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The Cane Corso Breed: A Great Dog for a Life of Solitude

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

The Cane Corso is an amazing breed that can make a wonderful pet.

The Cane Corso is an amazing breed that can make a wonderful pet.

The Great Cane Corso

This Cane Corso is a great dog breed often seen on the beaches of Brazil. The dog is as large as the Brazilian Mastiff, with males weighing around 50 kilograms (110 pounds) and standing about 27 inches tall at the withers. The breed originally comes from Italy, where it was used as a guard, a livestock herder, a hunter of big game, and a personal-protection animal.

Most of the Cane Corsos I see now are personal-protection dogs and pets, and they tend to be great for both purposes.

A Cane Corso puppy.

A Cane Corso puppy.

Breed History and Origins

Some Cane Corso breeders say that the dog is descended from the Roman war dogs, and this is probably true, but the dog was almost extinct by the 1970s. The Cane Corso we have now is a product of a breeding program that used other types of dogs, and the resulting breed is likely quite a bit different than the original.

The Cane Corso Italiano breeding program has tried to maintain a lot of the characteristics of the older variety, though, and they do look a lot like the drawings of the older Canes from Roman times.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Cane Corso looks strong and makes an excellent watchdog both because of his personality and his looks. The breed is large and muscular, with a short muzzle and a wide skull. They have short hair and are usually solid black or fawn, but they can also be brindle. Their tails are docked (but not too short), and their ears can be cropped short or left long.

Editor Note: The practices of tail docking and ear cropping in dogs are highly controversial. Tail docking is usually performed without anesthesia, while ear cropping is usually performed with anesthesia. These practices are banned in places like the UK and Australia, but they are unregulated in the united states. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), these practices are important to preserve the character of certain breeds. More information can be found on Fetch by WebMD.

A fawn Cane Corso

A fawn Cane Corso

Is the Cane Corso the Right Dog for Everyone?

I am not trying to promote this breed and hoping it will take the place of the Labrador retriever. Although impressive and a great dog, the Cane Corso is definitely not for a first-time dog owner and definitely not for everyone.

Young dogs are easy to train, but when they become large, they can become overwhelming. If the owner does not understand how to handle this dog, he may become too aggressive with other dogs and some humans.

Are Cane Corso Puppies Expensive?

A Cane Corso puppy is expensive, but remember that he will cost you a lot more than the purchase price. He is a large dog, so he will eat a lot of food, require strong fencing, and if there are any medical costs, they will be high. Some Cane Corso owners end up hiring trainers to help them with their dogs. One of the main reasons people have to give up their dogs is the excessive costs.

The AKC now recognizes this breed, and it is available in many areas. If you cannot afford a puppy, you can look into getting an older dog through or a Cane breed rescue. (Type in the breed and your location into your search engine.) The purchase price will vary depending on where you are, but do not forget all of the additional expenses.

A Cane Corso at play

A Cane Corso at play

All dog breed descriptions are just generalizations. I describe the Cane Corso in this way because that is how most of the dogs I have worked with act. The dogs I have met and worked with are among the type that guarantees a life of solitude. This does not mean an individual Cane Corso will act like this description, nor does it guarantee that a puppy you obtain is going to act in this way. It is a fair generalization, however, and there are several dog trainers who will tell you that the Cane Corso is like “Mike Tyson in his prime.” Think about this before you purchase this great dog.

More About the Cane Corso

Questions & Answers

Question: Do Cane Corso's shed a lot?

Answer: They are short-haired dogs, so although they do shed it is not a lot like a thick-haired Golden Retriever. The shedding is similar to other short haired dogs like the Great Dane.


Karen T on February 12, 2019:

We have one of the exceptions for a Cane Corso in that she is QUITE lazy and is very happy with apartment life. We have our own entrance and it’s a suburban area so there are lots of walking paths and parks. However my silly beast(it’s a term of affection I swear) will just plant herself when she’s done walking! She won’t go in any direction but home.

This may also be due to the fact that she had VERY early onset hip dysplasia (diagnosed at 7 months) and issues with her right knee. HD is a huge disorder to look out for when shopping for a reputable breeder. We were told with how bad her hips were we should start saving money for a possible double hip replacement by the time she was 4-5 years old. Luckily, she is 6 now and her hips are doing great! But...she did tear ALL of the ligaments in her right knee being silly(it was a happy dance). We had a really tough time finding a surgeon that could/would accommodate a dog of her size and we’re near a major city. Once we did, we were looking at $7,500-$8,000 for pre-surgical exams, surgery, post-op care and post-surgical care for a TPLO. We got very fortunate and found an amazing surgeon that’s also a professor at our local university vet school and his prices were half of what we were quoted elsewhere.

So when Dr. Mark says they can be expensive, this is the kind of price range just for repairs! However even if I were paying off that bill for the rest of my life, she’s really an amazing companion. Not perfect by far, but loyal, loving and really funny.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 11, 2019:

Hamza, CC are not usually considered a good dog for apartments as they are not lazy enough. A walk is not enough either, since they are big dogs and a walk at a human pace is not adequate.

hamza on January 06, 2019:

can i get cane corso in an apartment, i also have a farm but i don't go there. should a daily walk be enough, also i can take him to the park

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 05, 2018:

Nini, this is more than one puppy? If the puppies are valuable to you, I would recommend taking them to the state university veterinary college for a second opinion. I cannot give this without a physical exam.

Your regular vet is required to give you the medical records for the puppies and the mother. He should give you a referral to the veterinary college and can call one of his colleagues there and discuss the puppies condition.

Best of luck.

Nini on December 04, 2018:

What can i do for my 6 old week old puppies that aren't able to place their body weight on their hind legs. I have been to my vet countless times and I've been given amoxicillin and metacam for the first week. Now they're on dexamethasone and clavamox. Im unsure what to do next if this medicine doesn't work. Any help or advice would be appreciated

Carrie on November 28, 2018:

We have had two cane corsos and they are wonderful! If trained properly they are grest with the family.

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on January 23, 2013:

Yes that is so correct - all puppies are indeed adorable!!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 22, 2013:

But arent all puppies cute? I adore this little guys, but then again I want about every little puppy I see.

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on January 22, 2013:

They sure are adorable as puppies!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 13, 2012:

Good comment, wetnosedogs. I don't even think having a lot of land is enough. If the owner is not willing to get one of these dogs and take him for long walks every day, it is just not a good idea for the dog.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on September 13, 2012:

What a beautiful dog. In the video that one dog that was chained up looked so sad. I can't imagine chaining up a dog like that. Cane Corso would be an awesome dog to have, like the mastiff, but it wouldn't be fair to the dog, so I can't. If I had lots of land, it may be a different story.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 12, 2012:

Thanks for commenting. I am writing another article on preventing aggression in these dogs because if they are not handled properly they are going to be banned just like the Pit Bull and Fila Brasileiro

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on September 12, 2012:

I have only seen these dogs on a few shows. They seem to be wonderful family dogs just like my pit bull. Great job educating everyone on such a rare breed of dog. Lovely.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 12, 2012:

Thanks for the comment and vote! I appreciate your visit.

mecheshier on September 12, 2012:

Wow, great Hub here, very informative. I did not know there was such a breed: Cane Corsos. LOVE the pics, and yes the last one is my favorite, those blue eyes are amazing and the dog's coat as well.

Voted up for awesome and useful. Thanks

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 12, 2012:

Hi Georgie! Can't you picture one of these dogs dragging you all over the woods there in upstate NY? A dog like that would keep you from sitting down and writing more hubs, that's for sure.

I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

Georgie Lowery from North Florida on September 12, 2012:

Oh, that last photo kills me! They're beautiful animals. I'd never heard of the breed, but I know I can't handle a dog that big. Thanks for the information!