CANE CORSO PERFORMANCE by REBECCA & ANTHONY SIMONSKI
M y path to participating in performance events with my Cane Corso started in 2007. The Cane Corso had recently been accepted into the AKC in performance events and eventually in con- formation as FSS and then into the work- ing group. At that time our breeder had asked me to show our dog in conformation and I was looking for something more for us to do together; something more fun. Although he showed for me in conforma- tion, it was not his most favorite thing to do. I had seen agility on TV and thought that it looked like it might be fun. My hus- band and I had gotten our first Corso in 1998 but until we got our boy in 2006, we really hadn’t been exposed to the world of dog showing and performance. I contacted a couple of different places in my area but unfortunately was turned down, one specifically because of
‘not taking a breed like that.’ At that time we were still a new breed and unfortu- nately had the reputation for an aggressive nature that was unpredictable and not eas- ily trained. Luckily a trainer was recom- mended to us and she agreed to take us on after an evaluation. When we showed that my boy could pass the CGC we were allowed to start training for agility. From the beginning it was clear that my boy Machiavelli was naturally athletic. He had a great natural jump, good balance and he was smart. We trained for over a year before we decided he was ready for competition. I had made a good group of friends who were so helpful in getting us set and ready to go. I learned so much with him and he had to suffer from a lot of “han- dler errors” but he never gave up on me. Much of what I learned with him I could put into practice with my current dogs and also could advise others of what I had gone
through and what solutions had worked for me. We did have challenges. This breed is a guardian breed and as such that meant that some of what I would ask of him went against his natural protective nature. Work- ing at a distance was one of those things. Now many dogs are challenged with work- ing away from their handler but when you have a dog where it goes against their nature, you have to work extra hard. Also for the first couple of years, if we showed to a new judge he would go over and check them out. It got to the point when it was a new judge I would tell them that he was going to come and see them. He only did it the first time we would show to some- one and only in the first few years. Again his protective instinct came out. He wasn’t aggressive; he instinctively just needed to see them while we were out running the course.
216 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2015
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