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Cane Corso - Faithful Family Guardian with a Sweet-Tempered Nature

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Cane Corso Hund liegt auf einer Blumenwiese

If it has been well socialised and trained, the Cane Corso makes an excellent companion and family dog. Its friendly and alert nature make it the perfect protector of family, house and home. This large Italian breed is courageous, but keeps its distance where strangers are concerned and can seem quite unapproachable. In contrast, it loves its family passionately and will do everything to watch over them and protect them.


Newsletter Cane Corso

Cane Corso
Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossus – Swiss mountain dog
large, height approximately 60 to 68 centimetres at the withers
40 to 50 kilograms
powerful, athletic, broad head, powerfully muscled, elegant
matches the coat, preferably dark
triangular, drooping, broad base
Coat and colour
short; different tones of grey, black, deep fawn (red deer), dun coloured, brindled, sometimes with mask
Special features
features on list of dangerous dogs
devoted, easy to teach, alert, loves children, loyal
susceptible to joint dysplasia, heart disease and eye disease; otherwise a robust breed

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From war and hunting dog to loyal family dog

The Cane Corso originally comes from the Italian Great Dane. In the Roman Empire the dog was used to fight wild animals in the arena and was a loyal helper in war. In the Middle Ages it was mainly used for hunting, then later on it found its calling as a guard dog and for herding flocks. This mighty four-legged friend protects house and home from human and animal intruders. The Cane Corso was recognised as a breed by the FCI (Fédération cynologique internationale) in 1996 and if it is trained correctly it can be a devoted family dog. This impressive dog breed with an Italian temperament and massive physique can also be found as a guard dog and sleuth with the police, where its intelligence and athleticism really come to the fore. In addition, it is still suitable for big game hunting and is a loyal and helpful companion for the hunter. In analogy to its close relative the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Cane Corso is classified within the FCI Group 2 in Section 2, the Molossoids according to its breed profile.

The character and personality of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso has many positive characteristics in its nature that make it a wonderful companion. It is totally loyal and friendly, loves children and is very playful. It has a pronounced protective and guarding instinct, which must be managed both sensitively and consistently. For this devoted dog, protecting its loved ones as well as its house and home in the face of imminent danger is a sine qua non. Outside of its home territory, the Cane Corso is reserved or even unfriendly when it comes to strangers. The essential point with this breed is optimum socialisation and training that guarantees that this teachable dog can expand and demonstrate its positive character traits. Even though the Cane Corso never reacts aggressively without good reason, its strong protective instinct can drive it to defend its family and its environment unnecessarily. This is the reason why it is on the dangerous dogs list in many regions. However, if trained correctly, the gentle and loving nature of the Cane Corso is not so quick to react or to become aggressive.

Training and husbandry of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso should already have been well-socialised with the breeder. As the owner of an Italian Great Dane it is important to continue with this socialisation consistently. Going to puppy school and then obedience training is recommended, so that the dog gets used to being around other dogs and also learns the basic commands. Continue this training with patience and this alert Italian breed will become a wonderful companion for you. In addition, the Cane Corso needs the opportunity to exercise its natural protective instincts as well as its love of movement. If you do not use it as a working dog, you must wear it out on a daily basis with long walks, jogging together or dog sports such as obedience. Tracking is also a good occupation for this breed and will maintain the loving nature of the Cane Corso by giving it a daily task. Due to its size, the Cane Corso is not a dog for a city apartment, but is much happier on a farm or in a house with a secure garden. The need for occupation as well as the protective instinct of this dog mean that the Cane Corso is a breed that should only be kept by experienced owners. It is not at all suited to indoor types. Permanent boredom or excessive solitude can make its protective nature even more extreme and result in undesirable character traits. A further characteristic of the Cane Corso is its very low-level hunting instinct, which is why it can be reliably used for submission and retrieving tasks in the countryside if it has been well trained.

When dealing with children the Carne Corso is gentle, careful and patient. It needs close companionship and a strong relationship with its loved ones and must not be kept in a kennel or outdoor areas. This gentle giant loves nothing better than to snuggle down in your bed and can turn into a real cuddly companion. It eyes strangers with mistrust, although it remains polite. It must be accustomed to other dogs from an early age, and if it is introduced to other pets early on, it will also be affectionate towards them too.

Care and diet of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is an athletic and stately dog with a muscular appearance. Males can attain a withers height of 68 centimetres with a weight of 50 kilograms. The coat has different colour variations ranging from black and grey to brindled. Caring for the coat of a Cane Corso is extremely easy and just entails the occasional brush. During the moulting period you can help your dog by removing dead hairs and tufts on a daily basis.

The right diet begins from puppy age and for large breeds such as the Carne Corso, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, the Great Dane or the St. Bernard it should not contain a lot of protein, otherwise this will encourage growth spurts that are too fast and can later result in problems in the bone structure. In general, the Carne Corso requires a balanced diet that is optimally adjusted to its size, activity level and personal needs.

What you must consider before buying

In order to give a loving and healthy dog a new home, you should buy your Cane Corso from a reputable breeder who has already started on the socialisation process of this naturally distrustful dog. Other people, other dogs and daily environmental influences should become increasingly familiar for your dog and you must continue with the socialisation process consistently from day one. A contract of sale, food for the first days as well as the first inoculations and a health check should come as standard from your breeder. The breeder should also be available to answer any questions you may have, even long after the puppy was purchased, and should show a genuine interest in the progress of his/her puppies.

Special features of the Cane Corso

As with other large breeds of dog, the Cane Corso has a tendency to joint dysplasia. Heart disease and eye disease can also occur in this robust breed. Therefore, when you are visiting the breeder’s kennels, ask to see the sire and dam and reassure yourself of the health status of the dogs.

The Cane Corso is on the list of dangerous dogs in some federal states. This means that you may only own one under certain conditions, such as if you have a personality test for the dog or you hold a dog licence yourself. The dog tax for dogs on the list is also higher. Always make sure that you approach a reputable breeder if you are thinking of purchasing a dog of this breed, i.e. a member of the VDH. Also make sure you are adequately informed about the ownership requirements for this breed in your federal state, before you finally decide to opt for a puppy. Because, due to its loving and often falsely assessed nature, the Cane Corso deserves to be owned by experienced owners who will recognise the positives of its sweet-tempered nature and be able to offer it a fulfilling family life.

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