The Cane Corso is an ideal dog for protection. The Cane Corso has a high prey drive nature which makes it a good fit for protection training. This breed has been used as a protection dog for thousands of years so one can safely assume that Corso will work well in this working task. I have listened to many Cane Corso stories over the last 10 years while I raised this wonderful breed and I can say that time after time I hear the same stories of the Cane Corso cornering another dog who may have slipped into their yard, or cornering an intruder in a home but not attacking, instead of waiting for the owner to arrive. The reason the Corso may do this is they are of Mastiff blood and the English mastiff is known and trained to not destroy the attacker but first to hold the attacker until the owner arrives. This is a very good characteristic to have when choosing a protection dog. Often times we hear about Pitbulls attacking their prey and ripping the prey or person, we must understand that this comes from the vermin hunter instinct from the terrier breed. I have owned three Pitbulls in the past and can attest to the fact that I would be very careful not to let any other dogs in my yard or cats for that matter. The Cane Corso on the other hand seems to have no interest in my cat or smaller dogs from friends who visit. I can’t say this for all Cane Corsos but I can say that when choosing a protection dog one must be able to train a habit not have an aggressive dog protect. The dog must protect based on the command, not by aggression. So where does this put the Corso? In my opinion the perfect candidate.
We have several dogs who were chosen because of their IPO protection history. One of our Males Damiano comes from Europe where his dad is a level 3 IPO champion. You can see the clean bloodline in our puppies as they grow and they easily adhere to obedience training as well as protection training, we have has many of our pups become service dogs as well.
As a rule, I would say Corsos in general do not need protection training, however, in order to harness this energy and provide discipline, I do recommend this type of training to make your working dog a better protection dog.
IPO is a term you may be familiar with and it is a well known and effective title for your dog that you can achieve with hard work.
IPO (Schutzhund) training is considered to be highly structured and high-level obedience is a major part of the dogs’ training, along with tracking and protection. A dog must pass all three in the trial. The trails test the working ability, mental stability, courage, and stamina of the. Both the dog and his handler’s performance are strictly evaluated is a judge who scores each aspect of each phase on trial day.
To succeed in the protection aspect of the sport, the successful IPO candidate must possess a basic level of instinctual drives, solid nerves, desire, and willingness to perform the work with their handler. My cousin in Italy raises and trains dogs for IPO, he represented my Grandparents home town, Puglia.
The companion dog title is a pre-requirement for IPO titles. Tests basic obedience and temperament. All breeds and sizes are eligible with the minimum age requirements of 15 months. The BH test has four components – the written test, the temperament test, the obedience test, and the traffic test.
For IPO 1 the dog must be at least 18 months old and pass an initial temperament test by the judge and get at least 70 points at the BH trail. This test includes Tracking, Obedience, and Protection. In tracking, it must be able to follow a track laid by its handler at least 20 minutes earlier. In obedience, the dog must heel off-leash, demonstrate the walking sit, the walking down, and the long down under distraction, as well as the send-out. It must retrieve on the flat and over a hurdle, and over the scaling wall. In the protection phase, the dog must search 2 blinds, perform escape and courage test exercises, and demonstrate a side transport.
For IPO 2 the dog must be at least 19 months old and must already have earned its IPO 1 degree. In tracking, the IPO 2 candidate must be able to follow a track laid by a stranger at least 30 minutes earlier.
It must again pass all of the obedience and protection tests required for the IPO 1 degree, but those tests, for IPO 2, are made more difficult and require greater endurance, agility, and, above all, control. There is an additional walking stand exercise required in obedience. In protection, the dog must search 4 blinds and demonstrate a back transport of the decoy in addition to the IPO exercises.
For IPO 3, the dog must be at least 20 months old and must have earned both the IPO 1 and the IPO 2 titles. Again, the tests now are made far more difficult. The track has four turns, compared with two turns for IPO 1 and 2, and there are three objects, rather than two, that must be found by the dog. The track must be laid by a stranger and be at least 60 minutes old. All exercises in obedience and protection are demonstrated off-leash.
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