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Is the Cane Corso right for me?

Before considering buying a puppy, you should do thorough research. Read the breed standard, understand the characteristics of the breed and be sensible when deciding if this is the right breed for you and will fit into your lifestyle. You should make some attempt to understand the potential health problems that could affect the breed and what health tests breeders should be undertaking.

A well bred Cane Corso raised correctly with the right owner is a pleasure to own. An unruly dog is both un-pleasurable and potentially also a liability.

Do you have the time and are you committed enough to own a large guardian breed? Cane Corsos do need a lot of time spent on them both in terms of training and socialisation and this is something that should continue for the rest of the dog's life. Can you make the time to do this?

They eat a lot, drool occasionally, shed hair and once mature require a lot of exercise. Is this something that you can cope with?

Insurance premiums are expensive but a necessity; big dogs equal large vet bills! Can you afford this?

If left for long periods of time, the Cane Corso can be destructive and develop behavioural problems. Do you work long hours and expect to leave the Cane Corso alone for long periods at a time, if so, buy a goldfish!

Are you prepared to accept responsibility for a Cane Corso for the rest of its life?

These are some of questions you need to ask yourself before you even start to consider looking for a Cane Corso.

What is the temperament of the breed like?

The Cane Corso can be wary of strangers but they should never be aggressive. An aggressive, unfriendly, unapproachable Corso is incorrect according to the breed standard. The standard describes a well rounded, stable dog that, when necessary, will take on the role of protector.

The breed is naturally strong and dominant and people considering taking a Cane Corso on should have plenty of experience with dogs, preferably with large breeds. It is extremely important that the owner establishes the role of pack leader at the outset.

Contrary to information provided by many breeders, these dogs should not be aggressive in nature. Equally they are not Golden Retrievers. They should be aloof with strangers, indifferent when approached and should only react when a real threat is present.

Cane Corsos love to be around the family and do best living indoors as long as they have access to a large garden and sufficient exercise. They do not appreciate being left alone for long periods of time, this can lead to them becoming destructive and unhappy. If you are away from the home all day, this is not the breed for you.


Finding a breeder in the UK

Once your research is complete and you have decided that a Cane Corso is the right dog for you, you then have the difficult task of finding a reputable breeder.

In the UK the Cane Corso is still a fairly rare breed. There are a lot of dogs labelled as Cane Corso in various free ad sites but the reality of the situation is that these dogs are very unlikely to be Cane Corso.

Read the breed standard before looking at puppies. Look at the pictures of both parents and puppies before making the trip to visit breeders. Do their dogs look and resemble the breed standard? Cane Corsos do not come in chocolate brown or pied colouring, puppies with these colourings are cross bred and not Cane Corso.

You should make contact with more than one breeder and should feel comfortable talking to them and asking them a number of questions all of which they should be happy to answer. They should know and understand their bloodlines inside and out and should be breeding with a purpose, not to make money. They should hip and elbow score as standard and should openly discuss their dog's scores with you.

A good breeder will also ask you a number of questions before they let you visit them and view their puppies, as they should want to ensure their babies go to the very best homes possible. A breeder that does not ask lots of questions or pushes puppies on a prospective buyer should be avoided.

When you visit the breeder its important to see what kind of environment the dogs are kept in. Are they clean and tidy, do they have a lot of room to move around in, are they happy and content? It's important to assess the temperament of the dogs also, can you interact with them, and does the breeder encourage this?

A good breeder will advise on all aspects of the breed including health, temperament, training, socialisation etc. They should be more than comfortable to show you hip/elbow scoring paperwork for the parents and should be able to produce a traceable pedigree and ICCF paperwork/FCI/AKC papers.

The breeder may ask about the temperament a prospective buyer is looking for. Some people would prefer a more laid back puppy whilst others may want a more outgoing puppy. Each puppy is an individual, and it is important for the buyer and the breeder to communicate effectively so they can pick the right puppy together. A good breeder will match the right puppy to the right buyer whilst a not so good breeder or inexperienced breeder will allow people to pick which puppy they like with little input into the buyers decision.

You should not expect to meet your puppy before the age of 4 - 6 weeks. Spend some time looking at the whole litter, how they interact with each other, how they interact with you. Ask the breeder questions on the characters of the puppies, they should be more than happy to have a discussion regarding this with you.

The breeder should have a worming schedule for their puppies and should as a minimum give 1st vaccination and micro-chip. Puppies should not leave mum until they are at least 8 - 10 weeks old.

Most good breeders will sell puppies on contracts that have their puppies' best interests at heart. Most importantly, the contract should state that if you, the buyer are no longer able to keep your dog at any point during its life, you will return it to the breeder who will ALWAYS take the dog back. Breeders, who do not give such guarantees, should be avoided as they do not have the dog's best interests at heart.

Moving forward the ICCF UK will be maintaining a list of breeder members that have signed our Breeder Code of Ethics. This means that their breeding dogs are at least 2 years old, have acceptable hip and elbow official scores, are free from major genetic defects and are of sound temperament. The dogs will also have full ICCF registration papers.


Traits of Responsible Hobby Breeders Traits of Backyard Breeders
"Into" Dogs (shows, training, clubs, etc.) Not "into" dogs (has "pets" around the house)
Belongs to dog clubs and organizations Is not involved in the "dog world"
Proves quality of dogs and suitability for breeding by competing for titles and certificates in conformation, obedience, agility, field trialing, Schutzhund, herding, tracking, earthdog trials, etc. Quality of dogs is almost always substandard, however, he does not test his dogs in shows or trials (Dogs are just pets or "breeding machines")
Pups' pedigrees are filled with dogs who have obtained show titles/working certificates; never breeds dogs without "papers" Pedigrees mostly a list of pets bred by backyard breeders; pups may not even have "papers"; may be mongrels (Cockapoos, etc.)
Supports rescue groups; knows his actions inevitably play some part in pet overpopulation and euthanasia (one of every four dogs in shelters is purebred). Even with all his efforts to stem over- population, he knows "cracks" will lead to canine deaths Honestly believes that because he places/sells all his pups, he does not contribute in any way to the needless slaughter of millions of dogs per year in shelters (Does not see his role in his pups making pups and them making more pups and so on)
Knowledgeable in every facet of breed, including that of health issues/defects; researches genetics when choosing mates Not particularly educated about breed, often not aware of his own breed's genetic defects; does not consider mate's genetics
Knowledgeable about house breaking, training, socializing, breeding, health; constantly reads dog-related materials Has own ideas which may not coincide with professionals' opinions; won't bother to read any of the hundreds of dog books available
Can and will help and educate puppy buyers re these issues Says "Goodbye" and "Good luck"
Willing to give you his references Has no references
Knows his puppies' ancestry Knows nothing about the other dogs on puppies' pedigrees
Follows up on puppies' well-being; collects health information affecting his dogs Does not concern himself with the puppies' well-being or how puppies' health affects his breeding "plan"
Breeds to improve his own dogs, his bloodlines and the breed Breeds just to breed or make money or see his "great dog" procreate
Rarely breeds as he does not use dog breeding as a business and strives for quality, not quantity Breeds regularly if for money or if puppy mill; if for ego, breeds once in awhile, or "just once" before neutering or spaying
Rarely repeats a breeding Often repeats breedings, mainly those that are cheap and convenient.
Breeds only dogs which meet breed standard Dogs used for breeding rarely meet breed standard
Breeds only dogs with stable temperaments Breeds shy/aggressive dogs with poor temperaments
Breeds only dogs over 2 years old, and a limited number of times Breeds dogs at almost any age, and any number of times
Mate choice could be anywhere in the country (almost never breeds his own males to his own females) Mate choice is that which is convenient, cheap, local (very often owns both sire and dam)
Does all genetic testing and will provide proof; does not breed animals with genetic defects or which are carriers of defects Does no genetic testing; ignorantly breeds defective animals or those which are carriers, thus, perpetuating disease in breed
Puppies are sold from waiting list created before breeding even takes place Puppies are sold after birth in the local newspaper, first-come, first-served
Pet-quality pups generally cost £900-£1000+ (show-quality costs more) All pups are pet-quality and are relatively cheap, usually £400-£500
Puppies are sold with health guarantees Puppies are sold with no guarantee
Puppies are sold with contracts No contracts; does not care what you do with puppies
Requires pups back if new homes don't work out Says "Find them good homes"
Dogs on property are friendly, socialized, trained Dogs on property may be aggressive or shy, and untrained
Does not own more dogs than he has room, time or money for; Dogs are groomed, exercised, healthy, happy Puppy mills are overloaded, "warehoused" dogs are not groomed or exercised, don't look healthy or happy
Will show you pups' parents if available, or if not, will have pictures Might have to "lock up" pups' aggressive or shy parents (dogs that should never have been bred)
Raises puppies indoors Raises puppies outdoors
Stays home to care for puppies Dam and pups are alone for long hours
Feeds only premium dog food Feeds cheap, grocery store dog food (containing 4D meat/chemicals)
Visitors remove shoes and wash hands to prevent spread of parvovirus Has no understanding and takes no precautions to prevent puppy-killer disease
Keeps pups with mom and litter a minimum of 49 days to ensure sibling socialization and important lessons from pups' mother Doesn#39;t know leaving litter earlier can cause lifelong temperament problems or staying too long can hurt bonding with humans
Socializes pups by systematically handling them and exposing them to various noises, children and other animals before sending them to new homes Does not understand or want to be troubled with any kind of training; just tries to keep puppies quiet and contained until sold
Tests pups to match their temperaments and drives with buyers' personalities and lifestyles Knows nothing about puppy-testing or matching puppies with buyers; allows buyers to pick the "cutest" one
Can honestly evaluate pups' quality Says all pups are high quality
Never sells to "impulse" buyers Is not concerned about buyers being prepared for pups
Never sells two pups at the same time to a novice Would consider this killing two birds with one sale
Interviews prospective buyers, checks home and references, refuses to sell to substandard homes Sells first-come, first-served to whomever has the cash; does not find out which homes are substandard
Wants to meet whole family; won't sell if children are abusive Does not consider anything past obtaining the funds
Sells only to buyers with disposable income (AKC reports it costs £1500 per year to properly care for a dog) Is not concerned whether or not buyers can afford to properly care for pups
Waits for buyers who offer lifelong homes (Knows that only 30 percent of all dogs stay in one home throughout their lives) Does not reject high-risk buyers: (renters, young people, those with poor track records, low income, other pets, dogs kept outdoors)
Understands dogs are "pack" animals; sells pets only to buyers wanting to make pup an indoor dog and part of the family Doesn't care if pups live as outdoor dogs or chained dogs, being unhappy or anxious being isolated and separated from "packs"
Sells only to buyers who make pup's safety a priority Does not consider pups' best interests
Encourages or requires buyers to spay/neuter pet-quality pups Encourages buyers to breed, regardless of quality
Encourages buyers to train pups; refers to good trainer Shows no concern for pups after sale; knows no trainers
Makes sure buyers understand pup's considerable need for time, attention, exercise and training Does not provide even his own dogs with enough time, attention, exercise or training
Responsible Breeders Improve the Breed Backyard Breeders Damage the Breed


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