The Canis Panther is a large, powerful dog whose intimidating bulk hides a surprisingly sensitive nature. Fiercely protective of their owners, they make incredibly devoted companions to those willing to invest the time and energy into caring for and training these unique dogs. But make no mistake – this isn’t a breed for amateurs. Without the proper socialization and training, their protective, territorial instincts can quickly become a big problem. If you thought all designer breeds were cute, cuddly and the perfect size to fit into a handbag, prepare for a surprise as we take a look at twenty things you didn’t know about the Canis Panther.
1. They are four dogs rolled into one
Why settle for one dog when you could have four? When you get a Canis Panther, you get the qualities of four legendary breeds all rolled into one. The Canis Panther, which ranks as one of the earliest ‘designer’ breeds around, is a cross of four of the most popular dog breeds in the world: the Doberman Pinscher, the American Staffordshire, the Labrador Retriever, and the Great Dane.
2. They were developed in the 1970s
As Barking Royalty explains, the Canis Panther was developed relatively recently. Although the breeds from which it originates have been around for centuries, the Canis Panther didn’t hit the scene until the 1970s. The breed was developed by an American dog trainer called Scorpio Jones. After teaming up with fellow dog trainers, L.Lopez and Michael Gypsy Stratten, Jones set out to create the Canis Panther by cross-breeding the Doberman Pinscher, the Great Dane, the Labrador Retriever, and the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Since those early days, the Canis Panther has grown in popularity, something it can thank (at least in part) on its legendary abilities as a guard dog.
3. They were bred as the ultimate personal protection breed
The Canis Panther wasn’t bred to be some cute designer lap dog. When Scorpio Jones started developing the breed, it was with one intention: to create the ultimate personal protection breed. Back in the 1970s, guard dogs like the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Doberman were scarce in the US. If people wanted one, they’d have to go through a very lengthy, very expensive adoption process. Determined to rectify the situation, Scorpio set out to create a new line of dogs with all the same protective qualities as the Doberman, but without all the paperwork and waiting around.
4. You’ll need to check the law before buying one
If you decide that your life just isn’t complete without a Canis Panther in it, be sure to check your local laws first. In some locations, the Canis Panther is considered a ‘dangerous’ breed, and ownership is either restricted or completely outlawed. Of course, just because a breed is considered dangerous doesn’t mean that all dogs of that type will become dangerous, but remember – this is a breed that was bred as the ultimate guard dog. That may spell great things for your property, but it also means people are going to be more inclined to cross the street to avoid you than they would be if you were walking a poodle.
5. They can live for up to 12 years
The Canis Panther isn’t necessarily the most short-lived of breeds, but it’s by no means among the longest either. Although each dog is different, with a lot depending on diet, exercise, and general care, most Canis Panthers can expect to live for between 10 and 12 years on average.
6. They’re not prone to hereditary diseases
Like most cross-breeds, the Canis Panther is relatively free of the genetic health complaints that often plague pedigree breeds. However, as The Dog Digest notes, Canis Panther owners should be aware of the following potential issues often associated with giant dogs:
- Hip/elbow dysplasia (bones of the hip joint/elbow don’t fit together correctly)
- Bloat (potentially fatal twisting of the gastrointestinal tract)
- Eye disease (cataracts)
- Ear infections
To minimize the risk of any health-related issues, only ever buy from respected breeders that can provide assurance of the health of the dog’s parents. Be sure to feed your dog a diet that’s specifically designed for giant breeds, and don’t forget to schedule regular checkups at the vet. As large breeds can be susceptible to tartar build-up, pay careful attention to your dog’s oral hygiene: if possible, brush their teeth 2-3 times a week or use teeth cleaning chews if your dog refuses to allow it.
7. They’re wary of strangers
Although the Canis Panther is generally considered a friendly dog, they tend to reserve their affection for their families. Around strangers, they can be shy and wary, a trait that requires plenty of early socialization to overcome.
8. They’re very expensive
If you were hoping for a dog that won’t cost an arm and a leg, you might need to keep looking for a little while longer. The Canis Panther is many things, but cheap it most certainly isn’t. Like most designer breeds, the Canis Panther can cost a substantial amount of money. According to World Dog Finder, a Canis Panther puppy from a reputable dog breeder can cost anything between $2000 to $3000. Adoption of an adult is possible, although as the breed is still relatively rare, you might have to wait a while for one to turn up at your local shelter.
9. They’re easy to train
If you’re in the market for a highly intelligent, trainable dog, the Canis Panther could be just what you’re looking for. These bright, eager-to-learn dogs make great candidates for obedience classes and at-home training. However, if you’re not prepared to put the work in, think twice before getting one. The Canis Panther can be a dominant, stubborn dog with ideas of its own. When that’s combined with the breed’s size and protective nature, you’re looking at a dog that doesn’t just benefit from training, but who actively requires it. Without proper training, their natural protective and territorial tendencies can very quickly become very big problems.
10. They haven’t been officially recognized
Like many designer breeds, the Canis Panther hasn’t yet achieved official recognition from official dog registries. However, as Alpha Paw notes, the breed has now been around for long enough to have developed established bloodlines and multi-generational pedigrees. Although the AKC is notoriously reluctant to recognize new breeds, it surely won’t be long before the Canis Panther earns official recognition.
11. They’re lean and muscular
The Canis Panther is a combination of the Doberman Pinscher, American Staffordshire, Labrador Retriever, and Great Dane. With a heritage like that, you wouldn’t expect it to be a small breed, and you’d be right. The Canis Panther is large enough to be categorized as a giant breed. Physically, they’re imposing, with large, heavily muscled frames, a wide chest, and a powerful jaw. Their naturally floppy ears are often cropped and their tails are usually docked. Their heads are unusually elegant for a large breed. Their coats are short, dense, and always solid colored. Typical coat colors include black, chocolate, fawn, or blue.
12. They can weigh up to 140 lbs
Canis Panthers have huge heights and even more substantial girths. As weebly.com notes, male Canis Panthers can grow up to 27-30 inches (68-77 cm) and weigh between 120-140 pounds (54-63 kg). Females tend to be a little smaller, and will typically measure between 24-27 inches (62-68cam) at the shoulder and tip the scales at around 85- 105 pounds (38-48 kg)
13. They’re very territorial
Canis Panthers can make loyal, loving companions. But make no mistake – these are big dogs with big instincts. They’re powerful, they’re protective, and they really don’t like it when people invade their territory. Remember, after all, that the Canis Panther was bred specifically as a guard dog, something that doesn’t come without its consequences. If they sense a threat to either their owner or their property, they won’t back down without a fight. Their territorial instincts are magnified by their habitual distrust of strangers and other animals.
14. They need lots of exercise
The Canis Panther is a big dog with big exercise needs. If your idea of healthy exercise involves moving from the sofa to the refrigerator and back again, this might not be the breed for you. As a bare minimum, they need one to two hours of vigorous, high-intensity exercise a day. Without adequate exercise, they can become bored, frustrated, destructive, and prone to making the kind of trouble you really don’t want from a dog as big and powerful as this. Due to their activity requirements, they tend to do better in family homes that have access to a large, fenced-in yard rather than in apartments. Thanks to their high intelligence, they also need to receive plenty of mental stimulation on top of their physical activity.
15. They’re low maintenance
Considering their extensive exercise and training needs, you’ll be pleased to know that in most other respects, the Canis Panther is very low maintenance. Because of how short their coat is, they need minimal grooming to stay in tip-top shape. You might want to give them a brush from time to time to minimize shedding, but it’s not strictly speaking necessary. As their coats don’t tend to retain smells in the way that longer-haired varieties can, they don’t need to be bathed with any kind of frequency. In fact, most breeders discourage over-zealous bathing as it can strip the natural oils that keep the coat sleek and shiny.
16. They need to be supervised around children
Canis Panthers are loyal and loving, but don’t underestimate them. These are strong, powerful dogs that require plenty of training and early socialization to prevent their protective and territorial instincts from becoming a problem. If a Canis Panther has been socialized and has come to see a child as part of its pack, it shouldn’t present any kind of a problem. In fact, it’ll go out of its way to keep that child safe and protected. However, due to the size and power of the breed, a Canis Panther, no matter how friendly, should never be left alone with young children.
17. They can be wary around other pets
If you live in a multi-pet household, think carefully before introducing a Canis Panther into the fold. With proper training and socialization from puppyhood, they’ll get along with other pets well enough. If they don’t receive proper training, on the other hand, they can easily become wary of other dogs. They can also pose a serious threat to other pets like cats.
18. They’re not for everyone
Canis Panthers have a lot of great qualities. They’re loyal, protective, and loving. They bond quickly and easily with their owners, and will go out of their way to keep them safe and protected. But it’s important to remember that the breed was developed specifically with the intention of creating the ‘ultimate protection dog.’ When you combine their territorial, protective instincts with their size and power, you’re looking at a dog that will challenge a novice dog owner to the limit. Unless you’re an experienced dog owner who’s willing to invest the time and energy required to curb the breed’s worst instincts and encourage the best, it’s wise to choose another breed.
19. They don’t like the cold
Canis Panthers might look tough and intimidating, and most of the time, they are. But there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to leave the breed shaking in its boots: the cold. Due to their short coats, Canis Panthers aren’t suited to cold, wintery conditions. Unlike long-haired breeds, they have nothing to protect them from low temperatures. If they’re left outdoors during winter days, they can quickly develop a chill. To keep them healthy and comfortable, avoid leaving them outside during cold days and invest in a jacket for them to wear on walks.
20. They aren’t suitable for allergy suffers
Although the Canis Panther doesn’t shed to the same degree as a lot of breeds, they aren’t considered hypoallergenic. If you suffer from allergies, they might not be the right breed for you.