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Cane Corso Breed

Profile photo of Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH.By Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH, DACVPM


Are you looking for a fun-loving and loyal companion?

Say hello to the handsome Cane Corso!

This elegant working dog hails from Italy.

Large and beefy, the cane corso loves his family with a single-minded devotion.

This breed is not recommended for first-time puppy parents.

He requires an experienced trainer and intentional family interaction.

The cane corso is an ideal guard-dog.

Not one to sit still, this breed needs to be given a job to do.

A bored cane corso is a destructive cane corso.

While this pup will adore your family, he isn’t keen on meeting other people or dogs.

Are you interested in possibly purchasing a cane corso puppy?

Make sure you have all the data to make an informed decision.

Continue reading for more information.

This article will cover details regarding what a cane corso looks like, his temperament, grooming, health issues, and history.

Learn the ins and outs of what this breed requires for a fulfilled life.

Is the cane corso breed right for you and your lifestyle?

This article will answer your questions!

Let’s get to know the cane corso!

Appearance

huge dog looking away

The Cane Corso is known for having a regal bearing.

This isn’t surprising, considering that this breed is considered a part of the Mastiff family.

Large and muscular, this dog is an impressive sight.

Originally bred to hunt wild boar and act as a guard-dog, the cane corso has a stern demeanor.

He may seem aloof, but this giant will be gentle with your children.

Not a fan of anyone outside his family, the cane corso will need early socialization training so he knows how to interact with other people and dogs.

The breed runs anywhere from 23.5-27.5 inches tall and has an average weight of 88-120 pounds.

This is a large dog, so keep that in mind when considering potential puppies!

His coat is short and doesn’t shed much.

The cane corso comes in several colors, including black, fawn, grey, and red.

Additional markings common to the breed include brindle and masks.

Keep in mind that your cane corso does need semi-regular brushing (especially during shedding season).

Generally a clean dog, this breed might need a bath a few times a year.

But otherwise this dog’s beauty regimen is relatively low maintenance.

Your pup will be the envy of the block!

Personality

The cane corso is an incredibly loyal dog.

Bred for his tough demeanor and watchdog abilities, this pooch will protect his family from any known or perceived danger.

Your cane corso will take charge and boss everyone around if you do not establish yourself as the leader of the pack.

Experts recommend this breed for experienced dog owners.

His large size combined with his need for control can create issues for new puppy parents.

It’s best to wait until your youngest child is at least 9, due to the size of the cane corso.

He will love being with your family, but doesn’t need a lot of physical affection.

Just being in the same vicinity as you will make your cane corso happy.

Early socialization is a must for your cane corso.

His innate guard dog tendencies will make it difficult to accept new people and dogs if not trained.

The cane corso also has a strong prey drive, so early introduction to smaller pets is essential.

He is very sensitive, but strong-willed.

Make sure you interact with your cane corso in a firm but loving manner.

Exercise is also important for this breed.

A cane corso will become very destructive if bored.

If you give your pup affection and a purpose, he will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Exercise

dog wearing a scarf

The cane corso is a working dog, with a long history of hunting and guarding property.

He is a large and muscular dog who needs a good amount of exercise every day.

This breed does best with a large, fenced-in yard to run around in.

You can take him out on runs and walks, but make sure that your cane corso has been appropriately socialized first.

His naturally suspicious attitude toward everyone outside his family will make it difficult for him to interact with other people.

Additionally, the cane corso’s strong prey drive may prove frustrating on a public walk or run.

This breed is also insanely intelligent.

So in addition to physical exercise, be sure to provide ample opportunities for him to be challenged intellectually.

Additional training, and puzzles will give your pup the chance to put his brain to work.

This might not be the breed for you if you are away from home for most of the day or don’t lead an active lifestyle.

The cane corso is known to become destructive if bored or neglected.

But if properly challenged, this dog will adore you forever.

Grooming

The cane corso is a relatively easy breed when it comes to grooming.

His coat is short, but double layered.

A brief brushing once a week should do the trick, except during shedding season.

Your pup will shed heavily twice a year.

Make sure to have time set aside to brush your cane corso’s coat during shedding season.

And having a vacuum nearby will help as well!

The biggest difficulty to expect when brushing your pooch will simply be his size.

This giant pup doesn’t know his own size or strength, so be aware of being knocked over!

In addition to regular brushing, there are a few other things to keep an eye on.

Check your cane corso’s nails regularly.

Trim them if they aren’t being worn down naturally.

If you can hear a dog’s nails clicking on a hard floor, they are too long!

Brushing teeth is an important hygienic practice that will help prevent tartar buildup.

Try to check your pup’s ears once a week or so.

Gently wipe them out if there is any dirt or buildup inside.

This will help prevent infection and irritation.

Grooming can be a chance for your cane corso to learn trust and affection!

Training

dog napping on the stairs

The cane corso has a lot of aggressive and dominant personality traits.

In addition, this breed is large and muscular, making him intimidating.

This makes early socialization training imperative.

Take your cane corso to socialization classes as a puppy so he becomes accustomed to interacting with other people, cats, and dogs, especially smaller dogs that might otherwise be viewed as prey.

This will also help with your pup’s awareness of small children.

The Cane corso will take charge of the house if you let him.

Therefore it is imperative that you establish yourself firmly as the head of the pack.

This breed is intelligent and eager to please.

Firm training and appropriate praise and rewards will go a long way in training your cane corso.

This giant of a dog is a sensitive soul at heart and will not respond well to harsh correction.

As an active and smart breed, the cane corso can be destructive if he has too much unused energy or brain power.

Plan to spend a good amount of time each day wearing your pup out and presenting him with mental challenges.

A cane corso who is challenged, loved, and knows his place in his home is a happy and content cane corso.

Health

The cane corso is a generally healthy breed.

Just like any dog, your pup can be susceptible to a few issues.

Because of his wide chest, your cane corso can develop gastric torsion, also known as bloat.

Educate yourself as to the symptoms and signs of this condition so you can prevent or catch it early on.

Avoid letting your cane corso exercise after eating, as well as don’t let them eat too fast, which can help prevent bloat.

Other potential concerns are hip dysplasia and eye irritations.

Taking your pup for regular checkups with your local veterinarian will help catch any issues before they become severe.

As always, choosing a reputable breeder is paramount to knowing about any preexisting conditions your dog might have.

Any trustworthy breeder will happily provide a medical history for your puppy’s lineage.

It is imperative to ask about a puppy’s history, personality, and breeding background.

You should steer clear of any breeder who is not willing to answer questions about medical and personality history.

In addition, ask your breeder for any additional medical issues that the breed might be known for.

This is simply doing good research.

Any breeder who won’t answer your questions is highly suspect.

Don’t risk adopting an unhealthy puppy.

Make sure to ask the right questions of a reliable breeder.

History

The cane corso claims an impressive lineage and resume.

Originating in Italy, the breed is descended from fierce war dogs developed by the Romans, who crossbred their own dogs with Greek mollosus dogs.

These Roman dogs would fearlessly run into enemy lines during battle, equipped with buckets of flaming oil strapped to their backs.

It is suspected that these ancient dogs were even larger than the modern cane corso.

The breed became popular for hunting larger game (such as wild boar).

The cane corso was also utilized as a guard dog, roaming his master’s lands and keeping intruders out.

Is that surprising considering the cane corso’s muscular build and intimidating demeanor?

In modern history, the cane corso almost went extinct because of farming practices.

Mechanized farming and security systems created less of a need for hard working farm dogs.

This innovation drastically reduced the demand for cane corsos and their numbers fell dangerously low.

It was only through the efforts of a group of Italian fanciers that the breed was brought back to full vigor in the 70’s.

The first corso was brought to the U.S. in 1988 and the breed became recognized by the AKC in 2010.

This handsome pup can certainly claim man’s adoration all the way back to ancient days!

Where Can I Find Cane Corso Puppies?

cute grey puppy and his brother

The most important thing to remember when looking for cane corso puppies is to find a reputable breeder.

Avoid puppy mills.

Avoid internet scams.

Find a breeder who is open and honest about their practices and policies.

Make sure to ask a lot of questions.

Inquire about your puppy’s medical background.

Do either of his parents have medical issues?

Has he been tested for any conditions known to affect his breed?

Any breeder worth their salt will be more than happy to provide you with all the pertinent paperwork and records.

If they refuse to answer your questions, find another breeder!

If you have concerns about a puppy’s personality, that is another thing you can ask about.

Some breeders provide personality profiles, while others have a personality quiz so they can recommend a puppy pairing for you.

The bottom line is: Ask questions!

Getting a puppy is a commitment!

You want to be fully informed to the best of the breeder’s ability.

This is both in your best interest as well as the puppy’s

FAQ

Q: Is the cane corso a good breed for first-time puppy parents?

A: No. The cane corso is both large and controlling, which can make it difficult for inexperienced owners to train them.

Q: Do I need a backyard to have a cane corso?

A: Yes! This breed is very active and feels very fulfilled when able to patrol his property; a backyard (fenced in, ideally), is a must.

Q: Can I trust a cane corso around my small children?

A: It depends. While this breed loves children, the cane corso is often unaware of his own size and can accidentally equate kids with prey.

Q: Does the cane corso have any typical health issues?

A: The cane corso is typically healthy, but can be susceptible to a few conditions, most notably gastric torsion, better known as bloat.

In Closing

And there you have it!

From ancient Rome to your backyard, the cane corso has trod the highway of history with a stately grace.

Excellent as a guard dog, this beautiful pooch might be the match for you and your lifestyle.

I hope this article was helpful!

Thank you for learning about the cane corso breed with me!

Until next time!

Heather

Dr. Heather Venkats Signature

References

American Kennel Club. (2021, 11 18). Cane Corso. Retrieved from American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/cane-corso/

Daily Paws. (2021, 11 18). Cane Corso. Retrieved from Daily Paws: https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-breeds/cane-corso

Dog Time. (2021, 11 18). Cane Corso. Retrieved from Dog Time: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/cane-corso#/slide/1

Vet Street. (2021, 11 18). Cane Corso. Retrieved from Vet Street: http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/cane-corso#overview

Profile photo of the author Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH.

Dr. Heather Venkat has been a veterinarian since 2013, working in companion animal medicine with dogs and cats, as well as veterinary public health. Her passion is in prevention, One Health, and strengthening the human-animal bond. A bonafide animal-lover, she competes in dog sports and currently shares her home with a border collie mix named Luna, three cats, and two leopard geckos.

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