I am asked about offering breeding rights quite often. First of all what do people mean by "breeding rights?"
Breeding Rights means the ability for an owner to breed the dog they buy and register the puppies with AKC.
First off, breeding a male and female dog isn't that hard. When a female comes in season, both parties pretty much let mother nature take over and the dogs do their thing.
As a responsible breeder, the hard part is proving that those two dogs should even reproduce in the first place. That is where things like responsibility and ethics and goals, come in to play.
As a pet owner, you know you LOVE your dog and in your eyes, Mr.Man dog is gorgeous and stunning and has the best temperament ever. You know this, because he stands out at the dog park, the beach, when you take him out in public, people cant stop staring. While those things are great and it likely means YOUR Mr.Man Dog is a good canine citizen, it does not mean he should automatically be bred. In addition, just because HE is like this, it doesn't mean he will reproduce his wonderful traits in his offspring.
As a breeder, there are a multitude of traits and factors I weigh in my head about a potential breeding dog. I look at whole litters of dogs from one pairing, look back at the pedigrees, the dogs' health tests, temperament tests and whatever other information I can get, to hopefully make the best prediction for what that potential dog may reproduce.
The next step, is to look at the dog in front of me. While titles aren't the ONLY thing that matter, it is a starting point to proving that a doing is worthy of being used in a program... I show my dogs because I want to see how they look compared to other dogs of their breed. Its extremely hard to look at one's dog and be totally unbiased. Alot of breeders, myself included, tend to nit pick at our dog's faults. Sometimes its hard to see their virtues. I show my dogs because I want to see them against other dogs in the ring. The whole purpose of dog shows was to choose the best breeding stock. I still believe that is the case. A championship title has its merit and it does show that a dog who has one has defeated many dogs of his own breed in order to get it.
Another thing I look at is the dog's health tests and just as importantly a few of the dog's littermates health tests. While science has made testing more available, its not a failsafe and one still cant predict the onset of disease with testing. Testing is a tool for breeders to better understand the dog in front of them. Again, if possible, I like to see the tests from multiple dogs in a litter instead of just one dog as that will give me a better picture of how the dogs reproduce.
Finally, I want to see the dog, and ideally his littermates and parents, perform, be it in Agility, Schutzhund, Obedience, Tracking, Flyball or Dock Diving. I want to see the dog DO more than just sit on the couch or do loose leash walking. For me, one of the most paramount tasks a dog can do is something that the owner has trained it to do. Not only does this prove that the dog is "smart" it also proves that the dog is biddable enough to learn something, retain the information and then perform the behavior on command despite distractions. It also shows that the dog is likely motivated by food or toys and it will work for those items despite being in an environment that might have some temptations. In any type of sport work, you get to higher and higher levels of training and more complicated routines. Of course the owner has 100% to do with the dog's success. The owner also needs to spend time learning to train the dog and investing in their relationship together.
So what does all this have to do with breeding rights?
Well my friends, it has everything to do with breeding rights. Most people want a fantastic, healthy, well tempered pet to share their life with. These dogs may be wonderful ambassadors for the breed and for their families but it doesn't mean they all have to be bred. As a responsible breeder, we need to pick the best of the best. The owners also need to prove that their dog is worthy of reproducing by titling, training and health testing their dogs. I only give breeding rights to puppies I feel are good prospects and owners who are dedicated to doing the work to prove their pup is a good prospect.
And no, I dont charge more for prospects either. All my puppies are the same price, but its the dedication that an owner must prove to me before they get their puppy that will determine whether or not they should get a Show or performance Prospect pup. With all of the work I put in to my litters, I would like to see my puppy owners do the same. Because breeding a male and a female dog is easy, its the work before hand that is really tough.
I am frequently asked what I feed our dogs. And no, its not small children and clowns....
We switched to a raw diet at one time and loved/hated it. I loved the small amount of poop each dog had. That was a breeze to clean. Most of the dogs looked relatively good on it, some got super skinny, some looked the same. The coats in the Lowchen definitely matted MUCH less. What we hated about it was the cost. We sourced raw meats from Costco and our local grocery store and averaged a cost of about $1.50 - $1.75/lb. I know, it doesn't sound TOO bad but when you're feeding around 10 - 15lbs a day, the costs add up dramatically.
I'd looked into the remade raw diets as well. For the Pre-Made raw diets, those were averaging about $2.50+ per pound which was way too expensive for us. Even still we made due for about a year feeding exclusively raw to our crew. Another expense I didnt anticipate was the brand new chest freezer we had to buy. Our regular fridge freezer wasn't big enough for even a weeks worth of raw meat. So we bought a new freezer at Costco. The expenses keep adding up! Finally the deciding factor on whether to stick with raw or not came when we had to go on a weekend trip to a dog show. It was ONLY a 3 day show weekend, how much could I possibly need? Turns out I needed enough raw meat to fill 2 large coolers! Obviously a hotel fridge cant accommodate that much raw meat, so keeping it cold in the coolers was tough for 3 days. In addition, getting the right amount to thaw out each days for their meals was impossible and then there was the issue of keeping everything frozen for multiple days. That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for raw feeding.
So I had to look back at our options for a kibble diet and this is what I've found to be the BEST kibble combo around. We use the Acana Heritage Poultry Kibble and mix that with a small amount of Honest Kitchen Base Mix and add water. I LOVE the Honest Kitchen because its human grade freeze dried veggies and fruits and its an EASY, cheap and simple way to add fruits and veggies to a dog's diet. I've noticed glossier coats, better stools and better weight gain and condition on our dogs since adding that to the already awesome Acana Kibble. For Puppies, we feed and recommend Fromm Large Breed Puppy kibble mixed with Honest Kitchen.
When we wean puppies from Momma, I wean them using Honest Kitchen mixed with Goat Milk. I like to mix up the various proteins, sometimes I'll use Turkey or Fish or Beef and switch them between Grain free and Whole Grains, that way their systems get used to various ingredients. I do this for Lowchen and Corso puppies.
I also add CBD to our older dogs' food to help relieve inflammation and pain associated with getting older.
Do Cane Corso make good Service dogs?
The short answer is NO.
A couple things to note about using Corsos as a Support and/or Service dog any anxiety related disorder. I do not recommend using them as an Emotional support animal or Service Dog for any anxiety related disorder; ie PTSD, BiPolar Support, Emotional Support and/or an alert dog for a disorder where an owner can become unconscious.
Dogs that are good for this type of work need to be very resilient to their environment. They need to be more of a happy go lucky type of dog, where an owners emotions will not affect their emotional disposition. Even in a breed like Labs, or Golden Retrievers, dogs do bond to their people and its even difficult for them to not feed off an owners emotional disposition. The Cane Corso is an extremely sensitive dog. Especially when it comes to their owners. The corso feeds off of YOUR emotions. If you panic, they will panic. If you are unsure, they are unsure. While the temperament of a Corso can work for some service dog tasks, such as mobility support ie pulling a wheelchair, stabilizing an owner if they become unsteady, it takes an even greater amount of training from an owner to accomplish the goal of a true service dog. Most owners end up sending the dog to a facility to be trained and then work with a trainer for months afterward to get the dog trained so that it reliably responds to commands amidst major distraction. Even with all this training, there's no guarantee that the dog will be suited for Service work. According to Canine Companions for Independence, CCI, about 70% of dogs end up failing out of training and are not suited to be Service Dogs.
Forgive me if you've already research and understand this, but here is a link to a breakdown between the difference between Service dog vs Emotional Support vs Therapy dog. Most folks dont know the difference between the 3 terms and what's required, or not required, for their designation. https://www.caninejournal.com/service-dog-vs-therapy-dog-vs-emotional-support-dogs/
Every time I explain these facts to people about the Cane Corso, they almost always say "But I know someone who has a CC who has a service/therpay/emotional support dog... and he/she is just perfect" Yes. There are SOME dogs who can do the work, just like there are some Dachshunds who can scale a 6' fence, but its not the norm for the breed. Cane Corsos are protective of their owners and family and fiercely loyal. These traits do not make for a good Service Dog. Asking the dog to take on traits that go against their nature, is only going to result in disappointment for everyone.
this is Ava and I doing focused heeling at the bank ATM. A well trained dog in public is not only under control but also very intimidating to passers by. Ava has been Obedience trained using only reward based training
The above list of costs are just the costs associated with breeding, whelping and raising a litter. What isn't included is all of the costs to title, train and test the breeding dogs we use in our program. On average entry fees, gas money, handlers for shows and training can be anywhere from $2000 - $20,000 per dog per year. The higher price is is what we would easily spend to "campaign" a show dog. Dogs like Jack and Charm are 2 dogs we've campaigned.
We do not win money showing dogs. We also do not win money in protection or performance trials. The whole reason for competing in any trials is because I want our dogs judged by an expert judge with an unbiased opinion. These judges, essentially are looking at our dogs against others of their own breed and then award points toward a title. In performance trials, our training and the trainability as well as nerve, grip and sociability are judged and awarded a title.
For a Buyer, who is looking at what breeder to buy a puppy from, titles mean that a breeder's dogs have been evaluated by an unbiased judge. Its a stamp of approval in a way. We only compete in American Kennel Club events for conformation. For Performance we compete in American Kennel Club Obedience, Agility and Rally trials. For Protection Sport we compete in Schutzhund and Ring Sport. ALL of these types of competitions have been around for a very long time. With a very long and prestigious history. The titles from these organizations can be a challenge to achieve. For AKC Conformation, other dogs of the same breed MUST be present in order for you to accumulate enough points for a Championship. In other venues, you only need to show up once and have a judge deem your dog a "champion." No other competition needs to present. While these venues aren't a bad thing, especially for breeds that are extremely rare, to us, its not enough. Competing in AKC conformation is the most prestigious conformation competition in the world and as an AKC judge, I love it. For the performance sports, there are strict criteria and specialized behaviors that a dog must exhibit in order to pass a trial and receive a title.
So in doing all of these activities with our dogs, it only makes for better offspring. Puppy buyers may not think they "need" a dog from titled parents. After all, you just want a great companion. Having parents who have proven themselves to be stable, confident and conformationally correct will only make the most wonderful companion. We never "expect" or push our puppy owners to compete. We truly just want our pups to have loving wonderful and appropriate homes. If an owner is interested in competing, we are happy and excited to mentor our puppy owners.
Potrero Lowchen did a lot of Winning this weekend!
The Lowchen Club OF America in conjunction with the NorCal Lowchen Club, supported the entry of Lowchen at the Mensona Kennel Club dogs shows on 8/26-8/27/2017.
Friday Canolli was Winners Bitch for a point
Saturday Sparkle was Best of Winners and Winners Bitch for her second major
Sunday Canolli won Winners Bitch again and Boomer won Winners Dog and Best of Winners for his first major and baby Parker won Reserve to the major. SO proud of how all the dogs showed and how much fun we had with friends!
Rio demonstrates Luring
Rio, of Laefa x Shogun litter, demonstrates how I teach the pups to lure. The click is their marker and they are quickly rewarded using kibble. I did this with all 10 puppies but didn't have enough memory in my phone to record everyone
Romeo in his new home and starting training!
Here is Romeo and his new owner training with @fromtheheartdogtraining Romeo is formerly Siopao of Lucca x Charm litter. Romeo will be doing lots of Public Access Obedience and socialization with his owners and under the guidance of From the heart dog training. We are so grateful to have such knowledgeable and talented trainers to refer our puppy families to #GPRepost,#reposter,#notetag @k9_equine_1987 via @RepostApp
@k9_equine_1987:Training baby Romeo! #canecorso #canecorsopuppy#italianmastiff #italianmastiffsofinstagram #servicedogtraining#servicedog #sdit @potrero_performance_dogs #puppiesofinstagram