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What to expect when buying a Hierarchy Cane Corso Puppy?


At Hierarchy we know that you are looking for a healthy puppy, with a great temperament that is a true Italian Cane Corso. As AKC Cane Corso Breeders of Merit, you can be sure that we meet these high standards. However, we advise you to ask the following questions to ANY breeder you contact:


Is my puppy coming from health-tested parents?  The health of the parents of the litter will determine to a greater extent the health of your puppy. Always ask the breeder if the Sire and Dam are health tested. At Hierarchy, we only breed dogs that have been health tested. Standard tests normally include hips, elbows, heart, and thyroid (for females). You can see the results of the health tests of our breeding dogs on our website. In addition, we will give you 26 months of health guarantee on your puppy.


Is my puppy going to have a good temperament? The temperament of the puppy is determined by two important factors. The first is genetic and is related to the temperament of the parents. Ask the breeder if the parents have any temperament testing done, such as – CGC, TDI, ATTS. The breeding dogs at Hierarchy are AKC Canine Good Citizen which is an indication to their great temperament.

The second factor reflects puppy training and socialization. At Hierarchy, we guide our owners with proper training and socialization. We also use Volhard Temperament testing at age 7 weeks, which will help assist our Owners to select the right pup for them and their family based on pups’ temperament, not color.


What papers come with my puppy? – All our puppies and Cane Corso’s are AKC registered. AKC is the ONLY official dog registry of Cane Corso in the US. Buying puppies with only ICCF registrations means that the puppies are NOT officially registered.


As Cane Corso breeders, we know that when you buy a Cane Corso puppy you make a commitment for the next 10-12 years. For that reason, we devote much time and effort to our breeding. So, you can rest assured that we did our best to produce Cane Corso puppies with great health and temperament which are true to the Italian style of the Cane Corso.


Hierarchy Kennel VOLHARD’S PUPPY APTITUDE TEST WHAT IS PUPPY TESTING? Some of the tests we use were developed as long ago as the l930’s for dogs bred to become Guide Dogs. Then in the 1950’s, studies on puppies were done to determine how quickly they
learned. These studies were actually done to identify children’s learning stages. Top Dog Tips: The ideal age to test the puppy is at 49 days of age when the puppy is neurologically complete and it has the brain of an adult dog. With each passing day after the 49th day the responses will be tainted by prior learning. Later on, in the early 60’s more tests were developed to determine if pups could be tested for dominance and submission. These tests determined that it was indeed possible to predict future behavioral traits of adult dogs by testing puppies at 49 days of age. Testing before or after that age affected the accuracy of the test, depending on the time before or after the 49th day. We took these tests, added some of our own, and put together what is now known as the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test, or PAT. PAT uses a scoring system from 1-6 and consists of ten tests. The tests are done consecutively in the order listed. Each test is scored separately, and interpreted on its own merits. The scores are not averaged, and there are no winners or losers. The entire purpose is to select the right puppy for the right home. The tests are as follows:

1. Social Attraction – degree of social attraction to people, confidence or dependence.

2. Following – willingness to follow a person.

3. Restraint – degree of dominant or submissive tendency, and ease of handling in difficult situations.

4. Social Dominance – degree of acceptance of social dominance by a person.

5. Elevation – degree of accepting dominance while in a position of no control, such as at the veterinarian or groomer.

6. Retrieving – degree of willingness to do something for you. Together with Social Attraction and Following a key indicator for ease or difficulty in training.

7. Touch Sensitivity – degree of sensitivity to touch and a key indicator to the type of training equipment required.

8. Sound Sensitivity – degree of sensitivity to sound, such as loud noises or thunderstorms.

9. Sight Sensitivity – degree of response to a moving object, such as chasing bicycles, children or squirrels.

10. Stability – degree of startle response to a strange object.

During the testing make a note of the heart rate of the pup, which is an indication of how it deals with stress, as well as its energy level. Puppies come with high, medium or low energy levels. You have to decide for yourself, which suits your life style. Dogs with high energy levels need a great deal of exercise, and will get into mischief if this energy is not channeled into the right direction. Finally, look at the overall structure of the puppy. You see what you get at 49 days age. If the pup has strong and straight front and back legs, with all four feet pointing in the same direction, it will grow up that way, provided you give it the proper diet and environment in which to grow. If you notice something out of the ordinary at this age, it will stay with puppy for the rest of its life. He will not grow out of it.

Here are the ground rules for performing the test:

• The testing is done in a location unfamiliar to the puppies. This does not mean they have to taken away from home. A 10-foot square area is perfectly adequate, such as a room in the house where the puppies have not been.

• The puppies are tested one at a time.

• There are no other dogs or people, except the scorer and the tester, in the testing area

• The puppies do not know the tester.

• The scorer is a disinterested third party and not the person interested in selling you a puppy.

• The scorer is unobtrusive and positions him or herself so he or she can observe the puppies’ responses without having to move.

• The puppies are tested before they are fed.

• The puppies are tested when they are at their liveliest.

• Do not try to test a puppy that is not feeling well.

• Puppies should not be tested the day of or the day after being vaccinated.

• Only the first response counts!

Top Dog Tips: During the test, watch the puppy’s tail. It will make a difference in the scoring whether the tail is up or down. The tests are simple to perform and anyone with some common sense can do them. You can, however, elicit the help of someone who has tested puppies before and knows what they are doing.