Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
Since the Cane Corso is Italian and has been around since Roman times, there are several great methods of picking a special name for your dog. He can be named after one of the Romans that first used the dogs to serve in times of war, one of the Roman words that will show off his strength, or one of the modern Italians that have developed the breed into what he is today.
Peter Mayle, in his book A Dog's Life, points out that a dog's name lasts a lifetime. Your dog's name should be appropriate, as it is no joke to go through life as an object of ridicule. Take time to name your new Cane Corso. The names on this list will also work great for a Neapolitan Mastiff, of course. You could even use them for a Portuguese Water Dog, but there are plenty of better choices in the list of dog names from Brazil.
Stick to One or Two Syllables
Just another word on naming your new Cane Corso: You can go to several sites and find many more Roman and Italian words and names than I have on this list. That does not make them good dog names. A dog name should be one or two syllables, something the dog can respond to and not confuse with his training commands.
I prefer two-syllable names with strong letters that the dog can respond to. “Cato, come!” works a lot better and can be said more forcefully than “Fernandito, come!” If you choose to pick a word that is not on this list, keep that in mind.
Roman Dog Names
Since the Cane Corso is descended from the Canis Pugnax, the Molossor dogs the Romans used in war, my personal feeling is that you should try for a Roman name. Unfortunately, there are not a lot to choose from. Romans liked long names that are not appropriate for a dog, but here are a few you can choose from. On these lists, I will put the name on the left in bold and its meaning just next to it.
If your Cane Corso is a boy, you can call him:
- Albus: White
- Brutus: Heavy. This is a great name—easy to pronounce, easy for others to remember, and a perfect description of a Cane Corso.
- Cato: Wise
- Cesar: Hairy
- Cohort: Roman army unit
- Crispus: Curly-haired. I think this would be better for a Portuguese Water Dog.
- Felix: Happy
- Ludi: The Roman games where gladiators fought.
- Nero: Strong
- Omen: A sign of the future. Not just for Rottweilers!
- Rex: King
- Rufus: Red-haired
- Sextus: The Sixth
And if you have a girl, you can try:
- Alba: White
- Drusa: A Roman family name.
- Juno: The Roman goddess of women.
- Porcia: Like a pig, and pronounced like the car. The Cane Corso was used to catch pigs and wild boars, so this is a great name.
- Venus: The Roman goddess of love and beauty.
- Vita: Life
Italian Dog Names
If you didn't find anything you like in the Roman names, there are lots of great choices among the Italian names.
If your dog is a boy:
- Aldo: From Aldobrandino, which means “Little Old Sword”.
- Dante: This name is sure to make us all think of the circles of hell!
- Dino: Nickname for Aldobrandino, which means “Little Old Sword”.
- Fredo: Nickname for Alfredo, or “Gods Peace”.
- Gino: Nickname for Ambrogino, or “Little Immortal One”.
- Maso: Short for Tommaso, or “Twin”. This would be great if your Cane Corso comes from a litter of only two.
- Naldo: Nickname for all the Italian names ending in –naldo.
- Nico: Short for Niccolo, or “Victor of the People”.
- Nino: Short form of Gianino, or “God is Gracious”
- Orso: Italian form of the Latin word for bear. This is a great choice for a big Cane Corso or Neapolitan Mastiff puppy.
- Pino: Nickname for Crispino, or the “Curly-headed one”.
- Primo: Italian form of the Latin word Primus, or first.
- Santo: Italian form of the Latin word for holy.
- Sesto: Italian form of the Roman word sextus, the sixth. This is a great name for a puppy from a big litter.
- Terzo: Italian form of the Roman word for third.
- Tino: Any of the Italian names ending in –tino, which stands for tiny. This is the name you want to use if you decide to call your Cane Corso “Tiny”, which is a super name for a 130-pound dog.
- Tito: Italian form of the Roman name Titus, or “Fire”.
- Vanni: Short form of Giovanni, God is gracious.
- Vico: Nickname for the common name Vincenzo, the conqueror.
- Vito: The Italian form of the Roman name Vitus, or “Life”. This will make most people think of The Godfather, of course. It is a great name for a personal protection dog.
If your dog is a girl:
- Carla: Feminine form of Carlo, which means man.
- Coco: Cook
- Dona: Short form of Adona, my lord.
- Elma: Feminine form of Elmo, the helmet.
- Fina: Nickname for Serafina, the serpent.
- Gina: Short form for all the names that end in –gina, like Giorgina, the farmer.
- Mimi: Nickname for Maria.
- Mona: Short form for the name Simona, which means “hearkening”. This is the perfect recall name.
- Nora: Short form for all the Italian girls names that end in -nora, like Leonora.
- Sandra: Short form of Alessandra.
- Santa: Holy
- Tecla: Glory of God
- Tina: Short form for all the Italian names that end in –tina.
- Zeta: Little Girl
- Zita: Another way to spell the Italian nickname for "Little Girl".
Dont Lose Your Puppy
As soon as you choose a name, get a tag with the puppy's name, your name, and your cell phone number. It may make a big difference. This tag is sturdy, and it's the style that I use for my own dogs.
Also ask your vet about a microchip on your next regular visit.
Is a Cane Corso the Dog for You?
If you have already brought one of these great dogs home, you should know how to take care of him and what his needs will be in the years to come. Make sure that you use positive training methods and take care of his health needs.
If you are thinking of getting a Cane Corso but still haven't made a final decision, I want to emphasize that they are great but not for everyone.
Discuss all of the pros and cons of the Cane Corso before you bring home a member of this great breed. If you have experience handling a big dog, have the money to take care of his feeding and vet bills, and want a dog that will guard you, lean on you, challenge you, and slobber all over your house, find a good breeder!
A Cane Corso is in your future.
More About the Cane Corso
- How to Prevent Aggression in your Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is not harder to handle than some other breeds; it is just that a dog that weighs over 100pounds must be especially easy to handle or things get out of control quickly. Learn what you need to do to prevent aggression with this great br
- Cane Corso Dog Breed
The Cane Corso is a large muscular dog used for guarding, hunting, and personal protection. He is not always easy to handle. Anyone considering one of these dogs needs to learn more.
Questions & Answers
Question: Are Cane Corsos good dogs or good family dogs?
Answer: I think that Cane Corsos are great dogs. Are they the best dog for a family? In most cases, no. They are better with an owner, or an owner and his partner, but a family with kids will have a lot of strangers coming into the house, and the dog is more likely to become upset.
If a tiny dog is upset, it is not that big of a deal. When a mastiff is upset, it is something to be concerned about.
© 2013 Dr Mark
Karen on July 20, 2020:
I have a 14 week old male Cane Corso and he is a smart one! I have had him for 2 weeks now. His name is Zen. He is a big baby.
Lamont on July 06, 2020:
I have a 3 yr old male Cane Corso. He is around 125-30 lbs. Had him since he was 9 weeks old. His name is Tomasso we call him Maso. He has huge paws. He does get nervous when alot of people come to our house and does not like small children or small animales except for our 7 yr old chihuahua which of course is the boss. He ranks at the top of the list of my favorite dogs ive had over the years. He is my wifes bodygaurd. I I believe he would protect her with his life.
Kathlene on June 22, 2020:
I have a 4 year old female Cane Corso. Her name is Baby. She's the sweetest most intelligent dog Ive ever met! She's my best friend!
Kayla on June 14, 2020:
I have a 3 year old Cane Corso female, we rescued her at 4 months old and named her “Nox” since it means goddess of the night. She is a very dark brindle with bright and light yellow/green eyes. It suits her perfect! Best family dog we could have asked for.
Jo-Anne on June 13, 2020:
I have a 7 month old male Cane Corso and named him Brio. Could not love him more!
Alex on May 28, 2020:
We’re actually having a litter and we got a kong and king and voodoo and rocky
Sam on March 16, 2020:
Getting a Cane Corso puppy Friday. Gonna name him COVID.
Mimoza on February 09, 2020:
We have a 18 month old brindle male Cane Corso, he is so smart and his name is Don. We all love him so much, especially my two boys
Beck on January 04, 2020:
I have a 2yr old female Bianca and a 9 week old female Bella. I have two children with many visitors in and out daily. They are very smart and know who is supposed to be there. Best dogs every and love you unconditionally. Especially when its tv time. Biggest couch potatoes ever!
Jeanette on October 10, 2019:
I named my Cane Corso Dante'. He is in his adolescent stages and truly testing boundries. He is truly worth the work. He is very protctive at 4 months old.
Brigitte Nelson on October 03, 2019:
I just got my first Cane Corso and he's a 7.5 week old puppy. I've had him a week and already in love. His name is Thor.
Dre' on February 03, 2019:
Love Greek mythology. My pets' name is "Tridant." Named after the staff of Poseidon, Aquaman,etc..
ScottyB. on December 03, 2018:
I named mine "Fat Kevin". He is the absolute best. He is Blue
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 30, 2018:
Suzi, Zita sounds like a great choice. Two syllable, ending in a vowel--it is the ideal name for training a dog since she will listen to the inflection on the word much more that Sophie. I hope you both enjoy your new life together!!!
Suzi on June 29, 2018:
We have a 9 month old Cane Corso. His name is kain. We are getting a Blue Female Sunday and I am torn between Zita and Sophie
ABS on June 26, 2018:
Have a 14 month old named Juice.
TLR on June 13, 2018:
We just got our 11 week old Cane CorsoI wanted to name her of course and Italian name. Because your eyes are so beautiful and green hazel I named her Sofia After Sophia
JAB on August 05, 2017:
We have a 10 year old male cane corso named Zeus and a 1 year old female named Skye because of her eyes that later changed and a previous female named Annie Roso #RIP
Cane Corso's Since 1971 on July 06, 2017:
My 4 Cane Corso's and their names are: Zita, Sarafina, Dura ( short for Donna Dura, which means tough woman. Also pronounced DU-RA ) And then theirs Ragazza ( Gazza ) which means Girl.
alex on March 28, 2017:
We named our female cane corso Stella. In addition to it being a name people recognize, it also means 'star' in Italian. Plus it's fun to reenact Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire when saying her name.
jim on January 30, 2017:
I have a 1 year old Cane Corso and his name is Cedric
Michael A napolitano on November 28, 2016:
We have a 2 year old corso his name is Persius Arelius Napolitano he looks as good ss his name
G on August 25, 2016:
Karen on March 12, 2016:
I have a 9 month his NE is titus
Eiddwen from Wales on June 09, 2013:
Brilliant; a great share and I vote up. Looking forward to many more. Eddy.