Cane Corso: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


Intelligent, energetic and very balanced, the Cane Corso or Italian Mastiff is an excellent watchdog, which thanks to its character and characteristics, has earned an important position in the category of companion animal. It is docile and affectionate with its owner and loves family life, in the company of children. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Cane Corso breed.


Character of Cane Corso

If the Cane Corso’s temperament has to be defined with a single word, that is undoubtedly loyalty, as could not be expected less from a dog that, in reality, still maintains its legionary spirit.

The Cane Corso dog breed is extremely intelligent and very easy to train, given the deep love it feels for its owner and its immense desire to please them.

It is an animal with an active, strong and very athletic character, with an innate instinct for guardianship and protection.

Its behaviour is docile and affectionate with its owner, it maintains an excellent relationship with children, although this must always remain under the close control of a responsible adult due to the large size of the animal and its tremendous strength.

It displays a calm and collected personality when it is at home and with a very stable temperament. This dog knows what its role is and what its responsibilities are, so it does not disperse or entertain themselves with anything, it never shows a tendency to escape or run away, and it always stays close to the house, controlling what happens around them.

Selected and bred for hundreds of years as a work animal to live with people and other animals, it is not a quarrelsome dog or that seeks confrontation, but when necessary it transforms into a real beast to defend its own and its properties until the extreme, without being afraid of anything or anyone.

Likewise, if another dog tries to impose or dominate it, it also finds the true shape of its shoe in it. However, this circumstance should not be misleading, as this is not and has never been a fighting dog.

Fun, active and dynamic, this dog can be used in a large number of activities, and sporty families who like to go out into the fields find it a perfect companion.

This is clearly not the ideal pet to live in a city center apartment, but it fits quite well with the necessary exercise. On the other hand, it is not at all noisy, since it only barks when it considers it strictly accurate.

  • Energy: high level. It has a lot of energy and is very active.
  • Temperament: very loyal, docile and obedient, it behaves in a very affectionate way with its Vigorous and active, it is very brave and vigilant. Fierce guardian of property, family and livestock, it is very agile and responsible.
  • Adaptability: medium / High. It can adapt to life in an urban environment, but its natural habitat is the countryside and open spaces in the middle of nature.
  • Sociability: medium / High. It adores its master and gets along very well with children, but is quite suspicious of strangers.
  • Health: good. Due to its dimensions, it shows a tendency to suffer from joint problems.
  • Longevity: Lives an average of 10 to 12 years, which is high compared to other breeds of this size.
  • Utility: versatile. Basically it is a guard and defence dog, but also a companion dog.
  • Use: guard, protection, company, police dog and tracking dog.

Cane Corso Features

To describe the physical characteristics of the Cane Corso dog, it should be noted that it is large in size and robustly built.

With a well-proportioned and harmonious physical appearance, it is a balanced animal that denotes strength, agility and endurance.

Large, robust and strong, it is an elegant, slim dog with very powerful muscles. It is a little longer than it is tall.

Cane Corso breed standard

Let’s see in more detail what the cane corso is like and the breed standard :

  • General appearance: robust and strong, it is slim but with powerful muscles. Elegant and proportionate in appearance, it gives the impression of agility and resistance. Size and size : very large.
  • Height at the withers: between 62 and 70 cm for males and between 58 and 65 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 45 and 50 kg for males and between 40 and 45 kg for females.
  • Origin: Italy.
  • Other names: Italian Corso Dog / Chien de cour italien / Italieníscher Corso-Hund.
  • Body: slightly longer than tall, this dog has a compact and robust anatomy , with a highly developed and muscular front part of the chest.
  • Head: broad and typical of the Molossian, it has the upper line of the skull slightly convergent with that of the nasal bridge.
  • Skull: broad, especially in the upper area, it is slightly convex in the anterior part, but much flatter behind the forehead. The frontal furrow is well visible.
  • Muzzle: considerably shorter than the skull, almost half that, it is strong and square, with a flat front face and parallel lateral faces. Viewed in profile, the muzzle is straight. The upper lips hang down a little and cover the lower jaw, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is formed by the edge of the lips.
  • Nose: black and voluminous, it has large and open nostrils, and is positioned in the same line as the bridge of the nose.
  • Eyes: medium-sized and egg-shaped, slightly bulging. Their eyelids are well attached to the eyeball and the iris is very dark in color, but varies in intensity depending on the shade that the coat acquires.
  • Ears: triangular and hanging, set very high on the skull and have a wide base. Shorts are often amputated in the shape of an equilateral triangle, but there are many countries and regions where the practice is beginning to be prohibited.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): it is well marked.
  • Jaw: very wide, thick and curved, with slight undershot prognathous, although some specimens bite in pincers.
  • Neck: strong, muscular and as long as the head.
  • Chest: the thorax is well developed in all directions and descends to the elbow.
  • Back: straight, very muscular and straight, it has a short and solid loin. The croup is long, broad and slightly sloping.
  • Forelimbs: they are powerful, straight and strong. The shoulders are long, oblique and very muscular. The forearms and arms are characterized by being very powerful, straight and robust.
  • Hind limbs: long and strong. The legs are not very fleshy, they are strong and have a long, broad and convex thigh. Their hocks are moderately angled.
  • Feet: The feet of the cane corso are known as “cat’s” feet, that is, they are characterized by being short, rounded and with the toes together and arched. Those on the hind legs are a little more open.
  • Tail: set rather high, it is very thick at the root and it used to be amputated in the fourth vertebra, but nowadays more and more specimens are seen with the entire tail. In action, the dog wears it raised, but never upright or curled up.
  • Skin: somewhat thick, it appears rather attached to the subcutaneous tissues.
  • Hair: double-layered, the inner undercoat is fine, while the outer coat is made up of short, very dense and shiny hair. It can have different colors.
  • Color: the specimens of this breed can show a variety of colors in their coat, as it can range from black, various shades of grey (lead grey, slate grey or light grey), fawn (both light and dark) or red fawn, even brindle (stripes on a grey or tawny background of various shades). Both black and brindle dogs usually have a black or grey mask on the muzzle that does not usually exceed the line of the eyes. And sometimes these specimens show a small white spot on the chest, on the tips of the feet and on the bridge of the nose.
  • Movement : the step of the cane corso is long, with the trot, which is its favourite movement, elongated.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 343 GROUP 2 – Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian, and Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs – Section 2 Molossian

Cane Corso puppy

If you are considering adopting or buying a Cane Corso puppy, there are several aspects that should be considered.

For example, to obtain a well-balanced and healthy pet, two things that they must do from a very young age are essential:

  1. It is very important to start the socialization of the animal as a puppy or when it is a few weeks old. You must have contact with other people, other dogs and animals, noise and other environments. It is not good to leave it isolated in a house, since there is a risk that the animal ends up becoming an aggressive individual with strangers or with other dogs.
  2. In its first months of life, this breed experiences spectacular growth, so it is necessary to monitor its diet and the exercise it is subjected to, so that its muscles and bones are not affected.

Cane Corso education and training

Regarding the education and training of the Cane Corso, due to its courage and strong temperament, it is clear that this is not a suitable dog for any type of owner, since it needs a firm and experienced hand to guide it, exercising the appropriate leadership. naturally, consistently and without fanfare.

The fundamental task in the training of this breed is socialization, because if this is not carried out in the proper way, the animal may end up becoming an aggressive individual with strangers or with other dogs.

This socialization should start when the dog is a puppy of a few weeks old and is still with its breeder, and the best system is to integrate it into all daily activities, thus exposing it to the most varied situations and accustoming it to all kinds of people. noises, environments, etc.In this way, your temperament will be shaped in a stable, secure and confident way. By its nature, it will always be suspicious of strangers, but it will remain barely vigilant and calm if its owner is present.

It is also very beneficial to carry out a complete obedience training with the dog , a task in which an organized work group or club is essential, and another aspect that can be worked on is its natural aptitude for guarding and defense, although always under the premise of enhancing control over their instincts. A well-trained Cane Corso is a reliable dog, no matter how fearsome it may be.

It is very important to point out that all members of the family must take part in this work, since in this way the social hierarchy of the group is perfectly established and the animal has no doubt about its place within the herd.


Cane Corso diet

Precisely because it is a robust, strong and very active animal, the feeding needs of the cane corso are very demanding.

You need a very high amount of high-quality protein to keep your muscular system in good condition, and your diet must also include adequate fat intake to ensure the proper functioning of your different organs, as well as having a positive impact on the health of your skin and hair.

It is essential to take special care of the diet of the puppy and the elderly dog, to guarantee, on the one hand, that the spectacular physical development of the first year occurs in a harmonious way and, on the other, that the decrepitude stage is faced with health and without overweight or obesity, avoiding secondary alterations, as some of them can become very limiting and especially serious.


Health and diseases of the Cane Corso breed

On the other hand, it is a robust, rustic and strong dog that has very few diseases that can be classified as typical of the breed, and the most common, hip and elbow dysplasia and some other specific joint problem, are in direct relationship with its size and structure, as is the case with most breeds of this size.

Apart from this, their health is iron and their longevity is slightly above normal for other breeds of a similar size.

In order for the animal to remain healthy and balanced both physically and mentally, it is necessary to exercise daily and visit the veterinary office with some regularity to comply with the vaccination, revaccination and deworming program.

Also to carry out the usual controls of growth, weight and the condition of the eyes, mouth, hair, skin and, especially in recent times, of the ears, since the custom of cutting off the ears is increasingly being prohibited, a practice to which it was subjected because it was originally considered a dog destined for combat or confrontation with other animals.


Specific care of the Cane Corso breed

In addition to being in good health and being physically active and exercised, the Cane Corso dog breed must be clean and neat .

Something that is not complicated since it does not require special specific care. An occasional brushing using a natural bristle brush and / or a suede glove is enough .

Regarding how often the cane corso should be bathed, it is enough to give it a bath only when the animal is really very dirty.

Of course, you must use a shampoo that does not alter the natural pH of your hair and skin. You must make sure that you rinse or rinse it with plenty of water so as not to leave traces of soap.


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