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The Cane Corso

"Cane" is from the Latin Canis = dog. There are two hypotheses about the origin of the word "Corso". One is that the Cane Corso originates from the Greek word "Kortos", which means property enclosed with a fence. So Cane Corso would mean "Dog That Guards The Property.  In The Puglia region the derivative meaning of Corso is, "Coarse, robust and strong," because this was the character of the dogs. A Pugliesian proverb is "Forte come un Corso," which means "strong as a Corso", and was used to describe strong men.

cane corso

Cane Corso Pictures

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Cane Corso Short breed profile

It is intelligent, energetic with a balanced nature. It is also an exceptional guard-dog.

It is docile and affectionate with its master, a lover of children and the family, but, when necessary, it becomes a brave and fearful defender of people, the home and courtyard.

It is a medium-large, athletically built Molosser with a solid, compact appearance, without being heavy. Its great success lies in its stable disposition, its complete devotion to its master and its ability to adapt to many different roles.

In the past, it has been employed to guard property and livestock, for game hunting and personal defence, It is a gentle, sociable, easily trained dog which carries out the duties it was selected for efficiently.

HEIGHT; Males: 24 to 28 inches. Females: 22 to 27 inches

WEIGHT; Males: 100 to 140 pounds. Females: 80 to 110 pounds.

COAT; The coat is very dense and should be harsh to the touch. In cold weather the Cane Corso develops a more dense undercoat.

COLOUR; black , grey (blue) , fawn (light, red & dark) , brindle.   In the fawn & brindle there is a grey or black mask only on the muzzle & shouldn't go beyond the eye line. A small white patch on the chest , the tips of feet and on the bridge of nose is accepted.

The cane corso as a family pet

The Cane Corso makes a very loving pet, it is loyal to it's family and aloof with strangers. They have a very protective nature and have the ability to discern friend from foe.

They are excellent house dogs , easy to house-train and they do not drool like many mastiff breeds.

Cane Corsos bond quickly to their family and like other large molossers, will form excellent relationships with children.

Their easy going nature and calmness , tend to make them able to tolerate young energetic children.  Our Cane Corso play with our children for hours under our supervision. The Cane Corso is not for the first time inexperienced dog owner. They are natural guardians and are dominant dogs that will challenge their owners for what they percieve to be leader of the pack.

Don't forget that Cane Corsos will need insuring. Read up on cane corso insurance here. I am informed that some strains/breeders of Cane corso's in the UK do suffer with epilepsy, be aware of this when choosing who to insure your cane corso with.. read the small print!

They have a suspicious nature with regards to strangers entering their family home and therefore will require a great deal of training and socialisation from a very early age.

We never leave our Cane Corso alone in a room with visitors.

HEIGHT; Males 62 to 68 cm. Females 58 to 64 cm.

Weight; Males 42 to 50 kg. Females 38 to 45 kg.

The History of The Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a very rare and ancient Italian breed that has been derived from the now exstinct Roman Molosser. It is believed that, in ancient times, this historic Roman Molosser gave rise to two very different breeds of dog.

One dog was massive and became known as the Neapolitan Mastiff, the other was a taller , lighter more agile mastiff which has become known as the Cane Corso.

As the Romans bred dogs based on their usability, the Cane Corso was used primarily for hunting big game such as wild boar, wolf and bear, they were also used to guard property and livestock from large predators such as wolves and human cattle thieves.

Over the years , as big game hunting declined , the Cane Corso was used by farmers to herd cattle , protect the livestock and as a guard for the family home. Cane Corsos can still be seen in parts of Southern Italy and Sicily performing these duties today.

The appearance of the Cane Corso has changed little since the days when they were used by the Romans as war dogs. Ancient mosaics and paintings tell us that the Cane Corso of ancient Italy were very muscular and powerful without excess weight or wrinkle. The breed was a very mobile and had great staying power which made them ideal as hunting dogs and wonderful protectors.

The Cane Corso population decreased dramatically during the First and Second World Wars. Farms became increasingly modernised and the Cane Corso was no longer required for herding sheep or guarding property. A very small population of Cane Corsos were kept by farmers in rural areas of Southern Italy , not as working dogs but maintained for passion or tradition.

Today Cane Corsos are owned primarily as pets and for guarding and protecting people and property. They are believed to be the only true coursing mastiff left in the world.

In the 1970's and 80's a small group of Italian enthusiasts took the first steps to re-establish the breed and create a breed standard.

In 1994 , the ENCI accepted the Cane Corso Italiano as the fourteenth Italian Breed. In 1996 the Cane Corso became a recognised breed of the FIC. The name Cane Corso , is believed to derive from the Latin word for dog "Canis" and the Greek word "Kortos" meaning property surrounded by a fence. Thus the name Cane Corso would mean dog that guards a property.