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EDITORIAL

THE DOG MAGAZINE NO. 04

April 2016

EDITOR Ewa Larsson LAYOUT DESIGN Snežka Kuralt ADVERTISING DESIGN Ewa Larsson Giota Bouranta Snežka Kuralt INFO: info@ thedog-magazine.com www.thedog-magazine.com

HI, Our goal with this magazine is to promote responsible breeding and dog ownership and to encourage ethical conduct and responsible breeding of purebred dogs. Our vision is to help promote responsible pet ownership and improve the quality of life of every dog show dog or pet. We make it our goal to provide the most up to date and honest

information every dog owner should know.

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COLOR AND THE CANE CORSO BREED

15 27 34 41

TEMPERAMENT BREED

THE DOG MAGAZINE

THE BREEDS RECOVERY BREED

THE NAME BREED

THE ASSIMILATION OF THE CANE CORSO’S ICONOGRAPHICAL HERITAGE BREED

52 72

PAOLO BREBER BREED

A BEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVE BREED

77 86 96 106 118 130 140 146 156 163 169 174 182 190

A FAMILY DOG BREED

DELLA GRANDE FAMIGLIA BREEDER

DELL’IMPERO MAYA BREEDER

DELL'ANTICO CERBERUS BREEDER

PIA FIDELIS

08 COLOR AND THE CANE CORSO BREED

BREEDER

IZ DINASTII CHEMPIONOV BREEDER

CORSI EX DEO BREEDER

CORSO D’AMORE BREEDER

RETRO ROCHE BREEDER

MASSIMILIANO MANNUCCI JUDGE

VERA DANILOVA HANDLER

ANNA VASILEVA DOG PHOTOGRAPHY

KSENIA YEROPKINA DOG PHOTOGRAPHY

VASILIS RAMIOTIS DOG PHOTOGRAPHY

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34 THE NAME BREED


CONTENT

15

27

TEMPERAMENT

THE BREEDS RECOVERY

BREED

BREED

41

52

THE ASSIMILATION OF THE CANE CORSO’S ICONOGRAPHICAL HERITAGE

PAOLO BREBER BREED

BREED

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CONTENT

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THETEAM EWALARSSON

SNEŽKAKURALT

I first started to be seriously involved in Cynology, when I bought my first Rhodesian ridgeback (Cubo) from breeder Mr. Andrej Fister – Kyala kennel. Since I had had a ridgeback, I wanted to spent some time and communicate with people who own the same breed. So I became involved and was one of the founding members of Club of Rhodesian ridgeback Slovenia. I was chief of organization of our first special show for Rhodesian ridgebacks in Slovenia. The show entered more than 50 dogs, which was a very nice number for such a small country. We even got Mr. Hans Mueller as a judge, for our first club show, even though the show was not CAC awarded. Soon after, I began my apprenticeship for a Cynology judge, and in January 2011 I acquired a license to judge Rhodesian ridgebacks. My name is Ewa Larsson, Britisher Show Bulldogs we are situated in Canterbury, England. My kennel was established in 1992. My bulldogs live with me inside my house and are raised in a loving environment as one of the family. I believe this approach is reflected in the behaviour of my dogs. Health, a correct temperament and dogs of the highest quality are my goal. Between Spring 2006 and Autum 2015, I was on the Bulldog Club Inc committee. The Bulldog Club Inc is the oldest Bulldog club in the world, and holds the prestigious Bulldog of the Year Show. I am a Bulldog Breed Specialist Judge currently on “ B” list.

I currently own two Rhodesian ridgebacks Cubo and Cana. Cubo, his pedigree name is Myollnir Kyala, is one of the most successful show ridgebacks in Slovenia and has always makes me proud. He is eight years old now and he is calm and mostly a gentleman. Cana (Dikeledi Ayaba) is our female ridgeback, 6 years old; she brings joy to my life with her silly stunts and happy nature. Cana was imported from Croatia, from Ayaba kennel. In my free time I make small products for dog owners, mostly for Rhodesian ridgeback lovers and do different graphic designs for all breeds.

GIOTABOURANTA

I am member of : The Bulldog Club Incorporated, The London Bulldog Society, The South of England Bulldog Society, The Junior Bulldog Club. My affix “ Britisher” is derived from a noun Brit·ish·er which stands for: “An Englishman- a subject or inhabitant of Great Britain”. Since 2001, I work as a graphic and web designer. Please feel free to visit my websites. www.britisher.co.uk || www.designbyewa.co.uk

My name is Giota Bouranta and I live in Athens, Greece. I have studied photography at AKTO, Art and Design college. For more than 12 years I work as a professional Dogs photographer. I cooperate with Kennel Clubs, breeds Clubs, working clubs, breeders, trainers and pet owners. A special part of my photos and my heart belongs to the Dobermann breed. It is a great pleasure and honor for me to photograph as a member of the authorized photographers' team 8 times the IDC Sieger Show (the World Championship of Dobermanns) and 7 times the Italian Dobermann Championship, the prestigious Campionato AIAD. Dogs' photography for me is enthralling, capturing wonderful moments of the relationship between humans and their best friend, highlighting in all its glory the beauty and charm of the dog, reminding its contribution to humanity and how respectfully dogs should be treated.

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Color

and the Cane Corso By Michael S Ertaskiran

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Photos supplied by Janina Dianova-Karasa (various sources)

The Cane Corso has appeared in many tones and colors that history and tradition have passed down through the ages. During the recovery of the breed four basic colors were identified, one was not to be preferred over the other. Modern dog fancy would dictate a heavier aesthetic preference. Fortunately for the Cane Corso this was not the case in the rural Italic countryside that was the bastion of the breed’s salvation. These basic colors were; black, brindle, grey and red these basic colors can also appear brindled. These four basic colors and their various dilutes are well represented and supported by a rich and vast Iconographical heritage;

ABOUT OUR WRITER Mr. Michael Ertaskiran Mr. Ertaskiran is a leading cane corso expert in the USA. He is an avid historian of the breed and has written extensively on the subject. Mike has judged both in the US and in Italy.

Cane Corso, Obtuse and short head, very big snout, ears leaning on the top, ash-colored down, obliquely stripped in black, little intelligence. “Catalogo dei Mammiferi della Sicilia” (Catalog of Mammals of Sicily) (Palermo 1868)

He was the President of the Cane Corso Association of America for 16 years and was instrumental in bringing the breed into AKC.

Corso, A species of big and ferocious dog with black fur. “Dictionary of Italian language from N. Zingarelli (1922)

He has bred, owned, and shown multiple Champions & Grand Champions. He was one of the architects of the American Cane Corso Standard and was responsible for writing much of the Cane Corso AKC Judges Manual.

The Roman Villa of Casale as Piazza Armerina (3rd-4th century A.D.) Mosaic depicts a fawn Corso type dog with the traditional ear crop pouncing on a boar during the hunt. The painting Fernando I On a wild boar hunt Depicts a pack of dogs on a boar hunt and among them are brindle and fawn Corsos Figurines’ from the 18th century that depict Cane Corso’s include Gruppo del Sammartino (fawn), Napoletano

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Color and the Cane Corso

(fawn Corso with a black mask) and Cuciniello (formentino Corso with a gray mask) Many superstitions were attributed to coat color and the dog’s particular specialty. So much so that actual “tribes” were created of the same color with the same function. These tribes were a somewhat provincial dialect, directly associated with the regions soci-economic activities. In the years prior to the recovery of the Cane Corso the people of Southern Italy were/are by nature very suspicious of strangers, historically nothing good came of strangers to this region. They guarded their breeding stock jealously (as well as their hunting and training techniques) so essentially they had a philosophy of geographical line breeding. They never sold or exchanged the pups, choosing instead to keep only the ones that would prove useful, the rest were eliminated. These provincial dialects of corsi were a morpho-functional tool of the various respective regional trades. Pig and goat herders preferred the black dog. The reason for this was it was easier to distinguish from the white/pink pig. The same is true of the shepherd who worked mostly with the white Maremma-Abruzzese sheep dog. Sheep herders also preferred black or brindle dogs for the same reason. This was also the color of choice for the old Italian cowboy, who was charged with herds of semi-wild horses. The black or brindle dogs blended in with the terrain camouflaging them and making it easier to surprise predators or those of ill intent. Corsi that were used for the hunt

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Color and the Cane Corso

were generally brindle or fawn with a black mask, colors that made it easy to blend in with the vegetation of the meridone (southern Italy) These dogs were strong and resolute of character. In some regions they were referred to as “Dogo” DR. Flavio Bruno an essential participant in the breeds recovery offers this description of the dogo; “the color of the dogo was tiger-striped or tawny striped with huge jaws” One superstition was that a white stripe on the bridge of his nose was prized as an especially strong hunting instinct. Hunting badger can only be done at night, preferably after 10 PM to give the quarry enough time to venture far enough away from his subterranean den. The fawn or wheaten dog was used exclusively for the badger hunt as in the dark it would be difficult if not impossible to tell a brindle dog from the badger. Perhaps the employment that best showcased the Cane Corso’s vast diverse talents and utilizations was that of the dog of the Masseria (farm) Here is where he truly shined. All of his abilities came into play in this mini agro-pastoral society were the Cane Corso ruled with an iron grip and stead fast temper. During the day he was chained, at night he was freed to roam and protect the structure from predators both two legged and four. He was indispensable in the swine husbandry, as the sow went to thicket with her piglets he was sent in to incapacitate her with a viselike grip to her ear or snout, thus enabling the farmer to retrieve the piglets and the sow once released tamely followed her brood. He was employed in the castration of the bull once old enough; once again his viselike grip was utilized to incapacitate the bull so the farmer

could perform the castration. Months later this exercise would be repeated when the fattened bull was to be butchered. Again, DR. Bruno offers us his insight “The Cane Corso of the farm was sometimes called the straw stack dog-“Cane da pagliaio” when its function was to watch the straw stack, everything thing there was inside such as wheat, fodder, hey, and forage, so the “Cane da pagliaio” means watch dog. The straw stack was a functional unit of the farm in that, during winter, it worked as the shelter of all animals, cats and dogs included. The preferred color of this dog was straw like, because old people thought that the character of a straw colored dog was “flammable” like the straw” As the breed’s recovery took hold, a disbursement of different provincial lines began. These “tribes” began to come in contact and cross over with each other, thus creating a cornucopia of colors and blends. To quote Flavio Bruno in his tome “Il Cane Corso studiato nella razza, nella storia, nella famiglia e nella societa. (The Cane Corso studied in breed, in history, in family and in society) “The Cane Corso’s physical and attitudinal characteristics are similar in the whole species, the difference is with the color of the coat: some of them are grayblack striped, tawny (once it was very common), clear and dark tawny, dear tawny, yellow, honey (mixed yellow or white and tawny hairs) brown, ash gray (black and white hairs), dark and light gray, slate (blackish gray), tiger striped on a grizzled background, three tiger stripped colors: black gray and brown, coffee brown softened to

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Color and the Cane Corso

dark, tiger striped and black. There are white spots on the breast, on the tips of the paws and on the nose”

Rottweiler. Nor should he display these markings with brindle in lieu of solids

Color- Acceptable colors are black, lighter and darker shades of gray, lighter and darker shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades have a black or gray mask; it does not go beyond the eyes. There may be a white patch on the chest, throat, chin, backs of the pasterns, and on the toes. Disqualification: Any color with marking pattern as seen in black and tan breeds.

Red/Fawn- In actuality the dilute fawn is more common than red. Red/fawn Cane Corso’s will have a black mask. The mask must never exceed the eyes, if so that is evidence of defilement from another breed. Sometimes in puppies this phenomenon is present, but fades over time. Younger reds and fawns will often have a blue or black saddle; this too will fade as the dog matures. The eye color once again matches the coat. One of the more interesting color patterns that the Cane Corso occurs in would be blue fawn, in Italy this color pattern is referred to as Formentino (slang for the color of fermented wheat) This is essentially a washed out or carbon colored fawn that will have a blue nose and mask. The Cane Corso should never have a red or violet colored nose. The color of the eye is light, it would almost appear clear.

Black- Black as with the other base colors in this breed will often present a brindling. Solid black with no white or brindling is considered rare, and prized by the old-timers. White on a black dog (and other colors as well) should be confined to no more than described in the standard. The patch on the chest should be no more than the size of a fist. As far as I am concerned the less white the better. There should be no white on the muzzle. A black dog should have a dark eye. A rule of thumb in this breed is that the eye should be self coloring; the eye color match’s the coat color. Dark coat, dark eye. It is important to note that the Cane Corso should never have the black and tan (or blue and tan) color pattern associated with the

Gray/Blue- This color comes in different shades that range from plumb, slate to light gray. They also have self coloring eyes, in some cases the eye is as dark as brown. As a dilute color, blue dogs will have a blue nose and toe nails. Blue puppies will usually have a blue eye; however that eventually darkens with age. Just as common if not more so would be blue brindle. Again the eyes are self coloring, as with all brindle dogs the eye will match the color of the brindle. Interestingly, in the European standard there is no reference to a blue dog. The color is described only as gray, and it is treated as a fully pigmented color with a black nose and toe nails. Funny thing happened to me on my way to Italy, I have yet to see

(Tawny would mean yellowish-brown) I believe you have to know where you come from to know where you are going, so now that we know where the Cane Corso comes from, let us turn our attention to the present;

AKC standard for the Cane Corso;

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Color and the Cane Corso

a gray Cane Corso with pigmentation, either domestically or in Europe. While researching this article I could find no documentation that would support gray as a base color, only references to it in tandem with blue as a dilute of black. Brindles- Brindle dogs generally have a mask that is the color of the darkest part of the brindle. In a brindle dog it is less common to see brindling to the tip of the muzzle, but it does present itself. The opposite is true of a blue or gray brindle dog where it is common to see the brindling reach the tip of the muzzle. The eye, again, is self coloring

matching the brindle. This color pattern in Italy is sometimes affectionately referred to as “Tigrato” because of the spectrum of brindles can vary much like the big cat. It is said that no two tigers have the same pattern of striping, perhaps the same can be said for the Cane Corso. I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss coat in this treatment on color. The AKC standard states; Coat-The coat is short, stiff, shiny, adherent and dense with a light undercoat that becomes thicker in cold weather. The Cane Corso should not have a short coat like the boxer. His coat is somewhat longer, and

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Color and the Cane Corso

in colder climates significantly heavier to protect him from the elements. The breed can present a light fringe on the thigh from beneath the tail to above the hock joint. In an interview I did with DR Poalo Breber in 2003 he described the breeds coat “What I found interesting was the coat, this short but not very short coat, and this very thick hair almost like bristles. It was smooth along the body; it wouldn’t stick out at an angle. The dog had this wooly undercoat in winter. This was obviously an adaptation to outdoor life. It wasn’t this sort of fine velvety coat like a Boxer or Doberman” The old-timers used to describe this coat as “cow hair” or “wire hair” The coat is not plush nor would you say soft to the touch. In blue dogs the coat tends to be less dense. While armed with a sturdy under coat the Cane Corso suffers the cold and is not equipped to live out doors unsheltered. In conclusion; we have the Cane Corso that survived in antiquity in small pockets of the southern Italian hinterland. He was a jealously guarded secret held in the highest esteem, an intricate part of the socio-economic landscape of the meridone. The Cane Corso is unique in the fact that his beauty is expressed in so many beautiful shades, tones and colors. The breed is not limited to one ridged color pattern or limited to a couple of colors. However, the real beauty for me is that his variety was forged, molded in his indispensible aid of man. Proving that age old adage “form follows function” in the Case of the Cane Corso, beauty is more than just skin deep.

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Photos supplied by Janina Dianova-Karasa (various sources)

TEMPERAMENT

The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too By Michael S Ertaskiran

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

“Cane Corso” the breeds name itself is an adjective that describes his temperament as well as morphology; "Corsus" is a very ancient Provencal adjective that means "robusto" in Italian - in English "robust" - and that in the spoken language of many areas of Southern Italy has the same meaning even today, to the point that it has actually been changed into a noun: Corso. One cannot exclude the possibility of a Provencal influence if one considers that the Angevins from Provence might have been among the "tourists" who, from 1246-1442, raided here and there in the lands of Southern Italy that had been marked for conquest. To this etymological supposition we can add another, equally authoritative, from "I nostri cani" (2/79) by L. Gentili. Recalling Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columnella in his "De re rustica" Gentile points out that the guard dog was called "cane da corte" where "corte" indicates, etymologically, an enclosed and fenced-in area (courtyard): cohora, chors, cors. Cohors, in any case, also takes on the meaning of "body guard" – cohors praetoria (Caesar): the general’s body guard; cohors regia (Livy): the king’s body guard; cohors scortum (Cicero): protector, escort, today..."gorilla". Supposing, then, that power, muscle, and vigor would have been required by such roles, we find it very clear that "corso" indeed indicates a "robust" dog used to guard and defend. In Southern Italy "Corso" becomes "cors" in its original idiom due to the practice of dropping final vowels. Because of the precise function and some of the morphological characteristics of the individual dog, for Southern Italy "Cors" has always, without fail, meant "ro-

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bust." (IL Cane Corso, Giuseppe Chiecchi & Giorgio Gualtieri ) So we have a breed name that literally describes a robust and strong dog that is a body guard or guards the court. This living iconography tells us that he was forged with utilitarian purposes in mind; he survives to us today because he was versatile, capable and adaptable and pliable. Of the Cane Corso Erasmo di Valvason wrote in his poem “La Caccia” (The Hunt, 1591) Like a greyhound it should be dexterous and quick but of person more robust and large it should be big, but not so heavy or weigheddown by great mass that it loses its breath; it should abound in large bones and nerves and it should be easily angered, harsh and proud”. That vignette should be in the standard! It summarizes exactly what the breed is, physically and mentally. The word "character" from Greek means "print", i.e., the whole of personality features of an individual, either man or dog. Character is the sum of all those components consisting of the genetic and hereditary patrimony and the acquired factors defined by environment, breed, imprinting, socialization, education, and training that influence behavior. To fully explore the breed’s temperament or character we should discuss where he comes from and how he was developed, his history. Glimpses of this type of dog’s character can be traced back to the beginnings of the symbiotic relationship between man and dog. We can see him vividly in bas-reliefs and terracotta statues of ancient Mesopotamia; his fierceness of character transcends time to reveal a formidable and capable dog. The reliefs in particular depict hunting scenes with huge mas-


Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

tiff type dogs used to hunt large game. These terracotta statues where used to ward off evil spirits and bore their names that lend themselves to reveal the temper of the subjects; “Don’t hesitate; use your jaws” “conquer the enemy” “bite the opposition” “eliminator of cowards” “grand barker” “the howling assistant” Unquestionably the Cane Corso is Molossian. More so than probably any other breed; alongside his very close relative the Neapolitan Mastiff, they are the heirs to the Molossian/Epirean dynasty. Molossian dogs where probably more flock guardians than war dog, flock guardians in the sense that they protected the flocks from wolves or bandits. Not coincidentally one aspect of the Cane Corso’s historical utilizations. Aristole knew of the Molossus as well as the Indian dog: “In Molossis there is a breed of dog, which serves as a guardian of the herds, which distinguishes itself from all other dogs, through its size and indomitable courage against wild animals” The Cynegetica (On Hunting) a poem in Greek ascribed to Oppian dedicated to Caracalla sometime after AD 212 describes the Molossian “impetuous and of steadfast valor, who attacked even bearded bulls and rush upon monstrous boars and destroy them…they are not swift but they have abundant spirit and genuine strength unspeakable and dauntless courage.” Of the great Molossian Virgil wrote “Never with them on guard need you fear for your stalls, a midnight thief, or onslaught of wolves, or Iberian brigands at your back” Swiss Naturalist Conrad Von Gessner also describes a guard and fighting dog “There are certain dogs that are bred to protect man

and fight, and which strike like murderers. These are said to be large, gaunt and loathsome but also strong and bold, and they were also equipped to fight armed men. They are said to recognize no other man and to love only their master. They do not allow any other to touch them and obey and protect their master alone. They are trained and equipped with skill for battle” Gessner gives a further description of the Molossus “There is another kind of dog that protects farms and ships. Those that are used to guard and protect farms are said to be altogether terrible in voice and appearance, have a terrible head, be completely black in color, and have a short body. Not with their voice alone, but with their frightening appearance as well, they could chase away thieves and rouges” The Molossar found its way to Italy. It is believed that the Molossians arrived in Greece during the Greek-Persian wars, with Xerxes and the Cirrus Army. The Greeks and Macedonians brought with them large dogs that they utilized for warfare and the hunt. The Greeks colonized Italy and brought these ferocious Molossans with them. When the Roman Empire conquered Italy they discovered the Molossiod dog’s virtue, they renamed them Pugnaces because of their willingness to fight. As was the Roman way what they assimilated they improved upon. The Roman procurators cinogiae gathered up dogs from throughout the Empire and separated them into three categories; celeres-those that ran down wild animals, pugnaces-those that attacked wild animals and villatici-those that guarded farms. These “groups” of dogs can be roughly translated into what would be

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

modern day hounds, the Cane Corso and Neapolitan Mastiff respectively. To augment the Canis Pugnaces abilities, dogs from England were brought back to the Empire. The Romans met the pugnaces Britanniae in battle during their European campaign’s and had come to value their indomitable fighting spirit. These “imports” would be added to the Roman Pugnaces, it was said of the pugnaces Britanniae “they were inflamed with the spirit of Mars the god of war” After the fall of the Roman Empire the Pugnaces found a home in the rural Italian country side. Melting seamlessly into “civilian” life, his natural gifts served him well as a squire to Feudal lords during the hunt or battle. We are fortunate that there remains extensive iconography available in the form of paintings, engravings, coins and sketches that are wonderfully illustrative of the breed’s utilizations during this period. You can see the rage in the eyes of the boar, feel the rush of battle as the knight and his trusted auxiliary take part in a pitched battle…or quieter times as a gentleman relaxes while reading in a square with his trusted companion asleep at his feet. The Cane Corso, his talents, forged by the Romans, was perfectly suited to the labors of farm life. This dog was unconquerable, tenacious, resistant to pain and eager to serve man. His temperament was pliable and physical capabilities considerable. He was versatile enough to confront a bull or wild boar and respectful enough to not chase the chickens nor drink the goats milk. All these things factored into his salvation. He found a home with the peasant farmers of the meridone (southern Italy) where he provid-

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ed invaluable service to the Massaro (Italian farmer) and shared in his every day labor. The Cane Corso would not exist today if not for the proud and guarded people of the old south, employing him and using him to his full potential. The ancestors of the Cane Corso found their true calling on the farms of the southern Italian country side. His natural inherited gifts where honed to make an indispensable aid to the Massaro The land and work where very hard, it required both hard people and dogs. The name Cors’-“sturdy” is an appropriate description of both the man and the dog, this was by no means an easy existence. Only the strongest survived or were fed. The weak dogs were discarded and not allowed to reproduce. If he didn’t work, he didn’t eat. Natural selection also played its part as the strongest most dominant dogs naturally assumed the leadership role in reproduction. This ensured that characteristics like courage, intelligence speed, strength and agility passed on from generation to generation through a strong genetic patrimony. Generally a bitch would only be allowed to raise four puppies. A first time mother would only be allowed to raise two. After the first week the Massaro would choose the strongest and sturdiest of the get, of these puppies the tails would be cut. However, some preferred to allow the bitch to choose. She was tied up and her brood was removed from the whelping area, once released she was allowed to tend her brood. The first puppies she chose to “save” were regarded as the strongest or healthiest. The ears were cropped at three months old without anesthesia and disinfected with ashes. It was cus-


Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

tomary to fry the amputated part of the ear in olive oil and flour and feed it to the puppies. This practice was believed to heighten aggression and sharpen the temperament. The primary utilizations of the breed where that of hunter, farm dog/flock guardian and personal protection. As a hunter he was used on big game; stag, boar, bear and badger. During the hunt the Corso was held back as the scent dogs would flush out the game, when cornered the Corsos where unleashed and attacked the game incapacitating it for the hunter to come and give the death blow either by gun or spear. Life on the farm was varied depending on the regions socio-economic environment. With pigs the Corso was used to assist with the breeding and castration. He was sent into the thicket to incapacitate the semi wild sow after she delivered a litter so the farmer could collect the piglets harmlessly and bring them onto the farm. In the same manor using his immovable bite he would seize the boar by the ear to immobilize him for castration. With cattle he was used to drive the herds to the butcher for slaughter. Interesting enough, I have had many of my dogs “Herding Instinct tested” and all received the same comments…’’would excel as a driver of cattle” indeed some to the gifts are still being passed down! The bull was castrated in the same manner as the boar. Grabbed by the ear or snout and with his cast iron jaws and serrated bite, this was quite a spectacle and evolved into an almost circus type atmosphere as villagers would come to watch the agile and robust Corso avoid the horns of the angry bull and conquer him to the delight of the crowd. This endeavor

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

is not exclusive the Cane Corso or Italy, as it was practiced by many breeds in many different parts of the world. The breed’s role as a flock guardian was similar to those of his ancient forefathers; he was used to prevent poaching from brigands and cattle thieves as well as his natural enemy the wolf. Not being “born in the net” the Cane Corso did not have a profound attachment to sheep; his primary love is and was man. In some cases an industrial cross was necessary; this was referred to as a Mezzo-Corso. A cross between Corso male and an Abruzze Mastiff female (Italian sheep dog) this created a dog capable of fighting the wolf but with an attachment to the sheep. The litter was born amongst the herd and lived its days out there. The breed’s guardian duties also included accompanying merchants and or butchers by cart so they would not be robbed on the trail as they sold their wares. During the off season lone wardens would guard the vine land with all the workers gone due to fear of malaria; his sole companion was the Cane Corso. These “teams” would develop an almost telepathic relationship due to their close bond. The Cane Corso was so prized and held in such high regard by the people of these regions that there are several metaphors and antidotes associated with his name; "can corso, a man of proud aspect and attitude. “je’nu cors, is what an elderly peasant would say to describe a young man who was the essence of moral and physical virtue” M. Emma Alaima, Sicilian Proverb; "A cani corsi nun ci diri’ngirri", meaning that "don’t incite one who is already irascible". Paolo Breber tells us “there is a saying; he is ugly like a Cane Cor-

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

so”. Giovanni Verga, in Malavoglia (Bad Will) (1881), says, "He bites worse than a cane Corso". Tommaseo, in his dictionary, offers the metaphor, "can corso, a man of proud aspect and attitude."The Nuovo Vocabolario Siciliano-Italiano (1868) the term "Cani", Cani Corsu, Can Corsico or Corso" "Lasserisi jiri cum un Cani Corsu" translated means "throw one’s self on something with violence" A story relayed by Paolo Breber . “A man, accompanied by his dog, goes to the market to buy a little jar of terracotta. Having found a jar-seller with his goods exposed on a sidewalk, he negotiates the price of the article and pays his due. The jar-seller asks him to choose the piece he likes the most, but at this point the man turns the invitation to his dog: "Spezza, which one do you want?" The dog promptly gets going, and among the dozen of vases goes straight towards the one where the dealer was hiding the money of his sales. Here there is a funny moment in the reaction of the jar-seller” He so ingratiated himself to those that he served that he was almost a cultural icon to rural the southern Italian landscape. To quote DR Flavio Bruno “Do qualities of the man describe the dog, or do those of the dog describe the man?” During the breeds recovery as well as biometric measurements and morphological survey; its temperament was evaluated using the following parameters; DOCILITY – It indicates the dog’s natural tendency of accepting man as its hierarchical superior. This does not mean that it has to be a man’s slave, but it simply accepts his guide without having to use repressive manners. Docility does not have to be con-

fused with shyness or fear. SOCIABILITY – A sociable dog fits in any environment without any problem with naturalness and spontaneity, and it is capable of communicating without hesitation. Absence of sociability shows up with fears and scares and with anxious and worried attitudes. TEMPERAMENT – It corresponds to the intensity and quickness of the dog’s reaction to external stimuli of every nature. CURIOSITY – It corresponds to the dog’s will, pleasure, and capability of being interested in everything that surrounds it in a very natural way. Exploring new territories and environments is at the basis of its attitude. Associated with docility and sociability, curiosity sometimes can be at the origin of individual mimetic capabilities. WATCHFULNESS – It represents the dog’s particular sensitivity in perceiving an external danger capable of menacing itself and its pack which, in a domestic situation, is represented by the human family. Sometimes, watchfulness bound to its peculiar olfactory and auditory sensitivity allows the dog to feel a natural event like a thunderstorm or an earthquake in advance. FIBER – It gives the measure of an individual’s attitude in resisting to every external action of unpleasant nature. Fiber is inversely proportional to docility. POSSESSIVENESS – A possessive dog is predisposed to become the owner of something or someone. It derives from its predatory behavior, which is still present in wild dogs but absent in the domestic ones. Possessiveness shows up in puppies as an expression of their competitiveness. COMBATIVENESS – It corresponds to the capability of fighting vigorously against an un-

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

pleasant external stimulus. It is often associated to possessiveness particularly in the puppy. AGGRESSIVENESS – It is equivalent to a physical reaction against a danger menacing the integrity of the dog’s territory, its own safety, or its fellow dogs’ safety. Consequently, it is always motivated. In wild dogs, this behavior is also useful for providing food and therefore, it is bound to a predatory behavior no longer present in domestic dogs. COURAGE – A courageous dog is willing to confront unknown situations it could avoid in the interest of its own integrity. Courage is directly proportional to sociability and temperament without being in contrast to docility or being necessarily bound to aggressiveness. Mario Perricone, one of the judges involved in the breeds recovery and former President of the ENCI judges committee wrote and interesting article on what the Cane Corsos psychological map should be based on these behaviors and Konrad Lorenz theories on neotenia. He surmised that “The Corso has been a defense dog, therefore characterized by great docility and sociability. In fact, these dogs, must love man very much to defend him and move among people without any fear. Reaction times to external stimuli are limited to the moments when they are together with man. Curiosity is a little more accentuated, while watchfulness is less, since it only has a protective function towards man and not towards the entire territory. Fiber is at the same level as watchfulness and, if it is accentuated, leads to an inadmissible independence for a defense dog. On the contrary, combativeness is at the highest degree, while aggressiveness is moder-

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ate because man must be able in any case to stop his own dog when it throws itself on another person to defend its owner. They are competitive in any circumstance, their courage is proverbial” This is their character map: Docility ••••• Sociability ••••• Temperament ••• Curiosity •••• Watchfulness ••• Fiber ••• Courage ••••• Aggressiveness ••• Possessiveness •••• Combativeness ••••• I am in complete agreement with Perricone, I also feel that the breed that was on the farm is fully capable of existing in this day and age. These “gifts” docility, sociability, temperament, curiosity, watchfulness, and fiber are paramount to a balanced dog psychologically. Using these definitions, ENCI judge DR Danillo Georgio expands on the breeds virtues in his article Nature of the Cane Corso “The best qualities or character components typifying the race of the Corsican dog are: combativeness, docility, sociability, and general nervous balance. These endowments make the Corsican a staid, quiet, reflective dog. The Corsican dog’s nervous balance and its own firmness of nerves represent the breeds true force and mental power born from an interior balance and therefore from a very good genetic substrate. This substrate needs to be increased more and more, checked by a proper breeding and balanced by the proper relationship Corso-owner’ in the same article he writes “a quite vivacious nature, character with a tendency to hard, fairly good obedience but in close relation with the capabilities of its guide, marked sociability, aggressiveness towards its fellow dogs but relatively scarce towards man, very high fighting spirit, good watch, high curiosity as


Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

well as possessive character” While giving breed seminars I have been asked many times “what do you love about this breed, why the Cane Corso?” my answer has always been, the thing about this breed is the unconditional love it gives its owner. In the breeds eyes its owners are the sun and the moon. He is particularly sensitive to the moods and emotions of his owners. They are not like the Rottweiler who would be inclined to challenge you for Alpha status. The Cane Corso recognizes his master as the pack

leader and will never challenge that, like a high ranking wolf he will defend his pack with vigor and tenacity while remaining subordinate to its family and leader. There is an inherent difference in which the way a Cane Corso loves you; at least that has been my experience. The breed has a profound attachment to man, another one of his inherent gifts. He suffers if not in the presence of his family; particularly the young ones-he seems to know to change his tact when around them, instantly becoming gentler and calm.

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

The Cane Corso is not a breed that can be just left out in the yard and forgotten about, that is the cruelest form of punishment. To quote Dr Paolo Breber (the man credited with starting the recovery of the Cane Corso) “The Corso is a particularly pliable dog and it feels the relationship with its owner very much. Its close following of man in every movement is characteristic, and it is always ready near his legs and alert to his voice. Differently from other breeds, which accept to spend most of the day alone or with other dogs, content with only one or two hours of company, our Dog suffers when it is separated from man; the conditions of a dog kennel are definitely adverse to it. This extraordinary harmony with its owner, together with its easy learning, combativeness, and physical appearance, make it as the ideal dog for whoever needs to defend himself and/or attack both men and dangerous animals” The Cane Corso is not a typical Molossar in the sense that he is not exclusively defensive; while the 10 foot circumference around man is of paramount importance he is also very environmental. Meaning he is also in tune with what is going 100 yards away on the horizon. Perhaps this behavior harkens back to his days of war with the wolf. He is not the finisher that a terrier would be, he will stop his attack if his adversary is beaten, and content in taking just enough measure as needed to get the situation in hand. The Cane Corso is an extremely intelligent dog, easily trained. However he is intelligent enough to understand when to overcome his training, he instinctively knows when what measure to take and to what extent. “His method of

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guarding is to remain near the house or his own quarters, leaving this space only for an occasional round. If his owner is not there, he will only rarely go to the fence or enclosure, even though strangers might be there; this makes it almost impossible for him to be harmed from the outside. He makes himself herd, with a low bark, but not seen. He waits for the intruder to violate his territory so that he can surprise him, arriving suddenly and rapidly like a shadow in the night, and he means trouble. If the intruder remains calm and motionless the Cane Corso will call his owner with a rhythmic bark; if he make suspicious movements or tries to run the dog will immobilize him, becoming ever more aggressive in relation to the escape attempts of his victim” (Stefano Gandolfi and Gianantonio Sereni) The breed’s strength is its stability. Ideally he should be like furniture, unnoticed and under control but ready to react if necessary. I have a prime example of this type of stability that I would like to recount; several years ago at the CCAA National I was talking to my old friend Renzo Carosio. I was holding my bitch Diva (who has since passed but was as close to the ideal breed temperament as I’ve ever owned) ironically we were talking about her temperament. Just then another friend of mine who is quite the jokester; Greg Weber thought it would be funny to run up on me and put me in a bear hug. Well, MS Diva was having none of that and reacted accordingly. A somewhat shaken Greg managed to get out of the way and looked at me as said “she was going to bite me! Laughing Renzo said “Aaaahhh Diva, this is very good!” That was the expected response to that situa-


Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

tion, however the true strength of the breed and of temperament is that an hour later Greg was petting her and she was shaking hands with him. The same bitch and a male I owned named Astro both in the same weekend passed their CGC, ATBA Herding instinct test and temperament test. Astro also achieved his Therapy dog certification (TDI) that is testament to the breed’s natural aptitudes and balance. In the 1990’s the standard used to say “aloof with strangers” this was taken to mean by some judges “hands off” that was not the case. Nature versus nurture comes into play, the breed socialized is perfectly accepting of examination. He may not be that dog that runs up to you and jumps all over you, but that is not what he was bred to do, my good friend breed expert Renzo Carosio once said to someone “if you want a poodle, get a poodle” and I wholeheartedly agree with him. The breed does not indiscriminately give its love away it has to be earned. The breed can be belligerent towards other dogs, particularly of the same sex, he is not likely to start a fight, however he is not likely to run from one either. The Cane Corso also has a history as a combat dog. While the massaro did not participate in the disgusting practice of organized blood sport, the sight of two Cane Corso locked in combat was not unheard of in the Meridone. The spectacle has even been immortalized in the engravings of Bartolomeo Pinelli the Italian artist who chronicled many of the breeds exploits through his works. The thinking was there was no better way to prove the merits of one’s line than through combat. The victor would display essential characteristics

such as courage, resistance to pain, strength and aggression and would validate the breeders work. Old timer Umberto Leone would recall “at one time fight were allowed between Corsos and I had a male that was invincible. They came from Bari, Campobasso and from all over Foggia, but there were none that could beat him. He has a trigger like a feline; the second he saw his adversary he would take off like lightning and grab him between the throat and ear. As long as he could breathe he would not release. One time, a flock of sheep from Abruzzi, passed next to my masseria. My Corso would hide in the grass and would ambush the Mastini (Abruzzi Shepherd dogs) that accompanied the sheep. It would not bother the sheep. The Mastini were reduced to the point that they had to hide between the sheep to get by” As stated earlier, these were not organized events, perhaps the spark could have been and quip or a snide remark, or perhaps someone’s boast or challenge that would have to be put to the test. Whatever the reason, these fights were never to the death, the conquered was always spared. As any old timer will tell you the Cane Corso is not a professional fighter, he is only an amateur. While combat serves as a legitimate assessment of his natural abilities, it is not what he was bred for. I recall my first visit to Italy during the International AICC show in 2000, the final male class had 25 dogs in it, all the males where proud and noble, they carried the air of a prime stallion. Being stallions there was more than one flare up between contenders. This was astonishing to me coming from American shows where this type of behavior

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Temperament; The standard that the Cane Corso was originally bred too

would never be tolerated; I remarked to AICC BOD Alberto Cremonasi “is this normal?” to which he replied “SI! Yes molto character!” To discuss temperament and what is correct character for the breed in not such an easy thing to qualify. The age old debate over what a breed was bred for versus modern pressures man places on it to conform to a very litigious society, not to mention BSL restrictions. The AKC standard states; “Temperament; The Cane Corso as a protector of his property and owners is unequaled. Intelligent he is easily trained. Noble, majestic and powerful his presence is impressive. He is docile and affectionate to his owner, loving with children and family” Unfortunately not a lot to go on, especially since we know that before there was ever a standard or official recognition this dog was bred as a utility dog. Meaning his temperament was the standard he was bred too. This breed survives to use today when so many of its contemporaries have become extinct because he is so adaptable and versatile. He is as fully capable of running a half marathon as he is lying around watching television or going to the beach. As we have discussed the Cane Corso has been gifted with many natural psychological gifts, an inherited template. Environment plays a key role in his development, if he is raised to be a family dog that is what he will be. If he is raised to do protection or guard work, he will excel at that as well. Unfortunately sometimes our beloved breed’s gifts are wasted. This breed should never be fearful, timid or indiscriminately aggressive. Nor should it be unpredictable. Some of this breeds vocations required

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that he travel with salesmen and accompany butchers to towns and villages, he drove cattle to slaughter, that he be under control at all times. Dogs that did not have the strictest fiber would have never been bred in the old south; and that rule should still apply. It is inconceivable to think of a dog that is afraid of its own shadow or a danger to its family would have been bred or fed back then, the peasants that kept the spark of this breed alive didn’t have an abundance of food for themselves much less waste it on a trembling reflection of the proud Cane Corso. Let us never forget, if we lose the temperament, we lose the breed. Refrences; IL Cane Corso, Origini e prospettive del molosso italico S. Gandolfi & F. Casolino Brevi Annotazioni Sul Cane Corso, Nel Tempo, Nelle Diverse Condizioni Geografiche, Ambientali E Sociali,Flavio Bruno. IL Cane Corso, Renzo Carosio IL Cane Corso, Flavio Bruno Fattoria Ad Indirizzo Cerealico-Zootecnico, Flavio Bruno IL Cane Corso, Edizioni L’Orsa IL Cane Corso, Giuseppe Chiecchi & Giorgio Gualtieri 1stEdition IL Cane Corso, Giuseppe Chiecchi & Giorgio Gualtieri 2ndEdition Testimoniaze Visive E Grafiche Di Un Amico Ritrovato: "IL Corso" Flavio Bruno & Giovanni Tumminelli The Cane Corso for Personal Defense, Paolo Breber CHARACTER FACTORS IN THE EVOLUTION OF CANE CORSO: Difficulties in defining its current attitudes, Mario Perricone The Nature of the Corsican Dog, by Danilo Giorgio REFLECTIONS AND EXPERIENCE IN TRAINING OF THE CANE CORSO; S.A.C. C paragraph news August 3, 1997-by Antonio Bertin


Photos supplied by Janina Dianova-Karasa (various sources)

The breeds recovery By Michael S Ertaskiran

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The breeds recovery

After the Second World War the neglect befell the Cane Corso, he was made obsolete by the advent of modern farming machines with the exception of the outermost reaches of southern Italy where in remote pockets he was still employed in his traditional utilizations. The Cane Corso toiled in anominity until the breeds "Recovery Process" began in the early 1970’s. Prof. Giovanni Bonatti and DR. Paolo Breber started this modern recovery. In 1973 for work related reasons Breber was transferred to Foggia. In December of the same year DR. Breber received a letter from Prof. Giovanni Bonatti telling him " he has noticed in those places a molossiod dog different hair from the Neapolitan Mastiff, similar to the bullmastiff, likeness of the Presa Majorca" the letter went on to say "Prof. Ballotta, eminent dog lover, inhabitant of Romagna, had seen several examples of this ancient Pugliese breed." With Breber’s interest peeked he began the search of this Ancient "molossiod" by seeking out Foggiani who’s memories went back some 50 years. These conversations led Breber various works of art, illustrations poems and other historical documentation depicting the utilization of the breed. Though Breber was coming to understand the nature and function of the breed he had not as of yet encountered a living-breathing specimen. That changed in October of 1974, while attending a Canine exposure in Foggia, Breber encountered 5 examples of the breed, 2 black dogs from Montella(AV) a black female and a tigrato male where from Lucera (FG) and a gray male from Ortanova (FG). Breber purchased the tigrato female from Lucera named Mirak. These first

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The breeds recovery

Molossors of Puglia came to be known as "Dogo Di Puglia" they where even recognized Internationally in 1976 by the U.C.I. (Union Cinologica Italian) During this time a couple of significant litters stand out. The first of which, DR. Breber bred Mirak to a dog named Aliot producing a litter which included Dauno and Brina. Brina was then later bred to a dog named Picciut. The most notable product of Brina’s litter was a female named Tipsi. In 1980 a litter of 18 puppies where born to Tipsi sired by Dauno, in this litter where such important foundation dogs as Bulan, Babak, Berzerillo, and most importantly Basir, the dog on which the ENCI/ SACC standard is based. Around this time DR. Breber’s had the occasion to write an article in the ENCI’s I Nostri Cane magazine on his work with the Maremmano-Abruzzese in this article a two dogs of medium to large size dogs were pictured in the background. This picture drew the attention of 16-yearold student Stefano Gandolfi. To quote MR. Gandolfi from his book co-written with Fernando Casolino Il Cane Corso, Origini e prospettive del molosso italico "The reproduction was not clear enough in order to understand what type of dog they were, but in the book it was explained that the two subjects were Cane Corsos, an ancient molossoide that are still present in the south, in Puglia." Gandolfi sought out DR. Breber through the publishing company to learn more of this native Italian molossor. Gandolfi was successful in his attempts to reach DR. Breber; they soon started a correspondence that centered on the reselection of the breed. MR. Gandolfi soon enlisted the help of longtime friends Giancarlo and

Luciano Malavasi. The Malavasi’s had for years bred German Shephard dogs. Luciano and GiaCarlo were skeptical of getting involved with a breed that they knew nothing about, but Gandolfi’s persistence eventually wore them down. Through mutual friend and councilman of the Bolognese Cinofilo (dog lovers) Group Gianluigi Spighi, Prof Bonatti was introduced to what would become another central figure in the recovery of the Cane Corso breed, Mr. Fernando Casolino. Casolino had many fond childhood memories of the breed and gladly shared stories of the Cane Corso, and it’s utilization's in the rural zones of southern Italy with Spighi and Bonatti. Bonatti recruited Casolino to the cause of the recovery process and soon introduced him to Gandolfi and the Malavasi brothers. Casolino would prove very useful as an interpreter of the southern Italian dialect and eventually would be chosen as the group’s main liaison to the ENCI. Casolino tells Gandolfi "the dogs need one center, a cautious attendant for the future development, and above all one pragmatic philosophy of selection." Heeding these words Gandolfi chose the Malavasi brothers farm in Mantova as the central location of the recovery process. Three Corso’s where temporarily loaned to the group from Mantova, Tipsi, Brina and Dauno. Dauno was particularly interesting because of very desirable characteristics he possessed: robust and powerfully built, light undershot, 3/2 head to muzzle ratio, square thick head and fierce character. In 1980 a litter was born to Tipsi sired by Dauno that produced 18 puppies, included in this litters are Basir, Bu-lan, Aike, Baal, Babak and Bezeril-

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lo. This is probably the most significant Cane Corso ever litter ever born as Basir was chosen as the model of the standard with his sister Babak chosen as the model of the feminine characteristics of the breed. Basir was given to Casolino and Bu-lan was given to Gian Antonio Sereni on the condition that they are used to "fix the essential characteristics of the breed." Bonatti, Ballotta, and Casolino all agreed that the get of Dauno where the most similar to those of their childhood memories of the breed. Realizing that new lines of blood would need to be added Gandolfi, Sereni, and Casolino obtain additional dogs from Paolo Breber, Aike was bred to Picciotto, who’s daughter Bibli was bred to Bezerillo this type of breeding was designed to fix "type" in this very young breed. On October 13, 1983 Gandolfi, Breber, Sereni, Casolino and the Malavasi Brothers formed the SACC (Society Amatori Cane Corso) the SACC’s goals where to increase the value of the Cane Corso, upgrade the selection of the breed, and to obtain E.N.C.I. recognition. Days later Mr. Casolino and Mr. Gandolfi organized the newly formed club’s first official function in Mantova, a breed survey conducted by ENCI judge Dr. Giovanni Ventura. From the 12 subjects examined by Dr. Ventura a morphologic profile of the breed was compiled. In May of 1984 Casolino arranges SACC’s first "unofficial" contact with ENCI in Catenaso near Bologna, judges Morsiani, Perricone, Bussadori and Bonetti, are invited to examine the characteristics of the breed. 10 Cane Corso’s are presented to the judges including Basir. With the success of this first contact the breed is officially introduced to

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ENCI November 3, 1985 in Montova. Twenty Cane Corso’s are presented to judges Barbati, Mentasti, Morsiani, Quadri, Perricone, Vandoni, and Ventura. Morsiani and Perricone take a particular interest in the breed, and in the future prove to be invaluable to its eventual recognition by ENCI. In 1986 SACC is shocked by the defection of Paolo Breber. Today it is still unclear why Breber left, but in subsequent article’s he has written on the breed he has been very critical of certain aspects of the standard particularly as it pertains to the bite. Later that year Dr Morsiani accepts the assignment from the executive board of ENCI judges to


The breeds recovery

draft the standard of the Cane Corso. Morsiani travels the Italian country side conducting examinations and taking measurements of Cane Corso’s in some of the most remote and far away locations. The members of SACC, and two new editions to the cause Flavio Bruno and Vito Indiveri aid Dr. Morsiani in his journeys. Bruno and Indiveri carry out a census of "Peasant subjects" recording 97 photographs of 57 dogs from Beneventoano, Puglia, Molise, and Lucania. The results of this census where then sent to ENCI. Stefano Gandolfi attributes Flavio Bruno for much of the knowledge of traditions, sayings, past and present uses of the breed,

and much of the historical material we have today. Basir is eventually chosen as the model for the standard, with his sister Babak chosen as the feminine ideal. The ENCI’s Directive counsel and Judges committee approved Dr. Morsiani’s draft of the standard in November of 1987 thus paving the way for full recognition of the breed. The ENCI decided in 1988 to hold three "gatherings" of Cane Corso’s one each in Bari, Florence and in Milan to determine the reality of the breed. 50 "peasant" dogs were subjected to biometrical examinations by judges Morsiani, Perricone and Vandoni. Another gathering was arraigned at the International Exposi-

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tion of Foggia where a total of eighty dogs were inspected. During a SACC meeting held on November 20, 1988 at the Hotel Cristallo di Cerese di Virgilio the club laid out it’s objectives for the up coming year 1) Increase the number of dogs reaching within 3-4 years at least 150 registrations per year. 2) To increase the breeds homogeny, mainly exploiting the blood whose genotype would be well identified and utilizing, only for the precise scope, dogs whose phenotype would be typical, but of unknown ancestry 3) To eliminate the dogs genetic flaws. 1990 proved to be a very eventful year for the Cane Corso breed, June 16th the Conference of the Civitella Alfedena was held, this conference was a gathering of most of the men responsible for the recovery and reselection of the breed to date. In attendance and speaking where Paolo Breber, Flavio Bruno, Vito Indiveri, Paolo Paoletti, Stefano Gandolfi, Antonio Morsiani, Scimon Goldmann, Alfonso Comer, Umberto Leone, Giusppe DiGirolamo, Germano Castellano, Mario Perricone, Giancarlo Malavasi, Giorgio Gualtierri, Tommaso Ruggieri, Vittorio Dagradi and Fernando Casolino. The European Exposition of Verona was held and SACC presented 15 Cane Corso’s to FCI delegates in attendance, these delegates also received summarized copies of the standard drafted by Dr Morsiani in English, French, German and Spanish. ENCI’s Directive counsel decides institute the "Libro Aperto" or Open Book certifications to enroll adult specimens that where morphologically consistant with the standard. The Open Book certifications took place in Mantova, Foggia, Ostuni, Morciano de Romagna, Messi-

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The breeds recovery

na and Empoli from 1990 to 1992 and a total of 561 Cane Corso’s where "certified" by ENCI judges Ammannati, Dagradi, Morsiani, Perricone and Vandoni. The procedure in which a dog was enrolled in the Open Book where as follows; 1) Judgment regarding the typicalness of the dog expressed by a pair of judges appointed by the ENCI during an official show or meeting. 2) The puppies born from the mating of two certified subjects will be inscribed officially and also their offspring. 3) A further judgment following the dog’s first year anniversary will confirm if the characteristics of typicalness of the progenitors were present. For the most part step 3 was ignored. Following the results of the "Open Book" registrations the SACC petitions the ENCI to officially recognize the Cane Corso. On January 20, 1994 SACC’s goal of obtaining official recognition for breed are realized as ENCI designates the Cane Corso the 14th Italian breed. With this recognition however problems arise, since none of the existing ENCI judges have ever been a breeder of the Cane Corso they "sanction" a number of all-rounder and working judges as Cane Corso judges without giving them any type of test or require that they study the realities of the breed. Two such examples standout November 1997 during the National Exposure of Genoa one of these "all Rounder" judges determines that a dog named Lothar is excessively undershot, the dog in Question is undershot by 4mm, certainly within the ENCI standard, especially considering in

the book IL Cane Corso, Origini e prospettive del molosso italico written by SACC President Stefano Gandolfi & the Prof. Fernando Casolino it states in the comment to the standard chapter page 98. "The measure of 5mm is an optimal medium value." Another such occasion was when ENCI Judges Antonio Di Lorenzo refused to judge the breed at the National Exposure of Pisa defining the them as "these bastards." The dogs inscribed into the "open book" where then upon ENCI recognition enrolled in the ENCI studbook, offering these dogs LIR certification (Italian Book Recognized) Soon after the breeds official recognition it under goes a huge population explosion going from a few hundred puppies a to around 2500 annual registrations. This sudden popularity lent itself to lower the quality of the breed in general. The Cane Corso is introduced to the governing body of the FCI on May 22nd 1996 in Milan, about twenty subjects are present to model the characteristics of the breed. A complete standard, historical description, results of analysis on HD and hereditary eye defects and anatomic designs with canine metrical proportions of various anatomic areas as well as research done to identify the various blood lines registered in the "Open book" are submitted to the FCI. November of the same year the Cane Corso is recognized on an International level by the FCI. It is important to note that even today this recognition is somewhat in flux, equivalent to the AKC’s miscellaneous class. Unfortunately the problems that accompanied ENCI recognition are now compounded on a much larger International scale.

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Photos supplied by Janina Dianova-Karasa (various sources)

The Name Cane Corso

By Michael S Ertaskiran

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The name

The term “Cane Corso” began to be associated with the light molossian around the 1100’s. This term initially was an adjective that eventually became the noun which it described. While the etymology of this term is open to debate, there are many valid hypotheses to its employment. Cane in Italian, even today means dog, a derivative of the Latin canis. Also in Latin, Cohors- this would mean bodyguard. cohors praetoria (Caesar): the general’s body guard; cohors regia (Livy): the king’s body guard; cohors scortum (Cicero): protector, escort, today..."gorilla". Corsus, would be an ancient Italian provincial adjective which translates to sturdy or robust. DR Flavio Bruno tells us “The term "Corzo" or "Corso" probably is derived from the Latin cohortium, the genitive plural of the word cohors, (or chors) cohortis, understood as the terrain adjacent to the villa, akin to the hortus, -us (garden). It would have been used, more or less, to designate the dog held in the cohors-villatica, that is to say, the "Canis Villaticus." Dr Bruno stands out in the narration of this breed as the man most responsible for providing us with what we know of the Cane Corso’s historical utilizations and customs.

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IN LITERATURE Dr Paolo Breber, without who’s invaluable work we would not be writing about the Cane Corso in the present tense, disagreeing offers his own hypothesis “Girardon, in his work "Il cane nella storia e nella civilta’ del mondo" [The Dog in the History and in the World Civilization] (1930), narrates that, until the 18th century, in the hunting of deer, bear, or wild boar, "the most important part was reserved to Great Danes so called da corpo, which were attacking the beast seizing it by the ears, to distinguish them from the Great Danes so called da camera, which the lord was keeping in his bedroom in order to protect himself from possible assaults" (p. 122). If we consider that our dog is still used for hunting the wild boar in the above-mentioned manner, that the word Corso could derive from the French word corps, i.e., corpo [body] in Italian (as much as corsetto [corset] is equal to the word corpetto [vest; literally: little body]); if we also consider that I personally have heard alternatively calling the race in Foggia Cane da Corso; for all these reasons, we could refer to what Girardon said. The reason why the dog is called this way is maybe in the fact that it has to make an attempt at a corpo a corpo [hand-to-hand fighting] with the hunted animal. This differs from the other dogs of the pack, which have to confine themselves to following the tracks, flushing the prey, and chasing it”. “Cane Corso” has appeared through the ages in various Italic dictionaries, poems and hunting chronicles. The

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earliest literary reference to the term Cane Corso we could find would be referenced In an article written by Renzo Carosio based on documents dated 1862 entitled "Upon the Salso-Marziale water in Farfa Di Sabina,Memories of Dott. Lorenzo Costantini from Poggio S. Lorenzo" The subject of the article is the siege of The Castle of Triburco in 1138. "The first to run in order to avenge the terrible infamy inflicted to the Abbot were the inhabitants of Montopoli, which were known by tradition to be brave men of arms, all provided with Cane Corso’s for their own defense and the defense of the land, so they were called Corsari (Corsairs)." the article further describes the ferocity in which the Coros’ fought "Those big dogs caused a terrible massacre during the attack, because the long lack of food made them more aggressive. The rebels had to run away and in the end abandon the castle" "But the Montopolesi discovered by chance a secret passage leading to the inside of the fortress, through which some Cane Corso’s, starving themselves and devoid of water for days, entered the castle. When they saw the inhabitants of Triburco, they were so hungry that they furiously rushed against those people causing a massacre. The exhausted defenders of the castle got so scared because of the slaughter that they abandoned the fight, looking for a way out in the waters of the Farfa river" This reference is important because it establishes a link between the Roman canis Pugnaces and the Cane Corso. Evidence supports that a Roman general during the time of Augustus named caius asinius


The name

pollionis owned a villa located in what is now Montopoli. Even today traces of Roman division of territory can be seen in the geography. Interestingly, there are stalls evident on the ground levels that are too low to stand up in, and not suitable for pigs, sheep or cows. However, the entrances and proportions are very similar to stalls used to house animals in the games at the amphitheatre in Pompeii. Again we call upon DR Breber, here he describes the history of the Corso family and their families coat of arms. “A friend of mine pointed out to me the most ancient and complete reference. It is located in an heraldic book where, thanks to a coat of arms and its history, it is possible to compare the term corso with a specific morphological type. The text narrates: "Monaldeschi, in his notebook from year 1238 and those from the following years, refers much bravery in favor of the Colonnesi family performed by Berardo di Evangelista Corso; Monaldeschi demonstrates here that this family is now called de’ Berardi, then it is called de’ Evangelisti, and later it is called de’ Corsi, even though it was the same family. The de’ Corso’s last name was given to them by the Popolo Romano who endowed them with this name and the coat of arms with a jumping cane corso because of Evangelista’s boldness and bravery demonstrated on his Popolo’s duty, as Monaldeschi says." The text is accompanied by a coat of arms where we clearly recognize the image of our dog. This precious evidence allows us to have no perplexity on the morphological type to be associated with the name "cane corso," whenev-

er this appears in historical texts”. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) uses the Cane Corso in an unfinished poem that the breed appears in, entitled L 'Asino (The Ass): "I saw a sly fox, and to my dismay I could find no net to catch him; and a can corso howling at the moon." Teofilo Folegno (1491-1544) employs the word “Corso” to describe the type of dog in combat with a bear or lion that has been wounded by a hunter. Iconographical evidence indicates that the Cane Corso type dog was traditionally utilized against the bear. However, interestingly enough Folegno place’s the Corso against the lion, generally thought to be the exclusive realm of the Molossian or Mastiff. Konrad von Gessner (1516-1564) In Historia Animalium, De Quadrupedibus “there are ferocious dogs in Corsica, brave in chasing and catching any kind of animal. You should prefer the ones with an impressive muzzle, a broad head, upper lips that hang over the lower ones, reddish eyes, dilated nostrils that seem to emit smoke, sharp teeth, heavy neck, and a broad chest; they go forward like lions, with their great feet and enormous toes: their toe nails are tough and curved in such a way that they have a better grip on the ground and fell the prey more violently. With this kind of dog it is easy for the hunters to catch and kill the game. In Italy, and above all Rome it is said that the Corsi (curshund) are used against wild boar and wild bulls. The molosso is huge and a great biter like the Corso. I believe he is considered a biter not because he attacks recklessly, but be-

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cause he has such an energetic grip and never wants to let go. Besides, I know that when a Corso has his teeth in a boar or bull he can’t be separated him without strong interference from the hunter on his jaws.” This snippet is important because it narrates a distinction between the Mastino and the Corso. The Mastino is effective at delivering the killing blow while the Corso is also effective in the chase. Tito Giovanni Scandiano, in the Poem of the Hunt (1556), describes the Cane Corso in his traditional utilizations "to assail, bite, and hold boars, bears, and wolves" In the short poem “Leporea” (1628), written in honor of Cardinale Scipione “Here the blind hounds and corsi dogs, armed with rabid ferocity attack wolves, asps, lions, and bears you will see the hunters come back home with his…” Erasmo di Valvason in his poem “La Caccia” (The Hunt, 1591) gives a compressive description of the light version of the Italian molossian dog. “Like a greyhound it should be dexterous and quick but of person more robust and large it should be big, but not so heavy or weighed-down by great mass that it loses its breath; if should abound in large bones and nerves and it should be easily angered, harsh and proud”. This is an apt description of the breed, even by today’s standards. ENCI Judge Danilo Mainardi wrote a newspaper article in 1989 about what famed native Sicilian author Leonardo Sciascia had written in his Occhio di Capra (Eye of the Goat). Interestingly enough this is essentially a dictionary

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on the dialect of Racalmuto, a Sicilian town about 90 km south west of Palermo."Reading the word barraggieddru I had learned that, with a decree issued on 30th November 1750, Charles III had prohibited the use of Cane Corso by policemen to chase criminals" In Novare (1805-1815) Departmental Prefecture of Agogna; The following ordinance was enacted; "We order the owners of cane corsos and dogs with fiery temperament, used to rushing and biting even if they had not been provoked, to keep them safely tied up in their respective houses, so that they should not harm anybody in any way”. It seems based on this ordinance and the events in Racalmuto; in southern Italy in the early 1900th century a form of BSL had begun to be practiced. Mina Palumbo, in the Mammals of Sicily (1868) describes the breed "obtuse, short head, very large muzzle, ears hanging from the apexes, gray skin with black oblique stripes, and little intelligence, Catania, Petralia Sottana, Castelbuono, Palermo." truth be told, an interesting description of a brindle Cane Corso, we do however take issue with her assessment of the breed intelligence. In her definition she makes a distinction between the mastiff and the molossian, “Canis Molossus": common name "English Cane Corsu" and Canis mastivus" common name "Cani Corsu" “English cane corso; Dog with very strong shapes, it’s very big head, its more protruding lower jaw are distinctive features of this species. It is common in England; I saw beautiful types in Palermo

coming from that place”. One can suppose that the undershot bite was introduced to the native Italian Cane Corso via the introduction of these English type dogs. Apparently the old adage might be true “history repeats itself” one need only bring to mind the infusion of the blood of the pugnaces Britanniae to augment the Roman molossian. Elementi di Storia Naturale" [Elements of Natural History] from G. Omboni (Milan, 1852). "The cane corso is striped, it looks like the bloodhounds or the gun dogs, and it is used for watch." Dictionary of Italian Language from N. Zingarelli (1922), we find the definition: "Corso, species of big and ferocious dog with black fur."

PROVINCIAL DIALECTS In the past this breed had been known by names with provincial connotations such as dogo di Sicilia and Dogo di Puglia or Apuglian dog. In fact Prof. Giovanni Bonatti was able to get the breed officially recognized on an International level by the U.C.I (Union Cinologica Italian) as “Dogo di Puglia”. Fortunately this recognition was short lived. Which had it remained as such, would have been an egregious miscalculation, much like the Neapolitan Mastiff and Maremma-Abruzzi Sheepdog. The name only acknowledges one regional variant, the Puglian clan. Truly Puglia was a bastion where the breed thrived. However, Cane Corso, is a broader term that encompasses the breed’s diffusion throughout all of Italy and Sicily. When we interviewed DR Poalo Breber in 2003 we asked him the following question regarding

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the different names associated with the this type of dog; Can you tell us about breeds called “Bucciriscu Calabrese” “Calabrien Cane Corso” U Bucciriscu”? His reply was “These are just regional expressions for the same dog. I don’t think there is any real difference. I don’t think there is enough to make them different breeds. These are just different expressions in different dialects for this type of dog in the different regions of Italy. The original stock in the 1970’s was found in the province of Foggia and in Bari, which is in Puglia, other dogs were found in Calabria and that’s it. These are the dogs in which all of today’s dogs stem from. They say that there were still a few still in Sicily, but I don’t know if they found them. This however does not extend to Corsica. Unfortunately, even fairly recently the Battaglia dictionary still has the breed listed as "large dog of fierce character, originally from Corsica" There is no iconographical evidence to indicate that the Cane Corso existed or was employed in any number on the Isle of Corsica. In the area between Lucania and Calabria the term “Can’ Huzz” and or “Cane Guzzo” was used to describe the same “robust" and "strong." In Campania, the term "Cuòrsicu": Corsico, Cane Coriscano; also meaning a robust and strong dog. In Molise the term "Corzi" or "Corsi" was employed with the accompanying description: short haired molossians with larger appetites than the Abruzzese mastiff, they were also the "cani da corte" (courtyard dogs) "cani da presa" (the gripping dog) in big-game hunting

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The name Cane Corso, to us is in and of itself, a form of oral history. It tells you what this breed is, and what he was used for, and even where he comes from. He so ingratiated himself to those that he served that he was almost a cultural icon to rural the southern Italian landscape. The Cane Corso was so prized and held in such high regard that there are several metaphors and antidotes associated with his name; "can corso, a man of proud aspect and attitude. “je’nu cors, is what an elderly peasant would say to describe a young man who was the essence of moral and physical virtue” M. Emma Alaima, Sicilian Proverb; "A cani corsi nun ci diri’ngirri", meaning that "don’t incite one who is already irascible". Paolo Breber tells us “there is a saying; he is ugly like a Cane Corso”. Giovanni Verga, in Malavoglia (Bad Will) (1881), says, "He bites worse than a cane Corso". Tommaseo, in his dictionary, offers the metaphor, "can corso, a man of proud aspect and attitude." The Abruzzese/Molisano dictionary (Rome 1968) contains the term "Córz∂", used in the dialect of Campobasso to indicate a "guard dog." The Nuovo Vocabolario Siciliano-Italiano (1868) the term "Cani", Cani Corsu, Can Corsico or Corso" "Lasserisi jiri cum un Cani Corsu" translated means "throw one’s self on something with violence". To once again quote DR Flavio Bruno “Do qualities of the man describe the dog, or do those of the dog describe the man?”


The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage By Michael S Ertaskiran

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There, without question, is a huge treasure trove of iconographical evidence that gives us a glance into this type of dogs past. I say “this type of dog” because the modern interpretation of what constitutes a breed is vastly different than what historical parameters might specify. This rich history handed down to us through the manuscript’s of history’s greatest scholars, various statues, figurines, mosaics, engravings, traditions, superstitions, folk lore and the like, seem to be somewhat contested between our breed and the fanciers of the Neapolitan Mastiff. Both lay claim to the same artifacts and call them their own. I believe that both are right, and both are wrong. Clearly there are two defined varieties, the heavy and the light version, in my opinion unfortunately for the fanciers of the mastino, the Cane Corso type is present in far more abundance. This is the phenotype that survived, and thrived in the rural southern Italian country side. The reason he survived is he worked for his dinner. I personally find it perplexing that the mastino ambient would attempt to own BOTH arch-types, particularly when the attributes of the heavy variety are so prized and sought after amongst the mastinari. That, coupled with the fact that no attempt was made to cultivate or incorporate the light version into the parameters of what would eventually be the modern mastino. The mastino ambient extols the virtues of this historic hunter, yet the modern mastino is completely incapable of such tasks. This morphological type is often labeled with the pejorative –underbred. The only nod to the light version can be seen in the original Neapolitan Mastiff

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standard; with the sub names Cane de Presa and Cane Corso. I believe this is because prior to the 1950/60’s there is no historical nor iconographical reference to the name Neapolitan Mastiff, the only “breed” name that survived in antiquity, and can be proven through time would be Cane Corso. Perhaps, as DR. Paolo Breber speculates in 1973 that the Neapolitan Mastiff is but a very specialized version of the Cane Corso. I believe the term Cane Corso itself to be a form of iconography-it’s literal translation means robust strong dog. It is less a breed name than a description of a type of dog. “In Italy and especially Rome it is said that one is best served by using Cane Corso’s against wild boar and wild bulls” Konrad von Gessner. It is the description of a type of dog you need to do a type of work; work associated with this breeds historical utilizations. Cane Corso is as much a verb as it is a noun.

CRADLE OF DOMESTICATION Let us go back in time to Mesopotamia and Nivinah. Undoubtedly the terra cotta dog from the second millennium BC located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art shows characteristics of a more mastino type dog. His dewlap, accentuated bone and overall impression are remarkably similar to the modern Mastino. Curiously though, he does seem to have slightly convergent naso-cranial axis of the skull. The Nivinah terra cotta dog circa 850 BC located in the British museum in London again shows a more mastino type dog. He is huge in relation to the man, and again displays the characteristic dewlap and absence of any perceived


The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage

Mesopotamian terracotta dog in Metropolitan Museum of Art

ing or flock guardian type breeds and invariably there is made mention of the molossian, Roman molossian or some derivative... Highly disputed are the true origins of this enigmatic “breed” They are described by various scholars of the day from long muzzled with a tuft of hair to blunt muzzled, heavy and prognathic. For certain the Etymology (if not the dog) has Greek origins. As it was first Greek scholars who made mention of this molossian dog they attribute his origins to the Molossians of Epirus. (This is now modern day Albania) Alexander the Great’s mother was from Epirus and though disputed, he was thought to have employed war dogs from said region in his campaign’s.

agility. In Assyrian bas-reliefs circa 700 depict hunting dogs; while not Corso type clearly they differ from the dogs of Nivinah and Mesopotamia. They have much tighter skin around the neck; they present a much leggier construction with a retracted abdomen. In one scene these dogs are being restrained by their master’s while going to the hunt. In another scene the dogs are in full pursuit after wild stag with spears filling the air. The question remains, were these hunting dogs of a different variety from the dogs of Nivinah or was pressure from man responsible for selectively evolving a dog better suited for hunting.

HEIR TO THE MOLOSSIAN The oft invoked molossian is claimed by not only the ambient of the Cane Corso and mastino, but also the Mastiff and many bully type breeds. Pick up a book on any number of large work-

Canis Pugnax on a Roman Sarcophagi relief 200 BC Exhibits a very Cane Corso like morphology

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This is a rather graphic rendering of what the Roman war dog would have looked like in battle as the escort of the legions

From the mighty molossian sprang the Roman Canis Pugnax. Introduced to the Italic mainland via Greek imperialism the molossian provided the genetic raw material necessary for the Romans to develop an improved a war dog of their own. As history illustrates the Romans assimilated what they conquered and improved upon it. This Roman war dog was used as an auxiliary to the legions and as entertainment in the arenas against all manner of animal and or human. To augment the Canis Pugnax abilities, dogs from England were brought back to the Empire. The Romans met the pugnaces Britanniae in battle during their European campaign’s and had come to value their indomitable fighting spirit. These “imports” would be added to the Roman

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Pugnax. It was said of the pugnaces Britanniae “they were inflamed with the spirit of Mars the god of war” Interestingly enough, many believe the infusion of the dogs from England are responsible for the undershot bite in the Cane Corso, it is also hypothesized that the Britanniae was originally a molossian that had been brought to England by the sea fairing Phoenicians. The Roman procurators cinogiae made the distinction between the heavy and light versions, the pugnaces-those that attacked wild animals and the villatici-those that guarded farms. These are rough characterizations of typologies that translate into the Cane Corso and Neapolitan Mastiff respectively. There should be little doubt that these dogs were the progenitors of It-


The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage

aly’s two native molossians. The blood is surely there, perhaps diluted by foreign defilement, but never the less it is there

MIDDLE AGES TO THE MERIDONE The fall of the Roman Empire predicated the fall of the Roman war dog. However, this was not the end for this type of dog; he seemingly melted into the Italic landscape like a fig tree in one of Pinelli’s engravings. While no longer the frieri (It was common practice for the Romans to strap buckets of flaming oil to the backs of their war dogs and send them into the enemy’s front lines to disrupt the opposing cavalry, these dogs were called frieri or fire bearer) he did find a home with the Italian country folk. This Roman dog was transformed from warrior to a somewhat more peaceful existence as a farmer, hunter and guardian. His mettle forged on the battlefield and so versatile, would now serve him well in these daunting tasks in the invaluable aid of man. This age is where we find the most interesting evidence of a Cane Corso type dog. A Roman mosaic depicting the wild boar hunt (Villa del Casale III-IV century a.d.., Piazza Armerina) show’s a very Cane Corso like fawn dog. While I will not presume that this would be a direct line of succession to the modern Cane Corso, surely this is dog is more closely related to the Cane Corso than the mastino. He is agile, tight skinned and sinewy, signature characteristics of the Cane Corso. Couple that with the fact that he is on a boar hunt, a traditional utilization of the Cane Corso, a tasked that morpho-functionally is infinitely more suited to the agile Corso,

Fawn Corso like dog with a black mask

rather than the heavy mastino. After the mastino’s official recognition, the Cane Corso was still employed in this utilization. A miniature by Giovannino de Grassi (1390) shows a light, athletic molossian type dog with a prognathic jaw-an essential characteristic in type for the Cane Corso, even today. The Reggia di Caserta, fountain of Diana (1790) the last two dogs on the left are dogs with cropped ears, retracted abdomen and long, lean musculature. Neapolitan crèche (XVIII century) Figurine of a fawn Corso like dog with a black mask, again the black mask is an essential characteristic of the Cane Corso. These artifacts that to my eyes are clearly representative of the light version (Cane Corso arch-type).

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Mosaic depicting a molossian dog with more Cane Corso type features

known as “Cane Corso” as I have stated earlier in this article I feel that Cane Corso is more of an adjective than a breed name. Around the 1100’s this adjective began to be associated with a specific type of dog, the light molossian. This is evidenced in a number of areas; -Giulio Cesare Scaligero (1484-1558) in his translation and commentary in Latin of Aristotle’s Storia degli animali, speaks of large dogs employed in the hunt of bulls and boar (once again historical Cane Corso utilizations) called Alani, Corsi, dogas. -Konrad von Gessner (1516-1564) In Historia Animalium, De Quadrupedibus “there are ferocious dogs in Corsica, brave in chasing and catching any kind of animal. You should prefer the ones with an impressive muzzle, a broad head, upper lips that hang over the lower ones, reddish eyes, dilated nostrils that seem to emit smoke, sharp teeth, heavy neck, and a broad

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chest; they go forward like lions, with their great feet and enormous toes: their toe nails are tough and curved in such a way that they have a better grip on the ground and fell the prey more violently. With this kind of dog it is easy for the hunters to catch and kill the game. In Italy, and above all Rome it is said that the Corsi (curshund) are used against wild boar and wild bulls. The molosso is huge and a great biter like the Corso. I believe he is considered a biter not because he attacks recklessly, but because he has such an energetic grip and never wants to let go. Besides, I know that when a Corso has his teeth in a boar or bull he can’t be separated him without strong interference from the hunter on his jaws.” This snippet is important because it narrates a distinction between the Mastino and the Corso. The Mastino is effective at delivering the killing blow while the Corso is also effective in the chase. These are just a few examples. The records that immortalize the Cane Corso in the middle ages is too abundant to cite here, they include Tito Giovanni Scandiano, Giambattista Marino, Niccolo Macchiavelli The common denominator in these missives is that the Cane Corso is mentioned by name, and he is described performing the very task’s that proved to be his salvation. Chief among historians during this period with respect to representing the Cane Corso and his everyday endeavors would be Bartolomeo Pinelli. He must have had a deep affection to this type of dog because he included them in numerous engravings whether the dog was the primary subject matter or just a prop included to dress up the


The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage

Pinelli engraving circa 1800

scene. What I find extremely interesting is that the works of DR Flavio Bruno read like a narrative of Pinelli’s depictions. Dr Bruno is a veterinarian from Santa Croce Di Magliano who was an essential contributor to the recovery of the breed in the 1980’s and has authored many books on the Cane Corso and his historical and socio-economic utilizations in the rural southern Italian

countryside. Dr Bruno’s descriptions come from firsthand experience and from the accounts of those people who actually use/used the Cane Corso on the farm or hunt. Those who treasured and jealously guarded this breed and kept the flame lit from generation to generation. The renderings match the peasant farmer’s accounts starkly, there is no mistake-these dogs from the days of Pinelli and the dogs of the meridone whose exploits are detailed in the tomes of Flavio Bruno are one in the same. You need look no further than Pinelli’s engraving that depicts two Corso’s locked in combat. The scene depicted in the sketch has been relived countless times in the meridone, here is DR Bruno’s description of a battle between the two contenders “The two combatants reared up on their hind legs, chest against chest, their paws locked in a wrestler’s embrace, one on the other’s shoulders They tried to knock each other to the ground and bite one another’s neck. One dog’s bites would be parried by the other’s teeth who, in turn, was attempting the same maneuver, and then a rapid succession of bites, pushes, losses of balance, and rapid recoveries would finally lead to the victory of the stronger dog”. One can conclude that in some way DR Bruno is the literal interpreter for Pinelli, without trying, he narrates the artist rendering’s. In doing so he validates the historical reality of the Cane Corso. Once again we will we call upon Pinelli’s engravings to illustrate the breed’s versatility. This depiction pits the Cane Corso against an enraged bull; he is a typical Cane Corso, cropped and docked biting the bull’s ear to incapacitate it. It is no

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coincidence that these works, generations apart coincide so closely with the breeds modern utilizations, that is because they are the same dog, as it was and as it is now-performing the same tasks it has for centuries. Further deepening of the subject matter at hand we have “Majolic” by Francesco Antonio Saverio, in this painting we have a white Cane Corso type dog this time biting the ear of a cow. It is important to note that the dog in the painting is white, while no longer a sought after color in the breed, it is a historical fact that at one time this was not an uncommon color, and actually still exist in the breed. Aside from the color this molossians morphology is distinctly Cane Corso.

THE LAST BASTION, THE REMNANTS OF THE CANE CORSO I have been in the company of important figures associated with the Neapolitan Mastiff here in the U.S., and been told that the Cane Corso is a peasant’s dog. I realize that this was meant as a slight; however, I did not take it as such. There is no doubt this breed’s salvation was the peasant farmer of southern Italy. Without his employment the Cane Coro’s fate would have been the same as Romeonce proud, but now nothing more than a faded memory. What made him so valued was his diverse array of talents. Foremost was his tenacious character, but what set him apart from the mastino was his agility and athleticism. With the golden age of the Cane Corso behind him brought on by the advent of modern farming equipment,

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Cane Corso from the 1950’s


The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage

From Sicily "A cani corsi nun ci diri’ngirri", meaning that "don’t incite one who is already irascible" and "Oggi haiu vistu lu munni alla riversu ca lu liebru assicutava u cani corsu" or "today I saw the world upside down; a hare was chasing a Cane Corso". Paolo Breber tells us “there is a saying, he is ugly like a Cane Corso” Giovanni Verga, in Malavoglia (Bad Will) (1881), says, "He bites worse than a cane Corso;" Tommaseo, in his dictionary, offers the metaphor, "can corso, a man of proud aspect and attitude."

POST MODERN

Coat of Arms of the Corso family

the devastating impact of war, and the migration north of a large part of the work force due in part to the industrial growth of Northern Italy. With the number of farms diminishing the breed retreated further into the hinterland of the Italian south. With only remnants left he could be found scattered in only the most remote parts of the meridone, far off the beaten path. These peasant farmers still valued his talents and still employed him in the traditional ways. They leave their own evidences, such as a family’s coat of arms, we are lucky enough to have some valuable photos, ceramics and accessories of the Cane Corso such as the vraccale collar, used in the war with the wolf. There are also less tangible evidences such as antidotes, proverbs, customs and sayings that intertwine with this breed and his place in the meridone.

There is no disputing the existence of a mastino type dog, nor can we begrudge him the share of iconographical heritage that is rightfully his. I merely wish to point out that the mastino does not have the market cornered with respect to these artifacts. There is clearly and indisputably two arch-types, the heavy version and the light, the mastinari cannot lay claim to both, just as we the Cane Corso ambient cannot claim the terra cotta dog from Mesopotamia or the heavy mastiff from Corsica. Lucio Giunio Mederato Columella in his work De Re Rustica narrates a description of the ancient mastino “because a black dog has a more terrifying appearance; and during the day, a prowler can see him and be frightened by his appearance. When night falls, the dog, lost in the shadows, can attack without being seen. The head is so massive that it seems to be the most important part of the body. The ears fall toward the front, the brilliant penetrating eyes are black or gray, the chest is deep and hairy, the shoulder wide, the lags thick, the tail short, the hind

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The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage

legs powerful, the toenails strong and great. His temperament must be neither too gentle nor too ferocious and cruel; whereas the first would make him apt to welcome a thief, the second would make him predisposed to attack the people of the house. He should be of solomn and not merry character and must always react with rage against all intruders. Above all, these dogs not only must demonstrate vigilance in guarding without making a mistake but must be guarding out of diligence and a questioning nature rather than because they are fearful. For the first type will give the warning only when they are sure something bad is happening, and the second type will get excited about every little noise or false suspect. It does not matter that house guard dogs have heavy bodies and are not swift of foot. They are meant to carry out their work from close quarters and do not need to run far. In fact, these dogs want to stay behind closed walls or at the house without even trying to run off. They do their work very well by their astute sense of smell which informs them who is coming, and they warn with their bark whoever is approaching not to come near. And if the person persist in approaching, they violently attack. Indeed the most important quality in this dogs is that they are guard dogs and do not permit an attack. The second quality is that, if provoked, they will defend and fight with vigor and tenacity.” When reading the first lines I thought perhaps Columella was describing our Corso, “The head is so massive that it seems to be the most important part of the body” definitely a character-

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istic of the Cane Corso type dog, as was as the descriptions of the chest, shoulders and tail. However the comparisons end there, “It does not matter that house guard dogs have heavy bodies and are not swift of foot. They are meant to carry out their work from close quarters and do not need to run far” clearly this is referencing the heavy version, the mastino arch-type. Interestingly, Columella mentions the practice of cutting the dogs toes off so as to keep him bound to the property. Apparently it was not an unusual, this practice was called “lawing” The Mastino was meant to be a pre-eminent guard dog, bred to be as frightening as possible. That was his historical utilization, while the Cane Corso type dog shared in this type of work, the mastino is specialized to do it. Unfortunately the Cane Corso suffers from the fact that the Neapolitan Mastiff is generally acknowledged as Italy’s national molossian. To that end there is an almost institutionalized belief that all things molossian are the exclusive birthright of the Neapolitan Mastiff. There has been an almost bias against the Cane Corso, (curiously similar to the bias that exist in Italy between north and south) when compared to the mastino, so much so that I feel this bias has even found its way into the Italian standard. The standard is worded in such a way as to mold the Cane Corso into an almost anti-Neo. I believe a direct result of this would be the proliferation of the Boxer type Cane Corso. Never present in the historical portrayal of the breed or in the meridone prior to the breed’s recovery.


The assimilation of the Cane Corso’s iconographical heritage

Both arch-types are sufficiently represented through the ages; both are valid heirs to the Eprian molossian, the Roman canis pugnax and pugnaces Britanniae. While these two great molossians have a shared ancestry, they did not share the same road through history. The heavy type was a fierce guardian, huge and imposing, while the light version was a hunting/farm dog- swift, agile and powerful. There is a definite distinction; you need look no further than the iconography. References; • IL Cane Corso, Origini e prospettive del molosso italico S. Gandolfi & F. Casolino • Brevi Annotazioni Sul Cane Corso, Nel Tempo, Nelle Diverse Condizioni Geografiche, Ambientali E Sociali, Flavio Bruno. • IL Cane Corso, Renzo Carosio • IL Cane Corso, Flavio Bruno • Fattoria Ad Indirizzo CerealicoZootecnico, Flavio Bruno • IL Cane Corso, Edizioni L’Orsa • IL Cane Corso, Giuseppe Chiecchi & Giorgio Gualtieri 1st Edition • IL Cane Corso, Giuseppe Chiecchi & Giorgio Gualtieri 2nd Edition • Testimoniaze Visive E Grafiche Di Un Amico Ritrovato: "IL Corso" Flavio Bruno & Giovanni Tumminelli • The Official Book of the Neapolitan Mastiff, Sherilyn K. Allen • The Neapolitan Mastiff; Mario Vacchi

Supplied by Janina Dianova-Karasa

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INTERVIEWED BY Michael Ertaskiran, Godiva Cane Corso, New York, USA

PAOLO BREBER T

o say that we owe the very existence of the Cane Corso today to DR Breber would not be far from the truth. It was upon the urging of Giovanni Bonnetti that Breber began the search for this elusive and maybe mythical piece of Italy’s past. Breber was the man who laid the ground work and scoured the southern Italian country side for not only valid subjects but to seek out information on its morphology and utilizations from the native Foggiani who might have some recollection of the breed. As a matter of fact many of the pictures that now appear in the flood of books to hit the market these days (both in Italian and English) belong to him. These are pictures he had to pay the families that owned the dogs for the use of. He add’s that they have been used without his permission; also many chapters in these books are like carbon copies of articles he has written. It was an article written by DR Breber on the Abruzzi mastino that aroused the interested of a then 16 yr old Stefano Gandolfi, in this article there was a picture of a Cane Corso that Breber explained was a mollosar native to the south that was near extinct He also wrote that he had begun a breeding program to try and preserve the breed. Breber in collaboration with Gandolfi and the Malavasi brothers began the reselection of the breed and formed a breed

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club (SACC). In 1986 Breber decided to leave SACC in a dispute over what is the correct bite, he remained semi-involved with the breed for a couple of years and arranged the conference of the Civitella Alfedina in 1990. This is a gathering of all the important passionates of the day to speak about the breed. Breber eventually withdraws even more from an active role in the breed, so much so that he did not know that the FCI had changed to official name of the breed to Cane Corso Italiano. As time goes by those with selfish reasons are able to marginalize his role in the breeds recovery to the point were most people outside of Italy don’t even know he was involved. DR Breber’s beliefs on not only the Cane Corso but also the Abruzzi Mastiff make him not exactly a popular figure when it comes to the ENCI; he has in the past been highly critical of the directions the organization has taken both breeds. He also detests dog shows and what he calls “dog fanciers” he feels they dilute the dogs ability to perform what it was truly intended and developed for. It seems there is a division in the old-time Corso community between the people who bred the dog for its historical uses on the Masseria and the people who did the selection for conformation shows and used a rigid standard.


Dr Breber is firmly entrenched in the formers camp with the likes of Flavio Bruno, Matteo Prencipe and Alfonso Comer. As opposed to the latter group consisting of Giancarlo and Lucano Malavasi, Stefano Gandolfi and Fernando Cassalino. It seems that these divisions are geographically predisposed, as the ancient resentments between the north and south manifest itself in the history of the Cane Corso. DR Brebers beliefs about the Cane Corso are diametrically opposed to what is now considered conventional wisdom surrounding the breed. For example one of DR Brebers strongest convictions is that an essential characteristic of the breed is a scissor bite, a completely opposite point of view from Stefano Gandolfi and company. I recited some quotes to DR Breber I had gleaned on prior trips to Italy from old-time corstisi to see what his reaction would be “In the south we had all kinds of mollosans, all that were cropped and docked were called Cane Corso”- Verdino, old time breeder of Rio Nerro kennels. “In the old days there were many types of Cane Corso’s, each province had it’s own type of Cane Corso. The type chosen by the group from Mantova was certainly very nice, but not the only one”-Accrniche, president of southern Italian breeds assoc. Breber emphatically agrees with these state-

ments in discussions with DR Breber he conveys to me the breed should have a scissors bite, parallel axis of the skull, 60 to 40 head to muzzle ratio and a heavy undercoat. For the record these are the characteristics described by Michael Sottile when he drafted the original FIC Cane Corso standard, what a shame the people who criticized him all those years for what they perceived to be an incorrect description of the breed did not choose to ask DR Breber what his opinion was. DR Breber offers us an insight to the breed probably not explored as much as it should be, probably because what he say’s fly’s in the face of what we have been told about the breed and who played major roles in it’s recovery. Breber himself should also be faulted for this, had he not decided to just walk away it would have been much harder to minimalize his role and efforts.

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Interview with Paolo Breber

» Tell us about the name, and the different connotations? “Cane Corso” there have been various interpretations, it is very ancient they used this term “Corso” to indicate this kind of dog. You could find it in documents going back centuries so it is the authentic name of the dog. “Corso” maybe it has the same root as the English word Course, sort of a tough or rough dog. Other people have said other things but I think this is the most likely meaning.

» Can you tell us of any antidotes, traditions sayings or customs that involve the Cane Corso? Historically? Yes there is a saying “he is ugly like a Cane Corso” When I actually first met the breed it was one the verge of extinction, I managed to pick up a few things from the old-timers, but there was already very little information available at the time. One thing, which was often repeated, was that it was always very docile. The owners who were these people like game keepers or wardens of farm houses would live with the dog day and night as they worked the farm, this sort of very close relationship developed and they would really understand each other, without any kind of conventional training that we would think of today. These old-timers would train them, each man in his own way. Often the dog would obey some sort of secret signal from the man, like the raising of an eyebrow or the waving of a finger, this is what they would like to do. This is so different from the standardized way we train dogs these days, we think of police dogs or other types of dogs, we have manuals and we teach them to obey the same words and same commands, so for me this is rather interesting.

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» Can you tell us how the Cane Corso’s morphological characteristics played a role in its utilizations, were different dogs used for different things? The dog is sort of a compromise between strength and agility; he has to be not light and not heavy. He has to have more speed than say endurance, more quickness, and sort of short fast action, more than say being able to run for miles and miles. This is what the text say, as a matter of fact I have quotations from the 17th and 18th centuries that state the dog is strong, quick and fast, not much endurance but these are qualities you would need to tackle a bull who has run amuck. The dog would have to go in there and grab the bull and hold it until the men could intervene. So this is what you see in his conformation, he is strong boned and powerful but not heavy, he should be big but not heavy, he should move lightly. He is not resistant to living permanently out in the open air, in other words he is good for intense hard work, but then he needs periods of rest and shelter. You would take him out to work but then when you go back home you can’t keep him out in the rain and snow like you would other breeds of dog, like a sheepdog that would live his whole life out in the open air.

» Can you tell us about breeds called “Bucciriscu Calabrese” “Calabrien Cane Corso” U Bucciriscu”? These are just regional expressions for the same dog. I don’t think there is any real difference. I don’t think there is enough to make them different breeds. These are just different expressions in different dialects for this type of dog in

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Interview with Paolo Breber

the different regions of Italy. The original stock in the 1970’s was found in the province of Foggia and in Bari, which is in Puglia, other dogs were found in Calabria and that’s it. These are the dogs in which all of today’s dogs stem from. They say that there were still a few still in Sicily, but I don’t know if they found them.

» Describe what the reasons were for pitting Cane Corso’s against each other? These were people who would try and show who had the bigger stronger dog, it was never a full time hobby or sport, but they enjoyed this sort of activity, they would not only use Cane Corso but other breeds as well. It never really developed into a blood sport with particular rules and so on, it was never developed to the extent that it was in other countries.

» Describe in your mind what the ideal character of the Cane Corso is? He is a dog in which a man could control completely, a very strong dog, afraid of nothing, easy to train. Basically when not in action a very friendly dog completely attached to man. Other dogs can be left on a chain and only see his master a couple of hours a day, or a dog that is content to live with the livestock it has to guard. The Corso is different; he suffers if he does not live in the company of man all the time. So he forms a very close association with his master.

» Could you tell me a little about yourself and how you became involved with the recovery of the Cane Corso? I started getting interested in dogs when I was about sixteen or seventeen,

for many years I studied the Abruzze mastiff which is the dog that guards the sheep against wolves in the south. I wrote an article and book about this breed. A man by the name of Giovanni Bonnetti read some one of my articles and wrote me a letter when he learned I was going to work in the south of Italy, the province of Foggia. He told me that there should be this breed of dog there, made in such a way, look for this kind of dog, I’ve never seen it myself but this friend of mine Ballotta who was an old-time dog judge had noticed them in those areas before the war. So I started looking for this dog and finally after a couple of years I managed to find the first specimens at a dog show in Foggia. This is when it all started. There was no information about them at least anything written, so I started interviewing the local country people. I slowly started to get an idea of this dog, the way it looked, and the king of things it used to do. What it was used for. I managed to buy the bitch from the show and I mated her with a dog, this other dog I found, that was the first litter born away from it’s original setting. Then the whole thing got started, slowly first then much faster later on, this was back in 1973-74.

» Could you describe your first encounter with the breed? First of all nobody had told me exactly what it looked like. I more or less vaguely was told what kind of dog it was. Once I saw one dog that was obviously a mutt it was a cross between a German shepherd and something else, what struck me was the brindle coat of this cross breed. This was the first inkling, the first sort of suspicion. Obviously I was looking for a dog that was different from all the other dogs I knew. I wasn’t sure it was a pure type,

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like a pure mollosus type, pure hound type or a pure greyhound type. I didn’t know what basic type it was. It only slowly came out. Then finally I saw my first Cane Corso at this dog show in 1975 or 76.

» Could you give me a general outline of how the recovery was started? As I said before I got this bitch “Mirak” she was black, she wasn’t very big. She had a very nice personality. When I bought her (she was already an adult dog) from this man from Lucera, which is in the province of Foggia. I had seen her first at this dog show then I asked him if he were willing to sell her, he was. I took her when she was in heat to this male I had also met at this show his name was “Aliot” and he was from Ortanova. They produced the first litter of seven pups, which turned out very well. There was a black dog and he was “Dauno” there was a brindle bitch and she was “Brina” and there were 5 slate gray puppies.

» How do you feel about the direction the breed has taken in recent years? I am strongly against this business of the undershot jaw that is my main objection. My main criticism is the fact that there are so many of these undershot dogs. The breed is not undershot, he has a scissors bite, a regular strong bite. The traditional historic role of the dog was expressed through the bite, it was a catch dog, so if this was a catch dog the jaws have to be strong and perfect-big strong teeth fitting perfectly one into the other, so you don’t want a completely deformed jaw that can’t do the job as well. The undershot jaw is a defect. That is my main criticism. There is still a lot of nice dogs around,

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the old type is still there if you know where to look for it. The dog should not get to big because if he gets to big he gets to heavy and looses his agility, his nimbleness.

» What prompted your departure from the SACC? I wanted to have a part in establishing the standard that was really the thing I cared for. I wasn’t interested in setting up a kennel or selling dogs that’s not my business. I really wanted to play a role in setting down the standard and when this was done without my participation, and I found out they put in this business of the undershot jaw this really got me cross. That was the end of my association with the SACC.

» Do you feel the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso share a common ancestor? Well…the Neapolitan Mastiff is something very different of course they are both mollosus dogs like the Boxer or Rottwieler, they all belong to the same category. I don’t think there is a very close relationship because the Neapolitan mastiff is such a highly specialized dog. Even the Neapolitan mastiff if you look at the dogs they had in the fifties, they weren’t so exaggerated in their characteristics; they didn’t have these very long flews and dewlap. Which I think is a hindrance to the capacity of the dog to move around and act normally. I once saw a Neapolitan mastiff snap at a person who came to close he didn’t touch the person, but he bit into his own lips, he was drooling blood. So I mean a dog trying to bite someone and only succeeding in biting himself obviously shows this business of breeding for all this skin has been overdone.


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Interview with Paolo Breber

» Why was the recovery program centered in Mantova? Well they were the first people who had a kennel to be interested in the dogs. They had the pens and the kennels to start a breeding program. They looked me up and offered to collaborate in a friendly way. I was glad to accept because I couldn’t handle the business by myself. I didn’t have the room, I wasn’t living in the country were one could keep say 15 or 20 dogs at the same time.

» Could you describe those original rustic dogs-Dauno, Brina, Aliot, Alke, Tipsi, Mirak, Picciut? Of all the dogs from these first litters, only Brina had an inverted scissors bite, Dauno and the rest had a scissors bite. Brina’s bite you couldn’t see it from the outside, you would have to open her lips to be able to tell. Aliot certainly didn’t have an undershot jaw. Aliot and Mirak were very different, Aliot was tall with a long muzzle, Mirak was a short dog, she has a long body but her lags weren’t very long. Her head was sort of shortish. The puppies came out very well, they were homogeneous, and they weren’t all different shapes and sizes. You would think that some would take after the father and some would take after the mother, but this wasn’t the case. Dauno was a very fine dog, Brina was also a very beautiful bitch, although her hind legs weren’t weak, but kind of out (cow hocked) I mean she could run and jump and everything, it didn’t actually stop her from moving smoothly. The rest of the dogs were also nice but I lost sight of them so I only saw the careers of these two, the brindle and the black. I crossed these dogs with other dogs I eventually found, like this very

fine but very old dog named Picciut, from San Paolo. He was also a very fine dog. What I found interesting was the coat, this short but not very short coat, and this very thick hair almost like bristles. It was smooth along the body, it wouldn’t stick out at an angle. The dog had this wooly undercoat in winter. This was obviously an adaptation to outdoor life. It wasn’t this sort of fine velvety coat like a Boxer or Doberman.

» Can tell us about some of the methods employed in the training for the Cane Corso on the Masseria? Well I don’t have that much information on the topic. With the hunting dogs they used to train them on young pigs, the idea to go out and grab is instinctive, the point is they have to learn how to grab it in the proper place otherwise they could get killed the same with steers. It is important that the dog would grab the ears or snout. With the boar they would have to grab either the ear or the back of the hind leg. Boars are sort of stiff and are unable to turn around on the dog. The reason the dog shouldn’t grab the boar by the snout is because he has the ability to push the dog to the ground and get at him, so the ear is fine, even better is the hind leg.

» Do you have a theory on how the Mollosan was developed and made it’s way to Italy? I said before this type of dog has been in existence since the beginning of history. There are a lot of quotations in literature that talk the Phoenicians trading, importing and exporting dogs, certainly if not the Phoenician then the Romans who’s empire stretched across the ancient world certainly would have had access to these dogs. Obviously

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they originate from the Middle East, they originate from north Persia the areas around the Caspian and the Black sea’s. Those are also the area’s where all domestic breeds originated. This is not just someone’s theory that animals like the sheep, goat, horse and donkey they all came from that area-northern Iran, Caucus, and Caspian. I’m sure that’s where they originate. It’s those ancient civilizations, which did the original domestication. That is where these dogs were born; the original type was developed, starting from some kind of primitive wolf like dog. I don’t think they came from the Tibetan Mastiff, I don’t think there is a direct link, they are obviously related but I don’t think that these Mollosus dogs were bred from the Tibetan Mastiff. The Tibetan dog was just another of the variety’s

» Describe what became of the Cane Corso after the fall of the Roman Empire? It was the dog that was needed for certain practices in animal husbandry. If you are raising cattle or raising pigs you’re going to need this kind of dog. Since it’s a catch dog it might have to tackle range-bred cattle, which is half wild. You may have trouble with managing the bulls, if you have a bull charging at you because it refuses to be held you send the dog after it. He will save your life because he will get in between the bull and yourself and he will take the charge except he is fast enough to dodge the horns and eventually he can grab the snout or ear and actually pull the bull down. They used to use this type of dog in the bullfights in Spain. I don’t think they use them any longer but up until a short while ago when the bull was no good, when he wouldn’t show fight with the actual men and they wanted to get ride of

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“It is the spirit that commands the body and not vice versa. If I want race horses, I am not going to breed horses with long legs but horses that win races. Of course, in practice the two matters tend to meet but one should never confuse causes and effects.” ~Paolo Breber

him, get him out they would send in the dog to hold him so the man could go in and dispatch him with a short knife. They would stab the bull in the place just behind the horns and kill him instantly.

» What do you believe the essential characteristics of the breed are? The conformation suits of performance, it is a catch dog so it has to have strong jaws so it can hold the animal it is trying to control. It has strong bones; it is a strong muscular dog, quick in its movement, fast sort of has dash. He doesn’t necessarily have great resistance to long distance running. Of course he has a powerful head, which would corresponded to a powerful bite, certainly this would be a scissors bite. Not a very short coat, it should be longish but close to the body, it shouldn’t stick out. He is not a furry dog but he has a wooly undercoat in the winter, which is suitable to open air work.


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FCI Breed Standard

CANE CORSO (Italian Cane Corso)

(VALID FROM 01/01/2016) FCI-Standard N° 343 / 17.12.2015/EN TRANSLATION: Revised by R. SporreWilles. Official language (EN). ORIGIN: Italy DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID STANDARD: 13.11.2015. UTILIZATION: Utility dog, polyvalent. FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs. Section 2 - Molossoide breeds, Mastiff type. With working trial. BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Its direct ancestor is the old Roman Molossian. Formerly scattered all over Italy, in the recent past, the breed was only prevalent in the province of Apulia and in the adjacent regions of Southern Italy. His name derives from the Latin “cohors”, which means “protector, guardian of the farmyard”. GENERAL APPEARANCE: Medium to large sized. Robust and sturdy dog, nevertheless with some elegance. Lean and powerful muscles. IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The dog is rectangular in outline and is slightly longer than tall. (The length of the dog is 11% greater than the height of the dog). The length of the head reaches 36 % of the height at the withers. BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Guardian of property, family and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game. HEAD: Large and typically molossoid. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and the muzzle are slightly convergent, without evident wrinkles. CRANIAL REGION: Skull: Broad at the zygomatic arches the width is equal to the length. Convex in front, it becomes flat behind the forehead as far as the occiput. The medio-frontal furrow is visible, beginning at the stop and ending at about the middle of the skull. Stop: Well defined, with prominent frontal sinuses.

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FACIAL REGION: Nose: Black. A grey mask may have a nose colour of the same nuance. Large nose with ample open nostrils. Nose placed on the same line as the nasal bridge. Muzzle: Strong, square, noticeably shorter than the skull, ratio muzzle : skull approximately 1 : 2. The front part of the muzzle is flat; the lateral surfaces are parallel; the muzzle is as broad as it is long. Seen from the side it is deep. The profile of the nasal bridge is straight. Lips: The upper lips; seen from the front, form an inverted ”U” at their meeting point; seen from the side hangs moderately. They cover the lower jaw and determine the profile of the lower part of the muzzle. Jaws/Teeth: Jaws are very large thick and curved. Slightly undershot but no more than 5 mm. Level bite tolerable but not sought after. Cheeks: The masseter region is fully evident, but not bulging. Eyes: Medium-sized, slightly protruding, but never exaggerated. Close to ovoid in shape, set well apart in an almost sub-frontal position. Eyelids close fitting. The colour of the iris is as dark as possible but according to the coat colour. Expression is keen and attentive. Ears: Triangular, drooping, of medium size. With a wide set-on that is much above the zygomatic arches. Ears are un-cropped. NECK: Strong, muscular, as long as the head. BODY: The body is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. Sturdy built but not square. Withers: Pronounced, rising above the level of the croup. Back: Straight, very muscular and firm. Loin: Short and strong. Croup: Long and wide, slightly inclined. Chest: Well developed all through reaches to the elbow. TAIL: Natural. Set on fairly high; very broad at the root. In action carried high, but never erect or curled. LIMBS FOREQUARTERS: Shoulder: Long, oblique, very muscular. Upper arm: Strong. Forearm: Straight, very strong. Carpus (Wrist): Elastic.

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FCI Breed Standard

Metacarpus (pastern): Elastic and just slightly sloping. Forefeet: Cat feet. HINDQUARTERS:

welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.

Thigh: Long, broad, back line of thigh convex. Lower thigh: Strong, not fleshy. Stifle (Knee): Solid, moderately angulated. Hock joint: Moderately angulated. Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Thick and dry. Hind feet: Slightly less compact than the forefeet. GAIT/MOVEMENT: Long stride, extended trot; the preferred gait is the trot.

• Axes of muzzle and skull parallel or very marked converging; lateral surfaces of the muzzle converging. • Partial depigmentation of the nose. • Scissor bite; undershot bite more than 5 mm. • Ringed tail, tail in vertical position. • Permanent amble when trotting. • Over-or under size. • Presence of dewclaws. DISQUALIFYING FAULTS:

SKIN: Fairly thick, rather close fitting. COAT Hair: Short, shiny, very dense with a slight undercoat of vitreous texture. Colour: Black, lead-grey, slate-grey, light grey, light fawn; dark fawn and stag red; dark wheat colour (stripes on different shades of fawn or grey); in fawn coloured and brindle dogs the black or grey mask on the muzzle should not go beyond the line of the eyes. A small white patch on the chest, on the tip of the toes and on the bridge of the nose is acceptable. SIZE AND WEIGHT: • Height at the withers: Males: 64 cm – 68 cm. Females: 60 cm – 64 cm. With a tolerance of 2 cm, more or less taller. • Weight: Males: 45 – 50 kg. Females: 40 – 45 kg. Weight according to the size of dog. FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and

SEVERE FAULTS:

• Aggressive or overly shy dogs. • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified. • Axes of muzzle and skull diverging. • Total depigmentation of the nose. • Bridge of nose very hollow, Roman nose. • Overshot mouth. • Partial or complete palpebral depigmentation. Wall eye (blue flecked); strabism (squinted). • Tailless, too short tail. • Semi-long, smooth or fringed hair. • All colours not indicated in the standard; large white patches. N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

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AKC Breed Standard

CANE CORSO Official Standard of the Cane Corso General Appearance: Ancient Italian breed medium-large size Molossus Dog. Sturdy, with a strong skeleton. Muscular and athletic, it moves with considerable ease and elegance. It has always been a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game such as the wild boar. Size, Proportion, Substance: A muscular, balanced, large-boned dog, rectangular in proportion. The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock is approximately 10 percent greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground. Height - Dogs 25 to 27½ inches; bitches 23½ to 26 inches. Weight Proportionate to height. Head: Molossus, large, its total length reaches approximately one third of the height at the withers. Planes of the skull and muzzle are slightly convergent; they are not parallel. The circumference of the head measured at the cheekbones is more than twice the total length of the head; skin is firm and smooth. Skull - Viewed from the front, skull is wide and slightly curved; width is equal to the length. From the side, a prominent arch begins above the eyes and then flattens backward toward the occiput. Viewed from the top, it has a square appearance due to the zygomatic arches and powerful muscles swathing it. Stop - Well-defined due to developed and bulging frontal sinuses and prominent arch above the eyes. Expression - Very alert and attentive. Some wrinkling on forehead occurs when alert. Eyes - Medium-size, almond-shaped, not round or bulging, tight fitting rims preferred with only a minimal amount of haw being visible. Eye color-Dogs with black muzzles (coat colors of black, fawn or red, and these colors brindled) dark brown eyes are preferred. Gray muzzles (coat colors of gray, fawn or red and these colors brindled), lighter shades are approved. Pigmentation of the eye rims is complete, pigmentation of eye rim matches pigment color of dog. Disqualification - Yellow bird of prey; blue eyes. Ears - Set well above the cheekbones. May be cropped or uncropped. If cropped, it is

in an equilateral triangle. If uncropped, they are medium size, triangular in shape, held tight to the cheeks, and not extending beyond the jaw bone. Nose - Large with well-opened nostrils, pigment color to match pigment color of the dog. Dogs with black pigment have black noses; gray pigmented dogs have gray noses; pigmentation is complete. The nose is an extension of the topline of the muzzle and does not protrude beyond nor recede behind the front plane of the muzzle. Muzzle - Very broad and deep, width is almost equal to its length, which reaches approximately one third of the total length of the head; the depth of muzzle is more than 50 percent of the length of the muzzle. The top and bottom muzzle planes are parallel, and the nose and chin form a perpendicular line. Viewed from the front, the anterior face should look flat and form a trapezoid, wider at the bottom. Muzzle is not overly narrow or snipey. Lips - Rather firm. Upper lips moderately hanging, they join under the nostrils to form an inverted "U." Pigmentation matches color pigment of dog. Dogs with black pigment have black lips; gray pigmented dogs have gray lips. Bite - Slightly undershot (no more than ¼ inch) and level preferred. Scissor bite is acceptable, if parameters of the head and muzzle are correct. Dentition is complete. Incisors are in a straight line. No more than two missing teeth. Disqualification - More than two missing teeth; wry mouth. Undershot more than ¼ inch. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck-Slightly arched, flowing smoothly into the shoulders with a small amount of dewlap. The length of the neck is approximately one third the height at the withers. Body - Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog, descending slightly below the elbow. Ribs are long and well sprung. Moderate tuck up. Chest - Broad, wellmuscled, strong forefront. Back - Wide, strong, muscular. Highest part of shoulder blade slightly rising above the strong, level back. Loin - Wellmuscled, and harmoniously joined to the back. Croup - Long, wide, slightly sloping. Rump should be quite round due to muscling.

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Tail - Tail set is an extension of the backline. It

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AKC Breed Standard

is thick at the root with not much tapering at the tip. When not in action, carried low, otherwise horizontal or slightly higher than back, not to be carried in a vertical position. It is docked at the fourth vertebrae. In the case of natural tails, the tip reaches the hock but not below. Carried low, it is neither broken nor kinked but supple. Hanging when the dog is in repose; generally carried level with the back or slightly above the level of the back when the dog is in action, without curving over the back or being curled. Disqualification - A natural tail that is atrophied or a natural tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted. Forequarters: Strong and muscular, wellproportioned to the size of the dog. Straight when viewed from the front or side; height of the limb at the elbow is equal to 50 percent of the height at the withers. Shoulders- Muscular, laid back. Upper arms - Strongly muscled, with good bone, powerful. Elbows - Held parallel to the ribcage, turning neither in nor out. Forelegs - Straight and with good bone, well muscled. Pasterns - Almost straight, strong but flexible. Feet - Round with well-arched toes (catlike). Lean, hard, dark pads and nails, except in the case of white toes. Front dewclaws - Can remain or be removed, if left intact should only be a single dewclaw on each leg. Hindquarters: As a whole, they are powerful and strong, in harmony with the forequarters. Straight when viewed from the rear or front. Thighs - Long, wide, angulated and wellmuscled. Stifle - Should be moderately angulated, strong. Legs - Strong bone and muscle structure. Hocks - Wide set, thick and clean, let down and parallel when viewed from behind. Rear pastern - straight and parallel. Rear dewclaws - Any rear dewclaws are removed. Hind feet - Slightly more oval-shaped and less-arched toes. Coat: The coat is short, stiff, shiny, adherent and dense with a light undercoat that becomes thicker in cold weather. Color: Acceptable colors are black, lighter and darker shades of gray, lighter and darker shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades, have a black or gray mask. The mask does not go beyond the eyes. There may be a white patch on the chest, throat, chin, backs of the pasterns, and on the toes. Disqualification - Any color with tan pattern markings as seen in black-and-tan breeds.

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Gait: The movement is free flowing and powerful, yet effortless, with strong reach and drive. As the dog accelerates, the feet converge toward a center line of gravity in a near-single track. When viewed from the side, the topline remains level, with minimal roll or bounce. Temperament: The Cane Corso as a protector of his property and owners is unequaled. Intelligent, he is easily trained. Noble, majestic and powerful his, presence is impressive. He is docile and affectionate to his owner, loving with children and family. Summary: The overall conformation of the dog should be well-balanced and proportionate. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Cane Corso; any deviation from the above described dog is penalized to the extent of the deviation. Disqualifications: Yellow bird of prey; blue eyes. More than two missing teeth; wry mouth. Undershot more than ¼ inch. Any color with tan pattern markings as seen in black-andtan breeds. A natural tail that is atrophied or a natural tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted.

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Kindly supplied by Corina Cotoi

A BEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVE

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The Cane Corso is a powerful medium-large size breed, with strong guarding instincts, significant prey drive and quite an amount of energy. These are generic traits, but their combination makes the Cane Corso a breed with particular needs in training and behavioral monitoring. The domestic dog includes a variety of different breeds - more than 400 according to some opinions - that greatly differ in physical appearance and behavior. Judging from archaeological discoveries, early representations and various written accounts, recognizable types of dogs - sight hounds, mastiffs, scent hounds, spaniels, terriers, lapdogs, and so on - have existed since ancient times. Early accounts of dog breeds categorized them according to the various jobs they performed and this system of classification according to ‘function’ is still retained by modern kennel clubs.

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A behavioral perspective on the Cane Corso Italiano

The FCI standard for Cane Corso states that he is an "utility dog, polyvalent, guardian of property, family and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game". The general behavior patterns for the function performed by the Cane Corso, as specified in the standard, include, but are not limited to a set of social cognitive skills enhancing their working performances: stranger awareness, prey chasing, trainability, low fear-related factor, attention, focus and responsiveness to human signals, adaptability, confidence. If we take into account the fact that genes have certainly been demonstrated to play important roles in the expression of behavior in dog, especially for traits reflecting anxiety/fearfulness, sociability, boldness, and various forms of aggression, it is only natural

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that, through selective breeding, temperament evaluation, one should encourage the preservation of that particular traits that make the Cane Corso best at his job. But besides selection, there are several things a breeder can do to build a correct temperament, even starting as early as the 4th day of life of the puppy. I believe that the primordial role in this endeavor is nurture. For the gestating female, for the newborn puppies. Recent studies show how dramatically nurture and caring for the mother and for the neonates influence the further development of the desired temperament. One of the programs that I have found very rewarding in building a desirable temperament is the early neurological stimulation, a procedure that includes the early manipulation of the neonates and consists of several maneuvers and


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A behavioral perspective on the Cane Corso Italiano

thermal stimulation exercises, enhancing not only the capacity of the dog to handle stress, its adaptability, problem solving skills, but also the endurance and resistance to disease, the cardio-vascular performance, as well as stronger heart beats and stronger adrenal glands. Puppies who benefit from early neurological stimulation are more active, more curious and bold, with a greater capacity to concentrate on a task in a challenging environment. The role of the breeder in controlling temperament and potential behavioral issues of the dogs they produce in their kennels is very important. With several easy steps, we can make a real difference in the temperament of

the puppy leaving our kennel and of our dogs. References: Clutton-Brock, J. (1995). Origins of the dog: Domestication and early history. In J. Serpell (Ed.), The domestic dog, its evolution, behaviour and interactions with people (pp. 8–20), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Horowitz A. (Ed) Domestic Dog Cognition and Behavior. The Scientific Study of Canis Familiaris, 2014, XIV James A. Serpell and Deborah L. Duffy - Dog Breeds and Their Behavior Sampson, J., & Binns, M. M. (2006). The Kennel club and the early history of dog shows and breed clubs. In E. A. Ostrander, U. Giger & K. Lindblad-Toh (Eds.), The dog and its genome (pp. 19–30). Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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Janina Dianova-Karasa and Rodzer Karass - Latvia Photos copyright Jolanta Beinarovich

CANE CORSO A FAMILY DOG We are Janina Dianova-Karasa and Rodzer Karass, we have loved and owned Cane Corso for the past 8 years. In our family there were always dogs, at some point we came across a dog, we were not familiar with and never heard off before – the Cane Corso.

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Cane Corso a family dog

We were hooked and started to look for our first puppy, once we found a litter, the choice fell on black male called Borneo Del Mishelle. This puppy was like a little Panther. He had such expressive eyes! After five years I saw in internet photos of grey puppy called Edition De Luxe iz Dinastii Chempionov. I immediately fell in love with him – it was love at first sight. In secret from my husband I made an agreement with the breeder, simply because I knew he

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will tell me “no”. But when the puppy come to Riga, the puppy immediately concurred the heart of my husband Rodzer. In nature both dogs are totally different, but to both of them, the family is the most important thing. They are very gently and patiently with our son Stefan and with pleasure play with him. The love and affection these dogs are endless to all family members.


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Cane Corso a family dog

Borneo, does not look his age at 7 years old he still behaves as if he was a puppy. He still love to run in the forest after ball and do it together with son and they both together on command always return back. Borneo get great pleasure from exhibitions and travels. He have special temperament he with pleasure show himself in exhibitions, and as a dog-bodyguard, he always watches and protects all family members. Edition De Luxe iz Dinastii Chempionov this dog is calm and even-tempered. At home we lovely call him for “Wafer”, because he always make everything without haste or in a hurry. But he always ready to have fun with son. But not looking at all, like Borneo, he beautifully performs the role of the guard and defender. So we always can be calm about our son, who is guarded by two loyal, smart, strong friend-bodyguard. The exhibitions for us is a sort of hobby and, of course, the opportunity to travel. And enthusiasm, show our animal and our hard work and of course, requires a lot of time and effort to maintain dogs in good physical shape. Also on the health of all family members benefited from a long walk in the fresh air in the forest. Cane Corso is very high in their energy and need their daily walks, runs and swim – and they do it together with our son. All exhibitions are associated with emotions, feelings and worries, which for us makes the victory more enjoyable and joyful. If you win in the ring it is pride of your dog and invested in his work your time. In any case, seeing the effort and joy our dogs from participation in exhibitions, we understand that they love and they get fun from dogs show. This give us additional incentive

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to continue to take part in shows. With pride I would like to add that our dogs are well recognized in the breed in Latvia and possibly in the Baltic. Many times they were the first dogs from Latvia, which became a candidate in champions of Hungary and Slovakia. Also the are first Champions of Slovenia, multi winners of club show in Europe. With a proper education and knowledge of Cane Corso, anyone can own and handle this breed – simply because this breed has a heart of gold and has a gold character, loyal and loving heart. Cane Corso is amazing smart, obedient, and balanced perfectly amenable to education and training. For the dog, the owner is always the God and King and this dog is not only great defender but also caring nurse. If the kid stays with alone at home with a Cane Corso you have nothing to worry about. The child will be under direct supervision of a reliable guard, who indulgently allows any toddler antics and mis-

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chief. Even the puppy is aware of his heroic power, doesn’t push and don’t drop the child in the heat of the game. But for us our dogs are primarily our family members. Cane corso is really needs a consequent owner and then you will have the best dog in the world and best nanny, friend for your children.


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INTERVIEWED BY Ewa Larsson

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Name Country Affix Email

Alexandru Daniel Ghita Romania (South) Della Grande Famiglia dellagrandefamiglia@gmail.com

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed. Hello Ewa and “The Dog Magazine” readers! I am Alexandru Daniel Ghita, owner of Della Grande Famiglia – Cane Corso Kennel, located in Craiova – South Romania. My profession is construction engineer and I work for the biggest brick producer in the world. Probably my profession made me to be attentive to the smallest details. Why Cane Corso? For their temperament! For their elegance! For their devotement! Most probably - forever! I'm raised with dogs, generally shepherd dogs. Couple of years ago me and my fiancée owned a couple of two German Shepherd dogs. Unfortunately the male died because of gastric torsion at 8 years old. At that moment we both agreed that we will not take any dog. After 2 days from the death of our male, female was very apathic and didn`t reacted to anything, didn`t want to eat or even drink water. She had a big depression and vet told us to bring a

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dog home, no matter what dog, but to bring one, otherwise she will refuse to eat and drink water and probably will die… This is how we got our first Cane Corso. I studied this breed for 1 year before our German Shepherd male died. We had another house with a nice yard and we thought we need a good guard dog there. In the end, we finished owning a pack of Corsos lead by our old German Shepherd female.

» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place? To answer you in one word: ambition! I took my first Cane Corso from a reputable breeder from our town. His parents come from great bloodlines. As I have told you at your last question I have studied this breed one year before purchasing my first Cane Corso and one of the things I liked the most was their elegance!

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I asked my breeder to give me one show dog. He told me at that moment that he cannot promise me that he will give me the next world champion (fair enough) and that all depends to me from that moment. To make the long story short, I started to go in shows , to get results and to train my first Cane Corso which was not the most correct one but he was very elegant and had fantastic movement in the ring. While he was a puppy, we spent almost 24/24h per day together. His temperament was amazing. After a while I have noticed that people (including breeders) don`t have time for socialisation and training with their dogs. This leads to different temperamental problems. Even my dog was very scared when I took him home first time. Another thing that made me start breeding was the condition of the kennels at that moment. We keep our


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Della Grande Famiglia

dogs in a pack, not locked in the kennel in boxes. I think this makes them have a happy life. I proposed myself to do it different. Another motivational fact was that at 2 years of age , I went with my first Cane Corso to make hips and elbows score and his results where HD-E , ED-0 . I was devastated, his breeder told me that as long as he is functional doesn`t matter.. and I said in that moment that I need to do something right for this breed. That`s how I managed to get my nickname – “Starter of hip score madness in Romania”.

» How did you get introduced to this breed? Since I was a child, I liked very much all working breeds. I love Pittbulls but I have not found a good balanced one around here. Also I love American Staffordshire Terriers. I found first Cane Corso in Craiova in one man`s yard… he was huge but elegant! After that I

saw a documentary on YouTube and in the end I was caught by the bug!

» Please tell us about your past and present dogs. As I told you before, I didn`t started with my right foot. I started with one dysplastic dog. Now all the dogs that I use in my programs have health tests made. Also I don`t accept to give my males as studs to females without health tests.

» What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? I work to get typical healthy dogs with correct temperament. We do breeding with passion, motivation and respect!

» How does (name of the breed) differ from other breeds? I can tell you how is Cane Corso versus German Shepherd. Once I went fishing with one Cane Corso male and

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my German Shepherd female. Cane Corso was all the time on my right side watching the surroundings, but I mention here – bonded to me! And my German Shepherd female was all the time patrolling on the perimeter at 5-6 meters away from me. All breeds have their pluses and minuses! German Shepherd it`s very loyal but in a more distant way than Cane Corso.

» Do you see any difference in Cane Corso of today compared to Cane Corso of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? I started to work only with responsible breeders. If I speak about their dogs, I see big improvements in their programs and in my program. If I look on the black market, nothing it`s changed, just that now there are much more puppies and backyard breeders than 10 years ago. I think if you wanted to buy a good Cane Corso 10 years ago in Romania you had to wait 1 year or so to get a puppy. Now there are many breeders and some of them are making good things for this breed ….others don`t!

» What in your opinion makes a perfect dog? Every breeder and owner has his own perfect dog. For me the perfect dog should be healthy, fearless and protective with his family and if we discuss about Cane Corso … we must not forget that it`s a working breed. Dogs are like children, how you raise him, that`s how you have him for the rest of his life!

» What is the best example of the breed that you have bred until now? Ania it`s my best product until now. She is passed her health tests, she has a very good temperament and it`s a very typical female!

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» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? When you start something, anything, you need to have a target, a strategy to reach that target and resources to apply the strategy. Target should not be money. Target should be improvement of the breed. Strategy should me made on long term – what bloodlines you start with. What dogs you enter in your program? When you enter them? What you do after you created your secured bloodline? If you can`t answer this questions, study another year! If you don`t have adequate resources you can`t apply your strategy. Dogs need good food, space, a good trainer, time, supplements, a good vet, maybe show or working career. All this things costs very much. I can say that if you


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Della Grande Famiglia

manage to make your dogs to finance themselves you made it! You made it with passion! People generally start breeding to gain money. It`s an illusion!

» What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)? “We make quality puppies for wonderful families” – this is our kennel slogan. So we select our customers to make sure puppies arrive in good hands. We give our customers an insurance contract for their puppy with clear terms for both sides. One of the terms in the contract (for the owner of the puppy) is that he needs to send us pictures with puppy every month to see his development and how it`s taking care off.

» How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays? I think in nowadays it`s essential to be online. 90% of our activity it`s online. We have customers in USA, UK, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, Norway, imagine how would be our communication with our customers without internet? Not once I went directly to work (hope my boss doesn`t read your Magazine) because I stayed all the night on chat with one of our customers or one of our partners that have different time zone. Now we work on our website and when it will be ready we will let you know.

» Would you like to add something? First of all thank you for trusting our kennel! Really, it`s an honor for us to work with you! Hope your readers will enjoy our dogs and if you ever arrive in Romania, you and your readers are welcome to try our traditional cuisine.

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dell’Impero Maya INTERVIEWED BY Ewa Larsson

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Name Country Affix Email

Andrea Corbara Italy dell’IMPERO MAYA www.imperomayakennel.it www.imperomaya.jimdo.com imperomaya@gmail.com

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed. My name's Andrea Corbara, together with Morena Mazzotti, I'm the owner of the kennel "dell’Impero Maya" recognized ENCI and FCI. Our kennel is located in the beautiful countryside of Cesena in Italy. We follow the selection of this wonderful breed, what is most important for us is health, temperament and character. We dedicate all our time to our dogs, living in contact with them, concentrating on them all our attention. Our dogs have available a vast area of our place and live in a structure designed to ensure their well-being, hygiene and cleanliness. We chose to breed CANE CORSO because we were really fascinated by his pride, his nobility and his penetrating look.

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» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place? We decided to start breeding CANE CORSO because of love and passion for this breed in order to improve health, character and morphology.

» How did you get introduced to this breed? We met the first Cane Corso casually, his look entered our hearts and we immediately fell in love with this wonderful breed.

» Please tell us about your past and present dogs. After several years of study, we decided to take our first Cane Corso, Maya an old fashioned female, like the ones who have been found in the masserie in Puglia at the time of recovery of the breed. With her our dream began: to become breeders. All our champions come from her and also the name of our kennel "dell'Impero Maya" is dedicated to her. The first important result we had with our dogs is the title of Young World Champion at World Dog Show 2013 in Budapest Hungary with Cesarino dell’Impero Maya in a class of more than 60 entries. Another important achievement is the title of Vice World Champion during the World Dog Show 2015 in Milan: thanks to our Hulk Hogan dell’Impero Maya (there were over 370 dogs). In addition to the achievement of these mentioned results, our kennel has got several Italian Champions, Foreign Champions, Young Champions: all of them have also shown a good attitude to work.

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» What improvements do you

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want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? Unfortunately our breeding is having a critical period: during the shows is evident the differences among the subjects and the loss of the real character of the Cane Corso, we are few breeders who still try to preserve it. Our aim is to preserve the natural qualities of this breed and maintain its characteristics and qualities, with primary emphasis to HEALTH, CHARACTER AND TRADITION.

» Do you see any difference in Cane Corso of today compared to Cane Corso of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? Regarding our subjects we can say that today dogs at our kennel are more typical and homogeneous than those of the beginning, we were able to improve the imperfections related to body and defined the essential characteristics in the head. The work is still long and the future goal is improve more and more every day.

» What in your opinion makes a perfect dog? In my opinion the perfect dog does not exist but we try to go as close as possible to the goal, following the instructions given in the standard written by Dr. Morsiani.

» What is the best example of the breed that you have bred until now? There are several subjects that I consider high level in my kennel: Hulk Hogan dell’Impero Maya, his son One and Cesarino dell’Impero Maya, all of them are very good dogs, with whom we have to continue our work of selection. An important role is played also by fe-

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dell’Impero Maya

males that can help in the growth of the breed.

» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? In my opinion breeding is an art, it is a skill, something you have to feel inside! It's very important to safeguard a breed, protect it and not make improvised litters, but study hard to choose the best subjects to combinate in order to improve the selection. Me and Morena think we have been very lucky because we had the fortune to know the right people, when we first

approach this breed. These persons were able to teach us and explain the right characteristics of the breed: first of all Modeo Roberto great lover and connoisseur of the breed and then our collaboration with Degli Elmi kennel, really important for the quality of his subjects.

» What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)? We are proud and happy to spend every day of our time with this passion and to have built a modern and friendly kennel for our dogs and for our customers. Thanks to this passion we could meet new people and offer them excellent services, also create lasting relationship with all owners of our dogs in Italy and in the world. It 's very important for us to have news of our dogs, even through photos and videos, so we can follow the growth and life of the dog.

» How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays? The social media life is very important nowadays, fundamental is to be visible online everywhere in the world and for this reason it is very important to have a simple and intuitive website easy to consult, together with the social networks.

» Would you like to add something? In the end, I would like to thank you for the trust and express my gratitude for your support to our breed through pictures and stories reg. the history of this breed, a wonderful breed of Italian origin. GOOD CANE CORSO!

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INTERVIEWED AND TRANSLATED BY Elena Ilina

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Name Country Affix Facebook

Anna Battaglia Italy Dell'Antico Cerberus Anna Cerberus Malavasi

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed. My name is Anna Battaglia. My kennel name is Antico Cerberus. I am married to Giancarlo Malavasi. He is well known by the Cane Corso lovers. My husband and his brother were among the pioneers who recovered the breed. Stefano Gandolfi learned from Paolo Breber about the existence of some exemplars of Cane Corso survived in south of Italy. Giancarlo, with his brother and few friends (Sereni, Gandolfi, and Casolino) travelled to south Italy in 1979 to find the last vestiges of this ancient breed. Their work is what made it possible for the the breed to be first recognized by the Italian Kennel Club and then by the FCI.

» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place? I have from the start suffered a passion for this ancient breed of Italian moloss. I have directly followed the work of this breed revival. The earliest litters occurred in our breeding with Tipsi, Brina

and Dauno. They were the first three subjects brought to Mantova from the south and are the big part of the basis of the Italian Corso dog revival. In 1994 the breed was finally recognized by the Italian Kennel Club. After fifteen years of hard work and selection and many generations of Cane Corso in our kennel, finally became possible to obtain the official kennel name.

» How did you get introduced to this breed? As I said before, I approached this BREED because our Kennel was the one where start the recovering to help and save the Cane Corso. I was born in the field of dog world as well as the Cane Corso. If I have to think about who introduced me to know and understand all of the morphological aspects of this ancient moloss, then the first person who comes to mind is the professor Antonio Morsiani. He has followed the revival of the breed as an expert judge and wrote the original standard of the Cane Corso. In those years the computer did not exist so all of his notes and measurements were

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transcribed by me on a typewriter in my office. In addition to reading and taking notes dozens of times, I would listen to him explain the cinotecnical aspects of a dog. That was my first canine school.

Âť Please tell us about your past and present dogs. If I think of our past dogs, a name comes before all others: Basir! Son of our Tipsi and Dauno. Basir was born in our Kennel in 1980. Once an adult he was chosen by professor Morsiani as a prototype for the standard writing. Together with his brother Bulan, they were the first two studs males that started our bloodline. Another dog that must be remembered is our EUW and WW Sara. With her brother Silver they gave plenty of pedigree subjects that were bred by us that many other breeders. Sara is the junction point between the work of recovery that began with Basir and the dogs born after the recognition of the breed. Sara put together, rusticity and power to the elegance and distinction. A harmonic female powerful with a secure and balanced character. Another male who is important to us from past years is our JWW and RWW Donald. Donald is the dog who represented Cerberus and the breed during the years when the Cane Corso became popular. Even more important that the success in show is his great quality in reproduction. Certainly in male children but most importantly in his daughters. His daughter's Divine and Matilde are in the best group of our most recent generations of Cane Corso's. As for the newer dogs, if Basir was the beginning. The most recent past is certainly our Dante. With his father Lothar and his son Desmo, he is the dog that helped a lot of breeders to discover the true

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essence of the Cane Corso. The titles won Dante are numerous, almost as much as his son WW Desmo. What means more to us than him being the reserve World Winner is the title of AKC Champion won when he was eight years old and in America for a year. He could compete in the veteran class. Dante has left us recently, but his spirit will stay with us forever. As well as his many children will continue to bring up his name. He is our evergreen legend.

» What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? I think that if a breeder's goal is to bring improvements to a breed it is presumptuous. A breeder must try to raise awareness of the breed and the first rule is to respect it. Each breed comes and stands out for its own unique physical characteristics and to its particular character. We have always tried to preserve and maintain unaltered, in subsequent generations, the qualities that make our Italian molosso unique. Certainly we have tried to improve their health and physical construction, but never exaggerated the individual physical character and type. The Cane Corso does not need anything to be added to continue to be one of the most popular breeds around the canine context. Any excess which tends to bully the features is a deviation that we've always opposed and must be fought. One of the most used adjectives by Antonio Morsiani, in his assessments of the breed and in the comments on the standard is "slightly". The Cane Corso is never "a lot" but is in all its expressions "just enough" this is what makes the Cane Corso breed functional. That's what we have always tried to breed for over thirty years.

»

» How does Cane Corso differ

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from other breeds? The Cane Corso is a molosser of medium/large athletic size with dry supple muscles. The head is unique, different from that of any other molosser. Clean, wrinkle-free, with a lip that falls just to cover the side profile of the muzzle. The groove at the center of the skull is broad and deep. It starts from the top and ends in the middle of the skull. The skull is absolutely flat from the middle to the end. Eyes have eyelids perfectly adherent to the cornea, no laxity. The skin is thick but close fitting. Well attached to the underlying muscle. In fact, there is a saying that contains all the features of this wonderful breed; "when you look at it, if you see something that makes you think of a different race, then it is not a true Cane Corso."

Âť Do you see any difference in Cane Corso of today compared to the Cane Corso of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? Certainly there are differences... unfortunately. The Cane Corso in recent years have been suffering from what is a problem in many breeds. The spread and popularity of this breed have spawned many improvised breeders with no knowledge, no experience, no respect for the breed. In Italy (but not only in Italy) many have started producing puppies pretending to be an expert just because their grandfather had a "Cane Corso" in the yard. This popularity has also created what I call the "syndrome of the seal." The largest customer for these improvised breeders is always private. They almost always do not know the breed except in a superficial way. These people produce puppies with useful features to be beautiful to look at for these potential customers: big round eyes,

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huge stubborn and round, very short muzzle, big feet, much skin. Scientifically these features are called, "neoteny" and represent those physical types that protect infants of any race from natural predators and persist in adults. They do not arouse fear or respect but tenderness. This syndrome of the seal is associated with another problem of recent times. The theory that more is better. Taller, bigger, more muscular, more angled, more pronounced in type characters. As for


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medicines, if a pad is right to heal, two are not better, than ten hurt. I think that the few serious breeders now have an average quality better than there was ten or more years ago. We see ourselves in breeding, where so many puppies are born today are superior to the majority of the subjects from the past. This quality is lost in the sea of improvisation. In the end, even if more and better others of the past, today the valid subjects are like a small boat in the ocean. You do not see without a

telescope and a sharp eye.

» What in your opinion makes a perfect dog? The perfect dog does not exist. Those who think they have it, or have the absolute best dog, have it all wrong and will never learn. Even Basir, used as a prototype for the standard, was not perfect. The only perfect dog is described in the standard. A breeder should aim to get as close as possible to that ideal. An endless

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journey. After each goal, there is a new one to reach. For me, a dog becomes valid in the right way, into the unattainable perfection when it does not present any serious drawbacks in either type or structure. Especially when all is harmonious, well coordinated, and balanced. When a dog with these features also has very important qualities, becomes a very important subject. The really important subjects can also be born by chance, with only luck, but it will never have a relevance in future generations. Major topics intended to transmit their qualities, however, are always born from litters resulting from a great job for several generations and always within a high average quality. I always thought that the structure and type must go together. I never made any difference between well-built subject with little typical and a typical subject that was poorly constructed. They are both mediocre and devoid for the interest of breeding.

» What is the best example of the breed that you have bred till now? It should be normal for me to answer Basir. He was the dog prototype for the breed standard. Actually I think, for me, the best example for the breed would be a set of dog breed by us: The head of JWW Donald, the physical power of WW EUWSara, the grandeur of WW Paco, the WW Desmo movement, the levers (corners) of RWW Dante and the front of EW Strike. This is what we try to unite, especially among the younger generations of our breeding females. We must never forget that it is bred with females.

» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? Respect!!! Respect for the breed! With respect to the standard! Reading, studying, and asking plenty of questions.

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Never be satisfied and respect their dogs. Beautiful of ugly always respect them. It measures the moral quality of a breeder are age and health of its older dogs.

» What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)? I think the reputation is built with honesty and hard work. Trying to always be available with the owners of the dogs. Trying to do your best to always have dogs with a balanced character and in good health. When the same person who comes back to you more than ten years later, after the puppy you have sold him passes, to buy another, then you know you've done well. These people, after thirty years of breeding, represent a good percentage of our past and future owners. This confirms to us everyday that any victory in the show, more than any champion title, that our path is right.

» How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays? It is very important to have an online presence, the Internet today is crucial. It allows everything to be visible to a large number of people and at the same time allows you to see pictures and information of dogs from other breeders. With this opportunity it has become possible to work with colleagues that ten or twenty years ago were unreachable.

» Would you like to add something? I would like to thank you for trusting in us to take this interview and express my gratitude for spreading the awareness and some of the features of this wonderful breed.

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Name Country Affix Email

Corina Cotoi Romania Pia Fidelis www.thecanecorso.ro

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed.

Pia Fidelis AN INTERVIEW WITH A BREEDER

My name is Corina Cotoi and I am one of those lucky people who get to do what they love and they feel most passionate about - I am a dog behaviorist and a breeder of Cane Corso Italiano. Pia Fidelis Kennel officially begun as a registered kennel 3 years ago, but the love for the breed and the extensive study and education about its particularities were there for a long time, so the steps I took towards making this a reality came naturally and fit perfectly in our lifestyle. It is very easy to explain why this particular breed. Because there simply could not have been another. When you find that unique thing that is everything you need and hoped for, you do not let go or give up or have second thoughts. For me that is the Cane Corso.

» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place?

»

For me, breeding is the most fascinating and rewarding endeavour that

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combines the rigorous study, the close contact with people from all around the world and the emotional involvement and work with dogs. And there is always the constant effort for improvement, for protecting the breed, for selecting the best, actually producing beauty. An endless quest for perfection.

» How did you get introduced to this breed? The first Cane Corsi I saw where in dog shows, many years ago. From that moment, the desire was there, but I was aware of the responsibility of raising and breeding a dog. So the work started, with studies in dog behavior and cognition, studies in canine genetics and with the intensive study of the breed, all of this to make this happen.

» Please tell us about your past and present dogs. I have always been around dogs, from Irish setters to Schnauzers, that were in my parents' house as family dogs and as show dogs. But our Cane Corso kennel started 3 years ago with a great founding female, Missvanguard Guardiana (aka Nera). She was the beginning, the one who bore great litters and the one who made everything easier, through her ideal temperament, health and help in educating youngsters and gracefully keeping peace and order in the group of dogs. Other dogs soon followed, either born in our kennel, or from other great kennels from Europe and USA. Each of them a piece of the puzzle, bringing an important bloodline, trait, quality that we needed to move forward.

» What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? Our main concern and purpose of se-

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lection is health and temperament. With full health testing for every dog, thorough temperament evaluation, we try to maintain a solid foundation of physically and mentally fit dogs. An important part of our work is on preserving and guiding the qualities of the working dog (trainability, confidence, intelligence, "intelligent disobedience", balance, problem solving skills, ability to discern etc.) that we identify early through evaluations and testing. There cannot be any improvement without starting with healthy and balanced subjects. Of course, this is followed by selecting as sire and dam the correct dogs, the ones who represent best the breed through their characteristics, a

selection also based on bloodline studies and calculations of probabilities. Improvement is the moving force for every mating, for every new litter. Always the quest to obtain a better head, a better structure, a better expression, a better movement, a better posture. But again, nothing is possible without a solid foundation of healthy and balanced dogs.

Âť How does Cane Corso differ from other breeds? The Cane Corso differs from most molosser type breeds through its versatility. With the proper training, it can be anything you need him to be: a guard dog, a working dog, a hunting

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dog, a family dog, a service dog. His intelligence, balanced character, courage, agility and athletic construction, as well as his fierce love and loyalty for his family, especially if encouraged and steered from a young age, make him an unique breed.

» Do you see any difference in Cane Corso of today compared to Cane Corso of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? The last 10 years brought quite a number of differences in the Cane Corso breed. Some of them for the best, others not desirable. One of the major changes was in the perception of the breed, from a relatively unknown breed to a 'trendy' and 'fashionable' dog to own. Unavoidably, this influenced some of the selection and mating decisions. While I believe that many breeders became more aware and conscious about improving health, the high demand for massive and heaviness encouraged the emergence of the hipertype and short muzzles. Moreover, I have noticed an increase in the attention towards head type, in the detriment of top line and angulations, as well as the focus on the show dog, and not so much on the distinct personality traits that make a Cane Corso what he is - balanced, confident, loyal . However, I have seen more and more people trying to obtain the correct, healthy dog with desirable temperament and I do believe that there is hope for the Cane Corso, if breeders work together for the best interest of the breed.

» What in your opinion makes a perfect dog? Saying that there is such a thing as a 'perfect' dog is a disputed statement. People would frown upon it and roll

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their eyes at such a concept. But the 'perfect' dog does exists; it is that dog which, despite some of his minor flaws, is a healthy dog, a great reproducer, a beautiful representative of the breed, a balanced, confident and adaptable dog, the show dog, the guardian, the family dog. I am lucky enough to have such a dog and to see such 'perfect' dogs in several other kennels as well. What is the best example of the breed that you have bred till now? We are a new kennel so our work is just at its beginning. However, one of the best examples of the breed born in our kennel is Acciarino Pia Fidelis, a very promising healthy and balanced young male with great potential.

» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? I think the most important advice for anyone starting breeding is to educate themselves in that breed. To get informed as much as possible about phenotype, genotype, health issues, temperament. Another important thing is to reach out to experienced breeder. To ask for advice. To accept and embrace suggestions. To have an open mind. To admit when you've made a mistake. To accept and recognize the well deserved success of another breeder. These are not easy things to do. They require discipline, a fine awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses and a bit of humbleness.

» What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)? I believe in the concept of family and community. Any person who has a puppy from Pia Fidelis Kennel becomes a member of our extended family and we keep a close relationship, in order to follow the puppy's life


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and his adjustment to the new environment. My priority is to find the perfect match between the puppy and its new family. For this purpose we start early with our puppy development program (since 4th day of life) so by the time the puppy leaves the kennel, it is a socialized, confident, balanced, adaptable and emotionally developed dog. This program includes several steps, carefully planned according to the stages of puppy development: early neurological stimulation, audio stimulation with commonly disturbing sounds (trucks,

thunderstorms, fireworks, barking, car horns etc), happy encounters (early positive exposure to inanimate objects that make unusual sounds), response to recall command, exploring of new spaces, early socialization with humans, dogs and other animals. Based on their results to these procedures, the personality evaluation and a thorough knowledge of the owner's needs, the best match is made between the puppy and its new family.

I am responsible for every life created

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in Pia Fidelis kennel. Not only until they leave our family, but also for the entire duration of their life.

» How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays? We do live in an extremely digitized world. The internet is our source of information, our means to maintain long distance relationships and to promote ourselves. In this context the online presence is a necessity. In this way a far larger number of people have easy access to our kennel, are able to follow our news and updates and, in my turn,

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I have the possibility to follow the life and development of the puppies that leave our kennel, otherwise a very difficult thing to do.

» Would you like to add something? This interview was a great pleasure for me, combining the things I love the most, Cane Corso and writing. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about what we do, and for your trust in our 'young' kennel.


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Name Country Affix Email

Emiliya Gaidukova Russia Moscow Iz Dinastii chempionov corso-italiano@yandex.ru

Iz Dinastii chempionov

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed. There have always been dogs in our family, but at some point I saw in a magazine a dog that I have never seen before in my whole life! I saw a dog which reminded me of a panther, that dog had a striking look. I was staggered. This was the Cane corso and so he became my dream! Akira was my first Cane corso. Instantly I fell in love with this breed, and started to study everything I could about the breed and did some cynology courses and opened a kennel. But my first Cane corso was not the foundation of my kennel, simply because I wanted the best. From there I have long searched for a pedigree of a dog that would answer my requirements, she had to have the ideal body, fantastic movement, and ears...So in the end I found what I was looking ,Gretta!-A daughter of the legendary Yemen della Porta Dipinta.

» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place? First and most important for a breeder it is reckless love and devotion to the breed! A quality population follows further and certainly intuition-sometimes I don't know and understand why I do so with breedings, but there is not another way -but I so feel and know this will turn out in good results!

» Please tell us about your past and present dogs My first real Cane corso was my Gretta-she was really fantastic-I can honestly say that today I don’t have

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such a beutiful Cane corso as Gretta was! She won a lot of shows….important shows…she was born Imperial Royal Flash iz Dinastii chempionov-who gave also a lot fantastic offsprings….. Imperial also was champion of 12 countries. Another important dog was Qventiliano dell roso malpello-who became Junior world winner. Male with fantastic body and temperament….He produced a lot of lovely cane corsos and especially one who is important in my life Ciceron! My main dog for all life! Champion of my Heart….he is the World winner, champion of 18 countries, he has won multiple Best in shows! I love him so so much! To me he is not only a dog….. He is very bright, with fantastic temperament. I can promise you that, that if

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you see him one time in real life you will never forgret him. Ciceron is known by not only the lovers of the breed, but also the whole world of Cinologicaly! Ciceron help me to come true to my dreams!

» What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? For the first health and temperament. After good size, bones and body construction,and also a typical head for the cane corso head with fantastic eyes and expression. Strong and steady psyche!

» How does (name of the breed) differ from other breeds? The character-this is the most important for Cane corso. His psyche must


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be steady, strong and flexible. Dog that must read the desires of owner on eyes. Athletic and gracious dog and movement like you see in a panther.

» Do you see any difference in Cane corso of today compared to Cane corso of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? Now the quality of cane corso is really high! The size has changed , the dog became more big and powerfull, the movement has improved…but also for this period dogs also have a lot of problems when in past-light eyes, not strong bones, problems with top line and more big problems-dog don’t have good balance….

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» What in your opinion makes a perfect dog? First genetic! Another my look of my breeding-I use intresting bloodline,try to mix and get not only good dog, but also a fantastic pedigree. And training and proper exercise…we use fitness, swimming pool, handling… and a lot of another things.

» What is the best example of the breed that you have bred till now? Ciceron and his offspings, and offsprings of my import male-Black bajer dynasty boy

» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? Find personal way and opinion….use only good dog with good body, head and temperament….

» What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)? For me more important reputation is the quality of my dogs. In my opinion I need to breed good dog-so this my future.... And result of shows-we need to win too.

» Would you like to add something? I want to say some words to new breeder who just start with Cane corso or who plan to start with Cane corso-please love our breed, it is needed and take a good care or him/ her, take advise from your breeder-because in the end of the day we are only their temporary guardians.

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Name Country Affix www

Kostas Kaldakis Greece Corsi Ex Deo www.corsiexdeo.com

Corsi Ex Deo

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed. We are located in northern side of Greece at the city of Thessaloniki. We make a totally selective breeding with a very few number of litters per year. Our bloodline comes straight from Italy, the country of origin of our breed mostly from the famous Porta Dipinta kennel, Rosso Malpelo, Valle dei Lord & dei Martinotti. After a long search through books, google search for the utilization of the breed not from the eye of a breeder but as an owner which needs a polyvalent dog, I ended in Cane Corso.

» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place? As the time was passing by and I was getting more familiar with my cc and then with the rest of the cc’s I bought I started to realise how concerned I was with the issues and problems of this breed which I was facing maybe every day. I was deeply in love and my goal was to rescue and finally to preserve the breed I loved most…. Selective breeding was my very first idea to cherish this breed through ages and finally give to the new incomers things that were really important for the breed itself.

» How did you get introduced to this breed? Since I was a child I always remember having dogs in our yard. I really can not imagine myself without a dog…. Many breeds went through my family’s hands but when I grew up i found myself into a quest for something really special…something that could veil my

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idea of a sleepless guardian, a companion which loyalty will never be in a doubt and a sweet home dog ready to make all it takes to steal a smile of you…. After a long time of reading and searching my quest had an end, I was 100% sure that Cane Corso is the dog I was seeking with such a passion.

» What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? My idea is first of all healthy dogs, full of the correct temperament of the breed. The way is carefully selected stud male and bitches and a few and selective breeding of very strong bloodline coming only from the country of origin ‘Italy. Health tests and mental tests are priority to achieve the better result. Of course a lot of love and patient to maintain the quality in high levels.

» How does (Cane Corso) differ

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from other breeds? Corso comes out the Latin “Cohors” which means guardian, protector. Corso are smart, trainable, eager to please, versatile, and docile. Intensely loyal with their humans… all these features takes them to number one of what a family or a single man could ask for…

» Do you see any difference in CC of today compared to the CC of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? Of course you can find differences as the time goes by , but this is normal as the dogs live different, their food and supplement are not the same and of course their use is different than before. So we find differences in general appearance and then in their temperament. As breeders we need to maintain and preserve as most of their mental


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characteristics as this is the main heritage of the breed.

» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? Breed because you love and your purpose is to spread the word. Always be honest and think first the animals and then yourself…. Never quit education!!! Read, learn and search from the mentors. Be open minded and admit your mistakes.

» What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation (besides the dogs)? We are in position to be proud that always assistant our new puppy owners. We create a special and lasting relationship that goes even in friendship sometimes. We keep in contact and always receive updates, pictures and remarks for their puppy development. We organise socialization puppy days and seminars with several subjects. We offer a contract that gives a guar-

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antee for HD and ED dysplasia issues as well for autoimmune hereditary diseases and also gives us the opportunity to ensure our puppys way of living with some terms written in.

» How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays? An online presence is extremely important nowadays as the way of life of modern people does not leave any time for personal relation’ a digital advertising and a well designed website always updated with the latest news it is an essential.

» Would you like to add something? I would like to express my gratitude for trusting us making this interview. It was a wonderful chance to share our thoughts and features of this wonderful breed. Many thanks to The Dog Magazine for this issue!!!


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Name Country Affix Email

Polina Adukone Latvia Corso D’Amore polina@canecorso.lv www.canecorso.lv

» Please introduce yourself and your kennel to our readers, and tell us why this particular breed. My name is Polina Adukone. I and my husband Martins we are owners and breeders of Cane Corso Italiano. Our kennel name is Corso D’Amore, we are based in Riga, Latvia. First dog come to our home in 2002 and this puppy was one of the first Cane Corso in Latvia.

» What made you want to be a dog breeder in the first place? Just love for dogs. Since I was a child dogs always was behind me and this is passion for all my live.

» How did you get introduced to this breed? It was in 2000 when I for the first time found information about this breed in Internet. The dogs were so pretty in

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photos and looked so powerful with very deep and clever eyes and the most magnificent name: Cane Corso Italiano. From there I started to learn about the breed, I gathered information and established contact with owners and breeders. Then more I learned about the breed then more I knew that this is the perfect breed for me.

» Please tell us about your past and present dogs. Our first Cane Corso comes to our house at 2002 from Russia. It was black brindle female Beauty. She was our "First Lady" during all her live. Our second female was born in kennel Bravo Corso and the youngest is from Serbian kennel Orka Sangue Magnifica.

» What improvements do you want to bring to the breed with your breeding programme? First and foremost healthy dogs with free movements and typical beautiful Cane Corso heads.

» How does in your opinion Cane Corso differ from other breeds? Cane Corso is a modern molos breed with very old history and collaboration old and rustic view and they flexibility in new world make this dog unique like family, guard and farmer dog in one. This is a unique combination behind old and new. Today's Corso is a family dog and a companion. They need to be at the center of the family and spend lot of time behind loving owner. They like games they are true workers and for me at first they are intelligent dogs with very high IQ. They need not only physical work but also hard work for they brains.

» Do you see any difference in the Cane Coros of today compare do the Cane Corso of 10 years

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ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see? No, not really. Also after moderation of breed standard I still see the beauty of this breed like it was 15 -17 years ago.

» What in your opinion makes a perfect dog? Perfect character at first, because Cane Corso is clever partner but in exterior, free movement, strong body and nice impression in head.

» What is the best example of the breed that you have bred till now? Cin Cin Corso D’Amore is one of the best dogs for me.

» What advice would you give to those who are starting breeding? Please, spend time to learn more about lines about past of the breed, about great kennels and don’t be afraid to contact via Internet with great breeders. I hope that the time of the big war between breeders is gone and in our days we always can find the way to learn each other’s and prevent many falls of young breeders. Don’t be lazy spend time to learn breed lines and pedigree of the dogs. Cane Corso breed is modern breed and don’t have a lot of history, specially in famous dogs and direct lines before breed was officially recognized by ENCI and FCI. And please have in mind that you produce a dog, a living creature and not a furniture. Do take time and reflect and honestly look at puppies you produce and ask yourself the question, would you as buyer like to have dog like puppy you sell? In breedeng, don’t try to discover America so to speak, try to keep typical for the breed strong mentalality, healty body and beautiful heads. Very

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sad that till the now, from the one side we have tests for HD and ED, easy and heard, I personally hope that it will not take long time before we will have also test for epilepsy. Breeders a specially the young ones must be ready for fails with puppies and dogs wich are born in they kennel but please keep in mind that setbacks are not for all time as with everything in life there is ups and downs. The problem in my opinion and what I have observed is the attantion to titles and winning where on some occassions the right dog wins but sadly in some cases a corrupted judge is the reason behind a certain win, the corruption of some judges, for money or friendly hand and favour exchanges, plastic face surgery in dogs, this compleatly change dog meaning rule in the breeding program and future developoment of the breed. Keep in mind that this is a hard work but true passin wich give you power and reward every day.

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How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays? Online presentation some time is important to see what are direct lines for kennel. But some time I think that it's more important just go in the car or on a plane and visit breeders to see all dogs in live because no one picture video or on line database will ever give you full opinion about the living dog. And more important you will always get new friends and can see and contact many fantastic dogs with your own eyes.

Would you like to add something? To be Corso owner it's something very special..... when you own a Cane Corso you are not just a dog owner or a dog lover, you are a member of a MAFIA family. Keep in mind that you are a part of the Camorra from the first day that puppy arrives in your house....


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Retro Roche INTERVIEWED BY Ewa Larsson

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Name Country Affix www

Tatiana Burchenkova/ Vera Danilova Russia Retro Roche www.facebook.com/burchienkova

The kennel ”Retro Roshe” was founded in 2012. During 4 years in our kennel was born six litters. These days in the kennel we have champions of more than 10 countries, and such dog as Retro Roshe Vesuvius who is the Top Dog cane corso of Russia 2015. Despite the fact that our kennel is quite a young one, in the rating of numerous kennels of Russia, we have the honourable fifth place. Moreover, we shall strive to be the first!!! The kennel Retro Roshe started its breeding activity from one strong and beautiful female Greenwood Retro Roshe Star. She started her show career at the age of 2 years. For the half of the year she had such titles as - Grand Champion of Russia, Champion of National club of Breed and Champion of 6 countries. From this dog we got two amazing litters. In the first litter, we got

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two bright stars – Retro Roshe Balthazar and Retro Roshe Burberry. Retro Roshe Balthazar – its male with perfect psychic, with great anatomy. Repeatedly was noted by experts as the best of breed. On the Championship of Europe in Geneva ( Switzerland) he was in the junior class and became ‘Reserve Winner’, in spite of the multiple class. Retro Roshe Burberry – is the second beautiful dog. She conquered the heart of many nonpro and professionals in our breed. Since childhood she was noted by experts and got the title Best Baby at the ‘Russia 2012’ Championship. At the age of 9 months, on the most biggest show in Russia (Moscow) ‘Eurasia 2013’, she became ‘Best Junior’ twice (more than 40 dogs of the strongest Russian cane corso). Later, at the age of a year, she confirmed this tittle on the National Championship cane corso of Russia. In 2014 on the World Dog Show in Helsinki, she became the winner of open class. This dog is with fantastic charisma and very beautiful. In the second litter from Greenwood Retro Roshe Star we got one more perfect kids. Retro Roshe Vesuviy – Top Dog 2015 in Russia. At the age of 15 months he became ‘Best of Breed’ on the biggest Russian show “Eurasia 2015”. On the World Dog Show in Italy, experts very high noted him: on the breed show he won the intermedia class and became RCAC, and on the WDS he became 4th from over the 40 dogs. In Oslo (Norway) on the Championship of Europe he got the 2nd place in intermedia class. Nowadays he is very bright and beautiful exhibitor of cane corso. He has already his own progeny with his charisma.

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Retro Roshe Vizantiy and Retro Roshe Vendetta – its brindle dogs, with great anatomy and character. They both also noted by experts with such titles as ‘Best of Breed’ and “Best of Group”. All this achievements in the show carrier become possible with the help of our talented handler – Vera Danilova. She is working with our dogs from the first days and she is so-owner of the kennel. This fragile woman works very scrupulously with dogs, choose special working program for them, work very cute and with great love with puppies. In return, they bring us love and wins in the rings. Vera can find the key to every dog and make a great tandem !!! Owners will always can have expert assistance and support in the growing of puppy. Cynologist-breeder Tatiana Burchenkova is always on contact and also we can help in veterinary. In our kennel you can get a discount on food and vitamins. Wish to engage in exhibition career - we can offer the help of the top professional handler Vera Danilova. We grow puppies in the kennel with the old Russian traditions: goat's milk and homemade cottage cheese. By the time of the puppy transmission, they are already transferred to the dry food. In our kennel we have grown dogs with such titles as – Champion of Russia, Champion of Eurasia; Champion of Latvia, Champion of Belarus, Champion of Lithuania; Champion of Macedonia; Champion of Moldova; Champion of Bulgaria; and also ‘Best of Breed’ at monobreed largest exhibitions of Russia and European countries.

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Name: Massimiliano Mannucci Country: Italy Affix: Cogli l'attimo www or email: massimannucci@alice.it

MASSIMILIANO MANNUCCI

AN INTERVIEW WITH A JUDGE Interviewed by Elena Ilina

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» Please introduce yourself to our readers. Sir Massimiliano Mannucci, 53 years old, Knight of the Italian Republic for cynological merits, around 90th I bred Bloodhound, winning all over Europe several nationals and internationals titles including European and World championships. Gold medal s better Italian breeder of scent hound group (Fci gr. 6). I writes books and technical articles about dogs and romances. After having studied at the Berkley’s University in San Francisco, now studying at the newest University course in Pisa (Italy) only for dog sciences and will teach next year. » When did your love of dogs begin? Please tell us about your past and present dogs. I can't remember, I've just some spots in my memory looking in bowls of my parents' dogs. 1st dog has been my parents' Scotland sheperd Samantha, than I grown up with my father German sheperds than, when 18, really my 1st dog was a bloodhound, Leopoldo 3° Granduca di Toscana, imported from UK. I bred for many years and when decided to stop, I had brief litters with Dobermann, Golden retriever, French Bulldog, American Staffordshire and actually Jack Russels. I always accompanied them with one mongrel, to enjoy/pay tribute to less lucky dogs, and actual one is named Zuzia, she is a sweet mix of a Pitbull and hound, the wiser of my pack. » How did you get introduced to this breed? I'm Italian, easy to follow strengths to recover the breed, I always loved

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molossoids for their temperament, liked attitudes and behavior, my Italian favourite was Neapolitan mastiff, but when I saw my 1st Cane corso, has been a shot to my heart. Not so heavy as nm but nice, gorgeous, powerful, dignified and most of all functional for his duty. » When did you start with judge career and why did you chose to become a judge? Please tell us about your judges carrier and your highlights. I was less than 30 y.o. and already won all was possible in my breed all over the world, so I decided to close circle becoming judge of the breed, to share my experience and honestly I never thought to judge other breeds. Anyway in my Country if judge of 1 breed is possible to judge all breeds in open shows and I liked it. I felt excited, I felt the responsibility and I understood I could be useful for new incomers in this "crazy world". Then started a long session of studying and exams and starting to judge in F.C.I., I've judged in club shows, nationals and internationals shows in 4 continents, in recent times the most prestigious are the Saint Hubert club show in Belgium as unique judge, club shows, group and CACIB in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Belgium, The Netherland, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Middle-east cup in Poznan-Poland, Moscow “Russia”, Saint Petersburg, U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Australia, etc. My highlights has been World dog


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show in Stockholm, Milan and Cane Corso specialties in Moscow, where I've seen best quality in the breed even if a lot imported/offsprings from Italy, and Philadelphia, where I've judge a Club show. » Did you ever had a mentor? Are you mentoring new comers? Lia Corsini, a breeer/judge of Bracco Italiano has been my mentor, she transmitted to me the love/importance to judge and I understood the importance of judge's role. I always try to give my knowledge to everyone and I'm open to dialogues. » How do you define the type? Type is the portrait of the breed. » Is there something which you would like to change in the breed? Judge's role is appliance of standard, not my matter, we are the notaries of the breed. » Every breed has some common problems. Which is the most common problem in Cane Corso? Incorrect facial axes, square body construction (it takes with horrible straight hindquarters), short upper-arm (movement in front like an Italian greyhound). » What is the most important point of which you would like a judge of the breed to be aware? The type » What qualities do you admire most in a judge? Knowledge, and overall idea of situation of the breed » What characteristics make a

good judge in your opinion? The aim to give something to the breed/breeders. » What differences do you see in the judges today as opposed to those in the beginning of your career? Our opinion is less taken into account. People don't come anymore to us for an opinion, but only to have a title and if we don't give, we simply are not good ones. » What is your most memorable experience as a judge? Judging group in main ring in Poznan, Poland, 2001, never seen so many specimens and so nice together. » Who was the best dog you have ever judged and why? It has been in Russia, a female of Cane corso, I wanted to bring her home. I don't know from where she come because I don't want to read catalogues even if allowed when show finished. I decided that's better to know less as possible about kennel names, bloodlines and so on. Less I know, more free I am. » How has the dog scene changed over the last decades? Handlers took more importance, we are unfortunately importing American style, where appearance/show, is more important than substance. » Have breed standards changed very much since you began your judging career? Do you see any difference in Cane Corso of today compared to the Cane Corso of 10 years ago? If so, what are the biggest differences you see?

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Standard changed different times and like in many other working breeds, Corsos become more functional, less heavy, always more far from the close parent Neapolitan Mastiff. The breed in some way lost a bit of aggressive appearance but on the other hand it has gained in elegance. » How has the anti cropping anti docking laws throughout most of Europe affected the popularity of the Cane corso? I appreciate that public opinion take care of welfare of all animals, unfortunately the decision about stopping to crop/docking has been taken not for cynological reasons, but only from the wave of emotional pushing from people not involved in dogs and for political reasons. Anyway I think the breed will lose some fans, but will keep new ones, from different catchment area. » What is the greatest threat to the Cane Corso today? Judging in one club show I had an interesting chat with a breeder. This man told me that he didn't like most part of exhibited dogs, type far from original one and so on. I replied that standard... but he stopped me: "Excuse me Sir, but I never read the standard" ! In the past some crosses were needed, now no sense, but I continue to see new "experiments" inside show rings, as crossing with Great danes, bullmastiff and even American akita. Also we judges must be stricter. Even if sad to disappoint owner expectations we must be really selec-

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tive and disqualify without regrets specimens with obvious characteristics kept from other breeds. A low qualify is not enough. It’s inevitable that breeds will evolve and change somewhat as new generations of breeders take charge. How can the essence - or true breed type - be maintained? Only taking care of breed standard » What would be the most important single piece of advice you would give to all serious young breeders? Take care of standard, be honest with themselves. Even if you love a dog, be ready to accept he/she'll never be useful for the improvement of the breed. When choosing a reproducer have as 1st though the health of whom will arrive! » Would you like to add something? I wish to all "good cane corso day" ! On behalf of TheDogMagazine we'd like to thank you for this wonderful interview.


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Name: Vera Danilova Country: Russia www or email: vera-dan@ya.ru

VERA DANILOVA Professional handler

Interviewed by Ewa Larsson

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» Please tell us about yourself. Hello, my name is Vera Danilova. I'm from Moscow, Russia. I'm a professional handler, wife, good mom and very comfortable person. Let me tell you first of all about my carrier... This days I’m co-breeder of the kennel of Italian Cane Corso “Retro Roche” and this is one of my gold wins. Also I’m owner of 2 beautiful American Staffordshire terriers. Also I'm working and have very warm relationships with other kennels of Cane Corso such as "Rimskiy Kvartal" & "Ollada Arlekin". 12 years ago I have started to work as a dog handler and successfully work-

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ing until now. But my work doesn't consist only of showing the dogs. I'm also trying to help people find the right way of communicating with their dogs; teaching dogs and of course grooming.

» Please tell us about your past and present dogs. My very first dog I had in my childhood were Russian spaniel. I was 8 years old. This dog shows me all the love and I understood that days, that dogs will be my life passion. My first show dog was Cane Corso, which I’ve been showing for 11 years ago, her name was Stanly Pat Bonnie


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Blue ( the mother of the World Champion 2012 - Stanly Pat Tornado). Another one of my dogs from the past was Cane Corso Stanly Pat Tiffany (the littermate of S.P Tornado). After 5 ½ year, I’ve bought my very first own dog (the new breed for me), American Staffordshire terrier - Anikord Non Stop To A Victory For Allvik. For now he has such wins : International Champion, Multi Champion, Junior Russian Club CH of AST, CH of Russian Club of AST and 18 CH of different countries, 12x CACIB, multi BIS, BISS winner. 1 ½ ago I’ve got the puppy from his first litter, his daughter - Anikord Charming Queen Non Stop To Allvik. At her 18 months old she has some nice results from the shows : Junior AST Major Winner -2015, V.Junior European Winner, Junior Multi Champion, Junior Russian CH of AST Club. For this

moment, she’s successfully showing in USA.

» Please tell us about the club you train with. In Moscow we have handling hall “Zoosport” where i do trainings and teaching dogs and their owners to be a show dogs and handlers. There we have treadmill, grooming room, swimming pool and personal fitness trainers.

» Are you currently involved in any other aspects of the dog show world? I’m spending a lot of time travelling around the world with a dog shows in Europe, in Russia I’m showing only on the biggest shows.

» What is your training and teaching philosophy? The main task of my work with a dog, to make them feel comfortable and enjoying the work with me.

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» What do you think are the keys to a dog/handler’s success ?

makes - they forced to work oblivious to the fact that the dog is not a robot.

The keys to success to a dogs and handlers - this is understanding between the dog, handler and owner. The teamwork is very important for me. The owner should be supporting and trust to the handlers and be very responsible with the dogs.

» What are the biggest mistakes experienced handlers make?

No less important to have respect to another exhibitors.

» What in your opinion are the biggest mistakes novice handlers make? The biggest mistakes novice handlers

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The biggest mistakes of experienced handlers, when they don’t want to learn more and when they thinks they knows everything. This is in my opinion the big mistake.

» Do you have any advice for other men and women who might be interested in learning more about Professional Handling? My advice is: love your dog, love what you do, do not forget that the shows is


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not just a job for a dog. The dogs must always enjoy the process This is a 50% of success.

» What do you do for relaxation, what pastimes do you enjoy? At my free from the shows time I spend with my family and my 12 year old daughter. I'm happy to have good friends and usually spend perfect time outside. Fishing, barbecue and going outside.

» Who has been your biggest inspiration?

and I've been working hard towards it all by myself. I've been reading articles about handling in different countries and about different breeds. Watched lots of videos from the biggest shows and always tried and still trying something new.

» Would you like to add something? If you want to achieve the best results, do not spare time and efford, work hard, and then you will get the highest result and recognition of your work.

Honestly, I never have had a mentor. I always wanted to have highest wins

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Name: Anna Country: Russia Business name: Anna Vasileva www or email: oliffka1@bk.ru Interviewed by Ewa Larsson

Please tell us about yourself. How did you come about being a dog photographer and how long have you been doing it? Hello! My name is Anna Valilieva. I am a photographer from Moscow in Russia. The first time I took up the camera, was when there was a need for the photos of my own dog. I wanted to show the world her uniqueness, its extraordinary beauty, grace and mischief in her eyes. Back then I did not know anything about the photography or how to paint animals so one day at the family meeting it was decided to buy my first camera. First it was unremarkable pictures and I was not always able to capture what I would like to see and I was obsessed with the study of the technical details of photography. A little later, a digital camera has been replaced by the first Sony SLR camera with interchangeable lenses and joy knew no bounds! But a little later I wanted perfection and I changed the optics on the Canon and acquired more advanced technique that is still with me. It is almost exactly reflects what I would like to see in the pictures. At this point, my first dog is 6 years old

private, but no knowledge there would be no consistent pattern. What or who got you started photographing dogs? Since my childhood I love dogs, but when the opportunity to capture a snapshot of what is stored in the memory for years to come, I will gladly took advantage of this opportunity! What type of cameras do you shoot with? Which is your favourite lens and why? Now I photograph with Canon 5D Mark 3 of the lens is probably the most convenient for me Canon 70-200mm f / 2.8L IS II USM. It is universal for al-

How did you first enter the photography world? Did you have formal training? How long have you been a photographer? The first full experience has been in the field, waist-deep in the grass. I was bitten by insects, but I obsessively tried to take off on a digital camera, "the perfect picture." I did a lot of pics, came home, watched all photos, deleted everything, took a flying saucer, and the dog again and come back in the search for "the perfect” picture. Of course, in the future, I was trained as a specialist photography school, and in

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most all kinds of shooting animals because it has a large aperture ratio and a wide range of focal lengths. Where do you find inspiration? In my models! I want to shoot better, I feel that there is room for improvement, of course, they are inspired, they makes me to move on. Do you consider it a challenging job? How do you get the animals to stay and "pose" for you? The work, which is fun, can't be challenging! Although, I must admit, there are absolutely crazy shooting days, a tight schedule, but at the end of the day comes to a pleasant tiredness and relax. To fix the dogs there are many

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possibilities, but in general are very helpful in the work of handlers and owners. What is the best part of being a fine art photographer? And the most challenging? The best part of the job is, when you find the "key" to the model, and she starts to really pose, then magic happens, contact between the photographer and model! You begin scribbling a lot of different shots, and you can't stop! The most difficult is the morning shooting. I - "owl", but for the sake of beautiful frames sometimes have to get up before dawn to catch shoot all the stuff at dawn Describe a typical session for us. What kinds of things are you thinking about when you’re behind the camera? On the other side of the camera I'm looking for the right angle, which will emphasize the dignity of the dog breed. Also very much I like to take facial expressions, because each dog is unique! Which breed in your opinion is most photogenic? Hard to say, each breed, and dog is unique in its own way and photogenic - a very subjective concept. But there is a "favourite", and among them, of course the Italian Cane Corso is the leader among them all. Are there other dog photographers that inspire or influence you? If not, who or what does?

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Of course! In Russia and abroad there are a very "strong" and well established

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photographers and everyone "sees in his own way," his model. Is there any one thing you wish you had known or piece of advice you would give to an aspiring fine art photographer? I wish you to have a goal and go for it, to have the vision of photos and find your inspiration. Do you have any pets of your own? And what is your favourite animal? Yes, in my house I have 2 dogs Cane Corso breed and a Pomeranian Would you like to add something? Do not be afraid to take pictures and make mistakes, learn and move on. Good luck in your endeavours!

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Name: Ksenia Yeropkina Country: Moskow Business name: Ksenia Yeropkina www or email: kse.nka@mail.ru Interviewed by Ewa Larsson

Please tell us about yourself. How did you come about being a dog photographer and how long have you been doing it? My name is Ksenia Yeropkina, I am married and have a son, our small and happy family would not be completed without a dog. I have Cane Corso dog called Valencia , she is my companion. I love the Cane...it's beautiful , powerful , arousing admiration and aesthetic pleasure to the eye, in my opinion it's a very elegant breed. Been around this noble breed at some point I have realized that I want to get the picture of the dog that I want to see, to appeal to my senses and the way I see the Cane Corso , and in my opinion in general photographers who take pictures of animals are not able to provide it to me, to picture the breed in the way I see it.. So I got an idea and put plan into action and one year ago have purchased my equipment. How did you first enter the photography world? Did you have formal training? How long have you been a photographer? When I had a thought about your photographic technique, the question arose about the choice between the two most famous companies are Canon and Nikon... it was difficult. This experience taught me different things, the year of my reflections, I reviewed many video …read a lot articles..but to decide on them I couldn't do it.. And then I started looking at a lot of photos made with these cameras...Gradually I began to notice that often I like more photos done with Nikon... and some-

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times I even accurately determined at which of these two brands made the photo. And I just went out and bought my Nikon D800. Hand on heart for one second I do not regret my purchase!! Every day I love the camera more and more))). But I must admit that when I first took it in hand, I was shoked...I didn't know what to do with it... a large number of functions and buttons that I didn't understand ... I had to ask for help and got it from Tanya Kozlowski. She is the best photographer of animals, I know her and I always watched and admired her work. And to my surprise Tanya Kozlowski agreed to teach me, I'm very thankful with all my heart. So a year ago began my immersion in the world of photography..)))

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What or who got you started photographing dogs?

with? Which is your favourite lens and why?

As I have previously said, I have a dog, Valencia, Cane Corso. She has encouraged me to buy a camera and start taking photos. And I love that I can express myself in this way and share with the world via my lens the way I see the dogs and especially the Cane Corso!! The only regret I have is that the idea came to me so late!

I have a SLR professional camera Nikon D800. Lens Nikon Nikkor F4 24-120. I like it.. I like it very versatile and comfortable in Studio and street shooting ... but in my dreams I have to purchase Nikon lens F2,8 70-200 for street shooting. My current lens is often not enough, and want more light, sometimes it is very necessary, for example when I shot in abandoned building, the street was overcast, and the flash, the flash breaks on black and

What type of cameras do you shoot

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white pattern ...that's when I seriously thought about a faster lens, I don't like being limited in anything...)) Where do you find inspiration? Inspiration...don't know...))) ..it it just there it is like to open a tap with water it just come! I have many many ideas, but I'm still limited by their lack of knowledge.... Much I do intuitively, but I want to know everything! To be confident in my actions to 100% !! I like to do it, I don't notice time when I take pictures, I think through all the details in advance, but often occurs spontaneously. ...just get an idea and I do it...then the impatient process... and tremble when you send a photo of your most important assistant- Milana Amonova. She is a lady who often , like me is behind the scenes and photos you see... she's my main helper , and I care about her very much and appreciate her help a lot ! She is the one who acts as the handler and puts the dog into a specific pose exactly as I need to, and what is the best part about it is that she strongly supports my ideas. Without her help, I am sure have a lot of my ideas would not have happened!! Do you consider it a challenging job? How do you get the animals to stay and "pose" for you? For me it's not complicated, it is very lovely work ! I like it , I enjoy what I do, and there is a lot of emotions behind every photo session !! Each of my images, it's my baby..I remember every moment how it was done!! Milana Amonova helps me, prior to each session we have a little chat and once we have a plan she makes sure to execute our ideas and puts the dogs as per our

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plan, I tell her that I want to see it, and it does. She's really good in handling. What is the best part of being a dog photographer? And the most challenging? I have a single very happy and memorable moment; in fact I have two of them! First, when I saw my new camera, it was everything what I wanted Second, most exciting, when I processed my first photos and sent them to Milan my friend, and was anxiously waiting for his reply, would he like them? Until today each session is beyond words!! I'm overwhelmed with emotions!! I don't understand why this is so emotional for me... and many wouldn't understand me... But I live for the moment...I am very emotional person, I put my heart and soul into my photos. What is most challenging for me...I


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honestly don't know... for me there is nothing difficult in what I do..I get what I need... and don't think about it hard, or easy... I like challenges and for me they are a joy... usually the more complex a project is, the more pleasant and rewarding are the result!!! Describe a typical session for us. What kinds of things are you thinking about when you’re behind the camera? When I am behind the camera...what I don't think... I don't understand where I.. I don't care that I'm lying on the ground in most strange poses and people look at me..I'm not scared to sit in the water up to my waist... I'm just doing everything to get what I want..no

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limits. When I work and take photos I am in another world. Afterwards loooking at my images it then comes to me and I remember how I took this or that frame , the emotions then come to me sometimes as funny or scary.. but this comes later...during the moment I am behind my camera I'm not aware of that. Which breed in your opinion is most photogenic? Of course for me the most photogenic breed is a cane Corso !! But ...each breed has its own beauty, and each breed we can choose the appropriate setting. It's difficult to explain it.. but every breed I associate something with, and I try to implement it in the picture.


Article

Ksenia Yeropkina

Are there other dog photographers that inspire or influence you? If not, who or what does? There are breeds that I want to shoot, and they inspire me too. It's the Dogo Argentino, Doberman and French bulldog. These breeds I admire, too. But the Cane Corso is still a large part of my fantasies. Is there any one thing you wish you had known or piece of advice you would give to an aspiring dog photographer? Don't be afraid to ask questions! By asking questions we learn. When I started I wanted to know everything!! All the ropes as to take the best pictures , but not regarding the mechanical part of the camera, everything about light, photography rules, want to understand theoretically what rules it obeys by...My teacher, Tanya Kozlowski, always patiently answered all my questions and explain everything thoroughly ! And the advice I give is love...Love what you do and put your heart into what you do! I think I'd say Do what you feel, what you like, don't be afraid!! Like photography, go ahead!! Don't wait when you will present the photo on a silver platter!! Do it yourself!! It is much more interesting!!)) Do you have any pets of your own? And what is your favourite animal? My Cane Corso name is Valencia Devoted Dynasty of Champions, I love her so much! She's my soul mate and my best friend . She inspires me, I take her with me on a photo shoot and she very often helps me .And I don't want to think of the day she will not be next to me anymore I have already lost one dog therefore I appreciate every day spent with her !

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DOG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Vasilis Ramiotis Trikala, Thessaly Greece https://500px.com/vasilisramiotis www.facebook.com/vasilis.ramiotis.1 GEAR Camera: Nikon d3100 Lens: Nikon 18-70, Nikon 55-200 vr, 50mm 1.8g

There is a small-unique and special section of photography that creates feelings with huge pleasure and satisfaction. The theme of dog photography. During the acquisition of my first dog, combined with the emotion that created me when i saw a wonderful expression on his face or on the body, he made me feel that that moment had to take them along with what i felt through photography to the viewer. Immediately, I realized that this is what I want to do and I bought my first camera. I continue to have this pursuit ceaselessly for the last three years.

brought me closer to other breeders working with them even now. In the business of dogs photography, where the intensity and the movement is huge I prefer taking pictures with high-tech dslrs. Because the focus and picture quality is not coming in the way of what I want to create. The Nikon 70200 2,8 vr is my favorite lens because of the subject isolation and the bokeh. Source of inspiration are the small everyday things. A ride with the car or with my dog, even photographing different subjects can be a positive touch to my next job.

The positive feedback gained for my pictures and photographs over to my friends' dogs, was the reason for my start. Without any knowledge until then on the object, my experience gained through countless hours of study on light and technical photography. Because each breed is different, since last year I’am studying the morphology of the different breeds, in order to highlight the dog just as it deserves, strong, beautiful and unique as his character.

Being a dogs photographer is a very special job. When it comes to a photoshoot, first I concentrate on the particular breed and talk with the owner to learn the strong points of his dog. The most difficult part for a dog is to stay still, for this reason I prefer the spontaneous moments, I let the dog to lead the process and take care to move appropriate. Contrary to the shows and morphology reports the head and the body are my priority whenever I try always to get the best position.

My first professional steps were made in the International Dog show of Thessaloniki canine society back in 2015. There i met the Cane Corso breeders and longer my friend Costas and his wonderful companion Maria Eleni, who helped me by showing me the confidence to shoot them. Since then I felt in love with this amazing breed. The positive resonance of that photoshoot

My biggest satisfaction is seeing the smile of the owner after each shooting. It is that more special and difficult to manage since every dog has occupied a separate piece of our heart and the expectations are high. Each image is special. The standard procedure is to speak with the owner of the dog to learn the nature of the pho-

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toshoot and afterward know the dog itself. Most of the time I’m talking to the dog as a human. I live the moment looking through the camera saying "come on beauty, close your mouth," or trying to guess the next move. But always in my mind is the correct position and the light which have become my second nature. Special place in my heart have the Rottweilers and Cane Corsos which are the biggest part of my job. Their amaz-

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ing expressions and faces can be read like an open book. Something that I like to say is that you can really understand the smile on their face. It is incredible how misunderstood are these breeds since they are giants with a heart of a toddler. With the passage of time finding out more and more people with the same passion for dogs photography. Elke Volesgang, Alicja Zmyslowska and Anne Geier are some of the photogra-


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Vasilis Ramiotis

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Vasilis Ramiotis

phers that i admire. The best advice I can give is, do not be afraid to fail and try day by day to become better. The photo is something unique and you must be patience, persistence and love what you do. Go outside and take photos of what makes you feel comfortable. There are no rules in a photo, is something that only you can record, it's your idea it's your time. It is up to us how to create what we have in mind. I am the luckiest person in the world because the last 5 years I enjoy the love of a female rotteweiler. The thought even still obtain a dog this time cane corso is very intense and I wish to take place. In closing I would like to say that as dogs photographers must always end up highlighted in the best way, the toil of the breeder, and the love of the owner but above all the dog.

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Vasilis Ramiotis

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JUDGES

AROUND THE GLOBE

PART 1

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Italian and International FCI judge since 1975 Breeder and owner of many Italian and International Champions of Neapolitan Mastiff, French Bulldog, English Bulldog, English Cocker Spaniel, Black Zwergschnauzer. Besides Italy, his country of origin, he has judged in many countries around the world, Europe, North South and Central America, Asia. Authorized to judge the following breeds (as FCI): • • • • • •

Group I complete Group II complete Group IV complete Group V complete Group IX complete Group X complete

Author of books and many articles on Neapolitan Mastiff, Cane Corso and Molosser breeds and of general cynothecnics and cynognostics.

Guido Vandoni Judge

He has attended as lecturer, moderator or chairman to many Meetings, Round Tables and Congresses. He was a member of some ENCI (Italian Kennel Club) Commissions and Central Executive Committee. Associated to many breed clubs, is member of the directors committee or technical committee for many of them. Frequently asked to be member of commissions for the education and tests of Italian new judges.

ITALY

IMr. Carosio has been a Cane Corso breeder since 1993 (prior the recognition of the breed in Italy). First with the kennel name Val Derro, he later became the successful and well known Saxellum kennel. He authored the book Il Cane Corso

Renzo Carosio Judge Breeder

in 1997, and has written over 50 published articles about the breed. He has given numerous seminars in Italy, including ones at the University of Pisa, in addition to many other countries. He is an expert judge of the Cane Corso, the Molossian and Terrier bull type breeds. He has judged in many countries and was the president of the A.I.C.C. (Association of Italian Cane Corso) in Italy.

ITALY

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TheDog-magazineissue_04/2016_CaneCorso