Insufficient amount of bone.

·    Square profile.
·    Triangular head, narrow (not cube shape)
·    Weak appearance
·    Curled tail, very thin, equally thick throughout its length; or deformed.
·    Size outside the limits of the standard.
·    Saddle or roached back.
·    Narrow chest.
·    Frail  appearance, seen from the front..
·    Insufficiently sprung ribcage.
·    Absence of wrinkles on the facial-cranial area (skin taut, not elastic)
·    Light eyes (yellow), very close together or oblique, sunken or protuding.
·    Very undershot mouth.
·    Missing teeth (except P1).
·    Ears set very high.
·    Rounded or domed skull.
·    Smooth and thin hair
·    Insufficient mask.
·    Long neck, not thick enough.

·    Aggressive or overly shy.
·    Unbalanced temperament.
·    Depigmented nose or mouth lining.
·    Total absence of mask.
·    Unacceptable white marks.
·    Overshot mouth.
·    Croup lower than withers. Sloping topline.
·    Blue eyes or unmatched in colour.
·    Cropped tail.
·    Monorchid or cryptorchid specimens.
·    Lack of chest capacity.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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