The variety of colours in the coat of the Cane Corso requires an extended discussion.
At the beginning of the ‘80’s, when the recovery of the breed began, it was decided not to prefer any particular colour, but to take into consideration all the tones that history and tradition had given us. Nevertheless, it turned out that the coat colours we found at the time were basically four: black, dark brindle, ash grey and wheat (frumentino). As we have mentioned in earlier chapters, the colour of the dog was often directly connected to his function, the geographic area in which he lived, and superstitions which considered this or that particular colour tied to particular attributes. Actual had been created of subjects with the same colour and the same function.
A black coat was preferred by pig and goat breeders, and ,much used by cowboys as well. The black must be intense, bright but not shiny , and never tending to blue. White markings (on the toes and the chest but never large) are admitted, but total black is to be preferred. When the dog is in moult the black may because in colour.
Dark brindles were chose for wild boar hunts and were much used for herding. In the Cane Corso the striping covers many gradations of red and is not always clearly delineated but can, in certain cases, fade into the base color, most especially in the darker brindles. This gives subjects which, due to the mixture of black and red hair, have three tonalities: for example, black, dark red, and light red, all in a mixture of unclear lines in which, however, the black must prevail. Brindles must always have a black mask.
The ashen coat was the favorite of cowboys and herders. Lead and late grey are occasionally brindled, but more often this is found in the lighter shades, always with the red lines well-marked. In brindles with red lines the mask is rarely present.
A wheaten colour (red with the tone of ripe grain) was preferred for badger and sometimes wild boar hunting, as well as by goatherds. There must always be a black or grey (perhaps the most typical) mask. This is black in the darker reds and grows lighter as the coat colour clears toward wheaten. It is important that the mask does not overreach the eye line (when it does there is a foreign blood in the subject), but the most typical is a gradual blending as it approaches that point.
A white band on the nose was much appreciated at the time.
Together with wheaten, the most typical colour was the light red with pearly tones.
We have said that in the past entire of the same colour were formed (dogs were rarely exchanged for mating). Modern breeding has instead given no particular preference to colour, and the result of the coupling of subjects of different coats has been a proliferation of different colours, particularly grey and red. We believe, however, that in the future breeding should be oriented towards the four most coats: black, dark brindle, ashen (even if brindled) and wheaten. In conclusion, we should remember that there are many white dogs immortalized in the iconography of the Cane Corso.
Colors NOt accepted on FCI standard are:
5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19 & 20. - Note: This is for the show ring. DQ colors can still win working titles and be registered with ICCF, AKC, and UKC.
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