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How to Prevent Aggression in your Cane Corso

Updated on October 23, 2016
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He also trains dogs, mostly large breeds and dogs suffering from aggression problems.

The Cane Corso can appear aggressive even when relaxed.
The Cane Corso can appear aggressive even when relaxed. | Source

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?

Socialization of your Cane Corso puppy should start early.
Socialization of your Cane Corso puppy should start early. | Source

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 dog needs your leadership.
Your dog needs your leadership. | Source
Socialization should continue when he becomes an adult.
Socialization should continue when he becomes an adult. | Source

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.

You should train your Cane Corso to be comfortable during his physical exam.
You should train your Cane Corso to be comfortable during his physical exam. | Source

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    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      DrMark1961 13 days ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Kisa, barking and looking intimidating are pretty standard for the breed. Some dogs need to be treated very calm, so maybe playing is not even a good option with your dog. As far as the problem when people come in, teach the dog to down-stay until you release. If you do not know how to do this or are not able to teach him you need to hire an experienced trainer.

    • Kisa 13 days ago

      Hi Rachel My corso won't let any one come in the house how do Teach him if the person has been invited not intruding. He also does not listen to any one once he gets playful. Has been socialized when he was pup had lot of of play time is going to obedience classes but nothing seems to help with his barking and making himself look very intimidating.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Hi Rachel! They do look a lot alike, but these guys are so huge. One of the Cane Corsos I work with always jumps up when he sees me (despite training!) and probably would knock me down if I wasn't used to it.

      Thanks for coming by!!!

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      The puppies are so cute. I swear my dad's pit bull mix is part cane corso. His markings are so similar - but then again, I guess stripes and a white chest blaze are common markings. Great hub, I love all of the information you share about dogs and dog behavior.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Such a beautiful dog. Cane Corso must have the type of bone structure boxers have, though probably stronger. My daughters' family has two boxers and they are definitely stronger than my dogs. They don't even weigh 100. But walking the boxers is different from walking my dogs. I can really feel their strength.

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