If you’re thinking about purchasing or adopting a “mountain” of a dog, then there’s a good chance that a Cane Corso might be right for you. That said, however, it’s fair to say that these dogs are not always a good fit for everyone which is why, in this article, we’re going to try to provide you with some of the pros and cons of owning a Cane Corso so that you’ll have a better idea of one of these magnificent animals might be right for you.
Origin of the Cane Corso
You’ll want to understand right away that the Cane Corso has a vibrant bloodline that dates back to ancient Roman times when their ancestors, the Canis Pugnax, were specifically bred to fight in battles alongside Roman soldiers.
Over the years, the breed was adapted to be more than just a dog of war and began to represent better the true meaning of the word “Corso” which the ‘Corso’ actually means “protector” or “attendant.”
Bred throughout rural Italy…
The Cane Corso breed began to be used for hunting, guarding property and (in some places) have been used in bear fighting!
The Cane Corso was also found to be helpful in helping manage livestock due to its ability to cover ground quickly while cutting a pretty imposing figure on whatever it gallops towards. The breed became sparse after the turn of the 19th Century, when technology started to impact the farming community and there was less need for having and owning working dogs.
It wasn’t until…
The breed was officially recognized by the Italian Kennel Club in 1994 and it began to make a comeback. Still, even then, it wasn’t “officially recognized” by the American Kennel Club until as recently as 2010.
For more information about the Cane Corso breed, we highly recommend that you check out the Cane Corso Association of America, a non-profit dedicated to the Cane Corso and an excellent source for “anything Corso”!
Cane Corso features
As we stated before, the Cane Corso is a “mountain of a dog” with an iconic Mastiff shape to their skulls, a shortened muzzle, a loose bottom lip and the broad chest associated with others of their kind. The Mastiff skull is particularly prominent when they are puppies – but be prepared for any puppy to grow into a full-sized “monster” within a few months.
Very similar in appearance…
To the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Cane Corso Breed of dog will typically grow to between 50 cm and 70 cm in height (one in half to two and half feet), meaning that they will get to be pretty significant and pretty fast!
The Federation Cynologique Internationale (or FIC) has put the females of this breed at 23-26 inches in height and the males 24-28 inches. The Federation Cynologique also suggests a healthy weight for this dog to be between 40 and 45 kg, making raising one of these dogs no easy feat.
Your Cane Corso…
It will have a perky tail when it has not been docked and a short, glossy-but-not-soft coat that comes in various colors (blue, fawn, brindle, red, Grey or black.)
The coat itself is pretty easy to maintain which is a good thing considering how large they are, but remember, Cane Corso’s tend to grunt, snore and drool so you always have that to deal with!
Cane Corso temperament
At its core, the Cane Corso is a super hardy, muscular and energetic dog built to protect people, fight bears or herd and catch cattle, so its temperament will likely be that of an independent and potentially stubborn animal.
Although they will likely enjoy being trained and be receptive to it, as it has been bred into their nature, anyone new to this breed should know that they’re not always the easiest dog to train.
Now combine this…
Independence streak with 90-110 lbs. of weight and you have the makings of a real problem. Particularly if you have children in your home or other furry little family members already!
This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet don’t often recommend these breeds to those who:
- Have small children in the household.
- Have other pets particularly a dog of the same sex as the Cane Corso you’re considering adopting.
- Live in an apartment where guests or “strangers” frequently visit their homes.
- And those unprepared to provide their Cane Corso with a proper training program.
Cane Corsos have been bred to guard their “territory.” It’s not their fault; they’re born with a natural watchful air.
And while he will become a very loyal companion, a proper Cane Corso will always seem to be a bit of a “loner” in that he is unlikely to listen to every command given (particularly by strangers) and they don’t need your constant touches or reassurance. They will be watching everything – so they know you are alright.
It is vital with the Italian Mastiff. That said, you should probably accept that this dog will never appreciate strangers and will only accept people you introduce to him.
But if you socialize him early you minimize the risk of him attacking other dogs, but his nature forbids him being a dog you can trust to walk without a leash. If he senses danger the chances are he will charge into it head-on, leaving you frantically chasing along behind.
Exercise, Exercise and more Exercise.
The Cane Corso is a monstrous breed that needs a lot of exercise; an hour a day might not be enough, so keep that in mind before making your significant purchase. Like any intelligent species that will become hyper-destructive when bored… and they have giant mouths…
So, if you’re interested in saving a small fortune, you will want to take them on plenty of long walks/runs and be sure you don’t skimp on those obedience classes.
Health concerns with the Cane Corso
As a relatively new breed and former working dog, the Cane doesn’t have all the symptoms of overbreeding just yet. This is a good thing because it reduces their risk of suffering from severe genetic disorders.
That said, however, Cane Corso can still suffer from:
- Hip Dysplasia, a common one in older large breeds,
- Entropion – the folding inwards and potential scarring of the eyelids,
- and Bloat, another reasonably common problem with larger dogs during which the stomach twists. Veterinary surgery can pin a twisted stomach back into place and is recommended if the dog does suffer from Bloat, as a turned stomach is likely to ride again.
When Sourcing your new Cane Corso Puppy…
… is the most exciting part – but please purchase responsibly. Puppy farming is a global problem and big business, with dogs being kept in poor conditions, malnourished and, in some cases, being bred to death.
For this reason…
We here at IndulgeYourPet recommend that you avoid any pet shops or breeders who:
- Offer a wide variety of Breeds under one roof,
- Or who present unsanitary conditions
- Or who cannot produce paperwork for your dog are highly likely to be a part of this illegal and horrendous trade.
Also, one great way to avoid any potential issue of adopting a “sick” Cane Corso puppy is to assume an adult Cane Corso from a Cane Corso Rescue Center.
The American Kennel Club and the Italian Kennel Club will have lists of responsible, reputable breeders that ought to be able to provide you with a healthy, happy Italian Mastiff puppy with all of the necessary paperwork and whose parents you could be introduced to if you so choose.
Because choosing to become a pet owner is a huge responsibility, we always recommend that anyone considering adopting a new pet takes a few minutes and review our Best Pet Insurance Companies article to know how much it would cost to insure their new pet.
We recommend folks do this because you might be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable one of these “types” of policies can be. If you’re new to owning a dog, you might not be aware of just how expensive owning one can be, even a healthy one!