Updated Aug 30, 2022
What Colors Do Cane Corsos Come In?
Cane Corsos come in a variety of colors, some more common than others. If you are a beginner in the world of Cane Corsos — or even if you are more knowledgable — you may be wondering about the different colors that these dogs exhibit. Are there factors to consider other than just appearance? There are questions that often come up. We will uncover the answers here.
According to the AKC breed standards, Cane Corsos can be black, gray, fawn, red, or brindled (with any of the aforementioned colors as a base). In addition to the main colors, there are also chocolate or liver Cane Corsos, isabella Cane Corsos, and straw Cane Corsos. There are also formentino Cane Corsos, which can be known as 'blue fawn'.
In this article, we will discuss the different colors that Cane Corsos come in, as well as the various shades and hues of these colors. We will also touch on health issues and longevity, related to coat colors and, generally, why color matters.
What Are The Main Cane Corso Colors?
The AKC or American Kennel Club breed standard for the Cane Corso only lists four colors that are recognized by this organization:
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Cane Corsos can be black. Many buyers prefer this color, as it is considered to be the most traditional and classic of all the colors. The black color in Cane Corsos is caused by a pigment common in dogs called eumelanin.
As the name implies, these dogs typically have black hair, although some of them appear to have dark brown coats. According to the AKC breed standard, there can also be fawn or gray undertones on black Cane Corsos.
Black Cane Corsos can have a splash of white. This is usually on the chest, but may also be found on the paws.
Black Cane Corsos are preferred by one whole segment of the market because they look the most mean and menacing. Crop the ears, add a few big chains and you have the ultimate 'devil dog'. Except that he isn't! The cane Corso is a loyal and affectionate family dog by nature. It's certain breeders and some owners who turn some of these majestic dogs into something else.
Cane Corsos can also be grey. Grey Cane Corsos sometimes appear to have black markings. The grey shade is a result of the recessive dilute gene of the black Cane Corso. This can make the grey colored Cane Corsos more susceptible to skin conditions.
This coat shade is often confused with the blue color, something of a debate we will get to a bit later.
Fawn Cane Corsos are a light tan color with a reddish hue. They typically have a black mask and ears, and may also have black on their feet and tail tip.
This color in a Cane Corso is often associated with the brindle pattern in dogs, although in some cases it may be possible for them to have no brindling at all. The fawn color in Cane Corsos is often mistaken for the red color but the AKC and FCI recognize them as two distinct colors.
Red Cane Corsos are a deep, rich color that ranges from light orange to almost mahogany. This color can also include the brindle pattern, and these dogs usually have a black mask. The red color in Cane Corsos comes from their pheomelanin pigment.
Brindling Is Allowed On All Colors
The breed standard allows for a brindle pattern on all of the main Cane Corso colors discussed so far. This pattern is caused by the combination of black and grey hairs, and it can be found in various amounts on any of the colors. Some of the common brindle colors include black brindle, grey brindle, reverse brindle and chestnut brindle.
Some Other Cane Corso Colors
In addition to the recognized colors mentioned above, these are other colors in existence.
Some people believe that the blue Cane Corso is a myth. Others believe that there are Cane Corsos who are blue. These dogs are said to have a greyish-blue coat with a black mask. Some people believe that the blue color is caused by a hidden recessive gene, while others claim that a 'blue' Cane Corso is simply a shade of grey.
Formentino Cane Corsos are a rarer color than those we have already mentioned. These dogs are fawn with a dark lavender mask. The mask can appear to be black, and some think it is. Formentino Cane Corsos are recognized by the FCI.
Chocolate or Liver
The chocolate or liver color is a rare variation of the red Cane Corso. This color is caused by the recessive allele at the agouti locus. However, these dogs are considered weak and prone to disease. They are bred for their color, but the cost is a lack of robust health.
Isabella Cane Corsos are an even rarer color than chocolate or liver. These dogs are a light fawn color overall, comprising a light grey or blond coat with grey undertones.
Straw Cane Corsos are typically either isabella or blue, although some people claim that they are a separate color. These dogs are said to have red coats that are light in color.
Are Blue Cane Corsos A Myth?
Cane Corsos which are said to blue are likely to be a variant or shade of grey. These dogs are said to be grey with black ticking throughout their coats, and many people claim that is impossible for them to exist. Some confusion is added by the AKC and FCI's breed standards, where the grey color tone is also referred to as a blue Cane Corso color.
Do Cane Corso Colors Change As They Grow Older?
The colors of a Cane Corso may change as they grow older, but not to another color. A Cane Corso's color might get more established. For instance, a grey puppy might become a darker grey tone. Some of these changes are caused by medication, nutrition, maturity, disease, or the environment.
What Are The Most Common Cane Corso Colors?
The most common Cane Corso color is black. Studies revealed that 71.6% of Cane Corso offspring were black while the rest were other colors. Other common colors among Cane Corsos are red, brindle, fawn, and grey. These colors can be found in several countries worldwide, and they have been bred by people for hundreds of years.
What Are The Rarest Cane Corso Colors?
The rarest Cane Corso colors are isabella, chocolate or liver, and straw. These colors can only be found in a small number of dogs worldwide. However, the isabella color is slowly becoming more common as people become more interested in it. It is being widely bred for its color.
Why Does Color Matter?
Color matters to many people because they are thinkng in terms of only their own visual preference. Or perhaps they like the idea of ownong a rarer dog.
But there actually bigger things in play when considering Cane Corso coat colors.
Are There Health Issues Related To Color?
Yes there are...
Lighter colors are more at risk for skin issues. The genes for the lighter coats colors are recessive. Black brindle has been shown to have the greatest longevity, indicating that they have the most robust health tendency.
Dominant genes are black and brindle. These are the original colors and have the most potential for robust health
Historically, brindle cane Corsos have been used the most for hunting. Which indicates their strength and robust constitution.
Cane Corsos with liver and chocolate coloration are more likely to suffer from obesity, joint conditions, and ear infections.
Breeding for color is likely to bring its own problems, resulting in inbreeding, a smaller gene pool and increased potential for health problems — and vet bills for you! So think carefully about the color you select.
So, What Is The Best Cane Corso Color?
There is no single answer to this, because people are looking for different things from their Cane Corsos. Some people are smitten with the beauty of a certain color, and only that will do. Just like some gentlemen prefer blondes (apparently).
Grey and formentino are becoming very popular. With popularity, comes high prices — these are likely to be expensive. And the high demand will be filled, most likely by a breeder with more of an eye for profit than concern for quality breeding. As noted above, breeding for color is likely to bring problems.
However, what we can say, is that in terms of the best chances of a dog with robust good health and long life, the darker colors — black and brindle — are your best choice.
Our two Cane Corsos are both brindle and the elder (a black brindle) is now pushing 14 years of age, and she has enjoyed a life of good health.