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OPEN MESSAGE ON THE CANE CORSO’S INTRODUCTION INTO THE WORLD OF AKC
By Patricia H. Gilbert

I have been reading posts on the introduction of the Cane Corso into the AKC world of dog shows.

AKC does not have any plans in the future that I am aware of to admit a breed that cannot be trained to be approached and examined.

The Cane Corso Club of America has worked very long and hard towards AKC recognition. They know all the AKC rules and requirements. They know their breed must be examined in a normal fashion as are all other AKC breeds. I give them a lot of credit for getting to this position of being accepted into the AKC world.

Do I know the breed? Yes. My husband Ed and I did a presentation for the Cane Corso Club of America one day preceding their National. Is the breed tough? Yes. Have I judged them? Yes, numerous times throughout the years and most recently a large entry of 55 the day before their National in North Carolina. I was required to judge them by AKC rules and procedure. I DQ'd one for dentition and mouth. I DQ'd two for unable to examine in a normal fashion. One was a pup that was badly behaved and full of himself making a nuisance of himself with everything and everyone. The other was an adult who did not properly discriminate I was a non-threat. I think that was because the handler was new to the show world and so nervous, if you said boo, she would have shot straight up to the clouds. That message traveled down the lead and the dog was on guard.

Please understand that the Cane Corso is a coursing Mastiff and an ancient breed that is bred to be tough and discriminating. They are required to be approached by a friendly and non-threatening stranger in the ring and in their working tests which Ed and I witnessed. They are supposed to be watchful and non-aggressive with that approach. It is in their breed standard. If they overreact and go for a non-threat, then their temperament is not correct and they should be disqualified from competition. They are to be examined in a normal AKC fashion.

Are they ready for AKC competition? Yes. The caveat is that the judges must be educated on proper examination procedure. Treat the breed in a matter of fact fashion and with respect as you would any tough working dog and you will be fine. If you cannot do this, then you don't need to judge this breed. It would be a disservice to the Cane Corso and their owners who have worked so hard to educate people and judges to gain acceptance into the world of AKC.

BTW the long time AKC accepted breeds of the German Shepherd Dog, the Rottweiler, the Doberman Pinscher, amongst many other breeds should not react to non-threats. They too are required to stand their ground in a calm and watchful manner. The German Shepherd even has a temperament test that is performed in the show ring.

So, please don't cry the sky is falling. It is not. The Cane Corso is magnificent, intelligent, handsome and most importantly can be examined in a normal fashion. I welcome them to the Working Group and know they will be competitive.