Canary Dam


The breed of the Canarian prey, to which the dog that killed its owner yesterday in Madrid belongs to, belongs to those considered as potentially dangerous. It is a guard and defense dog, which sometimes intervenes in clandestine fights. It comes from the cross between the majorero bardino and the English mastiff. Its size, with a height between 54 and 65 centimeters, is of medium type, but with a robust body.

The weight of the specimen of the canary prey (also called canary bulldog, vast or green dog) ranges between 45 and 57 kilos of the male and 40 and 50 kilos of the female. In the sixties it was almost extinguished when dog fights were banned in Spain. However, since 1970 the recovery of this breed begins.

Among its general characteristics, the strong temperament it has stands out. He is dominant and highlights his strong guardian instinct. True to its owners, it is usually very suspicious of outsiders. Hence, it is necessary to socialize it at very early stages.

It has a straight and solid neck, very muscular, like its chest, in which the pectorals are very marked. Its thoracic perimeter is about 90 centimeters. The head is powerful and large, about 25 centimeters, with a convex skull and an archway that highlights a very marked development of the temporal and masseter muscles. It usually bites in tongs or scissors.


These specimens are considered as a potentially dangerous breed, so their owners must take out civil liability insurance. Others included in this denomination are the pit bull terrier, the boxer, the Argentine bulldog, the rottweiler, he bullmastiff, he Brazilian row, he staffordshire bull terrier, the Neapolitan mastiff and the Mallorcan dam (ca de bou), among others. This breed has a very important symbolic value in the Canary Islands. It is the emblem of the island of Gran Canaria.

These characteristics have caused this dog to be used as a defense for women victims of gender violence. The animal defends them until the police arrive and manages to arrest the attacker.

In September 2007, a specimen of this breed seriously injured a nine-year-old boy when he was riding a bicycle with his 14-year-old brother in front of Rocío Dúrcal Avenue in the La Berzosilla urbanization, near Torrelodones, where the animal was, untied and with the garden door of its owner's house wide open.

Follow with us the news of Madrid on Facebook, on Twitter and in our Patio de Vecinos on Instagram

Page Actions

Canary Dam
Other namesCanary Bulldog, Basto and Verdino Dog.
Scientific Classification

Canary Dam. It is a large dog breed, native to the Canary Islands. The Canarian prey dog ​​is considered, according to a law of the Government of the Canary Islands, the natural symbol of the island of Gran Canaria, together with the cardon.

The dog of Presa Canario is originally from the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, in the Canary archipelago. They were introduced in the Canary Islands by the Spanish conquerors and settlers in the 16th century. These brega dogs were especially dedicated to the management of goats and cattle because they are excellent guardians. Their service to butchers is frequently cited to subjugate cattle or cattle if they are prey.

It was essentially the result of crosses of the Bardino or Majorero, a native dog of the island of Fuerteventura and molosoides dogs taken to the islands. Its genetic current determines in the Presa Canario much of its typical expression, its characteristic bardine layer of greenish striped hue, which is why it is popularly named as Verdino.

In the 18th century, the presence of English settlers and their sports traditions related to the dog as a combatant arrive in the Islands. These gladiator dogs that they normally used were the Bulldog and Bullterrier type, which they bring from their country, inevitably raising the miscegenation with the existing prey dog ​​in the Archipelago. Certain morphological modifications arise in the population of prey in the Islands, since not only is a prey dog ​​thought to develop a correct job as a guardian, but it must also have a willingness to fight.

Over the course of this century, the fondness for fighting is increasing, causing the selection of specimens for their best conditions for the fight, and with it the selection of the Canarian Dam, from a purely functional point of view.

When the prohibition of fights in Spain is decreed, the Presa Canario is declining. Such situation aggravates the invasion of foreign races in the Islands, until reaching a phase of near extinction towards 1960. The beginning of the recovery of the Canary Dam begins from 1970. Its resurgence is slow but uninterrupted. The interest of this specimen, as part of the Native Heritage of the Canary Islands is widespread, although the selection and improvement program essential to obtain the genetic fixation that perpetuates the breed is not yet considered.

General appearance

Medium-sized dog, emetric, with a straight profile. Rustic and well proportioned. It is a mesomorph whose trunk is longer than its height at the cross.

Females generally longer than males. Solid head, square in appearance and wide skull. The upper lips cover the lower. Black mucous. Strong teeth, wide implantation and well fitted. Brown eyes, medium size. High insertion ears Cylindrical neck, strongly muscled and covered by thick, detached and elastic skin. With double double chin not excessive. Implantation of the high tail. Chest wide and wide. Mediumly collected belly. Forelimbs perfectly plumb, with wide and strong bones and pronounced angles that guarantee good cushioning and long jogging. Cat's foot Powerful and muscular hind limbs, with medium angles and correct aplombs, with cat foot slightly longer than the previous one. Elastic and thick skin. Short hair, without undercoat, which presents some roughness. Tabby coat, fawn and black. Generally black mask.

Characteristics and behavior

Its appearance is of extraordinary power. Of balanced temperament. Skilful fighter, of great physical resistance. Serious and deep bark. He is noble and meek in family and distrustful of strangers. His expression of great security. When he is alert, his attitude is very firm and his gaze is watchful.


In motion it must cover a lot of ground, agile and elastic. The step must be long. The tail's tail is low and barely raises its head above the dorsal line. In attention, the position of the head is upright and the tail is upright.

Thick and elastic. Loose in the neck and surroundings. In attention, it forms several symmetrical wrinkles on the head that have the median groove between the frontal sinuses.

Short in all its extension, rustic, well crushed. Generally thicker in the cross, throat and crest of the buttocks. No subpello Compact in the tail. Rustic in appearance, it has a certain roughness.

Tabby (bardinos) throughout its range, from dark very warm to very light gray or blond. Leonado in all its range until the sand. The target may appear on the chest, at the base of the neck that can be extended towards the skull (padded), or on the extremities (shoes), being desirable to be as small as possible. Mask always dark, without exceeding the height of the eyes.

  • Average in males: from 45 to 57 kg.
  • Average in females: from 40 to 50 kg.

Raised to the cross:

  • Males: 60 to 65 cm.
  • Females: 56 to 61 cm.

In the case of very typical specimens, 1 cm will be admitted. deviation in the maximum and minimum elevations.

History and Origin

The Canarian dam comes from the Canary Islands. Legend has it that it is the islands that owe their name to the dog, and not vice versa. It seems that this breed inhabited the area since its inception, and that the word Can that comes from dogs (Can-arias), gives clear evidence of this.

This dog arose from the crossbreeds of dog majorero with moloso dogs that took to the island, like for example the Spanish prey. What was intended to be a large dog, like the bulldog. But I had the agility, nerve and ability to work of the majoreros. And so the canary dam emerged.

There are writings dating from the sixteenth century in which reference was already made to this breed. Although at that time it was not yet a defined breed, much less recognized, since its morphology was not uniform.

A little later They began to gain popularity for their ability to work. They were used as guardians of the house, herds and property, as well as cattle dogs of cows and oxen.

By the 18th century, the breed almost died out due to the influx of Britons into the Canaries, which promoted dog fights. They were looking for big, strong and agile dogs, and all of that was the Canarian prey. They were used for years for this purpose. Until, fortunately, hairy fights were banned in Spain.

Characteristics of the canary dam

The canary dam He is considered a giant dog, just like the bulldog. Its size at the cross will always be less than the length of its body, which is robust and wide. The maximum height will be 66 centimeters in the male specimen, and 62 in the female.

Their weight ranges between 50 and 65 kilos in the case of males, and between 40 and 55 in the case of females.

Source: Bulldog

Accepted colors are chocolate brown tabby, light brown tabby and white.

Its head is robust and has a snout shorter than the skull, being wide at the base and tuning as it goes to the nose. The truffle should always be black. As a feature of their faces, they highlight their wrinkles on the forehead when placed in an alert position.

His eyes are medium sized, usually dark brown or light brown. Of course, yellows or other light colors are never accepted. Their ears fall to the sides by nature and are far apart between them.

With respect to its tail, it has a medium length that is able to keep erect like a sword while walking.

Character of the canary dam

The canary dam It is a self-confident and very balanced dog. Your guardian instinct is one of its main characteristics. This is to be understood, it was already one of the main tasks carried out for years.

This instinct makes him a little distant with those he doesn't know, although he is very affectionate with his family of calm character. Enjoy the time with those you want.

Like any large dog, it must be socialized as a puppy, because if not, its strength could be exceeded if we do not teach it to control it.

Canarian dam care

Because of its size, The joints will suffer over the years if we do not help you have a daily dose of exercise. A great walk a day is essential to preserve your health.

In what has to do with his hair, this is not very long and very rigid. Therefore, brushing it once a week and washing it every month will be more than enough.

A dog certainly more than special, large, but friendly. If you are thinking of adopting one, just keep in mind that you will have to socialize it, have a lot of space and also money, because an animal of such characteristics eats more than too much. However, It is an ideal dog as a pet.

Source of the images: Smok Bazyli and Perro del torro.

Canary prey size

The Canarian prey is a very large and robust dog breed, but it is not one of the largest known. The females can measure between 56 and 62 centimeters at the cross, and the males between 60 and 66. As for the weight, it is usually around 50 kilos, although male specimens of the breed are known that have Weighed up to 65 kilos. It is the set of muscle mass and potency that makes this animal is seen as one of the most dangerous in the entire canine world.

Canarian prey fur

The fur of this breed stands out for being rough to the touch, very short and smooth. He barely loses hair throughout the year, so his care is reduced to brushing occasionally and a bath only when necessary. As for the color, it is demanded in the breed standard that it is always brindle, and generally with a black mask in large part of the face. It can also sometimes show white spots on various areas of the body, such as the chest, throat, legs or fingers, but never too flashy. It is also possible that completely black copies appear, although these are not always recognized in the standard of other organizations.

Canary Dam behavior

With all the bad reputation that this breed has, its temperament really is very calm and calm. He is sure of himself, but he does not tend to get nervous or alter in any situation. It is a perfect companion animal for the family, since it is extremely loyal and noble with its own, although it can be somewhat shy and reserved with strangers due to its heritage as a guard dog.

On the other hand, the Canarian prey is an intelligent and very obedient dog, who will be eager to learn all kinds of tricks and will always have a good predisposition. The character with children of the Canarian prey is generally good, but you will have to be careful with their games because it is an animal with great force that could harm them without wanting to.

Main diseases of the canary dam

This breed enjoys good overall health, although it may be prone to certain inherited diseases because of its size and its characteristics. Among the most common diseases in the breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, or gastric torsion. All of them controllable to a greater or lesser extent if good general habits are maintained in the animal.

Basic care of the canary dam

The Canarian prey is not an animal that requires excessive care, although it does demand a great deal of attention and exercise to stay healthy and balanced at all levels. It is especially important for your health to go to the veterinarian as often as possible to check it and to keep your vaccination schedule and deworming up to date.

As for aesthetics, the little dead hair that you loose can be removed with a weekly brushing with a soft comb that does not harm you. It is also advisable to bathe it every 6 or 8 weeks so as not to damage the protective layer of your skin and keep it bright.

Another issue to consider to ensure the best state of health of the animal is feeding. You should always opt for a high quality food and in the right ration. In addition, it is recommended to divide your ration into several shots per day to avoid a possible and dangerous gastric torsion.

The demand for exercise of the Canarian dam is quite high, since it has a large amount of energy that can lead to stress and other behavioral problems if it is not eliminated properly. Daily walks will be mandatory, in addition to other more powerful exercises and activities that pose a mental challenge for the animal.

This breed is not recommended for people who have no experience in treating dangerous breed dogs. Through proper education, it is possible to enjoy a balanced dog and a great pet, but a specific knowledge on the part of the owner will be necessary, in addition to knowing how to handle an animal of such dimensions and characteristics. As for education, it is very important to train him in obedience from an early age, if possible with the help of a professional trainer. As for their socialization, it is basic after 3 months of life, with all the animals and people that are possible, so that as an adult you never have the impulse to act in an unfriendly way.

Curiosities of the canary dam

Many people insist on comparing the Canarian dam vs. Argentine dogo. The truth is that their characteristics as races are both similar and different. Both are dogs of great power, but physically differ in their morphology and aesthetics. In general, the Argentine bulldog is more athletic and stylized, while the Canarian prey is a muscular and very robust animal.

If you think this breed is the most suitable for you, the first step is to go to a specialized and experienced breeder with it. Only then will you have all the health guarantees of the puppy, and also of his temperament. In addition, it can also help you in your education and in any doubt that may arise over time so that your relationship is unbeatable and safe for both you and the rest of the people.

Origin and history of the canary dam

The canary dam emerged from crosses between the majorero dog, –A pre-Hispanic cattle dog from the island of Fuerteventura and widely spread throughout the archipelago– and molosoides dogs from the British Isles.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, its population increased considerably. In fact, there are multiple allusions to it in subsequent historical texts and especially to the "Cedularios del Cabildo". The latter explain the functions they perform, essentially as cattle guardian and shepherd bovine.

Throughout the 18th century the British extended their sports traditions related to the Canary Islands dog as a fighter, producing miscegenation with the native dog. They used to use their typical gladiator dogs, such as bulldog and bullterrier.

Consequently, some morphological modifications were generated. He was no longer considered only as a prey dog ​​that was performing a proper job as a guardian or as a buoy, but also had to have willingness to fight. From there, the changes that the race experienced are linked to improving the characteristics for combat.

The canary bulldog suffered a setback as a breed from the 40s of the 20th century when dog fights were banned in Spain and became endangered in the decade of the 60. But only ten years later, in the 70, its recovery begins like native patrimony of the Canary Islands.

In short, the history of the Canarian dam is quite peculiar. Luckily, this dog breed has overcome the obstacles of history and has regained all its strength and vigor to be able to perpetuate itself in the imagination of all islanders. Learn more about the Canarian culture in Canary Islands Confidential.