Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Meet This Unstoppable Protection K-9
Shannon Cutts
Author: Shannon Cutts
Shannon Cutts, an animal intuitive and communicator, deepens interspecies connections through her writing and advocacy work.
Published date: November 9, 2020
Updated date: August 30, 2022
This article was reviewed and fact checked If you have found any errors, please contact us!

Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Meet This Unstoppable Protection K-9

The Presa Canario and the German Shepherd dog breed lines share a lot in common.

But while the latter is nearly a household name in most parts of the world, all but the most devoted dog lovers have never even heard of the Presa Canario dog breed.

Hybrid dog breeding, the practice of crossbreeding two different purebred dog parents, has always been a part of developing new dog breeds.

But today it is being done for a more urgent need – to shore up the health of certain purebred dog lines with too-narrow gene pools. The German Shepherd is one such breed.

Crossing the German Shepherd breed with the complementary Presa Canario breed adds back much-needed genetic diversity to the GSD line, potentially resulting in stronger and healthier puppies for future canine generations.


Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix

The Presa Canario German Shepherd mix dog is going to be a hybrid dog breed with unparalleled herding, guarding, and protection talents.

Both parent dogs, the Presa Canario, and the German Shepherd come from distinguished herding, guarding, and protection breed lines. Both are strong, powerful, smart, and brave dogs capable of producing strong and healthy puppies with bright future.

See a Presa Canario and a German Shepherd Side By Side

If you thought the German Shepherd dog looked big and imposing, wait until you watch this YouTube video of a German Shepherd side by side with a Presa Canario.

Both of these dogs are impressive guarding and protection dogs and well able to hold their own with the fiercest of adversaries, whether animal or human.

Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Dog Breeds History

Hybrid dog breeds are breeds in development. While many such hybrids may attain purebred registration status through the American Kennel Club or similar nationwide dog club registry, they have not done so yet.

For this reason, and also because it is not possible to predict exactly which genes a hybrid puppy might inherit from either parent dog, it is harder to know what to expect when you make a commitment to a hybrid puppy or rescue dog.

In this section, we will explore more about the breed history of each parent dog to get a feel for what a Presa Canario German Shepherd dog might be like.

Presa Canario history

The Presa Canario has listed in the American Kennel Club (AKC) registry as “foundation service stock.”

What this basically means is that the Presa Canario itself is still a breed in development.

It is farther along than a true hybrid like the Presa Canario German Shepherd mix, but the breed has not yet developed a uniform standard or sufficient following to merit formal inclusion in the purebred registry.

These dogs have a history dating back to the 16th century or earlier, but the breed all but died out in the early 20th century and is now being re-developed.

The Presa Canario is also called the Perro de Presa Canario, or Canary Dog of Prey, after the breed’s birthplace in the Canary Islands. These dogs have a long background as guarding, protection, herding, and fighting dogs.

German Shepherd history

As the American Kennel Club (AKC) explains, the German Shepherd dog is world-famous for both their signature appearance and their amazing service as K-9 guarding and protection dogs.

Today, the GSD is second only to the Labrador Retriever as the most popular pet dog of purebred origin in America.

The German Shepherd was developed over a century ago by a cavalry officer with the German Army named Captain Max von Stephanitz.

The Captain created the GSD to be the ideal working dog, prizing temperament traits like loyalty, bravery, intelligence, confidence, athleticism, and poise under duress.

Today there are two breed lines for the German Shepherd: the show dog line and the working dog line.

Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix Personality & Temperament

The Presa Canario German Shepherd will inherit a very complementary mix of temperament and personality traits from each parent dog breed.

You can expect your puppy to behave with some aloofness towards strangers, as befits protection and guarding dog. With you, however, your dog will be eager to spend as much time with you as possible.


Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Size, Height, and Weight

Since both canine parents are large breed dogs, you can count on bringing home a large breed puppy. But how large will be the question you may have to wait and see to answer.

In this section, you can get a sense of the weight and height range of both parent dogs as a way to guesstimate how big and tall your Presa Canario German Shepherd mix dog might grow up to be.

Presa Canario size, height, and weight

The Presa Canario dog is descended from a number of dog breeds, including herding sheepdogs and molossers. Today, the breed is most closely associated with the molosser heritage.

The average size of a Presa Canario adult dog is between 80 and 110 pounds. Height tends to range from 22 to 26 inches tall.

German Shepherd size, height, and weight

The German Shepherd dog can range in weight from 50 to 90 pounds and stand anywhere from 22 to 26 inches tall. Males tend to weigh about 15 pounds more than females and stand two inches taller.

It is thought that the founding male dog for the German Shepherd breed was a half-wolf/half-dog hybrid. For this reason, the GSD still maintains the lean and rangy body type of a wild canid.

Related Articles: How to Tell if your German Shepherd is Overweight & 4 Best Dog Foods for German Shepherd to Gain Weight

Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Training and Exercise Needs

No matter which parent dog breed your puppy turns out to favor most, you are going to be making a commitment to an active, energetic dog and a tremendous canine athlete.

However, you will need to take care not to over-exercise your puppy too early in life before they have finished growing to their full adult height. Your veterinarian can take X-rays and confirm that your dog is done growing.

Both the Presa Canario and the German Shepherd enjoy canine athletics such as agility, rally, and obedience. Your Presa Canario German Shepherd mix dog will be smart and keen to learn new skills – your only challenge will be to keep up!

Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Coat Care, Shedding & Grooming

With one parent dog contributing a single-layer coat and the other parent dog contributing a double-layer coat, you may have a lot or a little shedding to deal with.

Presa Canario coat care, shedding, and grooming

Interestingly, while the Presa Canario is a working dog breed, these dogs do not have the traditional double-layer working-dog coat.

These dogs have a short, neat, single layer coat, which means your only real grooming chores will be a weekly brushing and the occasional bath. Shedding should be mild overall.

German Shepherd coat care, shedding, and grooming

Unlike the Presa Canario, the German Shepherd dog has a traditional double-layer working-dog coat.

These dogs shed year-round and go through one to two seasonal “coat blows.” If you think of a snowstorm but with dog hair instead of snow, you have a pretty good idea of what coat blow season is like.

Otherwise, your GSD simply needs a weekly brushing and occasional baths.


Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Longevity & Health Issues

As you learned earlier in this article, modern hybrid dog breeding programs can have some tangible health benefits for the puppies.

Chief among these is increased genetic diversity, which can reduce the likelihood that puppies might inherit a genetically-transmitted serious health issue.

Learning about the known genetic health concerns for each parent dog breed is the best way to know what to ask your breeder about pre-breeding health test results.

Presa Canario longevity and health issues

As with many large breed dogs, the Presa Canario dog has known issues with hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which are both serious joint issues.

As Vetstreet points out, these dogs can also have eye issues, thyroid dysfunction, epilepsy, anterior cruciate ligament tears, panosteitis, and osteochondritis dissecans, and demodectic mange.

The Presa Canario has a general life expectancy of nine to 11 years.

German Shepherd longevity and health issues

According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the German Shepherd dog can inherit these genetic health issues:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Eye issues
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Cardiac issues
  • Degenerative myelopathy

In addition, there are some known heritable temperament issues to watch for.

The German Shepherd can live anywhere from seven to 10 years on average.

Presa Canario German Shepherd Mix: Is This the Right Dog For You?

Is the Presa Canario German Shepherd mix your next companion canine? For the right owner, this hybrid dog breed can make a loyal and loving protection dog and pet.

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