How to Prevent Aggression in your Cane Corso
If you have been fortunate enough to add one of these great dogs to your family you must realize that one of the main reasons people give them up to rescue organizations, or take them in to shelters, is their behavior.
It is not that Cane Corso are harder to train and socialize than some other breeds; it is just that a dog that weighs over 100 pounds must be especially easy to handle or things get out of control quickly.
How are you going to prevent your Cane Corso from getting out of your control?
1. Early socialization. This is vital. Puppies have an imprinting period during socialization. If the puppy is kept locked up at the kennel, or is at his new home but is not taken out during this period, he will become nervous around anyone or anything he does not know. Puppies need to be taken out, even before their last set of vaccines, and walked around so that they can meet other people and other dogs. Yes, there is some danger of infectious disease. When the socialization period is missed, however, the best opportunity for teaching your dog is over.
2. Teach bite inhibition: This is important, even if your puppy is well socialized and he learned bite inhibition with his mother and littermates. There is a lot of controversy on the best way to do this, as some trainers recommend “scruffing” the dog if he bites, and other trainers do not. If your Cane Corso puts his teeth on you while playing, tell him “no”, remove your hand, and stop playing with him for at least five minutes. Your dog should be upset at the loss of his companion and you should not need to scruff him.
3. Provide leadership: The best way of providing leadership, and decreasing your puppy´s chances of showing dominance aggression, is by starting with obedience classes. There are a lot of different theories on how to train a dog but the current thinking is that positive training with no force is best for the Cane Corso.
4. Continued socialization: This cannot make up for early socialization. If your puppy was never taken out of the yard for the first four months, he will be shy and things are going to be difficult for you. If he was not properly socialized as a puppy, or even if he was, you should socialize him as an adult to reduce shyness and lessen the chances of him developing aggression to other dogs. Shyness may be learned or inherited and your Cane Corso may run and hide or stand and bite. When you take your dog out for a walk each day bring along a bag of his favorite treats, something very special. Each time a new person meets him allow them to give him a treat. Your Cane Corso should realize that meeting a stranger equals getting a special treat.
5. Never encourage aggression: The members of this breed of dog are natural guardians and are usually suspicious of strangers, other animals, and sometimes even of objects. You do not need to teach them to be wary of new situations, and excessive praise or encouragement (when he is growling or acting nervous/aggressive) may lead to an excessively aggressive dog.
6. Neutering is not the answer: The surgery may be effective in controlling aggression with other male dogs, but it does not always help. It is never effective in controlling aggression to people.
Your Cane Corso might be impervious to a lot of pain, and might seem different than some other breeds. I believe that this dog is not like a wolf, though, and will be loyal and not despise you and try to take you down if he sees a moment of weakness. Your Cane Corso needs plenty of your time, gentle training, and adequate leadership.
Take the time to teach your Cane Corso and he will reward you for it.
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