As the name suggests, the dog breed originally comes from the Canary Islands of Spain. His ancestor – the Spanish mastiff – was kept as a guard and protection dog as well as a hunting and cattle dog on the Spanish mainland.
Because he was particularly suited to hunting due to his fearless presence, the breed enjoyed great popularity, especially among the Spanish nobility. The breed was also used for bullfights and dog fights.
Before conquering South America, the Spaniards stopped in the Canary Islands with their dogs, which they also used to fight enemies. The breed is thought to have interbred with native dogs here.
Since there was no war in the Canary Islands, the remaining dogs were kept by the residents as guard dogs for their farm animals. Hunting instinct and fighting qualities thus became less and less important and the qualities receded and were bred out.
In 2001 the breed was declared as Dogo Canario and provisionally recognized by the FCI. It has been officially recognized by the FCI since 2011 and was renamed again in 2019 and entered as Presa Canario in the FCI breed declature.