The Guide to Cane Corsos

To an outsider, the stately Cane Corso may look a little imposing.

For starters, it’s physically a large dog with a commanding presence; it’s also highly intelligent and wary of strangers. Admittedly, this combination can be rather intimidating.

But for the right person, the Cane Corso is an ideal family dog: easily trained, quite active, and incredibly loyal towards those it knows and loves. Read on to find out more about the breed.

That’s Amore!

If you thought you detected a bit of an Italian accent in the Cane Corso’s bark, you’d be correct. We’re just kidding, of course, but it is true that the Cane Corso is an Italian breed. If you trace the lineage of the breed way, way back, you’ll discover that the Cane Corso’s ancestors are believed to have been war dogs for the Roman Army.

Speaking of languages, those who have studied Latin may be able to decipher the meaning of the breed’s name: Cane Corso translates roughly to protector or guardian dog, which leads us to our next point.

The Bodyguard

With a large, muscular stature (up to 110 pounds, sometimes more!) and a loyal temperament, Cane Corsos are protective of their family and have the incredible instincts of a guard dog. They’re not the kind of dog who cowers or seems unsteady; rather, they are as cool, calm, and confident as canines come.

Having said that, the strong-minded Cane Corso needs an owner who is equally confident, knows how to set boundaries, and is ready to train their pup to bring out its best qualities. Pushovers need not apply!

cane corso

istockphoto/Anton Minin

A Treat to Train

Smart, loyal, and keen to please: these are three important ingredients for a highly trainable dog, and Cane Corsos have all of those in abundance. The Cane Corso is a fast learner and is relatively easy to train if you put some effort into it.

However, don’t take this as an excuse to skip training altogether: your Cane Corso can’t learn if you don’t teach it anything. Allowing this headstrong and powerful breed to do its own thing is not advised. Trust us: you do not want to have a 110-pound dog barrelling around out of control!

So put in the time to train your Cane Corso (perhaps guiding your dog with our collection of training treats) and you will be rewarded for your hard work. Start early, be consistent, and consider enrolling your pup in a formal obedience school to get off on the right paw.

Get Moving

If you’re looking for a lazy dog that’s happy to snooze the day away, then the Cane Corso is probably not the dog for you. Cane Corsos tend to be fairly active; at the very least, you’ll need to take it for a daily walk or jog.

Don’t forget about exercising your dog’s mind, too: daily obedience training is a great way to tucker your Cane Corso out while keeping his mind sharp.

cane corso

istockphoto/milorad kravic

A Natural Beauty

Cane Corsos are big dogs with boxy heads and short coats in a range of color, including black, gray, red, or fawn (a yellow-ish tan). Some have white patches on their chest—this is common for the breed and, in our opinion, highly adorable.

When it comes to keeping the Cane Corso looking its best, less is more. Cane Corsos have short fur that’s pretty easy to maintain: regular weekly brushings are all that’s really needed, in addition to the usual nail trim and occasional bath.

Although the Cane Corso’s fur is short, there’s quite a bit of it. Thanks to its undercoat, the Cane Corso is a shedder. Invest in a good vacuum – or furniture that matches your dog’s color!

Part of the Family

The Cane Corso is not a naturally aggressive dog: its docile, loyal, and loving nature make it a great breed for families. From the Cane Corso’s perspective, kids are totally cool—but small animals, not so much….

Cane Corsos prefer to stick with the people they know and love. They aren’t fond of strangers, which is part of the reason they make such good guard dogs. It’s important to socialize them as puppies, encouraging them to get to know their neighbors and surroundings—but even so, the Cane Corso will generally not warm up much to anyone but the members of their family.

Meet the Author: Magee Walker

Magee Walker was a late bloomer to the snowboard scene, but thankfully discovered the joys of the sport after moving to Vancouver and spending weekends in Whistler. She's now lucky enough to call Whistler her full-time home, and spends her days conquering the mountain, by foot in the summer and by snowboard boot in the winter.

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