THE INTERVIEW – Francesco Cochetti ITALY
The first interview in our THE INTERVIEW series is with a man who needs little introduction in the dog world and particularly with Bolognese enthusiasts around the world. Francesco Cochetti lives in Sacrofano Italy, is an FCI judge and a board member of the Italian Maltese and Bolognese Club. We asked Francesco about his association with Bolognese and how he thought we should move forward and improve the breed in the UK.
QUESTION: You have had a long association with the Bolognese and Maltese breeds. Can you tell us when and how you first discovered the Bolognese and what attracted you to them?
ANSWER: I come from a dog family and my parents were breeding Poodles. I have grown up with dogs and of course I was close to the toy breeds. My mentor was Tiina Violi Gussoni an all rounder judge and President of the Toydog Club in Italy. It was easy for me to be familiar with Bolognese and Maltese as Italy is their country or origin. In 1992 I became a judge and toy group was my first group to finish. The CBM (Club del Bolognese e Maltese) has been established in 2011. For quite a long time there was no club for these 2 breeds.
Bolognese is a beautiful breed in many ways. It is much easier to keep a Bolognese coat in show quality when compared to a Poodle. Also, the Bolognese has an excellent temperament. The Bolognese is a small dog, full of personality and the perfect companion for a family who also have children. It’s easy to be attracted by them.
QUESTION: Who was your mentor in the breed?
ANSWER: My father and Mrs. Violi Gussoni.
QUESTION: Have you ever owned or shown Bolognese?
ANSWER: I have never owned or shown a Bolognese, but I have judged them in the biggest shows around Europe. At the World Dog Show in Italy there were 70 Bolognese entered a record for the breed.
QUESTION: Where do you see the Bolognese breed in the UK in say 10 years time?
ANSWER: As a lover of toy breeds and as a board member of the CBM, I have followed the breed in the UK at Crufts and I have noticed over recent years an improvement in quantity and quality. I find it a bit strange that the breed is not yet awarded CC in the UK as I see other breeds, smaller in number, that have CCs.
QUESTION: What areas do you think breeders in the UK should be looking at to improve the breed?
ANSWER: The breed is not an easy task. To keep the right proportions and the correct coat is not so easy. In my opinion people must still work in keeping the Bolognese square and not low in legs. I think the coat texture has improved during these years. Heads are quite right at the moment. Previously they were too long in the muzzle and divergent axis, which was giving the wrong expression. I think people still need education and cooperation between each other.
Francesco Cochetti ITALY