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Fawn Cane Corso: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

fawn colored Cane Corso mastiff dog with cropped ears sitting outdoors

The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, is a large, beautiful dog breed known for its massive and stocky stature. Cane Corsos are typically known for their sleek black coat, which is the most common color for the breed. However, another common coat color is fawn.

Often mistaken as the red Cane Corso, the fawn Cane Corso can range from light to dark tan, and is a favorite among Cane Corso lovers worldwide—particularly in the United States and Italy!

Fawn is one of the seven coat colors that meets the breed standard for Cane Corsos in the American Kennel Club (AKC). Here, we discuss the history and facts about this beautifully colored Cane Corso!

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The Earliest Records of the Fawn Cane Corso in History

The Cane Corso’s history traces back all the way to ancient Rome, where they are said to have descended from the ancient Molossus work dogs from Greece. The Cane Corso, which translates to “protector dog” in Latin, was utilized by the Romans as war dogs but also proved useful as working dogs, primarily as guard dogs.

Cane Corsos of all colors were utilized on farms as work dogs and were also highly regarded for their hunting abilities. The fawn Cane Corso goes back to the 3rd or 4th century, and fawn is said to be one of the original Cane Corso colors.

During World War II, Cane Corsos were once again utilized for war, unfortunately, greatly decreasing the breed’s numbers. Thought to be extinct, the Cane Corso was fortunately rediscovered in Italy during the 1970s, when Italian breeders managed to revive the breed that was so well-loved by their Roman ancestors.

Fawn Cane Corso standing infornt of a wood fence
Image Credit: Michael J Magee, Shutterstock

How the Fawn Cane Corso Gained Popularity

In Ancient Rome, Cane Corsos were used for various types of work by the Romans. While all colored Cane Corsos were used for farm work, hunting, and as war dogs during times of war, the fawn Cane Corso was especially preferred for work in the Italian countryside.

The fawn Cane Corso comes with a rich coat that ranges from light cream to brownish tan, which made them popular for hunters, as their fawn coats allowed them to blend in the field, providing them with camouflage in the vegetation of their environment. This physical trait, along with their intelligence, strength, and excellent hunting skills made them effective hunting dogs during the 3rd or 4th century in Rome.

Today, fawn is a popular and common color coat well-loved by Cane Corso and large-dog enthusiasts alike!

Formal Recognition of the Fawn Cane Corso

Almost a decade after their rediscovery in Italy in the 1900s, the Society Amorati Cane Corso (Society of Cane Corso Lovers) was formed in 1983. With their increased exposure through European dog shows, the first Cane Corso arrived in the United States in 1988. The Cane Corso was then recognized as an official breed in 2010 by the American Kennel Club.

The fawn Cane Corso is one of the seven major coat shades recognized by the AKC to qualify as a breed standard. Although they’re often mistaken for the red Cane Corso, the fawn Cane Corso’s coat can range from light cream to brownish tan. To meet the breed standard, the solid fawn shade must cover the entirety of the dog’s body. The fawn Cane Corso must also have a black or dark brown mask that covers the face but not the eyes. The AKC also accepts minimal white patches on the chest, throat, chin, back of pasterns, and toes.

Divider 2Top 5 Unique Facts About the Fawn Cane Corso

1. Fawn Is a Common Color for the Cane Corso

While black is the most recognized color for the Cane Corso, the fawn Cane Corso has also become a common variation of the breed over the years. Fawn Cane Corsos may not be considered rare, but this color coat is beautiful in appearance, while sporting a dark mask on the face that gives the dog more character and uniqueness.

2. The Rare Formentino Cane Corso

The Formentino, also known as the blue fawn, is a rare variation of the fawn Cane Corso. Formentino means “fermented wheat” in Italian, which is a fitting name for this dog’s beautiful coat. This variation sports a coat of pale beige or washed-out fawn with a blue or grey nose. The Formentino also has a pair of deep clear eyes, making the Formentino a sight to behold.

The blue fawn gene is a dilute gene, which is considered recessive. In order for a puppy to become a Formentino, both parents must be carriers of the recessive dilute gene.

Formentino Cane Corso
Image Credit: Skox, Shutterstock

3. The Cane Corso Almost Went Extinct in World War II

In ancient Rome, the Cane Corso was heavily utilized as war dogs during campaigns. In World War II, the breed was once again utilized for their courage and reliability. This led to a decrease in the Cane Corso’s numbers during the war, who was even thought to be extinct. Thankfully, Italian Cane Corso advocates rediscovered the breed in the countryside of Italy in the 1970s, when they were revitalized and saved from extinction.

4. Fawn Cane Corso Puppies Have Blue Eyes

At birth, fawn Cane Corsos have a pair of beautiful blue eyes. Eventually, as the Cane Corso grows, their sea-colored eyes will eventually transition to various shades of brown, amber, or gold.

It is important to note that most Cane Corso puppies have blue eyes at birth to avoid the common scam of the “rare blue-eyed fawn Cane Corso” that many breeders attempt to use as a way to upsell and overcharge. Their eyes will eventually turn darker as they grow older!

5. The Cane Corso Coat Color Predicts its Life Span

In 2017, a Czech Republic research study found a link between a Cane Corso’s coat color and lifespan. Fawn Cane Corsos were found to have an average lifespan of 9.1 years, which falls in between the nine years of the grey brindle coat and the 10.3 years of black coats.

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Does the Fawn Cane Corso Make a Good Pet?

Aside from their beautiful fawn coat and characteristic dark-colored mask, the fawn Cane Corso also makes an excellent pet. Canes Corso are massive dogs with incredible strength, but are generally calm and reserved.

Given their history and the translation of their name as the “protector dog”, the Cane Corso is a loyal and affectionate breed with natural protective instincts. They are highly intelligent and skilled, making them good watchdogs. With proper training and socialization, the Cane Corso can even be good with children!

The Cane Corso requires moderate grooming and maintenance, with heavy shedding seasons during the transition from cold to warm weather and vice versa. Weekly brushing is enough to keep their coat nice and healthy.

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The fawn Cane Corso has a rich history that traces all the way back to ancient Rome. Preferred by hunters and farmers for their ability to blend into the country environment, the fawn Cane Corso has proven to be a popular and dependable dog throughout history.

No longer utilized for wartime purposes, today’s fawn Cane Corsos show to be very affectionate and loyal companions!

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Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

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