Being an avid animal lover, I belong to many animal advocacy groups, receive tons of mail from these groups, and follow many animal websites. I participate in Facebook pages and my friends send me every cute animal video they find. I admit that I barely read or watch most of what is brought to my attention. After a long day working with animals, sometimes it can be overwhelming. I even switch channels when I see the ASPCA Sarah McLachlan video and a few times have yelled at the TV in anguish begging Sarah to let me have one night in peace. Tonight, I saw a video that caught my eye and I was compelled to watch it.
I have never been a fan of exotic animal ownership. I know that it leads to poor living conditions for the animal, diminished quality of life, and dangerous situations. In my opinion, most who dabble in exotic animal ownership seem to experience a mental state which is sometimes referred to as the “Lion Tamer’s Complex”. Experts have postulated that pets often serve as an extension of one’s ego not only giving us comfort and companionship but serving to make one feel important in life. (Ryder, R. D. (1973), Pets in man’s search for sanity. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 14: 657–668. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.1973.tb06404.x ) I have extended this theory to people also drawn to dangerous dog breeds. After years of watching this phenomenon up close with my associates, tonight’s video completely validated the theory in my mind.
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The video ends as it began with the clip of the lion attacking the houseguest. The viewer can see that the lion was raised by a loving, possibly mentally unstable couple in a nice, clean environment. However, after all that, the lion was still a lion. It could not be tamed or domesticated. The couple had little control over the large cat at the moment its genetics and instinct took over.
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Daxton’s Friends Breed Bio
The Cane Corso originates from Italy and is a descendant of the Roman Molossian, likely mixed with the ancient British Mastiffs (pugnaces Britanniae). The latter were used for bear- and bull-baiting, and by British soldiers in war as early as 55 B.C. The Romans were so impressed by the aggression of the English mastiffs that they considered them superior to their own Roman war dogs.
Grattius wrote of them in 8 AD: “ Although the British dogs are distinguished neither by colour nor good anatomy, I could not find any particular faults with them. When grim work must be done, when special pluck is needed when Mars summons us to battle most extreme, then the powerful Molossus will please you less and the Athamanen dog cannot measure up to the skill of the British dog either. ” 1
Both the Roman and the English ancestors of the Cane Corso were bred for hunting large game, to battle in warfare, as a guard dog, and for arena blood ‘sports’. As a hunting dog they were selectively bred to attack game such as wild boar or cougars. One ancient writer described them thus: “not speedy but impetuous, a fighter of great courage and incredible strength, to be employed against bulls and wild boar, undaunted even when confronted with a lion.” They were called canis pugnaces because of their willingness to fight to the death and their function of attacking wild animals. As guard dogs, they were always chained and never had the run of the property, because they were too dangerous. In the arena, they were used in spectacles that involved three or four of these pugnaces / molosser types mauling a bear, a horse or a lion to death slowly, though until the fall of the Roman Empire the victim could also be human (a slave or prisoner)2,3
In North America, from 1982-2013, Cane Corsos have seriously attacked 18 humans that resulted in 11 maimings and 1 fatality. In addition, a Cane Corso/Pit Bull mix attacked 1 person that resulted in a fatality.