30 Jan The origin of the Presa Canario and Dogo Canario of Tenerife.
Along these last few years, many enthusiasts of the Presa Canario have asked me to write, and publish, anything related to the origin of the Presa Canario. An old member of the now vanished Spanish Club of the Presa Canario (now the Dogo Canario), brought me several monographic catalogues in order to search out and elaborate genealogies. I still have those catalogues in my library, but the truth is that I don´t have a great inclination to immerse myself in them for this purpose. I think I have sufficient material in my files.
Let´s start with Bobby and Piba
Bobby came from Arucas, it appears bred by the local butcher Manolito Alemán.
I bought him as a six or seven-year-old from a man (from Arucas) in six thousand pesetas. In those days, a friend of mine (Javier Perera Cabrera, a great canine enthusiast) and I visited Juan Santana Álamo, in Bañaderos, Gran Canaria, to see if he had any puppies of the Presa type. Juan didn´t have any but in Las Tres Palmas in Galdar there was a goatherd to whom he had given a puppy, and that if we went along this man may decide to give us the dog, because he had the impression that the goatherd was not really interested in the animal. So Javier and I went to look up this goatherd and it proved to be true, the man wasn´t interested in the puppy and had put the poor animal in a wooden box and covered it with a heavy stone, leaving the puppy to die. Javier told the goatherd that he had two Doberman, a male and a female and when they had puppies, he would take him one, so the goatherd told his wife to give us the puppy. I took him in my arms and we left quickly. We had saved Piba (the name I gave her) from a terrible death.
From the first litter of Piba and Bobby, I can remember five puppies –it´s possible that the litter was five-, Tobi of Irema Curtó, Gey of Irema Curtó. Mora of Irema Curtó, Isora of Irema Curtó, and Tamay of Irema Curtó that I chose for myself.
As far as I know Tobi and Gey had no descendants.
Tobi was sold to Don Luis, the owner of the petrol station situated on the Las Galletas crossroad in the south of Tenerife.
Gey was sold to don Ramon Monteverde, of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife.
Mora was sold to Pilar Udias, San Cristobal de La Laguna. Mora had a puppy with Drago a puppy named Guanche was taken to Madrid, along with Drago, and ended up in the hands of Asensio-, property of Dr. Murube del Castillo, son of Gara and Manolo, which was the property of Don Silverio Mesa, of Santa Cruz, and with another Presa.
Gara wasn´t of the Presa type. Isora was sold to Marian Bautista, of SanCristobal of La Laguna and had descendants. Tamay was crossed with Felo, from which were born Beneharo de Irema Curto and and Mahan de Irema Curto, sold to Manuel Martin Bethencourt for twenty-five thousand pesetas, Guacimara de Irema Curto, given to a friend in Santiago de Teide, Tenerife, on reaching adulthood, Guama de Irema Curto which I crossed with an English Bulldog called Gruñon.
Now, attention to the following, don´t miss this:
Porky, son of Mahan de Irema Crtó and Turca
Patagón, son of Mahan de Irema Curtó and Teguise de Irema Curtó. Mahan was the brother of Guama from the same litter, mother of Teguise.
Nuga, daughter of Campeón de Irema Curtó and Laika.
Laika, daughter of Sultan and Troika.
Sultan son of Patagon and Pregunta.
Troika, daughter of Kabul de Irema Curtó and Mora.
Kabul, son of Tinguaro de Irema Curtó and Piba.
Mora, daughter of Sultan and ……?
Caporal, son of Patagon and Gubia.
Leon, son of Campeón de Irema Curtó and Laika.
Guama, daughter of Caporal and Gara.
Traquer, son of Campeón de Irema Curto and Tirma.
Chalia, daughter of Mahan de Irema Curtó and Teguise de Irema Curtó. Sister of Patagon.
Azano, son of Mahan de Irema Curtó and Nuga- Azano suffered with epilepsy but even so was used continuously for breeding.
Volcan, son of Beneharo de Irema Curtó and Tamay de Irema Curtó.
Tosca, daughter of Campeón de Irema Curtó.
Baron, son of Sultan and Nusca de Irema Curtó. Champion of the Monographic I and II in the breed.
Nusca de Irema Curtó, daughter of Tinguaro de Irema Curtó and Tipha (purebred Spanish mastin, purchased from Antonio Cabezas Albamonte of Madrid).
Diana, daughter of Afur and Kansa. Kansa, daughter of Sultan, champion of Monographic I of the breed.
Garoe, son of Leon and Gheisa. Champion of Spain.
Linda, daughter of Kempi and Chira; Chira, daughter of Sultan and Troyka.
Sancocho, son of Chio and Linda. Champion of the third Monographic.
Chio, son of Leon and Buba.
Clay, son of Sultan and Mota.
Enzo, son of Chio and Buba. Winner in the open class for male dogs in the fourth Monographic.
Buba, daughter of Teide and Mota, descendants of Azano and Patagon.
Tarka, daughter of Sultan and Mota. Champion in the open class for female dogs of the fourth Monographic.
Urco, son of Turco and Mora (Mora daughter of Sultan). Champion of the fifth Monographic.
Catana de Los Cardones, daughter of Baron and Tora (Baron son of Sultan and Nusca de Irema Curtó, and Tora daughter of Teide and Guama, Leon-Azano lineage)
Baron II, son of Tauco and Layka. Layka daughter of Sultan and Troika).
Uga de Mayantigot, daughter of Urco and Diana (Diana daughter of Toro (unless there is proof saying otherwise Toro is the product of a cross between an English Bulldog and Presa), and Tana from Azano-Traquer). Champion of the sixth Monographic.
Verdugo, second in the seventh Monographic (behind Urco), son of Aaron and Talia.
Aaron son of Leon and Cancha, both come from Campeon de Irema Curtó and Patagon.
Patagon, son of Mahan de Irema Curtó and Teguise de Irema Curtó (50% English Bulldog, sister of Tinguaron de Irema Curtó, Campeon de Irema Curtó etc.).
Mencey, son of Verdugo and Bula. Champio of the 8th Monographic
Rina, winner of the Open class for female dogs. <<with similar genealogy to Mencey>>, as can be read in the MMB booklet. It doesn´t say anymore than this.
Tacher, daughter of Turco and Tana.
Tana, daughter of Sultan. Winner of the CAC in the eighth Monographic.
The genealogy of the presa type dog in Tenerife, as the enthusiast will comprehend, doesn´t begin or end with this list published by Manuel Martin Bethencourt in his book. If the complete list were known, which is virtually impossible owing to the lack of honesty and formality when talking of the sires of some litters it would indicate the different lines and families of the Tenerife Presas. It was a frequent practice to register complete or partial litters with false ancestry, because it wasn´t convenient for the real ones to be known.
The list presented here has been transcribed almost totally from the before mentioned book and was just a fragment of the breeding from the mid 70´s until the 8th Monographic of the breed.
However, it does reflect and has much to bear on the mentality of the people who formed the Spanish Club of the Presa Canario (CEPPC) and acted in benefit of some very specific and personal interests.
If we make a thorough analysis of the list that I have transcribed, we will notice that inbreeding (product of total ignorance) prevails against any other consideration. And the rules and ideas that were followed by the breeders affiliated to the CEPPC were dictated by one person : Manuel Martín Bethencourt. The others were nothing more than figurines, as I wrote in an article some years ago.
In the monographic exhibitions, on the majority of occasions, the champions were named previously (this was when the judging was in the hands of the specialists, that is to say the club of the breed).
On the other hand, and against the breed that was being created, the Breeding Plan, if it can be so called, was based on the choice of specific animals Mahan de Irema Curto, Teguise de Irema Curto, Campeon de Irema Curto, Kabul de Irema Curto, Nusca de Irema Curto. This is the genetic base on which The Spanish Club of the Presa Canario was building “it´s breed”. But these have not been the only Presas of the Irema Curto affix to be used (occulting the origin as much as they could) for reproduction by directives and members of the before mentioned club, and there were very few others during a number of years and were never shown in the pedigrees. I want to make it clear that I, the owner of the Irema Curto affix, had nothing to do with the use of those animals, and many more born in my kennels in later years.
Not once was the physical health of the males and females, destined to reproduction, taken into consideration, or their functionality. The focus was on the exhibitions and shows and the business. Then the change of name came about, originally the Presa Canario to the Dogo Canario, in 2001 if I´m not mistaken, by public notary with the corresponding modification of the standard, and the absolute conviction that this would open up a world of business possibilities in other countries, with the recognition of the breed (their breed) by the International Cinological Federation. Of course they didn´t realise (so blind were they) that they were breaking away (in that moment irreversible) from the traditional Presa Canario dog and it´s general characteristics, and corresponding coat. And with the passing years they have now realized their error, and have tried to remedy the situation stating that the Dogo Canario and the Presa Canario are the same breed and that is what they state in their catalogues for the monographic dog shows year after year (Dogo Canario-Presa Canario, Presa Canario-Dogo Canario, Dogo Canario-Antiguo Presa Canario).
From the beginning (mid 70´s) we believe that the Presa Canario is (and for this reason should be selected) a multifunctional working dog, not an exhibition dog. The morphological is a different story. With the standard in their hands the judges examine the dogs to give an impartial judgement of the morphological correction or incorrection of each animal that is entered. Also we believed in the imperative necessity of the certificate stating that the animal is free from hip dysplasia (nowadays, the same should be demanded with respect to the elbow), also a character examination by qualified persons, for all those animals destined to reproduction.
We the Presa Canario breeders consider that the qualities above are of great importance and without which the breed has no value and a very uncertain future.
Manuel Curtó Gracia
Tenerife, 5 February 2015