The Cane Corso

The internet’s most practical guide to your favorite dog breed

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Cane Corso Overview

Also known as “the Italian Mastiff,” The Cane Corso is a large dog. On average it stands between 23 and 28 inches tall at the shoulders, weighing a hefty 110 pounds. The breed is steadily gaining popularity in the United States, where it ranks as the 40th most popular dog.

The Cane Corso has its origins in Southern Italy, where farmers relied on its size for cattle and pig farming. The breed is protective of its owners, their livestock, and property, making it an excellent guard dog. Typical colors for the Cane Corso include black and fawn. Blue, frumentino, and brindled pigment variations are rare.

The most prominent feature of the Cane Corso is its massive head, typical of Mastiffs. This family dog is easy to train and gets along well with children. They enjoy a large yard to patrol.

Many property owners in upstate New York and Maine choose this breed as a guard dog. It’s common to see owners walking these dogs in Adirondack Park, New York’s forest preserve – which is larger than The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Olympic parks combined.

Cane Corso Food and Health

The Cane Corso is a working dog. This breed is docile with an even temperament. They require training and regular contact with their owners to remain mentally fit. Leaving this dog alone while you go to work will result in the development of mental disorders. Lonely dogs dig up yards and spend hours barking at pedestrians and other dogs that pass the fence or gate.

Training the Cane Corso is easy. This breed listens and obeys commands readily. They need to understand who is the alpha in the family. Failure to train your dog will result in them disallowing entry to your property, keeping visitors away in a threatening manner. They may also develop overly protective behavior, snapping at anyone who gets near you or your kids.

Cane Corsos suffer from cancer risk and the development of tumors as they enter their senior years. Almost 60-percent of dogs develop hip dysplasia, and a 20-percent are at risk of elbow dysplasia.

The breed is prone to ruptures of the cruciate ligament in their hind legs that induce lameness. Vision disorders like cataracts and glaucoma are common, and one in every seven dogs may be epileptic.

Heart disease affects nearly 20-percent of dogs, and they have high sensitivity to heartworm medication. Cane Corsos have thin skin and frequently develop dermatological issues such as rashes, bed sores, hives, and eczema.

Always check the credibility of your breeder before buying a Cane Corso. The Cane Corso Association of America is the official parent organization of the breed in the U.S, recognized by the American Kennel Club. Check their site for a list of approved breeders in the country.

Leashes and Collars for your Cane Corso

Cane Corsos do not stray outside their property. They are fiercely defensive dogs that like to remain within close distance of their owners. The chances of them running away are practically nil.

However, it’s recommended to make them wear a collar. If you have a new visitor they have never met, the dog may approach them with hostile intentions.

A thick, nylon or leather collar like large breeds leather dog collar will allow you to control them in this scenario. The dog will not pull against you if well-trained. If you live in a cold area of the U.S, a nylon collar is the better option. Leather perishes with exposure to the harsh elements.

Cane Corsos need regular exercise. You will need to give this dog a walk at least once or twice a week. Without activity, their joints and ligaments are at higher risk of developing mobility issues such as dysplasia and arthritis.

It’s challenging to control an animal that weighs over 100-pounds. Therefore, a harness like rabbitgoo dog harness is the preferred option for walks on public land. Purchase a harness and leash with a quick release system.

This system will allow you to release the dog for an off-leash walk in areas with no-one around. Your Cane Corso will stay within close range and always keep one eye on you, never straying too far away.

This breed is muscular and very strong. Therefore, purchase a leash that provides a good grip and avoid one with a loop handle. If your dog is excited, it may surge forward. The weight and strength will pull you over. You may sprain your wrist, or land on the ground and scrape yourself.

If you live in an area with high foot-traffic passing your property, your dog may develop a barking disorder that entices them to bark at anyone passing the gate or fence. In such a case, purchase a shock-therapy collar like dog training shock collar.

This collar emits a minor electrical charge when it detects sound. The electric pulse disrupts the vocal chords, providing a result similar to when you cough while speaking. Cane Corsos have strong, muscular necks and the shock will not hurt them.

Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Cane Corsos

This breed requires crate training as a puppy. If you don’t crate them, they will grow into large, unruly dogs that think they are the boss of the house. The breed is intelligent, so it doesn’t take too long to break in their new bedding and sleeping habits.

Cane Corsos grow from tiny puppies into adolescents reasonably quickly. You’ll need to purchase two crates; one for its puppy phase, and another at the 6 to 8-month mark. Line it with carpet and a comfortable bed like big barker pillow dog bed. Place a water bowl and a few treats in the corner.

The key to successful crating is to never use the crate as a punishment tool. Creating a negative experience around it will shy your dog away from the den, and they are more likely to use your furniture as their bed.

It’s okay to house your Cane Corso in an outdoor doghouse after they reach mid-adolescence. Keeping a 100-pound-plus animal in the house will destroy your fixtures and furniture.

Keep the same crate when you make the transition from the house to outdoors. This changeover strategy provides them with a sense of familiarity and security. Introducing a new dog house may confuse them, and they may think you’re punishing them.

It’s important to note that Cane Corsos have relatively thin coats. Therefore, if you intend to keep your dog outside in the winter, make sure they have plenty of blankets inside a covered dog house. The doghouse must be elevated off the floor to keep the cold away, and its best to use a heated dog house like asl dog palace with floor heater to keep your Corso warm and snug on cold winter nights.

If you do have an elevated doghouse, purchase mobility ramps for your dog as they enter their senior years. This ramp helps them get in and out of the doghouse without damaging their hips or elbows.

Cane Corso Toys

Cane Corsos either love toys, or they have no interest in them at all. You’ll be able to figure out their attitude towards toys quickly. When they are puppies, leave them a chew toy like a small rawhide bone as kong bone teething rubber in their crate. If they start to chew it and drag it around the house, then they will most likely have a predisposition to enjoy toys.

The next toy to purchase your dog is a squeaky ball. They will spend hours chewing on it and become mesmerized by the sound. Unfortunately, the incessant squeaking may drive you mad. Avoid plushies and soft toys; they will chew them up in a few days. This breed isn’t a chewer, so your furniture is safe, but they do enjoy gnawing on a bone.

Balls are not a good idea either. Training your dog to become a ball hound may seem cute when they are puppies and adolescent. However, a full-grown dog chasing a ball around your yard will tear up the flower beds and grass. The toy may also become lost between their legs during the chase, resulting in a ligament tear as they try to grasp the ball.

Rawhide and rubber bones are best; you can throw them for your dog as well. After your dog overcomes the teething stage, its fine to purchase them a rope toy as they won’t try and eat the loose fibers.

Cane Corsos love playing tug-of-war with you. Buy them a large rope toy like flossy chews knot rope tug and try to wrestle it out of their mouth. Always finish the game by letting them have the rope. This strategy gives them a sense of achievement, and they will strut around the garden in victory with their tail held high.

Cane Corsos are intelligent dogs. Purchase them a puzzle toy like trixie pet products when they are young. A bobbing treat dispensing toy is also a good idea. They will spend hours trying to release them. Puzzle toys also stimulate their mind and give them something to do when they are bored. Mental stimulation is vital to prevent your dog from developing OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) behavior, such as excessive barking.

Grooming Insights for Cane Corso owners

This breed has a double-coat of short hair. They don’t require regular brushing, once a month is typical for most of the year.

However, the Cane Corso will “blow” their coat twice a year in the spring and fall. During this period, you’ll need to brush them once a week to make sure they maintain a healthy coat and don’t develop dermatological issues or bacterial skin infections.

Cane Corsos don’t object to brushing. Use a soft bristle brush, and focus on their back, hind legs and midsection. The dog will sit by your side and patiently wait for you to finish with them, without trying to walk away. A brush-glove is a good option for your dog for general grooming. The Kong “Zoom Groom,” is an excellent product.

Bath your dog once a month. It’s best to do it outside. If you live in a cold area of the United States, you’ll need to bath them in your tub. Introduce your dog to water at an early age to develop good bathing behavior. Trying to control a large, unruly dog during bath time will end up with you sharing the bath with your dog.

Use a mild dog shampoo with a tick and flea formula. Cane Corsos rarely experience tick and flea infestations. However, if you frequently take your dog to public land, ensure they have a tick-and-flea collar like bayer seresto flea and tick collar. Use the vet or groomer to clip their nails and clean their ears once every 6-months.

In the past, owners of the breed would clip their ears into points and cut back their tail. This cosmetic surgery gives the animal a fierce look, especially if they are guard dogs. However, this inhumane practice is cruel and now outlawed in many States in the U.S.

Cane Corso Accessories

As an active dog that enjoys walks outdoors, your choice of accessories for your Cane Corso should reflect its nature. Start your collection by purchasing a utility backpack for your dog. This pack features pockets that you can fill with other accessories for your hike through public land or camping trip.

A water bottle and collapsible water bowl such as m&m dog water bottle  and roysili collapsible dog bowl are essential items to keep your dog hydrated during a walk. Store your leash in the pack for easy access.

Other items to include in your dog’s utility pack are;

High-visibility vest – Keep your dog visible and out of game hunters rifle scopes.

Rain slicker – Help your Cane Corso stay dry and warm in wet conditions.

Dog sweater – Keep your dog warm in cold weather, these accessories come in a wide variety of designs and colors to suit the personality and coat of your dog.

Walking boots – Prevent injury to your dog’s paws while hiking through thorny areas or rockery’s.

Paw balm – Moisturize their paws with a soothing lotion that disinfects and protects their sensitive paw pads.

Muzzle – An essential item for socializing your dog at training sessions or out on walks while they are still learning proper behavior.

ID patches – Warn people that your dog is still under training. Leave your phone number on the tag in case they get lost on a trail.

Cooling vest – If you live in a hot climate, this accessory keeps your dog cool on walks or hikes during peak sun hours.

Treats – Every Cane Cora loves a rawhide bone or biscuit treats. Keep them on-hand to reward your dog.