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Should we be breeding Cane Corsos for Bite Work ?
Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking about people who use Cane Corso for bite work. There are bloodlines of Corsi based off dogs that did well in bite work. The vast majority of these dogs have American lines (which I think makes sense with the theory of them being mixed with American bandogs aka pit mixes).
Bite work requires a dog with a HIGH prey drive and a strong inclination to BITE and HOLD.
A high prey drive dog that is inclined to bite and not let go until instructed, cannot live in a rural farm environment. He will harm or kill the animals on the farm. So this cannot be the correct temperament of the ORIGINAL Cane Corso.
The Cane Corso has always been a dog used for DEFENSE of the farm and animals. They are NOT high prey drive dogs. That doesn’t mean they have zero prey drive either! The Cane Corso in it’s unspoiled form roamed the farm and guarded the livestock and the family. They were even used to help herd the livestock. Due to this they are not inclined to bite unless they think they have to. They have the mastiff drive to protect, often barking to warn the intruder first, while trying to keep the intruder at bay by providing a physical barrier with it’s body. This makes sense in a rual farm environment.
What good does it do the farmer or the dog, if the dog is so aggressive that it risks it’s life constantly trying to attack everything that comes around? Vets were not easy to come by, so injuries were a much bigger risk than even today! It’s much smarter to have a dog that can use multiple ways of warding off intruders. This favors dogs that are smart and capable of using their brains to assess threats and the required level of force needed to deal with that threat. Not a spastic head of gnashing teeth like many “mellon heads” we hear about attacking their handlers.
This doesn’t mean you cannot teach a Cane Corso to bite on command or to even hold, many things out of a dogs natural behavior can be trained into them using a reward based system.
But what value is that to the breed? Especially in this day of treat trainers and owners who can hardly keep their Labradors trained? Will we see Cane Corso’s acting like the “pit bulls” we see in the media tearing people to shreds as others watch in horror?
Are we going to ignore the terrier temperament aka HIGH PREY DRIVE that leads to that form of vicious dissection? Make no mistake this is high prey drive on display. This is the temperment of a dog that has NO fear for it’s own safety, it’s mind is blacked out with only one goal; kill and destroy.This is a valuable trait when you are hunting badgers, hogs or other ferocious quarry.Traditionally these dogs have always had a friendly disposition towards people. Mostly because they wok in close proximity to people and often times people they don’t know already. So the dogs were still safe despite that very high prey drive.
Despite many people who practice bite work stating the Cane Corso doesn’t typically perform as well as other breeds at bite work, there are people who want to change that. They look for dogs that will excel at bite work and then breed those dogs to increase those traits. There is no respect for the true nature or purpose of the breed. Breeding an incorrect temperament is just as bad as breeding a DQ color or a conformation fault.
Cane Corsi are the kind of dog that will subdue a threat with the least amount of aggression required. They will not hesitate to attack if required, but it’s not their only method of dealing with a threat. They are known for having the common sense to act accordingly to threats.
This makes them a SAFER breed than say a German shepherd, Belgian Malinois or an american bandog that that won’t think twice about biting first and asking questions later. More than that, breeds used for bite work often won’t stop the attack once it’s begun. Unlike the Cane Corso which will stop once the threat has subsided.
I feel that these people are doing major harm to the breed. They are fundamentally changing the breed temperament and increasing the aggression level of the dogs. Dogs with high prey drive are often rehomed because typical owners cannot handle the drive of the dogs. German shepherds and other dogs that excel at bite work make HORRIBLE pets and are often found in shelters. Why would we willingly do this to our breed?
Teaching a dog to attack on command and give a full bite without letting go has NOTHING to do with whether a dog will protect your family. It has everything to do with whether your dog will have to be trained to NOT bite people due to the fact that the dogs in his line were chosen because they were more likely to bite (unlike their ancestors.)
These people are breeding for aggression and high energy pure and simple. Aggression has nothing to do with whether your dog is defensive over you. Do you want a protective dog that is calm and observant; a dog that you can trust to handle the situation correctly?
Or do you want a dog with a high energy level that REQUIRES lots of work to keep their energy level down, and lots of training to make them safe? That dog is a liability.
The Cane Corso will die for you to keep you safe. They are born willing to provide protection to their owners. What is wrong with that? Why do you need to change that and add a hot temperament that goes looking for trouble to the mix?
How can you say you love this breed when you are seeking to change it completly?
Look at the breeds of dogs that perform the best at bite work and then question if you want our breed to end up with that temperament.
The Belgian Malinois is the king of bite work and they have the nickname of Mellon head. You can find litters of puppies hanging on rags like tiny velociraptors growling and going nuts.
That’s where you are headed if you breed these dog for bite work. It’s the work that defines the breed. Not the other way around.
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