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Cane Corso Breed Summary

Loyal, Reliable, Devoted, Intelligent and Energetic

Cane Corso's are most probably descendants of Mastiff-type breeds, who are also descendants of Canis Pugnaces and were around during Ancient Roman times! However, this particular breed is a lighter mastiff-type and they make fantastic hunters. Records that we have of the breed go all the way back to 1137 AD, where they were known as 'Dog di Puglia' and were highly prized as being proud with strong attitudes. It's thought that during Ancient Roman times they would accompany soldiers into battle in foreign lands including Britain. It was in Britain that the Romans found native dogs called Pugnaces Britanniae and took them back to Italy to mate them with their own dogs to create the Cane Corso's that we see today! In the 1970s the breed suffered greatly and were on the verge of extinction. They were just about saved by Sig Bonnetti, a breed enthusiast who was keen to save ancient 'pugliese' breeds. Thankfully, numbers have started to rise and the breed has even gained a fanbase here in the UK!

Lifespan 9 - 12 years
Height (at the withers) Males 61cm - 68.5cm, Females 58cm - 63.5cm
Weight Males 45kg - 50kg, Females 40kg - 45kg
Coat Short but double-layered
Colour Black, Grey, Fawn or Red
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Bloat
Other Names Cane di Macellaio, Sicilian Branchiero, Italian Mastiff, Cane Corso Italiano

These dogs are known for being extremely trustworthy and reliable, forming very strong bonds with their owners whom they are totally devoted and loyal to. They are also extremely protective over their families and home but extremely affectionate and gentle by nature. They can be fairly wary of strangers but would never act out on aggression. Their alertness, however, does mean that they make good watchdogs! These dogs take a while to mature and will remain playful and pup-like in nature until they are around 4 years old. Their high prey drive means that they shouldn't be placed in a home with other small animals and shouldn't be let off their leads in public places. They also have a very high pain threshold and when injured won't always let their owners on to a problem so, it's up to us 'hoomans' to keep an eye on them! Because they need to be handled and trained in a very specific way, they don't suit first-time owners and really need to be placed with someone who has experience and knowledge with the breed.

The Cane Corso is a Mastiff-type breed that originated in Italy, having descended from Roman war dogs. After the Roman Empire fell, the Cane Corso worked as a farmhand, flock guardian, property guardian, family guardian and hunting dog (particularly of the big and dangerous game like wild boar).

The breed declined with industrialisation and almost died out after the two World Wars. Only a few dogs were present in remote areas of southern Italy by the 1970s. The breed was brought to the attention of Dr Paolo Breber in 1973 by Giovanni Bonnetti who remembered the dogs from his youth. The next year, Dr Breber obtained some of the dogs and began a breeding program. By 1996 the breed was recognised by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. By then, some of the dogs had been taken to the United States. The International Cane Corso Federation was formed in the U.S. in 1993 and more dogs were taken there from Italy.