Meet the Cane Corso

Breed Profile:

The Cane Corso is intelligent, stable and active. He is noble and majestic in appearance with movement that is powerful and effortless. While affectionate with his family and loving to children, if necessary, he becomes a brave protector of both his family and property. Though wary of strangers, he should never be aggressive. The true Corso is indifferent when approached by strangers and will only react if a real threat is present. According to the FCI Breed Standard, an aggressive, unfriendly, or unapproachable Corso is incorrect.

Corsos enjoy many varied activities, including: protection work, weight pulling, carting, agility, flyball, herding and tracking.

The Cane Corso puppy will grow up to be a very powerful, self-assured and determined dog and, as such, early training is a must. As an intelligent, eager to please and calm natured dog, the Corso puppy is relatively easy to train.

Additional Reading: Is the Cane Corso Right for Me — from the Cane Corso Association of America

  • Capital Cane Corso - and
    Trillium K-9 Obedience & Protection Training -
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A Bit of Breed History:

The Cane Corso is a direct descendant of the ancient Roman Molossian “Canis Pugnax.” The breed first appeared in the sixteenth century and was used in the hunting of large game as well as an “auxiliary warrior” in battles. Later, the breed also worked as a farmhand, flock guardian, property and family guardian.

The breed was common throughout Italy until Industrialization and, by the end of World War II, the breed had declined to a point of being considered very rare. By the 1970s, only a few dogs remained in remote areas of Southern Italy. In 1974, Dr. Paolo Breber took an interest in the breed and after acquiring some of the remaining dogs, he began a breeding program. By 1996, the breed had achieved recognition by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

During this time, some of the dogs had been imported to the United States and the International Cane Corso Federation (ICCF) was formed. In 2003 the ICCF began seeking AKC recognition and the Cane Corso Association of America was formed. In July 2010 the breed achieved official recognition by the American Kennel Club in the Working Group.

In Canada, the Cane Corso is in the process of gaining full recognition by the Canadian Kennel club and is currently a Listed Breed under the Working Dogs group.

For more indepth reading on the history of the breed, see Cane Corso History from the International Cane Corso Federation.

Cosima Corsos

Photo courtesy of Cosima Corsos

For more information about the Cane Corso breed, see For a list of breeders, see the Breeders page as well as the Breed Clubs page, and be sure to check out the Breed Rescues page where Cane Corsos are occasionally available for adoption.

Photo courtesy Cosima Corsos -

Photo courtesy of Cosima Corsos –

A Few Facts

~ Known as:
        Cane Corso;
        Cane Corso Italiano;
        Italian Mastiff;

~ Pronounced: KAH-neh KOR-soh

~ Ideal Height at the Shoulders:
        Males – 24 to 27 inches (64-68 cm);
        Females – 23 to 25 inches (60- 64 cm)

~ Average Weight:
        Males – 99 to 110 pounds (45-50 kg)
        Females – 88 to 99 pounds (40-45 kg);

Did you know?

· The Cane Corso name derives from the Latin word “cohors”, which means “protector, guardian of the farmyard.”

· The Cane Corso breed originated in Italy.

· The Cane Corso’s ears may be cropped or uncropped.

· The Cane Corso has a free flowing and powerful gait with strong reach and drive.

· As a protector of property and family, the Cane Corso is unequaled.


We would like to acknowledge and thank those who provided us with photos of this majestic breed to use in this Cane Corso Spotlight page:

All photos are copyright to the dog owners or as indicated and used here with permission. It is strictly forbidden to copy, reproduce or otherwise use any of the photos without prior permission from the copyright holder.

Photo courtesy of Del Ecousse Cane Corso

Photo courtesy of Del Ecousse Cane Corso