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Dont't Buy A Cane Corso- Article by Pam Green

Copied and revise from an article by Pam Green (copyright 1992), titled "Don't Buy a Bouvier." Pam writes:

"I first wrote this article nearly 10 years ago. Since then it has become a classic of Bouvier literature, reprinted many times. Since then I have spent nearly 5 years in Bouvier Rescue, personally rescuing, rehabilitating, and placing 3 or 4 per year and assisting placement of others. Very little has needed revision in this new addition...... I give my permission freely to all who wish to reprint and distribute in hopes of saving innocent Bouviers (note: it's CC's here!) from neglect and abandonment by those who should never have acquired them in the first place."

Intrested in getting a Cane Corso? you must be or you wouldn't be reading this. You have already heard how marvelous the Cane Corso is. Well, I think you should also hear, before it's too late, that THE CANE CORSO IS NOT THE PERFECT BREED FOR EVERYONE.

As a breed they have a few features that some people find charming, but that some people find mildly unpleasent and some people find downright intolerable.

There are different breeds for different needs. There are over 200 purebred breeds of dogs in the world. Maybe you'd be better off with some other breed. Maybe you'd be better off with a cat. Maybe you'd be better off with a goldfish, a parakeet, a hamster, or some house plants.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you are attracted to the breed chiefly by it's appearance. One they grow out of their "cute" puppy stage, the Corso is a ~100+ lb. dog that requires heavy socialization and training by an experianced "alpha" owner, as they are not a "happy-go-lucky" mastiff- they will not "love" everyone they meet. They are indifferent to other people and dogs are VERY protective of their family and home. CC's are unique, intensely loyal, protective, sensative, and serious dogs- traits that require thoughtful consideration before adopting a dog.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you don't intend to educate (train) your dog. Basic obedience and household rules training is not optional for the Cane Corso. As an absolute minimum, you must teach him to reliably respond to commands to come, to lie down, to stay,and to walk at your side, on or off leash and reguardless of temptation. You must also teach him to respect your household rules: i.e., is he allowed to get on the furnature? Is he allowed to beg at the table? What you allow or forbid in unimportant; but is crutial that you, not the dog, make the choices and that you enforce your rules consistently. You must commit yourself to attending an 8 to 10 week series of weekly lessons at a local obedience club or professional trainer and to doing one or two short (5 to 20 minutes) homework sessions per day. As commands are learned, they must be integrated into your daily life by being used whenever appropriate and enforced consistently.

Young CC puppies are relatively easy to train: they are eager to please, intelligent and calm-natured, with a relatively good attention span. Once a CC has learned something, he tends to retain it well. Your sweet little Cane Corso puppy will grow up to be a large, powerful dog with a high self-assertive personality and determined to finish whatever he starts. If he has grown up respecting you and your rules, then all his physical and mental strength will work for you. But if he has grown up without rules and guidence from you, he surely will make his own, and his physical and mental powers will often act in opposition to your needs and desires. For example: he may tow you down the street as if competing in a weight pull trial; he may grab food off the table; he may forbid guests entry to his home. This training can not be delegated to someone else, e.g. by sending the dog away to "boarding school" because the relationshipof respect and obedience is personal between the dog and the individual who does the training. This is true of all dogs to a lesser or greater degree, but definately to a greater degree in CC's. While you definitely may want the help of an experianced trainer to teach you how to train your dog, you yourself must actually train your Cane Corso. As each lesson is well learned, then the rest of the household (except young childrfen) must also work with the dog, insisting he obey them as well.

Most of the CC's rescued from pounds and shelters show clearly that they have recieved little or no basic training, neither in obedience nor in household department; yet these dogs respond well to such training by the rescuer or the adopter. It seems likely that a failure to train the dog is a significant cause of CC abandonment. If you don't intend to educater your dog, preferably during puppyhood, you would be better off with a breed that is both small and socially submissive e.g., a Shetland Sheepdog. Such a dog does not require training, but a little bit goes furthur than with a Cane Corso. CC's can with adequate training, excel at such working competitions as field trials and hunt tests, obedience, agility, and tracking.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you lack leadership (self-assertive) personality. Dogs do not believe in social equality. They live in a social hierarchy lead by a pack leader (Alpha). The alpha dog is generally benevolent, affectionate, and non-bulling toward subordinates; but there is never any doubt in his mind, or in their's that he is boss and makes the rules. Whatever the breed if you do not assume leadership, the dog will do so sooner or later, and with more or less unpleasent consequences for the abdicating owner. Like the untrained dog, the pack leader dog makes his own rules and enforces them against any other members of the household by means of dominent physical posture, and a hard eye stare , followed by a snarl, then a knockdown blow orma bite. Breeds differ in tendancies towards social dominance: and individuals with the breed differ considerably.

CC's as a breed tend to be of a socially dominant personality. You really can not afford to let your Cane Corso become your boss. You do not have to have the personality or mannerisms of a Marine boot camp Sergent, but you do have to have the calm, quiet self-assurance and self assertion of the successful parent ("Because I'm your mother, that's why".) or successfull grade-school teacher. If you think you may have difficulty asserting yourself calmly and confidently to exercise leadership, then choose a breed known for it's socially subordinate disposition, such as Golden Retriever or a Shetland Sheepdog, and be sure to ask the breeder for a more submissive pups in the litter for you. If the whole idea of "being the boss" frightens or repels you, don't get a dog at all. Cat's dont expect leadership. A caged bird or hamster, or fish doesn't need leadership or household rules. Leadership and training are inextricably intertwined: leadership personality enables you to train your dog, and being trained by you reinforces your dogs perception of you as the alpha.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you want a totally unagressive and unprotective dog. Most CC's have an assertive and confident personality. When confronted with a threat, a proper Cane Corso will be somewhat more ready to fight than flee. Thus, he may respond aggressively in situations, where many other breeds back down. Most CC's have some inclination to act aggresively to repel intruders on their territory (i.e., your home) and to counteract assults on their packmates (you and your family). Without training and leadership from you to guide him, the dog can not judge correctly whom to repel and whom to tolerate. Without training and leadership, sooner or later he might injure an innocent person who will sue you for more than you own. With good training and leadership from you, he can be profoundly valuable as a defender of your home and family. (See also remarks on stability and socialization below.)

I fyou feel no need of an assertive dog, if you are embarassed by a barking dog at your door, or if you have the slightests doubts of your ability and willingness to apply the essential socialization, training and leadership, then please choose one of the many breeds noted for thoroughly unagressive temperament, such as a Sheltie or Golden Retriever.

DO NOT GET A CANE CORSO if you are unwilling to share your life or your house with your dog. CC's were bred to share in the work of their family and spend most of their waking hours working with the family. They thrive on companionship and want and they want to be wherever you are. They are happiest living with you in your house and going with you when you go out. While they usually tolerate being left at home by themeselves, they should not be relegated to backyard or kennel. A puppy exiled from the house is likely to grow up unsociable (fearful and/or unprovokably aggressive) unruly, and unhappy. He may well develope pastimes, such as digging or barking, and will displease you and/or your neighbours. An adult so exiled will be miserable too. If you don't strongly prefer to have your dog's companionship as mush as possible, enjoy having him sleep in your bedroom at night and sharing many of your activities by day, you should choose a breed less orientated to human companionship. Likewise, if your job or other obligations prevent you from spending much time with your dog. No dog is really happy without companionship, but the pack hounds are more tolerant of being kenneled or yarded, as long as it is in groups of 2 or more. A better choice would be a cat, as they are solitary by nature.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you don't value laidback companionship and calm affection. A Cane Corso becomes deeply attached and devoted to his own family, but he doesn't "wear his heart on his sleeve". Some are noticably reserved, others are more outgoing, but few adults are usually exuberantlydemonstrative of their affection. They make remarkable eye contact with their favorite people. They like to be near you, usually in the same room, preferably on a comfortable pad or cushion in a corner or under a table, just "keeping you company". They enjoy conversation, petting and cuddling when you offer it, but they are moderate and not overbearing in coming to you to demand much attention. They are emotianally sensative to their favorite people: when you are joyful, proud, angry or grief-stricken, your Cane Corso will immediatley percieve it, and believe himself to be the cause. The relationship can be one of great mellowness, depth and subtlety; it is a relation on an adult to adult level, although certainly not one devoid of playfulness- CC's are famous for their vocalization with their people (the roo-roo-roos and the snorts). As puppies, of course, they will be more dependent, more playful and more demonstrative. In summary , CC's tend to be sober and thoughtful, rather than giddy clowns or synchophants. A number of breeds retain into adulthood a more puppish and playful disposition, e.g., Astralian Shepards, Malamutes, and others. Quite a few are far more demonstrative and/or more clingy dependent, e.g., the Golden Retriever.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you are fastidious about the neatness of your home. Although it is technically true that CC's don't shed long coats and do not require professional grooming, they do "blow coat" at least twice a year and your house will be full of "dust bunnies" tumbleweeding their way about your house. I don't mean to imply you must be a slob or slattern to live happily with a Chessie, but you do have to have the attitude that your dog's company means more to you than does neatness and you do have to be comfortable with less than an immaculate house. The Basengi is perhaps the cleanest, due to it's cat-like habits; but cats are cleaner yet, and goldfish hardly ever mess up the house.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you dislike daily physical exercise. CC's need daily exercise to maintain the health of the heart and lungs and to maintain muscle tone. An adult Cane Corso should have a morning outing of a mile or more, as you walk briskly, jog, or bicycle beside him, and a similar evening outing. For puppies, shorter and slower walks, a day are preferred for exercise and housebreaking. But, more than just walks, you need to "work" your Cane Corso. CC's were bred to work hard and the modern dog still thrive on work. Anyone who own's one should be able to devote atleast 20 minutes a day either working, training, retrieving or playing with them. CC's that are NOT worked- both physically and mentally- are prone to mischief and will not "think". These active, intelligent dogs need jobs and responsabilities- it is best if you designate what these jobs are- you might not agree with what your Cane Corso decides important!

All dogs need daily exercise of greater or lesser lenght and vigor. If providing this exercise and work is beyond you, physically or temperamentally, then choose one of the many small and energetic breeds that can exercise it's self within your fenced yard. Most of the Toys and Terriers fit this description, but don't be surprised if your Terrier is inclined to dig in the earth since digging out critters is the job they were bred to do. Cats can be exercised indoors with mouse-on-a-string toys. Hamsters will exercise themselves on a wire wheel. House plants don't need exercise.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you believe dogs should "run free". Whether you live in town or country, no dog can safely be left to run "free" outside your fenced property and without your direct supervision and control. The price of such "freedom" is inevitably injury or death: from dogfights, from automobilies, from the Pound or from justifiably irrate neighbours. Even though CC's are home-loving and less inclined to roam than most breeds, an unfenced Cane Corso is desitined for disaster. A throughly obedience-trained Cane Corso can enjoy the limited surpervised freedom of off-leash walks with you in appropriately chosen enviroments. If you don't want the responsibility of confining and supervising your pet then, no breed of dog is suitable for you. A neutered cat will survive such irresponsibly given "freedom" somewhat longer than a dog, but will eventually come to grief. A better answer for those who crave a "free" pet is to set out feeding stations for some of the indigenous wildlife such as racoons, which will visit for handouts and which may eventually tolerate your close observation.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you can't afford to buy, feed, and provide health care for one. CC's are not a cheap breed to buy, as running a careful breeding program with due reguard for temperament, trainablility, and physical soundness (hips & eyes especially) can not be done cheaply. The time the breeder should put into each puppy's "pre-school" and socialization is also costly. The "bargain" puppy puppy from a "back-yard breeder" who unselectively mates any two CC's who happen to be of opposite sex may well prove to be extremely costly in terms of bad temperament, bad health and lack of essential socialization. In contrast, the occasional adult or older pup is available at modest price from a disenchanted owner or breeder, shelter, or rescuer to whomm the dog was abandoned: most of these "used" CC's are capable of becoming a marvelous dog for you if you can provide the training, leadership and understanding. Whetever the initial cost of your Cane Corso, the upkeep will not be cheap.

Being large dogs, CC's eat relatively large meals. (Need I add what goes in one end must eventually come out the other?) Large dogs tend to have larger veterinary bills, as the amount of anesthesia and of most medications is proportional to body weight. Spaying or neutering, which costs more for larger dogs, is an essential expense for virtually all pet CC's as it "takes the worry out of being close", prevents serious health problems in later life and makes the dog a more pleasent companion.

DON'T GET A CANE CORSO if you are not willing to commit yourself for the dogs entire lifetime. No dog deserves to be cast out because his owners want to move to a no-pet apartment or because he is no longer a cute puppy or didn't grow up to be a beauty contest winner or because his owners through lack of leadership and training have allowed him to becomean unruly juvenile delinquent with a repertoire of undesirable behaviours. The prospects of a responsible and affectionate second home for a "used" dog are never very brright, but they are especially dim for a large poorly mannered dog. A Cane Corso dumped in a Pound or Shelter has almost no chance of survival unless he has the great good fortune to be spotted by someone dedicated to Cane Corso Rescue. The prospects for adoption for a youngish, well trained CC who's owner seeks the assistance of the nearest Cane Corso Club or Rescue group are fairly good; but an older CC has diminishing prospects. Be sure to contact your breeder, breed orginization or Rescue group if you are diagnosed as terminally ill or have other equally valid reason for seeking an adoptive home. Be sure to contact your breeder or rescuer if you are beginning to have difficulties in training your Cane Corso, so these can be resolved. Be sure to make arrangements in your will or with your family to ensure continued care or adoptive home for your Cane Corso should you pre-decease him.

The lifespan of a Cane Corso is from 10 to 12 years. If that seems a long time to you to give an unequivocal loyalty to your Cane Corso, then please do not get one! Indeed, as most dogs have a life expectancy that is as long or longer, please do not get any dog!


If all the preceding "bad news" about CC's hasn't turned you away from the breed, then by all means DO GET A CANE CORSO! They are every bit as wonderful as you have heard.

$ 500.00 deposit to reserve a puppy, upon approval

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CREDIT / DEBIT CARDS ONLINE W/ PAYPAL: We trust PayPal for handling our online transactions. PayPal is a safe and secure payment gateway that accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Debit Cards for all Adult Cane Corso and Cane Corso puppy purchases. EBay owns PayPal so your online purchase is secure with buyer’s protection. Hierarchy Kennels is a verified PayPal Merchant.

There is a 2.93% transaction fee we ask you to cover this fee when sending in payments using this method. Calculate your payment using the online: PayPal calculator

Example: If your deposit were $500 you would send a payment for $515.24 to cover the 2.93% fee. We do accept Bank Transfer if you prefer to save the online fee.

Deposits are non-refundable, if for any reason the litter does not take, the deposit will be applied to the next available litter of your choice.

Serious inquiries only please!

Hierarchy Kennel Email: info@heirarchykennel | Ph: 678-982-9539

Transportation & Airline Resources Information

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