First Presa Canario National Specialty Part 2


Continued from Part 1

Conformation classes, run the same way you would see at a UKC show but with a much larger ring, were judged by J. Ray Johnson. Following his awards, the dogs went either to the ATT tent or came back one at a time for me to do the survey-critiques. Ray’s choice for BOB was Kobe, a handsome young son of the magnificent Stud Dog class winner, G’kar (pictured with both me and with a cute carrot-top kid in separate photos). A large number of amateur photo shots are to be found on  (You do not need to be registered to view) or   and look at “2003 Specialty”.

Schutzhund training demonstrations included enlisting yours-truly to put on the beginners’ sleeve and give some bites. The breed has a little more adaptability to the schutzhund protection phase than does a Fila or most molosser breeds, but of course not as much as a GSD, Rottie, Dobe, or Malinois. It is well suited to sports like weight pulling, with a heritage of carting/draft dogs in its ancestry. If breeders are not careful, there will be some Presas with more slobber than you would want unless you are used to Saints and Newfies (the Standard and history of the Presa breed calls for moderately tight lips). The coat is short and easy to groom, like that of a Rottie or American Pit Bull Terrier. Tails are not docked, and you don’t have to crop ears, so the breed is an easy, low-maintenance one to care for and enjoy. Hip dysplasia incidence is moderately high, as in most breeds with this body type, but if parents with a low PennHIP DI are selected, you’ll immensely boost your chances of having a disease-free, strong, impressive dog as a companion for a long time.

It is a breed in its infancy in the States, but keep an eye out for them in the UKC rings. Population is small, with perhaps a couple thousand in the U.S., most of whom are strictly farm dogs, 300 to 500 owned by breeders and somewhat serious fanciers, and maybe 50 to 100 active show and in-training dogs. The turnout was under 30 dogs in the conformation portion of the first (2003) National Specialty, but this will grow. Fanciers drove (yes, I said drove) from as far as New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, and Washington State. They are serious about the breed, and that bodes well for the Presa Canario in the U.S.A.

If you want further information on the Presa, the URL for the Presa Forum is <> and the Club (UPPCC) website is   <>.

Lilith - an excellent Presa bitch

Presa Max second bite on Fred

Presa Max first bite on Fred

Presa & Fred - One is a top stud

Presa Bessie with natural ears

Presa as weight-pull dog

Presa as family dog

Presa BOB Kobe with Johnson

Sammy Wiley Presas with coyote

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