Updated Dec 1, 2023
Do Cane Corso Shed?
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Cane Corsos and shedding.
If you're considering this majestic breed or already have a Cane Corso, understanding their shedding habits is crucial.
In this article, we'll look into the unique aspects of the Cane Corso's coat, their shedding patterns, and practical grooming techniques tailored for this breed.
Whether you're dealing with seasonal shedding or seeking allergy-friendly advice, our insights will equip you with the knowledge and tools needed for effective care.
Continue reading to transform your approach to managing your Cane Corso's shedding and ensure a healthier, happier pet.
Do Cane Corsos Shed A Lot?
Cane Corsos can shed an unexpected amount. In spite of the fact that they are a short haired dog, they can nevertheless shed a lot. They have a double coat and, while not a high-maintenance dog, they do require routine brushing. Along with an occasional bath, they do not need much else with regard to grooming.
If you stick to a good grooming routine for your Cane Corso puppy from the beginning, it will help maintain his skin and coat through his development into an adult dog
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Variation In Shedding
It's important to understand the amount of variation there can be between dogs of the same breed. In other words, one persons experience with Cane Corso shedding will maybe not be the same as another person's experience with the same breed.
Even in our household, with two Cane Corsos we see a surprising amount of variation. Our Cane Corsos are brother and sister, albeit from different litters. They have very different coats.
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They are both brindle, but our female Cane Corso, Maud, is a very dark brindle, with black being the predominant color. Hermie, our male, is a much lighter brindle. Maud's coat is softer, and feels thicker, Hermie's is coarser, it feels like you are closer to the skin.
So, which of these two dogs would you think sheds more? Maud, with the softer and thicker feeling coat, or Hermie, with the more coarse, harder feeling coat?
The answer is, it is Maud who sheds more. Her thicker, soft coat in fact sheds a whole lot more.
Understanding the Cane Corso's Double Coat and Shedding Patterns
The Cane Corso is a majestic breed, known not only for its protective nature but also for its distinctive coat. This breed possesses a double coat, which is a two-layered fur system consisting of a softer undercoat and a tougher topcoat. The undercoat is denser and provides insulation, while the topcoat is made of stiffer hairs that help repel dirt and moisture.
The Role of the Double Coat
The double coat plays a crucial role in the Cane Corso's ability to adapt to various climates. During the colder months, the undercoat grows thicker to provide extra warmth. Conversely, in warmer seasons, the Cane Corso will shed its undercoat to stay cool, which leads to the seasonal increase in shedding that many owners observe.
Cane Corsos will shed year-round, but the volume of shedding can vary. You can expect a moderate amount of hair loss continuously, with two peak shedding periods in spring and fall as the dog naturally adapts to changing temperatures.
Factors Affecting Shedding
Several factors can influence the extent of shedding in Cane Corsos:
- Climate: Dogs living in areas with distinct seasons may have more pronounced shedding periods as their coats adjust to temperature changes.
- Health and Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in essential fatty acids can support a healthy coat and minimize shedding. Conversely, dietary deficiencies or health issues can lead to increased shedding.
- Age: Puppies may shed their "puppy coat" as they grow, while older dogs might shed more or less depending on their health status.
Managing the Shedding
While shedding is a natural process, there are ways to manage it:
- Regular Grooming: Brushing your Cane Corso several times a week with a bristle brush or a de-shedding tool can significantly reduce the amount of hair shed around the house. Grooming not only removes loose fur but also distributes skin oils throughout the coat, keeping it healthy and less prone to shedding.
- Bathing: Occasional baths help to loosen and remove the undercoat, especially during peak shedding seasons. However, overbathing can strip the coat of natural oils and should be avoided.
- Proper Nutrition: A high-quality diet that meets all your Cane Corso's nutritional requirements will promote a healthy coat and reduce excessive shedding.
Understanding your Cane Corso's coat and shedding patterns is essential for maintaining their majestic appearance and ensuring their comfort throughout the seasons.
With the right care and attention, you can keep shedding under control and enjoy your loyal companion's company without concern.
Do All Dogs Shed Less In Cold Weather?
Shedding is affected by temperature and, to a lesser degree by light. As winter approaches, the days get shorter, and there is less light. To some degree this can be a trigger which regulates the amount that your Cane Corso dog sheds.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you will perhaps see more variation in shedding.
In reality, most dogs who spend most of their time indoors will have adapted to that life, and will probably shed a similar amount all year round.
Certainly, this is the category we fit into, and this has been our experience. It's warm pretty much all year round, where we live. So, we see no seasonal variation — our Cane Corsos shed the same amount all year round.
If there is more typical seasonal variation where you live, this is how it will probably play out.
Seasonal Shedding: What to Expect From Your Cane Corso
Cane Corsos, like many other breeds with double coats, experience a natural process known as seasonal shedding. This is when they lose their old, dead hair to make way for new growth, typically occurring with the changing of seasons.
Spring Shedding: Preparing for Warmth
As the days grow longer and the temperature begins to rise, your Cane Corso will start to shed its thick winter undercoat. This helps them stay cool comfortable in the warmer months ahead.
During this time, you may notice an increase in shedding that can sometimes seem quite dramatic. This is often referred to as "blowing coat," where large clumps of undercoat may come out all at once.
Fall Shedding: Gearing Up for Cold
In contrast, as the weather cools down in preparation for winter, your Cane Corso will shed its lighter summer coat. This makes room for the growth of a denser undercoat that will provide better insulation against the cold.
Similar to the spring shedding season, you can expect a noticeable increase in shedding during this time.
Managing Seasonal Shedding
To manage seasonal shedding effectively, consider the following tips:
- Increase Grooming Frequency: During peak shedding seasons, increase the frequency of grooming sessions to help manage the excess hair. This can mean daily brushing to help remove the loose undercoat and prevent mats from forming.
- Use the Right Tools: Employ de-shedding tools like undercoat rakes or deshedding brushes designed for double-coated breeds. These tools can reach the undercoat without damaging the topcoat.
- Professional Grooming Services: Sometimes, a professional groomer can provide services such as de-shedding treatments that effectively remove the dead undercoat.
- Regular Vacuuming: To keep your home hair-free, increase the frequency of vacuuming during the shedding seasons. There are vacuums designed specifically to handle pet hair which can be very helpful.
By understanding and preparing for your Cane Corso's seasonal shedding, you can ensure that your pet stays comfortable and that your home remains clean.
A little extra effort during these shedding seasons goes a long way toward maintaining the beautiful coat of your Cane Corso and making this natural process less of a hassle for everyone involved.
Regular Grooming Can Help Reduce Shedding
There are steps a Cane Corso owner can take to reduce the problem.
The Cane Corso is, of course a big dog — a giant breed, in fact. So, there is more hair to shed. It's definitely more of an issue than with a smaller dog.
Choosing the Right Grooming Tools for Your Shedding Cane Corso
Selecting appropriate grooming tools is essential for effectively managing your Cane Corso's shedding.
The right tools not only make the grooming process more efficient but also more comfortable for your dog. Here's a guide to help you choose the best grooming tools for your Cane Corso.
Understanding Your Dog's Coat
Before selecting tools, it's important to understand your Cane Corso's coat. Their short, dense coat requires tools that can reach the undercoat without causing discomfort.
Brushes and Combs
- Bristle Brushes: Ideal for short-haired breeds like Cane Corsos, bristle brushes remove loose hair and dander while distributing natural skin oils throughout the coat for a healthy shine.
- De-shedding Tools: Tools like the Furminator are designed to reach the undercoat and gently remove loose hair without cutting the skin or topcoat.
- Rubber Grooming Gloves: These can be a great alternative for dogs who are sensitive to brushes. They mimic the touch of your hand while capturing loose fur.
Shampoos and Conditioners
- Mild Dog Shampoos: Look for shampoos specifically formulated for dogs. They should be gentle enough to avoid stripping natural oils from your Cane Corso’s coat.
- Conditioners: A good conditioner can help keep the coat smooth and reduce static, making it easier to brush and less likely to trap shed hair.
- For Quick Clean-Ups: Grooming wipes are handy for quick touch-ups in between baths, especially if your Cane Corso gets a little dirty or starts to shed more due to stress or activity.
Clippers and Scissors
- For Trimming: While Cane Corsos don't require much trimming, having a pair of rounded-tip scissors or quiet clippers can be useful for managing the fur around their paws, ears, and any other areas that might need a little tidying up.
- Regular Nail Care: Keeping your Cane Corso’s nails trimmed is crucial for their overall health. Long nails can alter their gait and lead to skeletal damage. There are various types of nail trimmers, including guillotine and scissor types, so choose one that you're comfortable handling.
Ear and Eye Care
- Cleaning Solutions: Regular cleaning of ears and eyes is vital for preventing infections. Use canine-specific ear cleaners and soft, moist cloths for eye cleaning.
Investing in the right grooming tools is an essential aspect of caring for your Cane Corso.
Not only do these tools help manage shedding effectively, but they also contribute to the overall health and well-being of your dog.
Here are the grooming tools we have settled on. The tool on the left is actually for grooming horses, but it works very well on our Cane Corsos.
We don't actually have a dog brush. But we use an old hairbrush for the final step.
Grooming Techniques to Manage Cane Corso Shedding
Managing your Cane Corso's shedding is largely about maintaining a regular and effective grooming routine.
Grooming not only helps to reduce the amount of hair shed but also keeps your dog's skin and coat healthy. Here's how to tackle the task with finesse and care.
Brushing: The First Line of Defense Against Shedding
Brushing is the most effective way to manage shedding. For Cane Corsos, whose shedding is low to moderate, a weekly brush may suffice for most of the year, but during peak shedding seasons, you may need to brush your dog more frequently.
- Rubber Brushes and Bristle Brushes: These are excellent for Cane Corsos as they effectively remove loose fur without damaging the skin. The rubber brush can be used to massage the skin, promoting oil production for a healthy, shiny coat, while the bristle brush catches the loose fur.
- De-shedding Tools: During the seasonal heavy shedding, tools like a de-shedding brush or a grooming rake can reach deep into the undercoat to remove loose hair before it has a chance to fall out.
Bathing: A Supporting Role in Shedding Management
While bathing should not be overdone, it plays a significant role in managing shedding. A bath helps to loosen the undercoat and remove dead hair in a controlled manner.
- Use Dog-specific Shampoo: Always use a shampoo formulated for dogs to maintain the natural oils in your Cane Corso's coat.
- Bathing Frequency: During shedding season, you might increase the bathing frequency, but usually, a monthly bath is enough to keep the coat clean without causing dryness.
After the Bath: Drying and Additional Grooming
After bathing, drying your dog properly is critical. Wet hair can mat and lead to skin issues.
- Blow-drying: Use a blow dryer on a cool setting to help remove any loose fur that didn't come out during the bath. This can also prevent any dampness that may cause matting or skin infections.
- Post-bath Brushing: Once your Cane Corso is dry, follow up with another brushing session. This will remove any hair that the bath has loosened.
Grooming Environment: Keeping It Clean
When grooming your Cane Corso, especially during a brushing or bathing session that's intended to reduce shedding, consider the environment.
- Outdoor Grooming: If possible, brush your dog outside to keep the loose fur out of your home.
- Indoor Grooming: If you must groom indoors, do it in a contained space that's easy to clean. Lay down a tarp or towels to catch the hair and make clean-up easier.
Grooming as Bonding Time
Remember, grooming should be a positive experience for your Cane Corso.
It's a time for bonding, so keep the sessions short and pleasant, and always reward your dog with a treat or affection to associate grooming with positive feelings.
By incorporating these grooming techniques into your routine, you can effectively manage your Cane Corso's shedding and maintain their coat's health and appearance.
Regular grooming not only reduces the amount of hair shed but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion.
Are Cane Corsos Hypoallergenic?
Let's simplify this. There's a couple of unfamiliar words involved, but you can understand the issue and the answer in a couple of minutes.
An antigen is a substance that causes the immune system to produce antibodies
An allergen is an antigen that produces a particularly strong reaction — an allergic reaction — in the immune system, because it is recognized as a threat.
So it boils down to this: an allergen is a substance which causes an allergic reaction. The allergen is recognized by the immune system as foreign and dangerous, and the immune system has a strong reaction.
In the case of an allergy to dogs, there is no real danger. But the the immune system perceives a danger, and the reaction is real.
The fact that some people have an allergic reaction to dogs and some don't, tells us that people's immune systems react differently.
The main source of allergens in dogs is a protein found in their saliva and urine. This transfers to skin, and is found in the dead skin cells (dander). Dander sticks to the fur of the dogs, and this is how shedding is linked to allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to it.
Studies have shown that some breeds produce less allergens than others. The Cane Corso breed has a short coat, but it is a double-layered coat, and they do shed. Hence, Cane Corsos are not hypoallergenic.
In reality, no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic. But some breeds are less likely to trigger allergies in people who are sensitive. These breeds are marketed as hypoallergenic because they shed less, so there is less dander in the environment as a result.
Wear A Mask When Grooming Your Dog
When you are brushing your dog, you will be propelling hairs and dander into the atmosphere. If you are sensitive to this, it becomes obvious that you should wear a mask.
But, even if you do not have an allergy, you don't want to be breathing in hair and dead skin. Your lungs are not able to get rid of material like this.
In fact, there is a named condition that applies to people who groom dogs every day. It is called 'Groomer's Lung'. An occasional groomer is not going to develop a problem to the same degree, but, clearly, you should wear a mask to protect your lungs, regardless of whether you show any apparent sensitivity.
Also, you will gain little if you brush your dog indoors and do nothing further. The loose hair and dander will be in the atmosphere, and will settle onto the floor — you have just effectively accelerated the effect of shedding.
So you you should do your grooming outside, if possible, and in a specific location if it must be indoors. Somewhere where the fallout is contained, and you can clean up effectively afterward.
A Dog's Coat Quality Is Affected By Diet
We all recognize those pictures of dogs with glossy shining coats as an indication of good health. Not coincidentally, the place we commonly see those pictures is in adverts for dog food.
I'm not saying that we should assume a great photo is directly related to the dog food being advertised. There is of course no correlation. It's advertising. But what we should take on board is that our dog's coat is indeed heavily affected by his diet.
The Cane Corso's coat is no exception, diet is very important to maximize coat quality and minimize shedding.
Cane Corso Raw Diet
There is quite a bit of information out there about a raw diet for Cane Corsos. Personally, I have some concerns over the raw diet issue, and we do not do this for our dogs. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) does not recommend a raw diet.
Reduce Shedding With Nutrition
Our plan is simply to give our dogs high quality food. For about half their food, we give them human grade food — meats purchased from the supermarket. This does not mean expensive prime cuts of beef.
We make a homemade meat and veg stew. This could consist of any combination of chicken, giblets, pork, liver, beef, or turkey. And the vegetables might be carrot, broccoli stalks, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, asparagus, parsley, coriander. We sometimes add a little rice, but we are careful not to add too much in the form of grains.
We make this in a large wok, which will provide about half the food our two dogs, for about 7 days. We make up the rest of their meals with a good quality dried food.
We also sometimes buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket, or we'll buy a raw chicken and make a roast dinner for ourselves. Either way, the dogs get chicken to go in their kongs for a healthy snack or treat, and the bones are also used, as follows.
Once a week we also make bone stock. We keep all the bones from our own food and throw them in a pot with apple cider vinegar.
The apple cider vinegar draws out the calcium from the bones. This goes into the dog's food in the wok, or gets added to their food bowl at mealtime — pouring it over the dried food. It is also used in our homemade dog biscuits (recipe below). This ensures they get lots of good nutrients.
Healthy Homemade Dog Biscuits Help With Coat And Shedding
We also make homemade biscuits. They have these for a treat or snack either at night or midmorning. It's a simple process to make these. Here's our recipe:
(1) Put the following into a mixing bowl:
*We save all used eggshells, dehydrate them in a low oven for half an hour or so and grind them to a fine powder. This provides an excellent source of calcium.
(2) Pour out the water from the sardines into a measuring jug and mash the sardines into the rest of the dry mix above.
(3) Add in to the dry mix 1/4 cup olive oils and 1/4 cup of coconut oil
(4) Add some bone stock to the measuring jug containing sardine water, bringing the total in the measuring jug to 3/4 cup. Add that to the dry mix.
(5) Add a raw egg and whisk it in.
(6) You're looking for the consistency of a fairly stiff paste. The mix is unlikely to be too dry. If the mix is too wet, sprinkle in some more flax meal. (Like you would add some flour to stiffen pastry).
(7) With a rolling pin, roll out between 2 sheets of parchment or similar. The parchment just keeps the rolling pin clean and makes it easier to clear up. Again, stiffen with flax meal if the mix is too sticky.
Roll out to an appropriate thickness for a dog biscuit, probably about the thickness of a finger.
(8) Cut out with a cookie cutter or produce whatever shapes you like.
Our dogs don't look like bodybuilders with bulging muscles, but they are extremely strong, and incredibly lithe and agile. Speed and agility is one of the Cane Corso's defining characteristics. They are much faster, and more agile, than is typical for a mastiff breed.
There seems to be a lot of emphasis on bulking up Cane Corsos. Presumably to make them look even more imposing and intimidating than they already are.
Cane Corso owners should be careful they are not making their dogs too big, at the expense of their native speed and agility — and general fitness. It is not a good idea to have your dog carrying excess weight.
Best Dog Supplement For Coat, To Minimize Shedding
We mentioned flaxseed above, as an ingredient in our healthy dog biscuits recipe.
Flaxseed oil has been used in food for thousands of years. It is associated with health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, and fighting inflammation. It can be added to food as a meal supplement or as a component of a dog's regular diet.
Flaxseed oil is also recommended by some as a treatment for dry, flaky skin and skin problems.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Another excellent supplement to help with a healthy coat for your dog is Omega 3.
Omega 3 fatty acids are widely known for multiple health benefits for humans. They are usually taken in the form of Fish Oil supplements.
They are just as beneficial for dogs.
This is one of those supplements which can be of tremendous benefit in many ways. Amongst many other health benefits, they promote a healthy, glossy coat, which is less likely to shed.
They are also a powerful and natural way to reduce the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis and other joint issues.
Check out our favorite selections here...
Causes Of Excessive Shedding
If your dog is shedding like crazy, you may need to try something to help. However, some over the counter products that claim to reduce excessive shedding may contain harsh chemicals that could irritate your pet's skin.
The products mentioned above are all natural.
Excessive hair loss can be due to a skin condition, parasites, or fungal infections Much like humans, stress can also cause hair loss.
If you have a dog who is struggling with skin allergies, scratching to alleviate the itch can result in hair loss. Regular examination of your dog's skin will likely help to catch any indications of allergies early.
If you suspect allergy symptoms, a trip to the vet's practice for a full check-up is the best bet. Your veterinarian will be able to identify the exact reason for the loss of hair.
Cane Corsos do shed, in spite of their short coats. Which means they are not hypoallergenic. But no dog is really hypoallergenic — some just shed less than others.
Shedding can be alleviated, but not eliminated. Regular grooming, brushing and bathing can help. Good nutrition can also help. An improved diet can have multiple health benefits for your dog.
Certain natural supplements can help, such as flax oil and Omega 3s, usually provided in fish oil. Salmon oil is the single most widely-used and popular dog supplement.