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Where Are Cane Corsos Banned in the US? The Interesting Answer!

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

Brindle Cane Corso lying on the grass

Cane Corsos, or the Italian Mastiff, is a spectacular dog breed. These dogs have a rich history, a regal appearance, and a powerful presence. Considering the large size and protective nature of the Cane Corso it’s understandable that some people around the world would fear this breed. Unfortunately, there have been instances where Cane Corsos have injured smaller animals and even bit people.

These incidents and their history of being used as big game hunting dogs have caused several states in the US to ban the breed completely while other states have strong restrictions and regulations on this breed. For dog owners living in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, or Washington, you’ll find that Cane Corsos are banned in these states. Let’s learn more about the Cane Corso and why these large dogs are banned in so many areas.

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History of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, is considered a descendant of the now-extinct Greek Molossus dog. These dogs are large and powerful, often used for hunting big game like wild boar and bear. In their early years, they were Roman war dogs, fighting side by side with Roman Legion soldiers. When their fighting days were done, hunting and protection became their primary uses. The Cane Corso could easily protect livestock and family farms from predators on the prowl. As time went on, however, this breed found itself being bred with English-fighting dogs.

Shortly after World War II, the Cane Corso nearly became extinct. This wasn’t the end of this breed, however. In the early 1970s, the Cane Corso found itself reemerging in Italy. They then made their way to the United States and received a bit of newfound popularity. In 2010, the American Kennel Club recognized these large, working mastiffs for not only their power and presence but also their intelligence and appearance.

cane corso resting at the beach
Image Credit: Sbolotova, Shutterstock

Why Cane Corsos Are Banned

Whether you agree with it or not, breed-specific legislation is a part of our lives. This legislation is used to help regulate, and in some cases, ban dog breeds in an attempt to lower the number of attacks on humans and smaller animals. Unfortunately, breed-specific legislation is only a quick fix when it comes to trying to limit the number of dog bites or attacks due to the inaccuracy of the legislation. Instead, most people and many organizations feel that it is too difficult to use these bans due to mixed breeds being in the mix. They also feel that documenting singularly dangerous dogs is the best answer instead of dooming the entire breed for the actions of particular dogs and owners.

When it comes to the Cane Corso, it is their hunting background that causes them issues. Several reports have come out over the years about this dog breed attacking smaller animals and even attacking people. When a Cane Corso isn’t properly socialized, they aren’t familiar with situations regarding other animals and strangers. This can cause huge issues, and with the power they possess, it’s understandable that they can easily cause injury. The real question is whether it is fair that all Cane Corsos be judged by the actions of a few dogs and their owners.

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Are Cane Corsos Dangerous Dogs?

While they are large, prey driven, protective, and have a bite force that can easily harm a person, Cane Corsos aren’t considered dangerous dogs. When they are properly socialized and trained by responsible owners, they can be loving family members. However, they are sensitive to their owner’s emotions. If they feel their families, or themselves, are in danger, they may react aggressively. This is why it is so important for dog lovers who want the Cane Corso as a family member to realize that training is a never-ending situation with these dogs.

Cane Corso laying in the park
Image Credit: Stivog, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

With Cane Corsos being banned in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington, people who try to own these dogs in these areas can face charges and fines. If you want to own a Cane Corso, or another dog breed that has faced breed-specific legislation in the past, be sure to inquire whether owning the particular breed is allowed as well as any regulations that may be imposed. This will allow you to own the dog you choose without worries of legal ramifications in the future.


Featured Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

Melissa Gunter

Authored by

Melissa was born and raised in the mountains of East Tennessee where she spent her time writing in an old notebook and playing outside with her pets. As an avid animal lover, she has brought many into her home over the years. Currently, she is the mom of 5 fur babies. Her 2 cats, Princess and Pepper are total opposites who demand attention. Her dogs Jazzy, Whitey, and Demon are full of spunk and keep the entire family on ...Read more

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