Posted: 02/14/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce
Cane Corso Breed Profile
Perfect for families with older children and prior experience with dogs.
- Large dog (23 to 27 inches)
- Typically weighing between 80 and 110 pounds
- 10 to 12 years life expectancy
The Cane Corso is a strong and agile dog, projecting power and confidence. And they should be confident as they have a noble lineage dating back to the Romans!
While Cane Corsos can look intimidating, they can be extremely affectionate and gentle, making them a great addition to some families. Though fairly easy to train, they can be domineering, so are not the best match for novice dog owners.
Cane Corsos are incredibly intelligent and athletic and need plenty of exercise to keep them mentally and physically fit. This breed does best with active people who will take them on daily walks or runs.
Cane Corsos bond deeply with their family and are a devoted protector. With the right handling and training, these gentle giants make wonderful companions.
If you adopt a Cane Corso, we suggest you look for pet insurance to protect them, and your wallet, from the unforeseen illness and injuries.
History Of Cane Corsos
The Cane Corso is an Italian breed descended from the ancient Roman molossian war dogs. The name Cane Corso actually comes from the words “catch dog”, and this dog was indeed bred to overpower and catch large prey. Over the centuries, Cane Corsos were often used to protect farms and round up sheep, goats and semi-wild cattle.
After World War II, the Cane Corso population in Italy dwindled significantly, and by 1970, only a few remained. Luckily, two fans of the breed bred the remaining Corsos and by the 1980s, the first Cane Corso breed club was formed. In 1988, the first Corsos were brought to the United States and by 2010, the AKC officially recognized the breed.
Characteristics of Cane Corsos
Cane Corsos are large, muscular dogs that are known for their athleticism and boldness. Their coat is usually black, gray, fawn or red, though some are brindle with small white patches.
Cane Corsos have a dominating personality and can be suspicious of strangers. It is incredibly important that owners assert their own dominance and leadership, as well as ensure they socialize this breed early.
Cane Corsos adore their family and will be eternally devoted to them. This breed is best suited for those families with older children, as their large size can be problematic in families with babies and toddlers.
Adopting A Cane Corso From A Breeder Or Rescue
If you are interested in bringing this breed into your family, it’s best to work with a reputable and experienced Cane Corso breeder. You may also look in your area to find a Cane Corso rescue group.
Cane Corso puppies will need training and socialization. They are eager to please and typically pick up basic commands quickly. Cane Corso puppies do not always respond well to new things, so be sure to introduce your Cane Corso slowly and carefully to new experiences.
Exercise And Nutrition for Cane Corsos
There are some breeds of dog that do very well with little exercise and can live happily napping on the sofa all day. The Cane Corso is not one of them. This breed needs some serious exercise each day to remain physically and mentally healthy. The Corso makes a perfect companion on a long walk, hike or a nice afternoon jog through the park.
The Corso also has a keen intellect and a sense of adventure, and so also requires mental stimulation to keep undesirable behavior at bay. This is why many Corso owners have their dogs compete in agility, obedience and tracking events.
The Cane Corso will do well on a high-quality diet, whether that food is commercial or homemade. Some dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so it’s always best to work with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting the right amount of calories and nutrients.
Common Health Problems And Illnesses
The Cane Corso is a strong and robust dog that can live up to 12 years with the right nutrition and exercise. Having said that, this breed can still experience specific health conditions:
Hip Dysplasia is an inherited condition that typically leads to severe arthritis and eventually lameness. With hip dysplasia, both hip joints develop abnormally, and this leads to instability and degeneration of the joints over time.
Bloat is a common condition in dogs with large, barrel chests. When a dog eats or drinks too quickly, their stomach can twist, cutting off the blood supply. If not caught in time, this can become a life-threatening medical emergency.
All dogs have “third eyelids”, which are really nictating glands, responsible for producing tears. Cane Corsos are prone to a condition called “cherry eye” in which this gland prolapses, causing a bulbous red mass to form.
Cherry eye is not in-and-of-itself harmful, but it can and often does lead to other eye issues. For instance, cherry eye can lead to secondary eye infections that may lead to blindness.
The Cane Corso is prone to heart issues. Signs of a heart condition include shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue. If any of these signs are observed in your dog, you should immediately speak with your veterinarian. The right care and medications can relieve the heart issue and slow the progression of the disease.
Many Cane Corso owners decide to clip their dog’s ears, and this can make the dog highly vulnerable to developing middle or inner ear infections. Its best to leave this breed’s ears intact.
Canine epilepsy is common in the Cane Corso. This disease may be brought about by toxic shock, a brain trauma or other brain abnormalities. Idiopathic epilepsy is inherited. Potential parents are typically screened for this, which is why working with a reputable breeder is so important. This condition can generally be managed well and your veterinarian will most likely prescribe an anti-epileptic or anticonvulsant medication.
Fun Facts About the Cane Corso
- In Roman times, the Cane Corso is said to have fought lions.
- Cane Corsos are extremely social dogs and don’t generally like being alone. They can be very funny and are often the center of attention!
- Cane Corsos are one of the most intelligent breeds of dog. For this reason, they require individuals that can meet them intellectually.
- Cane Corsos are very big dogs that can sometimes weigh as much as 110 pounds.
- Cane Corsos “talk” using different vocalizations such as snorts, howls and a distinct “roo-roo” sound. Oh, and some Corsos will even sing