Cane Corso

Loyal canine protectors with massive strength

Cane Corso

Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 31st, 2021

All you need to know about the Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are dignified, ancient dogs originating from Italy that have likely been existing for thousands of years. They are large, smart, and extremely loyal. They love working but also have an independent spirit.

Cane Corsos can grow to weigh up to 110 pounds!

Their adorable wrinkly face is hard to resist, and this breed has been gaining in popularity in the US in recent years. They are suited to be working dogs, so you will often see them helping out in the military or in law enforcement.

Experienced owners will know how to handle these pups, but those that never owned a large dog should definitely prepare before getting a Cane Corso.

Fast Facts

Group - Working

Weight - 100-110 Pounds (male) 90-100 Pounds (female)

Height - 24-27 Inches (male) 23-25 Inches (female)

Hair Length - Short

Shedding - Lite

Lifespan - 10-11 Years

The Appearance of the Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are large and muscular dogs that always look very dignified and imposing. This is why they are popular picks for watchdogs. Their majestic look alone will make any possible intruder rethink about entering your property. 

The muscular body of a Cane Corso has a broad chest and a wide skull with a wrinkly forehead. Most owners crop their ears, but they do it for cosmetic reasons. This doesn’t have any health benefits for your dog, so it is advised to keep the ears of a Cane Corso floppy. It will make your pup look cuter!

Cane Corsos resemble most other Mastiff-type dogs but are more streamlined and have a noticeably more athletic build. This was done so these pups can run and hunt without issues.

What makes them different from Mastiffs is their face. Cane Corsos have a much longer muzzle, although they are still considered a brachycephalic breed. Their coats have a texture that resembles the coat of a cow. It is coarse, thick, and occasionally tufted.

These dogs have extremely thick neck which gives them an even more powerful look. Their eyes are almond-shaped and their color depends on the color of the coat. The long tail of a Cane Corso is usually erect, although some have their tails docked while they are still puppies.

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What colors does a Cane Corso come in?

The breed standard names four allowed colors for a Cane Corso. These colors are:

  • Black
  • Gray
  • Fawn
  • Red

Gray and fawn coats can come in different shades, ranging from very light to extremely dark. All shades are allowed on dog shows and competitions. 

Brindling is allowed in all colors. Dogs with red and fawn coats will usually have a gray or black mask, which won’t go beyond the eyes. White patches are allowed on the chin, throat, chest, feet, and toes. 

Any dog that has tan pattern markings won’t be allowed in dog shows. However, if you’re not interested in those, you shouldn’t have any issue with that color. It can look as beautiful as all the others.

All about the Cane Corso personality

Let’s get this out of the way at the start - Cane Corsos are not for everyone. They have a lineage of working dogs which means that their personality is quite serious, and they can get somewhat emotional. 

There truly is no rule on how your Cane Corso will behave. Some will be affectionate and friendly, will love to cuddle, and will lick your face constantly, while others might avoid that completely. 

They won’t like new people surprising them, so you should always prepare well when you’re getting visitors your pet hasn’t met yet. Early socialization will help tremendously with this since your pup will get used to constantly meeting new people and animals.

They can get along well with other pets and kids, but you should always be careful. These pups have strong prey drives, so they might respond to any sort of sudden and unexpected movement. This can result in your Cane Corso chasing your other pet.

Again, if the pup gets familiar with your children and pets from an early age, this shouldn’t be a problem. Still, you should always supervise your Cane Corso when it is around children.

Loyalty is one of the main traits of these dogs. They make excellent guard dogs and will defend your family and home at any cost. 

If these dogs feel that you or your family are threatened, they can become aggressive. So always be cautious around new people and situations. Experienced dog owners should know how to handle this, but if you’re new to the canine world, this might not be the best pet for you.

In general, Cane Corsos won’t demand much attention. These dogs are independent and can enjoy spending time alone with themselves. Still, don’t leave your pet home alone for too long as it can become destructive.

Is a Cane Corso easy to train?

Cane Corsos are guard dogs by nature. They have a dominant personality and are used to patrolling around their home and letting any intruder know that they shouldn’t mess with them. This means that they will always question your authority.

You need to earn the respect of these dogs, which isn’t easy. They need consistent training with an experienced trainer. Cane Corsos are incredibly smart and will generally surprise you with their intelligence.

This also means they will respond well to all instructions. They can easily learn new skills and tasks. In general, positive reinforcement will do well with this breed. Reward your pup whenever it performs well, and training should be a breeze.

People that are not well-prepared and don’t train their Cane Corso enough can turn their dogs into a possible danger for everyone around them. These dogs are strong and if not properly trained, can become aggressive.

Be prepared as much as possible if you plan on getting a Cane Corso. Start with training and socialization early. Although it may seem hard, these pups do have a desire to please, so training won’t be too difficult if you know what you’re doing.

How much Grooming does a Cane Corso need?

Cane Corso dogs have short, double-layered coats. The undercoat can vary in length but will constantly shed, all throughout the year. The shedding will be even more extreme during springtime

Make sure to brush your Cane Corso at least once a week. Naturally, since they do shed constantly, Cane Corsos are not hypoallergenic

Other than that, they are low-maintenance dogs. Make sure to regularly check the ears and paws of your cane Corso and clean them if necessary. 

Dental hygiene is always important. It is best to consult your vet about the best doggy toothpaste for your Cane Corso. 

Another thing you should always watch out for is nail trimming. You don’t want your dog’s nails to become too long as it can be quite painful. Trim the nails of your pet regularly, especially if you can hear them clicking on the floor.

The Living Environment of the Cane Corso

These dogs absolutely love leading an active lifestyle. If you like to spend your days on the couch in front of the TV, this isn’t the right pet for you. They are working dogs and they absolutely need some sort of activity.

Since they are quite large and love running around, having a backyard with a fence would be ideal. Still, this doesn’t mean you won’t need to take your pet Cane Corso out for walks. Daily exercise is an absolute must.

Agility and skills training is always a good idea. You need to keep the mind and body of your pet Cane Corso busy at all times. If you don’t give them an opportunity to enjoy various activities, these dogs will think of their own.

They might start digging around the yard or even try to escape. You need to dedicate time to these dogs or they become unhappy easily. And with their intelligence, they can think of ways to spite you.

Cane Corsos don’t like being left alone for a long time either. Sure, people with a yard can leave for the majority of the day and their dog will find ways to have fun, but don’t do it too often. 

The Health of the Cane Corso

Cane Corso is generally healthy, but certain conditions may affect them more easily.

  • Hip dysplasia is quite common in larger dogs. This condition affects the hip joint and makes the ball and socket of the hip grind against each other instead of sliding smoothly. As you can imagine, this can be quite painful for your dog.
  • Eyelid abnormalities can also be quite common, as well as idiopathic epilepsy and Demodectic Mange
  • The latter is a parasitic skin disease caused by a parasitic mite that lives in the hair of all dog breeds. The condition occurs when the immune system of a dog isn’t mature yet, and the dog starts losing its hair all over the body.
  • Since these dogs are quite large and have a deep chest, bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, can become a serious issue. It can be life-threatening if not treated in time. Dogs suffering from bloat have their stomachs filled up with air and flipped, and this cuts off their blood flow.

These pups need high-quality dog food and expect them to eat a lot, considering their size. Of course, each dog is different, and the exact amount will also depend on the age and activity level.

Where does the Cane Corso come from?

The full name of this breed is the Cane Corso Italiano, which should tell you where they come from. It is believed that their origins date back several thousand years ago. They most likely originated from ancient dogs in Epirus that Ancient Romans then employed.

In Rome, they worked as hunters and warriors and were prized due to their size and power. They were created through cautious breeding so they could become the perfect guard dogs. They were protecting Italian farmers, herding livestock and hunting. 

Cane Corsos were immediately recognized as being extremely versatile. They were also known for their ability to fight against or even kill wolves!

During World War II the breed saw a decline in popularity and almost became extinct. However, they were revived by a dedicated effort of several breeders during the 1970s. The Italian Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1994.

Nowadays these pups are mostly used for protection and as companions. They have a negative reputation for being aggressive, although it is mostly the fault of inexperienced, ignorant owners.

Questions people often ask about Cane Corso puppies

  • +Is the Cane Corso a good family dog?

  • +Is the Cane Corso aggressive?

  • +How big does a Cane Corso grow?

  • +Are Cane Corso dogs banned in the USA?

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