An Italian Mastiff, named the Cane Corso, is a large dog breed. Boasting an enormous size head to go with a muscular frame. Muscle appearance of this kind isn’t the norm for the Mastiff family.
Coming from the Molosser tree Cane Corso’s are known for being a fierce protector of the family. Dominating farm land and protecting families prize possessions.
Known for being a working dog at an impressive size makes you wonder how large these dogs in ancient times were. It is common to note that they are believed to be much bigger in the past.
Cane Corso made its mark by gaming and hunting for the people of Italy. People had an interest in making them hunt wild boar. The assistance to the humans in that area is what makes this dog a man’s best friend.
Around the 1950’s this breed was almost extinct and that was due to a lot of different factors. The breed was a victim of the post farming era and more people didn’t have a need for a very large guard dog. The very few that were available bred and now the breed has acceptable numbers.
Now that they have better numbers and not in fear of becoming extinct, they were finally able to get recognition through a few Kennel Clubs.
Gaining recognition late in history the Cane Corso has just recently been an addition to the AKC. Fairly recent add the kennel club did this on June 30th, 2010.
While most of the older AKC dogs were a member since the late 1800’s, more late bloomers in the 20th century, but the Cane Corso is coming in much later in history.
There relative Mastiffs have been members for longer periods of time. This breed had to wait a while after almost becoming extinct to be officially recognized by a reputable Kennel Club.
Other Kennel Clubs around the world may investigate adding this breed sometime soon. Currently they are on only a few but those small wins may turn into an avalanche.
Here are the few that recognize the breed right now:
Cane Corso Size
Male Weight: 99-110
Female Weight: 88-99 pounds
Male Height: 24-28 inches
Female Height: 23-26 inches
Cane Corso’s are known for having a large head and massive size. One of the reasons people love Mastiffs or dogs from that family is due to these features.
The female Corso is big, but the males can be 30 pounds bigger. There is a difference you can see quickly between the males and females.
Cane Corso Colors
- Light Gray
- Dark Gray
- Light Fawn
- Dark Fawn
- Brindle (all colors)
- Black Mask
- Grey Mask
- Fawn Mask
- Red Mask
Are all the approved colors according to the breed standard. Breed standards are subject to change in the future, but the colors stay the same for the most part.
Different Types of Cane Corso
There are two types and those are the Italian and American Cane Corso.
Italian is skinnier and has a smaller head.
American is bigger with a bigger head.
Most people argue that the two come from different breeds. The reason for the split was because of the extinction threat in the 20th century that forced breeders to spread their genes.
That’s opinion, but either way there is a glaring difference in the size of the dog. The looks are generally the same other than the size discrepancies.
This breed is very expensive and will cost a lot to obtain. On the cheaper end from a non-experienced breeder you will still need $500+ to get one.
From a reputable breeder with papers you will pay at least $1,000-$5,000 on average.
You won’t see many people walking one up the street and they are not easy to find.
Looking on the internet may be easier than searching in your local area depending on where you live at.
With a short coat you don’t have too much grooming to keep up year around. Shiny in nature the coat is beautiful and looks like an American Pit Bull’s coat.
Shedding is not a huge concern because there isn’t much to shed. Fur will come off during the hot days of the year, but a quick bath should take off most of the loose coat.
Wash when they become dirty or develop a scent from being outside.
Clean the ears on a regular basis.
Trim the nails. If you follow our exercise program that should trim the nails, but if not cut them when they get too long.
10-12 years is the lifespan of a Cane Corso.
You will have a good decade with your dog before they be on borrowed time.
That is still a long time to have a pet with your family. Exercise and training will help smoothen the transition into a large size, protective, family dog that is the kids can grow up with.
Hip Dysplasia – a condition where the hips don’t fit properly in the socket. If your dog doesn’t want to exercise or engage in physical activity that is a sign you should get an x-ray of the hips. Once you get an x-ray from the vet, they will let you know if the hips are proper or improper.
Bloat – Another health condition that affects large dog breeds is Bloat. The stomach expansion put pressure on different arteries. Large dogs pass away at high rates from bloat. Make sure you take your dog to the vet if they display any of these symptoms.
Cherry Eye – You can visually see Cherry Eye. The condition is in the corner of the eye and looks like a red bump. Doesn’t appear to be painful or life threatening most dogs live with the condition.
Ear Infections – Happen from getting too much dirt in the ears without the ears being cleaned. The dogs will start to get ear infections. You can take them to the vet to get some cream.
They are members of the legendary working group. The working group consists of dogs that are known for doing a job. The range varies but can including sledding, guarding, or any work around a farm land.
The Cane Corso has been a member of this group since 2010 when they were brought into the American Kennel Club.
These are a few dogs that are in the working dog group
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Saint Bernard
- Siberian Husky
- Tibetan Mastiff
This was the best place to put the Cane Corso. They fit perfectly into this group.
Anybody who has or is going to get a Cane Corso should understand this breed needs daily exercise. And I know I say every dog needs to get daily exercise, because it is true.
A moderate to high energy dog will start a chain of unfavorable behavior when they are not given an appropriate outlet. Take the dog on frequent runs, swims, treadmill time, and walks in combination to keep this away from bad behavior.
Remember telling the dog to sit and lay are commands. You can have a dog following these commands impressively with having very bad habits. Exercise is the key to providing the proper mental and physical challenges the dog deserves.
We recommend for this breed
1 hour run or walk in the morning
1-hour treadmill, swim, walk or run in evening
For ages puppy to 3 years old
Use discretion with the puppy and always look at the load you are giving them. Like we always say if it is too much scale it back and if it is too little increase.
At some point you will reach a stage where they need a lot.
Once they become mature at 3-5 years old make sure you monitor how much you do and don’t need.
Here is an example I give to everyone I teach about learning the proper amount. Let say you are giving them one hour a day. The dog is digging in the backyard, barking excessively, and jumping when you come out to feed them. Increase right away.
A different example would be you exercise them two hours per day and realize the dog is very tired all the time. They never engage in bad behavior and listen to all commands. When you tell them stop 98 percent of the time they stop. Decrease!
A proper training program always has the three following elements. Exercising, commands, and corrections. Once you have a plan for all three you should be able to influence significant changes.
Exercising as we went over in the last section will help make everything else easier. Once they have the right amount of exercise you can then move on to the next phase.
Commands are easy to teach, but you must stay repetition minded. The more times you practice with the dog the easier it is to understand what you want. For example, you need to tell them to sit in the house, at the park, on the carpet, on tile, and other areas.
You get the point! That them to different places and request the same actions.
The last phase is to correct the dog. Starting out with verbal as the lowest possible correction. Correct them verbally and if the dog is totally ignoring you then make the effort to use a physical correction.
That can be by lease or by hand, but make sure you understand the principle. You only correct hard enough to get attention and that’s it! Don’t start hard and scale back.
We teach the opposite start lower and increase. For puppy you should be barely touching just like the mom does. We have videos on our correction post for the puppy and mom interaction.
Are Cane Corso’s Good Family Dogs
Yes, they are exceptional family dogs. They are quiet and keep to themselves for the most part. The real question is are you a good dog owner? Any dog can be terrible for your home if you don’t know if to train and interact with a dog.
In addition, socialization is key with this breed. If you don’t socialize the dog, you will be in trouble. Socializing isn’t just bringing them around dogs so that they can growl at each other and lock them away for another year.
You first step in this area is to exercise the dog. This will help him hear dogs, see humans, listen to cars pass, motorcycles, etc. You want them to experience exhaustion and then take them to the dog park after you have done your work on the front end.
Cane Corso’s are in danger of falling into the hands of an owner without experience. Follow our steps and adhere to the exercise, command, and correction system. There is much more to teach but those are the meat and potatoes.
Responsible owners must battle with law makers in different countries because of the power and damage one of these dogs can inflict on people.
Training the dog from day one is the most important step you can take. There are far too many people who don’t take this serious enough. The best thing to do if you don’t want to train and exercise your dog is to not get one.
It is not my position to tell you what to do, but that should be something you seriously consider. Failure to adhere to a strict program can result in something unwanted. It can also not result in anything bad happening. You would be playing with fire either way.
The Cane Corso is a great dog breed and can be a wonderful family pet with the right owners.