Presa Canario Guarding dogs

Discussion in 'Guard Animals' started by CelestielAcres, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. CelestielAcres

    CelestielAcres CelestielPrairieAcres Supporter

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    The rescue I foster for pulled a very preggo female dog from NC (the dog(s) had been seized by animal control). Tara delievered her pups days after arriving in KS. The female pup we are adopting is through this group so she has just been a healthy happy pup since she can remember.
     
  2. gracielagata

    gracielagata Well-Known Member

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    :) Good for her, and for you. :)
     

  3. alwaysready

    alwaysready Member

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    I have 2 Presa Canarios both are capable dogs but are different in their temperament. Both have done protection work my male is very social and friendly but at the first sign of aggression becomes a true guardian. With my female every stranger is suspect. Theses dogs are very powerful when training I ware cleats because at 5'11 190lbs I wouldn't be able to hold them while in prey drive. However when with my grandchildren they are very gentle they will not take a treat from the kids unless given permission.

    I would suggest that anyone researching Presas make sure that they understand the difference between Presa Canario and Dogo Canario. Also president of the breed club the UPPCC lives in Kansas.
     
  4. Charliedragon

    Charliedragon New Member

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    I joined just to reply to this post. We breed Presa Canarios (and no we don't crop the ears. We agreed that looks ridiculous, and way too much work). The male stays with me, my brother has the ladies (one or two max, and those usually have to be mother/daughter or littermate sisters). My sister has another male. We love this breed, it's an incredible breed. My sister got hers because her husband is an OTR trucker, and she lives in the middle of no where (she was pregnant at the time, now she has 2 children ). There was a rash of burglaries in the area, and so she got hers, and we decided to as well. They work well for us and the parameters we needed. We don't have livestock (my sister tried a horse, but it was a no go, so he went back to her MIL's). None of us have cats (those are hit or miss). None of us had other dogs. (I'd recently lost my bluetick, my brother hadn't had one for years, sister's lives with Ma.. cuz Ma wanted to keep her dog when she moved out lol). We have the room that they have their territory. Each of our families (3 separate ones) has a stay at home parent, they like to patrol the property, but this is not safe to do really if no one is home. We don't allow other people to bring pets to our homes, and we don't entertain frequently. We also all have fenced yards, and as a precaution, they all wear electronic collars as well.
    I'm sorry, but You wouldn't pass our first puppy questionaire. We have a process. First application: Must haves. You can't meet these, not need to continue. 2nd: Good, but not necessary. In reality, we may breed one or two more litters (maybe not any) , but then I think we're done. It's incredibly hard to vet people for these dogs, and we have had to take back a few of them because they didn't bond with their human, they didn't fit into the lifestyle (they don't do change well) , etc. We can't be 100% accurate every time. But, they are a very special breed, and not for many people. There are other breeds that will suit our needs as well, without some of the hassles. (such as home owner's insurance).



    They are working dogs. They like having a job. They do it well. But some days too well. They are not usually human aggressive (though there are some that are, we certainly would cull those lines. We all have children, young children, so temperment is important to us), but even with excellent socialization and training, they generally work better as a bonded pair (usually m/f or mother/daughter.. sister/sister) or alone. They should never be off leash or unrestrained. Ever. I can't stress this enough. Ours are all fine at a dog park, petco, on the leash. At home, they would rip apart a dog that 10 mins before they were playing with at the dog park if he crossed the "line" (which is an imaginary thing they pick mostly). We had an issue with the DNR (not fun) because a deer crossed that line into our yard. (thankfully it was proven he was fully on our property, jumped the fence somehow). A buck, in rut... it was not pretty. You want a farm dog (great), but Presas are not that good as farm dogs, for a couple reasons.


    1. They do have a prey drive (different lines have differing amounts, but on a scale of low, medium, high and Ultra.. i'd rate them between high and ultra most of the time). Fowl can be yay or nay. They don't seem that interested in them. They are not a threat (some will though for fun). Sheep, can go either way (as can goats). Pigs can usually defend themselves when they are bigger. Small pigs probably not. Cattle, they'd probably bug the calves. They especially like things that run though, so calves, lambs, foals. Horses.. omg never have them with horses. They love the chase, and horses will run easily. Could you train that out... probably, in a couple years. I wouldn't have one off leash before then (4-6 years) , and never around emotionally or financially important animals (i.e. your kids 20.00 first pony, the prize ram, etc).

    2. You have LGDs. If you plan to interact at all with them, you would not want your Presa around. They do not like other dogs with their "territory" or "person". That would be hugely hard to do with your Presa being a "farm" dog. They are usually protective until 18-24 months, then they start more the "guarding" and territorial nature. (even in spayed/neutered animals). so they may be fine, until they hit that age (earlier in females then males generally) and have picked their territory. If they decide your farm is their territory, they will try to drive the "threats" off. That will include your LGDs. Presas are hard to have with other dogs, even ones they are raised with. Just because they grow up with them, does not mean they won't see them as a threat later. (now interestingly, when moving a presa, there is usually a window with the adults where they haven't picked the "boundaries" yet, and then it's a "neutral place" and they are fine with other dogs being there.. but after about 6-12 weeks, they've established where that is. So you could have one get along fine for a few months and then BAM, no more. (Possibly why your fosters worked out, they hadn't picked territory yet). 2B. You foster. This would be a no-go with a Presa. You foster for a "no kill" shelter, but they would be if they sent you fosters. (much more humane ways to euthanize a dog). Presas are bred to be territorial but it's not a switch that you can turn on and off, you can't say "don't let white males with chevrolets in, but let the postal worker in" or "don't let dogs on the property, but let Cindy Lou Hoo bring hers, that's a friend". They just do not differentiate that well. (working on it, but they aren't there yet). That's a big difference between them and an LGD. LGDs seem to allow the flocks to grow, allow you take members out, etc. Presas don't do change that well. And while they are loving family dogs, they can be hesitant about the family growing.

    3. Presas bond very much to one person in many cases. (the Alpha). You had better hope they love your spouse too lol. Mine is pretty equal with me and the better half (me a little more). My brother's two females have chosen... his dog loves his wife, her dog (she chose) bonded to him. They are allowed to touch. My sister's is okay with her husband, after she lets him in the house. We can hug in front of them, etc. But, at my sister's, I am not allowed to hug her. Her male will interfere. Brother's house is the same way. They won't let you even shake hands with someone if they feel it could "pose a threat". We did have one returned, the presa was very concerned for some reason about the woman's child. The presa bonded to her very hard, and felt her child going up to her was a threat. She was still breast feeding, so the child most likely was not yet. (No Family Guy Stewie/Lois going on). But we had to take the dog back, because you can't tell a 13 month old not to run up to mommy, or breastfeed. (and no, that dog was not bred on. She went to a home where we were pretty sure there would be no children.. older same sex couple. we've actually only sold 1 not spayed or neutered, and he was later). Now most do not bond that much, but it is something to consider. We have heard there are people who cannot hug/kiss/etc in front of the dog, the dog will push back against the "threat".
    Presas are not usually human aggressive. But they are hilarious about how they protect against humans. My sister's will sit in front of her door if someone comes up the walk. No one is walking in that door. (bad part, she has to let her hubby in. He's an OTR Trucker). At my brother's house, where you pull the car in (after the main gate), the dogs stand guard much of the time. You cannot open your doors. One will sit up against the driver's door and the other will sit up against the passenger door. Until my brother or sis-in-law comes out and okays you, you are not getting out. Bro's MIL spent 35 mins that way one day, because she made a surprise visit and they didn't hear her. She does now own a cell phone though lol. I have seen one person manage it, and in about 2 seconds he was face down in the dirt and both were sitting on him, and his arms and legs were pinned. (Hilarious in retrospect. He tried to climb through the window of his car, thinking to outsmart the dog. One yip and one tripped him down and then they both laid across him horizontally.. hard to move with 300 lbs of dog on you). Most are great with kids, but i hesitate to recommend them with really small children, (or anyone who is not steady on their feet). They trip you on purpose. Especially if they feel you are going "towards a threat" (which is anything. Most of it makes sense if you think about it, but it's so simple.. you don't even think about it). Mine has real issues with letting me go down stairs for some reason (not sure about that, and he's 5, so not gonna overthink it).

    That brings up another issue. If your presa does not pick you as the person he is bonded with. We have heard it happen a couple times, they don't want you in their territory then. That's probably why some have ended up in rescues. Once they have a territory, if they don't want someone there, they can get very annoying about it. I wouldn't say aggressive, but it's definitely a large annoyance. One I know of started fectateing on everything of that person's.. bed, couch, shoes, clothing, pillow. He'd also try to herd her out of the house. When she'd come home, he'd block the door. That was another breeder's and I think she took him back and rehomed him to a different situation.

    They do not like other animals near "their person". I know of one instance where a person had a 10m old female and thought she'd surprise her boyfriend with his own and got a 12 week old male puppy. They went to introduce them, and the female was fine when the boyfriend was holding the new puppy, but it was fatal when the woman picked it up to further introductions. it happened so fast, they couldn't prevent it I guess. I also know several instances where they've blocked other dogs from coming up to "their person". In my sister's case, they considered her horse a threat (big creature, pushing on human.. "THREAT") so he went back to the in laws (where she'd been boarding him. still there).

    Minor Annoyances: (part II of application)

    1. They are the hardest dogs I've ever potty trained. They take longer (which is why we keep the puppies until 12-16 weeks, we've found the dams can do it better than humans can), and when they get mad they tend to want to mark their territory (even females.. spayed or neutered).

    2. They don't do well crate training. I am a big fan of crate training. My bluetick loved his crate. Most dogs do. It's their den. Presas like to Patrol. They have their territory. They like to walk the boundary lines (be this the home or yard or farm). They need to be up and around watching for threats. They lay around a lot (especially as they get older) but you'll notice they don't sleep / nap then. They find a spot where they have a good view of what they consider "important" spots. When outside they like to be near gates/doors/driveways. Inside, they will sleep right inside a door. Ours patrols the house about 5-8 times a night. That involves going around the whole house (whilst we are asleep) and he checks on all of us (the kids have learned to sleep through this thankfully. we have not).

    3. They don't really bark that much. When a "threat" comes around they are much more passive aggressive. They are more like the right guard or tackle. They aren't showy, they just protect the blind spots. I.E. Instead of announcing a strange car in the driveway, they won't announce it, they'll just block it. If someone is coming in the door, they aren't yapping like a yorkie (or barking or howling). They just lay down, low growl maybe.

    For this reason, they aren't the best at as a predator deterrent. (I.e. like a coyote, bear or mountain lion would probably run off if they heard a dog barking) I can't see that as something they'd do much of. They would defend their territory/person from one, and then would probably bark, but until something is in the territory, probably not.

    4. They sometimes do not follow your idea of where their territory is (which is why we do the collars now as well. Farmers around here do the SSS method, and rightly so) and this way, if there is a break out.. that may give them pause. (Most importantly, where we have the unit, you can hear it beep if they go over the line, and since someone is always home with them... we can intervene. We've only had 2 break outs. our yards are fenced, 6', but for a determined full grown Presa, that's nothing. It's a visual barrier to try to define "territory". The collar gives another reminder. Our two break outs were to pursue dogs too close to the boundaries I guess. Once with my brother, once my sister. If they really want to drive a "threat" off, the shock doesn't really deter them. But it does for trying to pursue a rabbit or cat, etc). They will run off.. to chase a threat, to "expand" territory, check threats. (this is why I suggest ALWAYS leashing them. Though, if they really want to, lets face it, that isn't going to stop them, it helps. I know, cuz i've been pulled by a 20 lb beagle who wanted a rabbit. Dogs are strong lol)

    5. If you go the rescue route, you may or may not get a PB. there are some used for fighting, those are usually actually mixes.. we've seen and heard of Boxer, BullMastiff, Pit Bull, Boxer and Dobies. This would cause me quite a bit of pause. A. Disposition is Extremely genetic. I mean, imo, 90% genetic and maybe 10% enviro. B. All are wonderful breeds, but the energy levels, and other traits of some would give me pause when combined with the Presa. (presas are generally lower energy.. they guard differently than some other working breeds). Temper wise, they are great usually with kids, but they aren't a "babysitter" type dog generally unless they bond with the kids. I know some dogs will watch the kids, yip yap if they go out of the yard or close to dangers, etc. If the dog bonds with the kids, he'd kill a bear for them. If he doesn't, he'd watch the bear eat them, long as it's not on his turf (well, maybe slight exageration, but they just usually don't pay that much attention to people they don't consider "theirs" but that are not strangers lol). I'd be concerned (because of size, territorial nature, etc) of getting one if you have children or anyone who is "vulnerable" (i.e. some disabled or elderly) if you don't know the parents. These are large dogs. They are less likely to bite than a pug probably, but it's gonna hurt a lot worse when they do. They also are not really that "playful" so to speak. Like, my coonhound loved having his belly rubbed by the kids (my son even learned to stand pulling on the ears, though we don't recommend that, the dog let him one day), the belgian sheepdog loved playing fetch. We haven't noticed the Presas really interact that much with the kids. They usually do with "their person", but they pay attention more to the perimeter, sky, etc.. they aren't watching for where the stick/ball went.

    So in conclusion, if you want a sweet friendly dog to follow you off leash around a farm, be nice to (or ignore) your livestock, accept your other dogs, bark a little when a stranger shows up (two or four legged) and play with the kids, I don't think you'd be happy long term with a Presa. They are a large, powerful dog, with territorial tendencies (that can turn to aggression), that are good for their purpose (guarding a home/estate) but not really with livestock, off leash or with other animals. Some individuals can be, but that's a long time to wait and see (not a 12 week old or younger puppy for sure) , and a lot of training (years) to find out. I've heard good things about English Mastiffs though. I have a friend with horses, and that's what she uses now. They seem to be less territorial, but share many of the Presa's good traits.
     
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  5. CelestielAcres

    CelestielAcres CelestielPrairieAcres Supporter

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    Charliedragon-

    I usually like to thank people who take the time to post long extended responses to my questions. However, I’m not finding much in your post to be thankful for. It appears you wanted to “school” someone with your extensive knowledge of the breed, but I’m afraid to tell you that all your rambling screed really did was show people that you have either:
    a.) terrible genetics or
    b.) (more likely) have no concept of how to maintain control/be a good owner for a large dog.

    I’d like to take the time to recommend, with all of the problems that you are reporting herein, that you go ahead and forego any more breeding of your line. Not only am I glad that I wouldn’t make it through your “vetting” process, but I’m more than willing to say neither would you or your dogs be considered for purchase (maybe rescue?). Your consistent excuse for poor/bad behavior of your dogs being “instinct” is in line with every other breeder of dogs out there that has no idea how to lead/control their animals, the ever-ready “not really my fault”.

    Further, I’m rather bothered by your presentation, mostly because in your zeal to impress with your experience/knowledge, you basically dragged the Presa Canario breed through the mud and made their proper ownership into some elite group of superhumans that magically bond with them (or have to be given back by mere mortals). On just about every point you present, I find you not only to be wrong, but hilariously so. Just because I have not (previously) owned a Presa does not mean I don’t have experience with them, nor a large number of people that I can draw experience from. However, lacking any information whatsoever, the base Presa breed was initially used as cattle protection – and yet you basically minimize any practical use they have (but somehow, they have a “job” that they have to “work” at?? – what is that exactly? Being uncontrollably aggressive to all but one person?).

    In summary:
    1.) After 3 Presa fosters (and now a puppy), and talking with the other fosters in my group, we have had little if ANY issues potty training.
    2.) Of all my known Presa associates, only 1 dog has been difficult to crate train, and it is so abnormal that she’s known as the Houdini.
    3.) My Presa barks, as has the others I’ve fostered, as has every foster in our group (and there are long-term owners in there BTW). It sounds like yours doesn’t bother alerting you because you’re not part of the equation at all.
    4.) Any dog can decide it doesn’t want to remain in a certain space. Where I live dogs at large is a frequent occurrence. However, I am fully fenced, with a gate, and while (again with any dog) that isn’t a guarantee, I’m not sure how it plays into someone not choosing a Presa.
    5.) Is the most confusing. Based on your evaluation of the breed, it sounds like I should WANT a mixed breed, since a purebred Presa is such a terrible choice. Maybe work out some of those “genetic/instinctual” issues that seem to have run roughshod over your intended operation.

    In the end, you could have just summed it all up with a few points on why you didn’t think a Presa would work for me. Instead, you just made yourself look like a fool.

    P.S. What is fectateing? Did you mean defecating?
     
  6. CajunSunshine

    CajunSunshine Joie de vivre!

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    Based on my own research, I can see where Charlie may be right about a few things, and wrong about other things.

    This is a good representation of the kind of information that can be found with more research.

    In a nutshell:

    (See general overview of breed characteristics in the chart here):
    http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/perro-de-presa-canario


    Historically speaking:
    https://www.baxterboo.com/fun/a.cfm/meet-breed-perro-de-presa-canario



    A few excerpts from http://www.ironpresskennels.com/faq.htm


    In 1996 we started researching the breed in depth, from books to actual in person testimony and phone conversations with different breeders. A few things we kept hearing from island breeders were that structure, type and attitude was a key element in preserving the Perro De Presa as a breed. Type for true (original) form as they were on the cattle farms and homes of many natives. Attitude for usefulness and capability in order to be an effective tool to do the job at hand. Perro De Presa had many jobs but their two main tasks were 1) Guardian, 2) Cattle Dog.

    At Iron Press Kennels we try to consistently produce a well balanced, even tempered working dog. A dog with working capabilities that will work tends to be a much more confidant stable animal.

    From their FAQ section:


    The dog is never excessively aggressive. An overly aggressive animal is not one of " strong temperament " but one that is unbalanced and insecure. This is neither typical or desirable in the breed. The breed is gentle and affectionate with his family, including children. He should always be tolerant and gentle with them. A dog that shows aggression towards children is again a dog of insecurity and unstable character.


    The one thing you must remember when looking or purchasing a dog suited for working, a working dog requires a lot of obedience, time, love and dedication. It is not something you can buy and throw in the back yard not if you value your property, a working dog needs some type of task or job so that it can feel that it’s doing it’s instinctive job (WORKING).

    What is the difference between Presa Canario and DOGO Canario?

    Absolutely nothing!!! Upon acceptance by the FCI, the breed known as the Presa Canario to most is now known internationally as the Dogo Canario.This is simply a name change on paper and has little meaning to the dog itself. There will be some that will try to seize this opportunity to continue to produce atypical dogs in the name of the "original" Presa Canario, and try to convince people that it is a different breed from the DOGO Canario. This is totally false and don't be mislead by this claim.


    ---end of excerpts---

    .
     
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  7. Charliedragon

    Charliedragon New Member

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    That site actually gives a good listing of qualities of a Presa Canario. I have never seen them be aggressive towards children either, (as you mention), and that certainly would be an extremely intolerable fault. I would not say overly aggressive towards humans at all actually. They are not an aggressive dog, so much as an extremely protective dog. The chart in the link you provide really shows it all. They score extremely well on watch dog characteristics and on their territorial nature. They score low and very low (one or two dots) on barking, and being friendly with children, cats, dogs, and strangers, as well as adaptability. They just aren't bred for those characteristics. I wouldn't buy a Percheron to run the Kentucky Derby... they aren't bred to. I wouldn't buy a Presa to be friendly with other animals or strangers, or to be at large with access to other animals, because they aren't bred to do it (and yes, they traditionally were used as a cattle dog, but in the United States, I don't know of any breeders who are using them as LGDs, and it's not a trait that any I know are pursuing, so I would be dubious as to those abilities). Can they be trained to, of course. Any dog can be trained against their nature (you could probably even train a bluetick to not follow his nose), but it is a time consuming process, and with the late maturity of the Presa Canario, it would be a long time to be able to be confident in that, as you have to really wait until full maturity (post puberty age, even in the fixed animals) to know. I do hope that yours does well with you. I just would not want anyone to think they are a good choice, because in many cases, they would not be a good choice to be the "typical farm dog" that most would think of. Many people would like the hay guy to be able to deliver every week, or the meter man to not be scared and run up a tree, or the UPS guy to be able to get out of his truck.

    And I agree with you, we will not be breeding anymore, though not for the reasons you suggest Out of 40 puppies, we've had to take back 5 puppies (our last litter was over a year ago). I really just am sick of having to dig through applications and do the checks to make sure they are going to an appropriate home. I've turned down many more people than that (well over 1000. They are getting a following). It's a process that is extremely time consuming (especially the background checks and references). I do not ever place a puppy lightly, because they are a large dog, and if they are not trained well (which is out of our hands after they leave) they could be dangerous. The sad fact is, that I have no control over what happens to a puppy once they leave my care. And mistakes with a Presa could be fatal. If you don't train a yorkie well, and they bite someone, the person will probably be annoyed, possibly need a couple stitches. If a presa were to bite another person's animal (most likely situation. they don't bite humans often. In fact never actually heard first hand of one doing it), that animal will be dead most likely. I don't want to have that over my head anymore. I don't want to worry about the homes anymore, and wonder if people are being truthful, if they are being honest about their abilities, and obviously no one can predict the future. They are also turning up in dog fighting rings more now, and I refuse to sell an animal that will end up there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  8. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Good to see such a realistic and common sense assessment.
     
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  9. barnbilder

    barnbilder Well-Known Member

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    People want big scary dogs but don't want them to be big scary dogs. That is the problem. Unless you are able to look at the pedigree, you don't know what you have, so there isn't much of a way you can inform people based on your knowledge of "the way your fosters acted". Those things could be boxer mixes. Even the ones with a pedigree could be boxer mixes, you have to trust the people that made the pedigree, but at least there is a chance that they could contain a percentage of the breed you are referencing, compared to the rescue dogs, which could have, in fact, zero.

    Sounds like they were pretty much just big, one owner, one handler type catch dogs. Dogs for making things die. Like many other breeds throughout the ages. People that have absolutely no use for such dogs see them, and think they would be really cool, and then after obtaining some, they start trying to breed out all of the traits that made them useful. Any common mutt has a good shot at barking when a strange car pulls up or when the chickens squawk. A human with a twelve gauge is much better at making decisions about lethal force and threat assessment than any dog, even with loads of training. Some of these dogs are like a loaded shotgun laying on your porch, but you don't know exactly how the trigger works, yet. Others have been bred away from their original traits and tendencies to make them more suitable for people that have more need of a stuffed animal than an actual living, breathing one. You never know when those traits will pop back up with such a breeding program.

    From what I gather, the original purpose was a dog that stayed close to it's handler, and as it's handler encountered things, these dogs would attack, bay, hold or kill these things often in dense vegetation. I have heard of some people using them for catch dogs on hogs, but have also heard that many of them stink for such purposes, as they are just as likely to latch onto your trailing bay dogs as they are the hog. And let's face it, a dog of this type doesn't have what it takes to go find game on it's own.
     
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  10. barnbilder

    barnbilder Well-Known Member

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    So this dog came from the Canary Islands, according to the story. There are no large natural predators on the canary islands, closest thing would be a big lizard. Goats have been raised there for centuries, probably the biggest predatory threat would be feral dogs. So this dog, if bred to combat predators as most dogs supposedly are, was bred to combat other dogs. No doubt, breeding stock was evaluated in special public contests, to evaluate suitable traits. In other words it is a pit fighting breed, with some hype and lore to dress it up a little. Good luck with your foster dogs, or bait dogs, or prey model raw food, however you want to look at it.
     
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