The Cane Corso (KAH-neh-KOR-soh; plural: Cani Corsi) originated from Italy, and belongs to the UKC group. This is an ancient dog breed that was bred from the Roman Mastiff’s. The strong and powerful Corso dog breed was near extinction during World War 2, but fans of the Corso saved this superb dog breed.
The Cane Corso belongs to the working dog breed, the mollusus group. An ancient Greek tribe was thought to have bred these large-boned, powerful dogs. During the Roman Empire’s rule, this breed was brought back to Italy, and bred with the local Italian dog breeds. The original Cane Corsi were brave dogs that were used to charge enemy lines with buckets of flaming oil strapped to their backs. The early Corsi were larger, bigger dogs. Today’s breed is much sleeker, and more refined. That said, this breed is still as brave, intelligent and loyal.
During the 5th Century, the Corsi enjoyed new jobs like wild boar hunting, and farming livestock. The Cane Corso was popular on Italian farms, but by the mid 20th century the breed was nearly extinct due to mechanized farming. During the 1970’s, Italian dog breeders bred the Corso again to revive the breed. The very first Corso arrived in the U.S in 1988, and was recognized by the AKC in 2010.
The Cane Corso is a large, powerful, and muscular dog breed that is longer than tall. With a wide head that has a short, broad muzzle, and strong jaws, the Corso has an undershot bite. This dog breed has upper lips that shape into an upside down V. The Corso’s eyes are dark, intelligent, the nose black, with ears that are drop or semi-erect cropped ears. Tail is thick and docked. The Cane Corso’s skin is thick, and does not wrinkle. The coat is short and stiff, and can be black, gray, fawn, or have stripes of fawn and gray.
The Cane Corso’s is a fearless, powerful, and intelligent dog breed. It is also a breed that is loyal, even-tempered and affectionate. The Corso has to have plenty of socialization during puppyhood, and positive dog training classes throughout puppyhood into adulthood. That said, a well-socialized and properly trained Corso will be easier to manage. Because this breed is so large and protective of their loved ones, it’s necessary to make sure that it does well with other people and animals. Being shy and wary of strangers, the Corso has to be socialized during the first four weeks of puppyhood.
In fact, the delightful Corso, when socialized and positively trained can be quite easy-to-manage. Although aloof around strangers, the Corso is a wonderful dog breed to have in the home. This breed needs to have experienced pet parents that are willing to go to positive puppy training classes, and enjoy lots of outdoor activity for socialization purposes.
The Cane Corso needs a large backyard with experienced pet parents. The Cane Corso is the protector of his home and family, and is extremely intelligent. This breed needs a large backyard, or garden, and room to exercise and move around. The Corso breed is so impressive to be around that strangers may show fear. That said, it is important that the Cane Corso is very well-socialized, and positively trained. The earlier puppy training classes begin, the better. Your Corso will be introduced to other puppies and people, and start feeling comfortable in new environments with new people. Corso’s do well in agility, dock diving, obedience protection sport, and tracking. Keep your intelligent Corso mentally stimulated, and well-exercised!
Possible Health Concerns
The Cane Corso is an active and healthy dog breed that may be susceptible to the following:
- Bloat. This breed is deep-chested, and thus more prone to bloat. Bloat is a life threatening emergency. It is caused by the twisting of the stomach, together with the accumulation of gas, with or without fluid. It is best to never elevate your dog’s water and food bowls. Stress is also a major factor in causing bloat. Never feed your Corso a large meal, followed by exercise. At the first signs of dry vomiting, restlessness and discomfort, contact your emergency veterinarian. Never wait for a few hours. This is a true emergency.
- Cancer. The Corso dog breed may be predisposed osteosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, mastocytoma, melanoma, histiosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. Canine cancer is on the rise. Consult with your veterinarian regarding any changes in your Corso. Feed a healthy natural high-quality diet!
- Elbow Dysplasia is an abnormal development of the elbow joint in young, large, fast growing dog breeds. It involves abnormal bone growth, cartilage development, or joint stresses. Treatment involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and surgery before the degenerative changes of osteoarthritis take place.
Hip Dysplasia is an abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds like the Corso. It is generally characterized by a loose joint, and then degenerative joint disease. This breed should be fed a high-quality diet that is geared towards their life stage. Puppy Corso’s should only be fed high-quality puppy dog food. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all come in to play with hip dysplasia.
With the Corso being such a large dog breed, it is necessary for more-than-usual visits to the veterinarian, regarding health concerns. Keep in mind that preventative measures regarding keeping your Corso fit and active, feeding correctly, and not overly exercising a puppy Corso, will benefit your Cane Corso in living a long and healthy life.
The Corso breed needs plenty of regular exercise. This breed is not only intelligent, but also powerful and strong. Corso dog parents should take part in hikes, long walks, swimming at the dog beach, and perhaps some canine sporting activities. The Corso does well on farms or small holdings, being allowed to run freely and exercise.
This breed has to seriously have lots of exercise for muscle tone and mental well-being. The Corso breed was bred to work, so it must have a job. If the Corso does not exercise, and given daily mental stimulation the breed can become out-of-hand. That said, if the Corso is not socialized from puppyhood, it can become dangerous due to its protective nature.
The best dog foods are made with the simplest and most nutritious ingredients. Look for high-quality ingredients such as whole meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains, and take heed of the different macronutrients like proteins, fats, and carbs. Providing your Corso with the most appropriate diet that is healthy and beneficial to his life stage, will help give your pet a long and healthy life.
As a Cane Corso pet parent, you should look out for high-quality dog foods that are made by reputable companies with long histories of producing quality diets. Diets that have an Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on the label saying that the diets have undergone animal feeding trials for the appropriate life stage are generally preferable to diets that are formulated by computer to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for that life stage.
AAFCO model regulations and the federal feed laws stipulate that all pet food labels need to list all the ingredients in their formulas in descending order, according to the weight of each ingredient listed. With that said, it’s easy to see where the most important sources of calories and proteins are coming from – the first five ingredients listed. The first ingredient is the one ingredient that is present in the highest amount. Always check the ingredients list, and use “Google” for dog food recalls to make sure that what you’re feeding is not being recalled. Tips on how to feed a healthy dog food diet to your Corso:
- Feed a diet from a well-known, reputable company. Contact them with any questions of concern.
- The labels on any diet should meet the levels established by the AAFCO Control Officials or feeding trials.
- All dog food formulas should have the following statement “Animal Feeding tests using the AAFCO procedures substantiate that “Brand X” provides completed and balanced nutrition for growth (or maintenance.)
- Feed puppy’s puppy food, and be sure to feed a large breed puppy like the Corso a large breed puppy formula.
With large dog breeds like the Corso, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian as to the best high-quality diet. Don’t allow for obesity due to bad nutrition, or lack of daily exercise.
The Corso has a short coat. This breed needs daily grooming together with regular bathing. The Corso will shed heavily twice a year, most especially during Spring. This breed needs to be brushed every day, and also needs to have daily dental brushing, and ear cleanings. Nails need to be trimmed as needed. Because the Cane Corso has a light undercoat, grooming is easy. Teach your Corso during puppyhood how to enjoy being bathed and groomed. Making both of these a positive experience for your Corso, will help make grooming a positive experience for both of you.
Adopting a Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is such a very special and unique dog breed that is a pleasure to have at home. That said, this even-tempered dog breed is similar to the Mastiff in temperament, and suits only experienced and kind dog parents. The Corso is sensitive, and does well with positive reinforcement. When adopting a Corso, it’s best to visit the dog a few times prior to the adoption.
Choosing between an adult Cane Corso and puppy Cane Corso can be difficult. All of us want to spend time with puppies, and watch them grow. Yet adult Corso’s make for a wonderful adoption, and need to spend less time with their pet parents than puppy Corso’s. Always adopt a dog with the right temperament for you and your household. Because Corso’s at shelters may have behavioral issues, your shelter will probably provide post-adoption help. This could include free positive dog training classes, 24-hour behavior hotlines, Skype online dog training help, adoption counselling for pet parents, and even home visitations which work best.