Alessia is a Cane Corso. Photo courtesy Candace Francis-Hood
Alessia is a Cane Corso. Photo courtesy Candace Francis-Hood

Local woman’s Cane Corsos sprint in Kennel Club events

 Candace Francis-Hood got her first Cane Corso for protection.

“I wanted a large guard dog,” said Francis-Hood, who got that and so much more with Alessia.

First recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010, the Cane Corso is “a peerless protector,” according to the AKC website. “The Corso’s lineage goes back to ancient Roman times, and the breed’s name roughly translates from the Latin as ‘bodyguard dog.’”

The Cane Corso a large breed, weighing more than 100 pounds. The dogs are also agile.

Candace Francis-Hood with Alessia and Dario.. Photo courtesy Candace Francis-Hood

Francis-Hood learned that one quickly.

“She would run all around my backyard,” she said of Alessia.

 Indeed, when it comes to exercise, the AKC said this dog needs a lot of it.

“Cane Corsos need serious exercise. A brisk walk, or better yet, run, of at least a mile in the morning and again in the evening will sustain their health and muscle tone. They make great companions on long walks, hikes, or bicycle rides. The Cane Corso was bred to work and is happiest when given a job to do,” the website continued.

Francis-Hood learned about AKC events and found that Alessia excelled in them. She has entered her two year-old into several events and recently adopted a second Cane Corso named Dario who she plans to race as well.

MORE: There’s a whole lot of herding going on with Corgi meet-up

Alessia seems to share her competitive spirit, the Army veteran said. Alessia has been ranked among the top competitors and mainly runs in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Because Francis-Hood enjoys the competitions and meeting the other dog owners, she’s helping organize an AKC event through the Augusta Kennel Club in Aiken in March.

Dario is a Cane Corso. Photo courtesy Candace Francis-Hood

The AKC FastCat (Coursing Ability Test) and CAT will be the weekend of March 10-12 at Generations Park at 700 Mack Henry Holland Dr.

The FastCat race is “a timed 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure. It’s over before you know it,” according to the AKC website.

The race is a relatively new one,” but its popularity has spread like wildfire,” the website continued.

In the CAT event, “dogs do not compete against each other,” the website said. “Each dog runs individually and chases after an artificial lure on either a 300- or 600-yard long course.”

The events are open to AKC registered breeds; however, there is a fun run for non-AKC registered.

The registration deadline is Feb. 26. For more information, go to and search events or here.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.

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