Activities For Perro De Presa Canarios

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Introduction

The Perro de Presa Canarios is a large molosser type dog that developed on the Canary islands in order to control cattle and to guard and protect both livestock and the home. Their strength and size combined with an impressive ability to ignore pain later made these dogs candidates for the now outlawed sport of dog fighting  These working dogs are happiest when given a job to do, and can become destructive and even dangerous if they are not given enough to do or if they are not properly socialized and trained.

Swimming

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Swim vest
Fetch toy (optional)
Activity description

Perro de Presa Canarios are very large canines, typically between 84 to 110 pounds when fully grown. Like other large and giant-sized canines, these dogs are more susceptible to joint problems such as arthritis and hip or elbow dysplasia, disorders that can severely limit your dog’s range of motion. Swimming provides an excellent outlet for your working dog’s energy, as well as increasing their cardiovascular health and muscle tone, all without causing as much stress to the dog’s bones and joints. This activity is even beneficial for dogs who have already developed joint issues, as the cushioning effect of the water helps to support the damaged joints. 

Step
1
Find a place
While you might think that any body of water will work when teaching your dog to swim, there are many conditions to consider. Natural bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and ponds, may have hazards that you will need to account for such as dangerous wildlife, unexpected currents, and even viral and bacterial infestations. Choose slow moving but not stagnant bodies of water, pay attention to any safety signs that are posted, and avoid bodies of water that have visible growths of algae. Indoor swimming pools for canines are also an option, and while they do typically have a small charge, generally between ten and twenty dollars per visit, they eliminate many of the hazards presented by swimming outside.
Step
2
Introductions
Dogs that are unproven or weaker swimmers should be fitted with a canine swim vest for their safety, even in the relatively benign waters of a swimming pool. Perro de Presa Canarios are not always as excited about getting in the water the first time as dogs that are traditionally seen as water dogs, such as certain spaniel and retriever breeds. It is crucial that they are introduced to the water by coaxing them in, rather than by forcing or frightening them in order to get them in the water, in order to prevent creating a fear of water in general.
Step
3
Splash
Once your canine companion has been introduced to the water, it shouldn’t take a particularly long time for them to become comfortable with the feeling of the water supporting their body, and they will typically learn to navigate fairly quickly. Many dogs will need no further encouragement to swim, while others prefer playing games of fetch with floating toys thrown into the water.
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Socialization to Guests

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Any Day
Free
Normal
10 - 30 min
Items needed
High-value Treats
Activity description

While Perro de Presa dogs are typically gentle and affectionate towards their owners, they were originally employed to protect and move cattle and can become territorial and even aggressive. Without proper training and socialization, these large, intimidating animals may not be able to easily discern the difference between a guest and an intruder, which can be a dangerous proposition. Proper socialization helps ensure that your dog gains confidence in many situations that can arise and remains respectful and pleasant towards any guests that you choose to invite over. The training methods used for these powerful muscular canines are the same methods that are employed for all sizes and breeds of dog.

Step
1
Basic socialization
Basic socialization is the process of introducing your dog to as many types of guests as possible, in multiple situations, preferably with positive interactions. Socialization is most beneficial between three and twelve weeks of age, although this step can be taught to older dogs if patience is used. Properly managing this step may help you avoid aggression problems in the first place, particularly if it takes place during that early socialization window.
Step
2
Positive association
Many pet parents choose to greet your guests outside the door during this phase of training, at which point they can provide the guest with a high-value reward to give for your dog. Guests are instructed to give the treat to your canine companion only if they are calm and not showing any signs of aggression. If your dog has previously shown aggressive behavior towards people, a basket muzzle may be needed, or you may elect to start out with them in their crate. These tools allow your guests to remain fully protected, but still allow the dog to take treats that are offered to them so that positive associations can still be built.
Step
3
Counter-conditioning and response substitution
Counter-conditioning is a training technique in which a calm response to a known trigger is paired with a highly valued reward in order to create a positive association from a negative one. It is an effective technique that requires careful timing and an intimate knowledge of your canine’s communication. Response substitution can help interrupt aggressive behavior by teaching your dog a command that is counter to the aggressive behavior, such as lying down or focusing on you, in response to the trigger.
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Red Light, Green Light

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Any Day
Free
Normal
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Clicker
Activity description

Impulse control is a particularly important skill for large, powerful animals such as the Perro de Presa Canario in order to ensure a safer and more controllable companion. Impulse control training can provide your dog with mental stimulation while also conditioning them to be a more confident and relaxed canine. Red Light, Green Light is a fun childhood game that pet parents and trainers can modify slightly to account for your dog’s cognition and creates an excellent opportunity in which to reinforce a quick and clear response to a specific command in an entertaining and enjoyable way, for both you and the dog.  

Step
1
Clicker training
The clicker is a handheld device that makes a single, sharp clicking noise in order to clearly mark that your dog has exhibited the correct behavior. The easiest way to orient your dog to the sound of the clicker and make a positive association to t the sound is to ensure that every time the clicker clicks, the dog is given a high-value treat. Repeating this step several times over a few days should thoroughly cement the idea in your dog’s mind.
Step
2
Red light
When it is time for your dog to be still, call out red light, then utilize a hand gesture command to get your dog to lie down or sit down and remain still. When they exhibit the correct behavior, the clicker should be clicked to mark the behavior, and the dog should be immediately rewarded. The dog should be taught to remain stationary until the “green light” command is given.
Step
3
Green light
When the “green light” command is given, the dog is released from their stationary position and activity, such as short games of fetch, heelwork, or flirt pole play should be indulged in until the “red light” command is once again employed. Neither the red light or green light option should last too long in order to avoid confusion or aggravation.
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More Fun Ideas...

Bite Inhibition

It can be helpful to work on bite inhibition, particularly with puppies and young dogs. If, in the course of playing, your dog causes pain when biting, make a loud sharp noise to startle the pup, noises similar to a puppy's yelp are often most effective, then immediately redirect their behavior. Under no circumstances use physical force to teach your puppy bite inhibition as this may backfire and teach your dog to be more aggressive rather than less.

Pack Walk

Due to their protective nature, Perro de Presa Canario dogs tend to be aggressive towards other dogs, sometimes even when proper socialization has occurred. One way to help counter somewhat reactive or aggressive dogs is to find a pack walk group that specializes in reactive dogs. These groups are often headed by a specialist in the field who can help to minimize skirmishes and other inappropriate behaviors as well as educating the pet parents on how to do so themselves.

Conclusion

The Perro de Presa is a large dog that provides the same security as more traditional livestock guardian dogs, but they also helped to ensure that the cattle were under control. They tend to be slightly more active than many molossers and should be provided with plenty of exercise throughout the day. This breed is generally wary of strangers and frequently aggressive towards other dogs, so socialization and training are a must.