StoneCroft Cane Corso
Italian Mastiff
~ athletic mastiff ~ working molosser ~ personal guardian ~ family pet ~

Happy Owners ] [ Puppies Available ] [ Adults Available ] [ Males ] [ Females ] [ Accomplished ] [ Procedures ] [ Corso Facts ] [ Links ] [ Training ] [ Cane Corso Merchandise ]

Breed Facts 

All information and articles on this page are written by Misty Barker


In Italy, it is stated that the Cane Corso has been living alongside the people for as long as anyone can remember. Their authenticity can be proven in historically documented poems and stories that date as far back as the 16th century.  They are well known by historians to be courageous boar hunters and bull baiters.  A powerful creature strong enough to take down wild animals and bold enough for the chase. The genealogy of the Cane Corso can be traced back to the Canis Pugnax, the Roman War dog of the first century. This ancient molosser would accompany their handler onto the battlefields where they would act as an unprecedented guardian. The tenaciousness of this dog was so extreme they were used in the arenas to fight against lions, bears, and other wild animals. It is from this bold animal, that the Cane Corso descends from.  

Dog fanciers of old, selected specimens which possessed traits that were needed to assist in their life's endeavors. They bred these animals to fill a need and to be purposeful. The outcome was a dog that was versatile in his abilities, as well as, a loyal family dog. In the deriving of the Cane Corso, the people of Italy managed to maintain much of the look of the Canis Pugnax.   Old sculptures and paintings depict medium to large size dogs with large, blocky heads and powerful muzzles, hunting and catching wild animals. Today's Cane Corso is just as brave and loyal as the ancient molossers, although, more amiable in our modern society.

The widespread use of machinery and implements lent to the breeds decline during the 1900ís. Concerned about losing such an important part of Italian history, a group of men came together to prevent the demise of the breed in the 1970ís.  They formed the S.A.C.C., Societa Amatori Cane Corso.  Through their concerted efforts, the breed has been revived and there numbers have multiplied and also spread worldwide.  


Questions We Are Often Asked:

What is the temperament like on the Cane Corsos?
If socialized properly from puppy hood, they are a people loving breed.  Bonding close to his family he is content to stay close to home with his pack.  They are friendly with people and quite "wiggly".  My Corsos meet guest with a smile and wiggle.  I do not have to put my dogs away when guests visit.  If this breed is not raised with lots of socialization, they can be shy and aloof with strangers.

Are they  a good dog for protection?
Most trainers will tell you that unless a dog is trained to protect, don't count on it.   I do believe that the Corso bonds so close to his family that if someone were being harmed, somebody else would have a lot of dog to deal with.  They are a very discerning breed that seem to know when to become wary. 

How are they with children?
Most of the people we have placed puppies with have small children.  I have never received a bad report.  Children seem to have a  very lickable quality and they are easily knocked down.    I have also seen pictures of  Corsos sporting hats, scarves, necklaces, and even dresses!!!   A very tolerating animal, but you should never leave a child unattended with any animal.  I strongly recommend that you start with a young puppy, so they can grow up being accustomed to the excited energy of children. 

Is the Corso aggressive towards other dogs?
There is no black and white answer for this question.  They are a large dominant dog, but with proper socialization and training they do get along with strange dogs.   Especially true if the dog exposed to dog parks and such on a regular basis.  Unaltered males will not get along with other males. Time and time again, I am told of how 2 intact males got along fine, for an extended period of time, but one day.......... Females will sometimes get along with other intact females. My experience says that 99.9% of the time, Corsos get along great with the opposite sex.   And with dogs that are altered and do not act dominant.

Are they easy to train?
They are very intelligent and willing to please.  Training a Corso is a joy, they are so quick to learn.  The down side is, they can be dominant.  The Corso will almost always be the most dominant dog in a group.  When raised with older dogs, by the time he/she reaches maturity, the Corso will usually be the alpha.  This can also be true with his/her human family.  Some will try to be the pack leader over you.  This requires the owner to be able to be firm with training and discipline.  It is mandatory that you and your Corso take at least 2 obedience courses together.  This breed is not for a quiet and mild natured  person.  It is also not for the first time dog owner, unless you are the assertive type.  In the last 13 years, I've received a couple of complaints about Corsos growling when told to get off the you have what it takes to get a 100 pound, growling dog off the sofa?  That is an extreme example, but something to think about.

Are there any health concerns?
Hip Dysplasia is as common in this breed as it is in other large breeds.  Increase your chances of not having your dog come down with it , by purchasing the dog from parents that did not have it.  The more generations without HD, the better your odds.  Cherry Eye occurs in this Italian Mastiff just like it does in other Mastiff breeds.   It is an infection of the third eyelid, which will form a small red bubble in the inner corner of the eye.  This can be corrected by having it removed or tacked down.   Usually a $150 procedure. Cherry eye is not painful.   With both of these ailments,  even when the parents don't have it, it can still show up in some of the pups.  These are the two most common problems, but like any breed, just about anything can happen.

How much exercise do they require?
A 30 minute walk/play in the morning and about 45 minutes in the evenings.  They have great endurance and are wonderful companions on a walk, jog, or hike.  They are very good house dogs, without the clumsiness of most big breeds. 

What is the difference in the Cane Corsos in America and Italy?
Essentially there is little to no difference. There are bad breeders in both countries. There is speculation about the Corsos being defiled by other breeds in both countries.  I have visited numerous kennels in the US and in Italy.  I have attended many big shows in the U.S. and  a very large Corso show in Italy in 1999.  The dogs have the same temperaments, same qualities, same  health problems, same colors, and the same gossip "issues".  There was as much bickering in Italy as there is in the U.S..

Breed Description

Misty Barker 


CenterCross, VA  22437



Happy Owners ] [ Puppies Available ] [ Adults Available ] [ Males ] [ Females ] [ Accomplished ] [ Procedures ] [ Corso Facts ] [ Links ] [ Training ] [ Cane Corso Merchandise ]


All articles, photos, and information on the site are property of Misty Barker/StoneCroft Cane Corso
and cannot be copied, distributed or linked to any other website, newsletter or
other informational source without prior permission from Misty Barker.

©StoneCroft Cane Corso ∑ 1996-2019 ∑ All Rights Reserved