Dog Breeds > Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Alternate NamesItalian Court Dog, Branchiero Siciliano, Italian Corso Dog
GroupPinscher, Schnauzer, Molosser and Swiss Shepherd

Cane Corso Profile

Robust (Health)
Supports Loneliness
Need Exercise
Easy To Maintain
Easy to Train
Nice Child
Agreement with Animals
First Dog
Able to Guard

Physical Characteristics

It is a medium-to-large, strongly built yet elegant dog with long and powerful muscles. It emanates strength, flexibility, and sturdiness. The skull is broad and slightly arched with a very pronounced stop. The snout is broad and deep: its width should be equal to its length. The lips are rather consistent: viewed from the front, the superior lips form an inverted “U,” but from a side view they appear moderately pending. The eyes are of medium size compared to other dogs’ eyes. They have a sub-frontal position, are set well apart, and are as dark as possible in harmony with the color of the coat. The ears are of medium size compared to the head’s size. They are triangular and inserted high, and they are usually in the shape of an equilateral triangle. The trunk is compact, robust and very muscular. The paws are perfectly straight, whether viewed from the front or the side.

Fur: short but not shaved.

Color: black and fawn are the two basic coat colors, but blue (grey from black), frumentino or formentino (from fawn, where the mask is blue/grey), tigrato (black brindle), and Grigio Tigrato (blue brindle) are also common. White markings are common on the chest, the tips of the toes, the chin, and the bridge of the nose.

Size: 62 to 68 cm for the males and 58 to 64 cm for the females.

Weight: 44 to 50 kg for the males and 40 to 45 kg for the females. 

Origins and History

It is the direct descendant and a “light” version of the “Canis Pugnax” (molosser) used by the Romans in warfare and to hunt big game. For centuries, it represented an ideal companion for the Italians, who used it as a property-and-personal-guard dog, herding dog and hunting dog. Once widespread throughout the peninsula, as evidenced by numerous engravings and historical narratives, it is still present in southern Italy today. Its Italian name “Corso” has nothing to do with Corsica. The origin of the name probably comes from the Latin word “cohors,” as in the Roman cohort of the Praetorian Guard, indicating an ancient function of bodyguard.

Character and Abilities

Smart, full of energy and well balanced, it is an excellent guard dog. Docile and affectionate with its owner, it also likes children and families. It turns into a ferocious defense dog only when needed. It is very easy to train and very docile, but it can be a bit stubborn and needs an expert hand. When convinced of the value of its work, it accomplishes it thoroughly.

Living Conditions

It can peacefully live in an apartment or a garden. Indoors, the Cane Corso is very clean, won’t lose much fur and won’t drool much (unlike most molossers). It barks only when necessary.


It is a strong and robust dog without any particular problems. However, some Cane Corso dogs can have hip dysplasia, so it is important to keep an eye on it.

Average life expectancy: about 12 years.

Information and Tips

This breed has only been restored recently, after almost going extinct. It is now recognized by the FCI as an Italian race. Good puppies are only found in good breeding farms.

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