Cane Corso

June 2, 2020 // 7 minute read

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Cane Corsos are one of the largest dog breeds. They feature a large head, big muscled body, and alert facial expression that will surely intimidate anybody. The Cane Corso is a serious dog who is dedicated to protecting its family.

Cane Corsos are known to be intelligent, loyal, eager to please, and versatile, but only to their humans. They don’t have any affection for strangers or any other animals. This also makes them excellent watchdogs.

This dog breed is undoubtedly not for everyone. The Cane Corso needs someone serious about owning a dog and dedicating some time to training.

Cane Corso Facts

Cane Corso Statistics

Dog Breed GroupWorking
Breed SizeLarge
Height25-57.5 inches (male); 23.5-26 inches (female)
WeightProportionate to height
Lifespan9-12 years

Cane Corso Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Cane Corso History

Cane Corsos are one of the newest breeds registered in the American Kennel Club. However, though known, they’re ancestry can be traced way back centuries ago.

It’s believed that Cane Corsos descended from the ancient Mastiff-type dogs called Mollosers. It is thought that when the Roman Empire’s power was at its peak, these dogs were brought to Italy and bred with native Italian dogs.

The result were ancestors of the Cane Corso we know and the Neopolitan Mastiff. The first Cane Corsos were used as dogs of conquest. They are fearless war dogs used to attack enemy lines with flaming oil in their backs.

When the 5th century came, the dogs adapted to more civilized living. They accompanied their owners for hunting, farming, livestock driving, and even guarding the farms. For centuries, the Corsos lived as farmer’s dogs in the Italian countryside.

Unfortunately, when farming became mechanized with the arrival of invasions, the breed’s number started declining. And when the mid-20th century came, they were almost extinct.

Good thing a few survived in the backcountry of Italy, and in 1970, Italian breeders started reviving Cane Corsos.

Ten years later, the breed started appearing in European shows. Their popularity continued to grow until they were brought to the US in 1988. But it was only in 2010 when the American Kennel Club finally recognized the dog breed.

Cane Corso Dog Breed

Cane Corso Temperament

Cane Corsos are generally affectionate, intelligent, and majestic dog breeds, especially with their family. Without the right attention, these dogs can be destructive when bored. They are also very athletic and would require a lot of exercise.

These dogs are incredibly loyal. Most people say that they live for their families, and they certainly wouldn’t want to be left alone.

They are great with older children who know their boundaries, while little kids need supervision. Remember, the Cane Corso is a large dog breed that might accidentally injure your child if you don’t keep a close eye on them.

When it comes to strangers, expect them to stand on high alert, but they should not show any aggression—the same thing when he encounters other dogs.

Cane Corsos are brilliant dogs, and they tend to go about their way. If you’re not firm enough and show him that you’re the leader, expect that he will try to boss you around. Make sure to maintain patience when training him, as he will most likely test it. Avoid showing harshness as this can be very dangerous.

These dogs are sensitive, so be careful with the tone of voice you set. As much as possible, be calm, firm, and, most of all, consistent. It’s also a great idea to shower them with compliments if they do something right.

Early socialization is also crucial to prevent bad temperaments from emerging. This is especially necessary if you want to suppress his aggressiveness towards strangers and other animals. It will also help if you meet the parents to see what temperaments you need to watch out for in your Cane Corso.

Cane Corso Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Because the Cane Corso is a large dog breed, they would certainly need a high quality and well-balanced diet. They should also be taking at least 2,200 calories a day to maintain their optimal weight. However, if they are not too active, 1,960 calories in a day will do. For a well-balanced meal, protein should always be the primary ingredient in your dog’s food. This is very important to help build his muscles. For some carbohydrates, you can get this from brown rice and sweet potatoes. Fats are also a great addition to your food’s diet as these are essential for the development of his brain and eye. You can also add some vegetables and fruits for some sources of fiber. A few things to avoid are fillers, artificial ingredients, and allergenic grains like wheat, corn, and soy. These have very little nutritional value and may also cause some skin irritation and allergies.
  • Grooming: Cane Corsos have a short, double-layered coat that sheds occasionally. However, weekly brushing is needed to maintain healthy growth. This will also help reduce the amount of loose hair during the shedding season. If it’s shedding season, then brushing can be done daily. This dog also needs occasional bathing only. Meaning, it would depend as to how dirty he could get with the activities he has. But ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Don’t forget to trim their nails too. Cane Corsos are highly active dogs and would greatly appreciate it if you keep their nails short. Long nails can be painful when running or walking.
  • Exercise: Cane Corsos are highly active dogs that have some serious exercise needs. Always make sure that you give them something to do to keep them entertained. You can give your Cane Corsos a chance to run around off-leash a fenced yard. This will also help a lot in building up his confidence. If you love exercising yourself, you can take him for a brisk walk or a run of at least a mile twice a day. Don’t forget to stimulate his brain, too, with some form of activities to maintain the best behavior. Other than that, he would surely enjoy participating in some sporting events.
  • Health: Just like any other dog breed, Cane Corsos also have some health concerns, most of which are genetically transferred. Hip dysplasia, eye problems, and gastric torsion are only some of these health issues Cane Corsos are prone to. Though these health problems might not be detected through a screening test, you would have to pay close attention to any signs of symptoms. You can also check with the parents of your Cane Corsos puppy if they have existing health conditions that you might need to prepare. Regular check-ups would also help monitor your dog’s health.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Cane Corso is 9-12 years.

Cane Corso

Famous Cane Corsos

  • Roman: Vin Diesel’s Cane Corso
  • Gina: Campo’s Famous Warrior
  • X-Man: World Winner

Fun Facts About Cane Corsos

  • They are known to have originated in Italy.
  • They were fearless dogs. Some of them were used to guard monasteries while there are those used to fight lions.
  • They are also known as Italian Mastiffs.
  • They grow large very quickly.
  • They come in various colors: black, grey, fawn, and red.
  • They are one of the largest dog breeds where males can weigh from 100 to 120 pounds.
  • The dog breed almost became extinct after WWII.
  • The breed has been banned in some states in the US. Mainly because of injuring or killing smaller animals. This is the reason why early socialization is necessary.


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