Cane Corso: Dog Breed Profile

Cane Corso: Dog Breed Profile

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The Cane Corso (pronounced “KAH-Nay KOR-So”) is a large-boned and muscular working dog with a noble and confident disposition. Cane Corso is a powerful dog that may seem intimidating to some. These fearless and vigilant dogs are not right for everyone. However, they are often misunderstood and can actually make excellent companions. For those who like the idea of a very large dog that is protective and athletic, the Cane Corso is one to consider.

Breed Overview

  • GROUP: Working
  • SIZE: Weight is proportionate to height, typically 80 to 120 pounds; height is about 23.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder
  • COAT AND COLORS: Cane Corsos have a short, coarse coat. Colors are black, gray, fawn, and red; brindle is possible in all colors; may have black or gray mask; may have small patches of white.
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years

Characteristics of the Cane Corso

Affection LevelHigh
Exercise NeedsHigh
Energy LevelMedium
Tendency to BarkMedium
Amount of SheddingMedium

Cane Corso is an intelligent and dignified breed with an independent nature. The breed has a deep history of being bred to be a multi-purpose dog that’s active, alert, and keeps a watchful eye over its family. Because the adorable, wrinkly, and smart cane Corso puppy can grow to be a 110-pound energetic adult, it’s important to appropriately socialize this breed and teach them basic skills so they learn important behaviors they need to be successful in adulthood.

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History of the Cane Corso


The Cane Corso originated in Italy and can be traced back to ancient times. The molossus, a now extinct mastiff-type dog, is an ancestor of the Cane Corso and similar mastiff-type dogs. Throughout its early history, the Cane Corso acted as a guard dog, war dog, and skilled hunter of the various games (including very large games). Its name is derived from the Italian word for dog, cane, and the Latin term course, which means “protector” or “guardian.”

A significant decline of the Cane Corso breed was brought on by World Wars I and II, but small numbers of the dogs still existed. During the 1970s, Cane Corso enthusiasts sparked a revival of the breed. The first Cane Corso dogs arrived in the U.S. in 1988. The breed was admitted to the AKC miscellaneous class in 2007 and received full recognition into the AKC working group in 2010.

The Corso is one of many Mastiff-type dogs. This one was developed in Italy and is said to descend from Roman war dogs. He is more lightly built than his cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff, and was bred to hunt game, guard property, and be an all-around farmhand. Their work included rounding up pigs or cattle and helping to drive them to market.

The word “cane,” of course, is Latin for dog and derives from the word “canis.” The word “Corso” may come from “cohors,” meaning bodyguard, or from “corsus,” an old Italian word meaning sturdy or robust.

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Cane Corso Care

This working breed needs plenty of physical activity to stay in shape. Plan on taking him for a brisk walk or jog of at least a mile, morning and evening, every day. If you like to bicycle, get an attachment that will allow him to run alongside you.

Go easy on puppies.

Their musculoskeletal system isn’t fully developed until they are about 18 months old, so while they need more walks to help burn off their puppy energy, those walks should be shorter and slower.

For mental stimulation, provide this dog with a job. Good employment for a Corso includes herding livestock (your own or a trainer’s), learning tricks, practicing obedience skills, or being involved in a dog sport. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on these types of activities. It’s okay to break it up: for instance, 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.

The Cane Corso has a short,

coarse coat and is typically just a light shedder. Grooming needs are very basic—just occasional brushing and bathing as needed. Like other large dogs, the Cane Corso might have nails that wear down naturally. However, occasional nail trims may be necessary. Check the length of your dog’s nails on a regular basis so it can remain comfortable and mobile.

The ears of the Cane Corso are often cropped into an equilateral triangle, but this is not a requirement according to the breed standard. The tail is typically docked at the fourth vertebra.

A true working breed,

the Cane Corso is active and driven. Daily exercise will help keep the Cane Corso physically and mentally fit. Brisk walking or jogging for at least a mile is a good start. If you don’t have a job for a Cane Corso to do, it might find its own and end up digging holes and chewing your belongings. If you have a farm, the dog can herd livestock. But if you are a more typical homeowner, spend time each day with a dog sport, learning tricks, or practicing obedience skills.

A Cane Corso is best adopted by a person who is familiar with dog training rather than a first-time owner. Proper training and socialization are essential for all cane corso. With a natural aversion to strangers and a tendency to be territorial, you must be diligent and consistent while training. This is also crucial because of the dog’s giant size; careful attention should be placed upon the prevention of jumping, leaning, and leash-pulling. The Cane Corso is intelligent and hard-working, so it should not be difficult for this breed to learn.

Despite its appearance,

which some might find intimidating, the Cane Corso can actually be affectionate and gentle. This breed will bond deeply with its family and act as a protector. With proper handling and socialization, the Cane Corso can get along well with children, even forming a close bond. However, children must also be taught how to behave around dogs and never left unsupervised.

A Cane Corso needs a sturdy, high fence when allowed outdoors. The breed has a high prey drive and is prone to chasing and killing small animals such as cats and other dogs. They are territorial and will patrol the fence line, protecting the property from passersby.


Puppy Age 3 Months Of The Cane Corso Breed Lies On The Grass
Cane corso puppy  Sergey Fayzulin / 500px / Getty Images
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Health And Grooming Needs

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. Be aware of the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is an inherited condition that can lead to lameness and arthritis.
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus: Bloating after eating and drinking too fast is possible. If the stomach twists, it can cut off the blood supply and create a medical emergency.
  • Ectropion: A common condition in which the lower eyelids droop or roll out.

Amount Of Shedding

If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards.

Drooling Potential

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

General Health

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.

If you’re a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.

Potential For Weight Gain

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Cane Corso Size

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!

The Corso is a large, muscular dog. Males stand 25 to 27.5 inches at the withers; females are 23.5 to 26 inches. Weight is proportionate to height and typically ranges from 90 to 120 pounds.

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With a deep lineage as working dogs, the cane Corso temperament can be sensitive and serious. Due to their breeding, cane cors0—the plural of cane Corso—might not appreciate unfamiliar people surprising him as he’s patrolling his yard. As with all dogs, early socialization with new people, new situations, and other dogs is important so he can be healthy, happy, and thrive.

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Diet and Nutrition

An adult Cane Corso will need 4 to 5 cups of dry dog food per day. It’s best to divide it into two meals to help reduce the risk of bloating and stomach torsion. Be sure to assess whether your dog is getting overweight. If you note weight gain, ask your veterinarian whether you need to change the feeding schedule, amount, type of food, and exercise routine

  • Forms a close bond with family members
  • Makes a good watchdog
  • An easy-to-maintain coat that doesn’t need much grooming
  • Needs significant exercise and obedience training
  • At risk for joint problems and hip dysplasia, due to size
  • Larger-than-average size can be difficult for small people and children to handle
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Where to Adopt or buy a Cane Corso

Check with your local animal shelter and rescue groups to see if there’s a Cane Corso available for adoption. Large- and giant-breed rescue groups such as Big Dogs Huge Paws Inc. may have cane Corso available to adopt.

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Cane Corso FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Cane Corso a good family dog?

Cane Corso's are inherently very good with kids. They recognize small children and babies as part of their family, and they are gentle and affectionate. Natural guard dog characteristics also make the Cane Corso protective. So, overall they are a great dog for a family with kids.

Are cane corsos aggressive?

Accounts describing the potentially dangerous nature of the Cane corso are usually about aggression directed towards humans and not other dogs. Nonetheless, a Cane corso and other large breeds with strong tendencies to attack other dogs may likewise pose considerable danger to humans, particularly in a public setting.

Are Cane Corsos Good With Kids?

At first glance, the Cane Corso is intimidating and majestic but it’s extremely compassionate and playful, which is great news if you’re thinking about bringing this dog into your family!

Can a Cane Corso kill a human?

The Cane Corso is a breed of dog that is large and imposing and has many reported cases of serious injuries or fatalities caused by them every year. ... Due to its massive size and build, it can easily overpower some people and animals and can cause serious injury with some instances being fatal

Do cane corsos turn on their owners?

A Cane Corso, raised from puppyhood in a loving environment where dominance is gently but firmly discouraged, should not exhibit aggression to their owners. The Corsi is known and loved for their protective and endearing affection towards their owners.

Why does my Cane Corso stink?

Since the walls of the sac constain many sebaceous glands, they tend to produce a foul-smelling fluid. It can be one of the reasons why does your Cane Corso stink. Unfortunately, analsac glands also often become plugged, swollen, and smelly. To prevent your pet from any infections, you need to perform regular cleaning.

Why does my Cane Corso bite me?

Shyness may be learned or inherited and your Cane Corso may run and hide or stand and bite. When you take your dog out for a walk each day, bring along a bag of his favorite treats, something very special. Each time a new person meets him, allow them to give him a treat

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