Cane Corso image

Cane Corso

Cane Corso (The Italian Mastiff) is the direct descendant of the ancient Roman molosser dogs. In the past, the cane corso dog breed was common throughout Italy, but is now found in the provinces of Foggia and Bari.

What was the Cane Corso bred for? Which breeds were involved in developing the Cane Corso breed?

Cane Corso name is derived from the Latin “cohors”, which means “protector, guardian of the farms, courtyards and enclosed property. The Cane Corso breed first appeared in the sixteenth century and was bred for hunting and guard duties.

The Cane Corso is closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. In name and form, the Cane Corso predates its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is well muscled and less bulky than most other Mastiff breeds. The breed is known as a true and quite possibly the last of the coursing Mastiff breeds.

Is Cane Corso an aggressive dog breed? Is it a good guard dog?

The Cane Corso is an excellent natural guard dog.

Cane Corso was not originally bred for dog fighting. Therefore, they are not genetically over aggressive towards other dogs and humans. However, they are a dominating breed, protective in a mastiff way and will defend their territory from intruders. The Cane Corso will intimidate strangers by its aloofness, pose and looks.

The Cane Corso is naturally protective of their owners and property. They can become very suspicious of strangers unless you spend time socializing them, both with other dogs and other humans.

Also, as the Cane Corso is a large muscular breed. Any fear or cautious reaction from a dog or human can be misunderstood as aggression soliciting a response from the dog.

Will the Cane Corso attack other humans and dogs?

A properly socialized Cane Corso will not attack without reason. However, Cane Corsos will dominate other dogs and is capable of attacking other dogs and humans if not well socialized.

Cane Corsos are intensely loyal, protective, sensitive, serious dogs and are naturally aloof and indifferent to other people and dogs and very protective of their family and home. They will not love everyone they meet.

Is this breed a good choice as a family dog? Are they good with kids?

This breed is a good choice as a family dog if you have the time and space. Cane Corsos are protective of their owner’s family and kids in the family. They are good with children they have been raised with. However, they will assume the leader’s role in the pack and need a responsible master in the family who they look up to as their boss. They may jump and be rough at times.

Do Cane Corsos shed?

Cane Corsos do not shed all the time. However, they will shed (blow) their coat two times every year. Their coats do not need much grooming or maintenance. A wash with a special shampoo for black coat will make them shine.

Does the Cane Corso slobber/drool?

The Cane Corso drools less compared to other mastiff breeds and large dogs.

Cane Corso photo

Cane Corso

Cane Corso Temperament

Guardian of property, family and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game.

Cane Corso dog

Cane Corso dogs

Cane Corso Size. How big is the Cane Corso?

Height: Height at the withers, Males from 24 to 27 inches (62 to 68 cm) and Females from 23 to 25 inches (58 to 64 cm). Tolerance of inch (2 cm) more or less. Weight: Males from 92.6 to 110.2 lbs (42 to 50 kg) and Females 83.8 to 99.2 lbs (38 to 45 kg). Important Proportions: The length of the head reaches 36% of the height at withers. The dog is somewhat longer than high.


Brindle Cane Corso

Corso Coat: short (not smooth), shiny, very thick with a light undercoat.

Cane Corso Colors

Black, lead gray, slate, light fawn (yellowish), stag red, brindle; black mask is present in fawn colored dogs.

Cane Corso dogs

Black & Slate Cane Corso dogs

Choosing the best Cane Corso puppy

Definition of the best Cane Corso puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Cane Corso can be broadly categorized as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; Obedience; Guard dog; Companion.

Although it is tempting to look for all these quality in the one puppy you are planning to buy, it is almost never possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Cane Corso puppy to grow up to be a champion, you should look for confirmation to breed standards. Physical construction, head, proportions, bite, etc are all a priority over temperament. Look for the following physical characteristics while choosing a show quality puppy.

General Appearance: Medium to large sized dog. Robust and sturdy, nevertheless elegant. Lean, with powerful long muscles.

Head: Large and typically molossoid. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle converge slightly. Skull: wide; at the zygomatic arch its width is equal to or greater than its length. Convex in front, it becomes fairly flat behind the forehead as far as the occiput. Stop: marked.

Nose: Black and large with ample, open nostrils on the same line as the nasal bridge. Muzzle: noticeably shorter than the skull (ratio: skull 62%-64%, muzzle 36-38%), strong, extremely square, with a flat front face and parallel nearly as wide as long lateral surfaces. The profile of the nasal bridge is rectilinear.

Cane Corsos

Cane Corsos

Lips: the upper lips hang moderately and cover the mandible so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the lips.

Jaw/Teeth: jaw very large, thick and curved. Lightly undershot. Level and scissors bite acceptable.

Eyes: medium-sized, ovoid, looking directly forward, slightly protruding. Eyelids close fitting. The color of the iris as dark as possible, depending on the color of the coat. Expression keen and attentive. Ears: triangular, drooping, with a large set on high above the zygomatic arch. Almost always cropped in the shape of an equilateral triangle.

Cane corso pic

Cane Corso

Neck: Strong, fairly thin, muscular, as long as the head.

Forequarters: Shoulder: long, oblique, very muscular. Upper arm: strong. Forearm: straight, very strong. Carpal joint and pasterns: elastic. Forefeet: cat feet.

Body: The body is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. Sturdily built, but not squat. Withers: pronounced, rising above the level of the croup. Back: rectilinear, very muscular and firm. Loins: short and solid. Croup: long, wide, slightly inclined. Chest: well developed in three dimensions, reaches to the elbow.

Hindquarters: Upper thigh: long, wide, posteriorly convex. Lower thigh: thin, strong. Hocks: moderately angulated. Metatarsals: thick and narrow. Hind feet: slightly less compact than the forefeet. Tail: Set on of the tail fairly high; very thick at the root. The tail is docked at the fourth vertebra. In action carried high, but never curled nor erect.

Cane Corso puppy

Cane Corso puppy

Fault: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree. Accentuated parallelism or very marked converging of the axes of the muzzle and the skull; converging side lines of the muzzle. Pronounced and disturbing undershot mouth. Nose: partial depigmentation. Tail: ring-tail, tail in vertical position. Size: over or undersize. Movement: continuously ambling.

Disqualification: Axes of the muzzle and the skull diverging. Overshot mouth. Bridge of nose resolutely hollow, ram’s nose. Nose: total depigmentation. Eyes: partial and bilateral palpebral depigmentation, wall eye, bilateral strabismus. Tail: tailless, short tail (artificial or congenital). Hair: semi-long, smooth, fringed. Colour: all colors not indicated in the standard; white patches too large.

Cane Corso puppies

Cane Corso puppies

Black Cane Corso

How much does a Cane Corso puppy cost? Maintenance costs?

How much is a Cane Corso pup? You can find them for $500 in a newspapers ads. From a breeder that researchers pedigrees, does health testing, shows, and ensures temperament the price will cost anywhere between $1,000 to $2,500.
The cost of maintenance depends upon the size, age, sex and activity level of your dog. Consider food cost + Vet costs + miscellaneous. Generally, they will eat between 5 and 10 pounds of quality kibble a week. That would generally be between 4 and 8 cups of kibble divided into two feedings each day.
Will the Cane Corso be a good companion dog?
Yes, this breed can be an excellent companion or therapy dog.

Link: Cane Corso rescue

One thought on “Cane Corso”

  1. When evaluating the Cane Corso, the character must also come into the equation. The Cane Corso should never be fearful. If a Corso is afraid, how can he effectively perform his duties as a guard dog? A timid character should be severely faulted.

    This breed’s history predicates a somewhat belligerent attitude toward other dogs, particularly dogs of the same sex, so a Cane Corso that shows this should not be faulted (as long as he poses no threat to others). He should never be overly agitated or fidgety; he is always reserved and confident. The Cane Corso should be territorial; he should be in tune and aware of his surroundings and show a keen interest in them. The Cane Corso should never be afraid to meet any challenge.

    Do not mistake indifference or standoffish behavior with fear or aggression. Most Cane Corsos are not likely to look at you and wag their tail; some, yes, but in most cases, this will not be so. A mastiff should not be outwardly aggressive toward you; he must be under control at all times. The Cane Corso should be a very balanced animal mentally as well as physically; he should be confident, secure, and vigilant. The firmness of his nerves represents the true mental strength of the breed.

    The Cane Corso should be still; meaning he is just there. He is not acting aggressively, posing a threat for no reason. He is not shy or hiding behind his owner’s leg. He’s just there, ready to act if necessary, and with only the appropriate level of deterrent. This breed has a profound attachment to his owners; they are his sun and moon. He suffers if left alone or stuck in a yard; he needs social interaction with his family.

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