Cane Corso


A large sized Cane Corso
Cane Corso Quick Summary
Also Known AsItalian Mastiff
Height (at withers)23-27in (58-68.5cm)
Weight80-110lbs (36-50kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black, fawn
Lifespan9-11 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size4-8
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftHigh

The Cane Corso is a large but athletic Italian molosser dog. The body is well muscled with a broad chest, long and well-sprung ribs, a sloping topline and a docked tail. The head has a broad and deep muzzle with a black nose, almond shaped eyes, forward dropped or cropped and upright ears and typically a hanging lip. The coat is short and stiff, and the colouriong tends to be black or fawn.


Cane Corsos are calm dogs with stable and even temperaments. Although quiet in nature, they are loyal and affectionate and make trusted companions and family pets. Despite being bred as guard dogs at one time, they are not naturally aggressive and are very protective of their owners and can be quite clingy. As a result, they do not like being left alone for long periods of time and need a lot of exercise. These dogs need a lot of time, attention and training and can be quite dominant, and so are more suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training rather than novices, although training can be pretty straightforward as they are intelligent. Cane Corsos are only suited to older, more considerate children due to their large size, and they will require early socialisation around other dogs and pets. They tend to be reserved and indifferent around strangers, and although quiet, they know when to turn aggressive at the right time and so make excellent guard dogs.

History & Skills

Cane Corsos originate from Sicily in Italy, and are thought to descend from the Roman Moloss breed. Their name comes from "cane da corso", an old term for catch dogs used with cattle and swine herding and also in wild boar hunting. They were also used for guarding stock. Once common throughout Italy, the breed almost became extinct before efforts in the 1970s brought it back from the brink to now being popular throughout the world.

Breed Specific Ailments

Cane Corsos tend to live between 9-11 years and are healthy dogs generally. Some of the health problems noted in this breed includes hip dysplasia, bloat, demodex mange and eyelid problems that are common among mastiffs.


Cane Corsos are low shedders that do however shed more heavily a couple of times each year, and so can be suitable for those suffering from allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty low too, and the short coat will simply need brushing occasionaly in order to remove dead hair and the occasional bath.

Exercise & Environment

Cane Corsos tend to live indoors and can even adapt to small homes such as apartments so long as they receive enough exercise. They can live outdoors quite happily as long as there is access to adequate shelter. These are highly athletic dogs and will highly appreciate long walks and runs and time to play, and they need to be exercised daily.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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