Cane Corso

The Cane Corso may look fearsome

Approaching a Cane Corso if you don’t know the breed can be a daunting if not worrying prospect. I met one recently – huge and black and from afar thought it was the biggest, brawniest Black Labrador I had ever seen.

As I drew closer it was plain to see that it was not a Black Labrador and it didn’t behave in the same wiggly waggly welcoming way that a Lab usually does. Instead it looked at me calmly and studiously as though it was trying to assess whether I was a threat or no to it’s owner. Once Bear (a great name for this dog) had completed it’s risk assessment he seemed satisfied that I was not a threat and allowed me to stroke his massive head.

And therein lies the appeal of this magnificent, dignified dog’s appointment as a loyal companion and at the same time a formidable personal bodyguard to its owner and its owner’s family!

According to Wikipedia The Cane Corso (Italian: [ˈkaːne ˈkɔrso]) is an Italian breed of mastiff. It is used for personal protection, tracking, law enforcement, as a guard dog, and as a companion dog.

It is thought that the Cane Corso is descended from a ancient Roman dog breed – The Molossoid. At one time the Cane Corso was common throughout the whole of Italy. More recently it’s distribution was confined to Puglia.  

Life With A Cane Corso

Would the Cane Corso be a good fit for your lifestyle?

Cane Corso Puppy Eating Grass
Picture of a Cane Corso Puppy

The Cane Corso is fiercely loyal and protective of its owner and their family. However if you are looking for an affectionate dog you might want to consider another breed. This is because the Cane Corso may not be openly affectionate (although there are many exceptions) and shows its love by the way it protects their family and their family’s property.

Cane Corsos are large dogs (standing at 25 to 27.5 inches at the withers; females 23.5 to 26 inches). And they weigh 90 to 120 pounds. For this reason small children must never be left alone with a Cane Corso but always with adult supervision.

Cane Corso fans like the breed because of their dedication to family and their fiercely protective nature that makes them the perfect personal bodyguard.

So as guard dogs they are formidable and this means they need to be well trained either by yourself, by a professional dog trainer or a combination of both.

The Cane Corso is a dog that is territorial so always on guard and on the lookout for sights or sounds that could pose a threat to its human family. Strangers need to be mindful of this and never act in a way that could be seen by the Cane Corso as threatening otherwise they might live to regret it.

Essentially the Cane Corso was bred as a working dog so they have energy in abundance and benefit from regular exercise. They don’t need as much exercise as other large working breeds though and much of their exercise comes from their habit of walking around their owner’s property looking for potential threats.

History

The Cane Corso As A Dog Of War


The Cane Corso was originally derived from the ancient Greek breed group called Molossers. The Molossers were similar to the Mastiff breeds we see today. These were bred as guard dogs by the Molossians, a Greek tribe that inhabited the region of Epirus in classical antiquity.

The Romans invaded the Greek islands, seized some molossers and took them back to Italy where they were crossed with some Italian dog breeds. The resulting cross breeds were the Cane Corso and The Neapolitan Mastiff.

At first the Cane Corso was used as a dog of war that accompanied the Roman Legionaries into battle. They had a fearsome reputation as bodyguards which was richly deserved given that they would charge the enemy lines with buckets of flaming tar strapped to their backs. At this stage of its evolution, the Cane Corso was much larger than its modern day incarnation.

As a dog of war they were responsible at least in part for many Roman victories where their tenacity and loyalty often resulted in them paying the ultimate sacrifice!

The Cane Corso’s Versatility

No longer a dog of war the Cane Corso proved its extraordinary versatility by turning its hand or perhaps I should paw to guarding farm livestock from wild animals such as wolves. They were also used to patrol property against trespassers and are sometimes used as guard dogs to this day.

The Cane Corso was used a a cattle herder too – a task they could perform admirably even when faced with having to control a challenging bull. And their abundant strength and tenacity made them popular for hunting large game such as bears, wild boar and deer.

However, the Cane Corsos really came into their own when they were used for keeping watch over and protecting the farmers’ property and families. Thus they became the guard dog of choice for Italian farmers.

The two world wars were devastating for the Cane Corso population and many died or were killed as these wars were waged and once again this valiant breed paid the ultimate price for defending their owners lives and property.

The damage to farms and farmland and the overall reduction in farm numbers coupled to farm mechanisation led to a severe drop in the Cane Corso population. These developments together with the use of firearms to protect farmers families and properties almost resulted in the extinction of the Cane Corso since their tasks had become redundant.

The Cane Corso Saviours

Luckily one man, Giovanni Bonnetti, came to the breed’s rescue. He knew that if the Cane Corso wasn’t embraced by breeders it would not survive.

Giovanni also was wise enough to realise that he alone could not persuade breeders to resurrect the breed. So in 1973 he brought the breed’s imminent demise to the attention of Dr. Paolo Breber, a well known and respected dog lover.

Giovanni informed Dr. Breber that although the breed’s extinction was close, the Cane Corso still remained in certain parts of Southern Italy immediate action was needed to preserve the breed.

In 1976 Dr. Breber’s article about the Cane Corso was published in Italian Kennel Club magazines. This caught the attention of Italy’s dog lovers and breeders. The breeders were keen to resurrect the breed and mounted a rescue mission.

Dr. Breber became keenly interested, and with his documentation on the breed, he brought the Cane Corso to the attention of the public around 1976. Breber’s article about the breed was published in a number of Italian Kennel Club magazines which he followed up with a rescue mission carried out by breed enthusiasts.

In 1983, they formed the S.A.C.C. (Società Amatori Cane Corso) to save the breed. They also sought to gain official recognition with major kennel clubs in order to further ensure the survival of the breed.

Their quest for recognition began to bare fruit starting with the Italian Kennel Club in 1994, the Federation Internationale Cynologique in 1996, the United Kennel Club in 2008 and finally the AKC in 2010.

The Cane Corsa’s Rapid Spread

The following timeline shows the remarkable spread of the Cane Corsa breed beyond Italy, the country where it was first established.

Cane Corso history

The Cane Corso Today


Nowadays the Cane Corso is valued as a guard dog and family companion. However it would be unwise to consider the Cane Corso as the ideal dog anyone who has not owned a dog before. This is because their strong willed personalities mean they need an experienced handler with good leadership skills.

On the plus side they establish strong bonds with their owner and like to play with children and all in all revel in being part of the family. The Cane Corso is also renowned for its exuberant clowning around with the people it knows.

And if you’re looking for the perfect guard dog well you need look no further than the Cane Corso. It’s origins were as a guard dog and as such their ability to protect is deeply rooted in their DNA. This means you can always rely on them to keep you and your family safe when threatened.

You might be tempted to think that this formidable personal protection canine is thick skinned. Well don’t let their appearance fool you because the Cane Corso is very sensitive as well as being very tough. So training a Cane Corso has to be done sensitively. Thus the Cane Corso should only be trained using positive reinforcement methods if you want to avoid hurting their feelings.

They have a strong desire to be loved by their owner and their owner’s family although their trust has to be earned by others outside of their family group whom they may see as a threat until they get to know them.

Outdoors the Cane Corso is high energy and loves to participate in walking, hiking and swimming. This contrasts with their behavior indoors where they are happy to relax quietly – especially on your sofa!

Usually the Cane Corso will only bark when performing their guard dog role to warn you of strange noises or intruders in the vicinity.

Did You Know?

With 700 psi bite force, the Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso is one of the top three strongest dog breeds in terms of bite force.

Famous People Who Have Owned Cane Corsos

Vin DieselActor
Patty LabelleSinger
Sam SimonCo-creator of The Simpsons

Overview

  • Child Friendly: Yes but owing to size must be supervised by adult
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, provided properly socialized and trained from an early age
  • Energy: Needs moderate amount of exercise
  • Intelligence: Very intelligent
  • Loyalty: Very territorial, loyal and protective of owner and other family members
  • Personality: Sweet natured and docile
  • Tendency to Bark: Does not bark a lot
  • Tendency to Drool: Drools a lot
  • Tendency to Snore: Minimal risk of snoring
  • Tendency to Dig: Does not tend to dig
  • Tendency to Seek Attention: Has a moderate need for attention
  • Trainability: Needs to be well trained by experienced dog owner or a Professional Dog Trainer

  • Active Families where at least one adult member spends most of their time at home
  • Farmers
  • People who love the outdoor life
  • Active Singles who work from home
  • Breed Group: Working Group
  • Coat: Double layered and straight
  • Colors: black, shades of gray, shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades, have a black or gray mask. The mask does not go beyond the eyes.
  • Height: 25-27.5 inches (male), 23.5-26 inches (female)
  • Life Span: 9-12 years
  • Litter Size: 6-10 
  • Origin: Italy
  • Weight: Dogs 45–50 kg (99–110 lb), Bitches 40–45 kg (88–99 lb)

Cane Corso Pictures

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Did You Know?

The Cane Corso was used in battle by Romans as a fire-bearer according to the Greek writer Polybius (l. 200-118 BCE). Buckets of flaming oil were strapped to their backs and they were trained to charge the enemy’s front lines.

More Detailed Information

Exercise

Cane Corsos are a high energy working breed that need two hours exercise each day to ensure they are happy and healthy. Although in your home they might relish relaxing on your sofa it’s important for their wellbeing to ensure their energy is spent by the time they settle down and rest at home.

Activities you could consider include off lead play, long walks, brisk walks or perhaps accompanying you when your out jogging. They also like fun packed training sessions since this allows them to exercise their not inconsiderable intelligence. So for a Cane Corso games and puzzles are the order of the day.

And since they love to spend time with their owners other activities you could consider are things like flyball, cycling, fetch and even Yoga!

Health

Although the Cane Corso are normally very healthy you do need to check that breeders have screened for the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Demodex mange
  • Eyelid abnormalities

Bloat

If you own a Cane Corso or intend owning this breed you do need to make yourself aware of a potentially life threatening condition that can affect any large deep chested dog breed. Bloat or stomach torsion is a build up of gases in the stomach due to twisting. This ultimately leads to the blood supply to vital organs being cut off. Left untreated bloat is fatal. Therefore should your Cane Corso get bloat it’s vital you get him or her to your veterinarian immediately so they can operate to untwist the gut.

Preventing Bloat

It’s recommended that with large deep chested dogs including the Cane Corso you must feed your dog at least one hour before or after exercise as a preventative measure. However, your dog may still get bloat even after taking this precaution. So you need to be able to spot the signs of bloat.

Bloat Signs

  • Swollen stomach that feels tight like a drum
  • Restlessness (pacing up and down)
  • Whining/whimpering (bloat is extremely painful)

Ears

Pseudomonas Otitis can sometimes be found in the Cane Corso’s ears. This bacteria can be difficult to shift and sometimes requires the dog’s ears to be cleaned out under general anaesthetic if the prescribed drops don’t work. This means you need to check your dog’s ears regularly so you can spot any problems before they develop further.

Dental Hygiene

Some dog’s teeth are prone to a build up of plaque and so your dog’s teeth need to be brushed regularly with dog toothpaste. Failure to do so can result in a build up of plaque which can only be removed by your veterinarian under general anaesthetic. Ultimately as with humans gum disease could necessitate teeth removal so it’s best to keep on top of this by regularly checking your dog’s teeth and of course brushing them.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

Breeder Checklist

If you are considering adding to your family with a Cane Corso here’s a checklist to minimise the risk of choosing a puppy that’s likely to have health problems later:

  1. Ask for the medical history going as far back as the great grandparents to determine if any diseases have been present in the family history.
  2. Ask the breeder how you can inform them of any serious genetic disease should it occur in the lifetime of the dog. Bona fide breeders will ask you to let them know of any such diseases to help them make future breeding choices.
  3. Only buy from an AKC registered breeder if you live in the USA.
  4. Buy from a breeder who uses or is happy to use the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk and who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: www.dbrg.uk/the-standard-for-dog-breeding.html
  5. Or alternatively a breeder who follows the Kennel Club’s Standard for Dog Breeding: Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Cane Corso Potential Health Conditions

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s is a rare disease caused by a dangerous fall in the body’s natural steroid levels. This condition can occur when the steroids produced by the body’s adrenal glands fail. Addison’s symptoms are difficult to pinpoint. This makes the disease difficult to diagnose. Treatment consists of using steroids to bring the natural steroid level back to normal. Diagnosing Addison’s early is critical and if so a successful outcome with steroid treatment can be expected. Hwoever Addison’s is fatal if left untreated.

Aortic Stenosis

Certain breeds are prone to this hereditary condition – mainly the Newfoundland, Boxer Dog, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler and Dogue de Bordeaux. It has also been reported though not to the same extent in the Samoyed, Bull Terrier, Mastiff, German Shorthaired Pointer, English Bulldog, German Shepherd and Great Dane.

Aortic Stenosis is the narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve either in, above or below the valve. This makes the heart work harder to push the blood from the left ventricle through the aorta and can lead to heart failure.

Often there are no visible symptoms meaning that discovery is usually made when a vet makes a routine check and finds a heart murmur. Sometimes if the condition is moderate or severe aortic Stenosis is discovered at birth. However if mild it may not be detected until the dog is 6 – 12 months old.

Symptoms of heart failure may be seen in severe cases such as coughing, lethargy, breathlessness, open-mouth breathing and fainting.

Treatment isn’t needed if the aortic stenosis is mild although your dog should be closely monitored.

Moderate to severe cases will require medication in the form of beta blockers and surgery is sometimes another option to clear the valve constriction.

Cancer

There are various forms of cancer some more serious than others that a dog can suffer from. If your dog is diagnosed with cancer it can be devastating because you may automatically assume cancer is a death sentence. However , you need to be aware that not all cancers are fatal.

Cataracts

Cataracts are common in all dogs especially older ones. Cataracts are a cloudiness of the eye that happen from changes within the lens of the eye. They prevent light from reaching the back of the eye, reducing vision and ultimately causing blindness. A variety of health issues can result in cataracts forming. Once a cataract has formed it cannot be cured unless removed by surgery. If your dog’s eyes become cloudy, the first step is to book an appointment with your vet to identify the cause since there are several possibilities.

Cherry Eye

In the corner of a dog’s eye sits a third eyelid with a tear gland you cannot see provided it is healthy. The name cherry eye is given to the condition that exposes the gland so you can see it and this condition is commonly called cherry eye because the gland looks like a small cherry.

You need to get this condition treated by a vet as soon as possible. Usually surgery is needed to pop the gland back into the correct position.

If your dog has anything at all wrong with its eyes please treat this seriously and contact your vet immediately.

Cystinuria

This condition is a genetic condition that results in a build up of the amino acid, cystine in the bladder and kidneys. Cystine crystals and/or stones then form which can block the urinary tract. Symptoms to look for are typically urinary tract infections, flank pain, hematuria and nausea. Treatment focuses on the prevention of stone formation and the relief of symptoms.

Elbow Dysplasia

This condition is a painful swelling of the elbow joint that leads to arthritis. Often it starts when the dog is 5-18 months old. Elbow Dysplasia mainly found in medium and large breed dogs and is usually hereditary. Surgery is sometimes used to alleviate the condition along with pain relief, exercise, weight management and physiotherapy.

Elbow Dysplasia is a very painful condition that can be prevented by only breeding from healthy dogs.

Some breeds are particularly susceptible to this condition and such breeds need to have a good diet and exercise regime.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is frequently hereditary and often causes seizures in dogs aged between six months and six years old. There is no cure for epilepsy. It can be controlled using drugs. Sometimes dogs that are perfectly healthy can have an epileptic fit perhaps once or twice in their lives.

Gastric Torsion

Otherwise commonly called bloat, this is a serious painful condition that requires immediate emergency treatment. It’s caused by a bloated, twisted stomach. Your dog must be treated by a vet immediately to increase their chances of survival. Obvious symptoms are a swollen and distended stomach that’s hard to the touch and retching. Dogs with this condition require immediate surgery to un-twist the stomach and even then GDV as it’s called can still prove fatal.

Breeds most at risk to this condition are large and giant breeds with deep chests.

Hip Dysplasia

This painful condition is usually inherited from one of the dog’s parents and results in abnormalities in one or both of the hip joints during puppyhood. It causes the joins to swell, eventually leading to arthritis. Hip Dysplasia can be found most often in medium to large breed dogs. The prescribed treatment is weight management, pain relief and carefully controlled exercise. If the condition is severe surgery may be needed.

Before mating two dogs it’s essential to check both for hip dysplasia to minimise the risk of passing on the condition to puppies.

Hypothyroidism

This condition is caused by underactive thyroid glands. Dogs with hypothyroidism are subject to fur loss, weight gain and low energy. The treatment is medication to replace the absent thyroid hormones. The prognosis for dogs receiving this treatment is excellent. You need to contact your vet if your dog is showing signs of hypothyroidism.

Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament

The first sign of a cruciate problem is limping. The cruciate ligaments attach one bone to another and can be compared to elastic that holds the knee together. A rupture to the cruciate ligament makes the knee very painful and unstable. The damage is commonly caused by turning, twisting, jumping or skidding. Cruciate ligament injuries are most common in dogs that have inherited a weakness in this area or overweight dogs.

Cruciate injuries don’t always need surgery to repair the damage. You need to contact your vet if your dog is limping so that they can assess and recommend the best form of treatment.

Thrombopathia

This is an inherited disorder characterised by excessive loss of blood from an injury or during surgery. It is caused by abnormal platelets that lead to blood at the site of an injury not clotting. If this happens to your dog he must be treated by a vet without delay to avoid him going into shock and dying. Cases of thrombopathia have been reported in Basset Hounds and in the Finnish Spitz.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This condition prevents the blood from clotting which like hemophilia A in humans is an inherited defect. High risk breeds such as the Scottish Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Standard Poodle, German Short-Haired Pointer and Miniature Schnauzer should always be screened prior to breeding.

How to Groom Your Cane Corso

Cane Corso Puppies
Cane Corso Puppies

How to Brush and Comb the Coat

Cane Corso’s don’t need much grooming. During the summer months they will shed some hair and this can be reduced by using a rubber brush or hound glove.

How to Bathe Your Dog

Bathing a Cane Corso is so much easier if you approach this task as a fun filled part of your grooming routine. And bathing your Cane Corso will help prevent health issues too.

The Cane Corso should be bathed ever 3 months or more frequently if you detect an unpleasant odour. The end result should be a shiny smooth coat with a pleasant smell with no sign of loose hairs or shedding. Here’s the recipe for success…

  1. Remove dead hair and matting by brushing
  2. Put a rubber in the bath tub so that your dog is able to plant his paws securely
  3. Fill the bath tub with 4 inches of water
  4. Wet your dog using a shower head or plastic container and take care not to get water in their eyes, ears or nose
  5. Apply a dog shampoo and massage into the coat and finish at the head end
  6. Rinse off the shampoo immediately starting with the head
  7. Dry with a large bath towel
  8. Finish off with a hair dryer taking care to ensure it’s not too hot by testing on your hand first

How To Clip Your Cane Corso’s Coat

With the right tools clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is quite simple, convenient and less stressful and expensive than having to take your dog to your local dog groomer.

Here are the steps to guarantee success….

  1. Make sure your dog is relaxed by clipping his coat AFTER taking them for a walk
  2. Make sure your trimmers or scissors are sharp
  3. Brush the coat to get rid of dead hair and matting
  4. Cut or clip the hair evenly so that the coat is flat and smooth overall

Trimming a Cane Corso’s Nails

This is not a such a daunting task as you might think. You are probably afraid of cutting your dog’s nails too close causing them to bleed. However if done carefully it can be almost as simple as the rest of your dog’s grooming routine. Here’s what to do…
 
Like the rest of your dog’s grooming experience you need to enable them to see that this is a fun and rewarding activity (giving treats and praise helps).

Here’s how to go about trimming your Corse Corsa’s Nails:

  1. Clip gradually a bit at a time to avoid cutting the quick
  2. Give your dog a treat after each nail is clipped and praise them
  3. Over time you can increase the number of nails you clip each time until you can do all in one sitting.

NB.Do not be tempted to clip very long nails all at once otherwise you may cut the quick. A good way of finding out if you’re getting near to the quick is to feel the nail along its length. You’ll find the nail is hard at the tip but as you approach the quick it becomes softer. You should not cut at or beyond where your dog’s nail becomes softer because that’s where the quick begins.

How to Check Your Cane Corso’s Ears & Eyes

Because the Cane Corso’s coat is short it’s really low maintenance. However all breeds including the Cane Corso need to have the areas around their eyes and ears regularly inspected, trimmed and cleaned. This is vital to prevent life changing infections in these sensitive areas.

Here’s your your Cane Corso’s weekly inspection and cleaning routine for optimum ears and eyes health:

  1. Wipe your dog’s outer ear (NOT the ear canal itself) with olive oil or witch hazel using a cotton ball (NEVER with a cotton bud that can damage the ear if your dog moves or shakes their head).
  2. Thin the hair growing within the ear using tweezers or blunt nosed scissors
  3. Trim any excess hair around the eyes, ears or face with a small trimmer

Nutrition

How Much To Feed Your Cane Corso From Puppy To Adulthood

Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Cane Corso puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it’s best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day.

Once fully mature, an adult Cane Corso must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Corso can be fed the following amounts every day:

Cane Corso Feeding Guide

How To Train A Cane Corso

Cane Corso Puppy Training

Initial socializing and training a Cane Corso puppy are vital and basic training needs to start at 3 weeks old right up until 12 weeks old.
During this period, you will need to teach them the following things:
• Expose them to different situations
• Teach them to sit, stay, lie down, come and heel
• Teach them not to bite
• How to socialize with other people and animals

Failure to implement this kind of training during this period of their life could result in your Cane Corso becoming a danger to you, other people and other pets and animals.

It is important that all your family members understand the importance of consistency during this period. After all there is no point in you using certain basic commands to get your dog to behave appropriately if another family member uses totally different commands or none. This is bound to result in your Cane Corso becoming confused and misbehaving.

There are certain types of behaviour that need to be discouraged, for example chewing shoes, jumping up at you and others or jumping on the sofa or armchairs.

To encourage the behaviour you want you should always use the positive reinforcement method. This means rewarding behaviour you approve of using praise and/or treats. It also means showing your disapproval for behaviour you do not approve of by saying “no” firmly without resorting to shouting.

Turning You Cane Corso Puppy into A Confident, Stable and Sociable Adult Dog

The first four months of your puppy’s life is your opportunity to produce the best version of your Cane Corso. You really cannot afford to let this opportunity go by without making sure he gets along with people, other animals, and different situations. If you do not do this, you will create a rod for your own back and more importantly you will have created an adult Cane Corso that is difficult and even dangerous to handle.

One of the best ways to socialize your Cane Corso puppy is to encourage strangers you meet whilst out walking your puppy to give him a treat provided by you. The result will be a Cane Corso that associates meeting new people with getting treats. This will help to ensure they are not aggressive towards new people and other dogs.

How To Resolve Common Behaviour Problems In An Adult Cane Corso

Jumping For Joy

Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling to have a puppy jump up on you because they are overjoyed to see you but if allowed this behaviour will continue into adulthood when it will pose a real danger to you and other people.

Meeting your Cane Corso and other dogs is a “jump for joy” moment that’s difficult to resist but resist you must in order to prevent accidents happening or even for simply avoiding dirty paw prints all over your clothes!

The answer? Contain your excitement whilst greeting them and remaining calm. You can also try turning your back on them-something I do when greeted by my daughter’s “jump for joy” Rottweiler, Lexi.

You will find that by remaining calm they will eventually reflect your demeanour and then you can reward and praise them.

Why Biting Is An Absolute No, No

Teething puppies bite and the Cane Corso is no exception. However with a bite pressure of 700psi you simply cannot afford to let your adult Cane Corso continue with this habit.
Any “play biting” must be stopped by saying “no” in a tone of voice that makes your Cane Corso realise that you strongly disapprove of their behaviour. If this happens you need to follow up your “no” command by giving them something to bite on instead of you! There are many chewy toys you can substitute!

Telling them that you don’t want to play with them anymore by walking off will help them realise their biting behaviour is unacceptable too. Thus “scolded” they are unlikely to do it again but if they do then you will need to repeat this technique until they do stop biting you.

Dog Food Aggression

Many dogs are protective towards their food. If your Cane Corso growls or turns on you when you are near his food, you must nip this behaviour in the bud. How?
One way is to get your Cane Corso to associate you approaching his food bowl as a rewarding experience because each time you do you place a treat in it.
Another way to achieve this is using an empty food bowl then filling the bowl, a bit at a time. This shows your Cane Corso that you are in charge of their food and in that way have demonstrated your authority.

Excessive barking

The Cane Corso is not a breed that barks excessively. In fact they will usually only bark at a perceived threat such as an intruder or any noise they are not familiar with. If there is no good reason for them barking then obviously you will need to do something about it.

You may find your Cane Corso barks as a way of greeting you when you come home. If this happens ignoring them until they have calmed down will ensure they are not rewarded for this behaviour and this should resolve the problem.

Another possible noise that may cause your Cane Corso to bark is when the phone rings. You can usually stop this happening by simply saying “no” followed up by rewarding them with a treat when they stop barking.

Recommended Cane Corso Dog Bed

Waggly Dogs recommends this dog bed to ensure your Cane Corso has a good night’s sleep.

Recommended Toys For Your Cane Corso

Dogs For Rehoming Near You

Appearance

Cane Corso Female Dog
Portrait of a young female cane corso dog.

Size

The Cane Corso male stands at 25 to 27.5 inches at the withers; females 23.5 to 26 inches.

The weight typically ranges from 90 to 120 pounds.

Speed

On land the Cane Corso can reach speeds of 32 miles per hour.

Color

Cane Corso Puppy Resting On The Grass
Cane Corso Puppy Resting On The Grass

The Cane Corso Colors are:

  • Black
  • Shades of gray
  • Shades of fawn
  • Red

Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades, have a black or gray mask. The mask does not go beyond the eyes.

Tail

Tail docking used to be the norm fro many working breeds but nowadays is largely frowned upon and in many countries (including England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) the practice is illegal.

Temperament

The Cane Corso is a formidable guard dog that is totally fearless. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting a Cane Corso don’t expect them to get excited and greet you unless of course the Cane Corso is YOUR dog!

The Cane Corso is a breed that is always alert and always on guard. They are quietly confident, quite reserved and protective of their family and their family’s territory. They would be the perfect pet to accompany James Bond on his missions!

Forming a strong bond with its owner and its owner’s family it is fiercely protective and easy to train. Despite its guard dog credentials it is the Cane Corso is loving towards its owner and its owners families including their children.

Children + Pets

The Cane Corso is affectionate with children but by dint of its size is not suitable for families with small children because of the danger of them being knocked over and injured.

The Cane Corso has a strong prey drive and will chase cats. However if the cats are part of its owner’s family it is generally fine provided the cats are part of the Cane Corso’s own family.

The Cane Corso Pros & Cons

Is The Cane Corso Right For You?

Cane Corso Pros and Cons

Cane Corso Character and Traits

Nurture More Important Than Nature

The Cane Corso character you end up with will very much depend on how you raised your dog! Conversely the physical traits such as flatulence and slobber are to do with the physical make up of the breed and those are beyond your control.

A Cane Corso brought up correctly will not have any negative traits. You may be able to adopt an adult dog and if so at least what you see is what you’ll get. With a Cane Corso puppy it’s more difficult to assess their temperament although it does help if you are able to see the parents.

Choose A Reputable Cane Corso Breeder

Choosing a reputable breeder is crucial in avoiding potential temperament or health problems although you won’t be able to predict what your chosen puppy will be like in adulthood.

Training Is Important

Find out how best to train your Cane Corso. There are many books on the subject available from Amazon. Here’s the link cane corso training.

9 Things You Need To Know Before Choosing A Cane Corso

  1. The Cane Corso can have a very dominant personality. This can make them difficult to train. They need an experienced owner who is prepared to show them who’s boss by being consistent in what you say and do at all times. It’s imperative that you teach your Cane Corso to respect you.
  2. The Cane Corso has a short life as is the case with all large breeds. On average about 10 years. And they often suffer from conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, bloat half way through their average 10 year life span. You need to be aware of this and the potential heartache and financial implications.
  3. In the USA some states have banned the Cane Corso breed. Therefore you do need to check if the state you live in or the states you intend taking your Cane Corso into have banned the breed.
  4. Cane Corsos can be aggressive towards other dogs. They also have a strong prey drive which means some will (if given the chance) attack cats and other animals. Such a powerful breed is perfectly capable of killing other animals!
  5. Cane Corsos are noisy. You may like hearing the way they grunt, snore and snort or you may not. If you don’t then perhaps this breed isn’t a good choice for you.
  6. Young Cane Corsos need just the right amount of exercise – not too much and not too little. This is to avoid causing damage to the bones, joints and ligaments. In adulthood they need more exercise,. However with particularly hot weather you have to be careful not to cause them to overheat. Regulating the young Cane Corso’s exercise means they will have excess energy. Without supervision this can lead to them becoming very destructive. The Cane Corso can exert a bite pressure of 700psi so if you fail to stop boredom setting in they can wreak havoc with your home!
  7. For similar reasons socializing your Cane Corso is of paramount importance. Guarding is in the Cane Corso’s DNA. So this coupled with their sheer size and phenomenal bite pressure means a dog that’s not properly socialized can prove fatal to strangers it sees as a potential threat to you or your family. To overcome this you need to get them to differentiate between strangers that pose a real threat and those that do not.
  8. Cane Corsos have “slobber chops”. Having slobber slung at you or around your home may not be your idea of fun!
  9. Cane Corsos to put it bluntly fart a lot. They can’t help it – all flat nosed dogs are subject to this excess. If you don’t find farting a laughing matter because of the smell or the embarrassment, then the Cane Corso is not for you.
Cane Corso, Dog Breed from Italy, Male Standing on Grass
Cane Corso, Dog Breed from Italy, Male Standing on Grass

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