Cane Corso: A Guide to This Powerful Dog Breed


The Cane Corso has its roots in Italy and has been around as early as ancient times. It is thought that these dogs are descendants of the ‘Canis Pugnax’, an old Roman Molossian that is now an extinct breed.

Other mastiff-type dogs are said to be the ancestors of the Cane Corso. The Italian word cane means ‘dog’ while the term corso came from the Latin word cohors, which means ‘protector’ or ‘guardian’, thus the breed Cane Corso translates to ‘Guardian Dog’.

For quite some time, the Cane Corso served the role as a guard dog, a war dog, and a skilled hunter of various games (including large game) for many Italians.

Unfortunately, the population of this breed greatly went down during the first and second World Wars. In the 1970s, fanciers of the Cane Corso started to save the breed from the brink of extinction.

Puglia, Lucania and Sannio in Southern Italy were the major preservation areas dedicated to reviving the few remaining dogs.

The Cane Corso was accepted into the AKC’s miscellaneous class in 2007, which then received full recognition into the working group in 2010.

Traits and Behavior

The Cane Corso is intelligent, active, jolly and independent. They are proud, brave, well-balanced and has excellent guarding instincts. Serene and calm, they look for companionship with their masters because they enjoy serving and guarding them.


They are devoted and friendly to their masters and are protective of the children as well. However, they can be suspicious of strangers so they must acquire good socialization if you intend to have them in the neighborhood.

These dogs require a lot of space for them to be kept active. Otherwise, they may feel grumpy or even unhappy if they are kept in a small area. They show bravery with the potential predators and will bark loudly when other animals and strangers get closer to their territory.

Pet Care and Diseases

The coat must be groomed at least thrice a week. This should be done for a few minutes to loosen some fur which may cause over shedding. They must also have a bath each month to maintain their cleanliness and keep their furs shiny.


With regards to their health, the Cane Corsos are healthy and strong but they might have hip dysplasia when they are very active as well as visual problems.

Since they can have this type of health problem, it is very much advisable to have them regularly checked up by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation.

This is to detect early health issues and prevent them from advancing on a more serious condition. These dogs can live a long fruitful life depending on how well they are taken care of.


The Cane Corso is a dog that looks noble, majestic and muscular in appearance. Generally, the Cane Corso stands around 24-28 inches tall for the males and 23-26 inches tall for the females (at the withers). Males and females weigh between 95-110 pounds and 85-100 pounds, respectively. The breed appears like a typical mastiff, although its skin is not loose, which lessens its tendency to drool.


The head is massive in size with a broad skull, muscular neck and prominent cheekbones. Despite that, it still projects a lofty facial expression. The ears are set high. The tail might be docked after birth. The short, thick and stiff coat come in two basic coat colors: black and fawn.

General Information

The estimated life of a Cane Corso is 10-12 years. The maximum litter size is about 6-10 puppies. This breed is also known as the Cane Corso Italiano, Cane Corz and Italian Mastiff.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Cane Corsos. Click this link:

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