Showsight Presents The Cane Corso

THE CANE CORSO

MASSIMO INZOLI I live in Sicily and I am general manag- er of a hotel located in the middle of the island. I was a child when I first entered the dog world. My first dogs were a York- shire Terrier and a German Shepherd; then we had Sheepdogs, Neapolitan Mas- tiffs and a Great Dane. I began exhibiting in the early 90s and then I started training in 2000 as a show judge. My first qualifica- tion was in 2004 for the Dogo Argentino. JIMMY STANCIO

up the process and have immediate positive results. In due time these errors are paid for. Now they see Cane Corso reminiscent of Bullmastiffs, Boxers, etc. The Cane Corso is a Molossoid breed with type that consists of both average substance and overall elegance. The head is its focal point. It must have skull and muzzle angles slightly converging. It must be of good length and with as few wrinkles as possible. It is important that it doesn’t have rotund lines and that it is angular with straight lines. The jaw should be powerful and wide with a full muzzle and body should be developed in width and height. It must have good substance and backbone and not lose the qualities that distinguished the breed at the beginning of its recognition. JS: Correct head type which is a major problem right now and solid structure necessary for the working heritage of this breed. 4. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? MI: There have been many exaggerations in the breed in recent years. The search for wider skulls has led to an increasingly evident shortening of same. We have very large heads and faces. In addition, the heads are short- ened too much and have wrinkles and excess skin. In becoming shorter, the heads have also become rounded. Many subjects are prognathic with lower jaws too similar to a Bullmastiff. The heads must be powerful with good length and as few wrinkles as possible. The lines of the skull must remain straight. JS: Size, size and size. The breed is currently suffering from a bigger is better mentality. Many of the dogs are too big and too bulky to perform the historical tasks of a versatile Italian farm dog capable of performing whatever tasks were required by the farmer. Some of these tasks are herding and protecting livestock, hunting small game such as Badger and Porcupine and the catching and hold- ing of large game such as wild boar. Most importantly they had to be able to do this in the hot climate of south- ern Italy for extended periods of time during the day, day after day week after week. I see dogs that are champions and grand champions that far exceed the max height in the standard of 27.5 for a male and 26 for a female. In addition we have no reference for weight in the AKC standard. The Italian kennel club standard has the same exact height values plus a weight of 110 pounds for males and 100 pounds for females. Even with that the dogs in Italy and Europe do exceeded these weights on a regular basis which is OK to a degree. However it is even harder here in the US to maintain a correct and realistic weight without an actual weight reference. Fortunately the AKC standard does start with a description that states

I have homes in both south Alabama and central Florida. I have owned various automotive repair facilities over the years mostly transmission shops. I sold the last one in 2008 and semi-retired as I remain active in the industry as a technical and operations consultant. I have been active- ly involved with dogs all of my life. I have been showing for almost 20 years now

and became a breeder judge for the Cane Corso by way of the adjunct systemwhen the breed moved into working group the summer of 2010. 1. Number of years owning and/or showing the Cane Corso? What attracted you to the breed? RH: I have 16 years in the breed—I got my first Cane Corso, Saxon, in 1999. I began showing my girl Nani in 2005. After growing up with Rottweilers, I decided to seek a different breed. My primary target was Neapolitan Mas- tiffs, but as I did more and more research, I found more info about the Corso. The combination of sturdiness and agility made it a good fit. The striking appearance was icing on the cake.

2. Describe the Cane Corso in three words: MI: Versatile, athletic and reliable.

JS: A real eye catcher with a very distinctive presence. Intelligent and capable of any task. And Historical as the Corso is the closest modern day breed to the ancient Roman Molossian. 3. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? MI: I would first say what they should not have: it should not be a copy of the related breeds! The Cane Corso is a breed of recent recognition and in some cases there have been mating with related breeds. This is done to speed

206 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2018

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