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Keepers of the Guardians

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Motivated by a passion for the breed, due to their indescribable love and devotion to their pack, we’ve been proudly breeding and supporting the Cane Corso for over a decade.  We are a military family, located on a estate farm in beautiful southern Kentucky. We understand the importance of a well balanced, physically, mentally and emotionally sound pet becoming a member of the family.  When you and your family are "owned" by a Castra Praetoria Cane Corso baby, you become part of our family too.

Our kennel name "Castra Praetoria" is Latin in origin & translates to camp or barracks of the Praetorian Guard. The Praetorian Guard were the Emperor's elite warriors & personal body guards.  We are the home of the guardians, & we would love to help you add an elite ancient body guard to your family. 

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An ancient and loyal breed, originating in Italy, it is the descendant of the “Molossus” dogs of Epirus in the Greek Islands. Imported around the Third Macedonian War, & later known as “Canis Puniax” by the Romans, they were used for military purposes and gladiatorial fights.  Circa 384 BC, Aristotle called these large, strong, energetic, and vicious dogs a cross between a lion and a dog. 

In 43 AD Emperor Claudius subjugated Britain to the Roman Empire. The Romans seized the southern regions of the island and established their settlements there making this a starting point for the emergence of a new type of canine, which were based on the “genetic core” of the archaic Molossian dogs. These were larger and more lumber then the modern day Cane Corso (pronounced “KAH-Nay KOR-So”). 

In the V century, the Roman legionaries left Britain accompanied by these powerful and hearty dogs.  They participated in the battles, guarded the camps, and helped drive the herds of cattle that would later serve as food for the legion. The Roman Emperors would give their legionaries a retirement & they would receive the right to purchase land in the border provinces on which they could farm & raise livestock.  Many took these versatile dogs with them. 

The contemporary name of the breed originates with the formation of the dogs in the Corsican colony of the Roman Empire.  "Cane Corso" is translated directly to "dog of Corsica" with the root word of cane being canis meaning canine or dog in english, & corso 

The refinement of the breed in Corsica happened in a similar manner as it did in Britain, with dogs having been brought to Corsica by the veteran legionnaires as well as dogs brought by the Etruscans.  For a long time, it was accepted among the Etruscans that if a dog lived in the family of a noble person, then it was considered a noble animal itself. A good dog was considered both a useful & valued gift for people of high position. 

In 476 AD, when the fall of the Western Roman Empire was followed by the beginning of the Middle Ages, a period of further improvement of the breed began. Acquiring new characteristics, although homogeneous throughout the breed, traits were accentuated or minimized depending on their intended purpose. Not only did they need the help of fast, agile hunters, but also an urgent need for protection of their farms and villages from invaders, bandits & thieves. 

Through out history the Cane Corso has been a dog of war in the Roman Legion, an exceptional guard dog for families, a skilled hunter, & livestock protector, helping cattle traders drive herds, & some even pulling carts for their owner. 

The Corso breed is first mentioned by Teofilo Folengo (1491-1544), who describes in general terms a dog in a deadly fight with either a bear or a lion that had been wounded by a hunter, where he states “canes inter seu corsos sive molossus” (Latin) - “dog, either corso or molosso”).

During the First and Second World Wars, the Cane Corso was almost extinct. After the World Wars, farmers had greater access to firearms & the demand for protection dogs decreased, further dwindling the population. 

In the 1970s, breed enthusiasts were able to find Cane Corsi (Corsi is plural for Corso) in the rural farmlands of southern Italy. Through concentrated effort & determination, they were able to help bring back this majestic breed from the edge of extinction. Introducing the breed to the United States and also the rest of Europe in the early 1980s. 

How amazing to think, this breed preserves the memory of great civilizations of the past. It saw the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, witnessed the Middle Ages, both World Wars & now modern times. 

The popularity & recognization of the breed increased dramatically after the formation of the International Cane Corso Federation (ICCF) in 1992, & with their help, we are able to preserve the genealogy & breeding standard of such an amazing animal. 

Although the ICCF is the oldest, and largest Corsi registry in the United States, there are additional clubs to follow that help with the preservation of this noble & historic breed.  They include:

FCI (Federation Cynologique International) accepted the breed in 1996. 

UKC (United Kennel Club) accepted the breed on 15th of July 2008. 

AKC (American Kennel Club) accepted the breed in 2010.

ARBA (American Rare Breed Association).

NAKC (North American Kennel Club).

The Corso is a noble large-boned and muscular working dog. Confident disposition, powerful, that may be intimidating to some. The Corso is fearless, vigilant, protective, athletic, intuitive, sensitive, patient, kind, highly intelligent, and extremely loving, while making for an undeniably perfect companion. 

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Saturday: 9am - 6pm

Sunday: Closed 

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