Showsight Presents The Cane Corso

JUDGING THE CANE CORSO KNOWLEDGE & CRITICALITIES

by RENZO CAROSIO

J udging for all breeds of dog is a very sensitive topic, in the Cane Corso even more so, therefore this requires a large premise. DIFFERENT STANDARD The breed standard is the description of the somatic characteristics of a breed. In earlier times there was complete liberty to describe the ethnic characteristics of a breed. In more recent times there exist two schools of thought with regard to stan- dards; synthetic or analytical evaluation. The first focuses on more than synthetic regulation and leaves greater discretion to the evaluating judge. In this type of stan- dard many adjectives and adverbs are used (moderately, somewhat, a little). The ana- lytical type offers a detailed standard, con- structed with precise dog measurements (measurements, relationships between dif- ferent parts, degrees, etc.). It is quite evi- dent that the analytical standard is based more on evidence and scientific rigor. On a practical level it requires much more effort in its application. With time, international dog experts decided to adopt outlines for preparing standards that were more adapted for the purpose of consulting (one imagines for judges). This decision, understandable from an organizational perspective, has created many practical problems in its implementation, especially for the revision of the existing standard. In this context, it is not surprising that the major adaptations have been based on standards put together in an analyti- cal way. Bad practical implementation then followed this controversial decision. Indeed, the changes have not been made by the writer of the original standard,

but by others. Therefore, with the neces- sity to sum up, cut and translate, often they have created authentic zootechnical havoc. The Cane Corso breed is a good example of this. The first iteration of the Cane Corso standard was officially recognized in Italy in 1987. The author was Dr. Antonio Mor- siani, a world renowned student of canine zoology. The document consisted of 19 typed pages. Now the FCI and AKC stan- dards have only 3 pages respectively. Unfortunately, there are also some additions, generally not for the better. For example, in the AKC standard it is indicated there is a tolerance for up to two missing teeth, without the indication which teeth (the importance of the teeth is not the same and the missing of some teeth cannot be absolutely accepted). I think that the tolerance of missing teeth must be only for P1, P2 and M3 (which presents itself only in the lower jaw). In the interest of intellectual honesty, I want to be precise that in any case the biggest responsibility of the Cane Corso’s problems come from the country of origin, where some serious errors were made. For example, the pressure for premature inter- national recognition, the lack of solid base of breeding and/or a zootechnical pro- gram. However, it is impossible to breed and/or to judge correctly without a correct and precise standard. Continuing on the topic of the stan- dard, I can say that the use of a synthetic standard is always dangerous because it leads to subjective judgments. This may be a problem for every breed, even in those that are more fixed in type and selec- tion. In the case of the Cane Corso it can become a true disaster. This is one of the

most important clarifications because after 20 years the Cane Corso has so few homogeneous examples. Now let us identify some of the most important aspects that define type in Cane Corso. They are derived from the original breed standard and from the general prin- Cane Corso is a trotter. Therefore, he needs to have a rectangular construction, 11% longer than the height at the withers. Here is an important footnote. In the AKC standard it states “to measure the height at the shoulder, from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground.” This is very strange because all animals are measured from height of the withers to the ground. The AKC standard also indicates the mea- sure of the head with regard to its rapport with the measure of height at the withers. In the FCI, the measure of height is indi- cated traditionally at the withers. I think it’s useful to explain that this diction is also not precise, because the measurements are from a reference point to a reference point and the withers are not a point, but it is a region. In fact the correct measure must be made from the 4 vertebra of the withers to the ground tangent the elbow. Size: medium-large size Molossus Dog. This is on the basis of Pierre Megnin clas- sifications. In fact, the Cane Corso belongs with breeds marked by sexual dimor- phism, in which the subjects exhibit two “size ranges”--medium size in females and large in males. ciples of classical canine zoology. GENERAL APPEARANCE Another important (and current) part is the evaluation with respect to the habi- tus (habitus=meaning general constitu- tion, especially bodily build) using the

206 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2015

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