The Cane Corso is a breed of Mastiff dog that originated in Italy. With a solid body and a large build, you may think this dog is aggressive and unapproachable, and certainly not a family dog. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth! These pups are affectionate and friendly, and just want to be loved and doted on.
This breed is also hardworking and loyal, with high intelligence and great trainability, making them an excellent dog to have around the home. If you’re interested in learning more about this interesting large breed, then read on below to see whether a Cane Corso might be for you.
History Of The Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is recognized as a “Molossus” dog breed. This breed appeared constantly throughout Ancient Greek history in old sculptures and paintings. Molosser dog breeds are made up of both Bully dog and Mastiff dog breeds.
Cane Corsos are classified as a Mastiff dog, although they are less-bulky than most Mastiffs. This smaller build meant that they are known for being one of the faster Mastiff breeds.
The Cane Corso was not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 2010. This means that they have a breed standard and breeders try not to stray too far from their Italian heritage.
Unfortunately, the Cane Corso is banned in some states throughout the United States due to their involvement of the injuring and killing of smaller domestic animals. There are also restrictions in some places for dogs who have a history of hurting or killing other animals, so you will need to check your local area.
Laws which ban these big dogs from certain areas is what gives these pups the reputation for being aggressive and unsafe to be around. However, with the correct socialization, these pups are loving and affectionate dogs.
The Cane Corso originated in Italy and it is thought that this breed may have descended from a Roman Molossian breed who was the war dog of the Roman Army. After the war, they became more civilized dogs and were used by Italians to hunt and drive livestock.
As working dogs, they were a large part of the Italian countryside and became known as the “Italian Mastiff”. Italian farmers valued these dogs greatly, not just for their abilities but also for their companionship.
In the 1970’s, after Word War II, the Cane Corso was not needed as much as a working dog and they became quite rare and difficult to find. However, older farmers were determined not to let the breed become extinct and Mr. Giovanni Bonnetti and Dr. Paolo Breber started to rebreed the dog. A recovery center was set up and the breed was continued and even bred with close canines such as the Bullmastiff, which is the reason that these dogs are around today and not extinct.
Characteristics Of The Cane Corso
Finding a breeder for Cane Corsos can be difficult, and you must make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder. These breeders should stick to the breed standard and ensure they are not straying too far from the Cane Corso’s Italian heritage. Normally, these dogs produce around 4 to 6 puppies in a litter.
The Cane Corso is part of the Mastiff breed-group and these dogs are recognized by their large, strong stature and wide chests with muscular features. However, the Cane Corso is not as bulky as most Mastiffs. These dogs have a strong and broad head with a well-defined and muscular figure, which tend to be rectangular in shape.
They are classed as a large dog breed and not a giant dog breed, despite their size. Male Cane Corsos can weigh between 100 to 120 lbs and can stand between 25 to 27.5 inches in height. Females are normally smaller, weighing between 88 to 100 lbs and standing between 23.5 to 26 inches in height.
The Cane Corso has a single coat that is short and does not shed very often. Their low-shedding coat means that they are a good dog for those with allergies, or those who don’t want dog hair all around their house!
These pups, although only have a single coat, can also adapt well to different climates. They also do not have high grooming needs, although we will go into more detail about that later on.
Cane Corso’s coats can come in a range of colors. The most common colors are black, gray, fawn, red and brindle.
The Cane Corso is a loving, affectionate and friendly breed that loves their owners and just wants to be around them. These pups have a lot of love to give and want to show those who they love just how much they love them!
They can be a little wary of strangers, so proper socialization is necessary. Due to their protective nature thanks to their history, they are very loyal to their owners and home which makes this breed a good guard dog and watchdog. Unlike other breeds, these pups never attack without reason and are therefore said to have a very good temperament and judgement of people. This is one of the reasons these dogs are even used in the police force.
With lots of physical requirements and high intelligence, it is no surprise that this breed needs to be kept mentally stimulated, too. This will help to keep them entertained so they don’t start exhibiting unwanted behaviors such as barking and chewing.
Although they have a reputation for being aggressive, the Cane Corso is actually a very friendly family dog who loves their people and just wants to spend time with them. When brought up in the right environment, these doggies have one of the best temperaments!
The Cane Corso has a life expectancy of between 10 and 12 years old.
Known Health Issues
As with any dog, the Cane Corso is prone to some health problems. We have laid out the most common health concerns below.
- Hip Dysplasia — this is when the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia.
- Ectropion — this is the rolling out or sagging of the eyelid, leaving the eye exposed and prone to irritation and infection. It can be fixed with surgery.
- Entropion — this is the rolling in of the eyelid which can irritate or injure the eyeball. It can be corrected with surgery.
- Cherry Eye — this is when the gland under the third eyelid protrudes and looks like a cherry in the corner of the eye. Your vet may have to remove the gland.
- Epilepsy — this seizure disorder can be treated with medication.
- Gastric Torsion (Bloat) — this is potentially fatal. You need to know the symptoms of it. Feeding your dog smaller more frequent meals instead of one big meal can help to reduce the risk.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced. Trusted breeders will do health checks on both parents and will not breed if there is a chance of passing on any severe issues to offspring.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Cane Corso, we can take a look at what living with one of these dogs on a day to day basis is really like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise requirements and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
The Cane Corso is a large dog breed and therefore requires quite a lot of food every day. It is recommended that you feed them roughly four to five cups of food a day, but, of course, you should always check the back of a food packet to see how much of a certain food you should be feeding your Cane Corso.
Always feed your Cane Corso high quality kibble that meets their nutritional needs. You should try to split their food into two meals a day. You must be careful that your Cane Corso doesn’t eat too much too quickly or all at once, as this can lead to bloat. This can be fatal within dogs and you will need to learn the symptoms for it.
Best Dog Food For The Cane CorsoBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Life Protection Formula for large breeds from Blue Buffalo for your Cane Corso. This food is formulated with protein-rich chicken as the first ingredient, ensuring your doggie gets all the nutrients they need to keep their muscles healthy and strong.
Designed specially for large dog breeds, this food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint health and overall mobility of bigger dogs. There are also antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support immune system health, life stage requirements and a healthy oxidative balance. Even better, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this recipe, only good, wholesome ingredients that’ll keep your Cane Corso healthy.
The Cane Corso is a historic working dog, which means while they do need love and affection, they also need lots of exercise. With high activity levels, you can expect to be exercising this dog for around 60 to 90 minutes a day. You can take them out for walks, or they can accompany you while you exercise. These dogs are adaptable and will love to hike, run and swim with you.
Alongside physical exercise, these pups also need mental exercise. You must dedicate time to them to keep them entertained so they don’t get bored and start exhibiting unwanted or destructive behaviors. This can include brain games and games such as “fetch” or frisbee.
The Cane Corso is certainly a family dog. Loving and affectionate, this pup thrives off interaction with their humans and will want to show you how much they love you. They get on well with children too, although because of their large size, it is not recommended that they are kept with very young children. They can get a little rough during playtime without ever meaning to be! A house with older children who understand the size of the Cane Corso will be best for this dog.
Cane Corso’s have high energy levels and you must make sure you can dedicate a certain amount of time to them every day for exercising before you buy a puppy. These dogs will love to accompany you hiking, running and swimming, making an excellent exercise buddy!
Along with their high exercise needs, these dogs need a place to run around. You shouldn’t be thinking about getting one of these pups if you live in a small apartment with no backyard. Your backyard should have a high fence, too, as they are known to be able to jump high and escape from many enclosures.
The Cane Corso is relatively easy to train, so the whole family can join in. They can be a little stubborn at times, so you must be prepared to be patient and repeat steps with them until they understand.
Like all dogs, the Cane Corso responds best to positive reinforcement techniques and reward based training. This includes verbal praise and treats.
You should never get angry or frustrated with your dog when training. They may not understand what is happening and this will cause them to not want to learn. You should ignore negative behavior and praise positive behavior so they learn which is more desirable.
We have mentioned above that the Cane Corso can be wary of strangers. They also have a slight reputation for being aggressive, but this has only been shown in dogs who are not socialized and do not grow up in a loving family.
From a young age, you should introduce your Cane Corso to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals. This should be done in a safe and controlled way so that they learn there is nothing to be afraid of. This way, your Cane Corso will grow up to be a well-rounded dog, with no aggression issues!
Thanks to their low-shedding, short coat, the Cane Corso does not require a lot of grooming. You do not need to take this pup to the groomers and a brush at home a few times a week can help to loosen dead hairs and keep them looking tidy.
You should remember to cut their nails as and when is needed and brush their teeth regularly. This helps to prevent dental decay and disease. If brushing their teeth is too difficult, you can always use dental sticks and chews.
Cane Corso FAQ’s
Is the Cane Corso an aggressive dog?
The Cane Corso is not an aggressive dog. When these pups are not socialized, they can be hostile towards strangers and this is where their aggressive reputation comes from and the reason they are banned in some states.
However, when raised in the right environment and introduced to new things at a young age, these pups grow up to be wonderful loving and friendly companions who love their owners. The only aggression you might get from your Cane Corso is when they try to smother you in kisses!
Where can I buy a Cane Corso dog?
Cane Corso breeders are limited, so finding a Cane Corso puppy can be difficult. You will need to seek out a breeder and you may be put on a waiting list. You should always check you are buying from a reputable breeder who can give you health clearances for both parent dogs.
If you are looking to adopt a dog, check your local shelter. There are many dogs out there who are looking for their forever home!
The Cane Corso is a large breed dog that just wants to be loved! These pups may be big and look slightly scary, but they love their owners and are extremely affectionate. With a bad reputation for being aggressive, these pups couldn’t be anything more different when raised in the right environment. An excellent family member, the Cane Corso will get on well with older children and will love to accompany the family while they’re out exercising. Easy to train too, there’s no reason you won’t love the Cane Corso!