The Cane Corso is a serious Italian dog breed for people looking to foster a dog as a companion. It is a perfect breed for dog lovers looking for canine companions whom they can give firm and loving guidance cani corsi need to become great companions.
These breeds are family-only dogs. Hence, don’t expect a cane Corso to be friendly with everyone they meet. Cani Corsi have no interest in anyone outside their family, including other animals. However, for those within their family, they give their undivided protection and loyalty.
The Cane Corso is also called Corso, Italian Mastiff, Cane Corso Italiano, and Italian Corso. In plural, Cane Corso becomes Cani Corsi. Here are 15 things you should know before adopting a cane Corso into your family:
1. They are one of the Mastiff-type Dogs
This breed was developed in Italy, and they are said to descend from the Roman war dogs. Compared to his cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff, the cane Corso is more lightly built. Cani Corsi were bred to guard property, hunt, and be all-around farmhands.
Their work was mainly rounding up cattle or pigs, and helping their owners drive them to the market.
The word ‘cane’ is Latin for a dog, and the word ‘Corso’ may come ‘corsus’ an old Italian word that means robust or sturdy or from ‘cohors,’ which means bodyguard.
Around the time farming became more mechanized and nearing extinction, the breed has begun to decline. However, in the 1970s, canine lovers strived to rebuild the breed.
In 1983 the Society Amatori Cane Corso was created, and in 1996 the breed became acknowledged by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. In 1993, the International Cane Corso Association was established, and in 2010, the America Kennel Club documented the breed club.
Currently, the breed is governed by the Cane Corso Association of America.
Cane Corso were bred to guard property, hunt, and be all-around farmhands.
2. They are Large, Muscular Dogs
Female Corsi stand 23.5-26 inches at the withers, males 25-27.5 inches. Their weight is also proportionate to their height and ranges typically from 90-120 pounds.
Cani Corsi are very muscular and stocky, as well as physically strong. They are generally classed as giant dog types.
3. They have Vigorous Temperaments
As per history, Corsi have vigorous temperaments, always ready to meet challenges. They can be excellent family dogs if they have a confident and consistent owner who can provide them with food, leadership, and prevent them from roaming.
However, in the wrong hands, they can be inappropriately aggressive and become a danger to those around them. In 2014, two Corsi were reported to have attacked and killed a female jogger.
The ideal cane Corso is docile and very affectionate towards his owner and family, including kids. However, to get them to this point, they need to be socialized and trained from an early age.
Hence, a cane Corso is not meant for those who dislike or are afraid of dogs, or those unable to manage a large mutt.
Corsi are also very intelligent when combined with their bossy nature; they can dominate your household with firm boundaries or leadership. They are also sensitive enough to understand your tone of voice and respond well to rewards and praise.
Being quiet, calm, and self-assured will get owners a lot further with this breed than angry blusters. Consistency will allow a cane Corso to relax and know who is in charge. Owners with young Corsi should help them develop confidence by letting them spend time alone.
Because of their vigorous temperaments, they need early socialization. Expose the cane Corso to many different sights, people, experiences, and sounds before he’s four months old.
Early socialization will help Corsi puppies grow up to be well-rounded dogs, unafraid of being left alone, and unafraid of strangers, other animals, or children.
According to the Italian breed standard, Corsi should only react when there’s a real threat and should be indifferent when approached. As a working breed, Corsi are required to function under high levels of stress.
4. They are Generally Healthy
Cani Corsi are generally healthy dogs. However, like all breeds, they too are prone to certain illnesses. Not all Corsi will get any or all of these health conditions, but it helps to be aware of them.
The cane Corso can be prone to eyelid abnormalities like ectropion, entropion, and cherry eye, hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, and demodectic mange.
Before adopting or buying the Italian Corso, you need to find an expert breeder who can show proof of health clearances that certify that the puppy’s parents are free of hip dysplasia and eye disease. You should also ask the breeder is the dogs ever suffered mange or bloat.
5. They Require Plenty of Physical Activity
Because they fall in the working breed category, cani Corsi needs plenty of exercise to stay in shape. As a cane corso owner, make a point of taking him for a jog or brisk walk at least a mile every day, morning and evening.
However, you need to go easy on the puppies. For cani Corsi puppies, their musculoskeletal system is not fully developed until they turn 18 months. Hence, while you take your pup out for a walk to help him burn off the puppy energy, make sure the walks are slower and shorter.
6. They Need Mental Stimulation
You need to provide a cane Corso with a job for mental stimulation. Suitable employment for this breed includes learning tricks, herding livestock, dog sports, and practicing obedience skills.
Choose a type of activity and have your dog spend at least 20 minutes on it. You can alternatively break it into 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.
A cane corso needs plenty of exercises to stay in shape.
7. They Should Never Be Allowed to Run Loose
These large dogs should never be allowed to run loose. Hence, owners of cani corsi need to ensure they have a solid and secure fence.
It is essential to know that if a cane Corso chooses to, even an electronic fence can’t prevent hi, from leaving your backyard or property. In the same sense, a fence won’t protect your neighbor’s cat or dog if he wanders into your property.
8. They Can Be Expensive to Care For
Owning a large dog often goes hand in hand with being prepared for the large bills and amount of care that goes into that.
With large dogs, there is more poop to scoop every day, and neutering or spaying procedures tend to be more expensive for large dogs than it is for small dogs.
The cost of anesthesia also tends to be higher in large dogs when they need surgery because they require more of it than small dogs. This also means that they require more amounts of pain medication after surgery.
You will also incur further costs in training classes, pet-sitting, and entry fees for dog sports suited for working dogs. Hence, before buying a cane Corso, carefully consider all these expenses because you will have to face them for about 10-12 years.
Cani Corsi puppies, have musculoskeletal systems that are not fully developed until they turn 18 months
9. They are Food Motivated
Cani Corsi responds well to food and treats, especially during training sessions. For high-quality dry food, the recommended daily amount is 4-5 cups a day for a cane Corso.
How much you feed an adult Italian Corso will depend on his age, size, metabolism, build, and activity level. Just like people, dogs are individuals, and they don’t all require the same amount of dog food.
A highly active Corso will require more food than a couch potato Corso. To make sure your dog is adequately nourished, you need to buy high-quality dog foods.
Measure a Corso’s food to keep him in good shape. You can further ensure this by feeding him twice a day instead of leaving food out for him all the time.
If you think your corso is overweight, give him a hands-on test and eye test. Begin by looking down at him; make sure you can see the waist. Then place your thumbs along his spine, hands on his back, and spread your fingers downward.
Without having to press hard, you should be able to feel but not visibly see his ribs. If you can’t, you will have to feed him less food and provide him with more physical exercise.
10. Grooming is Very Important for Cani Corsi
Corsi have short, stiff coats with light undercoats. They can be black, red, gray, or fawn, and they may or may not have brindle patterns.
They have coats that shed twice a year heavily. Hence, be in possession of a good vacuum cleaner suck up dust bunnies from your floors and furniture.
As young puppies, bathe them weekly if you plan to bathe them regularly. Brush their teeth at least two or three times weekly to remove bacteria that lurks inside their mouth and tartar buildups. Daily brushing will also help you prevent bad breath and gum diseases.
Check their ears every week for bad odor and redness, which often indicate infections. Never insert anything in their ear canals, clean their outer ears.
If you make grooming for a Cane Corso, a positive experience filled with rewards and praise, you can be able to lay the groundwork for easy veterinary visits.
Whenever you groom Corsi, check for any presence of sores, rashes, or signs of any infections like redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the mouth, nose, eyes, and on the feet.
Always make sure their eyes are clear without any discharge or redness. By carefully examining your cane Corso every week, you will be able to spot any potential health issues early.
As young puppies, bathe them weekly if you plan to bathe them regularly.
11. They Can Be Protective and Loving Towards Children
When these canine companions are appropriately raised, socialized, and trained, they can be protective and loving towards children.
However, cane Corso owners with children in their homes should never allow these dogs to chase the kids, and they should tell their children to avoid making high-pitched sounds in their presence.
Corsi can associate running and squealing of kids like that of prey. Hence, when kids are running around outdoors, you should keep your Corso confined.
It is crucial to teach your kids how to approach and touch a cane Corso. Ensure that any interaction between your dog and young kids is supervised to prevent any tail or ear pulling or biting. No cane Corso, no matter how loving, should be left unsupervised with a child.
12. They Are Not a Good Choice for First-time Dog Owners
Italian Mastiff can be one of the most rewarding breeds to own. However, they need a confident and experienced dog owner.
You need to know how to handle, motivate, and manage a large, potentially dominant, and powerful dog. Because Corsi have territorial traits, proper supervision and care is imminent.
13. They Make Excellent Guard Dogs
Based on their physical appearances, Corsi are naturally good guard dogs. Their protective and highly territorial nature makes them excellent at patrolling your garden and home.
In case of a potential threat, these mastiff breeds are fearless. Hence as a cane Corso owner, you are obligated to keep your Corso contained and under control when you have people coming to visit your home.
Cani Corsi have a protective and highly territorial nature which makes them excellent at patrolling your garden and home.
14. The UK Kennel Club does not recognize them
The Cani Corsi are not eligible for Kennel Club registration in the UK because they are not known as pedigree dogs in the UK.
This means that there are no available breed standards put in place for cani corsi in the UK that dictated their temperament and desirable looks. Hence, this can vary from breeder to breeder.
This breed is however recognized by the American Kennel Club which provides a reference point for their temperament and general appearance
15. They are Very Sensitive
Even the cane Corso is a serious dog breed; he is also a sensitive dog. They are very loyal to their families and highly sensitive to the needs and expectations of their owners.
They will always be by your side because they want to please you, except when they are going through a little adolescent stubbornness. Unlike other dog breeds that will attach to one family member, they are family dogs. They are loyal to the entire family.
A cane corso is a good companion when given firm and loving guidance.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.