Cane Corso

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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

Average Size
Height: 24-27 inches Weight: 99-110 lbs
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.

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.

Cane Corso Breed Activity Requirements