Are Presa Canarios Easy To Train? – 10 Training Tips

One of the lesser known Bully breeds, the Presa Canario has gained some popularity in recent years. These Molloser type dogs have been around for centuries however. Known for their size, strength, and protective nature, the Presa Canario is a beautiful large breed dog.

Are Presa Canarios easy to train? As a general rule Presa Canarios are not an easy dog to train, and can in fact be a very hard dog to train. Training will be especially difficult for those who have little experience with the breed. Presa Canarios can be stubborn, dominant, and need calm, assertive leadership.

Presa Canarios can be very loyal, obedient, docile and calm dogs under the right ownership. They require someone with experience in leadership skills that can consistently demonstrate they are in charge with a firm, calm approach. These dogs will be easy to train for those with experience, but very difficult for first time owners.

Training a Presa Canario requires a committed consistent approach. There are a few guiding principles, as well as pro tips you can follow to ensure you have a well behaved Presa. In this post I will cover a few of these principles, and training tips for the Presa Canario.

Are Presa Canarios Smart?

presa canario easy to train

Presa Canarios are a smart breed of dog. Their level of intelligence paired with the eagerness to please their owners can make Presa Canarios easy to train with experienced owners. 

The Presa Canario needs to know where they sit in the hierarchy of the pack. An owner that does not demonstrate calm, assertive pack leader qualities, will have a hard time training the Presa Canario.

A Presa Canario can default to very stubborn behavior, especially if they are bored. This smart breed of dog can lose interest in an activity, or not take the owners commands seriously. Knowing how to train a Presa Canario is vital to ensure a stable and well balanced dog.

How To Train A Presa Canario

Presa Canario puppies are cute, but they will soon grow into very large, powerful, and strong willed dogs. Not taking the necessary steps to train your Presa Canario can be a very big liability as these dogs can be aggressive towards other animals, and people they find suspicious.

These are a few of the principles you need to keep in mind when training a Presa Canario. It is crucial you establish your role as the leader, and remain consistent, calm, and assertive at all times. Follow these principles and training a Presa Canario will be a little easier.

Keep It Short

Training sessions with your Presa Canario should be between 15-20 minutes at a time. Longer training sessions have diminishing returns as the dog will lose interest, become bored, and disengage.

Presa Canarios are known to get bored easy when training. Trying to push them beyond 15-20 minutes can lead to frustration from the dog, and yourself. Remember you must always be in a calm and assertive state to gain the respect and attention of the Presa Canario.

Sessions can happen several times throughout the day. A couple 15-20 minutes sessions is ideal, and though it may seem short, those small sessions will add up over time.

presa canario big boy

Keep It Consistent

Consistency is one of the most important aspects of training a Presa Canario. Daily training sessions need to be a part of your routine, without exception. This helps to establish your role as the pack leader, as well as consistently reinforce obedience and basic commands.

Make training your Presa Canario a set part of each day. Dogs thrive on routine, and by following the next two steps, your Presa Canario will look forward to these sessions. Take the time and make the time to practice each and every day. Practice makes progress.

Keep It Fun

Training sessions do not need to be a dull, repetitive exercise in dominance. Presa Canarios love to have fun with their owners, and enjoy a good challenge. Make your training sessions fun and enjoyable as you engage your dog.

Fun doesn’t have to mean excitement however. Getting your Presa Canario excited while training can be distracting and get your off course for the lesson. Make the act of training engaging and enjoyable in a calm and assertive manner. Praise and reward can be given without added excitement.

The intelligence of the Presa Canario makes them eager to be challenged. Use this to gradually increase the difficulty of commands. Whether that is holding a sit/stay for longer. Doing a combination of commands with tricks, or working on something advanced.

Keep It Positive

Remaining positive throughout the training sessions is key. Presa Canarios respond very well to positive reinforcement techniques. The Presa loves to please their owner, and showing them that they have done a good job will further encourage engagement.

Never yell, shout, hit, or punish your Presa Canario. This style of training is not effective and can produce unwanted negative behaviors in the future. Fear, anxiety, distrust, and a loss in confidence can lead to negative behaviors such as aggression, or destructive behavior.

If you ever feel yourself becoming frustrated, or straying from the calm and assertive leadership demeanor, it’s time to stop. Take a break from training and try again a little later that day or the next. Frustration during training will not work, and be counter productive.

presa canario cute face

Keep Them Fit

A healthy Presa Canario is much easier to train. Making sure that your dog has all of their health needs met will ensure better attention, focus, and eagerness to learn. 

Make sure your Presa Canario is getting a good premium dog food, rich in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and quality protein. Supplementation of a good Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil can be great to include as well. This will help with their skin, coat, joints and heart health.

A fit and healthy dog is going to be much easier to train. Take care of your Presa Canarios diet, and general well being to get the most out of your training sessions.

Give Them Exercise

Exercise fits in with the above section about keeping your dog fit, but has addition benefits. That is why exercise gets its own section entirely.

Giving your Presa Canario an adequate amount of exercise each day can drastically improve the quality of training sessions. Allowing a release of some extra pent up energy will allow your Presa to remain more focused on the task at hand.

A Presa Canario that is bursting with extra energy can become easily distracted. Not an ideal situation for a training session. Take your Presa Canario for a 20 minute walk if this is the case. The drain of that extra energy will make training much easier, and your dog much happier.

Give Them Activities

Training your Presa Canario doesn’t have to be limited to just basic commands and tricks. Adding in supplementary activities can give them some great mental stimulation. Not only do these activities create an added challenge but also create new methods of introducing training. 

Things like fetch for example still add commands that include fetching and returning the ball/toy. Practicing obedience commands, mixed with a physical activity combines fun, exercise, and training all in one activity.

Some great activities to consider doing with your Presa Canario would include:


Fetch is a great way to engage the Presa Canarios prey drive with a focused mental and physical activity. Grab yourself a ChuckIt! Ball launcher, or Nerf Pet Cannon and let the games begin.

nerf dog ball blaster

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy

Take aim with the new 16″ hand-held Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster! High-powered blasting action launches your dog’s favorite fetching tennis ball over 50ft in the air.


A good old fashion game of Tug-of-War is the perfect way to engage with your Presa Canario. Not only do they love the challenge, but it also allows for some great obedience training. 

Learning “release” is a very important part of this game. As the leader you need to be in full control of this game at all times. Your Presa Canario must learn the “release” command so that you can end the game at any moment. Without hesitation.

This is a great game, and an even more important skill you can teach your Presa Canario. Grab yourself a good durable BlueIsland Dog Rope. to get started.

Spring Poles

Spring poles are great exercise for dogs. Basically it allows them to play tug-of-war with themselves. The movement of the rope can fully engage your Presa Canario mentally, and give them a great deal of exercise from the pulling, jumping and chasing.

Teaching commands to have your dog engage with the spring pole, and then disengage (much like the release command of tug-of-war) is perfect for training practice. 

You’ll need a fairly strong spring pole for a Presa Canario, so I would recommend grabbing a Dibbatu for large dogs. These are easy to setup right in your backyard.

Flirt Poles

Flirt poles can engage your Presa Canarios natural prey drive in a fun and safe way. A good flirt pole like the Weiba Dog Teaser on Amazon. Will provide physical exercise and mental stimulation that is perfect for a Presa Canario.

Puzzle Games

Feeding times can be a perfect opportunity to engage your dog mentally. Puzzle feeders, kongs, and slow feeder chew toys are perfect way to make meal time a little bit more engaging. Check out a full list of recommended chews and toys on my resource page.

Resources & ReviewsThe Best 15 Dog Toys & Chews for Aggressive Chewers

Give Them Friends

presa canario puppy playing

Presa Canarios should be socialized from a very young age. Along with training, socialization is absolutely critical to make sure you have a confident, balanced adult Presa Canario.

The Presa has a tendency to be aggressive towards other animals, and highly suspicious of people they do not know. The more you are able to socialize your Presa Canario from a young age, the better off you will be.

Get your Presa Canario out and around as many dogs, adults, children, sounds, smells, and different environments as you can. Start when they are just puppies. Building their confidence, and familiarity with all sorts of different people and pets will go a long way in their adult life.

Make socializing a regular part of their day. Walk your Presa Canario to areas with other dogs, people and things to observe, smell, and hear. This may not guarantee your Presa Canario will never be aggressive towards people or animals, but it will help tremendously.

Remember a Presa Canario grows to be a very large and powerful dog. Not socializing them properly is a huge liability for injury to others. Be vigilant and cautious with your Presa Canario always. Socialize them often.

Give Them Rules

Establishing house rules is important. Showing the Presa Canario that you run the household is the type of leadership that they need and will respond to. By establishing house rules, and being consistent, you can maintain your status as the pack leader in a calm and assertive manner.

Simple things like boundaries of the kitchen when you are in there cooking. I taught my Staffordshire Bull Terrier this from a very early age. When I am in the kitchen, she is not, unless directly invented.

Claiming these spaces shows your Presa Canario you run the show. It is important to not only show this leadership, but be proactive in avoiding illness or injuries. Like in the kitchen. A dropped knife, or a toxic piece of food can hit the floor. If you dog is in the way, that can be bad news.

Give them rules. Be calm and assertive when consistently enforcing these rules. Reward and praise the good behaviors. These are simple actions you can take to make training a Presa Canario that much easier.

Start Early

presa canario puppy

Start as early as you can with training and socializing. Presa Canario puppies are like little sponges and can begin to learn basic commands like sit, stay, come from as early as 8-10 weeks.

The early you start training and socializing, the easier training and socializing will be. Get your puppy out to socialize once they have had all of their shots, and train 15 minutes every day from the moment they get home.

Training Resources For Presa Canarios

I have mentioned repeatedly in this post the importance of being a leader for your Presa Canario. Through a calm, assertive, pack leader approach you can make training much easier. This is the behavior your Presa will respond to well.

As a professional dog walker for many years I can attest to this need to show leadership. While walking a pack of dogs ranging from Pit Bulls to Corgis, I needed to be in control at all times. Learning how to be in control came from reading Cesar Milan books and studying various trainers like Dr. Ian Dunbar, and Dr. Patricia McConnell.

I cannot recommend these 3 Cesar Milan books more when it comes to being a pack leader. These were instrumental in my learning to be a professional dog walker, and be the best Staffy owner I could be.

I recommend these books to everyone getting a dog, or having trouble with their dog. These will teach you everything you need to know and more when it comes to becoming a leader, and the best dog owner you can be.

Cesar Milan 3 Books Collection Set

  • How to Raise the Perfect Dog, Cesar’s Way: 
  • Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems 
  • Be the Pack Leader
cesar milan training books

Also check out my Training Resources & Reviews page to learn more about online training courses, books from Dr Ian Dunbar, Dr Particia McConnell, and important training tools.

Resources & ReviewsThe Best Training Courses, Books, & Tools For Dogs

Final Thoughts

The Presa Canario is not a dog for everyone. In fact they are not recommended for first time owners because they are not easy to train. I hate to say this because I know people are capable of learning, and being able to train any dog.

The liability of owning a Presa Canario for an inexperienced owner is far too high unfortunately. The Presa Canario needs an experienced owner that knows how to handle this powerful breed.

If you are dedicated to learning, and practicing the principles mentioned in this post, you might have a chance as a first time owner. Consult with a professional trainer. Learning as much as you can about the breed. Use the resources I provided above to become that pack leader, and develop yourself into a calm, assertive, patient, owner.

The Presa Canario is a wonderful breed of dog when raised right. They are loyal, protective, calm and loving companions. They are also an extreme commitment. Do not take training and socializing lightly. Getting a Presa Canario is a serious job.

Recent Posts