Cane Corso

88-99 lbs
Cane Corso Italiano, Cane di Macellaio, Sicilian Branchiero, Italian Mastiff

There is not a lot of available information on the Cane Corso; it is believed that the dog originated in Italy and that an ancestor of the breed was the Roman Molossian (known as the Canis Pugnax), the war dog of the Roman Army. The breed’s name comes from the Latin term “cohors” which means “protector” or “guardian”, appropriate for a dog whose original purpose was as a guard dog as well as a hunting dog. The breed nearly became extinct, however as it had a sizable gene pool and as efforts were made to restore the breed, many cross breeds and other breeds increased the gene pool even further, helping to enhance the health of the breed. With a weight of up to 110 pounds, dogs of the breed are medium to large in size. The Cane Corso is easily trained (considered to be one of the most trainable and responsive of the Mastiff family) and it is recommended that a dog receive training in obedience and socialization early. Dogs of this breed are usually calm and friendly toward its owners and good with children, though can be suspicious and sometimes aggressive when encountering strangers. The Cane Corso is athletic and will enjoy going on runs and hikes on a regular basis. Should safe shelter be available, dogs of this breed can be happy living outdoors or indoors.

hunting, guard dog
Date of Origin
roman molassian

Cane Corso Health

Sketch of Cane Corso
Average Size
Male Cane Corso size stats
Height: 24-27 inches Weight: 99-110 lbs
Female Cane Corso size stats
Height: 23-25 inches Weight: 88-99 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Bloat
Minor Concerns
  • Bone And Joint Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Elbow
  • Hips
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Cane Corso Breed History

The Cane Corso is a Mastiff-type breed that originated in Italy, having descended from Roman war dogs. After the Roman Empire fell, the Cane Corso worked as a farmhand, flock guardian, property guardian, family guardian and hunting dog (particularly of big and dangerous game like wild boar). The breed declined with industrialization and almost died out after the two World Wars. Only a few dogs were present in remote areas of southern Italy by the 1970’s. The breed was brought to the attention of Dr. Paolo Breber in 1973 by Giovanni Bonnetti who remembered the dogs from his youth. The next year, Dr. Breber obtained some of the dogs and began a breeding program. By 1996 the breed was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. By then, some of the dogs had been brought to the United States. The International Cane Corso Federation was formed in the U.S. in 1993 and more dogs were brought from Italy. The ICCF chose to seek recognition for the breed by the American Kennel Club in 2003 and changed its name to the Cane Corso Association of America. In 2010 the breed gained recognition by the American Kennel Club.

Cane Corso Breed Appearance

The Cane Corso is a large, powerful dog that can weigh up to 120 pounds. He has a very large head and a heavy body that is rectangular in shape. While his build is strong, he has an elegant appearance with long and powerful muscles. The muzzle of the Cane Corso is very deep and broad and his neck is muscular and slightly arched. The breed comes in multiple colors: black, red, plumb-gray, slate, light gray, blue gray, light fawn, deer fawn and gray. The hair of the Cane Corso is short and becomes thicker during the winter months. The ears of the dog may be cropped or uncropped.

Appearance of Cane Corso
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Cane Corso eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Cane Corso nose
brown Cane Corso nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Cane Corso coat
gray Cane Corso coat
red Cane Corso coat
fawn Cane Corso coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Cane Corso straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Cane Corso Breed Maintenance

Considered to be a light shedding breed, the Cane Corso requires minimal grooming; his short hair should be brushed regularly with a soft bristle brush to remove dead hair and his nails should be trimmed as necessary with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid them overgrowing and cracking. The ears of the Cane Corso should be checked regularly to be sure that wax and debris don’t build up and lead to an infection. Regular teeth brushing is important for maintaining the breed’s dental health. An active breed, the Cane Corso requires daily exercise. Access to a fenced-in outdoor space is ideal, though the breed will do well in an apartment if he has the opportunity to get enough exercise. The Cane Corso can also live happily outdoors if he has access to a safe shelter.

Brushes for Cane Corso
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Cane Corso requires monthly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Cane Corso Temperament

As a breed, the Cane Corso is intelligent, assertive and confident. Very loyal with an even, stable temperament, dogs of the breed are easy to train and it is recommended that training and socialization occur from the start. The natural tendency for the breed is to take charge, so his owner must establish that he/she is the pack leader and take control; boundaries must be set with confidence as the dog will most likely test them. The Cane Corso is good with children and can do well with other dogs when supervised. Plenty of activity is important for the breed to keep him physically and mentally healthy; the Cane Corso will enjoy jogging with his owner or taking long hikes. Dogs of the breed are great protectors and while generally calm and friendly with their owners, often act suspiciously and aggressively with strangers.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Cane Corso Popularity

Popularity ranking
Popular Hybrids
Blue Blood Cane Corso
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
Cane Corso
Blue Blood Cane Corso
American Pit Corso
American Pit Bull Terrier
Cane Corso
American Pit Corso

Cane Corso Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00

Cane Corso Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Cane Corso at six months
Male Cane Corso size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 50 lbs
Female Cane Corso size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 42 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Cane Corso at 12 months
Male Cane Corso size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 77 lbs
Female Cane Corso size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 70 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Cane Corso at 18 months
Male Cane Corso size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 100 lbs
Female Cane Corso size stats at 18 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 90 lbs

Top Cane Corso Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Cane Corso breeders of 2019.
Top Cane Corso breeder Bella Conbrio Cane Corso
Bella Conbrio Cane Corso
Milaca, Minnesota
Top Cane Corso breeder Apex Cane Corso Italiano
Apex Cane Corso Italiano
Bel Air, Maryland
Top Cane Corso breeder Cypress Arrow Cane Corso
Cypress Arrow Cane Corso
Los Angeles, California
Top Cane Corso breeder Lakeview Cane Corsos
Lakeview Cane Corsos
Cuba, Illinois
Top Cane Corso breeder Casa Reale Cane Corso
Casa Reale Cane Corso
Kansas City, Kansas
Top Cane Corso breeder Pirate's Den Cane Corso
Pirate's Den Cane Corso
Wilmington, North Carolina
Top Cane Corso breeder Queen City Cane Corso
Queen City Cane Corso
Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Cane Corso breeder Apple Valley Cane Corso
Apple Valley Cane Corso
Winchester, Virginia
Top Cane Corso breeder Cape Fear Cane Corso
Cape Fear Cane Corso
Bolton, North Carolina
Top Cane Corso breeder Legacy Cane Corso
Legacy Cane Corso
Long Island City, New York

Cane Corso Owner Experiences

5 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Great guy that exhibits 100% Of the positive Cane Corso characteristics.
7 months, 1 week ago
7 Months
2 People
We have been fostering a Cane Corso for the past month, she is 6-7 months old. We have another dog who is 7 years old. Our experience so far lines up with what I have read about the breed. She is a definite guard dog, if she picks up on ANY anxiety or fear in her owners, she will react by guarding you from whatever is around, whether that be a person or a pet, even if you're anxious about something entirely unrelated. The first time she reacted like that, I was unprepared and it caused a dog fight between her and my dog, the second time she growled at my father-in-law even though she had previously no aggression toward him. However, they are also very trainable, so once I knew, I began to train her to commands - 'leave it'. She now knows that if I give that command all is safe and she drops her guard. I would say DO NOT get this dog if you have anxiety issues or emotional issues though, it will go badly, she will think everything around you is a threat. If you are a strong, confident person and are willing to put in the time to train them, now she is super sweet to everyone we have over and gets along wonderfully with my dog and the other dogs we have introduced her to. However, she will not back down from a fight, if another dog initiates you will have to step in and separate them, and that is a bit scary as she is huge - so once again you need to be strong and confident to own this breed. She is super sweet and loves loves loves affection. Gets along great with kids, doesn't like to be left alone but has responded well to crate training although it took time and patience. She has a strong prey drive towards small animals and that will be our next project. Requires lots and lots of socialization with people, places, and other dogs in order to not have nervous aggression. She doesn't bark to warn you she is going to attack or guard, she changes her body language, unlike my other dog who barks and growls, she stands up straighter, puffs out her chest and focuses - snap her out of it then instead of later when she is lunging and you will be much more successful in training. That's my experience so far... Honestly, I think she would be a great guard dog, and a great family dog, but once again only for someone who is strong and confident and not afraid or intimidated by controlling a big dog. One of the sweetest dogs I've ever met.
1 year, 5 months ago
2 Years
1 People
The best kind and gentle dog I ever had. Very stable temperament. Wasn't trained around kids so when she sees one she actually wants to attack them. Keep them away from other dogs and people. Not recommended to be walked in a large city with lots of people. Very trustworthy with it's family but do not trust them around other people, children, or dogs. This really isn't a dog for the city.
1 year, 6 months ago
1 Year
The owner gave me a once-over as he handed over the leash with his Cane Corso attached to the other end. At 135 lbs I’m no match for a Cane Corso who decides he doesn’t want to cooperate. “He’s 170 lbs of pure muscle and if he pulls you, there will be no stopping him. This walk will be your test to see if you can keep walking him” I assured him with confidence that I didn’t feel that I could handle his dog, and he saw right through me. Prepared for the worst, and warned by the owner to keep him away from other dogs, I headed off holding tightly to the leash. One last warning from the owner: “He’s a $3000 dog; don’t lose him!” Well, as we walked along the trail behind his house, I began to realize that this big lug of a dog was a big sweetheart and that he had not intentions of hurting the poor girl at the other end of the leash. We walked quickly for good exercise, and he sniffed as much as he could. When we saw another dog I led him quickly away but he remained calm and uninterested. After 30 minutes and 1.5 miles, I returned the dog to his owner, saying “It went great! He was such a sweet dog! Maybe he went easy on me.” I think the owner underestimated both me and his own dog. I’d be happy to meet another Cane Corso anyday. They are as strong as an ox, but seem to have a temperament of a...well, a good dog!
1 year, 7 months ago
4 Years
The cane corso I walked was very sweet and affectionate. He had a slow, lumbering walk. He didn’t pull too much on the leash, but did throw his body weight into the leash if he wanted to go somewhere (or didn’t want to go somewhere!) He was very interested in picking things up off of the ground. Overall, a very sweet and affectionate dog but a little stubborn when he didn’t get his way.
1 year, 7 months ago
11 Weeks
3 People
House & Yard
First time corso owner
1 year, 10 months ago
5 months
3 People
House & Yard
Love him, requires all my attention, loves people, smiles at everyone
1 year, 10 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd