How to Successfully Train and Certify Your Presa Canario as a Therapy Dog: Exploring the Possibilities and Overcoming Challenges


The Presa Canario, known for its loyalty, intelligence, and balanced temperament, has the potential to serve as an excellent therapy dog. However, the journey from being a pet to becoming a certified therapy dog involves various steps, challenges, and considerations. This comprehensive guide aims to navigate you through the process, ensuring that you are well-informed and prepared.

Key Takeaways

Aspect Key Information
Training Requirements Basic obedience, specialized therapy dog training
Certification Must pass a therapy dog test, obtain certification from a recognized organization
Roles Emotional support, physical assistance, specialized therapy roles
Challenges Size, initial socialization, public access rules
Legal Considerations ADA compliance, insurance, documentation

Part 1: Assessing Suitability and Initial Training

Step 1: Evaluate Temperament

  • Loyalty: Presa Canarios are known for their loyalty, an essential trait for therapy work.
  • Intelligence: Their ability to learn quickly can be beneficial in training.
  • Calm Demeanor: A calm disposition is crucial for a therapy dog role.

Step 2: Basic Obedience Training

Before specialized therapy dog training, your Presa Canario should master basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come. For more on basic obedience training, visit our guide.

Part 2: Specialized Training and Certification

Step 3: Therapy Dog Training Program

Enroll in a specialized therapy dog training program that focuses on:

  • Socialization
  • Behavioral conditioning
  • Task-specific training

Step 4: Certification

After completing the training, your Presa Canario will need to pass a therapy dog test conducted by a recognized organization. For more on this, check our article.

Part 3: Roles and Responsibilities

Step 5: Determine the Role

Presa Canarios can serve in various capacities:

  • Emotional support
  • Physical assistance
  • Specialized therapy roles

Step 6: Legal and Ethical Considerations

Understanding the legal landscape is crucial. Always keep any required documentation readily available. For more on legal considerations, read our article.

Part 4: Overcoming Challenges

Step 7: Addressing Size and Strength

While their size can be an advantage in some therapy roles, it can also be a challenge in others. Proper training can help manage this.

Step 8: Public Access

Understanding public access rules is crucial for therapy dogs. Make sure you are aware of the places your Presa Canario is allowed to go.


Training your Presa Canario to be a therapy dog is a rewarding but challenging experience. With the right training, certification, and ongoing support, your Presa Canario can make a significant impact in the lives of those in need. For more insights, techniques, and tips, delve into our extensive resources on Happy training!

By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to having a certified Presa Canario therapy dog, capable of providing invaluable emotional and physical support to those in need.