What is a Cane Corso

What is a Cane Corso? [large, powerful dog breed with Roman heritage]

The Cane Corso is a large dog breed that will grab your attention when you see it. These intelligent dogs have their origins in ancient Rome where it was believed that their ancestors joined armies to fight on the enemy lines. They make excellent guard dogs as well as great family pets if precautions are taken.

Today the Cane Corso is not seen fighting in wars, but lounging on its owner’s couch. The breed has become a popular companion dog in recent years. 

Cane Corso dog
Cane Corso Dog

In this article, we will be explaining everything that you need to know about the Cane Corso dog breed. This includes what prospective owners need to know before getting one. 

Cane Corso History

The Cane Corso and the Neapolitan Mastiff are both descended from ancient Roman war dogs that fought bravely alongside soldiers. 

Cane Corso History
Cane Corso History

These dogs were called the Canis Pugnax or Roman Molossian. 

The Cane Corso was adapted into being a guard dog and hunting companion once it was no longer used in fighting wars.

The Cane Corso Was Bred to Hunt 

The Cane Corso was particularly used to hunt potentially dangerous and large game for their owners such as Italian wild boar due to its sturdy build, strong jaws, and great courage. 

Efforts to Preserve the Cane Corso Breed

Although the Cane Corso could still be seen as a guard dog in southern Italy, its popularity was on a steady decline until the 1970s. 

It was at this time that a man named Dr. Paolo Breber made efforts to preserve the breed through his own breeding program. 

In more recent history, the International Cane Corso Federation (today called the Cane Corso Association of America) was founded in 1993. 

The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010. This helped the popularity of the Cane Corso to rise steadily in the United States. 

Cane Corso Characteristics

The Cane Corso is a unique dog breed with many amazing characteristics.

Cane Corso Characteristics
Cane Corso Characteristics

Cane Corso Appearance 

A Cane Corso has a stunning and striking appearance that makes them unique. Being a robust dog, the Cane Corso has a somewhat similar appearance to other Mastiff-type breeds. 

Cane Corso Size

The average height for the Cane Corso is around 23 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder for females and 25 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder for males. 

The average weight for Cane Corso tends to be a bit more variable, but they tend to be between 85 and 100 pounds. In general, male Cane Corso dogs tend to be larger than females

Cane Corso Coat

When it comes to their coat type, Cane Corso dogs have a short smooth coat that requires little maintenance. 

This coarse coat does tend to shed a moderate amount, especially during their main shedding season in the spring. 

Cane Corso Colors 

Although the most popular coat color of the Cane Corso is black, they can actually come in a wide variety of coat colors. In addition to a solid black coat, the Cane Corso can have a solid fawn, gray, or red coat. 

To keep their body toned and muscular, a Cane Corso owner should provide their dog with plenty of exercise on a regular basis. 

Some Cane Corso has a brindle pattern. This pattern can come in black, chestnut, and gray variations. 

According to the Cane Corso breed standard from the American Kennel Club, Cane Corso dogs can also have a black mask or gray mask pattern on their face. 

Cane Corso Body Type 

The Cane Corso has a very strong and muscular body that is designed to work and protect its owners and property. 

The Cane Corso has a massive head and a very strong jaw as well. In fact, the Cane Corso has one of the strongest bite forces when it comes to domestic dogs. 

Cane Corso Temperament

 The Cane Corso is an excellent guard dog that will make it its job to protect you, your family, and your property. 

Cane Corso Temperament
Cane Corso Temperament

This is a natural instinct that has been carried through the breed for centuries. 

The Cane Corso is known to be a confident and loving dog with their families but they tend to be suspicious of strangers due to their protective nature. 

It is crucial to socialize with Cane Corso dogs early to prevent aggression towards people that they don’t know. 

Are Cane Corso Dogs Good With Children?

When well socialized early in their lives, the Cane Corso can be a good family dog to have around children and other larger dogs.

However, it is highly recommended that these kinds of interactions with a Cane Corso are always supervised due to the breed’s large size and strength. 

Are Cane Corso Dogs Good With Other Pets?

Unfortunately, the Cane Corso may not do the best around small animals such as cats, pet rodents, and even small dogs because they have a very high prey drive. 

It is important to remember that the Cane Corso is a robust dog that could be difficult to contain, so early socialization and training are incredibly important when owning one. 

How to Train a Cane Corso Puppy

It is very important to start training a Cane Corso when they are young puppies.

How to Train a Cane Corso Puppy
How to Train a Cane Corso Puppy

Also, Cane Corso dogs need an owner that is a firm but gentle trainer. They respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. 

It is recommended that Cane Corso owners start socialization and basic obedience training as soon as possible. 

This will prevent them from getting aggressive around strangers and becoming out of control as they grow into large, adult dogs. 

The Cane Corso requires plenty of basic obedience training and manners training. 

This is especially true when it comes to teaching a Cane Corso how to be calm, confident, and obedient in public settings. 

Cane Corso Exercise Requirements

The Cane Corso is a dog breed that comes from the American Kennel Club’s working group. This means that they have a high activity level and thrive when they have a job to do. 

As a result, the Cane Corso requires plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation. 

The Cane Corso is best suited for an owner that is also a very active runner, hiker, or bicyclist that would like a dog to accompany them. 

Cane Corso Grooming Requirements 

The Cane Corso actually has an extremely low-maintenance coat. 

This is because their coat is short and smooth, which means that you do not need to worry about things like matting or hair tangles. 

Occasional brushing with a slicker brush is generally all you need in addition to maintenance care such as nail trimmings.

If you didn’t know, a slicker brush has short, fine wires that are closely spaced and are best used for dogs with medium-length hair.

Cane Corso Diet Requirements

While some Cane Corso owners choose to feed their dogs a raw-fed diet they don’t have to.

Most experts agree that Cane Corso dogs can do well on high-quality dog food that includes all of their nutritional needs. 

Cane Corso Diet Requirements
Cane Corso Diet Requirements

It is always recommended to consult with your vet before feeding your dog a raw diet or homemade meals. This will ensure that all of your dog’s nutritional needs are met. 

Cane Corso Health Issues

The Cane Corso is usually a fairly healthy breed, but like most giant breeds they can be subjected to some health issues like elbow and hip dysplasia. 

Additionally, general bone and joint issues are a general concern in the Cane Corso because of their large size and weight. 

Cane Corso owners should also look out for signs of bloat, health conditions affecting the eyelids, and heart conditions in addition to bone and joint problems. 

Idiopathic epilepsy and demodectic mange are also minor health concerns in the Cane Corso breed. 

Cane Corso Life Expectancy 

The average life expectancy for the Cane Corso is around 9 to 12 years. 

Cane Corso dogs tend to live longer when they come from a reputable breeder that has their dogs cleared through the breed recommended health testing. 

Who is the Cane Corso Good For? 

The Cane Corso is a great choice of dog for those who live an active lifestyle and are willing to accommodate a Cane Corso’s training and daily exercise needs. 

It is important to remember that the Cane Corso requires at least an hour of exercise per day, and they require a lot of training and proper socialization from a very early age. 

Is the Cane Corso a Good Family Dog?

The Cane Corso can do well in a family with small children and other dogs but interactions between children and other dogs should always be supervised. 

Those wanting to welcome a Cane Corso into their home will need to prepare themselves for a strong and powerful dog. 

Cane Corso Dog Breeders 

When looking for a Cane Corso breeder it is important that you do your homework to make sure that they are reputable before getting a Cane Corso puppy from them. 

There are several reasons why buying from a proven breeder is important. 

Good Breeders Produce Healthier Dogs

The first reason why you should only get a Cane Corso from a responsible breeder is that they are likely to be healthier and have a better life expectancy. 

Reputable Cane Corso breeders will health test their dogs for conditions that commonly affect the breed such as hip and elbow dysplasia. 

This makes it much less likely that one of their Cane Corso puppies will develop these kinds of genetic health problems. 

Good Breeders Produce Dogs With a Better Temperament

Another very important factor to consider is that a dog from reputable breeders tends to have better and more stable temperaments. 

This means that ethically and reputably bred Cane Corso dogs tend to be easier to train and are more reliable. 

Good Breeders Treat Their Puppies Well

The final, and possibly most important, reason why it is recommended that people ensure that a breeder is reputable is that it is also the most ethical thing to do. 

Reputable breeders truly view their dogs as a part of the family, and they treat them as such. Reputable breeders care a lot about their dogs and where their puppies end up. 

This means that all of the dogs and puppies in their care will be as healthy as possible and be kept in excellent conditions. 

Related Cane Corso Questions 

Is The Cane Corso a Good Family Dog? 

The Cane Corso can make for a good family dog when socialized with children and other big dogs from a young age. 

However, children and other dogs should always be supervised when interacting with a Cane Corso. 

Unfortunately, this may not be the best dog breed to own if you have cats, small dogs, or other small pets. 

The Cane Corso has a strong prey drive, and they are very large and powerful dogs. 

Do Cane Corsos Bark a Lot? 

Most of the time, the Cane Corso is known to be a pretty quiet breed, and this means that they do not tend to bark a lot. 

Instead of barking frequently Cane Corso dogs are known to save their loud powerful barks for when they need to protect their territory or owners. 

How Much Does a Cane Corso Cost? 

On average, Cane Corso puppies will cost between $1,000 and $4,000 when getting them from a reputable breeder in the United States. 

How Strong Is a Cane Corso Bite? 

The Cane Corso has a staggeringly powerful 700 PSI bite! This is considerably stronger than many other domestic dog breeds’ bite force. 

This is part of the reason why early training and socialization are so important when owning a Cane Corso. 

Is a Cane Corso a Pit Bull? 

Although the Cane Corso may appear to be similar to Pit bulls, they are actually a different breed. 

The Cane Corso is a mastiff-type dog and they are closely related to other mastiff breeds such as the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Bull Mastiff. 

Meanwhile, the American Pit Bull Terrier is closely related to the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Bull Terrier. 

What is a King Cane Corso?

Basically, a King Cane Corso is just a Cane Corso but on the larger end of the size range. A King Cane Corso can be up to 28 inches in height and weigh 110 pounds! 

Are Cane Corso Dogs Easy to train?

The Cane Corso is a highly intelligent and energetic dog which makes them fairly easy to train when they are young.

Do Cane Corso Dogs Drool a Lot?

Some of them may but it depends on the shape of their face. If they have heavy jowls they may drool a considerable amount.

Are Female Cane Corso Dogs Less Aggressive Than Males?

In general, female Cane Corso dogs tend to be less aggressive than males but this is on a case-by-case basis. 

Remember, every dog is different and has its own personality. Good training is the key to having a good Cane Corso.


The Cane Corso is an amazing dog breed that has a striking appearance and unique history. 

Although they have roots in the ancient Roman empire as a powerful war and working dog, Cane Corso dogs are now known to be wonderful companions and guard dogs. 

Considering how strong and powerful they are, the Cane Corso dog is not usually recommended for first-time dog owners. 

However, they can make a great companion to any owner and family that is willing to train and socialize their dog from a young age. 

The Cane Corso also requires plenty of daily exercise in order to remain fit, healthy, and happy.

What is a Cain Corso

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