March 7, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Cane Corso

Overview:

  • Height: 23"- 27”
  • Weight: 88-120 pounds
  • Historical function: Estate guard, herding, hunting, war dog, bear fighting
  • Modern function: Companion, guard dog
  • AKC classification: Working group (admitted in 2010)

Physical Characteristics:

The Cane Corso (pronounced KAH-NAY KOR-SO) is a muscular, large boned, rectangularly proportioned dog with an alert, dignified expression. The ears are often cropped to upright triangles and the tail docked, though these practices are increasingly becoming unpopular and even illegal in Europe. Regardless, the overall impression of the Cane Corso is of power and athleticism. The coat is short and moderately tight and may be black, various shades of gray or fawn, or brindled. Sometimes there is a black mask on the muzzle. There may be small white patch on the chest, the feet, and/or the bridge of the nose. 

History of the Breed:

The Cane Corso is one of two ancient Molosser breeds from Italy. In Roman times, the ancestors of the Cane Corso were developed as an axillary fighter in the Roman war machine. They were used in the arena against man and beast. After the fall of Rome, the dog adapted to civilian life as a working breed assisting in hunting large game, guarding flocks and a general farm hand. Still, by the end of World War II, the Cane Corso was nearly extinct. Efforts to resurrect this ancient breed have been successful both here in the U.S. and in Italy, though the dog is still considered rare.

Temperament:

The Cane Corso is fiercely devoted and protective of his family. Due to this protective instinct, it is imperative to socialize this dog to accept new situations, other dogs, and other people. Otherwise, this dog may be aggressive to anything or anyone unfamiliar to them. This dog requires a calm, confident experienced alpha human pack leader to guide this dominant personality. When this dog understands his position in the pack, he will be eager to please, and easy to obedience train. The Cane Corso is generally quiet but will alert their owner to any changes. This breed prefers to near their owner whenever possible and has high exercise needs.

  • Best suited for: An active family who can socialize and include this dog in many activities. Males generally won't tolerate another male dog. Best for an experienced owner.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog bonds deeply with their owner. Leaving this dog for extended periods of time may incite destructiveness. Can do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. His quiet personality makes him an easy house companion.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care short coat needs occasional brushing. A light shedder.
  • Exercise needs: Daily brisk walk, preferably a jog.
  • Life expectancy: 10-11 years.
  • Health concerns: Generally healthy, though may be prone to joint problems like most large breeds.

Breed Club Links: Cane Corso Association of America

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Cardio Canine Hands Free Human Harness and Dog Leash (to make jogging with your dog a pleasure!)

Have any stories about a Cane Corso? Please share!

Photo courtesy of appliedvitals.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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