When people hear the phrase “designer dogs”, it brings to mind cutesy poodle mixes and purse-sized pets. But this designer dog bucks the stereotype. Cane Corso Presa Canario mixes are monster-sized Mastiffs that can reach over 130 pounds. Their size and guarded nature make them a perfect choice for a watchdog or a large, active companion, but they do require more care and experience than most dogs.
Could this mix be right for you? Read on to find out.
Gray, black, fawn, brindle; fawn with silver, red, or brindle; brindle with brown or red
Experienced dog owners with space and energy to support a large and active dog and no small children at home
Intelligent, active, loyal, cautious around strangers
The Cane Corso Presa Canario mix is descended from two large mastiff breeds—the Italian Cane Corso and the Perro de Presa Canario, or Canary Island Dog. Like all designer dogs, these dogs can take more strongly after one parent breed or the other, but most will land somewhere in between when it comes to looks and temperament. When bred and socialized right, these dogs will have some of the best traits from both breeds, leading to an absolutely massive dog that’s protective of its owner but gentle and loving with those around it.
On the other hand, a poorly socialized Cane Corso Presa Canario mix can be reactive, aggressive, and dangerous. These dogs have serious exercise and training needs that make them uniquely rewarding if raised right.
Cane Corso Presa Canario Characteristics
Cane Corso Presa Canario Breed Puppies
When you look for Cane Corso Presa Canario mix puppies, the number one thing to consider is whether the breeder is responsible and socializes them well. Early socialization is very important for this breed. Also, watch for other signs of responsible breeding, such as giving mothers good health care, staying up to date on early shots, and spaying or neutering before selling. Unlike purebred dogs, designer mix breeders don’t have any registry that can ensure responsible breeding, so it’s up to you as the buyer to watch out for red flags.
Puppies of this mix are highly intelligent and energetic. They’ll need even more exercise and stimulation than an adult dog and can be destructive, especially if left to their own devices. It’s important to train a Cane Corso Presa Canario starting when they are younger and small enough to manage. Behaviors such as jumping up on their owners might seem cute in the puppy phase but can turn into dangerous habits as your puppy grows. Cane Corso Presa Canario mixes reach their full weight between eighteen months and two years.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Cane Corso Presa Canario
Cane Corso Presa Canario Mixes are not easy-care dogs—they have an extremely high level of energy and require a lot of socialization. However, they are very trainable, and in the hands of a firm, experienced owner they’ll thrive. That trainability is necessary because of their size and strength—there’s no way to force a 130-pound dog to do anything if it doesn’t respect you. But once that bond is established, these dogs will go to the ends of the earth for their owners.
It’s important to note that Presa Canarios have a reputation for aggression. Although originally bred to guard livestock, they became famous dogfighting dogs, and that history of training to fight and kill has left its mark on the breed. Although these dogs can be happy, calm, and gentle, a Cane Corso Presa Canario mix that hasn’t been properly socialized has a high chance of being aggressive.
This mix is also known for its tendency to try and dominate their owners, pushing buttons and testing boundaries. Although they react well to positive reinforcement, and you should never try to bully your dog into submission through shouting or physical punishment, you do need to be firm and consistent in training. Letting your dog win a battle once means that they’ll keep trying to bend the rules in the future.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Cane Corso Presa Canarios can be good with families depending on the situation. It’s generally not recommended to keep small children in the same house as Presa Canario mixes. These dogs can sometimes lose patience with children who are too small to respect boundaries. In addition, the large size means that even if everyone is trying to get along well, your dog might accidentally knock over a small child and cause injury. However, a well-trained and socialized Cane Corso Presa Canario mix shouldn’t be aggressive towards small children and should be able to spend supervised time with them.
On the other hand, these dogs can be great companions for tweens and teens. Once your child is old enough to know how to treat a large dog and withstand being accidentally bowled over, you can often integrate a Cane Corso Presa Canario into your house happily. In fact, older children and teens are often great at helping your large dog get exercise and stimulation.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
You should be cautious about multi-pet households when it comes to this breed. Both parent breeds have a strong prey drive that can make it difficult to integrate them into a household with small pets. On the other hand, Cane Corso Presa Canario mixes usually do well in households with other dogs as long as they are raised and socialized with other dogs. They can sometimes be competitive or protective, but proper training will help smooth transitions into a multi-pet household.
Things to Know When Owning a Cane Corso Presa Canario:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
One of the disadvantages of owning a Cane Corso Presa Canario mix is the food requirements. These dogs eat a lot—usually somewhere between five and eight cups of food per day. You should look for high-quality foods with meat proteins as the main ingredient, supported by whole grains.
This type of dog is also at higher risk of bloat, a medical condition that involves a twisting of digestive organs. Bloat is serious and often fatal, requiring surgery to correct. Bloat can be reduced by helping your dog to eat more slowly and by making sure your pet isn’t eating too much at once. Because of that, it’s suggested that you split your pet’s food into several meals spaced throughout the day. If your dog still wolfs down food, you can buy a puzzle feeder or slow feeder to help them eat more slowly.
Cane Corso Presa Canario mixes need a lot of exercise. Just taking a walk every day won’t cut it—they need at least two hours of exercise a day, and at least half of that should be high-intensity play. They are perfect dogs for jogging, hiking, and playing games with. Some dogs of this type also love swimming. A large, fenced yard is a great way to help your dog be able to burn off energy on its own, but you should still expect to spend time exercising with it every day. Exercise in new places and new ways will also help keep your dog mentally stimulated and stave off boredom.
Thankfully, these dogs are relatively easy to train. Although they can be stubborn, once you get a good dynamic, Cane Corso Presa Canarios will learn quickly and stay deeply loyal to their owners. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and confidence will all go a long way towards training this type of dog. Training and socializing your large dog should always include training on how to disengage from another dog or person—even a normally calm and gentle dog can become aggressive if they feel threatened or believe their human is being threatened.
Although their parent breeds have slightly different coat textures, your Cane Corso Presa Canario mix should be easy to groom, no matter who they take after. You might need to brush your dog occasionally, especially during seasonal changes. You’ll also want to bathe them every few weeks as they get dirty and clean their ears as needed. However, your dog shouldn’t need haircuts or frequent brushing.
Along with coat care, you can use a doggy toothbrush a few times a week to clean their teeth. Many owners prefer to trim their nails on occasion, too.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Designer mixes have their pros and cons—they can inherit any of the problems that plague either parent breed, but they also have greater genetic diversity than many purebred dogs, giving them an extra leg up. In the case of the Cane Corso Presa Canario, things look pretty good—both parent breeds are pretty healthy, and most mixes between them will be too. However, it’s important to watch out for ailments common in large dogs, like bloat.
Male vs Female
Males and females have similar temperaments, but there is one major difference—their size. Although there is a range of sizes, and you can have larger females or smaller males, males weigh quite a bit more on average.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Cane Corso Presa Canario
1. These Dogs Have Ancient Roots
Both parent breeds have a long history. Cane Corsos have ancestors going back to Roman times and have been used for herding dogs, guard dogs, and in war. Presa Canarios were bred during the Spanish colonization of the Canary Islands as a way to guard herds and protect against wild dogs.
2. They’re Products of a Modern Revival
Even though they’ve got ancestors going back centuries, both parent breeds nearly went extinct by the 1900s. Revival programs in the 1980s and 1990s helped bring back the Cane Corso and Presa Canarios. Cane Corsos are one of the newest dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club—they were inducted in 2010.
3. They Can Have Catlike Paws
One unique trait of the Presa Canario is its rounded, splayed toes. These make their paws look more like a cat’s than a dog’s in many ways and give them a unique, smooth walk. Although not every Cane Corso Presa Canario mix inherits this trait, it’s relatively common.
Can you handle a Cane Corso Presa Canario? The high demands of food, training, and exercise make caring for this mix a challenge, but the rewards can be well worth it. These dogs are beautiful, healthy, active friends that are intensely loyal and great exercise buddies. They make intimidating guard dogs and are highly intelligent. Despite their intimidating frames, these dogs really do make incredible pets. If you do own one of these dogs, enjoy being part of an exclusive club.
Featured Image Credit: Austin James Photography, Shutterstock