Blasco Family Bulldogs South African Boerboel x Cane Corso Bandogge
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Dog Profile: Blasco's Uno SABXCCF1
Bandogge Mastiff, F1 Hybrid: 1/2 South African Boerboel & 1/2 Cane Corso
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Newborn Bandogge or Bandog puppy...Uno was born September 28, 2014. His sire is my square, bullish and very drivey Italian Cane Corso Milo, his dam my gorgeous and sharply protective Boerboel girl Tica.

We had not known that Tica was pregnant. I thought she looked a bit broody out in the yard and brought her in to keep an eye on her. She ran around with her typical excitement jumping over furniture, repeatedly up and down stairs - her usual high energy, athletic self. An hour later she stepped into a dog crate for less than three minutes, birthed Uno, cleaned him and went right back to running around and jumping over furniture as if she had not just given birth.

Uno was a "singleton" - a single dog litter, thus his name Uno, because he was the only one.

baby bandogAs mentioned, Uno's mom Tica is a very high energy, run around kind of girl. She was not, however, a particularly dedicated mother. Tica nursed Uno for about a week and then she was done. Tica would literally lay there looking at Maria, waiting for Maria to come feed Uno so that she could get up and play. Tica was sweet to Uno, very careful and gentle, but she just wanted to go back outside and play with Milo.

So, Maria took over. She did all of Uno's feedings by bottle. The little guy was curled up in a laundry basket next to her while she slept, so she could get up for two midnight feedings every night. Understand, Maria was 21 and has a job to report to every morning. Caring for Uno in this way was a serious commitment on her part. However, where Tica's mothering instincts proved to be a bit under developed, Maria's mommy instincts were in overdrive for the little Uno dog. As such, Uno has been Maria's dog since he was a week old, and boy does he know it! The human/dog bond between our Maria and her Uno is really nothing short of amazing. At only three days old Uno preferred Maria to his mom Tica. Today, I have no doubt this dog would walk through fire for her.

That is not to suggest that there were no challenges to overcome caring for a puppy so young, without siblings or nurturing dog mother. People seeking puppies should never desire to bring home a new puppy before it is 10 to 12 weeks old. I encourage you to read more about that issue in this article: Dog Temperament, Early Pack Socialization & Bite Inhibition

Now back to the little Uno dog. Let's watch him grow...

young bandog / bandoggeAt only six weeks of age it was crystal clear that Uno was a very high drive, aggressive, high energy dog, moreso than the driviest of purebred American Bulldogs and much moreso than even mom and dad who are both very drivey, protective dogs in their own right.

In this pic, Maria is just out of the frame to the right. Uno had never seen the camera before. He was laying there on that chair very cute, but when I stepped up with the unfamiliar camera, he immediately stood up to protect Maria from me and the strange"weapon" I pointed at them. Notice the arrogant indignance on this six week old puppy's face, just totally fearless and insolent. He has no idea what to do, but he's committed to do something if I make one false move towards Maria, and he was growling a low, deep chested puppy growl too, taking himself very seriously.

bandogge / bandog puppiesAs Uno grew it became quickly evident that he was going to be a very special boy. Apart from being very protection oriented, possessing perfect structure and with energy just off the charts, Uno is a very smart dog. At this age, about 14 weeks, there were no accidents in the house, Uno being completely house trained, and rarely more than five feet away from Maria.

training bandogge / bandogHere Maria teaches Uno the correct "stacked" position to show off his structure: All feet forward, front legs squared beneath the dog, back legs back to demonstrate angulation of the hock and extension of patella. This is also the only correct position for demonstrating a straight topline. For a perfect stack, head should be a bit higher, and in actual inspection the tail is often held upward by the handler, but you get the picture. Uno is the living representation of what an artist might sketch as a dog with perfect structure.

It should be noted here that Maria began training Uno at about 12 weeks of age. This is important for high drive dogs like Uno, to begin their training early with very strict behavioral parameters set and enforced without compromise. More than one "newbie" has had dogs like Uno "get away from them" behaviorally, to where the dog loves them, is great with family and generally listens, but ultimately makes its own decisions with regards to protection and aggression. Maria has been dealing with sharply dominant dogs for years now so Uno was not unfamiliar to her. Let's take a look at a little of what our kiddo did with her Uno dog...

bandogge / bandog trainerHere Maria demonstrates the teaching of the "look" command, as our favorite professional trainer Natasha Hoy taught her long ago.

The "look" command is the first thing we like to train a dog to do after "sit," making the dog sit and look at you, full attention on you awaiting the next command. Treats teach the concept quickly, but as time goes on should be removed.

The dog should not move and should not look away. You teach the dog to simply look at you, motionless and waiting. It is an exercise in patience and focus - the two things a young, drivey dog like Uno will naturally have the most difficulty with.

Maria has this boy well in hand at this point. He'll sit there watching her indefinitely. Therein is the goal of the "look" command, a dog ignoring all distractions, focused exclusively on the handler. Out of frame are a dozen barking dogs only feet away. Uno has no time for them because it's time only to LOOK at Maria not glancing away for even a second. This is an example of what I like to call "defining the default condition," forcing a dog for long periods of time to be calm, motionless and focused, amid heavy distractions.

bandog / bandogge working for CGC Canine Good CitizenWhile no longer using the "look" command, Maria is doing essentially the same thing here on a public street. The goal is to teach the dog that its "default condition" should be still and handler focused, not always running around in over-stimulated puppy mode. Uno's natural default condition is pretty much "tornado," but Maria has successfully redefined his default condition to be still and focused.

Many people with problems training over stimulated dogs should learn this concept, redefining the default condition of the dog. People tend to play with puppies a lot, and then get more serious about training as the dog becomes larger and is more difficult to control. Then they often struggle to get the dog to stop running around and playing. Why...? Because they have already trained the dog that its default condition when humans are involved is play. There's certainly nothing wrong with playing with your puppy. However, if you end play time with a simple sitting and "look" exercise, you'll find that as you become more committed to training the dog, it will train much more easily. Your first commands should be "sit" followed not by "down" or "come," but by "look," with an emphasis on making the dog "look" for extended periods of time.

dog training correct down positionHere Uno demonstrates the correct "down" position, legs beneath the dog and ready to get up quickly, showing perfect form. Maria will walk away from him, and return quickly to correct and reposition him if he gets lazy and tries to lay sideways. When a dog is told "down" this is the correct position, and it should not change until it receives another command.

Bandogge / bandog on guard dutyAt only 10 months of age Uno guards my truck in the "down" position for over an hour.

Because so many people ask, my van is a 2009 E350 custom four wheel drive conversion with a 6" suspension lift on 35" tires; gasoline powered, SCT ECU programmer, performance intake and exhaust. It's lots of fun and a good daily driver that will do 50 mph up a 45° muddy hill, handle two feet of snow easily and has occasionally made Mustang owners feel insecure when I'm in a hurry.

bandog / bandogge guards truckAn Example of a Natural Guard Dog

Maria drives my truck more often than I do taking Uno everywhere. As such the Uno dog basically thinks the truck is his. Try stealing that dog food, and Uno will launch like a missile to drive you back. And if you're a little hardheaded, think the dog is just bluffing and figure to hold your ground... poor planning on your part. Uno is a dog that will absolutely bite someone he's told to leave his stuff or his people alone... or Maria can command him down and he'll allow himself to be pet by the same person.

At still under a year old, Uno is a committed, safe in public protection dog. He has ZERO protection training running on pure instincts alone - and some decent basic obediance training. Uno is a good, stable boy Maria can take anywhere. Also, while he won't back down from a rude, overly aggressive or dominant dog, Uno would much rather play than fight, so he's also not generally dog aggressive either.

Compare Uno and similar Mastiff bred dogs to German Shepherds, most of which require heavy (and temperament changing) formal agitation training before being willing to protect property or person. Compare Uno and similar Mastiff bred dogs to Belgian Shepherds and other protection breeds of naturally sharper temperaments, that once trained for protection are often no longer particularly safe in public - especialy around children. This is what has always made the Bandogges, other high drive Mastiff dogs, and the Bulldog breeds so special and so unique from other dogs commonly used in protection: Their dychotomy as loving, gentle and well disciplined family companion dogs that instinctively know their job, and don't need much agitation training to "bite that ass" when some culprit with bad intentions needs it. Uno and similar Mastiff bred and bully bred dogs are natural guardian breeds.

bandogges / bandogs with childrenUno also really enjoys interacting with the kids ever since he was little, a constant protector and playmate.

Maria Blair with her bandogge / bandog UnoHow a Dog Says "I Love You..."

Notice that paw put lovingly on Maria's shoulder, but with his head down. The paw on the person says, "you are mine," an expression of ownership from Uno towards Maria. When seen alone, just the paw on the person (especially standing on the person) many trainers know to rightly interpret this as a passive form of dominance, and will disallow the behavior. However, the head down is a sign of submission. When these two are seen together, paw gently on person, head down, I've learned over the years to interpret this purely as love. The dog is essentially saying, "us, together, one," actually much as humans are saying with a warm hug of a loved one. Uno loves Maria.

bandogThe Prey Gaze & Related Behaviors

While in this case he's only playing with me in a fashion he knows I welcome, here Uno demonstrates the "prey gaze" at 10 months old.

When you see that overtly focused look on your dog's face (often with head downward, eyes narrowed, and raised hackles) as it watches other animals or children, time to give a hard and fast yank to the leash, accompanied with a firm "no" and the "down" command. If it is possible to then introduce the the dog to the other animal or person it was focused on (while it remains in the down position), this is an excellent follow-up to help achieve consistently appropriate behavior.

Your goal should always be to catch and sharply correct unwarranted, undesired or inappropriate aggressive behavior in a dog at this stage, before the dog makes any motion towards the subject of its prey gaze, even before you hear a growl. In this way, you are correcting not simply a negative behavior after-the-fact, but influencing the dog's actual thinking process regarding what or who it interprets as a threat or as prey.

Understand, the prey gaze is not in and of itself a negative thing, just as aggression overall is not a negative thing, certainly not for any hunting, herding or guardian breed. These are natural and benign behaviors that contribute to what makes hunting, herding and guardian breeds what they are. Furthermore, aggression is more often playful than not so playful, in most cases nothing to be alarmed by, and dogs without natural aggression and prey drives tend to be lazy, slovenly dogs with many various associated health issues. However, the prey gaze and other forms of aggression are things which you as a human handler should be aware of, watching for, and using as impromtu teaching opportunities as you socialize and train your dog.

bandoggeHere's the Uno dog at 10 1/2 months, starting to get big. Look at that natural musculature in the back end. Uno is going to be a remarkably strong, well built dog.

American bandogge / bandog mastiffNow imagine if I hadn't already told you what Uno is, who his parents are. What breed would you guess he is...?

While Uno is technically a Bandogge Mastiff, being an outcross between two distinct Mastiff breeds (Cane Corso and South African Boerboel), Uno could actually pass for a number of different purebred dogs.

If you sit down and carefully read the various breed standards for the South African Boerboel, the Cane Corso, the Bullmastiff, the Presa Canario, the Spanish Bulldog (or Alano), even the English Mastiff, you'll note an overlap of phenotypes in those standards. Regarding look, size and temperament, each standard is very similar, essentially saying the same thing with more or less emphasis on different shared characteristics between the standards.

There is a reason for that. Form follows function, and each dog was developed for roughly the same tough, utilitarian uses, and in many cases from the same progenitor breeds. Notably, all are also historically speaking Bandogge Mastiffs.

Uno straddles that overlap in the breed standards perfectly. Fact is, Uno could pass for any or all of those breeds, and might easily beat many of their better breed representatives in conformation shows. More to the point, Uno could be bred to females of any of those breeds, creating outcross dogs of superior quality, that could "pass" as purebreds in the first generation of breeding, just as Uno can pass for any of them.

In this pic above, Uno is 11 1/2 months old, just over 100 pounds (lean and not yet filled out), and 26" to the withers. He moves like a cat, can jump six foot easily, and Uno has more energy and stamina than any American Bulldog I've ever met of any type. He is as smart or smarter than any German Shepherd you'll ever meet, and has a sense of smell more than adequate for professional scent work.

bandog / bandogge runningSame age 11 1/2 months, here's Uno on the move, muscles rippling. Notice that gait with three feet off the ground at once. Uno can really move, with very fast, fluid motion, covering 200 feet in the blink of an eye, an acre in only seconds...

personal protection dogAgain at the same age, Maria loves on an English Mastiff x Turkmen Alabai puppy (another exotic Bandogge mix), as Uno does what Uno does best: Watches her back, always on guard.

I love my dog...Can't say those two aren't a cute couple. Maria and her Uno dog, August 2015.

F1 HYBRID / D.O.B. 09-28-2014
110+ lbs. slim
26" to withers
Wild Boar Hunt

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