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The Memoirs of Jan Libourel

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Manton, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Michael Sottile the actor?

    in the late 80's?

    Cane Corsos are amazing, wouldn't surprise me.


    I only know of Michael Sottile as a dog man. I don't know if he and the actor are the same person but I would rather doubt it. He was at one time prominent in the Neapolitan Mastiff fancy and played a key role in introducing the Cane Corso. He and his mother ran a rather ill-regarded dog registry called the "Federation of International Canines" (FIC), which the unwary could easily confuse with the respected international dog show body the FCI. As I recall the story, he and his mother had a falling out and she got control of the registry.

    I'd be curious to know why you find Cane Corsos "amazing." Most of the people I know who've gotten them have been rather disappointed--lousy hips, low trainability/low intelligence and serious genetic shyness seem rife in the breed. They are very handsome, striking-looking dogs, I will concede.
     
  2. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I only know of Michael Sottile as a dog man. I don't know if he and the actor are the same person but I would rather doubt it. He was at one time prominent in the Neapolitan Mastiff fancy and played a key role in introducing the Cane Corso. He and his mother ran a rather ill-regarded dog registry called the "Federation of International Canines" (FIC), which the unwary could easily confuse with the respected international dog show body the FCI. As I recall the story, he and his mother had a falling out and she got control of the registry.

    I'd be curious to know why you find Cane Corsos "amazing." Most of the people I know who've gotten them have been rather disappointed--lousy hips, low trainability/low intelligence and serious genetic shyness seem rife in the breed. They are very handsome, striking-looking dogs, I will concede.


    Interesting, the one breed that both my wife and I love are the Corso's and we heard good things about them (from a breeder in Texas). What breed would you recommend in that same realm?
     
  3. ruben

    ruben Senior member

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    I only know of Michael Sottile as a dog man. I don't know if he and the actor are the same person but I would rather doubt it. He was at one time prominent in the Neapolitan Mastiff fancy and played a key role in introducing the Cane Corso. He and his mother ran a rather ill-regarded dog registry called the "Federation of International Canines" (FIC), which the unwary could easily confuse with the respected international dog show body the FCI. As I recall the story, he and his mother had a falling out and she got control of the registry.

    I'd be curious to know why you find Cane Corsos "amazing." Most of the people I know who've gotten them have been rather disappointed--lousy hips, low trainability/low intelligence and serious genetic shyness seem rife in the breed. They are very handsome, striking-looking dogs, I will concede.



    Amazing as in their noble good looks, I haven't really spoken at length to any owners, but have seen a gorgeous Brindle Corsa once.

    On the other hand, I've never met a Tosa, but I've heard great things about their temperament, intelligence and trainability.

    I'm a bit of a closet dog breeding and extinct/rare breeds fan (or at least have become one in the last couple months).

    I have a true stray (left in the country miles from anything) that I'm convinced/delusional is at least part Gull Terr.
     
  4. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    I always strongly suspected that the Corso was an invention of Michael Sottile, but I think that took place in the late 1980s. By the time I really got into the rare-breed subculture (1994-5), the Corso was well established with all the attendant mythology that it was an ancient Roman breed preserved in its purity in the backwaters and byways of Sicily and Calabria.

    Can it be possible we had some contact, but you have blurred me in your mind with somebody else since I was not active in the dog culture when the Corso was being "invented" or "discovered."


    Pretty sure it was you. This would have been around 96 when I first saw your name. You were skeptical of the "ancient" lineage of the Corso.

    Mickey Sottile was a small time gangster and dogfighter who was, as you said, prominent in the Neo world. The story goes he was traveling through the Italian countryside and came across a breed he had never seen before working cattle. He bought an entire litter and these became the "super six" of the US Corso world. No one has been able to verify the lineage of these dogs, but that didn't stop Sottile, Ed Hodas and others from exploiting the hell out of whatever dogs they could find or create.

    These ones are big, let's call them Neos.
    These ones are smaller, let's call them Corsos.
    These ones look like Rotts, let's charge extras for the rare colour.

    Not that the Italians weren't culpable. When the American started showing up with fistfuls of cash looking for the "real" corso, the Italians would shave a sheep and call it a Corso.

    Those were heady days.

    lefty
     
  5. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Interesting, the one breed that both my wife and I love are the Corso's and we heard good things about them (from a breeder in Texas). What breed would you recommend in that same realm?

    Ed,

    it depends what you want. Corsos are nice looking dogs, but tend to have thin nerves and can't offer more than a bluffing defense. There are a few that are reasonable workers, but they're very rare animals and then you're faced with no end of health issues.

    As a pet, you can find one that'll suffice, but be prepared to do a lot of research if you hope to have any success.

    My interest was working dogs, and to that end I think you'd have better luck looking at an Am Bulldog due to the sheer number available or a Dogo Argentino as they still retain a great working temperament, never really catching on as pets. Some might say Presa, but again you're faced with having to sift through an awful lot of manure to find a rose.

    Every Boerboel I've seen is a magnificent looking and athletic dog, but not quite working material. Could be a good compound dog though.

    Of course, none of these breeds would be appropriate for a inexperienced owner.

    lefty
     
  6. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    Wow, an old but interesting thread!
     
  7. OlSarge

    OlSarge Senior member

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    Isn't it though? I'd have never guessed . . .
     
  8. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Holy fucking thread revival Batman!
     
  9. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    What on earth caused a revival of this one--of all things?
     
  10. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    dont know, but was a good read :)
     
  11. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    This may be more relevant to California than the rest of the country.
     
  12. LSmith

    LSmith New Member

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    I would be interested to know when was the last time you saw a Boerboel and why do you think it would be a compound dog and nott suitable for a working breed?

    Also wanted to say hello to Jan, knew him during my Tosa years, my dog was Miko-- from Anna at Fire Mountain
     
  13. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Oh, hi, Les! Good to hear from you. You'd have to ask lefty about the Boerboel. I've only met a couple. Seemed like nice dogs but I was in no position to assess their working ability.

    You were very into Bandogs for awhile, weren't you?
     
  14. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Quote:
    Any large rough dog will make a great compound animal - a Boerboel charging a fence is intimidating. The Boerboels that I saw were beautiful athletic dogs but lacked solid nerve in a man-pressure situation. That was sometime ago when they first arrived so they might have improved on this aspect somewhat.

    Still, cool dog and you could do worse.

    lefty
     
  15. LSmith

    LSmith New Member

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    Bandog-- yes, matter of fact last time I saw you was with Donald when he stopped by your office with the bandog, we tried them for awhile and then went with the Americanbulldog, although I enjoy that breed we miss our Tosa and have been looking at getting back to Mastiff's, probably the Boerboel.
     

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