The Cane Corso is not a new breed but actually an ancient breed, which was brought into the United States from Italy in the 1980s. This was a time when the Cane Corso as a breed was nearly extinct, and in the beginning phases of the resconstruction of the Cane Corso breed. The Cane Corso is sometimes considered one of the two Italian Mastiffs, the other, a much larger and more blocky dog, is his cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Neapolitan Mastiff is the true Italian Mastiff.
The name Cane Corso (pronounced kah-ney kors-oh) can be broken down to its original language; Cane in Italian means dog, a derivative of the Latin canis. Also in Latin Cohors- this would mean bodyguard. That is what the Cane Corso was; a guardian of the family, property and herd. Once this breed was no longer used as a war dog in Roman wars, the Cane Corso became a multipurpose dog used to support the rural family by hunting (large game such as wild boar) herding the cattle, and protecting the family and property. The Cane Corso was a coveted dog and was very important to the lifestyle of the ancient Italians.
Due to many reasons including war and the lack of need for the dog, the Cane Corso declined quickly in the Southern Italian country side. After his introduction to the United States the Cane Corso became more of a family member and is most widely used as a protector of family and property and more recently has been excelling in IPO/Schutzhund and other protection sports. The Cane Corso still retains much of his natural instincts of a working dog, and should show a strong, natural desire to protect his family and property. This is something that must be understood be someone considering adding a Cane Corso to their family.
The Cane Corso should represent an athlete. He should be well toned with muscle but not blocky and slow. He should be quick and powerful. The Cane Corso bonds very strongly to his family but is not always inviting of strangers. A Cane Corso of stable temperament knows the difference between a threat and a harmless stranger, and should not bite out of fear. This breed is not for the faint hearted or the weak willed. The Cane Corso is a dominant breed that requires significant training and socializing starting at a young age. We encourage you to look up the breed standard for the different registries. The links are at the bottom of this page.
Italian Farm Dog
the Corso in America
Cane Corso Nature
Cane Corso Italiano
Cane Corso Italiano
The Cane Corso is prone to some health issues that are typical of large and giant breed dogs such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and GDV, but also epilepsy. Click here for more information on health issues in the Cane Corso.