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 UKOnce 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.