Cane Corso: Wikis


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Cane Corso
Other names Cane da Macellaio
Italian Corso Dog
Italian Mastiff
Italian Molosso
Cane Corso Mastiff
Cane Corso Italiano
Country of origin  Italy

The Cane Corso is an Italian breed of dog once used primarily as a farm dog for the protection of livestock and property, and hunting big game. It is of the large molosser type.




The Cane Corso ('kha-nay kor-so') is a large Italian molosser. It is well muscled and looks more athletic than most other mastiffs, tending less toward sheer bulk like the Neapolitan Mastiff and more towards definition like the original Old English Bulldog. The official FCI standard calls for dogs to stand from 62-69cm (23.6-26.7 inches) at the withers, with females in the lower range and males in the higher. Weight should be in keeping with the size and stature of these dogs, ranging from 40-50 kg (88-110lbs)[1]. The overall impression should be of power balanced with athleticism. A Corso should be moderately tight skinned, however some dewlap on the neck is normal, and the bottom of the jawline should be defined by the hanging lip.

The Corso head is one of its primary features. Its muzzle should be as wide as it is long, and should be 33% of the length of the entire skull (a ratio of 2:1). This head size and type also means that a Corso has superior bite strength.[2] Its ears are naturally dropped forward, but where legal, many breeders crop them so that the remaining stubs are equilateral triangles, standing upright. Most Corsos have docked tails as well. The standard calls for docking at the 4th vertebra, although often they are docked shorter, as this is an uncommon length for dogs of this type.

Corsos appear in two basic coat colours: black and fawn. This is further modified by genetic pigment dilution to create blue (from black) and formentino (from fawn) colours. Brindling of varying intensity is common on both basic coat colours as well, creating tigrato (full brindle), black brindle, and blue brindle. Fawn also has a number of different expressions, ranging from the pale of a formentino to 'red' to the more common beige colour, with the back coat hairs tipped with black. In blue dogs, the nose can appear grey, but should be darker than the coat. In all other dogs, the nose should be black. White markings on the chest, toes and on the chin and nose are seen as well, with smaller white patches being preferable.


Cane Corso are considered to have an even, stable temperament. They are easy to train, generally good with children, and calm with their primary guardians. Make sure to socialize it with babies, other dogs and humans of both sexes. Corsos tend to be a quiet breed.[3]

A true Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react when a real threat is present. Corsos are historically working dogs that need excersise, a strong owner, boundaries and training.


As a recently recovered breed, the Cane Corso's history is shrouded in mystery and differing opinions. It is generally agreed that the Cane Corso is a farm dog which has been used for stock control, property and personal protection and big game hunting throughout its history. The breed was recovered from near extinction through the efforts of enthusiasts in the 1980s[4], the Corso is now popular globally, as can be seen by recent celebrity ownership of Cane Corsos.

The Corso is likely derived from the same root stock as the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Corso favours agility, speed and stamina, whereas the Neapolitan Mastiff is known for size, power and strength.

At their October 2009 meeting the American Kennel Club Board of Directors approved a proposal that made the Cane Corso eligible for full AKC registration on June 1, 2010 and eligible to compete in all AKC competitions as a part of the Working Group starting June 30, 2010. [5]



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