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Mezzocorso

There is very little information about this breed, other than it being reported as a cross between the Cane Corso Italiano and the mighty Abruzzese Mastiff. Some reports claim it is a Cane Corso/Maremma cross or even a Neapolitan Mastiff/Kuvasz cross, but this is highly unlikely. Although this working dog has had a long history in the Puglia and Calabria regions, it is considered by many to be a recent crossdog. There is a great possibility that not only the Cane Corso and the Abruzzese Mastiff were instrumental in the development of the Murgia Dog, with the Calabrian Shepherd and the Bucciriscu Calabrese being suggested as the original parent breeds in the past. The Mezzocorso is reportedly a common farm dog, neither bred true to type nor recognized.

Said to be more powerful than the Cane Corso and more agile than the Pastore Abruzzese, this fast, muscular and resilient working dog is supposedly also healthier than its parent breeds. It is slowly gaining popularity in its native country and could even be fully standardized in the future, provided an uniformed type is established and outcrosses are no longer used in the breeding programme. Fanciers of the breed have constructed a basic Standard for the Mezzocorso, but this dog still has a long way to go before being taken seriously by the canine authorities and receiving official recognition.

This is a strong and rugged Molosser, developed as a superiour herding and protection dog, as well as a reliable family companion and watchdog. The handsome Cane della Murgia is loosely separated into two main types of the breed, mainly according to their coat length, but also the physical type. Some enthusiasts refer to these variants as the "shepherd type" and the "moloss type", but these terms are neither clear enough nor mutually exclusive, as believed by many people. The lighter variety has a narrower head, leaner body and id noticeably faster than its heavier counterpart, which is heavier in bone, has a larger head and a wider body.

A few coat varieties exist, separated into the long-coated, shorthaired and "in-between" types, depending on which variant of the Mastino Abruzzese was used in the breeding and also which breed type the dog is "officially" considered to be. For now, all colourings are allowed, both solid and piebald, including brown, red and brindle, with the majority of dogs being white or white-based. Average height is around 28 inches, although smaller, as well as much larger examples can be found as well.

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