Cane Corso

The Cane Corso

The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, is a large, protective and enjoyable canine companion. Like many different dog breeds, Cane Corso puppies and dogs need to be trained from a young age to ensure they learn proper socialization skills.

Cane Corso Origins

Cane Corsos originally came from Italy, mostly in the southern areas of the country. These dogs may also be referred to as the Cane da Macellaio, the Italian Corso Dog and the Italian Molosso.

Centuries ago, the Cane Corso was popular among farmers who used them for hunting, guarding and gaming, as well as other tasks. While this breed came close to dying out at one point, in the last 30 years, Cane Corso breeders have successfully boosted the number of these dogs in existence.

Because the breed is old, its origins are spotty. Many historians believe that the Cane Corso probably comes from a similar genetic background as the Neapolitan Mastiff, which Romans called “Canis Pugnax. ” However, the Cane Corso is more agile and faster than its Neapolitan cousin.

Cane Corso Appearance

Cane Corso dogs are very big, standing between 23 and 27 inches tall at the withers (the top of the back between the shoulder blades). Even though Cane Corso mastiffs are large, they are also lean and generally have heavily muscled bodies, causing them to weigh, on average, between 88 and 110 pounds. These dogs also typically drool and shed quite a bit for short-haired dogs.

An unaltered Cane Corso has a long tail and ears that drop forward. Owners of Cane Corso kennels, however, often dock both ears and tails if they live in an area where doing so is legal. This is a relic of the breed”s history in dog fights, when shorter ears and tails made the animals look meaner and left less for opponents to grab during bouts.

Usually, Cane Corsos are either black or fawn-colored. However, these basic colors can have several different shades, such as:

  • blue
  • brindling
  • formentino (which means the dog has a “blue mask “)
  • red.

Full brindling is called tigrato. Most of the time, Cane Corsos” noses are black. Sometimes blue Cane Corsos have gray noses, but they should still be darker than the fur. While white patches on their face, toes and chests are common, from a show perspective, smaller white patches are better.

Cane Corso Temperament

Cane Corsos are very loyal and protective of their own family. They are good with children, as long as those children are from their “pack. ” If they think members of their pack (i.e. children in their family) are endangered, even other children are the perceived cause of this danger, Cane Corsos can turn protective quickly.

In general, the Cane Corso isn”t outgoing, hanging back from strangers until they”ve proven to be trustworthy.

Owners of a Cane Corso usually enjoy its quiet nature, as these dogs rarely bark. They thrive on routine and predictability. In fact, something as minor as a furniture rearrangement might throw your Cane Corso into a tizzy. Similarly, if you try to leave without your pet, be ready for protest.

As a result, it”s no surprise that Cane Corsos feel anxious without companionship and want to be with their families as much as possible. Although they need a lot of exercise, they do make good housedogs. They are usually serious and like to “hang out ” more than actively play with the people they love.

While they are noted for being mellower dogs, Cane Corsos do like to try to be the “alpha dog. ” This means that their owners must be willing to take charge and set the rules firmly and consistently from the beginning of their relationship. With a Cane Corso, discipline flows out of relationship with the person giving the orders.

This means that you will need to work with your Cane Corso daily to train obedience and submission. If you are a calm and confident leader, your Cane Corso should have no problem placing its trust in your ability to lead.

Cane Corso Breeders and Rescues

Several Cane Corso rescue associations exist and can help you find a pet for relatively little expense. Alternatively, you can seek out a reputable Cane Corso kennel. Most breeders worthy of their name will investigate potential buyers, asking many questions and, perhaps, following up after the purchase.

Remember, Cane Corsos usually live for 10 years or longer, so be sure you”re willing to take on a decade”s worth of responsibilities before shelling out your hard-earned cash.


Green, Pam (2006). Don”t Get a Cane Corso. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the Cane Corso Association of America Web site:”t.htm.