A majestic presence and a rich Italian history are wrapped up into the beautiful form of the Cane Corso. BestBullySticks.com highlights this impressive and distinctive dog in our weekly Breed Spotlight. Read on to learn more about the Cane Corso!

History & Background: The Cane Corso’s name is derived from the Latin “Cohors” meaning “Guardian” and “Protector.” This dog’s direct ancestor is the Canis Pugnax, which was a war dog used by the Romans. Corsos were also used as a “catch dog” to hunt and pin large animals such as cattle and pigs and also as a herder and watchdog. In Italy, this dog can be seen in history living along side farmers and rural families for hundreds of years. In the 1970s this dog almost faced extinction but was saved by a dedicated few. The Corso still has a large presence in Italy, today. The modern Cane Corso looks slightly different than it’s pre-70s relatives because of selective breeding used to grow numbers of this breed. In 1987 the Cane Corso made its way to the United States and has been popular ever since. In fact, celebrities such as Tracy Morgan, Patti LeBelle and Lebron James own Cane Corsos.

Height: Males: 25 to 27.5 inches; Females: 23.5 to 26 inches

Weight: 88 to 170 pounds

Coat: Corsos sport a short, hard coat that should have a healthy sheen. The close fitting coat has a light undercoat that gets thicker in cooler weather. The Cane Corso has a perfectly waterproof coat.

Color: This dog’s coloring can range from black, grey, red and fawn. Any of these colors can appear in brindle. The solid colored fawn and red dogs usually have a black or grey mask. White patches appear on the chest, throat, chin and toes. Eye color is related to muzzle color. Dogs with black muzzles have dark brown eyes and gray muzzles have lighter colored eyes. Nose color matches the pigment of dog; black pigment matches a black nose and grey pigment matches a grey nose.

Appearance: The initial look of this dog is sturdy and powerful. As a “large-boned” dog is very substantial in every part of the body, starting with the massive head to the solid back legs and butt, this dog is muscle through and through. The muzzle on this dog is broad and deep. A Corso’s eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped and give the dog an alert look. The ears of the Corso are set high and are sometimes cropped into a tight triangle. If uncropped the ears are medium in size, triangular in shape and hang tight to the cheeks.

The rest of the both is all about girth, which this dog has plenty of. The chest is deep and broad, the back is wide and strong and the ribs are well-sprung and long. The Coros’s tail can also be docked and is a natural extension of the dog’s back.

Temperament: The Cane Corso is a highly intelligent dog that is eager to please and easy to train. They are very dedicated to their primary companion and are happiest when around them. The Corso is great around all ages of people is he is familiar with them. This dog’s natural inclination is to protect it’s people so training for this dog needs to be about boundaries and socialization. This dog is relatively quiet unless alarmed. Corso’s prefer the status quo and new situations, people and animals have to be scheduled and planned for. This dog needs daily mental and physical exercise to live up to his fullest potential.

Health & Grooming: One of the most noticeable health problems Cane Corsos deal with are the typical bone and joint problems of larger breed dogs. These dogs usually live 10 to 11 years.

A Corso is a relatively no-fuss dog when it comes to grooming. A quick brushing to remove dead hair is really all this dog needs.

Product Suggestions: A Cane Corso loves a good walk or jog, so BBS suggest the Premier Easy Walk Dog Harness. This dog harness fits comfortably on your dog’s chest and gently discourages leash pulling. Hook that to a snazzy Mendota Leash and you’ll be ready to go!

For a great reward, give your Cane Corso a 15 – 18″ Jumbo Braided Bully Stick to keep him busy. Your canine will have to chew and chew to get through this bully stick. That means benefits such as healthy teeth and gums.

Do you own or know a Cane Corso? Tell us your favorite Corso story in the comments section!