Breeds of dogs: Canarian dog

Breeds of dogs: Canarian dog

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Spain.
F.C.I classification: Group 2 - pinscher, schnauzer, molossoid type dogs and Swiss cattle dogs.

The Canarian Dog (Dogo Canario - Presa Canario - Canarian Dog) is native to the islands of Tenerife and "Gran Canaria", in the Canary archipelago, where it was formed as a result of the cross between the Majorero, a pre-Hispanic shepherd dog originating from the islands, and molossoids brought to the archipelago. These crossbreeds gave rise to an ethnic group of dogs of the dogo type, of medium size, streaked or tawny color, spotted with white, of the robust morphology characteristic of a molossoid, but with agility and push of a very strong temperament, rustic and active and with a loyal character. During the 16th and 17th centuries their population increased considerably. There are numerous mentions about them in the historical texts that preceded the conquest, especially in the documents of the City Council which explained the functions to which they were to be dedicated. Essentially they operated as watchdogs and shepherds, especially for slaughter leaders.

General aspect

Molossian type dog; medium size, well balanced, straight profile, with black mask. Rustico is well proportioned. It is a mesomorphic; the body is longer than the height at the withers. Females accentuate this feature with a longer length.


Appearance is calm. Attentive look. Particularly equipped for the function of guardian, and traditionally used for the management of livestock. His temperament is balanced and very self-confident. Barking serious and deep. Kind and noble with his family, with great attachment to the master, and suspicious of foreigners. Expression confident, noble and a little detached. When he is attentive he assumes a firm attitude and careful observation.

Canarian dog (photo

Canarian dog (photo


- males: males 60-65 cm (23, 5-25, 5 inches);
- females: females 56-61 cm (22-24 inches).
In the case of truly typical subjects, a deviation of 1 cm from the above measurements is allowed.

- males 50 kg (110 lbs);
- female 40 kilos (88 lbs),

Trunk: straight lines, wide, deep, longer than 18-20% of the height at the withers, an even greater ratio in females. Hips not very marked. Straight back line, without deformation, supported by a well developed but not very visible musculature. Slightly rising from the withers to the rump. Never convex or concave. Medium, broad and rounded croup. It shouldn't be long, as this would limit movement. Females are normally wider. Very wide chest, with very marked pectoral muscles. The height should reach at least that of the elbow, both in profile and in front. The perimeter of the chest should be equal to the height at the withers plus 45%. Ribs very arched. Lower line slightly retracted, not descending.
Head and muzzle: massive, brachycephalic head, solid appearance, covered with loose skin and pendant. The shape is roughly that of an elongated cube. The skull-muzzle ratio is 60% -40%. The width of the skull is 3/5 the total length of the head. Slightly convex skull in anteroposterior and transverse direction, although the frontal bone is flat. Zygomatic arch very pronounced with well developed but not prominent temporal and mastoid muscles. Invaluable occipital crest. Stop defined but not sudden. Marked frontal sulcus occupying about two thirds of the skull. The craniofacial lines are parallel or slightly convergent. Muzzle shorter than the skull. Normally 40% of the total length of the skull. The width is 2/3 of the skull. The base is very wide which slightly tightens towards the nose. The nasal line is flat, with a straight profile and without prominences. The upper lip is hanging, but without excess. The labial commissure forms an inverted V. The inside is dark.
Truffle: wide, with a strong black pigmentation. It constitutes an extension of the nasal cane line. The front is slightly set back from the lips. The nostrils are large, appropriate for easy breathing.
Teeth: scissor bite. The pincer closure is accepted but not desirable, due to the prominent teeth it originates. A slight prognathism allowed. The canines are widely spaced transversely. The teeth are wide, with a very wide implant base, with large molars, small incisors and canines well developed and inserted correctly.
Neck: slightly shorter than the skull. The lower part has a certain amount of flabby skin which contributes to the formation of baleen. The neck is solid, straight, cylindrical and very muscular.
Eyes: slightly oval, medium-large, well separated, brevilinear, not protruding or sunken. Well pigmented in black and alive, never sagging. The color ranges from medium to dark brown, depending on the coat. Never clear.
Ears: medium in size, well spaced, with short and fine hair, they fall loose on the sides of the head. If they are rolled up they are rose-shaped, well fitting to the head. The hairline is slightly higher than the level of the eyes. Ears attached very high and close together are atypical and thicken the tip of the skull too much. If cut, they are erect.
Limbs: front with shoulders of good inclination. Arms good angulation, oblique and perfectly composed, straight, of solid bone structure and good musculature. Elbows not close to the chest nor pointed outside. The distance from the elbow to the ground represents 50% of the height in males and something less in females. Very solid and slightly inclined pasterns. Front feet cat foot with rounded nails, not too close together. Well developed and black bearings. Black nails, white is not desirable, although they may be in harmony with the color of the coat. Strong and parallel hindquarters without deviations. Long and very muscular thigh. Angulation not pronounced or poor. Grassella always low. Rear feet slightly longer than the front ones and with the same characteristics.
Gait: movements should be agile, elastic and wide. Long steps. The tail is kept low and just above the dorsal line. When the subject is careful head and tail are elevated.
Tail: with thick base, which tapers to the tip and does not descend beyond the fat. Medium hairline. In action it is carried in the shape of a saber, without being rolled up or pointing towards the back. At rest it hangs straight with a slight curve at the end.
Skin: thick and elastic. Floppy on the neck. When the dog is attentive it forms many symmetrical wrinkles between the frontal sinuses.
Hair: short, rough, very flat, without undercoat (which could sometimes be found on the neck and buttocks) and a little rough to the touch. Very short and thin on the ears, slightly longer at the withers and buttocks.
Allowed colors: streaked in all shades, from very dark brown to very light, up to gray or blond. All shades from fawn to sand. Possible the presence of spots on the chest, at the base of the neck or throat, on the nails, not desirable.
Most common defects: excess of wrinkles that do not alter the expression, pincer joint, head out of proportion, very converging facial skull lines, mask that goes beyond the eyes, front and / or rear feet converging or diverging, excessively hanging or prominent lips, withers and rump height, excess of baleen, drooping eyelids, carp nasal back line, too narrow angles too open, lower descending line, not very deep chest, flat feet, high tail attachment, thin tail, thin bones, monorchidism.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

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