Molosser Moment #5
He was a toweringly tall textile maker from Tuscany, but in the Mastino world, Mario Querci was an alchemist, transforming the Neapolitan Mastiff from a scattered family of dogs to a modern race that bred true. Starting in the 1950s, Querci’s di Ponzano line produced a staggering 50 champions at a time when the breed was in its infancy. But, more importantly, his tightly linebred breeding program focused on athleticism and soundness – sometimes, at the expense of the volume and mass that were so valued by the more traditional breeders to the South. Since Querci was in the fabric business, with three or four looms constantly clacking in his garage, it was perhaps natural that he would focus on the pattern and drape of the breed’s defining feature, its facial wrinkles, which he helped standardize. Today, many of Querci’s surviving peers are arguing for a swing of the pendulum away from hypertype and toward greater functionality and soundness, a shift where his influence echoes profoundly.