"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

The Cane Corso – With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

– Posted in: Aggression, Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff), Columns
The Cane Corso

Hi John! I’ve read a lot of your Q&A’s as well as your general insight to the cane corso breed. I have had no problems with my boy, although he very protective of me. If someone he doesn’t know moves abruptly, and too quickly towards me he will lunge between me and this person, letting them know with a sharp bark/growl combo that they are out of line. I haven’t necessarily considered this to be too much of a problem until I read that you believe the hardest times with the males come after 18 months. In what ways do you mean?

I honestly don’t believe I will have any major problems with my boy, but if there’s anything I should consider in the coming months as he matures, but I would like to be on top of the situation.

Michelle W. (Missouri)

Hi Michelle,

No surprises here. What you’re describing is pretty much what the Cane Corso is wired up to do. That’s genetics for you. Border Collies herd, Retrievers, retrieve and Guarders, guard.

The big question is whether you’ve done what you’re supposed to do when you have a breed wired as such.

Namely, if you tell him to do otherwise (not guard) will he, like it or not, comply every time? Period.

For instance, if you tell him to lay down and stay in the areas where someone, God forbid, dares to move abruptly or quickly, is it crystal clear to him that he’s to do so? Even should someone commit the despicable act of moving abruptly or quickly -ESPECIALLY, if someone moves abruptly or quickly?

In other words, does he understand that unless told to protect you he is to knock off the unrequested and unnecessary guarding and focus on the job you gave him to do? Are you even sure he’s protecting you and not “his resource”? Read this column, “Resource Guarding In A Nutshell.”

People that can move abruptly and quickly often do. So, if you don’t have enough control of him so that he will not yet do as described above unless you plan on solely living with him in a senior’s centre you have some work to do if you want to be a responsible Cane Corso owner.

One muscle all too often rarely sufficiently exercised in the already powerfully muscled Cane Corso is their “suck it up” muscle. As many that purchase them find out soon enough, they are not Golden Retrievers on any level. They also find out that it’s not as easy a muscle for the average companion dog owner to reach and the longer they wait, the harder it becomes. This breed characteristic is why I so often refer to them more so as hobbies rather than merely pets.

As Voltaire said initially and as was paraphrased later by, Lord Melbourne, Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and most recently, Spiderman’s, Uncle Ben – “With great power comes great responsibility.” This quotation should accompany every Cane Corso puppy to their new homes and for the lifetime of the dog be hanging from a wall so prominently that the Cane Corso owner sees it every day.

The Cane Corso gives you its love; you earn its respect. There’s tons of information about the Cane Corso on this website. Click on this link for more http://www.askthedogguy.com/breed/cane-corso-italian-mastiff/.

I’m reworking a book I wrote about dog training in general so that it’s tailored for the Cane Corso owner. You will still absolutely find the direction you need to get the ball rolling with your Cane Corso within the existing version. Here’s a link – The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template

-John

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