The Cane Corso or Italian Mastiff is a large breed dog of the mastiff type. Its origin is Roman and since ancient times, this dog is distinguished by its majestic appearance and intelligence. This breed is a faithful protector of its masters, the Cane Corso is a good companion if you are looking for a guard dog.
The Cane Corso is an Italian dog breed that has long been appreciated in Italy as a companion, guardian and hunter. It has a large head with a square muzzle as wide as long, which gives this dog greater power.
This Italian mastiff and is undoubtedly, next to the Neapolitan Mastiff, one of the most impressive Italian bulldog dog breeds. Its name comes from the Latin “cohors” which means “protector, guardian of the corral”.
If you want to have a true friend, guard, companion and have experience with guard dogs, buy a Cane Corso puppy. With proper care, upbringing and training, an obedient and loyal dog will grow out of it, who is not afraid to trust even a child.
Continue reading this Pets Feed dog breed sheet to learn all about the Cane Corso breed or the Italian mastiff.
To find the beginning of the history of the Cane Corso breed, you need to “look” into the distant past. Representatives of the oldest group of Molossians are direct ancestors of modern Cane Corso. Their ancient Roman ancestors took part in competitions as gladiator dogs. Not only their powerful jaws, muscles, but also fearlessness helped to fight against opponents that were superior in size, strength.
When the Roman Empire collapsed, these war dogs lost their popularity. In the early Middle Ages, the history of the Italian breed again gained momentum. Cane Corso spread throughout Europe. Their images were preserved on canvases and engravings of that period. Artists could not ignore this fearless dog, which was used when hunting wild animals. Powerful dogs did not retreat either in front of a bear or in front of a wild boar. The Italians of that time, and contemporaries too, say: “Brave, like Cane Corso.”
Over time, the hunting skills of the Roman Molossians faded into the background, became unclaimed. Now the duties of Cane Corso included the protection of livestock and farms. Dogs were used when driving large herds. In a word, dogs of this breed could be found in the countryside, on city streets they were very rare.
This lasted until the outbreak of war with the Nazis. Over the years of battles with the German invaders, the Cane Corso population has declined significantly. At the end of the war, the breed was on the verge of extinction. At this time, Italian dogs were rarely seen even on farmland. Experienced breeders managed to restore the breed and increase the number of its representatives, who noticed in time that the Cane Corso is facing extinction. The revival of the Roman Molossians began with several surviving individuals of purebred blood. Now representatives of the Italian breed can be found both in the city and in the countryside. The extinction of these dogs is no longer threatened, their popularity is growing.
Physical characteristics of the cane corso
The cane corso or Italian mastiff is a medium to large dog, very robust and solid, but elegant at the same time. The head is broad and slightly convex in its anterior part. The mid-frontal groove is evident and the naso-frontal depression well marked. The nose is black and the muzzle noticeably shorter than the skull. The eyes are medium in size, ovoid, slightly protruding and dark in color. The ears are triangular, suspended and with high insertion. They are traditionally amputated, although this cruel custom is slowly disappearing and is even illegal in many countries.
The body is solid and robust, but not chubby. On the contrary, the cane corso is one of the most elegant bulldogs that exist, without losing its robustness. The upper line is straight and very muscular. The chest is wide, deep and long. The tail is high and very thick at the base. All breed standards indicate that it should be amputated, but this tradition is also lost in the fortune of dogs. The coat of the cane corso is dense, shiny and short. It has an inner layer of fine hair. It can be black, lead gray, slate gray, light gray, light fawn, dark fawn, fawn red or tabby.
The measures of the Italian cane corso dog:
- Males: between 64 and 68 centimeters at the cross, weighing between 45 and 50 kilograms.
- Females: between 60 and 64 centimeters at the cross, weighing between 40 and 45 kilograms.
Character and personality of Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a naturally voluntary dog with a dominant personality. These are the characteristics that make him an exceptional protector of his family and his home. However, his natural tendency to take charge can be troublesome for an owner who is unable to establish his role as leader and control this behavior. While the Cane Corso loves and loves his family, including the children, he will try to make the law. Anyone considering this breed should be prepared to set limits with confidence, as this dog will surely test them. Training from a young age is therefore compulsory.
The Cane Corso is better suited to a family with older children (9 years and older) than a family with babies and young children due to its large size and the time and effort required to closely monitor interactions between the dog and young children.
Breeders working with this breed look for a very specific temperament in dogs. They must be good caretakers, either to protect family, livestock or property. Qualities linked to big game and cattle are also sought.
The Cane Corso is an independent dog, generally territorial and very protective. Creates a very close bond with those close to him, in particular with the children, whom they take care of and protect. Unlike other dogs with these characteristics, the Cane Corso is exceptionally patient and careful, it monitors the movements of the young so as not to harm them. He is also a very athletic dog, he likes to exercise, so it is ideal for active families with experience of basic obedience and dog handling. On the contrary, at home it is generally quite calm.
He is distant from strangers and is generally very self-confident, acting proportionately at all times. Remember that this description may vary depending on the education that the dog receives, but these are general guidelines on behavior that usually shows up.
Health of Cane Corso
As with other giant breeds, the Cane Corso presents bone and joint problems. These can include hip dysplasia (a disease that can cause mobility problems) and degenerative joint disease. Adequate nutrition and prevention of obesity can help reduce the risk of degenerative joint disease. Hip dysplasia is more genetic.
It is important to regularly check the health of Cane Corso. For this, it is advisable to go to the veterinarian every 6 or 12 months, performing a complete analysis which eliminates any emerging health problem in dogs. It will also be essential to follow the dog’s vaccination and deworming schedule (internal and external) following the professional’s instructions.
In summary, this breed is prone to suffer from the following diseases:
- Elbow dysplasia
- Hip dysplasia
- Gastric distortion
- Vaginal hyperplasia
- Respiratory problems
- Glandular enlargement
- Demodex scabies at birth
However, if you follow the directions we have shown you correctly and take good care of your cane corso dog, he can live 10 to 14 years of life.
The Cane Corso is very intelligent and sporty, and he needs a lot of activity to keep him physically and mentally fit. Homeowners should make sure to provide enough daily physical exercise. The Cane Corso can make great jogging companions, but this dog requires at least a long brisk walk for daily exercises.
This breed is athletic and likes to receive regular amounts of daily exercise combined with sufficient mental stimulation to satisfy its active spirit. The Cane Corso enjoys many activities and this includes going out with their owners for walks, accompanying them on bike rides and he likes to be with people when they are on bikes and even on horseback. A good exercise of 60 to 80 minutes a day would be enough to keep a Cane Corso happy, fit and healthy.
That said, a shorter walk in the morning would be nice, with a longer and more interesting one in the afternoon. These dogs also like being able to walk around in a back yard as often as possible so that they can really let off steam. However, fencing must be extremely secure to keep these large athletic dogs because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape and have all kinds of problems.
That said, Cane Corso puppies should not be over-trained as their joints and bones continue to grow and excessive pressure on them could cause problems for a dog later in their life. They should not be allowed to jump or jump furniture or go up and down stairs for this reason until around the age of 18 months.
For a large guard dog, a high protein content in the diet is vital. On one porridge, the puppy does not turn into a large, active dog. Without meat products, Cane Corso will not be able to fully develop. But not all of this category can be fed.
For example, fatty meats such as pork are not desirable. Beef is preferred. If you give raw meat, you must first freeze it to prevent infection with internal parasites. You cannot feed the dog smoked meat, tubular, small bones. If you give the bones, they must be large, then they will be of benefit. Also useful for the pet’s body is scar, offal. In total, protein foods should occupy about 70% of the total diet.
In addition to meat, the menu of Cane Corso must include vegetables, fruits, cereals, low-fat dairy products. Sweets, river fish, spiced foods, and legumes are prohibited. In general, all food that causes bloating is very dangerous for the Cane Corso. Since bloating can be fatal in a very short time.
The following rules must be respected:
- Adult dogs feed 2 times a day.
- Change the feed gradually so that the animal’s stomach responds normally to changes in food.
- Food should be of high quality, whether it’s natural foods or dry food.
- Feed at the same time.
- Do not leave leftovers in the bowl.
- Do not overfeed, so that there is no obesity.
- Food should be balanced.
- Provide the necessary amount of vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Clean, fresh, cool water should always be available to the pet.
Feeding guide for a Cane Corso puppy (depending on the puppy’s construction)
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet to develop and grow as they should. As a guide, a Cane Corso puppy can be fed each day with the following quantities, ensuring that its meals are distributed evenly throughout the day and it is best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
- 2 months – 309g to 354g
- 3 months – 406g to 464g
- 4 months – 449g to 516g
- 5 months – 534g to 618g
- 6 months – 607g to 709g
- 7 months – 609g to 716g
- 8 months – 597g to 715g
- 9 months – 557g to 661g
- 10 months – 521g to 618g
- 11 months – 476g to 573g
- 12 months – 434g to 534g
- 13 months – 431g to 498g
- 14 months – 426g to 485g
Once a puppy is 18 months old, it can be fed with food for adult dogs.
Feeding guide for an adult Cane Corso (depending on activity)
Once fully mature, an adult Cane Corso must be fed a good quality diet to ensure good health. As an indication, an adult Corso can be fed daily with the following quantities:
- Dogs weighing 40 kg can be fed from 354g to 479g
- Dogs weighing 45 kg can be fed from 394g to 519g
- Dogs weighing 50 kg can be fed from 458 g to 603g
Basic care of cane corso
It’s not difficult to keep a Cane Corso and look after it. But if you do not follow the usual rules, the dog will not feel comfortable, will not be able to fully develop and will be hurt.
To begin with, the Cane Corso breed is originally from Italy, it is not suitable for keeping in the yard during our severe winter frosts. If you still keep such a dog in the aviary, provide it with a warm booth. Puppies generally cannot be kept indoors without heating.
Nowadays, these dogs get along well in apartments. With proper education, they behave calmly and do not cause problems. But if you deprive them of the opportunity to throw out the accumulated energy, they will begin to play pranks, trying furniture, interior items, shoes, etc.
If such a dog gets bored, if he is left alone for a long time, he is able to crack open even the front door. That is why daily long walks are so important, during which the dog should be able to run around, jump, play with the owner and with other dogs.
Having a Cane Corso puppy in the house, be prepared that he will whine for the first time at night, missing his mother. If you warm him on your bed at least once, it will be very difficult to evict him from your apartment. The pet quickly takes over the territory and begins to consider the master’s bedroom as its own. Therefore, it is so important from the first day to determine the puppy’s place with a couch, on which he will sleep and rest. This place should not be at the back of the house, not in a draft, not near heating appliances. Also, immediately in a certain place, install bowls for food and water.
It is important to carry out all hygiene procedures on time and correctly:
- Comb the hair once a week with a stiff brush, during molting 2-3 times a week.
- If necessary, treat against fleas and ticks. Due to the lack of undercoat, parasites can cause the dog a lot of suffering and even lead to diseases.
- Bathe 1-2 times a year or with severe contamination. Given the fact that Cane Corso loves natural ponds, in the warmer months, give your pet the opportunity to splash around in a lake or stream.
- Regularly inspect and clean the ears, if they are cropped, they become contaminated faster than hanging ones. The owner must consider this fact. During the procedure, use shreds of soft tissue or gauze soaked in a special liquid purchased at a veterinary pharmacy.
- Wipe eyes with cotton swabs. Make sure that there is no excessive discharge. If you notice inflammation or excessive discharge, consult your veterinarian.
- Cut nails as they grow.
Training and education
Due to the high mental development and the desire to please the owner, it is not difficult to train a Cane Corso. The main conditions for the training of these dogs:
- Confidence and authority of a trainer.
- Persistence, constancy.
- Calm handling.
- The absence of rudeness, increased voice, physical punishment.
- Clarity of commands, the sequence of education.
You need to start training since puppyhood. The Cane Corso is naturally a clever dog and can spill over if the owner does not develop their mental abilities. From the first days, the pet must realize that the head of the house is the owner and his word is law. Otherwise, the dog imagines himself a leader, especially if it is a male.
Unquestioning obedience anywhere and in any situation is the goal of the owner of a fighting dog. For Cane Corso, early socialization is important. The puppy should get to know the world outside the home as soon as possible. It should not be frightened by passing cars, people passing by. If you are not confident in your abilities, you can turn to an experienced dog handler, under his guidance, take a training course and socialization.
Do not strive to cause aggression in the dog. The blood of Roman gladiator dogs is seething in his veins. Make every effort to ensure that the dog is manageable, with the absence of causeless aggressiveness, adequate.
Cane Corso Dog Breed Highlights
It is important to really evaluate your capabilities and your strengths before you buy a Cane Corso puppy so that later the dog does not suffer and does not cause problems to the owner. This breed is not for beginners and not for weak-minded people. Its representatives have their advantages and disadvantages:
- The Corso Cane is a companion and a pet faithful to the family.
- This dog protects its family without being aggressive.
- It’s an awesome guard dog that does not need to be trained.
- It is best for people who have large secure back gardens.
- The Cane Corso requires little maintenance on the grooming front.
- Good disposition, poise.
- Excellent security, guard qualities.
- Mind, learning abilities.
- Tender, caring attitude towards children.
- Good attitude to other pets, the desire to take them under their care.
- Easy care and maintenance.
- Not the best choice for new owners.
- This dog is strong and dominant by nature.
- Important invoice at the veterinarian, insurance is essential.
- This dog breed is expensive to feed.
- The Cane Corso is known for drooling a lot.
- It suffers from separation anxiety when he stays alone for too long.
- The cane corso is wary of strangers, but a well-behaved and socialized dog would never be aggressive.
- A long period of molting.
- Excessive slobbering.
- Expensive food.
- Cold intolerance; keeping in an aviary is not recommended.
- The need for long walks during which active games are needed.
- Joint problems.
All the disadvantages listed above will not ward off the desire of connoisseurs of powerful and at the same time affectionate dogs to purchase a purebred puppy of the Italian breed Cane Corso. With proper upbringing, a dog will grow out of him, able to give the owner warmth and tenderness, and in a dangerous situation save his life.