~ 3xCH. COCOMO ~
Owned by Ed & Kris Hodas
Cocomo at his prime weighed 130 lbs. A member of the original U.S. foundation litter of Cane Corso imported from Italy by Michael Sottile in 1988, Cocomo was eventually obtained by Ed & Kris Hodas who had seen him and some of the others for the 1st time at a rare breed show one weekend where they immediately became enamored with the breed. It was at that show where the Hodas's approached Michael to learn more about Cane Corsos and ended up lucky enough to go home with a Cane Corso puppy -a Cocomo son- which they named Rocco. Rocco matured at 115 lbs., earned his Championship and eventually went on to become one of the most prolific champion producing Cane Corso studs in the world. Many of the Cane Corso Champions of the Western world were directly sired by ROCCO [click for pic]. Eventually the Hodas's were lucky enough (again) to obtain Cocomo himself, and with Cocomo and son Rocco as foundation studs (along with some other choice studs and bitches), the Hodas's Bel Monte Cane Corso was able to establish itself as a breeder of true champions and fine Cane Corso early in the history of the Cane Corso in America. They showed Cocomo regularly, and even when competing against all of the other wonderful rare breeds, he often (5 times) stole the whole show! His accomplishments and titles garnered in the conformation ring are common knowledge among Cane Corso enthusiasts across the country and even back home in Italy. His popularity and wins in the show ring (along with those of his 5 Champion littermates) only reflect that SOMETIMES (perhaps it would be "always" if we had more opportunity to put it to test) the product of a raw, rustic working breed taken right out of it's element - right off the farm (an Italian farm in this case) - plucked fresh and unspoiled directly from the tree it had spent centuries ripening and developing on, can be a much better, more attractive animal than those produced by the over-selective, narrow-standard, cookie-cutter breeding practices of your typical show people/breeders intent on breeding only one look -- only one type -- ONLY ONE SIZE over and over
and over and over again, without any regard for real workability --all in their relentless pursuit of the perfect "cookie-cutter" show-litters --all that they might make a name for themselves in the popular conformation show world. I am personally very glad to have found the Cane Corso when I did - before it had been taken under the wing of the "show-types" to have the work bred out of it - and the negative traits bred in - spoiled - ruined - as has happened with what used to be some of the best working breeds in the world, namely, the Rottweiler and the German Shepherd. It is my personal belief that it has been the show world -show people/breeders- especially here in AKC USA, who have had as much or more negative impact on these working breeds as the genuine indescriminate backyard breeder. I say this as a generality as I know there are some (not nearly enough) responsible breeders of showdogs who breed a certain amount of variety of type and size into their respective breeds with the intent to keep their breed's and kennel's gene-pool stronger & healthier. And then there are the genuine hobbyists- many, if not most of whom actually work their dogs in the areas that their respective breeds were developed and intended for: these are the true caretakers of the working breeds -NOT the haughty, know-it-all (uh-huh) show-world types who in their insecurity and/or arrogance brand all others but themselves as "backyard breeders". In actuality it's the big-name conformation/show world breeders who have so many dogs -so much breeding stock -so many litters being produced that they have to keep them in their rows of small kennels/cages in their backyards, while those hobbyists they call "backyard breeders" maintain their dogs as part of their family in the house! The former's operation is much more a business while the latter's is more a joyful and fulfilling hobby. It's the true hobbyists with a genuine interest in and love for their breed who conscientiously focus on propogating and perpetuating correct temperament, drive, and the dog's ability, both physically & mentally, to work at the task it was developed for . This is where you find the real maintanance and propagation of the real essence of the working breeds. Physical conformation will, as it has for centuries, naturally follow. Physical "TYPE" will naturally follow when you breed ONLY those with the temperamental drive and physical ability to do the intended job. On the other hand, the drive & temperament AND SOUND PHYSICAL HEALTH the dog needs to successfully work at it's breed's intended function IS NOT NECESSARILY passed on when breeding SOLELY for physical conformation as is ALMOST ALWAYS the case with your typical "AKC type" show-world breeders. It goes without saying and all one need do is look at the poor state of the popular working breeds that can't work anymore as a result of having been taken under the wing of typical show-type breeders and stripped of not only their working ability but in those breeder's attempt to force them thru that small & narrow conformation keyhole in the name of aesthetics and cookie-cutter typiness, they've stripped them of genetic health as well! That type of breeding WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT reproduce a working breed for long. How is a working breed propogated and kept "intact" both physically and mentally? The fact of the matter is: A true and able working dog bred from true and able working lines WILL look the part --but a "pretty" and so-called "conforming" big-name Champion dog bred and living out its life in the backyard kennels/cages of typical AKC show-type breeders will NOT necessarily be able to play the part. Because of their awareness of the 2nd of the two above facts and their legitimate concern for the breed (not to mention their pride in their dog's ability to BE what it was intended to be) the true hobbyists avoid the unnatural, too narrow, overly selective breeding practice of trying to squeeze or force a working breed thru a too-tiny "keyhole sized" physical conformation standard common and typical in the popular conformation show world. And because of their knowledge of the 1st of those two weighty facts stated above, the hobbyist knows that his primary job is to focus on workability, temperament, and health --and physical structure, conformation, and "type" will natually follow.
of Bel Monte Cane Corso
until his death on Jan.1, 1998
at the age of 10 years.
One of the "Super-6" Champions
of the U.S. foundation litter
imported from Italy in 1988.
(4 of the other 5 are pictured elsewhere
on the Colosseum Shadows website)
...When you look at this picture of Cocomo above - and when those who were lucky enough to see him in person watched him move and observed his athleticism and temperament - you are as they were, NOT observing the product of so-called "expert" show people, but are looking at the DIRECT PRODUCT of the very people who created -and worked- this wonderful breed for centuries-- the rural Italian.
Randall C. Todd
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________________________©1996, Randall C. Todd________________________
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