The ears are cropped in almost all the dogs, even those of greyhound type, which would be a very practical and common practice of the time. By contrast, the tails are undocked, proof of the real functionality of this appendage, the docking of which I have never found myself in agreement with. Better, in my opinion, is the practice of the mastinari (Neapolitan Mastiff breeders) to crop only one-third of the tail, minimizing any sores or ulcers on the tip, and still maintaining the utility of this functional appendage for the dog.
The well-developed masseter muscles and slightly shorter muzzle are typical of Cane Corso type.
The definition of the head is striking, and appears well sculpted (you’ll forgive the pun), with the obvious musculature of the masseter muscles. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull, with a lip that is rather moderate. I was struck by the inverted U-shape of the lips; the chin is very evident, perhaps forming a bite that would conform to the one dictated by the modern standard.
A discordant note in the head is a nose with a downward direction, which ruins the anterolateral profile of the muzzle. Finally, the dogs are depicted with light curls at the back of their thighs and some also lightly on the neck. It’s proof that the coat of the Cane Corso was short, but not smooth.
The light curls depicted on the Corso-like dogs suggest that coat length may have historically been short, but not smooth.
After an extensive session of photo-taking from many different angles, I went to my meeting in Benevento – hot, yes, but pleased and satisfied with my dip into this piece of Italian dog-art history.
About the Author
A breeder of Dogo Argentinos with the affix “de Angel o Demonio” since 1994, Massimo Inzoli’s life with dogs started as a youngster in the late 1970s, when his family bred a few litters of Neapolitan Mastiffs and he grew up amid the legs of a few of them. A Dogo Argentino and Cane Corso specialist judge, he judges all the breeds in FCI Group 2 (which includes the Molossers) and Group 4 (Dachshunds), as well as bull-type terriers, Akita Inus and Alaskan Malamutes. He has judged Cane Corso in many specialty shows in Italy as well as the U.S., Israel, Belorussia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic and in all-breeds shows throughout Western Europe.