Cani Corsi are big, muscular dogs with blocky heads and a confident demeanor, traits that made them great guard and hunting dogs but also make them rather intimidating! Despite those traits, Cani Corsi are very sweet, loyal dogs that can be wonderful companions for the right people/families. The breed originates in Italy, with a history going all the way back to ancient Rome. One ancestor for the breed includes the now-extinct Greek Molossus dog. Throughout history, the Cane Corso was a guard dog, a hunting dog that took on various game, and even worked as a war dog. The name “Cane Corso” references their history as war dogs, as it originates from the Italian word for dog (cane) and the Latin word for army/protector (corhors). 

Thanks to this history as a working dog, current Cani Corsi are generally unwilling to spend all day every day napping and thrive with having some sort of job or fun activities to do. Playing games like fetch or learning tricks are great ways to keep these dogs engaged and happy. Additionally, some Cani Corsi can make great farm dogs and many can make great guard dogs, as they are very loving towards their family but automatically suspicious of strangers. That suspicious attitude towards strangers can be great for guarding but it also means that these dogs need plenty of training and socialization.

Positive reinforcement training is great for these dogs, as they can be a bit emotionally sensitive and have a natural desire to please. Cani Corsi often stand 23-27 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh 90-120 pounds, which means they can get unmanageable without training and could easily knock someone other or yank you down the street while on a leash. These behaviors aren’t usually very aggressive ones in a Cane Corso, even with their long history as guard/war dogs.

The American Kennel Club’s current breed standard for the Cane Corso states that these dogs can have cropped or uncropped ears and if they are cropped, the ears are to be an equilateral triangle. Additionally, the breed standard requires the tail to docked at the fourth vertebrae. However, docking tails and cropping ears are falling out of favor and many are calling for the end of these practices. If you do get a Cane Corso, there’s absolutely no need to crop their ears or dock their tails, as they are purely cosmetic procedures that can be incredibly painful for the dogs.

The Cane Corso has a short, coarse double coat that sheds a decent amount throughout the year and more during the spring and fall. The coats can be black, grey, red, or fawn and can be solid in color or have a brindle pattern to them. Weekly brushing for most of the year should be more than adequate to keep their coats healthy and baths can happen on an as-needed basis. Like any dog, a Cane Corso will need the occasional nail trim and regular dental care. They can be prone to some health issues, like joint issues, bloat, hip dysplasia, and anxiety.

Given the right schedule and care, a Cane Corso can be an incredibly wonderful dog, even in families! These large dogs can look intimidating but have a sweet temperament and are deeply loving and loyal to their people. Cani Corsi often love having something to do and thrive in homes that do positive reinforcement training and regular activities, like daily walks. Their large size and significant need for exercise and training means these dogs aren’t for every family but once they find their people, they are incredible dogs!

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