Do Cane Corsos Shed? (Owners Need To Know These Facts)

Updated Aug 25, 2022

Cane Corso Puppy

Do Cane Corso Shed?

In this article, we will look into the issue of Cane Corso shedding and what it means for you. We will also investigate the question of whether Cane Corsos are hypoallergenic.

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.

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.

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.

Regular Grooming Can Help Reduce Shedding

There are steps a Cane Corso owner can take to reduce the problem.

Bathing your dog once a week removes the dander from the fur so, again, there is less dander in the environment.
Brushing your dog will remove some of the loose hair. Of course you have to consider where that hair is going (see below).
A good air filter/purifier can help
Carpets will retain the hair that is shed. Hard floors are much easier to keep clean.
If you have carpets, plan to thoroughly clean them often, and shampoo them regularly.
Smaller dogs obviously shed less. A large dog breed will therefore cause more of an issue.

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.

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.

Dog Grooming Tools

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

Homemade Dog Biscuits

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:

Ingredients

(1) Put the following into a mixing bowl:

2 cups organic wholewheat flour
1/2 cup porridge oats (organic, unprocessed)
1/2 cup wheatgerm
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons flax meal
2 tablespoons ground up egg shells*
1 can (6oz) sardines (in water, with no salt)

*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.

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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.

Summary

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cane Corsos Aggressive?

Cane Corsos are not aggressive by nature. Any canine can become aggressive in certain circumstances, such as if he is being threatened. And the larger the canine, the more potentially dangerous that aggressiveness becomes. However the Cane Corso is not inherently more aggressive or more dangerous than other dog breeds.

Are Cane Corso Good Pets?

Cane Corso can be excellent pets and ideal family dogs. Devoted, protective and caring, with a calm, steady personality, they will naturally follow their owner's lead. They are dedicated to their whole family and make terrific companions. Nevertheless, due to the fact that they are large dogs, additional care needs to be taken with children.

Are Cane Corsos Kid Friendly?

The Cane Corso is mild by nature, but this is a huge canine and he needs to learn to be especially gentle in his interactions with small children. Not because he is likely to be aggressive, but just because of his large size. The Cane Corso is affectionate and devoted to his household, and he will quickly learn to include kids in the group. It is suggested that a kid is monitored when with your Cane Corso — more because the kid is likely to be unreliable than the pet.

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