What Is a Cane Corso?

The Cane Corso is an Italian mastiff breed. It has been used for centuries as both an excellent companion and guard dog, but it can also be put to use protecting livestock or hunting large game-like deer with its powerful jaws! 

In the past, this animal was even used in chasing after cattle that were being rustled on farms throughout Europe.

These are tough guys!

A little bit of history

The Cane Corso descends from a working dog breed. These massive big bone dogs that we see today were close relatives to mastiffs. 

The Greeks brought sets of these guarding dogs to Italy at The height of the Roman Empire’s power and bred them with native Italian breeds.

So they have been around for quite a while!

The offspring of the two breeds are known to be ancestors of the modern Cane Corso and their larger cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff. 

They were bred to guard land and property as well as hunt game. They were all round or farm dogs, but with the onset of modern times, jobs for the Corso declined and their population dwindled in southern Italy, especially after the World Wars, and by the end of the 1970s, only a few Corso’s remained in the countryside. 

Modern Canine Corso’s are the result of breeding between the remaining Corso’s. 

The first ones were brought to the US in 1988, and the breed was recognized by the AKC in 2010

Their Character

These guys have a vigorous temperament and are always ready to meet any challenge. But despite their sturdy appearance and bossy temperament, Corso’s are all heart when it comes to their love for family and companionship. 

 Their temperament with their deep lineage as guard dogs, Corso’s are known to be dominant and protective. 

They have a calm, sensitive and serious temperament. According to the Italian breed standard, the Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react when a real threat is present. 

Cane Corso’s are also utterly devoted to their family and tend to stick close to them at all times. 

Is A Cane Corso A Good Family Dog?

The Corso is a great family pet, but it takes some time and effort to train him though. He needs someone who will take their role in his life seriously so he knows that they are loved no matter what happens around them. 

This dog can be stubborn at times which could make for an unstable relationship with other dogs or people if not trained properly from day one about proper socialization techniques.

For me, I would say that this dog is ideal for strong owners who have experience of dogs and big dogs at that.

When I say strong though I don’t necessarily mean in the physical sense, more the role of being a strong leader and good role model for your Corso. 

They will certainly respect you for that.

Physical Appearance

These dogs are well built, large and somewhat majestic in appearance. 

Their size and strength are the dominating features. If you are walking one of these magnificent dogs, be sure to turn a lot of heads. They really are an outstanding looking dog.

This breed is strong and agile and is neither overly bulky nor racy. 

The Cane Corso has a broad chest, wide skull and a wrinkly forehead. 

Their gait is effortless and powerful and their head is large and imposing with a flat and wide muscle. 

Weight

Corsos have eyes that are almond-shaped and their ears can be either cropped or not.

They weigh about 90 to 130 pounds, being lighter than their cousin, Neapolitan Mastiff, and also most other Mastiff breeds. 

Coat Care

They have a coat that is short, dense, and double-layered. The texture of the coat is coarse, thick and sometimes tufted. 

There undercoat sheds throughout the year especially during shedding season in the spring, weekly brushing during the normal seasons and daily brushing during the shedding season will remove dirt and dead hair and will also promote new hair growth.

 And as with all breeds, their nails need to be trimmed regularly and an occasional bath is also necessary. 

They are absolutely stunning when they are black in color and this color accounts for around 70+% of the Corsos out there.

This is a breed that also has brindle, fawn, grey, red, and other rarer colors like chocolate, but generally, you are likely to get a black one from a breeder.

Health Concerns

Because they are a large breed with a deep chest they are predisposed to gastric dilatation and volvulus complex also known as bloat. 

This is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition so you can learn all about that from this great article, What Is Bloat?

The breed is also prone to other health issues including hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac problems, idiopathic epilepsy, and eyelid abnormalities. 

You have got to be careful of these diseases before you go out and buy or adopt one of these dogs and once you bring them into your home, taking serious care of them and making yourself aware of the breed-specific

 Don’t forget to take them to the vet regularly for their better overall health checks and ask questions of your vet who will be able to guide you to look after these great dogs.

What is the best food to feed a Cane Corso?

The Cane Corso is known for its prodigious appetite, but a diet consisting of biologically appropriate protein and healthy fats with ground bone as well vegetables packed full of vitamins and minerals will help keep them in top shape.

It’s important not to overfeed these guys as they are prone to pilling on the weight which is never good for any breed, especially a mastiff breed.

As we always advocate, try to get the best food for your dog that you can afford and if you are ever in doubt about what to feed them, a chat with the breeder of your dog or your Vet will steer you in the right direction.

Take a look at our article on keeping your dog in shape food-wise for more guidance.

Training Your Cane Corso

Thanks to their intelligence, Corso’s are generally easy to train. They understand and respond well to your tone of voice and actively respond to the praise and rewards far better than harsh corrections.

As you know from the articles and ethos on our site, we only ever promote positive reinforcement and reward-based training. There is no place for any other kind of punitive training.

The training methods of a calm, strong, and self-assured trainer will get these dogs a lot farther than any angry and loud one. 

Remember that consistency will always allow your Corso to relax and know that you’re in charge. 

You might also want to use some of the training methods like obedience training that’ll keep these dogs from becoming the boss in the household.

How intelligent is a Cane Corso?

Cane Corsos are intelligent and eager to please, so they’re generally easy to train. Despite their appearance, a Corso responds better when you show them love rather than harsh corrections or training methods like yelling at them!

How do you discipline a Cane Corso?

Again, as with all of the articles on all of the breeds I write, discipline is generally misunderstood.

ALWAYS use positive reinforcement tactics and IGNORE unwanted behavior.

NEVER use harsh or unfair treatments toward any dog and if you know what is good for you, absolutely never with a big strong breed like a Cane!

Always try to look for the root of any behavior and start from there. Again, there are plenty of articles on our site to help you with this and you will find that the common thread is always

POSITIVE, REWARD-BASED TRAINING!

Are Cane Corsos aggressive?

The Cane Corso is a powerful Mastiff with excellent senses. Though he was not used for dog-fighting, the type of aggression found in these animals can still be a serious problem. 

This can be apparent if you get an older Cane Corso from a rescue center or shelter.

You need to be sure that you know what you are doing with this breed and therefore it’s a dog that needs a more experienced owner.

They are more likely than other breeds to have some level of aggressiveness due to their alertness towards strangers or new environments which translate into attention being given.

It’s down to good ownership, training, and socialization by you to get them to a state where they feel confident enough not to be too aggressive.

A good tip would be have one of these guys muzzled when walking as you don’t want any accidents with other dogs!

The Cane Corso is a powerful, intelligent and headstrong dog. 

They require confident ownership that has strong leadership skills in order to keep up with their high demands for attention from you as well as other animals around them! 

This breed would not be the best choice of pet if novice owners were looking into getting one because these guys can be a bit of a handful if you don’t train them correctly.

For instance, some Corsos tend to be willful and they refuse to listen to your commands as long as you don’t provide them with some kind of positive reinforcement such as treats or praise.

The Cane Corso is a dog with an obstinate and headstrong personality. They are often destructive and can be dangerous when not treated properly.

How do you mentally stimulate a Cane Corso?

They are intelligent so respond well to positive training. As a working breed, these guys love having a job to do.

Good exercise regime and a sense of purpose along with a willing and able owner and you are in for a treat.

Brain training activities, agility tests, and plenty of new things to do along with stimulating walks and play, and your Corso will respond really well.

There are competitions for obedience, agility, dog diving sports, as well as tracking and these dogs do very well in all of them.

Brain Training Your Dog

Exercise Requirements

The Corso’s are a very energetic breed. They need to be active in order for them to not only stay healthy but also keep their muscle tone up and manage the energy that comes from running around all day long! 

A good way of getting your pet’s exercise is by taking it on walks or runs every morning before work starts, which will sustain its health as well as give you some quality time together with this awesome pup.

My suggestion would be for these guys to always have an active owner who can satisfy their physical needs.

Socialization Is A Must With The Cane Corso

Socialization is important for any dog, but it becomes crucial when you’re teaching your young Corso pup to be social. 

Your Corso could grow up into a territorial animal that barks at passersby and won’t let strangers come near them! 

This doesn’t mean these dogs can’t become great companions – just make sure they get introduced early on so their personalities don’t develop too strongly shaped by what might happen later in life

*socializing should begin at the earliest age possible.

Only in this way can they learn to distinguish what is normal from what is truly threatening.

Not all Cane Corso’s are suitable for the dog park. 

Although they can get along with other dogs and animals, experts say that some Corsos become very unpredictable so you might want to continue socializing them throughout their life by taking your pup out on walks or taking him/her into puppy kindergarten classes – just make sure everyone is complying before going anywhere!

What is the average lifespan of a Cane Corso?

These guys tend to have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

How much is a Cane Corso?

What do Cane Corso puppies cost?

The average cost to purchase a quality puppy from a reputable breeder is about $1500 to $2,500. 

However for Cane Corso puppies with top breed lines and superior pedigrees you may need to pay between $3 to 5K.

Rescue shelters and rehoming centers will almost certainly have knowledge of these big guys and you could and should always try their first.

In summary…

An athletic, muscular and a skillful protector of family and property the Cane Corso projects confidence and power. 

The Cane Corso is a smart dog breed. With their intelligence combined with bossy nature, they’re sure to dominate your household. Of course, those are also clever enough to test you to see how far they can go. 

If you think you are up to the job of looking after one of these dogs then I say go for it.

They are brilliant and beautiful and well worth the time and effort required.

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