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
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 sofa.............do 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