Showsight Presents The Cane Corso

CANE CORSO Q&A

These are impressive dogs, but this is not a breed for everyone. I would strongly recommend that anyone who is considering getting a Corso interact with the breed first. See if they can handle such a powerful, intelligent dog.

AYALLA RUVIO

and 27 ½ inches and females should be between 23 ½ and 26 inches. There is no weight restriction for the Cane Corso in the standard, but it needs to be proportionate to its height. What are the most important head characteristics of the breed? There isn’t one most important head characteristic of the breed, in my view. All of the elements of the head should work together to construct the look that is indicative of the breed. A Corso should look like a Corso; not like a Boxer, Bullmastiff or a Presa. Too short or too long of a muzzle, too many wrinkles, incorrect angulations of the head, incorrect stop, incorrect eye shape and color, and small nostrils will all result in a look that deviates from what the breed should look like. That said, the expression of the Corso is extremely important as well. It needs to be fierce, impressive and noble. How important is coat color, pigment and eye color? They are very important, as well as the length of the coat, the shape of the eyes, and any other characteristic of the breed. These are not ran- dom features. Historically, they served a purpose. They were sup- posed to help the Cane Corso perform as best it could. Are Cane Corsos particularly trainable? Cane Corso are extremely trainable. These are Working dogs. They are waiting for us to tell them what to do and they will happily do it. The more you work and train them, the happier they will be. Training addresses their psychological needs, which are as important as the physical ones. Corsos are very versatile in their abilities. Our dogs do many things, including therapy, protection, showing, obedience, track- ing and much more. Training a Corso should not be harsh. There is no need to break the spirit of the Corso to get an obedient dog. Training needs to be constructive, consistent, and fun for both the owner and the dog. If you can do this, you will have the best dog you’ve ever owned. What should novice owners know about my breed before get- ting one? The first thing I would recommend a novice owner to know is how to pronounce the name of the breed correctly. This is not a Kane Corso, or a King Corso; it’s a Cane Corso. Cane is not an English word; it’s an Italian word that means “dog.” Substan- tively, I would say that owners need to think long and hard about whether this is the right breed for them. These are impressive dogs, but this is not a breed for everyone. I would strongly recommend that anyone who is considering getting a Corso interact with the breed first. See if they can handle such a powerful, intelligent dog. Do they have the time and resources to commit to the well-being of the puppy? Does everyone in the family feel comfortable with hav- ing such big dogs? Owners need to remember that if they rush out to get a Corso, it will be the puppy that will pay the price of their rushed decision. A funny story about my life with the Cane Corso? I once got a phone call from a woman asking me if I was a Kane Corso breeder. I told her, “No. I am a Cane Corso breeder.” Her response was, “Sorry. I dialed the wrong number,” and she hung up.

I am a marketing professor at the Broad College of Business, Michigan State Uni- versity. Go Green! My family and I are originally from Israel, and today we live in Williamston, which is a beautiful, small

town in Michigan. I have been a breeder for 15 years. I had my first Corsos, Puma and Zarina, in Israel before we moved to the United States in 2008. We got them from Lazar Gerassi (Gerassi Corso) and brought them with us when we moved. Zarina was our foun- dation female, a true Corso and an amazing dog. She was my soul mate, and I miss her every day. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Who has time? With a full-time job, taking care of the six Corsos that we have (and, of course, some family time) there is very little time for anything else. We do spend a lot of time train- ing and showing our dogs, and we actively participate in different dog-related sports such as lure coursing, obedience, and protection. Our dogs are also therapy dogs and we volunteer in different places such as schools, nursing homes and MSU. How did I first become aware of the Cane Corso? I think my journey to the breed was similar to that of many others. Years back, we lost our adopted German Shepherd at the amazing age of 17 years old. We were looking to get another German Shepherd, but then, when I was looking online, I saw an advertisement for a Cane Corso. I’d never heard about such a breed until then. I was curious to know more about it. So, I started researching it. There wasn’t much about it back then, and there was only one Cane Corso breed- er in Israel. We drove three hours to meet him. I remember him opening the door and this amazing, huge dog came out. His name was Zeus and it was love at first sight. Since that moment, my heart has belonged to this incredible breed. It is accurate to say that the Cane Corso should be more athletic than its Molosser cousins. The Corso should be an athletic, agile and physically fit dog in accordance with its original purpose as a Working dog. The Cane Corso standard indicates that the Corso needs to “move with considerable ease and elegance.” Unfortunate- ly, there is a trend in our breed to produce bigger and bigger dogs at the expense of their athletic ability. According to the AKC standard, the Cane Corso should be a medium-large size dog. Its length should be about 10% greater than its height. A Cane Corso body should have a rectangular, not square, structure. The height of a male Corso should be between 25

190 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020

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