The Cane Corso is a medium to large sized muscly but agile powerhouse of a dog. An Italian breed, their family tree goes back to ancient Roman times. With a study and strong body built for activity, they have a long history as a working dog – in wars, hunting, farming, and as guard dogs.

Ciao Bello! The Italian Mastiff: Cane Corso

Both beautiful and handsome, these dogs are a surviving species.

Despite having such a long pedigree, due to changing times and technology their numbers in Italy dwindled in the twentieth century. But where there is a will, there definitely is a way!

Between the 1970s-1980s Italian breeders and lovers of these magnificent dogs brought these babies back from the brink. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 2010 and the Federation Cynologique International (ICCF) in 2007.

Also known as the Cane Corso Italian Mastiff, the Italian Molosso, the Cane Corso Italiano or Mastiff – these dogs live up to the English translation of their name – “protector”.

They Don’t Call Him a “King Corso” Dog for Nothing!

Cane Corsos not only look regal and majestic, they’re very intelligent and independent beings. They do like to be the boss (if you let them!) but are incredibly kind, devoted and loyal to their human family and companions.

Cane Corso Size Male vs Female Cane Corso

Male Cane Corso tend to be slightly larger than females. Both are around the same size at birth, but from there, they grow! These mighty magnifico animals reach their full size at around 19 months of age.

Male Cane Corso: How Big Can They Get?

The average full grown heights and weights for adult Cane Corso males are:

  • Height – 62-70 cm (24-28 inches) from feet to shoulder.
  • Weight – 45-50kg (100-110 pounds).

Female Cane Corso: How Big Can They Get?

The average full grown heights and weights for adult Cane Corso females are:

  • Height – 58-64 cm (23-25 inches) from feet to shoulder.
  • Weight – 40-45 kg (90-100 pounds).

Personality Traits of the Cane Corso Puppy

A whole bunch of words beginning with the letter C come to mind when describing the Cane Corsi personality traits. Well socialized and trained, pups will develop into cool, calm, clever and collected dogs. As a proud protector, they are courageous and competent.

Cane Corso Colors and Coats

Base colors of Corsi include black, fawn, red and gray and maybe brindled. White patches are often seen on their chest, chin, nose, throat, and toes. Masks are always below their eye line. The hair on their coats is short, stiff, dense, and easy to maintain.

  • Black Cane Corso – rich solid black coat.
  • Fawn Cane Corso (aka Formentino Cane Corso) – light to dark tan with a black mask
  • Red Cane Corso – light to dark shades with a black mask.
  • Blue Cane Corso – solid color ranging from slate to light grey.
  • Brindle Cane Corso – streaks of the base Cane Corso colors with a mask in the darkest color
  • Blue Brindle Cane Corso – streaked with grey and black brindle.
  • White Cane Corso – a very light straw-like color that may be the result of a recessive gene displayed from inbreeding. White is not a color recognized under the breed standard.

A Look at the Cane Corso Lifespan

The expected lifespan of a Cane Corso is between 9-12 years.

Does the Cane Corso Have Any Health Issues?

Generally speaking, when fed a good quality diet and getting enough regular exercise, Cane Corsi is a healthy and robust dog. Health issues that the breed may have include:

Hip dysplasia – as with many larger dog breeds Corsi can have a tendency to hip dysplasia which can lead to arthritis.

Demodectic mange – this is an immune system reaction to a common type of mite.

Gastric Torsion (Bloat) – dogs with deep chests and smaller mouths sometimes gulp their food and swallow air which results in bloating and gas.

Cane Cors0s are Not for First Time Puppy Parents!

This is a breed that does need to be paired with people who have experience of living with strong-willed dogs, and with people who have an equally strong will of their own to match! They need mental and physical stimulation, and to live people who have a good understanding of doggy traits!

A Cane Corso Needs a Strong Alpha

If you tend to be more of the submissive type, you won’t survive! Cane Corsi need to be with people that that are assertive, but not aggressive. Think of a parent with a consistently fair but firm natural parenting style to guide and train acceptable behavior – the pack leader.

What is a Cane Corso’s Temperament?

Cane Corsi, when socialized with people and other pets from a young age as puppies, tend to have a stable temperament. They will be loyal to their family, aloof and on alert to new situations or people. They are territorial, so they will guard you and their property with all their might if they sense they need to.

For a Cane Corso, Training is Paramount

It can’t be said enough that Cane Corso training is essential from a very young age. They are very smart and learn quickly, but also soon grow to be pretty big and strong. Pups socialized from a young age easily learn their boundaries and become great companions.

Stranger Danger! The Roman Cane Corso is Very Protective

The devotion of a Cane Corso to their family is strong. They will initially be serious and wary of strange and unknown people and pets as they figure them out, and ready to protect if they sense danger. Hence the need for proper training so they know when to respond and when to step back. Cane Corso owners may opt to fit their dog with a muzzle while they are under training and/or in unfamiliar situations.

8 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About the Cane Corso Dog Breed

  1. They are tough looking but softer living! They’re more comfortable sleeping indoors or in a well-sheltered kennel.
  2. They are a dog breed that needs, and likes, a lot of regular exercises. Take them for a long daily walk or run and you will have a new best buddy.
  3. Those big heads and droopy lips are adorable, but be aware they do drool – especially while eating and drinking. You probably won’t be setting a place at the dinner table beside you!
  4. They do love to eat and do best on good quality dog food.
  5. They are very loving – not only do they have massive heads, and muscular bodies, they also have massive hearts.
  6. Naturally, their ears are floppy. Some breeders crop them to a distinctive upright triangle shape, to help keep their ears free of gunk. Originally the shape was done by Italian farmers for hunting wolves. Their tails may also be docked.
  7. Their coats are relatively low maintenance. They are a dog that sheds, but their coats do not need a lot of professional grooming, and a good brush once or twice a week, along with regular bathing will keep them looking and feeling fantastic.
  8. Their family tree really does go way back – to the first century. They are descendants of Roman Molossian and Canis Pugnax. Roman war dogs used as a personal guardian and to fight lions!

Mixed Dog Breed: Cane Corso Style

You will find hybrid Cane Corsi cross-breeds that have recently been bred with other dogs. As with any type of cross breed, the dominant genes from the respective parents, and how they are raised, will determine the final outcome of the dog.

  • Cane Corso Great Dane Mix: Aka Italian Daniff. This combination makes one gigantic, but loyal gentle giant!
  • Cane Corso Boxer Mix: Aka Boxmas or Boxer Mastiff. A very noble combination of two beautiful and strong mugs!
  • Cane Corso Lab Mix: Aka Labrador Corso. Beauty and brains from both sides combined!
  • Cane Corso Pitbull Mix: Aka a Pit Corso. This mix is controversial due to the potential for a large, strong dog with overly aggressive traits.

What’s the Difference? Comparing Cane Corso to Similar Breeds

  • Cane Corso vs Presa Canario: These two look and behave similarly. The Cane Corso is an Italian purebred. The Presa Canario is of Spanish descent and has a slightly different coat.
  • Cane Corso vs Pitbull: Two breeds that both need to live with people experienced in raising and living with dogs. Cane Corsi are larger than Pit Bulls, who originated in the US.
  • Cane Corso vs Neapolitan Mastiff: These guys are ancient breeds originating from Italy and do share a common Roman ancestor. They are both great as guard dogs, but the Neapolitan Mastiff is a much larger dog. Both breeds are unsuitable for beginners.

7 Things to Look for in Responsible Cane Corso Breeders

  1. Whatever type of pup you seek, always look for reputable breeders that take care of the health and well-being of the breeding parents and all ensure puppies have a great start to life.
  2. Responsible breeders will allow you to visit their kennel or home to see their dogs and puppies and their living conditions.
  3. Responsible breeders have parents and puppies health tested. The breeder should have documentation and be honest about the potential strengths and weaknesses of your pup.
  4. Responsible breeders won’t allow a puppy to leave their parent until they are at least eight to 12 weeks old.
  5. Responsible breeders are happy and willing to answer your questions and about their breeding program. They will also be a source of information and support before and after your pup comes to live with you.
  6. Responsible breeders will also ask you some questions to make sure their pups are going to good homes. Don’t be offended if they think Cane Corso dogs or similar breed may not be the right dog for you.
  7. If you are buying a pedigree, they must be able to give you the dog’s papers to confirm this from the American Kennel Club (AKS).

Cane Corso Puppies for Sale!

If you’re looking to buy a purebred Cane Corso puppies the cost from registered breeders ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 in the United States.

To find a Cane Corso breeder near you check out the listings on the American Kennel Club Marketplace website. Kennels of registered breeders are listed nationwide, along with information on the ages of puppies and when they are available or expected.

Otherwise check with reputable breeders such as Alcor Cane Corso, Castle Guard Cane Corso or Black Pearl Cane Corso – AKC champion breeders. All have a wealth of information on their puppies on their websites.

Not Looking for a Cane Corso Puppy for Sale?

Adopting or re-homing a rescue Cane Corso is a very noble thing to do for a very noble dog. You may not have the certainty of the pedigree that you get from a breeder, but you will be giving a dog a new life.

As with any dog adopted or rescued, do find out as much as you can about the dog’s temperament from the animal shelter, particularly with a Cane Corsi. You will get the best, and worst, of their previous training and socialization experience in their life so far.

A good starting point may be the Cane Corso Association or Cane Corso Rescue Inc who help place Cane Corsi across the United States.

4 Final Tips for Owning a Cane Corso Mastiff

  1. In the care of loving families Cane Corsi develop to be a fiercely loyal yet docile domestic dog.
  2. Get to know about the individual puppy or dog before you take them on.
  3. The Cane Corso breed does need to live with committed and experienced dog owners.
  4. Be prepared to run, walk daily, and play daily to prevent them from getting bored.

These dogs have all the potential in the world. In the right hands, a Cane Corso will develop into the most loving, steadfast and loyal companion!

Common Questions on the Cane Corso