"CORSO" and "NEO"

Related - but DIFFERENT!!

A few months ago a good fellow named Todd had e-mailed me with some training questions about the Corso (not really my forté I might add- I'm more into their history both ancient and modern). He had purchased a Cane Corso a few weeks before from another breeder but I did my best to answer those questions for him based on my experience with the breed... As he continued to do the right and responsible thing and try and learn all he could about his new rare-breed puppy, he inevitably came across some slanderous info (that means "lies") about our American lines from unprofessional, immoral individuals with impure motives (to debase our American dogs, club, and breeders so as to obtain more of the market share for themselves). Todd was interested to know how I felt about this line of BS he was being fed so he e-mailed me again to ask. He had been told that the American lines were all Neo-Rottie mixes, and had been from the beginning. And that's just one version they'll try and feed you... I myself was told, while visiting the bulletin board of a European website that flys the flag of that small, narrowed, so called "true 'Italian' standard", by a guy named Brian who claims to "know" someone who "knows" that Michael Sottile (a man whose family came from Italy, and who frequently went to Italy to visit, having MANY opportunities to obtain pure Cane Corso) NEVER imported a Cane Corso to America, but that he, in 1988, walked over to the whelping pens of his Neapolitan Mastiff bitches, picked out the smallest PUREBRED NEOS of his litters- named them Ballo Orso, Cocomo, Duro, Bruno, Tori, and Malocchia- and then proceeded to SHOW them in the conformation ring as Cane Corso in front of the public AND EXPERT JUDGES who are VERY familiar with the Neo which they've been judging for YEARS, AND WAS SUCCESSFUL AT PASSING OFF THESE PUREBRED NEOS as another breed- the CANE CORSO!! :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D... I'm sorry, I can't help laughing... That sounds so ridiculous it's funny! (Brian is obviously a big fan of Saturday morning cartoons- and that friend of his who fed him that story is probably either a writer for Looney-Tunes...or is a cartoon character themself created in the mind of Brian) I'm really NOT trying to sound sarcastic here- it really is somewhat humorous to me that anyone could even come up with something so lame-brained. DESPERATION, greed, and personal vendetta are the ONLY things I can see that would cause such a lapse in judgement that someone would make themselves look so stupid in an effort to discredit the American lines of Cane Corso and those who breed them... In case you may feel I'm being a little too harsh with Brian here, understand that the first words of Brian that I'd ever seen authored by him were, "Those American lines are nothing but a bunch of MUTTS and CURS -CROSSBRED BASTARDS - I know and my friend knows", and this I found him slinging all over the bulletin board...such was my introduction to Brian and the SACCilians (reference to the supporters of the SACC, Italy's Cane Corso club and proponant of that newer MUCH narrowed, small, cookie-cutter version of the Cane Corso)... No, I'm not worried much about hurting Brian's feelings by sharing these things- I'm sure he's quite proud of his conclusions and expressions on the matter. I can imagine Brian's hero being Saturday morning's Wyle E. Coyote, that bright star of the cartoon, "Roadrunner"... the one that's always screwing himself up everytime he tries to catch Roadrunner.

Below is my response to Todd's query about the crap that someone flung on him (a "responsible" Corso lover no doubt). It is also my response to that Brian showing his savvy as he attempted to slander the purebred Cane Corsos brought to the U.S. in 1988...

From: TheColosseum@webtv.net (Randall C. Todd)
Date: Wed, Jul 1, 1998, 12:51pm
To: todd.xxxxxx@wachovia.com
Subject: Re: What.....?

Hello Todd,

You can rest assured that the Corso has been around a LONG time and is not a new breed. There is plenty of historical evidence both written and pictorial which shows that the Corso has been bred true to type since very early middle ages at least. And though there are some similarities between Corso and Neo (they both sprang directly from the Roman Molossus) the differences between the two are very obvious at very 1st glance. And these obvious differences not only pertain to physical 'appearance' and are discernable to the eye, but also extend to great differences in temperament and personality between the two breeds (try and get a Neo excited about going for a walk, a hike, or oftentimes even a ride! You've got to DRAG 'em... Try and STOP a Corso from going-- it's "KATY BAR THE DOOR, he's comin' thru like a freight train!!! VERY high drive, very high energy, VERY strong sense of adventure)...
****There is also a very obvious difference between the physical 'capability' of Corso vs. Neo. A 140-lb. Corso will run circles around a Neo of the same weight. In fact, the weightiest Corsos you can find (140+lbs) are much more quick and agile (not only in energy level but in actual capability) than the lightest Neos (125-130lbs). It is not a matter of size as some would have you believe, but is a matter of BUILD: joint and bone structure, tendon and muscle placement, etc. (remember, the Cane Corso received the injection of some coursing hound [some large greyhound] genetics in its development) THESE TWO DOGS ARE VERY OBVIOUSLY 'DIFFERENT' BREEDS. The Neo is very specific in its duty or job (guardian of house and yard-- relatively close quarters), and its temperament, physical, and mental abilities are specifically and well-suited for that purpose. The Corso on the other hand, with it's added agility (yet retention of strength and weight) is a much more multi-purpose dog which can not only do the close-quarter guard job of the Neo, but also with its high energy level, high drive, and strong sense of adventure, can double as a hunter of large game, and can catch and hold cattle with the best of them. If there had been crosses involved in the formulation of these American Corsos, you wouldn't have "trueness of type" being bred from one generation to the next but would have frequent 'reversion' to the breeds used in the mix. My Primus is 4th generation American with his taproot going back to the original 1988 Michael Sottile foundation litter. I have seen both of Primus's parents, some of his siblings, all 4 grandparents, several aunts and uncles, and many of his great-grandparents. They are ALL unquestionably of the SAME BREED. And definitely NOT Neo!! This trueness of type thru 4 generations from Cocomo, Ballo Orso, and Malocchia... to Czardus, Lamia, and Rocco... to Bacci, Lucca, and Zanna... to Primus and his siblings would absolutely NOT be possible if Michael Sottile had introduced mixes/crosses... and ESPECIALLY if he had used PURE NEOS and called them Corso. ANYONE trying to get you to swallow THAT one is doing nothing but insulting your intelligence... and showing MUCH desperation and jealousy on their part (not to mention great Mental Prowess and Judgement). And the Italians do have some cause for frustration and jealousy... the Americans have taken their country's dog and are the ones supplying the swelling American demand ...and it's the Americans who are the ones primarily responsible for the world's perception of the Cane Corso (Italy wasn't interested enough in the breed, so we really had no choice... their recent faint interest in the breed actually stems from ours). All I can tell you Todd is that I KNOW you own a genuine, true, pure, Italian Cane Corso. If you've ever been around Neos, that will be proof enough that your dog isn't Neo. If you know anything at all about genetics, and the time involved in creating a new breed -a process that involves wading thru several generations of throwbacks- you will know not only that these Corsos Sottile imported WERE PUREBRED, but also WHY he wouldn't do something like that when it is MUCH EASIER and less time consuming (by years or decades, NOT months) to simply go to Italy (his father's and grandfather's homeland) and bring the real thing home. Anyone who would suggest otherwise has questionable motives... and is clutching at straws to try and push their agenda forward. These are my true and sincere feelings on the matter Todd. I hope they help...

Randall C. Todd
Tucson, Arizona


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