How to Read Presa Canario Body Language: Understanding Your Dog’s Signals – Part 1

Key Takeaways:

Aspect Signal Meaning
Tail Position Raised Confidence, Alertness
Lowered Submissiveness, Uncertainty
Ears Forward Curiosity, Interest
Back Fear, Aggression
Body Posture Stiff, Tense Threat, Challenge
Relaxed, Loose Comfort, Contentment


The Presa Canario, also known as the Canary Mastiff, is a powerful and majestic breed. Originating from the Canary Islands, this breed is known for its strong protective instincts and loyalty to its family. Like all dogs, the Presa Canario communicates primarily through body language. Understanding these signals can greatly enhance the bond between you and your dog, ensuring a harmonious relationship. For those interested in adopting or purchasing a Presa Canario, offers Presa Canario puppies for sale, ensuring you get a healthy and well-bred companion.

1. Tail Position and Movement

Raised Tail: A raised tail often indicates that the dog is feeling confident and alert. It’s a sign that the dog is aware of its surroundings and is ready to engage.

Lowered Tail: A tail that is lowered or tucked between the legs suggests that the dog is feeling submissive or uncertain. This can be a sign of fear or discomfort.

Wagging Tail: Contrary to popular belief, a wagging tail doesn’t always mean a happy dog. The speed and direction of the wag can provide more context. A slow wag can indicate relaxation, while a rapid wag might suggest excitement or agitation.

2. Ears and Their Position

Ears Forward: When a Presa Canario’s ears are pointed forward, it often indicates curiosity or interest in something. This is a sign that the dog is attentive and focused.

Ears Back: Ears that are pinned back can be a sign of fear or aggression. It’s essential to approach a dog with its ears back with caution and to understand the context of the situation.

Lists to Remember:

  • Common Signs of a Relaxed Presa Canario:
    • Loose body posture
    • Slow tail wag
    • Ears in a neutral position
    • Relaxed facial expression
  • Common Signs of an Agitated Presa Canario:
    • Raised hackles
    • Stiff body posture
    • Rapid tail wag
    • Growling or barking

For those new to the breed, provides a comprehensive Presa Canario FAQ to answer all your questions about this magnificent breed.

How to Read Presa Canario Body Language: Understanding Your Dog’s Signals – Part 2

3. Body Posture and Movement

Stiff, Tense Posture: A stiff and tense body posture can indicate that the dog feels threatened or challenged. This can be a precursor to aggressive behavior, so it’s crucial to be aware and take necessary precautions.

Relaxed, Loose Posture: A relaxed and loose body posture suggests that the dog is comfortable and content. This is a sign of a happy and well-adjusted dog.

4. Facial Expressions

Bared Teeth: A Presa Canario showing its teeth can be a sign of aggression or fear. It’s a warning signal that the dog might bite if provoked.

Relaxed Mouth: A relaxed mouth, often with a slightly open jaw, indicates that the dog is calm and at ease.

5. Eyes and Gaze

The eyes of a Presa Canario can convey a lot about their emotions. Direct eye contact can be a sign of challenge or aggression, while avoiding eye contact might indicate submission or fear. Soft, relaxed eyes usually mean the dog is calm and content.

6. Vocalizations

While not strictly body language, vocal signals complement physical cues:

  • Growling: Warning or discomfort.
  • Whining: Desire, anxiety, or pain.
  • Barking: Alert, playful, or seeking attention.

7. Interaction with Other Animals

Observing how your Presa Canario interacts with other animals can also give insights into their mood and intentions. A raised tail and stiff posture towards another dog might indicate dominance, while a lowered tail and crouched position could mean submission.

Tables for Quick Reference:

Facial Expression Meaning
Bared Teeth Aggression, Fear
Relaxed Mouth Calmness, Contentment
Raised Eyebrows Surprise, Curiosity
Furrowed Brow Confusion, Concentration
Body Movement Meaning
Pacing Anxiety, Restlessness
Lying Down Relaxation, Contentment
Raising a Paw Curiosity, Playfulness
Rolling Over Submission, Trust


Understanding the body language of your Presa Canario is essential for a strong and trusting relationship. By paying attention to these signals, you can ensure that your dog feels understood and valued. Remember, every dog is unique, so it’s essential to get to know your individual dog’s quirks and behaviors. With patience and observation, you’ll soon become an expert in reading your Presa Canario’s body language. For more insights and expert advice, visit our shop page for expert virtual training, a dedicated platform for all things Presa Canario.