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Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Mastiff)

Perro de presa canario.
Perro de presa canario.

The Perro de Presa Canario, A.K.A. the Canary Mastiff, is a large Molosser-type dog breedoriginally bred for working livestock. The name of the breed is Spanish, means “Canarian catch dog”, and is often shortened to “Presa Canario” or simply “Presa”. The breed is sometimes also called Dogo Canario, meaning “Canarian Molosser”. It is the animal symbol of the island of Gran Canaria.[2]

History

The historian Agustín Millares Torres, in his “General History of the Canary Islands”, said the derivation of large dogs that in these islands were [incomplete]. According to his research, these dogs took part in the myths, funeral customs and even gastronomy of the natives (Guanches) of the islands. Demons appeared to these people as big fleecy dogs, known as “Tibicenas” in Gran Canaria and “Irnene” on the island of La Palma. In the funerary cults, the dogs appear mummified beside their owners guides to the afterlife. The dogs were also consumed in small amounts, as has been proven in archaeological discoveries.[6]

In the aftermath of conquest, the presence of these dogs of molosser morphology on the islands is well documented, especially in the cedularios of the councils of Fuerteventura and Tenerife. The first quote after conquest dates from 1501, which allowed the puerqueros (pig farmers) have “one of the larges.” In many periods, these dogs were used to kill the wild dogs that attacked cattle. Success was credited by the presentation of the skins of the heads. In others periods, many of these dogs were ordered to be killed for the damage they did to cattle. At one point, residents were given the opportunity to kill loose and wild dogs without punishment. In other occasions the dogs were ordered to be bound. And still other times, due to the damage caused by these dogs, their possession was banned for anyone who was not a farmer or a hunter. All this occurred between the 16th and 18th centuries.[7]

In addition to the traditional role of cattledog, the Perros de Presa have been used for dog fighting. Until the 1950s it remained common practice in all the islands. There exists ample testimony from former fans. The owners agree if witnessed the fight in silence or could incite the animals. No spectator could touch or bother the dogs in combat. The most widespread method was to place the animals within a circle marked on the ground, face to face. The fight began when the collars were removed. These were not organized public events. Instead, they emerged sporadically at the challenge of the owners. However, practically the whole neighborhood participated in the show once it became aware of a fight. The fights were banned in the mid-1940s, but lasted for another decade. From this moment, due to tightening by the Francoist authority for the eradication of dogfighting, the Presa Canario is relegated to counted breeders that fortunately kept the breed preventing its total disappearance.[8] (Wikipedia)

A list of all the dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club:

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

V

W

X

Y

-4L

#dogs #dogbreeds #dog #canine #canines #breeds #perrodepresacanario #presacanario #canarymastiff #canary #mastiff

 

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