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 to shelters, is their aggressive behavior.
It is not that Cane Corso are harder to train and socialize than some other breeds, it's that a dog that weighs over 100 pounds must be especially easy to handle or things can get out of control quickly. Not everyone can handle a dog that size.
How to Prevent Your Cane Corso From Being Aggressive
- Work on early socialization: The period before 16 weeks is vital to your Cane Corso. 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. Some trainers will tell you that it is enough to take your dog to "puppy parties" and allow him to meet strange humans and other dogs. I think the Cane Corso needs more. 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 sensitive socialization period is missed, however, the best opportunity for teaching your dog is over.
- Start early obedience training: As soon as you get your Cane Corso home you should start training. Do not wait until he is an adolescent and too strong to handle. Young puppies can learn the basics early, so get started today.
- Teach bite inhibition: This is important when dealing with such a large dog, even if your puppy is well socialized and he learned some 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. Others recommend shreiking loudly to startle the puppy if his teeth touch your skin. 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 or yell at him.
- Provide leadership: A Cane Corso will watch your behavior more than most of the small lap dogs. You can provide leadership by making him sit before being fed, making him wait at the door before you let him out, and telling him to lie down and wait quietly while you are busy eating or working. The best way of providing leadership, and decreasing your puppy´s chances of showing dominance aggression, is by starting with obedience classes. Positive training with no force is best for the Cane Corso.
- Continue socialization: Taking your dog out for walks will not make up for a lack of 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.
- Stop aggression as soon as your dog starts: If your dog shows any signs of aggression as he grows older, you need to let him know that it is not okay. Mildly aggressive signs like staring down your visitors, growling, or even barking, should be controlled by obedience commands. Tell your dog to sit and then lie down so that he will be in a less dominant posture.
- 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.
Will Neutering My Cane Corso Stop His Aggression?
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.
What if My Cane Corse Is Aggressive With Other Dogs?
If you notice your Cane Corso begin to be aggressive with other dogs when he is still young, please use the methods I described above to stop this behavior. If this happens when he is older, you can try some of the methods in dog to dog aggressiveness to control it. I use these methods in training dog aggressive dogs but you need to be aware that sometimes nothing works.
The best way to control aggression is to prevent it.
Should I Consult a Behaviorist?
This breed of dog is not as easy to handle as others because of his size and the work that he was developed for. If you are not able to handle your Cane Corso´s aggression problems you should consult an animal behaviorist before making any decisions as to his future.
If you do not know of any behaviorists in your area, talk to your vet or a local dog trainer. They will often be able to give you advice on where you can get more help for your dog.
Your Cane Corso was developed to be tough. He was selected to hunt and later was used for personal protection, which is why he might seem to 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. It is everyone else you need to worry about.
In order for your Cane Corso to learn to be okay with those others, he 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.
More About Training Your Dog...
- Dog Training Tips: Barking
The main cause of excessive barking in dogs is boredom. Boredom is caused by lack of a job, lack of a diversion, and most of all lack of exercise. Since you probably can´t throw your dog into the back of your truck and go to work, the next best thing
- Dog Training Tips: Digging
Dogs love to dig. This article will tell you the reasons dogs dig, and give you a few tips to decrease your dogs´digging.
- Dog Training Tips : Jumping Up
Jumping is normal behavior and not something you should punish your dog for. If you don’t want a dog that jumps you can utilize these training techniques. Even if your dog is well trained she might make a mistake, though, so don’t punish her for it.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
I have a 6 month old cane corso she has been to training here and there she is overall has a calm temperament; when she plays with my sons she ends up jumping on them and biting them and she goes crazy. I'm the one who she looks as a leader and two times she has tried to bite me while I'm trying to calm her down. Shes just going to get bigger and stronger what should I do?
How does your CC respond to commands? If this were my puppy, the first thing I would tell her when she started to get rambunctious is "down". She should respond to you and to your sons the same way--when she is told that command she should learn to respond.
You are soon going to have a big, hard to control dog. If you do not teach her to respond now, to you and to your sons, you are going to have problems.
If she does respond perfectly to all of you, the only other thing to do is to stop playing with her and working her up.Helpful 33
I'm getting a three-year-old Cane Corso. From what I've seen, she's a giant baby. And she's smart. Would she be good for service dog work? She has no aggression whatsoever, and again, she's a giant baby and smart.
They are not usually a popular choice for a service dog, but not because of aggression. They are large and intimidating, so it depends on what type of service work she would be trained for.Helpful 20
I'm getting my first Cane. She is a puppy, and I will pick her up in a few weeks. Both my wife and I are dedicated to spending time with her. We already have a smaller breed dog. We both work and we will have to leave her in a big kennel during the day while we work. Will this cause a problem with her training?
Cane Corso are not one of the breeds that do well if left alone all day. When your dog is a puppy, it is even worse. Yes, this will affect her training. If you do not have someone come in and walk her during the day in her formative first months in your home, she is more likely to become neurotic. Do you leave your other dog alone in the house during the day? Your puppy is going to be a lot happier if she can be in a kennel with the other dog, and then when she gets a little older, they can be loose in the house together.Helpful 5
We brought home our female Cane Corso pup last night. She is 9 weeks old. She’s been very sweet. However, my husband came home and tried to pet her and she lunges at him and bit him. He instantly said no with a stern voice, then I picked her up a few minutes later and put her in his arms so she could get to know him. To know that he won’t hurt her. She then lunged and bit his face a second time. Do you have any advice on how to correct this behavior while our Cane Corso is still young?
This is very strange behavior for a puppy of this age, no matter what the breed. There might be more going on here so talk to your local vet and get a consultation with a local animal behaviorist.
This might cost more than you are willing to pay. All I can tell you is that the puppy might have psychological problems that will flare up when she is older. If this were a Yorkie or Maltese it would not be that big a deal, but for a CC or a Golden such cases are serious and need to be evaluated while the puppy is young.Helpful 19
We got my Cane Corso at seven-months-old, and we want to get rid of him after a couple of days because he tried to go toward my son's girlfriend because he’s never seen her before. Do you have any tips on how to train him because we really want to keep him?
A seven-month-old puppy has gone past the sensitive socialization period. It is still possible to get him used to new things but it is not as easy as when your dog is young. Plan on spending at least twice as much effort for every little thing.
1. Obedience train your dog. This is vital. If your dog does not sit, lie down, and stay on command 100% of the time you have work to do. If you can not handle this get a trainer.
2. Socialize your dog. You need to expose him to everything, every day. Take him for walks, introduce him to new people, etc. Find out if you have a canine good citizens program in your area (it is sponsored by the AKC).
3. Have your dog neutered.
This is not going to be easy. If you stick with it, however, you will have the best dog ever.Helpful 16