The Cane Corso is an Italian breed of dog used mainly as a guard dog. It is of the large molosser type. As a recently recovered breed, the Cane Corso's history is shrouded in mystery and differing opinions. The Corso is likely derived from the same root stock as the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is generally agreed that the Cane Corso is a farm dog which has been used for stock control, property and personal protection and big game hunting throughout its history. The breed was recovered from near extinction through the efforts of enthusiasts in the 1980's. The Corso is now popular globally.
The Cane Corso Italiano is a medium-big size dog, strongly built but elegant, with powerful and long muscles, very distinguished, he expresses strength, agility and endurance. The general conformation is that of a mesomorphic animal whose body is longer than the height at the withers, harmonious as regards the form and disharmonious as regards the profile. The Muzzle is very broad and deep. The width of the muzzle must be almost equal to its length which reaches 3.4/10 of the total length of the head. Its depth is more than 50% the length of the muzzle. Due to the parallels of the muzzle sides and to the fullness and the width of the whole jaw, the anterior face of the muzzle is flat and square. The nasal bridge has a rectilinear profile and it is rather flat. The lower side profile of the muzzle is determined by the upper lips, the suborbital region shows a very slight chisel. The stop is very marked because of the very developed and bulging frontal sinuses and because of the prominent superciliary arches. The neck is slightly arched. The neck shape is of oval section, strong, very muscular. The body is compact, strong and very muscular. The skin is rather thick. The neck is practically without dewlap. The head mustn't have wrinkles. The pigment of the mucous membranes is black. The pigment of the soles and the nails must be dark. The coat is short hair but not smooth, with vitreous texture, shiny, adherent, stiff, very dense, with a light layer that becomes thicker in winter (but never crops up on the covering hair). Its average length is approx. 2/2,5 cm. On the withers, the rump, the back margin of the thighs and on the tail it reaches approx. 3 cm without creating fringes. On the muzzle the hair is very short, smooth, adherent and is not more than 1/1,5 cm. Color - Black, plumb-gray, slate, light gray, blue/gray, light fawn, deer fawn, dark fawn and tubby (very well marked stripes on different shades of fawn and gray). In the fawny and tubby subjects there is a black or gray mask only on the muzzle and shouldn't go beyond the eye line. A small white patch on the chest, on the feet tips and on the nose bridge is accepted.
Cane Corso are considered to have an even, stable temperament. They are easy to train, generally good with children, and calm with their primary guardians. They can be reserved, suspicious and may be aggressive toward people they do not know, if not properly socialized. Corsos tend to be a quiet breed. The true Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react when a real threat is present. However, "the majority of the American version of the Corso do not possess the proper temperament for this breed. The Cane Corso is somewhat fearless and is very devoted. Due to the power of this breed, he is not recommended for everyone but does make a lovely companion given the right training and socialization. This breed is a fearless family protector but does make a wonderful companion given the right environment. The Cane Corso has a very balanced temperament, and despite his size and all around appearance, makes a great family pet. He is very dependable around children in his family, but can be protective around others. The Cane Corso can live in peace with cats and other dogs however should not be trusted around very small animals.
The Cane Corso is a very light shedder making grooming very simple. A wipe down with a damp cloth and occasional brushing and/or combing with a firm bristle or rubber brush should be sufficient. The Cane Corso requires minimal grooming, although around the mouth should be cleaned regularly as this breed has the tendency to drool quite a bit. The eyes should also require care professionally as they are very droopy which can cause irritation.
Health Problems and Life Expectancy
This is a robust dog, with typical bone and joint problems of the giant breeds. Life expectancy is 14-16 years
The Cane Corso needs lots of exercise to stay healthy and active. This breed requires a fenced in yard to maintain his powerful muscles and immense strength. The Cane Corso is an ideal jogging companion and loves to go on long hikes with his master. This breed requires at least 90 minutes of exercise per day, however more is recommended to keep his muscles in great shape.