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Life span: 10-12 Years

Height: 62-70cm (Male); 58-66cm (Female)

Weight: 45-50kg (Male); 40-45kg (Female)

Cane Corso, also known as Italian Mastiff belongs to larger dog breeds. Cane Corso is classified under smart dog breeds and is easily trainable, noble, confident, and calm dogs. They are guard dogs and are loyal pets. Cane dogs are not hypoallergenic and can shed hairs to a minimum.

Physical Characteristics

This breed has a large and heavy body. Its ears are small and fold down, and its tail is naturally small and rests down. Its eyes are brown with a black or brown nose. Their coat is short and straight yet dense, especially during winter, and can be grey, black, brown, light brown, or red.


Its ancestors are Roman war dogs, and most likely, the Mastiff. It originated in Italy and after the Roman downfall, they were used mainly for guarding, hunting and helping in farms. They hunted mostly boars and other big game animals. They nearly became extinct after World War II, with only a few dogs of this breed still alive in Southern Italy by the 1970s. It was saved by Dr. Paolo Breber and Giovanni Bonnetti, who alerted the Dr. of the breed’s position in 1973. In 1974, Dr. Pablo Breber began the breeding program to save the Cane Corso. It was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1996, and in 1993 the International Cane Corso Federation was formed in the United States (which later changed its name to Cane Corso Association of America), leading to its acceptance into the American Kennel Club in 2010.


This breed is loyal, intelligent and loving. They enjoy spending time with their families, especially doing activities, and gets along well with children and other dogs, although it must be supervised when playing with them. They need owners that can establish themselves as the leaders, and set firm boundaries, since the dog will attempt to test them and take leadership. Even though they have no problems within their family, they are wary of strangers and may be aggressive towards them.


Although generally healthy, this breed may suffer from:

Ectropion, a rolling out of the eyelid that exposes the eye to infections and can be corrected through surgery.

Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Cherry Eye, in which the gland from the third eyelid extends and looks like a cherry in the corner of your dog’s eye, which can be surgically removed.

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Demodectic Mange, or demodicosis, a disorder in which mites (which would otherwise be harmless), passed from the mother to the puppies with weak immune systems, cause hair loss and red, scaly skin. This disease usually passes on its own, but should be checked by a professional in any case.


Their coat needs weekly brushing, but daily during shedding season. Their nails need to be trimmed regularly, as well as their ears checked for any dirt to prevent infection, and their teeth brushed. They need plenty of daily exercise done at least two times a day in order to keep them from developing destructive behavior. Obedience training and early socialization are a must for this breed. Once their owners establish themselves as the leaders, the Cane Corso will be easy to train and willing to please.


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