What is a DOGO Canario?
The DOGO Canario is a Molossoid dog native to the Canary Islands. These powerful dogs resulted from crossing of native perros de Presa de la tier and dogs, especially mastiffs and bulldogs, brought to the islands by the British settlers. Also included into the original foundation of the dogs is the Bardino Majorero, a shepherding dog native the island of Fueertventura. It has always been used as a cattle dog and guardian.
What do they look like?
The DOGO Canario is a dog of medium size. It is mesomorphoric ( trunk of body longer than in height at the withers ), and has a large cuboid shaped head. It is a powerful and well-muscled dog that is clearly of mastiff influences. The chest is wide and deep. Lack of chest width is a serious fault; lack of depth is a disqualifying one. Forequarters are strong and straight with ample bone and cat feet. Hindquarters are without much angulations, well muscled and with low hocks. The tail is wide set at the base, tapering to a point. In action it raises like a saber, but is generally carried straight out while moving. The movement is a tracking.
What is the correct size?
The correct size is 60-40 centimeters ( 23 ˝ - 25 inches ) with a minimum weight of 50kg ( 110 lbs ) for a male, and 55-60 centimeters ( 21 ˝-23 ˝ inches ) with a minimum weight of 40kg ( 88 lbs ) for a female. Animals up to 1 centimeter over are acceptable. Weight must be proportion to height. Larger sizes should be discarded as neither functional nor characteristic. We must not promote a very big animal. It must be functional for what it was created for, companion to the farmer, cattle dog, and excellent guardian. These tasks require an agile and very powerful dog of medium size. Larger sizes may look more impressive, but are not functional animals. The DOGO Canario was first and foremost a working dog and today's breeders must not forget that.
What are the proper colors?
The DOGO Canario comes in only 2 acceptable colors…fawn and brindle. Fawn may range from a very light blonde, sometimes referred to as a silver fawn to a deep rich sand fawn, called golden or red fawn. Brindles come in the same fawn shades with black striping of more or less intensity. From the very heavily brindles, often called black brindles or " reverse brindle " to dogs of almost entirely fawn coats with very minimal striping, sometimes called " tiger brindles ". The dogs MUST have a black mask, no matter what the coat color. The mask should reach to just below the eyes, but should be extend over them. The eyes should also have black pigmentation around them, but should be clearly separate from the mask on the muzzle. Most specimens have white markings. They appear on the chest, base of the neck, back of the feet and toes but these should be kept to a minimum. Black was an acceptable color in the breed in the past. It was never really favored and few perpetuated this color. While black dogs still exist, their color is no longer allowed by the standard. Do not be lured into believing this is a " rare or exotic" color of the dog. It is only rare because it is not allowed, and few breeders strive to breed for faults. The breed has NEVER come in the colors commonly referred to as "blue" or " blue brindle ". This is not the same thing that gray refers to in the standard. Grey is a shade of fawn that is very light blonde, which is almost silver in appearance. Blue refers to the steel gray color that is common ( and acceptable ) in such breeds as the Mastino Napolitano, Great Dane and American Stafford shire Terrier. A dog of this coloration is a mixed blood dog, probably of one of the aforementioned breeds. This coloration also lacks the required black mask and other black pigmentation of the eyes, nose and the mouth lining. People who breed with dogs of this color may tell you that it is a true color of the breed, just not " favored ". This is false!!! It has never existed in the breed.
What are the health concerns?
Due to the low number of dogs in the US and even lower number of dogs tested for hereditary defects, there are not many known aliments specific to this breed. Canine Hip Dysplasia is probably the most widely known health concern to affect this breed, despite rumors that it does not. CHD is a degenerative joint disease known to have a hereditary base. The only way to control this is by screening all breeding dogs and all of their offspring. The PCCA is strongly advocating all dogs to be certified "genotypically" normal by the OFA, or other techniques such as Penn Hip. More people need to get involved in screening their breeding dogs. For further information on Canine Hip Dysplasia, please visit our CHD page. For a listing of OFA certified dogs pleased visit OFA page. Also reported in the breed is Panosteoitis, Knee problems, including patellar luxation and patellar evulsions, Skin Cysts, Epilepsy and Demodepic Mange. Fur further information on these health conditions please visit our page on Health Issues.
What is the Temperament?
The DOGO Canario is a powerful Appearance with a severe Expression. His look should denote strength and courage. The dog is a noble breed of great confidence and self security. The dog is never excessively aggressive. An overly aggressive animal is not one of " strong temperament " but one that is unbalanced and insecure. This is neither typical or desirable in the breed. The breed is gentle and affectionate with his family, including children. He should always be tolerant and gentle with them. A dog that shows aggression towards children is again a dog of insecurity and unstable character. The Spanish standard states "desconfiado" which literally translates to "destructive, wary or suspicious". It has been translated by some as "unfriendly", but mistakenly interpreted as " aggressiveness ". The best English translation of this temperament issue is aloof. Aloof is also often mistaken for unfriendliness or aggressive. Aloofness in an animal is best described as indifference. The dog acknowledges your presence, but neither reacts positively or negatively towards you. This is the correct description of the DOGO Canario. Upon meeting a stranger; the dog should be watchful and "suspicious" but should not react with aggression to a situation not warranted for it. The dog should accept friendly strangers and even petting from them, but should really show no real enthusiasm for it, instant dislike of strangers or "ojerza" that is from Fila Brasilerio breed. In the DOGO Canario, this again is associated with an insecure and unbalanced dog.
Is the breed AKC recognized?
No. At this time the DOGO Canario is not given and recognition by the American Kennel Club. Some Dogos in the US are registered with the Foundation Stock Service Foundation Stock Service Foundation Stock Service Foundation Stock Service of the AKC. This is a record keeping service that the AKC provides to US rare breed clubs or individuals that may desire future AKC recognition and does not indicate in any way that the dogs are given any AKC privileges. Do not be mislead by those who advertise AKC registered when what they actually have is FSS registration. AKC FSS pedigrees are not accepted by any FCI member countries.
What is FCI and FIC? Are the same thing?
No, they are not one in the same.
The FCI stands for Federation Cynologiquel Internationale. This is a world canine organization that is comprised of many member countries throughout Europe, Asia and south and Central America. The FCI is not a registration body, but rather governing body that recognizes one official kennel club from each of its member countries. The FCI protects and translates the breed standards, record results of international shows and working trials, maintain listing of international judges and set forth rules for international shows and champion titles. For more information on them, visit their website at www.fci.be . The FIC stands for Federation of International Canines. The name is misleading, as it is an American based registry that accepts and registers many breeds in the United States. Their pedigrees are not accepted internationally, and at this point in time are even declined by many breeds in the United States. Their pedigrees are not accepted internationally, and at this point in time are even declined by many US organizations.
What is conformation / registro?
Conformacion is for those dogs born of RRC registered parents. The litter is registered at birth and each puppy is given a name and a registration number. Before that dog is eligible for breeding or dog show entries into the CAC ( champion certificate class or " open " ) the dog must pass conformacion. This is a brief examination by a specialist judge to determine the dog's suitability for breeding. Most registered dogs pass this class without incident. Each dog is evaluated and it's strengths and faults pointed out to the owner, so that he/she can make better educated breeding decisions. Registro is the "open book" class where dog of unknown ( or unregistered ) pedigree can be presented to a specialist judge to ask for registration papers. If in the opinion of the judge is a true DOGO Canario and an asset to the genetic pool, he/she will be issued proper RRC papers. If the dog is not passed, it is considered not to be a DOGO Canario by any official organization. This class is much more stringent than conformacion and many dogs do not pass. Because of the background not being officially documented, the dogs are put through a much more rigorous inspection.
Is the DOGO Canario a fighting breed?
No, NO, NO!!! The DOGO Canario is not a fighting breed. It is a breed that can fight, and can fight well when necessary, but dog fighting was not the purpose behind this breed. There is a brief point in their history, which has been glorified by some, that the dog was involved in this activity, as most Molosser dogs were. The DOGO Canario was developed by Canarian farmers to be a farm dog and guardian. He was occasionally used for fights that were for entertainment at local fiestas. But the breeding and selection of these dogs purely for fighting abilities was never done.
Do they get along with other animals?
This depends largely on the animals involved. The DOGO Canario is strong character and a dominant animal. Most of them do not get along well with another of the same sex and same dominant personality. Males and females generally do fine together. They may have minor scuffles from time to time, as well as all dogs will, but as a general rule they do not fight. The breed also generally gets along well with less dominant animals. Many DOGO Canario peacefully exist in households with smaller dogs or other non dominant breeds, even of the same sex. The DOGO Canario should not show aggression towards a puppy. This is a dog that lacks confidence, in that he sees a puppy as a threat. This is neither typical or desirable behavior of the breed. As the DOGO Canario is a confident dog, he can often be seen taking " abuse " from a younger animal. Many people would lead you to believe this older animal is "soft" or "cowardly", but in truth, he is displaying his self security and in the process he is boosting the confidence of that younger animal. A parental correction from an adult to a pup should not be viewed as aggression behavior. Too many people believe that the DOGO Canario is an aggressive animal that cannot get along with any other dog. This is just not true. They can and do live with other dogs, even other Dogos peacefully. You must always use caution and common sense when introducing a DOGO Canario into a household with other animals. Dogos of opposite sex are the best choice to get along. Adults of the same sex will sometimes result in problems, especially between two dominant males. This depends greatly on the individual dog's personality and the amount of time the owners spends working with him. Training and socialization are the key factors. No breeder can answer this with absolute certainty. Use caution when dealing with a breeder who will tell you that a DOGO Canario will never fight. And in the same regards tells you they always will fight. Many Dogos also live peacefully in the same household with cats and other small animals. As well as those that live daily with horses and other farm animals. This also, of course, requires the same training and socialization to them as with dog-to-dog introduction.
Do they make good pets?
This depends on what you consider a good pet for you. The DOGO Canario makes an exceptional pet for the right home. They are obedient, loyal and bond very strongly with their owners. They thrive on the attention of their human families. They are a dominant breed and do require that the owners be as assertive as they are. This does not mean that you must strong arm your dogs and earn their respect. The DOGO is NOT a good dog for a submissive family that will allow the dog to rule the household. Nor are they a good choice that expects a pack of dogs to live in total harmony in one home. Some of them do require supervision around other animals.
Do they make good guardians?
The DOGO Canario makes an exceptional home guardian breed. They are naturally territorial, watchful of strangers, close bonding with their families and confident in themselves. A "watchful" or "guardian" dog is very different from having " personal protection ". This is a dog that is highly trained in protection of its owners. While most DOGO Canario can successfully become personal protection dogs, they are not all born equally. If this is what you are expecting of your dog, then we highly suggest consulting a professional trainer in your area.
How do I find a breeder?
There are several resources to finding a good breeder. The DCCA has a listing of its members on line. Some of our members are also active breeders. You can also use the Internet to search for and contact reputable breeders. You will find many breeders throughout the USA, Spain and other countries. For information on how to screen for a reputable breeder and how to properly select a dog, please visit our Buyer's Guide page. You can often meet breeders and their dogs at the dog shows or working trials. Generally you will meet the breeders finest animals at these events. This gives you an opportunity to see several specimens of the breed competing together, often from several different breeders. You can take some time to talk with owners there and get their prospective on owning this breed. You can also find breeder listing in national dog magazines. But remember that this is no indication of quality. Magazines accept advertisements from anyone. For more information on how to recognize a reputable breeder, please visit our Buyer's Guide page. The last two places you can look for a breeder is Pet Stores and Local Newspapers. The DCCA does NOT recommend finding your DOGO Canario through these sources. No reputable breeder will sell his/her dogs through pet stores. A reputable breeder CARES where he/she sends a dog to. Most reputable breeders do NOT advertise in local papers. Most have a national reputation and dot need to offer dogs for sale through this means. Newspaper ads are usually BYB"S that have no other means to advertise and sell their dogs.
What is the difference between Presa Canario and DOGO Canario?
Absolutely nothing!!! Upon acceptance by the FCI, the breed known as the Presa Canario to most is now known internationally as the Dogo Canario. This is simply a name change on paper and has little meaning to the dog itself. There will be some that will try to seize this opportunity to continue to produce atypical dogs in the name of the "original" Presa Canario, and try to convince people that it is a different breed from the DOGO Canario. This is totally false and don't be mislead by this claim.
All facts are from the DOGO Canario Club Of America….