Service dogs have been helping so many people with disabilities in improving the quality of their lives for quite some time now, always staying by them, protecting them, and carrying out various tasks for them.
There are few breeds of dogs that are chosen to be trained as service dogs more than others. German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are such breeds.
Can Cane Corsos be service dogs too?
Yes, they can be. But it all comes down to two major factors.
One will be that a particular Cane Corso puppy shows behavioral traits required in any prospective service dog. The other is that the dog undergoes proper training planned and carried out by professionals.
In this post, I’ll go over the personality traits a good service dog should have and how Cane Corsos fit in. Plus, I’ll give you a quick rundown of some basic Cane Corso service dog training.
Personality Traits A Good Service Dog Must Have
Cane Corso has behavioral traits typical for their breed, like all other breeds of dogs.
It is very important to keep in mind that each Cane Corso has a unique personality too, as determined by genetics, therefore must be carefully observed for the personality traits that are vital to becoming a good service dog.
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- Calm And Friendly Nature
- Willing to follow the owner around
- Comfortable around strangers
- Eagerness to please
- Socialized in a variety of situations
- Ability to learn things quickly
- Good memory
- Ability to stay alert but not reactive
Can Cane Corsos Be Service Dogs?
These mastiffs of Italian origin have many personality traits we talked about that are required for good service dogs.
They are eager to please their owners or trainers, and they thrive on the affectionate feedback they receive, and they are extremely intelligent and have an excellent memory.
Cane Corsos are extremely friendly and affectionate with their owners. They have strong protective instincts and are always on the lookout for their humans.
However, some behavioral traits that make Cane Corso guard dogs make it extra important to pay special attention when they are trained to be service dogs.
Plus, their sheer size and temperament when threatened make it a bit more tricky too.
Their protective instinct can make them very possessive of their humans and care should be taken to socialize them properly so that they do not misinterpret friendly social interactions in public situations as potential threats.
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It would not be such a good idea to train a Cane Corso to be a service dog for a person with a psychological disability, as it might pick up on such a person’s sudden mental breakdowns such as panic attacks, and become agitated.
A restless Cane Corso in a crowded public place could have undesirable outcomes.
Cane Corso Service Dog Training
Once a particular Cane Corso has been found to have good personality traits that are required to become a service dog, a carefully planned training regime must be carried out with the involvement of a dog training school or a certified dog trainer.
Contacting an organization like Assistance Dogs International (ADI) will be helpful and they will find you a certified trainer locally.
Cane Corso’s service dog training consists of behavioral training, public access training, and training in tasking skills.
Behavioral training includes training in basic skills that lay the foundation for others. The dog should be able to go potty on command and ignore distractions while focusing on the handler.
Passing the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) will give a puppy a solid foundation for further training.
Public access training is to ensure that the dog is unaffected by crowds in public places and conducts itself in a manner that causes no harm or disturbance to other people.
Your Cane Corso must be able to stay in control at all times, sit or lay down on command, and should come to you from six feet away.
Training of tasking skills covers all duties the dog has to perform to help its disabled owner such as showing the way, alerting the owner to sounds, fetching and bringing things, alerting to take medication, pushing a wheelchair, and so on.
The following are basic skills to train the prospective Cane Corso service dog so that it has a good foundation for more advanced stuff.
The first step of clicker training is to condition the dog to anticipate a treat upon hearing it.
Once the Cane Corso has learned to expect a treat whenever it hears the clicker, it can be used to reward other desired behaviors, clicking it and giving the dog a treat immediately after the dog does something as expected.
Responding To Name
The dog needs to be able to respond to his name being called. It is very important in getting his attention, giving him tasks, or diverting his attention away from distractions.
The clicker and treats can be useful in this too.
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Sitting On Command
This is particularly an easy skill to teach. Holding a treat above the dog’s face until his butt touches the ground and then giving the treat after the clicker will be a good way to start.
The word sit would be added later on. Gradually stop giving the treat, but always praise each obedient sitting attempt.
Staying Still For A Long Time
A service dog often has to stand by his owner in public places for extended periods, like when waiting in line for some service. A Cane Corso service dog in training must learn this early as possible.
Training this skill usually starts with tether training, where the dog is on a short leash attached to something stationary so that it can shift around and change position but can not walk away.
Walking On A Leash
The ultimate goal here is to train the dog to walk alongside the handler, stop and start with the handler, and refrain from taking off in the wrong direction.
You can start indoors. When the Cane Corso pup tries to walk in the wrong direction, stop and turn and if he comes back to you, click and give them a treat.
Once the puppy has got a sense of what is expected of him, move the exercise outdoors.
Once all these basic skills have been mastered, it will be possible to start training the tasking skills for the specific duties expected of the dog.
Even though Cane Corso is not a breed of dog that is often picked up to become service dogs, probably due to their size, temperament as well as dominant and possessing nature.
But they can become good service dogs, provided that the puppies selected are carefully observed to display certain desirable personality traits and are trained we’ll under professional guidance.
Cane Corso’s intelligence and extreme loyalty can make them such wonderful companions for people with disabilities if you are willing to give them a try.
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