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Italian Daniff: Care Guide, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Height: 35–36 inches
Weight: 115–130 pounds
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Colors: Common colors include gray, black, red, and fawn
Suitable for: Owners with large families or single owners with good mobility.
Temperament: Affectionate, smart, loyal, easy to train – but can be aggressive if not trained/socialized.

The Cane Corso Great Dane mix, also known as an Italian Daniff, combines two of the largest dog breeds into one affectionate, intelligent, and loyal dog. This mixed breed can inherit traits from both parent breeds, the Cane Corso and the Great Dane, so it’s important to know just what you’re getting into before bringing one of these giant dogs into your home.

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Italian Daniff Puppies 



Note that a puppy from a top-quality breeder will cost more, but it’s worth the investment to ensure that you’re getting a healthy and well-bred pup – and not one bred in an illegal facility. Good breeders will have extensive knowledge of the breed and will be able to provide you with information about the parents and the puppy’s health history. They also will have conducted extensive genetic testing to ensure that the puppy is free of any hereditary diseases.

Divider 53 Little-Known Facts About the Italian Daniff

1. They have their own language

Well, sort of. Like Huskies, Cane Corsos are known for having a very peculiar vocalization style. With these dogs you can expect to hear different heels, snorts, and hilarious sniffles, and this may be reflected in a Cane Corso mixed breed such as the Italian Daniff.

2. Cane Corsos and Great Danes are old breeds

Although the origins of Cane Corso Great Dane mixes are unknown, both parent breeds have been around for quite some time. Cane Corsos originate in Italy, going as far back as ancient Rome. They were known to be wartime dogs in ancient Greece. However, over a few centuries, they became more known for hunting game, guarding property, and helping with farming. Great Danes go back at least 400 years, originating in Germany. They were used to guard estates and carriages in the 18th century.

3. They love to help

One of the best things about Cane Corsos and Great Danes isn’t just their loyalty, but their desire to please their owner. They simply love to help out. They’re dedicated guard dogs, workout partners, children supervisors, and their large size makes them invaluable when it comes to heavy lifting. Combining these two breeds into one makes Cane Corso Great Dane mixes get the best traits of both parents.

Cane Corso Great Dane Mix
Image Credit: (L) Stivog, Shutterstock | (R) Dulova Olga, Shutterstock

Divider 5Temperament & Intelligence of the Italian Daniff

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Cane Corsos and Great Danes are both known for being affectionate and loyal pets that are excellent for families. They are also known for their protective nature, making them ideal for families with small children. In addition, both breeds are incredibly intelligent, which makes it an excellent choice for owners who are interested in dog sports such as agility or obedience. However, they can be a little aloof, so proper training is a must with these dogs.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, such as the individual dog’s personality, the other animal’s personality, the socialization the dog has received, and the ability of the owner to control the situation. Generally speaking, these dogs are social creatures and do get along with other dogs, given the right circumstances.

That being stated, Cane Corsos can be territorial and protective of their owners, so it’s important to introduce a dog with Cane Corso traits to other dogs in a controlled manner. Proper socialization is key to helping them learn to interact with other dogs. If these dogs are properly socialized, they’re more likely to get along with other dogs. This includes introducing them to a variety of different breeds and sizes, as well as taking them to doggy daycare and dog parks when they’re pups and old enough.

It’s also important to monitor the body language of both the Italian Daniff and the other dog (or cat). If either shows signs of aggression, such as raised back, face swats, or stiffened body language, it’s important to separate them. Taking your dog to a professional dog trainer can be beneficial in teaching the dog how to interact with other dogs and cats in a positive way that also makes them feel less threatened.Divider 5

Things to Know When Owning an Italian Daniff

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Cane Corso Great Dane puppy food should contain at least 22% protein. However, your dog’s age will determine the best dog food for it. You can even choose between 25% and 30% protein. A range of 12% to 18% is the ideal amount for puppies.

Don’t go too high as excess calories can cause overgrowth and health issues. High protein levels can be beneficial for this breed, especially adults, to maintain their lean mass. Once they’re full grown, however, it’s important to reduce their intake of fat.

These are some things you should look out for in food for your Cane Corso Great Dane mix.
  • Protein should be the first ingredient. This includes real meat like poultry, beef, pork, and fish
  • Moderate amount of animal-based fats (such as beef or chicken fat)
  • Vegetables and whole grains have low levels of digestible carbohydrates
  • Natural sources of key nutrients are balanced by supplements
  • There are no artificial preservatives, additives, or harmful dyes.

A recipe that is suitable for the giant breeds is the best way to meet these dogs’ nutritional needs. Some good brands to consider are Hill’s Science Large Breed, Purina Pro Adult Giant, and Blue Buffalo True Solutions Jolly Joints.

Exercise 🐕

Exercise is an important part of any dog’s life, and Italian Daniffs are no different. They need about 45 minutes to an hour of activity each day, or they’ll become a menace in your home.  And if you don’t have the time or resources to take your dog to the park or to a doggy daycare every day, there are ways to get their activities in at home. Here are a few:

Running and Playing Fetch

Perhaps the most classic way to exercise your dog, running and playing fetch helps both you and your dog get some cardio in. If you don’t have access to a park, you can simply run in your backyard or on a treadmill. Alternatively, you can try throwing a ball or Frisbee and make fetch more interactive.

Playing fetch is a great way to bond with your dog while keeping both of you healthy. Note that these dogs only have about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before they’ll tire out. So be sure to look for signs of lethargy such as heavy panting, disinterest, and slower efforts.

Doing Obstacle Courses

If you’re looking for a more creative way to work out with your dog, you can try out an obstacle course. Whether you make your own course or buy a professionally made kit, obstacle courses are a great way to get your dog moving and having fun. You can try courses that focus on increasing strength or agility. You can also try combining both for a comprehensive workout.

Some examples of obstacle courses include weaves and jumps, balance beams, and tunnels. To make the course more challenging, add in some additional props along the way, like a jump rope or a rope ladder. Keep in mind that this is more likely to be fun for older dogs in good shape.

Playing Interactive Games

Another way to engage your dog while exercising is playing interactive games. Some examples of games that get your pup moving are fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek. These games help your dog to stay active and also build their mental health.

Playing interactive games with your dog will help you build trust and strengthen your bond with them. Additionally, playing fetch and tug-of-war are great ways to help your dog practice their bite inhibition. This is important because it helps them to be less likely to bite humans if they’re scared or nervous.

Training 🎾

Because of their large intimidating size and their potential for aggression, it’s important to train your Cane Corso Great Dane mix. It’s especially important to do it during their puppy years through adulthood so that they can grow into well-behaved adult canines. Here are the different types of training that you should introduce to your pup.

Potty Training

This training will teach your dog where and when to do their business. Crate training is a great tool to use when potty training. Dogs also learn to use the toilet much faster if you have a set schedule. It also helps to take your pup outside after they’ve finished eating and let it go to business. You can do this after each meal, so it’ll learn that the best time for them to go potty is after eating.

Social Training

Socialization with these dogs can begin as early as 8 weeks. Dogs at this age will have better social skills and be able to interact with others. Note that some dogs can become very possessive of their owners. Cane Corso puppies, like Great Danes, can become overly attached to their owners and not be socialized properly.

So, you should introduce your Cane Corso Great Dane mix puppy to many healthy experiences, such as meeting other pets at the park, playing with them, and bringing over friends. Or simply taking him on walks to explore new places.

Behavior issues such as incessant barking and lack of socialization can also be a problem if the puppy isn’t socialized early. These dogs will bark at anyone they meet, whether it’s people, household or other pets, or the environment. And because of their size, these dogs can be loud, scary, and annoying barkers – so you’ll want to break this habit when they’re in their formative years.

Leash Obedience

It’s important to take your dog outside for a walk every day if possible. Without proper training, a smooth stroll outside can prove difficult. Leash training is therefore essential.

If you don’t train your dog, leash pulling can be a problem when it’s an adult – and a fairly big problem given its size and strength.

Your Cane Corso Great Dane mix must learn to be responsible while being on a leash and not to go off or pull you along when it smells, sees, or hears something interesting. Teaching them this as a puppy is an absolute must-do. However, it’s best to teach your dog basic obedience commands such as “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Go” before and while training it on a leash. Having these simple obedience commands down solid will make your leash training much easier.

Crate Training

Dogs love a safe, calm, and secure environment and crate training can create this environment for your dog and help to calm their anxiety as pups. It can make it easier to do other training methods, such as potty training. This training method allows you to safely transport your dog in an enclosed crate. Dogs value their crate just as much as your home. It’s crucial to help your dog establish a positive bond with its crate.

Note that the younger your puppy is the less time it should spend in the crate. And given the size that these dogs grow to, this means that you’ll only have so long to crate train. Puppies under 6 months should be in a crate for no more than about 3 or 4 hours max a day. Puppies this young have a problem holding their bladder for more than a couple of hours at a time which means you’ll be cleaning the crate out a considerable amount each day.

Also, make sure that the crate is big enough for your dog and that there is a comfortable bed in there for it to sleep on to feel like a safe space. Start by first introducing your dog to the crate by feeding it inside the crate and tossing in treats and toys to get it to go inside.

Grooming ✂️

Cane Corso Great Dane mixes will require a regular grooming schedule to keep their large frame clean and free from common canine pests. Depending on its lifestyle (i.e., how much time it spends outside or rolling around on the floor), this powerful dog may need to be bathed about every 6-8 weeks – but you can definitely bathe them more often if needed (every 1-3 weeks is okay).

Although these dogs are a short-coated breed, they don’t have a single coat. The undercoat can shed throughout the year. Regular bathing is important for this breed. It will shed less and keep the skin and hair healthy. This means brushing and de-shedding their coat every week with a brush and checking for ticks and fleas.

Their nails should be kept very short and shouldn’t touch the ground when the dog is standing upright – this can cause paw issues. Nails should be trimmed about every 2-3 weeks. A nail clipper (most commonly used) or a Dremel grinder tool may be used.

When clipping, just cut the tip or hooked portion of the nail. Their ears should also be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent ear infections. Cleaning the ears can be done using canine ear cleaning liquid and cotton balls.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Parasites
  • Arthritis
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cherry eye
  • Bloat

Male vs Female

Like with most canines, you’ll likely notice a personality difference between a male and a female dog. Having your dog neutered or spayed can also affect changes in behavior. Males tend to be more aggressive, but this can definitely be minimized with proper training and socialization, as well as neutering.

Also, female Cane Corso Great Dane mixes are typically 2 to 3 inches shorter than your average male and will usually weigh anywhere from 7 to 15 lbs. less than the typical healthy adult male. Both genders are very loyal, can be super friendly, and make for excellent family dogs.

Divider 5Final Thoughts

Cane Corso Great Dane mixes are a beloved and loyal breed of dog that’s known for its large size, muscular build, and regal bearing. This breed is an impressive sight to behold. It’s also an incredibly intelligent breed, with an alert and protective nature that makes it ideal for families.

With a rich history and unique characteristics, these dogs are an ideal companion for those who are looking for a powerful and devoted pet. Overall, Italian Daniffs are an amazing breed that are sure to bring joy and companionship to any single or family household.

See also:

Image Credit: Left (Cane Corso) Eudyptula, Shutterstock, Right (Great Dane) velora, Shutterstock

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