Italian Cane Corso

Group 6: Utility
Male: 64 – 68 cm
Female: 60 – 64 cm
Male: 45 – 50 kg
Female: 40 – 45 kg

Energy Level:  Moderate
Original Function: guarding, police, tracking
Lifespan: 10 – 12 yrs

Recommended for: Experienced Handlers/families.

Italian Cane Corso

About This Breed

The term Cane Corso has been used for many centuries in Italy. Pronounced Carn-ay Corso (Cane being Italian for ‘dog’ and Corso derived from the Latin Cohors meaning protector), the breed’s name literally means ‘guardian’ or ‘protector dog’. Historically, this term perhaps initially described a type of dog rather than a specific breed. The Cane Corso is of mastiff origins and was most commonly used to protect property, livestock and family; as a dog of war; to herd stock and hunt game.

The Cane Corso type became less popular in Italy preceding the 1950s and a subsequent recovery process was put in place by Italian enthusiasts. The type was formally recognised in Italy in 1987 and an approved standard was written. In 1996 the breed was recognised on an international level. In 2003 the breed was formally recognised by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC).

The breed’s strong guarding instincts remain. It is very dominant and will be wary of strangers. It is an imposing breed, intimidating in its appearance and stature. A Cane Corso bonds early with its family, and is particularly protective of children. Due to the breed’s dominant nature, obedience training and early exposure with other dogs and humans is essential. The breed must be controlled by owners who are prepared to have a strong influence over it.

General Characteristics

Appearance: A medium to large sized dog. Robust and sturdy but nevertheless elegant. Lean with powerful muscles. Although imported dogs may have cropped ears, this is a purely cosmetic procedure. Ear cropping is illegal in Australia.

Temperament: Intelligent, active & even minded. Docile & affectionate with the owner.

Characteristics: Guardian of property, family and livestock and is extremely agile and responsive. In the past it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game. Now used as a guard, protection, police or tracking dog

Colour: Black, lead-grey, slate grey, light grey, light fawn, stag red and dark fawn, brindle (stripes of different shades of fawn or grey). In fawn coloured and brindle dogs the black or grey mask on the muzzle should not go beyond the line of the eyes. A small white patch on the chest, on the tips of the feet is acceptable.

Coat: Short, shiny and very dense with a light undercoat.

Grooming: A low maintenance breed, the coat will shed once yearly and only requires bathing around every six weeks. Unless the dog gets particularly dirty, brushing is only required after bathing. Breeders claim the Cane Corso’s relatively tighter skin and lips alleviates a problem common to mastiffs – drooling. However some Cane Corso with larger lips may still drool.

Exercise: This breed needs exercise. At least an average-sized backyard is required, plus a daily walk.

Health: General health good & sound, not uncommon to mastiffs typical bone and joint problems such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. As it’s such a new breed in Australia, incidence of these conditions can not be reported, however breeders assure that they have selected healthy dogs from Italy. Please refer to the breeder for details on what they feed their dogs.