Here is an enquiry I received last month, no names included to protect the innocent!
“We are due to have two Cane Corso cross Great Dane puppies joining us in the near future. I’m keen to get a trainer organised and ensure I approach raising them with the best possible start. My dog currently is 16 and sadly entering end of life he is a gentle beautiful manageable small dog who was never a problem to train, but I’m out of practice and never had a large breed! Hoping we can arrange some training”
It's not often I have enquiries from clients pre acquiring a puppy, I wish I got more. My guess is this particular person had a hunch that maybe this wasn’t such a great idea, and that is why they asked.
I wonder what advice you might share with them? Have you known or seen a Cane Corso or Great Dane? Would you want one? It may be your image is more of a Scooby Doo dog and maybe just maybe it might be as charming, but x 2?
I can only imagine the resulting offspring will be huge! And secondly a dog that will dribble excessively, both breeds have a lot of jowl and jowls in dogs creates dribble, in turn dribble travels when the dog shakes its head, all over your walls, some people are okay with that.
One dog of this size is a huge undertaking for anyone, especially someone who hasn’t lived with a giant breed before. Furthermore both of these breeds have various genetic issues that can affect their health and temperament. It is unlikely that when breeding a crossbreed that there will have been any health checks or X-rays, in effect they have no idea of any possible health problems. From this alone I am thinking this is a first time breeder, selling to a first time owner, and both are very inexperienced. One of the reasons a pedigree dog will be more expensive is because of the expense of health checks on the breeding stock.
An experienced breeder will do everything in their power to ensure healthy puppies, there are no guarantees, but there is a better chance when purchasing a puppy from an experienced educated and most likely enthusiastic, passionate fan of their breed, who will be familiar with all the pitfalls and able to guide and support the families the puppies are sold to.
Last but not least, never, never, never buy 2 puppies from the same litter and especially not if they are from the mastiff family, guarding breeds or the terrier world. An experienced breeder of any these breeds would not sell 2 puppies from one litter to a domestic home. The reasoning for this is in the dog world there cannot be equality, there must always be a clear 1, 2, 3, etc. 2 puppies from the same litter, even if a different sex are often too close in size, age and maturity to be able to live together, in the wild this would mean the litter scatters and spreads the DNA rather than inbreeding, natures clever trick, does not help us in domesticity, where 2 dogs must learn to live in close proximity.
Much attention is given in the media to dogs having adequate social experiences, focusing on even the wrong experience is better than none, much less attention is given to what goes wrong between 2 dogs that do not get along or how often it happens.
Puppy litter mates, can start off just fine, it is often not until sexual maturity that the problems begin to manifest. By this time the family will have attached to both puppies and the agony of rehoming one is heartbreaking. The fights often start out as small disagreements but over time escalate, dangerous to each other, and the people trying to live with them. The larger the breed the more dangerous for everyone concerned. The Cane Corso is about as big as it gets in the dog world, making the offspring, part mastiff and part giant breed, the Great Dane. We cannot force dogs to change, sometimes we have to make the change to protect them.
Again this reinforced to me that this was an inexperienced breeder if they would allow 2 of these puppies to go to one home. A breeder unaware of the danger of selling 2 puppies to one home, they are going to be of little help in the future to support the new owners as the puppies grow.
On this occasion heartbreak has been avoided, as the person writing decided to go for one puppy not two, after hearing my feedback!