|23 – 27 inches
|90 – 120 pounds
|10 – 12 years
|Black, gray, red, fawn
|Active families with large dog experience. Firm hands with patience and love
|Intelligent and very active. Protective and can be aggressive. Loyal and affectionate
If you are partial to a large dog that looks scary yet has a sweet disposition, this may be the right breed for you. The Cane Corso is part of the Mastiff family and originally from Italy where it worked as a farm dog. This muscular pooch is very active and playful, yet they require a firm hand to guide them and keep their worst impulses in check.
With the right owners, this dog can be a loyal family pet that will work well with kids and even other dogs. That being said, this is a breed that is not recommended for the novice owner. If you are afraid of dogs or are unable to handle a large canine, this might not be the best bet for you.
In the article below, we will give you all the details you need to determine whether or not the Cane Corso is the right pup for you and your family. We will break down their temperament, health, grooming, and even their formative puppy years!
Cane Corso Puppies
Cane Corso puppies are just as adorable as any other breed. They are part of the working Mastiff family, and they originated in Italy where they worked as farm dogs and hunting companions. As a puppy, the Cane Corso needs a lot of exercise, attention, and distraction. They can tend to be a bit mouthy and will require toys to divert the worst of the chewing.
The most important thing to note about this pup’s formative years is the training. Socializing and training your dog is essential as early as possible. Bringing them around different people, pets, sights, sounds, and more is important for having a well-rounded dog. We will go over this, and much more, in detail in the training section below.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Cane Corso
1. They Were Roman War Dogs
The Mastiff family has been in existence for hundreds of years and are thought to be descendants of the Roman war dogs.
2. They Have Their Own Society
Actually, they have three. There are two existing Cane Corso societies in Italy, plus there is one in the United States called the International Cane Corso Association.
3. New to the AKC
Although this breed can trace its origins back to ancient Rome, they were only recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010. The first litters of Cane Corsos were brought to the USA in 1988 by a man named Michael Sottile.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Cane Corso 🧠
The Cane Corso is a very intelligent dog that is active, playful, and can be very loyal to their owners. A well-socialized and early-trained dog can be great in family settings with small children and even other pets. They are protective, affectionate, and loving.
That being said, if this breed is not socialized and trained correctly, they can be aggressive. Cane Corsos have been known to go after other animals or even people if they see them as a threat. Not only that, but this breed can have issues with separation anxiety as well.
Another trait of the Cane Corso is bossiness. Whether well-socialized and trained or having had no training at all, this breed will test you to see how far they can go. A firm hand plus a united family front are a good idea to let this dog know who is in charge. It is also important to note that this dog does well with positive reinforcement. They react well to praise and treats when they know they have done well. Once trained, they will go out of their way for a friendly pat or smile from their owner.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡
The Cane Corso can be a great family dog under the right circumstances. As mentioned, we do not recommend this type of canine for first-time owners. Having previous knowledge of large dogs that have a dominant nature is essential. If a firm hand is not taken, the Cane Corso can become very aggressive and will not do well with small children.
On the other hand, training and socializing early, this breed can do very well with families. Good traits in a family Cane Corso are docility along with an affectionate nature. Be that as it may, this is still a large and very active dog that will require space to stretch their legs. Apartments are not recommended, as they do better in homes with large yards that are preferably fenced in.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽
Again, the Cane Corso can do very well with other pets if they are socialized early. They should not see other dogs as a threat or competition for your love or affection. This can also be the same regarding other pets such as cats and small animals such as hamsters and gerbils.
You should note, however, that the hunting instinct is strong in this breed. Smaller animals will typically look like prey and it can be harder to train this Instinct out of your pet. Typically, it is recommended that the Cane Corso be either the only pet or be brought up early with another dog. Smaller animals can be determined on a case-to-case basis.
Things to Know When Owning a Cane Corso
Now that you know the temperament and background of this breed, we want to discuss some of the other practical aspects of their care such as their diet, health, and grooming. These things can also make a difference in whether or not this pup is right for you.
Also as promised, we will go over training recommendations for this breed, as it can be the biggest hurdle for those who are thinking about inviting a Cane Corso into their home.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
This is an extremely active dog, and they require a nutritious and well-balanced diet to maintain their overall health. You should feed your pet foods with high levels of lean protein and healthy fats. Not only that, but they should also have food that is full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Your Cane Corso should be fed twice a day, and as they can become overweight, you should pick their food up when they are not eating. Their treats should also be healthy and nutritious. We do not recommend feeding your pet table scraps or snacks that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, or calories.
As this breed does not exhibit a lot of food allergies, you can pick their recipes based on their preferences. That being said, the better the food, the better their overall health will be. Good-quality dry foods, freeze-dried raw meals, and homemade options are all good choices.
- See also: Ideal Foods for Cane Corso Puppies
The Cane Corso will require a considerable amount of exercise. If you are not in a position to exercise with them twice a day, this may not be the best breed for you. Hikes and jogs of about a mile are recommended, as well as other solitary playtimes.
Unfortunately, this breed does not do well with excess energy, and they can become destructive if they do not have an outlet for it. This is why apartments and condos are not the best housing situations for this pup.
Besides taking them on daily hikes, walks, and jogs, Cane Corsos should also be free to roam around your yard. Having their own space can do a lot for their mental well-being, but you should have a solid boundary in place to keep them secluded. Please note: electric fences are not effective with this breed.
Another great exercise to keep your puppy entertained is giving them jobs or commands. This type of canine does well with herding exercises, training courses, and even learning tricks. Not only will it help get out their excess energy, but it will also stimulate their mental attitude.
As mentioned, training the Cane Corso can be one of the more difficult aspects of owning this type of dog. It is important that you start training and socializing this pooch as early as 4 weeks to ensure that they transition well into adulthood. This is a very intelligent breed that can be bossy and dominant. They must know who is boss from the get-go.
That being said, this type of canine is not difficult to train once your mastery of the animal has been established. Consistency combined with positive reinforcement is key in behavioral and obedience training. What’s more, a calm and confident nature is also required. Anger, yelling, and other shows of aggression will only work backward when training this breed.
Another point to take note of is training with small children. The erratic movements and high-pitched yells of kids playing can be confusing for this type of dog. They can see children as “prey”. If they are used to your kids, they can see the kid’s friends as threats that they need to protect them from.
While training your Cane Corso, it is recommended that you keep smaller children away from the training area. What’s more, if your pet has not been properly socialized as a puppy, you will need to supervise your children at all times when your pet is near.
The Cane Corso has a short coat of fur that is dense and coarse. They also shed considerably, especially during the change of seasons. Unlike the finer coats of some canines, the Cane Corso has short, thicker hairs that are not easily removed from fabrics. For that reason, bathing your pet every few weeks can keep the shed to a minimum. If this is something that you plan to do, this should also be added to their initial training. Make sure to give them lots of praise and treats to let them know that they are being good.
Besides their coats, you will also need to take care of your pup’s ears and teeth. Both should be cleaned weekly. Brushing your pet’s teeth should be done to keep tartar and plaque build-up to a minimum. You also want to clean your dog’s ears with a cotton ball and a pH-balanced cleanser to keep ear infections at bay. Besides those two areas, you also want to trim their nails if they are not being ground down naturally. You will know that they are getting too long if you can hear a clicking noise when your dog walks across the floor.
Like baths, getting your Cane Corso used to grooming and physical examinations are important when they are a puppy. Touching their paws and ears and brushing your hand over their eyes is essential for their long-term care. What’s more, you also want to get into the habit of checking their skin for bumps, rashes, and other abrasions.
Health and Conditions ❤️
Like any other dog, the Cane Corso can have its share of illnesses and ailments. These things can be determined by their parentage, lifestyle, and overall health. Below, we will take a look at the more serious conditions that can inflict your pup and the minor issues you also want to be on the lookout for.
As we mentioned in the puppy section, you should ask your breeder for information on the health conditions of your pet’s parents. This can give you a better idea of whether or not they will develop some of the more serious conditions and if you need to be on the alert for some of the more minor illnesses.
That being said, not all of these issues are hereditary. A healthy diet, plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and a well-rounded lifestyle can contribute to their healthiness and long life span. In a good environment, the Cane Corso can live to be upwards of 12 years old.
Male vs Female
The male and female Cane Corso can have different traits. The male tends to be on the more dominant side and can push the boundaries of commands and obedience. On the other hand, the females can be a bit more aggressive, although both sexes have the prey instinct.
The difference between the two can have a lot to do with whether or not they have been fixed. Unless you are planning to breed your Cane Corso, it is recommended that you have your pet spayed or neutered. Not only can this regulate their temperament, but it can also cut down on canine illnesses and promote longer life.
It is also important to note that each dog will have a unique personality. Depending on how they were handled as puppies, their lifestyle, exercise needs, etc., can make a difference in their temperament and traits.
If you have experience handling larger dogs with dominant personalities and are willing to spend the time training them in incorrect behavior, the Cane Corso can make a great pet. When brought up correctly, they can be great family dogs that are gentle, loyal, and loving.
If there is any fear of dogs or the inability to handle a strong-willed animal, we recommend that you choose a less bossy pooch. We also recommend that you have a house with a fenced-in yard and a love of exercise to keep this breed happy and healthy. Overall, the Cane Corso can make a great pet as long as they are in the right hands.