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Cane corso resting outside in grass

Breed overview

  • Breed group — Working group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height — 22-29 inches
  • Weight — 85-115 pounds
  • Coat length & texture — Thick and coarse short-length coat.
  • Coat color — Black, fawn, gray, chocolate, chestnut brindle, black brindle, deep red. There won’t generally be color variation between adult and puppy cane corsos.
  • Exercise needs — High
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 10-12 years
  • Temperament — Loyal, sweet, and intelligent best friends
  • Hypoallergenic —No
  • Origin — Italy

👉 No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but some are better than others for allergy sufferers.

Cane corso fun facts

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Cane Corsos Zeus; Kane is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Cane Corsos love Bella and Luna equally.

  • Some pet enthusiasts can mistake the cane corso’s name for the “king” corso breed, which doesn’t exist!
  • Cane corsos have a rich history of loyal guard dogs, and they are happy to protect their owners.
  • The Romans used cane corsos as war dogs and fighters, and served as hunters, guard dogs and farming animals after wartime ended.

Cane corso temperament and characteristics 

Cane corso puppies are enthusiastic and loyal. They generally  require extra attention, and enjoy challenges that require them to leverage their above-average intelligence. This means that they may enjoy activities where they solve problems and burn some energy, connecting directly with their owner and playmate(s). They’re exceptionally eager-to-please and able to learn, making them trainable and versatile pups. They enjoy socialization and any time spent together with their pack.

The outgoing, friendly and defensive nature of cane corsos generally make the breed an excellent choice for homes with children and other family members. If properly socialized, they can get along well with other humans or furry friends.


The Cane Corso is a large breed of dog known for its muscular and athletic build. The Cane Corso coat comes in several colors: black, lighter, and darker shades of gray, red, and lighter and darker shades of fawn. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, a common coat color for the Cane Corso is (82%) black.

Cane corso outside walking through leaves

Common cane corso health problems

Cane corsos are generally considered to be healthy breeds. However, they can be subject to certain conditions through genetic predisposition. Understanding the range and severity of these potential health problems can help owners to support their cane corso before problems arise, keeping them as healthy and happy as possible. Here are some common genetic health problems to keep a lookout for in your cane corso pup.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy. This condition is relatively common in many dog breeds, including the cane corso. It can be medically defined as seizures with no known cause.
  • Cherry eye. Caused by inflammation of a pup’s tear gland, this condition occurs when the swollen gland prolapses, which can be itchy and irritating.
  • Hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia occurs when a dog’s femur (also known as the long leg bone) is unstable in the hip joint. This can stress the ligament(s)  and cause pain if untreated.
  • Demodex mange. This type of mange is caused by parasites (either Demodex canis or Demodex injal, respectively) and can cause scaly red skin or hair loss

Cost of caring for cane corsos

Cane corsos aren’t considered to be more expensive than most other mid- to large-sized dog breeds. However, because they are exceptionally playful (and have a pretty big appetite), related expenses for food, treats, and toys should be taken into account. Preventative medicine and health-related costs should also be planned for wherever possible, as the breed has several predispositions for certain genetic conditions.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your out-of-pocket expenditures, you may want to think about pet health insurance. You might even score extra savings if you sign up your pets early on! You can also consider a pet savings account, giving you a flexible spending option to turn to in case any unexpected costs come up.

Black cane corso close up

History of the cane corso

The cane corso is a historical dog, with documented use and popularity as far back as the dawn of the Roman Empire. They were used for watch, war and general companionship, as well as hunting — all of which was possible due to their high intelligence and sharp wit. The breed became increasingly popular into the 1970s, serving as a popular household pet across Europe. They entered the United States in the mid-1980s and have been a loyal favorite ever since.

Caring for your cane corso 

New to being a puppy parent? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed! Not to worry though — we’ve put together everything you need to successfully book your first trip to the vet, and schedule your dog’s vaccinations. We have also put together resources to help you puppy-proof your home and prepare for teething.

Our top tip to you is to consider investing in a FidoAlert for your furry friend — keeping them local and safe through the free Fido ID and tag so you’re prepared for any situation.

Ready to get started? Here are other tips to know to help your cane corso have the best experience possible.


Cane corsos are incredibly energetic and need a lot of playtime to stay busy! While they can thrive in any loving home, it’s best to give them as much outside time as possible,  which can be accomplished with a backyard, green belt, or local community dog park. Cane corsos are smart and love their humans even more than their favorite toy, and thrive when they are given as much attention as possible. If you plan to welcome a cane corso into your home, be sure to book in lots of one-on-one facetime with your furry friend.

Grey cane corso running


Cane corsos may have short, coarse hair, but continuous upkeep is generally best to keep your pup’s coat as healthy as possible. We recommend establishing a routine for coat care early on, ranging from weekly baths to once every four weeks depending on how dirty your dog tends to get. Cane corsos are not considered to be “single-coated,” meaning that you can expect some seasonal shedding year-round. Frequent biweekly brushing can keep excessive shedding at bay, and your dog’s coat as healthy as possible.

Nail trimming, ear cleaning and teeth brushing are all important to maintain as well, and can be helpful indicators of your dog’s overall health. While you can do nail trimming and ear cleaning about once per month, teeth brushing should be done at least every other day.

Need a distraction? Cane corsos love to be stimulated and challenged. Try investing in a few special bath time toys or a lick mat lined with a favorite treat. You’ll be able to bathe your corso in peace, and give them a special treat!

Diet and nutrition

Cane corsos need a robust diet to fuel their brains and bodies. The American Kennel Club recommends high quality dog food for your pup, which can be given multiple times a day. On average, many cane corsos consume about 4 cups of dog food per day — but it’s always best to connect with your vet for personalized food portioning and type recommendations.

It’s important to note that this number of cups or scoops may change due to other factors as well, such as the cane corso’s stage of development, or any pre-existing health conditions that may affect their appetite.

Training your cane corso 

Cane corsos are smart and active, making them excellent candidates for ongoing training. You can start in puppyhood and advance to more complex levels of training, moving on from basic etiquette to impressive tricks.

Reinforcement-based training is especially effective for these pups according to the American Kennel Club — giving them a special treat to look forward to as they practice their very best behavior.

Although they are intelligent, they can get bored with repetitious training and become less responsive over time. To avoid this, you might consider keeping sessions short and enjoyable, ending on a positive note with a treat, toy, or plenty of love and affection. This isn’t just an important skill for outside time or trips to the dog park, either — it can also be very helpful for smooth vet visits.

Cane corso training

Breeds similar to the cane corso

Not quite sure that a cane corso is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Presa canario. This special breed is very similar to the cane corso and is considered to be a bit larger than their cane corso counterparts. They are very defensive and dominant, and are considered leaders and loyalists.
  • Rottweilers. Known for their affection and devotion, rottweilers are protective, loyal, and family-friendly. Like cane corsos, they are highly intelligent and love any attention they can get!
  • Boxers. These special dogs are sweet, playful, and silly. Boxers are trainable and enjoy impressing owners with displays of skill and athleticism — and are as intelligent and stubborn as cane corsos can be.

Frequently asked questions

Are cane corsos good with kids?

Cane corsos are protective and loyal. They socialize well and can fit right in with human and fellow pet-siblings. Pet parents should take size and weight into account, however, as a full-size cane corso can present a potential risk for infants and small children.

Is a cane corso aggressive?

Cane corsos, while intimidating, are not aggressive by nature. They protect the people and things they love, and are primarily defensive. They can further differentiate between offensive and defensive behavior with proper training and support from pet parents and experts.

Is a cane corso good for a first-time pet owner?

While cane corsos can be a good choice of pet for a first-time pet parent, we do recommend that all cane corso owners look into the amount of attention and training this specific breed thrives with. Any owner, both new or seasoned, can give a cane corso a great home with the proper support and care.

Can a cane corso be left alone all day?

Cane corsos love attention, exercise, and fun. While owners may be called away for some of the day (such as a part-time or full-time work shift), this should be accounted for and built into a pup’s routine gradually. They can be left alone for up to 8 hours with the proper exercise and affection given both before and after the departure.

What age do cane corsos become protective?

Cane corsos are protective by nature. You may start to see this behavior form in early puppyhood and last through their senior years. With this in mind, it’s important to consider puppy training as early as possible to refine and support the healthy manifestation of this doggy behavior.