Lessons From Basir
The Bible has Adam and Eve, and Cane Corso fanciers have Basir and Babak.
Whelped in 1980, Basir (and to a lesser degree his brindle sister Babak) are fetishized in the breed because they were used as the visual models for the Cane Corso standard, and were for all intents and purposes the first modern Corsos.
Basir arrived on the scene as the Cane Corso was being promoted by serious Italian fanciers, who in the early 1970s began the “recovery process” for this dwindling breed from the Puglia region of Italy. An impressive black dog, he represented the transition between the preservationist-minded breeding efforts of a small clutch of Corso lovers, and the breed’s official recognition in the mid-1990s.
Basir’s litter, bred by Giancarlo Malavasi, was a linebreeding: The sire, Dauno (Aliot di Ortonova x Mirak), was a typey black dog with a powerful but athletic build, slightly undershot bite, and desirably large and well-proportioned head. Dauno’s sister, Brina, was bred to a dog named Picciut (sometimes referred to as Pisciotto, which roughly translated means “kid”), producing Tipsi. Bred back to her uncle Dauno, Tipsi produced Basir and his influential siblings, including the handsome male Bulan.
Basir was eventually acquired by Fernando Casolino, who remembered the Corso from his childhood and was very active in the breed’s recovery, becoming one of the founders of the Società Amatori Cane Corso, or SACC, the Italian breed club.
From all angles, Basir was worthy of the praise and high hopes heaped on him. A black dog like his father, he measured 64 centimeters, or about 25 inches, at the withers and weighed 44 kilograms, or 97 pounds. With this moderate size he had good substance, very sound conformation and the convergent planes and shorter muzzle that are so important for correct Corso head type. Simply put, he was a well-built dog that looked like a Corso.