5 Things to Know About the Cane Corso

Cane Corso dog breed
Eva Maria Kramer, Animal Photography
The Cane Corso can weigh up to 120 pounds and tends to take his guard dog duties seriously.

The Cane Corso, a Mastiff bread from Italy, is large, powerful, intelligent, active and headstrong. He was bred to hunt big game and guard property. He needs a savvy leader who can guide him with consistency — but never harshness or punishment; he’s not an appropriate choice for an inexperienced dog owner. Learn more about this fascinating dog breed.

He’s a giant breed.

The Cane Corso can stand 23.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 120 pounds. He has a massive head and a heavy, rectangular body.

He tends to take his guard dog responsibilities seriously.

The Cane Corso descends from Roman war dogs and after the fall of the Roman Empire, he worked as a hunting dog and farmhand, as well as guarding flocks, people and property. He can be an exceptional protector of his family and home, but can be territorial and doesn’t tend to care for strangers. He needs early, frequent socialization to learn to distinguish between what is normal and what is a threat.

He’s naturally strong-willed.

The Cane Corso is inclined to take charge and can have a dominating personality. While he can be loving and affectionate with his family, including children, he will likely try to rule the roost. Be prepared to set boundaries with him, and consider working with a trainer who understands the mindset of guardian breeds.

He often enjoys having a job to do.

The Cane Corso is athletic and agile, with a moderate activity level, and won’t be satisfied laying around doing nothing. Take him walking or (overall health permitting) jogging to help burn off his energy. He has a high prey drive, so while he’s playing outside, be sure to prevent him from chasing and killing cats or small dogs belonging to the neighbors — he needs a strong, solid fence at least six feet high to help keep him on his own property.

He is typically easy to groom.

The Cane Corso has a smooth coat with short hair that requires a weekly brushing. Be sure to introduce grooming to him when he’s very young, so he learns to accept the handling peacefully.

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