The Cane Corso is a giant, mastiff-type dog breed, increasingly popular in the UK and around the world. Appreciated for their qualities as guard dogs, Cane Corsi also make excellent family dogs, provided that their needs are well respected.

A Brief History

The Cane Corso is a giant dog breed, native to Italy. Descended from the Canis Pugnax, a Roman mastiff, the Cane Corso has long been considered the ideal companion by Italians, used to guard their families, possessions, flocks, etc. Today, the Cane Corso continues to have a large presence in southern Italy. The Cane Corso was first recognised by the Italian Kennel Club in 1994. The breed was then accepted by the FCI in 2007 and the American Kennel Club in 2010 but is not yet recognised by the English Kennel Club.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of the Cane Corso are very recognisable.

Body: The body is massive and imposing, with well-developed musculature. The Cane Corso is undeniably a robust and resilient dog.

Head: The skull is broad with a well-marked stop. The nose is always black.

Ears: The ears are medium-sized and triangular, and hang forward. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and should be reported to the RSPCA if discovered.

Eyes: The eyes are medium-sized with the iris as dark as possible according to the colour of the coat.

Tail: The tail is thick at the root and tapers slightly towards the tip. It is set high on the croup line. Tail docking is also illegal in the UK and must be reported to the RSPCA.

Coat: The coat is short, shiny, stiff, and very dense.

Colour: The colours of the coat are varied. You can find black, plumb-grey, slate, light grey, light fawn, deer fawn, dark fawn, and brindle. A small white patch on the chest, toes, and, in fawn-coats, the nose is accepted.

Cane Corso Temperament

Despite their imposing size and weight, the Cane Corso is a very lively, agile dog. They need to run and exert themselves sufficiently to feel happy and balanced, both physically and mentally. Excellent guard dogs, Cane Corsi have a strong protective instinct. The Cane Corso's temperament is also very loyal, especially towards their family. Cane Corsi can sometimes be shy or fearful. As such, care must be taken to ensure your Cane Corso is socialised from a young age, to avoid any risk of accident. This dog breed doesn't tend to bark a lot, except when the situation requires it.

Do Cane Corsi Get Along Well with Others?

The Cane Corso, like all good watchdogs, can sometimes be suspicious of strangers. With children, they are gentle and patient but, given their large size, it is inadvisable to leave toddlers alone with your pooch, no matter how kind they may be. The Cane Corso is quite capable of living with other animals, so long as they have been socialised from an early age. Be careful, however, with smaller animals like cats or exotic pets, who should not be left alone with a big dog like the Cane Corso.

Is a Cane Corso the Right Dog for Me?

The Cane Corso is more suited to experienced dog owners, who have a good foundation in dog training and who know the breed well. They need athletic masters, who are willing and able to take them out for lots of exercise. The Cane Corso is not considered a dangerous dog breed in the UK.

Cane Corso Health Issues

The Cane Corso is a strong, robust dog that is not particularly predisposed to disease, with the exception of potential joint disorders due to their giant size. Like many large dog breeds, they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, and osteochondrosis. They are also susceptible to primary epilepsy and twisted stomach. This last pathology, which mainly affects large dog breeds, is very dangerous and potentially fatal. The Cane Corso's average lifespan is between 9 and 12 years. This is in the higher end for giant dog breeds, who unfortunately tend to live much shorter lives than smaller dogs.

Ideal Living Conditions for a Cane Corso

Despite their rather impressive size, Cane Corsi can quite happily live in apartments, provided, of course, that they're walked regularly. As they usually bark very little, your Cane Corso is not likely to disturb your neighbours or be a source of conflict. However, if left alone for too long, they may develop problematic behaviours, such as destroying your property or compulsive barking. Therefore, if you live in an apartment, be sure to devote enough time to your dog each day with lots of playtime and exercise. If you work out at an office, try to come home at lunch to break up the day. It's not ideal for any dog to be left alone for more than 6 hours.

The ideal living conditions for a Cane Corso would be a large house with a garden in the countryside, but this adaptable pooch can also flourish in the city, so long as they get enough exercise.

Cane Corso Training

Training your Cane Corso is essential. Without proper socialisation and dog training, your Cane Corso could do great damage and be quite aggressive. Begin training your dog as soon as you bring them home. Teach them the basics as early as possible, focusing on positive experiences. Some Cane Corsi can be shy or fearful by nature, so it's important for them to meet other people, dogs, and animals as early as possible to avoid a poor reaction. These dogs can also sometimes be stubborn, so don't be afraid to call an experienced professional to help you. You can also take your dog to puppy school, where they can socialise with their peers.


Get 30 days of pet food at

- 50%

Delivered right to your home. No strings attached

Diet: What to Feed Your Cane Corso

Choosing the right diet for your Cane Corso is crucial. It plays a vital role in their health and, as such, must be able to meet all their nutritional needs. A poor-quality diet will inevitably have repercussions on their health in the long term. One of the golden rules of dog food is to avoid the industrial dog food found in supermarkets, as much as possible. This is because it tends to be very low in quality and made using primarily plant protein, which is incapable of meeting your Cane Corso's nutritional requirements. Remember that dogs are opportunistic carnivores who need animal protein to be in perfect health.

Good-quality dog food does not necessarily have to cost more than shop-bought dog food. Learn how to decipher product labels to understand exactly what you're feeding your dog and be sure to choose a healthy composition, without added preservatives or sweeteners. Take into account the fact that your dog's dietary needs are likely to change over time, depending on their age and health condition. If you want to avoid industrial dog food, opt for a tailor-made service like Hector Kitchen. You can choose between feeding your pooch dry dog food, wet dog food, or a mixture of the two. Each type of dog food has its pros and cons. Finally, if you have the time and want to control all the ingredients you offer your Cane Corso, you can try feeding them homemade dog food or a BARF diet - just be sure to check with your vet first!

In terms of quantity, an adult Cane Corso needs around 440 to 550g of dry dog food per day. Be careful, this quantity may also change over time, depending on your dog's age and health condition.

Cane Corso Care and Maintenance

  • Vaccines: between £30 to £60 for the first injection series, plus annual boosters

  • Dog food: from around £50 per month for high-quality dog food

  • Monthly budget: minimum £80 per month

Grooming a Cane Corso requires relatively little investment from the owner. Their short coat only requires brushing once per week to get rid of any dead hair, dirt, or debris that could have lodged there. As for bathing, these doggies only need one or two baths per year, unless, of course, they get extremely dirty. The Cane Corso's floppy ears require special attention to prevent them from becoming a breeding place for parasites and ear infections. Also, don't forget to brush your dog's teeth, clean their eyes, and trim their nails regularly! Finally, keep all their vaccines up to date, as well as deworming and antiparasitic treatments to combat ticks and fleas.

Cane Corso Price

The average price of a Cane Corso puppy is between £1000 and £2600. This price varies according to several criteria. Some breeders ask for higher prices if the animal is intended for exhibition or reproduction, or if it comes from an exceptional line. Demand for the breed can also influence the price. The more popular the breed, the fewer puppies there are available for adoption. Breeders can therefore afford to charge more.

Cane Corso Sleep

Sleep is vital for all dogs and it's very important that your dog can sleep in peace. The Cane Corso is well-suited to sleeping outdoors, provided, of course, that they have a high-quality kennel available to them and that the temperatures are not too cold. Given their rather short coat, Cane Corsi are not as effectively protected against bad weather as some other breeds. Choosing the right kennel for your dog is essential. Ideally, opt for a wooden kennel that is well insulated and adapted to your dog's size. If your Cane Corso sleeps inside your home, avoid allowing them access to your bedroom so as not to encourage problematic hyper-attachment. Choose a quiet corner and furnish it with cushions and blankets. If you have children, teach them to never disturb a sleeping dog!

Games and Physical Activities for Your Cane Corso

Cane Corsi cannot remain inactive, at the risk of very quickly becoming unhappy. They need to exercise every day, even more so if you live in an apartment. Cane Corsi enjoy canine activities such as tracking or obedience games. They will also love to accompany you on jogs, hikes in the forest, walks on the beach, or bike rides.

At home, make sure you have enough games and toys to occupy your pooch in your absence. Brain games, such as Kongs or puzzles, are ideal. Choose sturdy toys, as Cane Corsi are powerful and may risk breaking smaller objects and swallowing the debris, which could prove dangerous in the long run.

Pet Insurance: Protecting Your Cane Corso

As a family dog, pet insurance is not obligatory for your Cane Corso. However, taking out a pet insurance policy for your dog helps to cover you in the event of accident or illness. Even if your dog is not aggressive by nature, accidents can happen quickly and you would be held responsible for any damage or harm caused to a third party by your dog. Pet insurance is a great way to make sure you're not hit with any nasty surprises. Most home insurance policies offer the option to include animal liability insurance. You can also purchase third party public liability dog insurance, which provides additional protection.

Additionally, while Cane Corsi generally enjoy robust health, they are not infallible. Pet insurance for dogs is a great way to make sure they get the healthcare they deserve throughout their life. This dog breed is prone to certain diseases and, as vet fees are not standardised in the UK, veterinary costs can be very high. Health insurance for your Cane Corso works the same way as for humans: you pay a monthly premium to an insurance company and, in return, they reimburse you for any veterinary expenses. 

In any case, before deciding on a particular contract, make sure to shop around for quotes and assess which best suits your circumstances. Then, take the time to read the fine print to ascertain the type of services offered, as well as the reimbursement rate, limits, and eligibility or exclusion clauses. Some insurance companies may refuse to insure dogs that are too old, too young, or already sick. So don't wait for your Cane Corso to get sick or old before taking out pet insurance for them, or you may risk them not being properly taken care of. Insurance companies may also refuse to reimburse costs incurred for certain diseases, genetic or hereditary diseases in particular. Read your contract carefully before signing and don't hesitate to ask your vet for advice.

Cane Corso Size and Weight

The Cane Corso is a large dog. Adult males generally measure between 64 and 68cm at the withers, while adult females measure between 60 and 64cm. In terms of weight, adult males weigh between 44 and 50kg versus 40 to 45kg for females.

Within the UK, the Cane Corso is still classed as a fairly rare breed and, as such, is not yet recognised by The Kennel Club.