Сane corso italiano

A faithful guard dog. It is a courageous loyal pet of large size. It is a descendant of ancient roman fighting gladiator dogs. They are closest relatives of Neapolitan Mastiff.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 40—45 kg
male: 45—50 kg
female: 60—64 cm
male: 64—68 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
8—12 puppies
in 14 century
Life span
Life span:
10—12 years


Despite looking threateningly and being of large size, Cane Corso are affectionate pets. They are aggressive only towards strangers, because their main task is to protect their territory and owners from danger. There is no other dog breed like Cane Corso in performing this task. It is important to realize that dog`s behavior depends on how it has been brought up. If you treat the dog with love and respect — it will be affectionate, if you behave in a rude way — it will grow up into an aggressive pet.

Cane Corso that have been brought up in a right way do not show aggression when there is no reason for that. They will become aggressive either when their owner gives a command to behave in such a way, or when they feel danger. These pets instantly react to strangers. Nobody can walk past a Cane Corso dog. Strong legs and muscular jaws make them faithful guards and skilled fighters. If a fight begins, dogs of this breed will fight till the end. 

Cane Corso love all family members. They are ready to give up their lives for them. These pets are loyal companions and faithful guards at the same time. They can play with children and take care of them. However, you should not leave a child and a dog of this breed alone. It is not safe. If a kid accidentally hurts the dog, it might react aggressively. Cane Corso do not get on well with other animals. They like being dominant on their territory. If they feel that an opponent appears — they will start a conflict. Dogs of this breed can live with other cats and dogs only if they have grown up together. This breed is not for people who already have a pet at home. Especially if people want them to live in one house or flat.


Cane Corso can be easily trained and brought up. These dogs are smart. It is crucial for them to see authority in their owner. They will not listen to people who they do not respect. Seriousness and respect are key instruments for training and bringing up the dog.

The puppy needs to be brought up starting from the first day after its purchase. It needs to accept house rules and not break them. If the dog resists and behaves dominantly, it is crucial not to let it manipulate you in such a way. Otherwise, it will be hard in the future. Mounth is usually enough for dog`s adaptation.

Start training the dog after its turns 3 months old. The pet has to learn basic commands like: «sit down», «lay down», «go to your place», «come here» and «no». It is better to train your dog using a method of rewards. Before you give your dog a treat, it needs to complete a command. After it, it is important to praise your pet. If a Cane Corso dog does not listen to you, never show aggression. You can talk to it in a serious way, but never beat the dog. If pet`s psyche gets damaged, it will become dangerous not only for people around, but also for family members.

Apart from training, you should not forget about dog`s socialization. The earlier the puppy starts investigating the world around, the better it is. After your pet turns 3 months old, you can take it outside for 15 minutes. Make the walk longer with each new month. After the dog turns 6 months, you can take it to a general course of training. That is the period when dog`s puberty begins. Animals, especially males, start resisting whatever they do not want to do. That is when work of a professional trainer will be more productive than training your dog by yourself.


Cane Corso are large dogs. Their body is graceful and athletic. It is bigger in length than in height. 
Short and thick, shiny, feels nice when touched. Rare undercoat is present.
Can be different: black, tiger, light gray, light red, murugan, dark red, brindle, lead, dark gray, deer. White spots are allowed to be located on chest, legs and nose.
Large. It is bigger in width than in length. The snout is square in shape. Wrinkles are absent.
Expressive, wide-set, oval-shaped, their color depends on the one of the coat.
Big, wide-set, can be either floppy or cropped.
Proportional to body length, muscular. Its length equals the one of the head.
Straight and muscular, with well-developed scapulae.
Long, high-set. It is thick at the base, gets thinner down to the tip. It can be docked down to the 4th vertebra.

Basic Care

Cane Corso do not require much amount of time to be groomed. It is enough to brush their thin hair once a week. Because of having a rare undercoat, these pets molt a little. However, in spring and fall, it is better to brush their hair twice a week, using a rubber brush or a massage glove. Then pet your dog with wet hands to take off left hairs. 

You do not need to give Cane Corso a bath very often. There is a protective layer on their hair. Constant contact with water washes it off. Because of it, coat starts looking darker. It is recommended to give Cane Corso a bath once in 2–3 months, or if they got dirty with something that cannot be licked off. As an alternative choice, dry shampoos can be used. Wipe dog`s paws after every street walk if the pet lives inside. The only thing that might cause discomfort is dog`s salivation, especially in the summer. Their snout needs to be wiped with a towel. Dirt and earwax often get accumulated in ears of Cane Corso, no matter whether they are floppy or cropped. They need to be cleaned once in 10 days, using a piece of gauze soaked in warm water. You should clean your dog`s eyes when needed, also using a piece of gauze. You need to brush your pet`s teeth. However, it will not be easy. Cane Corso do not like this procedure. That is why, as an alternative, you can use special treats and toys. Trim your pet`s claws once a month.

Cane Corso can be fed with either high-quality dry or natural food. Dry food of premium quality contains vitamins and minerals, needed for your dog`s health. Taking size of these dogs into consideration, their diet needs to include a lot of animal proteins — 50%. That is why not greasy meat needs to be main ingredient of their diet: beef, chicken, mutton and rabbit meat. Apart from meat, these dogs can be fed with: grains — buckwheat and rice; fat free dairy products — kefir, cottage cheese and sour milk; boiled vegetables and fresh fruits. Dry and natural food can change one another. However, it is important not to mix them into once portion. A puppy under the age of 4 months needs to eat 5 times a day, under 6 months — 4 times a day, under 10 months — 3 times a day, then — twice a day (in the morning and in the evening, preferably at the same time.

Cane Corso can live both inside and outside. However, you should always take the size of these dogs into consideration. There will not be enough space for them in a small flat. If the pet will live in an aviary, it needs to be insulated. Because of having short hair, Cane Corso are sensitive to coldness. You need to walk your dog for 1,5–2 hours every day. Play with it, and then the pet will not gain extra weight.

Health and Illnesses

Cane Corso can live up to 14 years if treated well. Their health is strong. From dangerous illnesses, there is one that often affects dogs of this breed — hip dysplasia.

Dysplasia is a hereditary pathology that leads to dog`s loss of ability to walk. It develops because of disrupted formation of acetabulum, which head of the femoral bone is located in. Because acetabulum becomes flat, it dislocates head of the femoral bone, which starts rubbing against the joint. With each new movement, structure of the joint gets destroyed. It is impossible to cure dysplasia. Even if it is diagnosed in time, its development can be only slowed down. 

Apart from dysplasia, Cane Corso might suffer from epilepsy, abdominal bloating and problems of the thyroid gland.

History of the Breed

Cane Corno have an interesting history. Ancestors of these dogs appeared around 2000 years BC. Back then, they were used for protection from wild animals and enemy tribes. They were also taken hunting. Dogs of this breed have almost not changed for this whole time, because nobody interfered with their gene pool.

History of Cane Corso started in the Roman Empire. Monuments that depict dogs, found during excavations, prove this fact. It is not known how they appeared in Europe. Most likely, they were brought by merchant ships from Asia. In the Roman Empire, pets were used for military expeditions, guarding palaces, watching slaves and prisoners of war. After the fall of the Empire, these dogs were crossbred with Celtic Hounds. It let dogs be used for guarding and driving livestock. 

Officially, Cane Corso were mentioned in the 14th—15th centuries. Dogs of this breed were used for different purposes: hunting, fighting, and driving cattle. This made these pets all-purpose animals. History of the breed, that last for a century, was almost interrupted during WWII. Because Cane Corso were used in front lines, very few dogs were remaining. 

Giovanni Bonatti Nicolli saved the breed from extinction. In 1983, together with other dog owners, he established «Club of Cane Corso Lovers». Thanks to it, they managed to get all remaining representatives of the breed in Italy together and start working on recreating the breed. Four years later, the first standard of Cane Corso was developed. However, the breed was officially recognized only in 1996.