The Presa Canario is a very reliable watchdog, and it can also be a wonderful companion for the entire family. It can be very territorial and dominant but that’s because of its unparalleled instinct to protect and guard you, your family, and your home.
I came across a few Presa Canario’s while working for a Hawaii tree service company. They were guarding around their owner’s territory while we were excavating brush. All I can say, they’re very effective guard dogs.
When raised with affection and trained well, the Presa Canario will be loyal to you like no other. However, you should expect some challenges at first. When dealing with a Presa, you have to understand that its temperament is naturally energetic and protective. He will go after any threat and make sure that you are safe at all costs.
To make sure that your Presa is trained well, below are some Presa Canario training tips to remember:
- Begin as early as you can.
As soon as you take your Perro de Presa Canario puppy home, start the training. Even before taking the puppy home, you should have already set up a small area or room to be the puppy’s ‘home’. It’s important that you establish and follow a routine early on, deciding on who’s in charge of cleaning and feeding.
- Establish yourself as the ‘Alpha Dog’.
The Presa is a pack animal, so from a very young age, he should understand that you’re the leader of the pack. You’re in charge, and you have to show this. Clearly, set the demarcation line between his sleeping area and yours. This means you shouldn’t allow the puppy to sleep in your bed. When you need to cross the room and he’s in the way, make the dog move instead of adjusting your path. Eat first. Walk ahead. Make sure you look like the leader.
- Make sure your Presa recognizes his name.
Training will be easier once you’ve established that you’re in charge. To ensure that your dog listens to you, practice calling him by name and make sure he gets used to it. You can do this initially with a treat as a reward, but when you call his name make sure he looks you in the eye. You have to do this repeatedly until your Presa gets used to the name and automatically responds.
- Be firm, but use positive reinforcement.
You have established yourself as the one in charge, so you have to make sure you keep this up. The Presa will respond to positive reinforcement more than it will respond to force or coercion, so use this. As a reward for good behavior, you can hug or pet him but don’t be overly affectionate.
To correct bad behavior, just as you would a child, you have to firmly say no. Hold the puppy by the snout and look him in the eye, then firmly say no. You can then grab his scruff and shake it, withholding attention for 15-20 minutes so that the puppy knows it did something wrong. Force is not necessary, but it’s important that the puppy understands what it did was wrong (e.g. chewing the couch, wetting the floor).