Updated Aug 30, 2022
Cane Corso Training
Everyday events, things which occur naturally throughout the course of each day, are a fantastic opportunity to train your Cane Corso.
And, of course, with this large mastiff breed, training is imperative, to ensure that you are in control. Obedience is extra-essential for a large dog.
CaneCorsoDogOwner is reader-supported. If you use our links to buy something, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We do not accept money for editorial or reviews.
Most Popular Articles
The Cane Corso is a natural protection dog, or guard dog, but we're not talking about that kind of specialized training here. We're not talking about training for a working dog, either.
We're talking about using the convenience of everyday events and harnessing the power of repetition to drill in some bulletproof basic obedience training.
Along with some simple socialization, this is all you will need to ensure your Cane Corso is a good family dog.
The magical combination is when your dog really wants something from you, and is thus giving you his full focus and attention.
At these moments, he will learn whatever you want to teach him very quickly indeed. And the fact that these events occur naturally every day, means that the commands you teach your dog will quickly become habitual behavior which is totally ingrained.
This is the simplest, easiest way to approach dog training, and the quickest way to get started. And the Cane Corso temperament will respond very well to these methods.
And all those single, individual times you have your dog do what you are asking, you are reinforcing his general training, and your leadership.
By having several of these routines which are built into every day, your dog soon becomes completely accustomed to doing what you say. It spills across into other things you tell him to do. You quickly become the unquestioned leader. And before long, and with very little effort, you have a well-trained dog.
You can implement all the suggestions below with just the information in this article. But if you want to make the most of your efforts in training your dog, and learn how to eliminate unwanted behavior, check out our favorite training resource by clicking the button below
GRAB YOUR FREE COPY NOW!
FREE! 10-Part Video Series
*** Plus PDF ***>
Great for new owners
and useful for all of us!
Feeding times really are the 800 lb gorilla in training opportunities. There is perhaps no other time when your dog truly wants something from you this much. It becomes a training opportunity which literally cannot fail, as long as you use it consistently.
There is an inbuilt opportunity here to teach your Cane Corso puppy at least four of the staple commands.
You can have him sit at a point a few yards away from where you prepare his food.
You can teach him to stay whilst you back away to where the food is.
You can have him lie down whilst you prepare his food.
And, finally you can teach him to come to you on command when the food is ready.
For those who don't mind getting their hands a bit messy, there is another trick: if you mix the food around with your hands, your scent is associated with the food. This builds an extra layer of bonding with your dog which, once again, is reinforced every day.
The Kong As A Training Tool
We give our Cane Corso a kong every afternoon as a staple part of their health care. Chewing on the Kong provides a similar benefit to chewing bones. But without the drawback of potential long-term damage to teeth.
Stuffing the kong with something desirable, such as chicken or other meat, or peanut butter, typically keeps the dog working for about 15 minutes.
We actually used the kong as a reinforcement in our early crate training, which we talk about below. But it has the same benefits as regular feeding times.
You can also use the kong as an incentive to help your Cane Corso to learn to sit, stay, lie down, or any other command. Either instead of going in his crate, or alongside crate training, before he is told to go in his crate.
Evening Snack — Apples Etc
we give an apple to our dogs, both as a treat and for health. They look forward to this treat, they know exactly when it is time for them to get it.
And it provides yet another opportunity for regular training and reinforcement, with all the same benefits — you have your dog’s undivided attention, and he has a very heightened desire to please.
We cut an apple into quarters, and then cut each quarter into three or four smaller pieces. This gives lots of small pieces of apple, which are all eagerly anticipated.
And all give a perfect opportunity to have your dog do whatever you would like to teach him to do. The apple is a nice crunchy treat, which is generally more healthy than processed treats, and good for the dog’s teeth.
There is an extra benefit to this particular procedure. Hand feeding your dog every day will pretty much ensure that there are no problems with food aggression. The dog naturally (and quickly) comes to recognize you as a provider of food.
And he learns to take the food from you gently, and to generally respect you and your hand. Most dogs will adopt this gentle behavior naturally, but sometimes it needs a little encouragement when they get a bit excited.
And, of course, this is the perfect opportunity to teach him.
Pick a word that you want to use for the command, such as ‘gently’ or ‘easy’. As with all commands, make sure you use one word only, and always use the same word, for consistency.
Extend the treat towards the dog, but stop about 12 inches short. Use your command, e.g. gently, and move the food slowly towards the dog’s mouth. If he lunges at the food, take the food back again and firmly say ‘no’. Repeat the process. Always using the same one word command, e.g. gently.
Only when he has stopped lunging or snapping at the food, do you allow him to have it. Then you praise him, using whatever phrase you have chosen for that — ‘good dog’, ‘good boy’, ‘good girl’ etc.
Your dog will learn this behavior incredibly quickly, because he really wants what you are offering, and you have his full attention. Learning the process to get the treat is very important to him.
Here’s another thing that typically occurs regularly, and presents another great opportunity for training and reinforcement.
We're not talking about leash training here. More about using the fact that you have your dog's attention to teach and reinforce basic commands.
Aside from those funny videos, where a dog refuses to walk and ends up being slid along the floor, most dogs are very eager to go for a walk. It provides a break for them, with new sights, sounds and smells.
So don’t waste the opportunity for a little training. Choose a command to get the whole walk routine started. Some of you may remember the English lady Barbara Woodward with her high-pitched “walkies” command. You don’t have to do that, a simple “walk” will do.
Now you have set up the opportunity and your dog will know what comes next. He will soon assimilate the word, and know he’s going for a walk. And, once again, you have something he wants and you get his attention.
You can make the dog come to you, and you can make him sit while you put on his lead. You can make him stay while you open the door.
Like all the other opportunities we are discussing here, you can make him do pretty much anything you can think of whilst you have his attention.
If you can find a few minutes a day to play with your dog, it is a great help in bonding.
Even if you can’t get out side on a given day, you can always spend a few minutes playing with inside. And, if you do, you once again have everything in place for some good training opportunities.
You can teach or reinforce any of the typical commands I have already mentioned, and you can most likely come up with a few more commands, depending on the context of what you are doing at the time.
Grooming A Cane Corso
You’re going to want your Cane Corso to follow your directions whilst you are grooming him.
So grooming becomes another training opportunity which occurs regularly. Just be sure not to let the opportunity pass, by allowing your dog to do as he pleases. It will benefit both of you to use and reinforce his training.
In addition to commands like 'sit' and 'stay' which might be needed whilst grooming, you may want to teach your dog to stand. For those times when he lies down, making brushing inconvenient.
Create Your Own Training Opportunity
Apart from things which occur naturally every day, you can use these same principles any time. Creating your own mini training opportunities at any time you like. A small treat can be used specifically for that purpose, to reinforce whatever commands need a bit of work.
Think of this as a short term addition to your training regime. You can implement it or not, as you choose. Once your Cane Corso has thoroughly learned the commands you want to teach him, the events which occur every day will be sufficient to maintain his training.
Crate Training Summary
We have talked elsewhere about the tremendous benefit That crate training providers, to both you and your Cane Corso. We have a full article here:
We would recommend that any owner gets a crate for any breed of dog. But with large dogs such as the Cane Corso, the crate truly becomes virtually indispensable.
Click the button below for information on our favorite crate.
Initially we encouraged our Cane Corso to go into his crate by leading him to the crate and throwing a treat to the back of the crate, always speaking the 'Crate' command, always a single word only, to avoid any confusion in the puppy, and make things easy to follow and understand for him.
Always praise him for carrying out the command. Again be consistent with this, make it short, and consistent by saying the same thing every time. 'Good boy' or 'Good girl' will do fine.
As he got more used to being in the crate we would lead him there, use the 'Crate' command and have him go in there without the treat, then give him the treat, along with your 'Good boy' praise for reinforcement.
Eventually, he would go in without hesitation, with no treat at all.
At this point we would give him the treat after he went into the crate. But only sporadically, not every time.
Now, a few years later, he happily trots into his crate instantly on hearing the word 'Crate', and we still always say 'Good dog' and still occasionally give him a treat. It is something he has learned for life by a brief period of consistent training.
As a responsible Cane Corso owner, you must provide training for your dog. Many people are nervous about their ability to train their dog. If you're not a dog trainer, this can seem daunting.
But it needn't be.
The simple principle here is that, any time you are about to give your dog something that he wants, you have his full attention. And it is easy to get his full cooperation.
Some simple positive reinforcement at these times can be very effective. And, because it is repeated every day. It soon becomes a totally ingrained habit for your pet.
So, by making use of such events that occur naturally every day, we can turn these things into a regular, everyday training opportunity which anybody can do well with. It truly makes training virtually effortless.
All you have to do is remember to do it.