Jaws, officially named “Ironclad Lockjaw,” is a 140-pound Italian Mastiff, also known as a Cane Corso. Despite his name and imposing size, Jaws is actually a very cuddly and affectionate pet.
According to his owners, Woodinville residents Jennifer and AJ Davis, Cane Corsos are often aloof toward strangers. Not Jaws. “He didn’t get that memo,” Jennifer Davis said.
A show dog as well as a lovable companion, Jaws competes in dog shows all around the Pacific Northwest and California. Earlier this month, he won “Best of Breed” at the Beverly Hills Dog Show, a soon-to-be-televised event that occurred on March 4 and 5.
The Woodinville pup competed against about 20 other Cane Corsos in the “working group,” a class made up of strong, intelligent dogs who are often known for performing tasks like guarding homes and livestock or serving as police and military dogs. Breeds in this group include the boxer, the Doberman pinscher, the Great Dane, the Siberian husky and others.
Dog showing is an expensive hobby that has its rewards solely in prestige and bragging rights. Instead of cash or other prizes, winners receive points that count toward a dog’s title.
Currently, Jaws is a Bronze Grand Champion. “We have about 27 points to go for Silver Grand Champion,” Davis said.
The Davises have owned Cane Corsos for about five years and been showing Jaws for a little over two. “We waited for the right time,” she said. “We finally have a place with acreage and we finally have the time.”
They travel with Jaws to local shows and send him with handlers to those farther away, like the Beverly Hills event. At each show, he has regular handlers who present him in the ring.
“He is a natural show dog,” Davis said. “He’s so easy he never really needed to be trained.”
The Cane Corso is a naturally protective breed and, as Davis explained, they are not for everyone. “They are not a Lab,” she said.
But for the right family with time and space like the Davises, the breed can be an excellent fit. In fact, the Davises own four of them.
“They love families. They love children. They are Velcro dogs,” she said. “You have no personal space with this dog no matter what room you’re in.”
Aside from dog showing, the Davises also breed Cane Corsos. Puppies sold as companion dogs, with no breeding or showing rights, cost around $2,000. While Davis said some people might see that steep price tag and want to get into breeding as a way to make money, that is not how the Davis family operates.
“We breed for temperament and we really breed for family dogs. About 98 percent of our dogs we will sell for companion dogs,” she said. “We really enjoy having happy families with happy puppies.”
The Beverly Hills Dog Show, presented by Purina, will air on the USA Network on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 8 p.m.