with Marcos Reta
Hey Fausto, how are you doing?!
Doing good Marcos, just finished eating a Sea Bass that I broiled in the oven with potato and homemade olive oil..... :-P
Btw, this olive oil is so good. You should come to Italy and enjoy Italian food!
True, I should, I will. But please tell me more about the olive oil.
It's an oil that comes from the center of Italy, it's made by the husband of my mother's cousin :-) It's Extra Virgin, the color is darker and opaque, dense. The flavor and fragrance are incredible!
I can just imagine! I enjoyed some curried lamb, salad and an Italian white wine. Not bad.
Now that you're full and satisfied, I wanted to ask you a few questions and your opinions on some matters related to the Cane Corso. :-D
When is it that you first see a Corso?
I tell you honestly, I used to draw the Cane Corso when I was a little child, never having seen one, it was already in my mind.....only later, flipping through a dog magazine, I was surprised to see one and said to myself...it's him!
So as a child, you had the ability to draw, paint?
Well its been a long time, my mother discouraged that direction for me as a profession.
I do remember the first time I saw a Corso, I was about 18. He was old already, guarding the grounds of a business. Nothing special, yet he did his job very well. I had a Boxer and after he died, in a few months I had Uno.
Don't tell me your first Cane Corso was Uno!! :-P
I got him as a 5mo old puppy. He was at a breeder that had gotten him from another breeder... when one says "destiny". I like to think that I was at the right place, at the right time.
When was it that you started noticing that he wasn't your average dog, what things did you notice in him?
It was impossible not to notice him. He had nearly the same proportions he had as an adult. A little tank :-) At about 8mo. and throughout his life, he impressed people with his power. My instincts were also confirmed when breeders such as Massimo Bini, Matteo Latorre complemented him in a big way. Massimo Inzoli was the first judge to appreciate him.
In the beginning, did you have mentors, read books, go to shows, visited breeders?
What I did do is to whenever I had a chance to talk with an expert, I would snatch as much information as possible. I also visited breeders, I remember Massimo Bini, it impressed me what he had in one place. Dirio, Dali and Acciaio. That does not happen often! I also went to a few shows yet, I was never crazy about them. My passion has Always been breeding and Always trying to improve the breeding!
What aspects of breeding that interests you the most at this moment?
It would have to be homogeneity in the breed. We are still a bit far with all the hyper type dogs in the ring.
How do you go about working on homogeneity in your own kennel?
My aim is to keep working in Uno's line breeding. That way I believe that I can keep homogeneity, as the most important ingredient for it is a "fixed" dog.
Please tell me more.
A desired fixed dog is correct in both phenotype and genotype. We know exactly what this dog can produce. So with all that, we have a dog that we can call a "fixed dog"
Let me say it another way, a dog that reduces the defects from one side and the other side. It does not produce her or hypo type. It's stable.
So one is left with the laws of genetics and chance, to hopefully produce the kind of puppies one wants. :-)
Are there any particular areas in breeding that you feel specially passionate about, such as the head, angulations, temperament, etc.
You know, little by little one starts getting interested in every small part. The head of course, is the business card, but I'm also attracted to the emotion a dog produces in me by the way is moving, the pride it transmits...the temperament traits we often forget. I believe that a dog with pride can show much better his physical qualities to the extent that it can even cover some faults.
I understand, it's like if temperament traits did not matter as much anymore.
Yes, the temperament part is mostly about genetics. One starts seeing it in a confident playful pup, as a youngster and finally as an adult.
It's a good description, a beautiful thing.
We as men are attracted to the qualities that we would like for ourselves, elegance, power, pride. The emotion is the admiration one feels for those qualities and the pride in having created them!
Yes, I see it clearly. Let me also ask you. I understand that you're undefeated in puppy wrestling! :-D
:-D yes I am, that is for myself though.
I thought it was all for the good of the pups!
You know is good for them, but it's even better for me!
How do you view puppy selection?
That is a complex matter, in part because of the homogeneity issues, one not only has to see where the characteristics place the puppy at the moment, one also has to provide for or imagine a certain evolution. In other words, one can't just pick the same characteristics in pups from different litters. For example in my case, from Dolly, I'll choose a kind of head, then from Ilona, I'll choose a different kind of head at the same stage. Yet since their evolution is different, I'll end up with two very similar heads at the end. One has to know one's own lines, how they look in the beginning and how they will develop..... and about that subject, there are no fixed rules!!
I think that is a very good explanation, a 360 degree view of things that matter and their chances of becoming real.
Who are the best/favorite dogs, you have seen personally?
That is a difficult question, maybe Dirio and Acciaio. there were some females from Montse (Degli Elmi) and VDL.
I liked Roma mother of Uno, she was very strong, balanced and very dominant. Margo was one of my all time favorite females yet, I never got to see her live.
How close have you gotten to your own ideal of the breed?
mmmm.... for me that is a never ending story. I think that I'll never be satisfied with just one dog.
:-D What dog or characteristics in a dog that you have produced, have you been the happiest with?
I hope the best is still to come! It's hard for me to say because I like different aspects from several of my dogs. For example, I love the body and movement of Branco, the head of Dolly, Ilona's expression, the elegance of Juma and of course, Uno's bone, substance, chest and his square muzzle. The aim is of course put all these in one dog!! ....easy right?! :-P
What dogs from other breeders have impressed you in reproduction of quality or consistency?
I had looked forward to breeding with Glam from Montse yet, unfortunately he died and could not be done. Bayron was also an important dog and of course Yurak.
One has to be careful in using some dogs, got to know about how they reproduce very well.
I've always appreciated heads from Dyrium, expressions from VDL and DVDOA, the type of Peligni, then again Peligni is still Dyrium, a very good type (it's like a mix between Peligni and VDL)
Fausto, what is your view in the no crop/ no dock?
Well you know my view on that. I feel that the Cane Corso has to be cropped and docked.
It seems the longer ears might have been selective breeding, even if there was some temperament also involved.
Yes and the tail could have had another function. We have always selected cropped and docked. Even in my vision as a child, before ever seeing a Corso. It was cropped and docked :-D
You are not crazy about Shows, did handling your own dogs make it more appealing to you?
Well, I see that a lot in the canine world is humanized, sometimes too much. I love and appreciate a Corso in its own function and environment. As an example, what could be better than seeing a Corso guard his area, be watchful, intelligent and responsive to every little stimulus? Such things are what I love the most !! :-D
Fausto, thank you very much for your time and the interview. I enjoyed it. :-D
I also enjoyed it very much. I wanted to take a moment and also acknowledge my partner Andi Feher. I wanted to let her know, I appreciated very much the opportunity to do my work with her and explore our ideas about the Cane Corso!