Cane Corso – The Beauty and the Beast

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If there were to be a beauty pageant for dogs the Cane Corso would definitely win the “Handsomest Dog” Award. I mean, just look at this handsome canine.

The Cane Corso is an Italian mastiff or Molosser (dog) to be precise. It is very closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. Well-muscled and strong built, the Cane Corso is still less bulky than its other mastiff cousins.

These dogs are the best personal protectors for families and small children as well. If you are thinking to bring a Cane Corso into your life read this article and know if it is the ideal dog for you.

Cane Corso Pictures

Quick Facts

Avg. Weight: 45-50 Kg (Male), 40-45 Kg (Female)

Avg. Height: 25-27.5 inches (Male), 23.5-26 inches (Female)

Dog Group: Working Group, Guardian Dog Group.

AKC Rank: 32

At a Glance

The Cane Corso is well-built and a tough dog. They are pretty huge in size.

Males – 99-110 pounds, 24-27.5 inches.

Females – 88-99 pounds, 23.5-26 inches.

The lifespan of this tough working dog is about 10-12 years.

Just one look at this beast and anyone can easily guess that these dogs are absolutely NOT apartment friendly. They are huge working dogs and they need a lot of space for themselves.

The Cane Corso was originally bred to be a protector dog. Considering this they are very friendly and possessive of their owner and families. This tough-looking working dog is also very friendly with small children.

If you have any other pets it is recommended that you introduce them to a Cane Corso when they are puppies and developing. This allows them to bond better with other animals.

Aggression is a strong point for Cane Corso. If their aggression is not controlled they may bark a lot. But with proper training the barking tendency is normal.

Cold Weather Tolerability – They can tolerate cold weather pretty well due to their thick undercoat.

Hot Weather Tolerability – Their coat type is just perfect to tolerate hot weather. They have high hot weather tolerability.

The Cane Corso is “beauty with brains”. They are very intelligent and easily trainable. The intelligence to grasp things quickly makes the training easier.

For this well-muscled dog training is absolutely a MUST. They require a lot of exercises as they are very active and adventurous. Being born as working dogs, exercise is extremely important for the Cane Corso.

Unfortunately, this handsome canine is not hypoallergenic. If you have any allergies you should consider getting other hypoallergenic dog breeds.

The cost of a Cane Corso in the USA is around $1500-$4000. In India, the price can range from 50,000 to 4, 00,000.

About Cane Corso

Cane Corso on a branch

First things first, the Cane Corso is pronounced as “Kah-nay, Kor-so” and not “Kane Korso”. They are huge dogs standing tall at 27-30 inches. Once fully grown they can achieve a height to a human’s waist or in some cases even shoulders.

Heavy on the pounds, the Cane Corso is still not very bulky. It has a close connection with the Neapolitan mastiff family and surprisingly it doesn’t inherit their bulkiness.

These are powerful and rugged working dogs, exceptionally well-muscled and strong. The Cane Corso is very confident, tough, and yet very loving and affectionate.

They are sturdy and fearless and still have a calm and composed demeanor. This unique blend makes them absolutely worthy of living with families. They can be your fearless personal protector and also be loving and playful at the same time.

This breed was originally used as working dogs and guard dogs or watchdogs. So they have a natural quality to be protective of their family. They have been protecting families and guarding livestock ever since they were first bred.

These are very powerful and intimidating dogs. Sometimes this leads to a misconception in people that the Cane Corso is dangerous around humans. In fact, they make really loving and loyal companions.

Despite of being affectionate and caring the Cane Corso is not the right dog for just anyone. Handling this beast can be really tough. They need proper behavioral training since Day 1 and even as they develop the training should be continued.

If you are someone who has a fascination for large dogs then this one is the right choice for you. The Cane Corso requires human owners who themselves are very athletic and love adventures.

If you are very sure and okay with making serious lifestyle changes, only then consider bringing a Cane Corso home. These dogs are naturally aggressive and this is when behavioral training comes into the picture.

Every dog is different and grows at a different pace. These dogs are a little slow at the developing speed. This means that this large dog will take more time to be fully grown than any other smaller breed.

History

Cane Corso History

The Cane Corso originated in Italy. It is indeed an Italian Mastiff. The Cane Corso is widely referred to as the Italian Molosser. Molosser is a dog correctly called Molossus which means ‘dog’ in Greek.

A descendant of the old Roman war dog the Cane Corso is a Molossian, a Greek tribe. It derives its name from its Roman roots cane da corso, a term used for working dogs or catch dogs back then.

Now extinct, the Molossus was the mastiff-type dogs and are the ancestors of the Cane Corso and all other mastiff breed dogs. A few years in the past, their distribution became limited to the Southern parts of Italy.

In the 20th Century, the Cane Corso was presented in a dog show and its size and appearance took the show’s judge by surprise. That show’s judge along with the dog’s owner started traveling around Italy in search of similar breeds.

This breed was bred intentionally to guard livestock and serve as a watchdog. Their sheer brilliance and scary appearance are famous from ancient times and that makes them the best guarding dogs.

The name, the shape, the appearance all predates its Neapolitan Mastiff cousins. They are similarly well-muscled like the mastiffs but are still less bulky. The Cane Corso breed is also considered to be the last one of the coursing mastiffs.

During World War I and II, there was a major decrease in Cane Corso breeding and reproduction. Even with the decline, some dogs did exist. Then in 1970, the Cane Corso breed had a comeback.

In 1988, Cane Corso arrived for the first time in America. The second batch of a litter of the Corso came the following year in 1989. Ever since it became very popular in the USA.

Did You Know: Even after its entry in the US long back in the 80’s the American Kennel Club recognized this breed only in 2010.

Cane Corso Facts Theatre

Parenting Guide And Care

Cane Corso with a woman

The parenting guide for dog parents of a Cane Corso mostly consists of handling its behavior and being prepared for it.

  • If you are firm on bringing this dog home you should be prepared for a lot of physical activities, major lifestyle changes, and also for some tough love.
  • Cane Corso looks like a beast and is actual beasts but with a heart of gold. They can protect you from danger and also snuggle with you.
  • Start the training for your Cane Corso puppy from the early age of 2-3 months old.
  • They are very playful when young and will require a lot of attention and spending time. Do that. Spend time with them when they are puppies and play as much as you can.
  • If you are a busy working professional avoid getting this dog because they need loads and loads of quality time with their humans.
  • Play the fetching game with them to keep them busy and at the same time, it helps them run and stay active. Use squeaky toys to play fetch.
  • Don’t let a Cane Corso become the boss of you. Every now and then show them that you have control over them. Give them obedience training.
  • Teach them all the basic commands really well. Especially the command ‘No’. Read more about basic dog training commands.
  • While training doesn’t scare them or yell at them. If you and your dog don’t agree on the same thing avoid yelling at them.
  • Scaring them with something won’t work either these dogs are tough working dogs and absolutely fearless. Nothing, I repeat, nothing will scare them. So save yourself the efforts.
  • Feed your Corso well, give him treats, love him, play with him, and train him tactfully and you will fall in love with this four-legged beautiful beast.

Some essential tips for you when adding a cane corso pup into your family and life.

  • When training them always set boundaries. Training and teaching them how to behave is very important. Setting boundaries and letting them know that you are in control is very important.
  • When house-training or housebreaking a dog. Use crates. Using crates is considered cruel by some people but it is actually good in house-training them. So they know how to behave inside the house.
  • Work on his/her separation anxiety. Every time you leave them even for a minute they will start to howl or whine. Don’t cater to this behavior. Let them whine and get used to separation.

This breed can become destructive if not taught to deal with their separation anxiety.

  • Socialize your Corso A LOT. Socialization will help them in being happy and well-behaved with strangers as well as other animals. Let other people pet them under your supervision, this way they won’t pounce on others.
  • Feed them right. You might need to swap food brands from the previously fed food to them to a new one. Do it by mixing them both and then feed it to your pup.
  • Play.Play.Play. Play with your Corso as much as you can. They are always active and up for the adventure. Keep them busy.
  • When they make mistakes during their training don’t scold them. Use calm commands. Disciplining them with a calm composer will make them learn from their mistakes.

Personality & Temperament

Cane Corso Garden

An overall magnificent dog the Cane Corso is all about energy, power, speed, and adventure. Talking about its athletic spirit this dog outdoes all its mastiff cousins and still manages to be lighter in weight than other mastiffs.

This sturdy buddy needs loads of exercise and physical activities. With all its sporty needs this dog loves human interaction and craves attention as well. This dog may come out as scary at first but they live for their families and love them to death.

A Cane Corso puppy is generally very friendly with strangers but they grow distant as they start developing and growing up. They need proper socialization training or they might start getting aggressive with strangers.

If you already own another larger dog breed you should not consider getting a Cane Corso. Both the breeds may have aggression issues of their own and handling two huge dogs can become a nightmare for their humans.

These dogs are a complete surprise package when it comes to temperament. They have tighter skin, scary outer appearance, and are the best guard dogs. Yet they will love to dig a hole or lay in a mudhole, splash water in a pond and be all kinds of cute.

Their personality and temperament is completely contradictory. They are huge and powerful, still loving and soft-hearted. They can take care of themselves and ten other people single-handedly yet they crave attention and don’t like being left alone.

Grooming & Colors

Cane Corso Fawn
Fawn
Cane Corso Grey
Grey
Cane Corso Chestnut Brindle
Chestnut Brindle
Cane Corso Reddish Fawn
Reddish Fawn

Grooming a Cane Corso is super easy and minimalistic. It won’t cost you a fortune and can be done easily at home. This breed tends to shed moderately or occasionally, thanks to its short and easy-care coat.

Even though short-haired they are not single-coated breeds. The overcoat and the undercoat vary slightly in length. Weekly brushing the coat and getting rid of the dead hair is enough.

The nails of your Corso should be kept short. When they stand their nails should not be touching or slightly digging in the ground. This can cause an unpleasant experience for both you and your Corso. Trim their nails every 2-3 weeks.

Their ears need attention as well. Use soft cotton balls and light chemical-based liquid ear cleaner to clean their ears. When bathing them use strictly dog products and avoid human products under any circumstances.

Talking about the colors of Cane Corso they have six colors Black, Grey, Chestnut Brindle, Black Brindle, Fawn and Red.

Feeding

Cane Corso Feeding

Apart from their size, the Cane Corso is just like any other dog, hungry all the time. Still, they have different feeding requirements. Like all large breeds, this tough beast is always hungry and needs a lot of food.

However, it’s their human counterpart’s job to make sure they do not overeat or under-eat. As a responsible dog parent, it’s your duty to make sure your Corso doesn’t attract bad eating habits.

  • According to the AKC, the standard diet for a 6-12 weeks Cane Corso puppy is feeding four times a day. You can opt for packaged or canned food. There are many dry and wet puppy food options available in the market.
  • When your pup starts to grow and reaches 3-4 months of age reduce the meals to three times a day.
  • When they are 6 months of age feed them twice a day.
  • Concerning the quantity of each meal or food portions, there is no prescribed limit. You have to decide the portions by observing how much your Corso eats.
  • As they grow their food portion size will increase. During this time make sure you feed them all proteins, required fats, carbs and calcium filled meals.

What to feed a Cane Corso Puppy?

You can feed your puppy kibble. Use kibble that promotes teeth health in the developing puppies.

We recommend wet food for puppies as wet food is also more preferred by dogs. Wet food doesn’t have added preservatives, has more protein and fewer carbohydrates.

BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food) is also a good option for your Corso. However, it is not the most recommended diet but raw food and raw edible meat have no preservatives. Also, this will keep unhealthy grain away from dogs.

If you are totally into taking good care of your pup and also have the time for it, you can always rely on homemade food.

How Much Food should be fed to a Cane Corso?

  • When they are 4 months old – 2 ⅓ to 3 ¼ cups.
  • At 6 to 8 months – 3 ⅓ to 5 ½ cups of food.
  • At 9 to 11 months – 4 ½ to 6 cups.
  • At 1 to 2 years – 6 ½ to 9 ⅓ cups.

Health and Vaccination

Cane Corse Health

Possible Health Threats to a Cane Corso:

Orthopedic Problems

Orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia is a widespread health problem for this breed. A good 39% of cane corsos have hip dysplasia in America.

This breed stands 13th in all the breeds worst hit by hip dysplasia. Other orthopedic problems for this breed include osteochondritis, panosteitis, luxating patella, and Wobbler’s syndrome.

Heart Diseases

Cane corsos are very much prone to heart diseases. Especially the heart conditions cardiomyopathy and mitral valve diseases.

According to a Coalition survey, 18% of this breed has reported heart diseases.

Skin Diseases

A very common health problem of this breed are skin diseases. They are very likely to develop skin allergies which lead to pyoderma.

Also Demodectic mange, a skin infection possibly caused by mites, is also one of the skin problems for a Cane Corso. 37% of the American population of the cane corsos is affected by this skin infection.

Other common and likely health problems for this breed are Epilepsy, gastrointestinal syndrome – Bloat, Cancer, Cherry eye, and Hypothyroidism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. The Cane Corso breed was bred intentionally to be watchdogs and guard dogs. They are the best security for a house. With a Cane Corso in the house, nothing bad can ever happen.

No. This breed is not hypoallergenic. Even though they are occasional fur shedders the limited dander produced by their fur can still cause allergies to allergic humans.

Yes. In fact, a well-trained and well-socialized Cane Corso is an absolute sweetheart with kids and any other family members.

A big fat NO. Newbie dog owners should totally avoid getting this huge dog. Not just huge in size but a Cane Corso is also huge on responsibilities. First-timers may find this experience very unpleasant and difficult to manage this huge breed.

Similar Breed

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