Information on the rare Cane Corso coat color of ‘straw’ or ‘formentino fulvo.’ The Cane Corso breed, known for its powerful physique and protective instinct, has gained immense popularity in recent years. While the standard coat colors of black, blue/grey, brindle, and fawn remain prevalent, the white color is a relatively rare and exotic trait that has caught the eye of many dog lovers and breeders.
The white Cane Corso, also referred to as the old magnificent cream or white, is a variation that has been present since the breed’s beginning. These dogs with white markings on their noses were considered exceptional tracers because of their combustible temperament – hence the apt name of ‘straw.’ In fact, it is said that the white Cane Corso once held a special place in Italian regions as they were prized for their distinctive hue and temperamental qualities.
Everything You Need To Know About White Cane Corso Puppies
The unique light-cream color of the white Cane Corso coat is due to the presence of recessive genes that are carried by both parent dogs during breeding. Thus, it is quite unusual for straw-colored puppies to be born and adds to its exclusivity. Expert breeders who specialize in producing the white Cane Corso tend to have extensive knowledge of genetic makeup and carefully select parent dogs to ensure a healthy litter with the desired coat color.
Despite its rarity, those who have had the pleasure of owning a white Cane Corso attest to the dog’s remarkable loyalty, intelligence, and affection towards its owners. This breed requires proper training and socialization to thrive, but it may not be the ideal breed for inexperienced dog owners. Cane Corso dogs, in general, are known for their strong will, and a lack of training and attention may lead to behavioral issues.
Standards are an integral part of dog breeding, representing a set of guidelines for breeders to ensure consistency in a dog’s appearance, temperament, and function. However, these guidelines can sometimes exclude certain traits or characteristics that were once present and may resurface again, causing confusion and the realization that the standard may have been too strict.
As breeds evolve and solidify, standards become more rigid, with the noose of type tightening around certain traits. This can be seen in the exclusion of certain coat colors or ear carriage styles, often removed because they were connected to another breed that was introduced in the foundation period. While at the time of the standard’s creation, these traits may have been considered undesirable, years or decades later, they can resurface, perplexing breeders and prompting questions as to why they were excluded in the first place.
Take, for example, the case of the White Cane Corso or white Italian Mastiff. This beautiful and unique coat color was once present in the breed but was excluded from the standard due to the belief that it was associated with other breeds. It was only recently that this coat color has been reintroduced, with breeders carefully selecting parent dogs with the desired traits to produce healthy litters of White Cane Corsos. The resurrection of this trait has led to the realization that the standard may have been too strict and that certain traits, while not explicitly stated in the standard, may have become unnecessarily excluded over time.
Furthermore, the execution of certain traits can create problems for future generations of dogs. Breeding standards can cause the gene pool to become increasingly narrow, leading to undesirable traits such as reduced fertility and increased susceptibility to health problems. This problem is particularly evident in breeds with a long history of breeding, where close breeding has resulted in an increased incidence of genetic disorders.
Enter the white Cane Corso
Breeders who specialize in producing white Cane Corsos charge premium prices for these dogs, sometimes as much as $5,000. The colour usually appears as an unexpected result of linebreeding, creating a variation coveted by fanciers and dog lovers worldwide. Awareness of this variation is still increasing, but white Cane Corsos have already begun to make appearances in the show ring.
There is no consensus among breeders regarding the white Cane Corso. Some believe that it is simply an ultra-light shade of fawn, while others view it as an unacceptable deviation from the standard. However, it is generally accepted that white Corsos are not the result of recent crossbreeding. Instead, they are likely the result of historical crossbreeding with dogs such as the Maremma or Abruzzese Sheepdog, which are native to Italy.
The straw-coloured Cane Corso’s light-hued coat has given rise to its nickname “cane da pagliaio,” which means “straw-stack dog.” This variation is said to have been highly prized among farmers in Italy’s meridional region, where it was used for tracking and farming tasks. The historical significance of the white Cane Corso is one of the reasons why it has become such a sought-after breed in recent times. People want to own a dog with a rich history and unique genetics.
The Evolution of Cane Corso Colors
The Cane Corso is a powerful and versatile Italian breed that has a rich history as a working dog on farms. The white coat of the Cane Corso was not only aesthetically pleasing for older generations but also had symbolic significance as it represented the dog’s flammable character, which was a desirable quality for Italian farmers.
However, as time passed, the popularity of the white Cane Corso decreased, and the modern-day breed standards evolved. Today, various colors such as black, gray, fawn, and red are deemed acceptable by the world’s Cane Corso standards. Interestingly, the brindle pattern is permitted on all these colors, although it may not be visible on black dogs.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) outlines that solid fawn and red dogs must have a mask that is black in color for fawn dogs and gray in color for formentino dogs. This is because formentino dogs are dilutes and genetically incapable of producing black pigment.
Furthermore, breeders may prefer certain color variations as they can accentuate the breed’s musculature and stature. For example, the black Cane Corso can have an imposing and intimidating presence, while the fawn Cane Corso’s soft and warm color can give it a more approachable and friendly look.
The Cane Corso is an Italian breed that has undergone significant evolution in terms of its appearance and coat color preferences. While previously, the white colour was preferred, today’s modern-day standard promotes various colors such as black, gray, fawn, and red. However, white cane corso dogs are still available, and they are often considered to be non-standard coat colors.
According to Robyn Salisbury’s post on the Cane Corso Association of America website, a white coat is a light yellow or cream color with no mask, and the nose is typically faded brown color or black. Although white dogs are sometimes marketed as “white” Cane Corsos, they are not pure white, and they do not possess any of the health issues associated with albinism, such as deafness and lack of pigment.
White Cane Corsos are not recognized in the breed standards, making them less popular among breeders and showing enthusiasts. However, they can still make great companion dogs and work well in certain environments like farms, where they are bred to protect livestock and other animals.
It’s essential to note that irrespective of their coat color, the Cane Corso is a powerful breed that needs proper training and socialization to become well-adjusted pets. They are loyal and dependable dogs that thrive in a family environment with steady training and guidance.
Color genetics in dogs can be a complex topic, and the Cane Corso breed is no exception. While the white color is not a standard color in the Cane Corso breed, it is still a subject of controversy among breeders and judges. According to Massimo Inzoli, a respected Cane Corso judge from Sicily, straw is not considered to be a true fawn, despite its presence in the breed’s history.
Cases of non-standard colors turning up in litters can be surprising, as happened with Marcos Reta’s breeding of a litter from two brindle parents. Several of the puppies in the litter were white, prompting Reta to submit a DNA sample to a genetics laboratory. The results showed that the puppies were homozygous for the “e” mutation, which suppressed black pigment in the coat, allowing for the production of only yellow pigment. This meant that the puppies were not genetically fawn, but rather had the same color genetics as a yellow Labrador Retriever.
The “e” mutation is referred to as the recessive red gene, and in some breeds, such as the Irish Setter, it expresses differently, producing a red coat color. However, in the Cane Corso breed, the “e” mutation is rare, and when it does appear, it can result in non-standard colors such as straw.
The existence and controversy surrounding the white color in the Cane Corso breed can be complex, with some breeders and judges sharing mixed opinions. In genetically standard dogs, the white color is the result of a recessive gene, and in order to have this color, they must have two copies of it.
Breeder Marcos Reta of Campione Cane Corsos in Miami experienced a litter with several straw colored Cane Corsos when he bred two brindle parents. After conducting DNA testing, he discovered that the puppies were homozygous for the “e” mutation that suppresses the black pigment and only allows for yellow pigment production. While Reta does not breed for color, he wonders why white Corsos are an issue in a breed that started off with a diverse palette since the breed was reconstructed from many other breeds.
It’s important to note that carriers of the recessive gene can produce the white color when bred to other standard-colored dogs that also carry the recessive gene. Reta did not breed his litter for color but kept one puppy, a female that he has since bred. The female did not produce any white puppies, but all of her offspring are carriers and could produce white if bred to other carriers.
Due to the controversial nature of non-standard coat colors, many breeders and judges prefer to stick to the breed standards, which promote various colors such as black, gray, fawn, and red. However, the Cane Corso breed has a rich history and started from a diverse palette, making some wonder why non-standard colors like white are considered issues.
The white color remains a subject of debate among Cane Corso breeders worldwide. While some breeders like Zeljko Tasic of Maxima Lux Kennel in Belgrade, Serbia, attest to the high value of the white dogs, others like Slobodan Grujic of Kennel Spunk Gang in Vojka, Serbia, do not breed or show the color because it falls outside the breed standards.
Grujic explains that each light-colored dog has to have a black or gray mask on the muzzle, which is rare in white cane corso dogs. It’s more common to see straw dogs without a mask, which makes them ineligible for showing purposes. The breed standards require that each dog have a complete mask, and it’s genetically impossible for a Cane Corso with the e/e genotype to have one, as noted by Dr. Sheila M. Schmutz, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, who specializes in canine coat colors.
Internet searches for white Corsos yield photographs of dogs with black or gray noses but have color on the front of their muzzles, making them ineligible for showing. This is because the absence of a mask is not standard for Cane Corsos or any other dog breed with the e/e genotype.
While some breeders may appreciate the historical value of the white color, adhering to breed standards is crucial in maintaining the appearance and traits of the Cane Corso breed. It’s also essential to remember that a Cane Corso’s temperament, loyalty, and working ability are the most important factors, regardless of coat color.
Understanding the genetics of coat color in the Cane Corso breed, particularly in straw-colored dogs, can be quite complex. According to Dr. Sheila M. Schmutz, it’s important to note that dogs with the e/e genotype can have black pigment on their noses, lips, and skin, but not on their fur, making it genetically impossible for white dogs to have a mask.
In white dogs, the color on the muzzle comes from the skin or mucous membranes, not the fur. This explains why the color is typically present on the front of the muzzle but not on the sides. It is also the absence of black fur that can cause confusion among judges trying to identify white Corsos in the ring. However, true fawns can also lack masking, making it difficult to identify these colors based on the absence of a mask.
While judges are not inclined to point to fawn or red dogs that lack masking, this fault is far less serious than producing an out-of-standard color. The Cane Corso breed standards are in place to maintain the breed’s appearance and traits. Deviating from these standards can lead to the breed losing species integrity and the likelihood of unhealthy dogs.
So how does a conscientious breeder, buyer or judge tell the difference?
Dog breeders and enthusiasts are often obsessed with color genetics, and the Cane Corso breed is no exception. One of the more unusual colors seen in these dogs is white, which can be difficult to describe but is unmistakable to anyone who’s familiar with it.
White coats have a peculiar cast that sets them apart from other colors. They are brighter and lighter than traditional fawn dogs, with an icy, cool tone that almost seems to glow. There are subtle variations within the color that make it difficult for breeders to put into words exactly what they consider incorrect, but they know it when they see it.
Although white is a striking color, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a high-quality dog. Some white Corsos have exquisite heads and conform to the breed standard, while others do not. The color alone does not guarantee a great dog.
One way to tell if a coat is fawn or white is to look for black hair anywhere in the coat, including the whiskers and ticking on the body. Black hair is absent in white dogs but may be present in fawn or formentino dogs. Additionally, fawn and formentino dogs may have a carbon-color-like cast over the head and body, which is black in fawn dogs and gray in formentini.
So what’s the big deal with white coats?
According to Zoe DeVita of Italica Terrae Cane Corsos, many breeders are simply uneducated about the color genetics in the breed. Straw is neither true fawn nor its dilute, formentino, but rather a throwback color that occurs rarely. While it may be tempting to show or breed a straw Corso, it’s important to stick to the breed standard and avoid introducing this unusual color into the gene pool.
Ultimately, identifying a white coat may come down to Potter Stewart’s famous definition of hard-core pornography: “I know it when I see it.” For those who love the Cane Corso breed, the ability to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of a white coat is just another facet of their passion for these magnificent dogs.