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Cane Corso


    The Cane Corso is a large, powerful, intelligent and attractive god, and, when properly raised, can make a fine companion. The breed needs a good deal of attention and physical exercise, and requires socialization both with people and with other dogs.

Origin of the breed

The Cane Corso, like the Neapolitan Mastiff, is directly descended from the old Roman War Dog, Cannis Pugnax. Of these two breeds, the Cane Corso is lighter and, in the Middle Ages, was used as a hunter of wild game. This was a powerful ans courageous dog whose skills were especially valuable on wild boar, although he was also used on stag, bear and other animals.
    The Cane Corso was mentioned in early prose and there is convincing evidence that the breed was put to military use in 1137 in Monopoli di Sabina, near Rome. Kennels from this period link the breed closely with Roman history.

Early days in Italy 

The hunting of big game in Italy declined, but the Cane Corso still survived, for the breed found its home with Italian farmers. Farmers found the Cane to be useful as a drover, especially when moving animals to market or to the slaughterhouse. The Cane Corso was also an important assistant to the butcher, for the dog would help him to block animals during the slaughtering process if necessary.
    The Cane was also useful on farms for protecting livestock from predators, both human and those of the four-legged kind.

The breed in modern-day Italy

By the 1970-s, there was fear for the survival of the breed in Italy. The Cane Corso was reduced to only a few typical examples despite the efforts of interested enthusiasts such as Count Bonatti and Professor Ballota. However, in 1976, Dr. Breber captured the interest not only of the dog fraternity but also of the public with an article that was published in the Italian Kennel Club's (ENCI) magazine.
    In 1992, ENCI began to record the birth of puppies whose sire and dam had been verified by judges, initially in the Libro Apperto ("Open Book"). When the breed was officially recognized on January 20, 1994, the data contained in the Libro Apperto was transferred to official records.
      On May 22, 1996, the best Cane Corsi were gathered together at Arese. Just a few months later, in November 1996, the breed became recognized at an international level.


An even-minded dog, the Cane Corso is a highly capable watchdog and protection dog, and this should always be borne in mind. The breed is sometimes described as an aggressive dog, and although it is true to a certain extent, the dog should only be aggressive when he is aware of danger and should never show aggression without good reason. The Cane Corso can be suspicious of strangers, but if properly brought up and socialized, is usually friendly.
      With his close family, the Cane Corso is a grand companion, usually getting along well with children and other pets. Although the Cane is generally gentle with children, he should not be given the job of baby-sitting.
       Owners should never underestimate the power of the breed. If not socialized and trained from an early age, a Cane Corso may well become difficult to control.
        Given the breed's historical background, it goes without saying that the Cane Corso loves to work and is usually happy to learn any job his owner cares to teach him. The breed makes a fine hunting, trail or police dog and, because of his intelligence, can often work independently.

Physical characteristics

The Cane Corso is a distinguished and powerful animal of medium to large size, though of slimmer build than his cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff.
      The breed's strong, compact body is very muscular, while the lumbar region has to be short and wide, muscular and solid, and, when seen from the side, slightly convex. The croup is long, wide and quite round, due to muscle.
      The forefeet are round in shape, resembling those of a cat, while the hind feet are slightly more oval, with less arched toes.
      The Cane Corso is a brachycephalic breed, ,meaning that it is relatively short in foreface. The lips are rather firm and when viewed from the front form an upside-down "U" shape; viewed from the side, they hang moderately. Eyes are intelligent and alert, and are of medium size in comparison with the size of the dog.
      Ears are of medium size in relation to the volume of the head, and are covered in short hair. When hanging, they fall to the cheeks, and they become semi erect when the dog is alert. In countries in which ear-cropping is allowed, they are usually cut in equilateral-triangular shape.
      The tail is set quite high on the line of the rump, is thick at the root and is not too tapered. In countries where docking is permissible, the tail is cut at the forth joint. When left long, it should not much exceed the hock joint when stretched. When the dog is not in action, the tail is held low. At other times the tail is held horizontal or slightly higher than the back.
       Size: Males range between 64-68 cm and bitches are a little smaller, from 60-64 cm. The weight of males is 45-50 kg and bitches are 40-45 kg.
       Coat and colour:  the coat of the Cane Corso is short, but is not smooth. It is shiny, closelying, stiff and very dense. There is a light layer that becomes thicker in winter.
        Colours specified in the FCI breed standard  are black, plumgray, slate, light gray, light fawn, deer fawn, dark fawn and "tubby", which means there are well-marked stripes on different shades of fawn and gray. A small white patch on chest, tips of the feet and nose ridge is accepted. In America, the Cane Corso is found in other colours, including blue and black and tan, and black with tan and white can also sometimes be seen.

Choosing a puppy

Before reaching the decision that you will definitely look for a Cane Corso puppy, it is essential that you are clear that this is absolutely the most suitable breed for you and your family.
     Breeders commonly allow visitors to see their litters by around the fifth or sixth week, and puppies leave for their new homes between the eighth and tenth week.
      When visiting a litter, all puppies should have been well socialized and should look well fed. Eyes should look bright and clear, without discharge. Their noses should be moist, an indication of good health, but never runny. The body should be firm, with a solid firm.
      Something else you should consider before making your selection is whether you have a preference for a male or female. There are a few differences to think about. Males are generally larger than bitches, and they are also more dominant and more likely to challenge their owners for leadership of the pack.

                                                                                                   , Copyright, 2007