“THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT THE BREED THAT SAYS FINE BONE OR SLOPPY COUCH POTATO.”
WELL-DEFINED STOP. PUT YOUR THUMB IN IT. Corso eyes are wide-set. They have a pronounced brow that serves as a protection for the slightly inset eye. From the side, the stop looks kind of like a step
length; creating moderate angulation. We often see long thighs and short hocks in the Corso. This incorrect framework places a tre- mendous amount of weight on the knee. A correct, moderate hock bears the brunt of quick direction change. Moderate angulation, along with a moderate pelvis tilt and balanced rear, is critical to the breed’s ability to function. Properly built, the massive rear end is less susceptible to knee and hip injuries.
from the horizontal muzzle bridge to the forehead that slopes gradually back from the brow. When viewed from the front, there is a distinct depression between the wide-set eyes. This well-defined depression should be wide and deep enough for your thumb to easily rest down into it.
ELONGATED TROT/EXTENDED REACH AND DRIVE—HIGH HEADED, PRANCING PONIES NEED NOT APPLY. Envision rippling muscle and substance, covering
DISTINCTLY RECTANGULAR IN PRO- PORTION. IF YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE TOO SQUARE…IT IS! Correct length of body is a critical component to function in the breed. When the front and rear
significant ground with an effortless, elongated trot. He carries his massive head down and forward as he glides; topline rigid and level. He takes long, clean strides, utilizing his energy efficiently. His movement is smooth, aerodynamic and almost surprising consider- ing his mass. Short, delicate steps and head held high may be flashy, but it’s not correct for a Corso. SIZE AND SUBSTANCE.
assembly are put together correctly, the Corso is capable of extended reach and drive, allowing it to cover ground most effi- ciently. Short backed Corso often take shorter steps or are forced to turn their bodies sideways to move correctly. Ten percent body length is a boundary measurement to protect the breed from becoming too “square.” Most Corso that travel in an elon- gated trot are longer and certainly fall within the parameters of correct breed type.
The Corso is a perfect blend of bone, substance, stark muscle definition and athletic ability. Static, he gives the impression of mass and power. In motion, he
moves with efficiency. He is never sloppy or cumbersome. When asked what size a Corso should be, the answer should be something like this: “Athletic enough to run tirelessly after large, formidable game; substantial enough to dispatch it once he arrives.” There is nothing about the breed that says fine bone or sloppy couch potato. HIS PRESENCE—A NOTE TO JUDGES.
ELBOWS SIT DIRECTLY UNDER THE WITHERS. SHORT UPPER ARMS BE- LONG TO A T-REX, NOT A CORSO. The correct configuration of the Corso’s front
end is exceedingly essential. The weight of the large head, pow- erful neck, and muscular chest account for over 60% of the total mass of the dog. That mass bears down on the front, and if that weight is not evenly distributed, injury is likely, and per- formance is affected. Short upper arms and straight shoulders are becoming commonplace in our breed. This poor structure places tremendous strain on elbows and shoulders and pasterns. It restricts reach and often creates a pinched, narrow chest. Cor- so shoulders are well laid back, the upper arm is of comparable length to the scapula and that elbow sits directly beneath those withers. When viewed from the side, the correct front assembly creates a vertical, even line of weight distribution from the with- ers down to the elbow, down the leg, pastern and rests squarely on the pads of the foot, not the toes! BALANCED REARS—ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL.
Powerful and imposing? Truly distinct char- acteristics of a Cane Corso stacked and waiting
for examination. A judge that wishes to see the dog at his full poten- tial should remember the least amount of intrusion by a stranger accomplishes this best. Here are a few helpful tips: 1. Always approach from the front, avoiding imposing stares into the dog’s eyes. 2. A judge should not expect a mature Corso to be a “wag and greet” kind of dog. An obedient, stoic participant is more than acceptable from this Guardian breed. However, stoic should not be confused with “asleep at the wheel”. A Corso should be alert and watchful at all times. His expression should be distinctly intelligent. Fearfulness or aggression is not acceptable. 3. Greet the handler first and ask them to show the bite when the time comes. Limit extensive, heavy-handed exams. If a puppy seems apprehensive, make it fun. 4. The Corso is very sensitive to his surroundings and is quick to pick up on unsettling situations. Anyone who is apprehensive about the breed should not judge them.
Just as the front end of the Corso should be built to distribute weight evenly, the muscular rear is
configured for correct weight placement, and is capable of pow- erful drive and quick direction changes. This is accomplished when the bones, the pelvis, both thighs and hocks, are of similar
186 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020
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