At Outlaw Kennel we feel that temperament is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE. So much so that I feel it needs its own page to talk about. So why is temperament so important? Well it means the difference between a dog that just looks pretty and a dog that will defend your home and family. It also means the difference between a dog that is 100% trustworthy and loyal in a family environment and a dog that is aggressive or unstable in the wrong situation. It means the difference between a dog that would rather stay in the house and watch over a small child and a dog that will take off the first time it sees an open door.
When the show ring (or any other past time event) is used as the main determination of a guardian dogs worthiness the breed will become “watered down” because the temperament traits that made the breed so famous are being changed during the breeding process (most often unintentionally ) to fit the breeders current needs. Over time this renders the dog ineffective at its original intended purposes.
What exactly is the correct definition of temperament? Temperament is “The physical and mental characteristics of an individual dog, made evident through its reaction to stimuli in its environment.”
While most American breeders talk about temperament they use no actual temperament testing procedure whatsoever , We use a temperament testing protocol that is designed specifically for the guardian dog . Correct temperament as a loyal fearless guardian is what made the Cane Corso a legend. and is what we specialize in!
5. Emotional stability
The above 6 traits make up the cornerstone of our temperament testing program. We use specific tests to evaluate these traits and incorporate them into our breeding program. Our Temperament testing protocol is unique to Outlaw Kennel, it is something that we have developed after much research into the breeds history. We take GREAT PRIDE in using historically accurate methods of temperament testing. Our goal is simply to keep this OUTSTANDING BREED true and not change it into something it was never meant to be. Every breeder has their own methods as to how they choose their breeding stock , this is ours!
GUARDIAN DOG VS. SHOW DOG or THERAPY DOGS
What about breeders that claim to have dogs that excel at all different areas? This sounds really good and sells a lot of puppies but the reality is as with most things in life there is always a trade off. While the Cane Corso is a highly intelligent dog that is responsive to training and can be taught to perform well at quite a few different jobs, the breed (as a whole) does not match up to other breeds that have been bred over many years to have a specific set of temperament traits that allow them to excel in different areas.
Allow me to give just one quick example; The Guardian dog and the Therapy dog…… One of the main temperament traits that make a great therapy dog is that it has to act like it has never met a stranger! It needs to be very open and loving with all strangers that it may interact with in the course of a day! Every stranger it meets is a lifelong friend . On the other hand, a true Guardian dog will have a totally different set of temperament traits in this area. He will be very standoffish and judgmental of strangers: he is trying to discern if you are there to cause harm to his family or property. While both of these dogs are great and they are both needed in society, they have a very different set of temperament traits when interacting with strangers.
These temperament traits can be somewhat bred in and out of a dog breed (over a few generations) but there always seems to be a trade off.
Some countries, like Germany, have mandatory temperament testing that must be done on its working dog breeds before they can be registered, shown, or bred…this ensures the breed stays true to its original intended purposes. When these breeds make their way to the United States, where there is no mandatory temperament testing , the show ring seems to become the determining factor as to a dogs worthiness. Within a few short years the originally great guardian dog becomes just a pretty dog that has lost all of its guardian ability (sigh). The Rottweiller from Germany is just one (of many) perfect examples. Because of the lack of proper temperament testing in the United States we now have 2 very different Rottweillers types, the working and the show type. This is what makes the “pink papered” German imports so popular , they simply have not had the working ability bred out of them.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTENSIVE & SPECIFIC TEMPERAMENT TESTING
When a true breeder works a “line” or “bloodline”, they are enhancing certain desirable genes while at the same time eliminating any undesirable ones. Ok so what exactly is a gene? A gene is the segment of the DNA strand that is responsible for a way the dog looks or acts. When a breeder uses the selective breeding process they are able to manipulate the genetic traits that will determine how a dog (or any other pure bred animal) looks or acts. This is why a Boxer is different than a Basset hound or a Quarter horse is different than a Clydesdale . All pure bred domestic animals are a result of selective breeding .
When temperament testing we are trying to determine if certain genes are present that will cause a dog to act a certain way in different situations. After we identify these desirable genes we use the selective breeding process to reproduce them in the next generations of puppies.
If a breeder does not temperament test they really have no idea of what genes “or” temperament traits they are working with. They are simply guessing and hoping for the best. There are over 500 hundred different breeds of pure bred dogs on the planet and every single one of them were created using this process. There is a huge difference between true breeders and people who just breed dogs!
When breeding the Cane Corso as a Natural Guardian dog we are looking for a very specific set of temperament traits “or” genes that are responsible for things like Courage under pressure, Intelligence , Fearlessness , Loyalty , Responsibility etc.