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Cane Corso
Characteristics, History, and Health

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, has a history that traces back to ancient times. This breed hails from Italy and is a descendant of Roman war dogs. The name 'Cane Corso' comes from the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian" or "Protector" of farmyards. For centuries, the Cane Corso served as a multi-purpose farm dog, fulfilling roles such as hunting, livestock herding, and property protection. The breed nearly went extinct in the mid-20th century but was saved by enthusiasts in the 1970s. The breed's popularity began to grow internationally in the late 20th century.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Italian Mastiff, Italian Cane Corso, Cane Corso Italiano
Life Expectancy
9-12 years
Average Male Height
25-27.5 inches
Average Female Height
23.5-26 inches
Average Male Weight
99-110 pounds
Average Female Weight
88-99 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black, Fawn, Gray, Gray Brindle, Red, Black Brindle, Chesnut Brindle
Coat Pattern
Black Mask, Gray Mask

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Cane Corsos are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, genetic screening is recommended. As a very large dog breed, they can suffer from orthopedic issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Genetic testing for conditions including degenerative myelopathy, progressive rod-cone degeneration, and canine Multifocal retinopathy 1 (CMR1) can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

The Cane Corso is known for its calm, even temperament and its loyalty to its family. They are protective, which makes them excellent guard dogs, but they're also affectionate with their own people.

Despite their size and power, the Cane Corso is generally well-behaved and trainable. However, they require a confident, consistent owner who can provide firm guidance and socialization from an early age. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, which can make training easier, but they also have a strong will and can be independent.

Cane Corsos are usually good with children and can get along with other pets if properly introduced and socialized. However, because of their size and strength, they should always be supervised around small children and animals.

Fun Facts

The plural of Cane Corso is Cani Corsi.

Their coat is short but not smooth. It is said to be cow-like in texture, and that its coarseness and thickness make it completely waterproof.

The Society Amorati Cane Corso (Society of Cane Corso Lovers) was formed in 1983.

The Cane Corso is famous among many Italian painters, gracing many a canvas.