Are Cane Corsos Good Pets? Read This First

Updated Aug 22, 2022

Cane Corso Pet

We have been Cane Corso owners for 13 years. We have paid careful attention to a wide range of online information about the breed characteristics. Here we share our actual experience of these things.

Are Cane Corsos good pets? Yes, Cane Corso can be excellent pets and perfect family dogs. Loyal, affectionate and protective, with a calm, stable temperament, they will naturally follow their owner’s lead. They are dedicated to their whole family and make wonderful companions. However, because they are large dogs, extra caution should be taken with small children.

Let’s take a closer look at the Cane Corso’s characteristics. And also a few simple guidelines you can follow to make sure that your Cane Corso dog turns out to be everything you want him to be.

Cane Corso History And Breeding Makes For A Great Family Pet

The Cane Corso breed dates back to ancient Roman times. He was bred to be a protector. His main use in Italy in the last century was to guard farms, their families and their livestock. After coming close to extinction in the middle of the 20th century, the breed was resurrected in the 1970s.

The Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff. The modern version has come from selective breeding from a small number of Cane Corsos in rural Italy. The breed's natural guardian tendencies have been retained. He is a natural guard dog, but he is nowadays predominantly a family dog.

Today's Cane Corso temperament has all the right natural tendencies to make a great pet.

How You Can Guide Your Cane Corso Towards Being The Perfect Pet

Although a Cane Corso is naturally a good fit for your family, it is still necessary to provide him with the right environment and training.

There are two main reasons:

  1. The Cane Corso is a mastiff. He is a large dog. The consequences of bad behavior are greater with a big dog breed. The responsible Cane Corso Owner must respect this.
  2. In the early days after coming to his new home the Cane Corso puppy will be closely watching his owner and his family group. He will be figuring out where he fits in and how he should behave.

This early period in his life is when it is easiest to shape the Cane Corso pup's future behavior.

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It doesn’t take much, to be honest. All dogs are all individuals, with differences in their temperament, and Cane Corsos are no exception. But one of the things that makes Cane Corsos such a great dog is the combination of being quick to learn, and eager to please.

This means they are quick to figure out how things work in their family, what their place is, and where they fit in. Let’s look at a couple of things you can do to enhance that and make that work for you.

First thing: starting at the very beginning, a dedicated and knowledgeable Cane Corso breeder is an important part of this. This breeder will know all about the importance of temperament in a large breed.

He will know the individual characteristics of the puppies in the litter. He will be able to match your requirements with your best choice in the litter.

Be sure to discuss your requirements, and be clear about what you want. If your focus is on having a good family pet, be clear about that. A good breeder will know immediately which of the puppies best fit the bill.

One other thing to be aware of when talking to your breeder is that Cane Corsos can have a tendency toward hip dysplasia. This is mainly a hereditary condition, although diet can also play a part.

A reputable breeder should have a hip score for the breeding bitch and the male. A good hip score will reduce the chances of your dog having this condition.

Hip dysplasia cannot be fully diagnosed until a cane corso pup grows to reach about 2 years old. Our female was diagnosed with the condition. It was clear when pointed out on an x-ray, but she has never shown any signs of suffering.

Cane Corso Puppy

Cane Corso Puppy

A Crate Helps Your Cane Corso To Fit Into The Family

The beauty of getting a crate is that it has major benefits for both you and your Cane Corso puppy. Some people think of a crate as a restriction or punishment. But this is not the correct way to view it. The dog instinctively wants a den, a personal space, where he can get away from it all and feel safe.

By getting your Cane Corso a crate and training him to spend some time in it, you are fulfilling that need for him. At the same time, it provides you with the opportunity to reinforce who the leader is every single day.

Our two Cane Corsos will go into their crates of their own accord, usually several times each day. Touchingly, they tend to go at the same time. And a crate also provides some convenience for us, over and above the element of training.

An example is when we come home from the supermarket. First we get the exuberant welcome that we always receive on returning home. Then, a single word — ‘Crate’ — sees both our Cane Corsos trot off into their crates.

This leaves us free to bring in the groceries and put them away knowing that the dogs are safely out of the way.

Use Feeding Time To Keep Your Cane Corso Behaving Like A Good Pet

Another simple idea which makes it easy to ensure that your dog understands his position. This is easy to do, and you shouldn’t underestimate its tremendous effectiveness in guiding your dog’s overall behavior.

Feeding time is a moment where you can guarantee that you have your dog’s attention. He also wants something from you at this moment. Use these things to help him maintain his behavior as a good pet.

Try this: with the dog bowl in one hand, tell him to sit, and to stay. It helps to reinforce the command by putting the other hand out, palm forward, in a ‘stay’ gesture. Take a couple paces back away from your dog and start to put the bowl on the floor. Do not let the dog move until you tell him.

If he starts to come forward for the food before you call him, raise the bowl again, make him sit and stay with a hand gesture, and start again.

He will soon get the message that he doesn’t get the food until you call him forward. Use a word of your choice, But make it a single word, and be consistent in using exactly the same word each time.

Doing this at every meal time, consistently, gives you two more built-in opportunities every day to reinforce who is the boss.

You can apply the same no-free-lunch concept to everything that your Cane Corso wants. Whether it's treats, toys, walks -- whatever. Just require him to carry out some command first, while you have his attention.

You can find multiple opportunities to do this throughout the day, constantly and consistently reinforcing your leadership. And building a strong basis for your Cane Corso to be a good pet and a good family dog.

And that’s really all it takes.

The Cane Corso is quick on the uptake and wants to please you. He will naturally do what you are asking him to do, If you make it clear that you are the leader. And he has a positive reinforcement with his food after he has followed your directions.

Will Your Cane Corso Protect You?

The cane Corso is widely acknowledged to have one of the strongest guarding instincts. Once again, he will take your lead, and he will welcome people that you invite to your house, and that you make welcome. But the Cane Corso is an alert and vigilant watchdog.

The heavily-muscled body of the Cane Corso, together with his sheer size give him an intimidating appearance. Don't let that over-shadow the fact that he is an affectionate and loyal family pet. But be aware of the fact that it's not going to appear that way to somebody who doesn't know him.

A Cane Corso on full alert, with his hackles up, is an impressive site. Your invited guests will never see this. But an uninvited intruder will likely be completely terrified, and quickly lose any motivation to persist.

And any burglar checking out your property for his next job is likely to move on to easier pickings.

We see how this works, when we have garbage collection guys, or construction workers, or gardeners visiting our house. We have seen these people literally run for shelter behind a tree or a wall, when we open the door to take our Cane Corsos out.

Obviously, we wouldn't want or allow our dogs to be dangerous. But we don't entirely allay the fears of the workers, either. We reassure them that they'll be fine ' long as we're around'.

The legend of the house where you have to watch out for the huge dogs spreads easily. An extra side benefit of having this great dog as a family pet.

Our Cane Corsos Have Been The Very Best Pets Possible

There is another characteristic of Cane Corsos. They are emotional animals, and they form an emotional attachment to the humans they love. Here's an example: my wife suffers from migraine from time to time.

At these times, nothing really relieves the pain and nausea, and she is sometimes confined to bed for days. At these times, our male Cane Corso stays right by her side, in full contact, the whole time.

If she sleeps for a while, he checks regularly to make sure she is OK. He only leaves the room to eat and to answer calls of nature. I have never seen an animal so dedicated to its owner. It's very touching. Needless to say, they have a tremendous bond, and he is never far from her.

It's hard to imagine how an animal-human relationship could be better.

So, with a Cane Corso, you can have one of the best pets it’s possible to have. Simply follow a few simple steps with consistency, and with a little care. You will have a companion and a protector, who will thoroughly reward you for your attention.

Related Questions

Do Cane Corsos shed a lot?

Cane Corsos can shed a surprising amount. They are a short haired breed with a smooth coat, but they can shed a lot, even so. They have a double coat and, while not a high-maintenance pet, they do need regular brushing. Along with an occasional bath, they don't need much more for their grooming.

Absolutely not. Unless the owner was abusive and provoked the animal. It is inherent in the Cane Corso’s nature to be loyal and dedicated to its owner. It is naturally both affectionate and protective towards its owner and its family

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