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Cane Corso

Cane Corso | Big Dog BreedsHistory

Cane Corsos were originally only found in remote pockets of rural Italy where they were used for centuries as hunting dogs, watchdogs and guard dogs.  Even today they continues to perform their traditional role as guardians and protectors. They are being often seen in competitive canine activities as well as watchful family companions.

Height & Weight

Male Corsos are usually between 24 and 28 inches in height and weigh between 95 and 110 pounds. Females range from 23 to 26 inches in height and usually weigh between 85 and 100 pounds.


Cane Corsos are usually quite and calm until they sense that something is not right. They will watch their home, both inside and out, on guard for anything out-of-the-ordinary. Once a Corso becomes alarmed or sense trouble, it quickly changes from a calm pet into a protective and potentially dangerous animal that any intruder approaching would think twice about confronting. Cane Corsos do not do well with other pets in the house, as they are instinctively territorial and dominant toward other dogs.


Cane Corso owners find them to be great with children and devoted members of their immediate human family. They are often described as docile, affectionate, loyal companions and great watchdogs. However, they are naturally possessive, territorial, dominant and distrustful of strangers. With the right handling and training a Cane Corso knows when to be in full on protective mode and when to back down. They are very sensitive to the smallest hint of danger, disruption or distress in their household. It would be a bad idea for a stranger to take on a Corso or make threatening motions toward anyone in its family. It is said that the innate protectiveness of a Cane Corso is incomparable.


The Cane Corso is intelligent and a willing bread that is eager to please its owner, which makes it very trainable. They do, however, require a loving but firm and stable home with thorough training and discipline to become a trustworthy family member. Owners of this breed need to establish early on that they are the leaders of the household pack so there is no question as to who is in charge, especially with a dog with a such an innate strong temperament and size. Their training should be done regularly and reinforced with kindness and firmness. They should be socialized from puppies and throughout their lives to give them the best chance of growing into safe reliable companions.

Exercise Requirements

Cane Corsos get a lot of exercise on their own by just patrolling their home and yard, which is when they are their happiest. Even though they appear bulky they are energetic, athletic animals that do best with daily exercise.


Cane Corsos do not shed much and do not require much grooming. A quick wipe-down with a damp cloth and a once-in-a-while quick brushing with a soft brush is all their coat needs. It would be a good idea to start trimming their nails from an early age so that the routine becomes regular and familiar to them before it grows to its full size. Regular dental care is also required to keep away bad breath and tartar buildup.

Health Issues

The average life span of a Cane Corso is somewhere between 10 and 14 years. Breed health concerns include allergies, gastric dilatation and volvulous (bloat), ectropion, entropion, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, epilepsy and heart conditions.

Recommended Reading For More Information

Cane Corso (Comprehensive Owner’s Guide)

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