Canary Mastiff

canary mastiff

Canary Mastiff or also Dogo Canario or Dogo de Presa Canario is a heavy and corpulent breed from the Canary Islands, Spain.

History of the Canary Mastiff

In the 15th century the Canary Mastiffs were used as watch dogs. They guarded houses as well as the livestock. Later people started using them as fight dogs, the mastiffs had to fight bears as well as each other. After the prohibition of the dog fights the numbers of the Canary Mastiff dogs went gradually down until there were only a few dogs left in the 19th century. The breed was finally saved by several enthusiastic breeders and the official recognition by the FCI came in 2011.

Appearance, Temperament and Health

Appearance of Canary Mastiff

Height: 60–66 cm/24–26 in (dogs), 56–62 cm/22–24 in (bitches)

Weight: 50–65 kg/110–145 lb (dogs), 40–55 kg/90–120 lb (bitches)

Canary Mastiff is a heavy and muscular breed of a massive square shape. The ears are head-fitting, although in countries where ear-cropping is allowed the owners often decide to crop them. Originally, this was done to prevent damage to the ears during the work with the cattle, nowadays it’s often done to add to the dog’s formidable appearance. One of the characteristic features of the Canary Mastiff is the sloping topline which means that the rear is slightly higher than the shoulders.

The movement is another notable characteristic. The Canary Mastiffs move in a feline manner.


canary mastiff

Despite its “dangerous” appearance, this breed is rather a calm dog which likes children. It is an extremely loyal breed that tends to obey only one master and handles very badly the change in owners.

These mastiffs are excellent watchdogs, they are distrustful to people they don’t know. They tend to ignore other animals but an early socialization is absolutely necessary as the Canary Mastiff will chase an animal that tries to run from it.


The average life expectancy of the Canary Mastiffs is 10 – 12 years.

As any other large and heavy breed, it has a predisposition for hip and elbow dysplasia. Other health problems typical include arthrosis, cardiovascular problems and obesity. The latter can be avoided with healthy diet and adequate activity, which includes not overloading young dogs until their bones and articulations have fully developed. Generally, this breed doesn’t need excessive activity. This breed is not suitable for long runs or agility training.

Canary Mastiff as Work Dog

Canary Mastiff is a guard and herding dog for cattle and sheep. Since dog fighting was legal in Spain until 1936, it was also often used in dog fights.

Do you have a majestic Canary Mastiff at home? Let us know why you chose this breed!