Cane Corso

Cane Corso
Other names: italian cane corso , italian mastiff

Cane Corso is a large breed, a descendant of the fighting dogs of Ancient Rome. For centuries, these intelligent and obedient dogs have served their owners, guarding their homes, helping with hunting and in the field.

Brief information

  • Breed Name: Cane Corso
  • Country of Origin: Italy
  • Weight: males 45-50 kg, females 40-45 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 64-68 cm, females 60-64 cm
  • Life expectancy: 9-11 years


  • This dog has excellent protective qualities. The territory inhabited by the owner and his family members is considered its own space and is guarded with special care.
  • Cane Corso is not aggressive by nature, but if uninvited guests show up, they will certainly feel the harsh temper of the "Italian".
  • Representatives of the breed are strong and hardy, differ in intelligence and ingenuity, need constant physical and mental activity.
  • In the pack, Cane Corso shows dominant traits of character, trying to rule. Some authority of the dog can be a difficult test for inexperienced owners, so if you decide to get a four-legged friend for the first time, start with a representative of a different breed.
  • Other dogs and cane Corso animals can show aggression, and in order to keep such emotions in check, the socialization of puppies should be carried out from an early age.
  • Outwardly look imposing and unhurried, but this impression is deceptive. Like real "temperamental Italians", they willingly join in games, like to run and, in general, actively spend time.
  • Get along well with children, becoming a reliable nanny for them. This is how the genes of distant ancestors – shepherd dogs, for which the owner and his family, including pets, were objects of control, make themselves felt.
  • Cane Corso is characterized by kindness and attentiveness, they are affectionate with the owner and require reciprocity.

Modern cane corso - descendants of gladiator dogs, they exude natural strength and greatness. They look harsh, they can even inspire fear, but in fact they become loyal friends for their owners and remain them throughout their lives. Being the fourteenth breed bred in Italy, the Cane Corso is the pride and national treasure of this country. In the character of the dogs, the dedication of the shepherds and the courage of the fighting breeds were surprisingly intertwined, and the lively temperament of the Italians themselves was also reflected.

Cane Corso have sensitivity and intuition, they are ready to protect the owner and his family at any time and in any situation, which makes them unsurpassed guards. If a dog of this breed lives in your house, there is no need for alarm systems. They will not meet a thief who has entered the house with aggression, which is different from other guard dogs, but the robber will very much regret meeting a native of the sunny Apennines. Cane-corso leaves an aggressive reaction for an extreme case when he feels that a real threat is hanging over the owner and his property.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Activity ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Training ?
Easy ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Health ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Expensive ( Rating 5/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Short periods ( Rating 2/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*Characteristics of the Cane Corso breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Cane Corso breed

Cane corso

Cane Corso has a long and glorious history dating back many centuries. Their most distant ancestors were the Tibetan Great Danes of antiquity. In those harsh times when it was necessary to defend against many enemies and wild animals, such dogs were especially appreciated. Genuine respect and even some kind of awe these dogs cause today.

It is known that the first ancestor of modern "Italians" on the territory of modern Eurasia appeared 1 thousand years before our era. It was an aggressive Tibetan Great Dane, which was presented to the Chinese emperor, who appreciated in him such a skill as the ability to catch people. Since that time, they quickly began to spread across the mainland, becoming the ancestors of some other breeds. New dogs were bred for quite specific purposes. In the same Roman Empire, they were used for dog fighting, in military campaigns and, of course, as guards.

The first written mentions of the giant dogs of Corso date back to the XIV-XV centuries. The documents discovered by historians say that they participated in hunts and baiting. In some areas, these dogs were used for grazing and guarding livestock. As for the official history of the breed, it is usually conducted from the heyday of the Roman Empire. Archaeological monuments with multiple images of these majestic dogs have survived to this day. Corso accompanied their masters on military campaigns, looked after slaves and guarded entire palace complexes. After the fall of Ancient Rome, dogs began to be crossed with Celtic greyhounds, thereby infusing "new blood" into the breed. At the same time, they were no longer used as fighting dogs, but for hunting, for the protection of farmland and cattle driving. All this has been going on for a long time, so loyalty to one master is literally in their blood, it is inherent at the genetic level.

Performing a variety of tasks by dogs has made the breed multidisciplinary, which remains unchanged today. Since cane-corso has always been highly valued, the quality of their gene pool was carefully monitored. However, despite this, sad pages in the history of the breed could not be avoided. During the Second World War, the Cane Corso, like many other breeds, was on the verge of extinction. These giants were actively used on the front line, which, coupled with malnutrition, and often hunger, crippled the breed.

But the cane Corso did not disappear, and for this humanity should be grateful to Giovanni Bonatti Nizzoli, who showed perseverance and made titanic efforts to revive these proud, intelligent and majestic dogs. Invaluable help was provided to him by like-minded people, who in 1983 gathered all the purebred Cane Corso throughout Italy, preserved by some miracle. Four years later, the breed standard appeared – the first one approved at the official level. This document gave an accurate description of the dogs and emphasized the features that distinguished Corso from other descendants of mastiffs. And although the breed received breeding registration only in 1994, before this event, more than 500 producers and several hundred puppies had achieved recognition of experts and positive assessments on their part. All this gave the green light to the development and spread of Cane Corso: the number of dogs began to grow and in a short time exceeded 3,000 individuals. At the international exhibition held in 1996, a representative of the revived Italian breed became the winner.

Cane-corso deer color
Black Cane corso

Video: Cane corso

Features of Cane corso

Cane corso Puppy

Protective qualities are inherent in the cane Corso at the genetic level, so they perform this function even without special training. The dog will protect the owner, his family members, as well as the entire house territory. This giant gets along well with pets, even with those who are not too happy about his appearance in the house. His "friends" may have not only other dogs, including small breeds, but also cats and even birds.

Poise is in these dogs' blood. Seeing that the guest is friendly with the host, the "Italian" will remain calm. He will not be active if he feels a hidden threat, but will make it clear that the situation is under his control. The dog attacks only in two cases: if direct aggression is shown towards him or if he receives the appropriate command from the owner.

The Corso are especially careful of the younger members of the family, this has gone back to the days when they wandered with flocks and developed an instinct to protect everyone who is smaller and weaker. These big dogs will never offend a child, even a stranger, but, on the contrary, they will take care of him almost with maternal zeal. Children reciprocate these dogs and often involve them in their games, such as doctors and hairdressers. It is impossible to watch without emotion and laughter how a little crumb "treats" a dog or tries to do his hair, and Corso humbly endures. True, at the very beginning he will try to escape from the little "doctor", but if he does not succeed, he meekly demolishes all the "procedures". During the games, Cane Corso may accidentally, completely without malicious intent, slightly push the child. If you are worried that another such push may lead to the baby's fall, then command the dog to "Sit!" or "Lie down!" and she will definitely do what is required, and from the first time.

Appearance and special features of the breed

Cane Corso or Italian mastiff is a large dog with a prominent musculature. The body is characterized by the so-called stretched format, when the length is greater than the height at the withers. The indicator of the latter is 64-68 cm for males, 60-64 cm for females. Adult dogs weigh 45-50 kg and 40-45 kg, respectively, depending on gender. The size of the dog should not surprise, because the breed was bred for security, hunting and combat needs.

Cane corso Italiano impresses with strength, beauty and power, they are incredibly charismatic. Representatives of this breed move gracefully, resembling panthers with their gait. Being near a dog, you feel protected and you know for sure that you will not be betrayed. The identity of the Cane Corso, the peculiarities of their appearance and amazing skills have been passed down from generation to generation for many centuries. A lot has been preserved from the Molossian Great Dane, their closest ancestors, in Italian mastiffs, but breeding activity has made its own adjustments. These dogs are not only reliable bodyguards, but also, despite their harsh appearance, loyal and good friends.

General description

Athletic handsome

Cane-corso have an athletic build, their appearance gives them uncompromising guards and real defenders. They look presentable and elegant at the same time: a powerful body, a wide chest, developed shoulders, a muzzle typical of all Molossians, a confident gait. Dogs of this breed are predominantly black, brown and tiger colors.

The character of the "Italian" consists of solid advantages: he is mentally balanced, predictable, easy to train, very loyal to his master and never shows causeless aggression. Such qualities are inherent in many representatives of the Molossian group, for example, the English bulldog and the Great Dane of Bordeaux. If bad traits began to show up in the dog's behavior, the reason should be sought in poor upbringing, but not in any way in a natural predisposition.


The head of the cane Corso is more wide than long. It is covered with dense skin, there are no folds on the muzzle. The muzzle, in turn, correlates with the skull in a ratio of 1:2, that is, it is short. But at the same time it is wide and voluminous, square in shape, flat and strong.


Cane-corso tiger color

The dog of this breed has 42 teeth, they are white and strong. The jaws are large, powerful, curved. Due to the fact that the lower jaw protrudes slightly forward, the bite is characterized as a light snack.


Oval in shape, have a wide placement on the muzzle. Their color depends on the color of the dog, but the darker it is, the better. The eyelids have black pigmentation.


By nature, the cane Corso ears are slightly large and widely spaced, with a tight fit to the head. Covered with smooth and shiny fur, they, tapering to the ends, hang down, adjacent to the cheeks of the dog. They can be stopped by giving the shape of an equilateral triangle.

Nose and lips

The nose is black and large, the nostrils are wide open. The lips are tight and not too saggy. The upper lips cover the lower jaw, thereby completely defining the lower part of the muzzle profile.


The neck of the cane Corso is strong, muscular, proportional to the body, but not too voluminous, giving the dog some elegance. In length, it is equal to the length of the head.

Muzzle of cane corso


The Cane Corso's physique is strong, the trunk is slightly longer in comparison with the height at the withers. The withers are clearly pronounced, it protrudes over a long, wide and somewhat inclined croup. The chest reaches the level of the elbows, it is wide and well developed. The back is straight, has pronounced muscularity. The convexity of the ribs is moderate.


The cane Corso tail is naturally long and reaches the hocks, it is set high, thick at the base. It does not rise vertically and does not bend. Cupping of the tail is performed on the fourth vertebra.


Forelimbs are characterized by long, sloping and very developed shoulder blades. The shoulders and forearms are strong, the pastern and wrist are elastic. The front paws are of the cat type with elastic pads and strong claws. The paws are oval in shape, the fingers are gathered into a ball.

The hind limbs in the thigh are wide and long, the posterior line of the hips is convex. Strong shins and a slightly angular hock joint. Powerful and sinewy metatarsals. The hind legs are also oval, with elastic pads and strong claws, the fingers are collected in a lump.

Thanks to such characteristics, cane-corso move with a wide stride, they have a large and sweeping trot.


The skin is thick and fits snugly to the body. The coat of the Cane Corso is very thick, but with a sparse undercoat, short and glossy. If it is of medium length, devoid of rigidity and wavy, then this refers to serious disadvantages of the breed.


Here the breed standard allows for considerable diversity. In addition to the traditional black, light red, dark red and tiger colors, cane Corso can be light gray, lead (medium gray) and slate (dark gray), as well as red (deer color). Small white patches are allowed, but only on the chest, nose and the ends of the paws.

For the record: red and tiger cane Corso should have a black or gray mask on their muzzle that does not go beyond the eye line.

Possible vices

Cane corse workout

If the longitudinal axes of the muzzle and skull converge, as well as the lateral surfaces of the muzzle, this is considered a serious defect. This also includes the parallel arrangement of the longitudinal axes of the muzzle and skull.

The disadvantages that spoil the breed include, among other things, growth below or above the norm, partial depigmentation of the nose, constantly ambling movements, scissor bite, rolled up bagel or standing upright tail, snacking with significant waste.

Disqualifying vices

Is your pet aggressive? This is a serious vice, for which he will face disqualification. The same verdict will be given to a timid or frankly cowardly animal.

In general, any Italian mastiff whose behavioral or physiological abnormalities are very clearly expressed should be disqualified. These also include undershot, the so-called mutton nose, sunken bridge of the nose, strabismus, eyesore, fragmentary or complete depigmentation of the eyelids, long or soft wool, with unacceptable color and large white spots.

Developed testicles of males are considered a sign of cane Corso health. There are two of them, and they should be completely descended into the scrotum.

Photos of cane corso

The character of cane corso

Only those who do not know the breed at all or judge it by its rather formidable appearance can speak critically or cautiously about these beautiful, intelligent "Italians". And people who know speak about Cane Corso exclusively positively, because you can't find a more loyal, kind and good friend.

Cane corso plays with a boxer

Among all other breeds, these natives of the Italian "boot" are called the golden mean, and there are many reasons for this. Cane Corso are not giants, but at the same time they are not too small. They are always fit, and in order for your dog to always keep in good shape, his physical development needs to be given considerable attention. These dogs are naturally very intelligent and easy to train. The main condition is the right approach. Many owners are not confident in their pedagogical abilities, so they turn to professional dog handlers.

Cane Corso really looks a bit harsh, so if you walk around the city with it, then a lot of passers-by will probably want to cross to the other side of the street. It is difficult for uninformed people to imagine that a kind, affectionate and understanding creature is hiding behind the mask of a ferocious beast. Remember: sudden aggression is absolutely not inherent in these dogs. However, they do not let out of sight of the people near whom the owner is, and observe how he communicates with them.

Cane Corso on a leash

Cane Corso are very playful and are readily included in any entertainment. This playfulness is especially evident at a young age. Sometimes the dog is so passionate about the game that sometimes it does not respond to the owner's command, which is quite excusable – well, it does not happen to anyone! As they grow older, Italian mastiffs become calm and measured. By nature, dogs are not selfish at all. There is no such thing as jealousy in them.

If cane Corso are so good-natured, playful, non-aggressive, then how do security qualities combine with all these features? It is very harmonious and one does not interfere with the other. They react to danger quickly, almost with lightning speed. Strong jaws provide an iron grip, so that a thief who has entered your home will not be well when meeting this dog. In relation to uninvited guests, whom he perceives as trespassers of his territory, the dog can begin to act at his own discretion, sometimes even without listening to the owners.

Cane corse with a child

For the sake of its owners, Corso is ready for anything. In the presence of this dog, strangers should refrain from sudden movements. No, she will not immediately attack you, but she will show with facial expressions that it is not worth continuing. And a representative of this breed will never take anything from the hands of an outsider, including goodies. It is almost impossible to distract him from the protection of the owner, his family members or any object entering his territory. These dogs perfectly understand who is their own and who is someone else's. Sometimes it even seems that by some miracle, they can intuitively predict a person's evil intentions before he begins to show them, that is, the sense of danger in these dogs is perfectly developed. The mastiff can begin to act long before the danger begins to really threaten its owners, trying in every possible way to warn them. Looking into the eyes of this intelligent dog, it's like reading her thoughts. If Cane Corso could speak, then there probably wouldn't be a better interlocutor.

Many wealthy people get a dog of this breed for prestige (after all, Corso are expensive), not particularly perceiving it as a full member of the family. For example, they can leave for a long time, leaving the dog in someone's care. You can't do that, because separation, and even more so betrayal, these dogs suffer extremely painfully. In the absence of the owner, the "Italian" can become sad, stop eating and simply die. A real owner who treats his pet with love will show him all his love in every possible way and will never leave him alone for a long time.

Cane corso with the owner

Training and education

The tendency to dominate is not in the nature of cane Corso, which means that they can be trained easily. Being compliant by nature and by nature loyal to the owner, they recognize the authority of the latter very quickly. But representatives of this breed are in no hurry to grow up.

Cane corse workout

Many owners for various reasons do not want to use the services of dog handlers (for example, because of the high cost of their services) and prefer to raise puppies on their own. What should I pay attention to in this case?

The process of raising a cane Corso puppy should begin from the very first day of its appearance in the house. First of all, teach your baby to basic cleanliness and toilet. The most necessary commands are: "To me!", "Fu!", "Sit!", "Next!", "Stand!", "Lie down!", "Place!". They should teach their pet first of all. If there is something you don't like about the puppy's behavior, try to correct it, preferably in the early stages. Disobedience should not entail physical punishment. Walking with him in the park or outside the city, fill your leisure time with any sports types of training.

Dog training should take place on an empty stomach. This will stimulate her to accurately execute all commands in order to receive encouragement – a delicious treat. Do not forget to also praise your pet, which will be an additional expression of your love for him.

Note: outsiders should not take part in the education of Cane Corso. All commands must be pronounced clearly and clearly. Be consistent in training, require the pet to perform all the tasks assigned to him.

Care and maintenance

It is believed that in an ordinary city apartment, even small dogs can create inconveniences for their owners, not to mention more or less large ones. Cane Corso completely refute this established stereotype. Despite the fact that they are not small dogs, they do not need a large space due to their lack of mobility. If you live in a private house, this does not mean that you can put your pet in a booth and put on a chain. By their nature, the "Italians" are too freedom-loving and need constant presence near the owner. In addition, the light undercoat of the dog is not able to warm it in severe frosts, so there is still no way to be a "yard dweller" of Cane Corso.

Two comrades

You should regularly walk with your pet, do not deprive him of the joy of outdoor activities. Going out with the dog outside the household and thereby changing the situation, you bring the necessary variety into her life, which has a positive effect on the nervous system, helps her not to weaken. At the same time, joint walks strengthen mutual understanding between the owner and his four-legged friend. You should walk with the dog for at least an hour at least twice a day. Cane Corso Italiano, like their counterparts in other large breeds, are prone to diseases of the musculoskeletal system. If your pet is less than two years old, do not load it with long runs, not to mention often overcoming high barriers.

The daily care of the dog will not be difficult for you, and all thanks to its short coat and thin undercoat. It sheds twice a year, in spring and autumn, and the whole process is almost imperceptible. I am also glad that the smell of the dog does not spread from Corso around the house. However, he is drooling, which worries the owners. For such cases, you need to have a towel on hand.

Combing the dog is enough once or twice a week, using a rubber comb or a massage glove. This will not only help to remove dead hair, but also improve blood circulation. During the seasonal molting period, it is recommended to comb it out daily. When bathing your pet, use a rubber glove, which will also help to get rid of dead hair faster. The dog's coat has a protective fat film, and if the corso is often bathed using various detergents, the film will wash off and the wool will fade. It is necessary to arrange bath procedures for the dog once a month or as a result of heavy pollution. Experienced breeders recommend regular dry cleaning. Special dry shampoos are used for this purpose. You can buy them at any pet store.

The dog's ears need regular examination in order not to miss the beginning of a possible inflammation. They also need airing. Grasp the hanging ends with your fingers and wave your ears like butterfly wings. There is no excess of sulfur in healthy cane Corso ears, there are no brown secretions and, accordingly, unpleasant odors. To remove accumulated dirt, use a dry cotton pad, without penetrating deep into the ear canal. In the presence of purulent or other secretions, you should definitely contact a veterinarian.

Cane corso puppies with mom

No less attention should be paid to the teeth of the pet. To keep them healthy for many years, do not let him gnaw excessively hard objects, and even more so stones. Special treats and rope toys are used for brushing teeth. On the surface of the latter, agents that remove plaque are applied. But the tartar can only be removed by a veterinarian. To prevent stone formation, the dog should brush his teeth three to four times a week, using a special toothpaste with the function of dissolving the deposits forming the stone.

The eyes also need regular examination. In a healthy dog, the organs of vision are shiny, devoid of tear tracks and secretions. Periodically rinse your eyes with cane Corso chamomile decoction, which will prevent souring. To wipe the eyes, use a damp lint-free cloth, and wipe each with a separate flap.

After walking, wipe your pet's paws with a damp cloth or wash them under the shower. Do not ignore the pads of the paws, which will help to detect cracks or wounds in a timely manner. An antiseptic is used for their treatment. As a crack prevention, ordinary vegetable oil is used. It is given to the dog a teaspoon a day, and is also regularly rubbed into the pads of the paws.

And, of course, do not forget about ticks and fleas, which can cause great harm to the health and life of your cane Corso. However, it is not necessary to engage in "amateur activity" in this important issue. A veterinarian should choose a remedy for ectoparasites based on the age of the dog, its weight and state of health. A schedule for the treatment of the dog with the selected drug should be drawn up, which should be strictly adhered to.

Cane corso is gnawing on a bone

Now about feeding the dog. You can give her both natural products and ready-made food, but only premium. The main advantage of ready-made feed is that it saves time, but it is expensive. High-quality products are also not cheap, besides you have to spend time cooking them. But in the process of cooking, you see exactly what the cane corso diet is made of, which cannot be said about ready-made feeds. Each type of feeding has its own pros and cons, and it's up to you to decide which one will suit your pet directly. The main thing is that the well-being and health of your dog does not suffer from this.

Important: dogs of the Cane Corso breed are not recommended to give fatty meats (for example, pork), smoked meats, spicy food, river fish, fatty dairy products (sour cream, cottage cheese, cream), some cereals (millet and pearl barley due to their poor digestibility), fatty broths and liquid soups. The same list includes various sweets, nuts, onions, garlic and cheap low-grade feed.

Health and diseases of cane corso

Cane corso italiano is the embodiment of strength and endurance and, it would seem, he cannot have any diseases. However, this is not the case. Representatives of this breed suffer from a number of hereditary ailments, the most common among which is hip dysplasia. This disease is practically untreatable and in some cases, sadly, the dog has to be put to sleep. There is a hereditary predisposition to this disease, but even experienced breeders often cannot recognize it in a puppy. Before buying a puppy, you can ask if he was X-rayed, which, however, does not completely insure against the disease. For a greater guarantee, you should purchase an already grown-up puppy. Its cost will be much higher, but it will pay off with minimal risk of hereditary diseases.

In addition to hip dysplasia, representatives of the breed can suffer from various types of allergies, bloating, cherry eye, epilepsy, thyroid diseases (hyperthyroidism), diseases of the eyelids (their inversion or inversion).

How to choose a puppy

Before making a choice, study the breed standard. It would be useful to visit the mono exhibitions: this will allow you to learn about the cane Corso, as they say, firsthand and choose the parents of the puppy. Be sure to take a closer look at the exterior and behavior of the mother. For whatever purpose you purchase a puppy, buy it not from your hands, but from breeders or in a kennel. This will allow you to be calm about the purity of the breed, the physical and mental health of the pet. The baby should be well-fed, very active. Ask the breeder about the character of the puppy you have chosen, ask him to focus on the features of his behavior. When buying, you must be given a veterinary passport.

Photos of cane corso puppies

How much does cane corso cost

The cost of Cane Corso varies from 150-200 to 800-1000 dollars. The cheapest puppies are usually purchased in remote regions of Russia. You can count on "price" luck in large cities. This does not mean that a "half-breed" or a "korsopodobny" dog will be given to you cheaply, but a low price does not guarantee the mental and physical health of even a genuine representative of the breed. In addition, you will get it without documents and vaccinations.

Hence a simple conclusion: you should buy cane Corso in nurseries or from elite breeders with an impeccable reputation. A healthy puppy with a deviation from the standard (pet class) can be purchased for 700-900 dollars. Breed-class puppy (breeding use) it costs from 900 to 1300 dollars. Well, a representative of the show class, that is, a puppy with the makings of a champion to participate in exhibitions, will be sold to you for $ 1,300-$ 2,000. For comparison: the average price for breeders in Moscow is $ 1,000 and above. Experienced owners recommend: it is better to pay this money than to save, but then suffer for many years trying to re-educate the dog or running with her to the veterinarians.

Add cuteness to your feed. Share photo collections and send photos of your favorite pets
2023 © «». Made with for animals. Copying materials with a link to the source.