Presa Canario Breeder in Canada
Arsenal K9 is a Presa Canario Breeder and dog training company owned and operated by Jason Arsenault and Emily Keenan of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Jason is a top graduate from Canada West Canine Training Centre in B.C. where he excelled in his class and had training requests from other clients. He recently returned home from a month long trip to Europe where he visited Germany and Holland. Two of the leading countries in dog training. While there he participated in and worked along side a Police K9 unit, worked with and observed some of the top IPO, KNPV, protection and Police dog trainers in the world.
Our story began in 2010 when we were searching for a new addition to our family. We wanted a dog that would be great with children, able to compete in dog sport, have a balanced temperament and guard the property. We eventually came across the Presa Canario. A powerful, loyal dog with cat like agility descending from the Canary Islands. As we continued to research the breed, it became more evident that this was the dog we wanted as part of our family. We purchased our first Presa, Isis, from Lexa Estate Guardians in Gibsons BC. We instantly fell in love with the breed, she was everything we had hoped for and more. We became more involved with dog sports, from IPO/Schutzhund, weight pull, protection sports, having our own protection sport club in Saskatoon and now bringing our knowledge to Prince Albert and area. We eventually imported two more Presas from a very reputable working dog club in Germany, AVD,”Banner” Golfo De la Arena and El Patron’s Acarda “Rogue” and decided to be a Presa Canario breeder in Canada.
Great care has been taken in raising our dogs so they have the proper socialization, all of our dogs are raised around children, other animals, and go through a strict socialization process to ensure they have the right temperament. We at Arsenal K9 believe every dog should have a job. We test our dogs for workability before our decision is made to breed. We also do various health tests i.e. PENN Hip, eyes, elbows, heart etc. to make sure our dogs are in perfect health. All this is done to maintain the integrity of the Presa Canario.
ABOUT Presa Canarios:
The Presa Canario breed originated on Gran Canaria where families who needed working dogs had been breeding a colony of dogs for generations. These dogs were simply called “Presas”. The term Presa, in this context, means to clutch, grip, or hold. These dogs were expected to exterminate wild dogs that came to kill and eat the young goats, hold the cattle for slaughter, wild boar hunting and guard and protect the homes of their owners. It is believed that the breed was formed by indiginous Majorero cattle dog from the Island of Fuertaventura and various mastiffs and Bulldogs that arrived on ships that harboured at the docks to create the breed that would become the Presa Canario. The current Presa Canario became an actual breed in 1989 and is in the miscellaneous category in the CKC and AKC, recognized under the UKC and FCI. The two centers of development for the modern breed were Tenerife and Gran Canaria .There were two different ideas of what made the the ideal Presa Canario. Generally speaking, breeders on the Island of Gran Canaria bred for the functional aspects, ability and hardness and the breeders on the Island of Tenerife bred for uniformity and exhibition. They were bred on the basis of look and not functional ability. The two ideologies often clashed and this became apparent at breed recognition. Each group of breeders sought a standard that enforced their ideal. The Tenerife breeders wanted uniformity and show dogs to impress the RSCE, they lobbied for a tight standard of only brindle and fawn dogs, a more uniform look. The Gran Canarian Preseros wanted a broader standard that included the Black coat, white markings and demanded scissor bite, no prognathism (lower jaw more prominent )as it was indicative of crossing with modern breeds.The Preseros had a breed that was made of working “Presas”, the Majorero cattle dog and other mastiff and bulldog breeds. The Tenerife based breeders used modern purebred dogs, almost exclusively, they included various Mastiffs and bulldogs of all types. There were dogs from Gran Canaria who were brought to Tenerife, however , this was the exception. The competition for power between the two centers of development was fierce. In 1989 the RSCE recognized the breeders on Tenerife as the official” club and allowed the black coat to be a part of their Presa Canario standard . After recognition the “official” breed club known as the CEPC (Club Espanol del Presa Canario) continued its program of breeding for show and exhibition .The Preseros on Gran Canaria continued breeding as they had for generations . many Preseros felt alienated because their input and influence was quickly marginalized by the CEPC. A few were integrated into the new club and accepted the changes. In 2001 the FCI, aided by the CEPC, recognized the “Perro de Presa Canario breed” as the “Dogo Canario” and eliminated the black coat, traditional markings and maximum weight limitation .The recognition by the FCI is “provisional” which means it is temporary until the FCI can determine if the Dogo Canario meets its breed requirements. The recognition and name change did not go over well in the Canary Islands. The majority of traditional breeders of the Presa dogs were shocked. The traditional dog they had been breding for decades, a national icon, a way of life, had been taken from them. The injustice would not last long. In 2001 a group of Presa Canario enthusiasts in the U.S banded together and obtained recognition of the Perro de Presa Canario breed by the UKC in its traditional name. They adopted a standard based on the original standard of 1989.The Presa Canario of tradition is alive and well in Presa Canario breeders all over the world. Its spin off, the FCI Dogo Canario also continues to grow in popularity, a shadow of the actual Perro de Presa Canario. There are few Dogo Canario breeders in Canada and even fewer Presa Canario breeders who breed for function and working ability.