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a Presa Canario isn’t what most people would picture when told about a gentle dog that befriends a baby squirrel.
A Google search of the breed will show news articles with headlines containing words like “killer dogs” and "dangerous rare breed.” But for every fearful news headline, several others contradict them by describing the breed as gentle and calm.
Presa Canarios are not the only breed to face unfair and misguided breed discrimination. Other breeds included on the “prohibited” or “banned” breed lists:
✖️ American Pit Bull Terrier
✖️ Staffordshire Bull Terrier
✖️ German Shepherd
✖️ American Bulldog
✖️ Siberian Husky
✖️ Doberman Pinscher
In case you’re wondering exactly how a breed ends up on these lists, insurance companies use bite statistics that have been proven to be flawed in various ways. Also, a single incident that gains extensive coverage by the media can land a breed on the list. Even if it’s the first and only incident involving the breed. Seems fair, right? (insert eye roll emoji)
This was proven in a major way by the rehabilitation of the “the Michael Vick dogs.” And it's being proven once again by this gorgeous Presa Canario named Luna.
Luna started off life by having her ears cropped and living in an outdoor run with a male Presa Canario. By the time she was only 8 months old, Luna had her first litter of puppies and was taken to be boarded at a local kennel shortly after.
Her owner never returned.
Thankfully, the kind gentleman who ran that kennel chose to donate one of his larger runs to foster Luna until the day she found her forever home.
That day came a year and a half later in 2018, a week after her soon-to-be-mom’s birthday. After seeing Luna on a pet adoption site and seeing her TV debut on a local news station, the birthday girl knew Luna was the Presa Canario she had been waiting for since she learned about the breed in 1997!
She had never lived in a home before! So everyday household things, like the dishwasher, hairdryer, furniture...even saran wrap and car rides...were all very foreign, confusing, and downright scary.
It was also clear that although respect and listening were never a problem for Luna, her love, affection, and deeper level of trust needed to be earned. Of course, her new family was very understanding and more than willing to give Luna the time she needed.
A year later, their patience paid off. Today Luna is extremely affectionate, loves car rides, and isn’t phased by the hairdryer or dishwasher.
Saran wrap is still a work in progress...but to be fair, it does have a sort of “creepy” element to it. (Thank you, horror movies.)
Some may not need much time at all, when others like Luna may need months. However, your patience is always guaranteed to have the best pay off of all: the purest form of love, gratitude, and trust that can only come from a rescue dog.
And as for her breed’s reputation of being dangerous, aggressive, and having a high prey drive?
Luna missed that memo.
She performs at-home visits for elderly friends and even extends her gentle and tolerant nature towards all of the multiple species that are her siblings.
Turbo and Tank the Dwarf Hamsters
Rumor, a 30-year-old Red Bellied Parrot
An orphaned Eastern Grey Squirrel
And a bearded dragon named Leo
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