The Cane Corso is a very loyal breed. They have
a very stable temperament. They are protective yet very gentle.
They do well with children in the family. They are very energetic
and trainable. They require daily exercise, they can make great
The Cane Corso originated in Italy. His name derives from the
Latin "Cohors" which means guardian "Protector".
The life expectancy for the Cane Corso is 10
to 11 years.
Males can weigh 100-140 pounds; Height 24-28 inches.
Females can weigh 88-110 pounds; Height 23-26 inches.
I found this information on the " Rare
Breed Network" website, I thought it was interesting and
wanted to share it.
Italian authorities believe that the Cane Corso
is one of two breeds which stem directly from the Roman Molosser
It is said that, in ancient times, the historic Molossus gave
rise to two quite different breeds. One dog was very massive and
became the progenitor of the Neapolitan Mastiff. The other was
a taller, lighter and less cumbersome dog, known for his quickness
and agility. From this very athletic Molossus sprang today's Cane
In medieval times, the Cane Corso was used as
a big game hunter. His power, courage and agility made him especially
valuable on wild boar. It is also reported that he was used on
stag and bear. Italian fanciers of the breed say, proudly, the
Corso is "the only true coursing mastiff."
With the decline in big game hunting, the Corso
found a home with Italian farmers. He was often used as a drover,
moving animals to market or to the slaughterhouse. On the farm,
he protected livestock from both human thieves and animal predators.
He also doubled admirably as a guard dog for the home. Indeed,
to this day he can still be seen throughout rural Italy performing
these old duties.
What is the Cane Corso like to live with? "They're
great dogs," Mike Sottile says. "Although they are superb
protection dogs, they are quiet around the house. They're not
at all noisy. They love their family and need lots of personal
hands-on attention. There's a lot of eye contact with this breed.
I'm very impressed with their intelligence. They always seem to
be thinking. It's like you can just see the wheels turning. They
are so eager to please that they are usually at your side just
waiting for your next command."
Despite the breed's size, they make excellent
house dogs. The Cane Corso definitely needs socialization, and
it is strongly urge that owners obedience train their dogs. Properly
raised and trained, the breed is suspicious of strangers, but
wonderful with the family. When raised correctly, the dog should
be submissive to all members of the family.
"This breed gets along very well with children.
They are protective, yet gentle. The Cane Corso has a very stable
temperament," Mike observes. Ettore Frassinetti says that
the breed "Devotedly loves his owners, his family and in
particular children with whom he behaves delicately and gently
(Italian) BREED STANDARD
Dr. Antonio Morsiani , Dr. J.M. Paschoud and Prof. R. Triquet
Date of publication of the original valid standard:
Utilization: Guard, protection, police and tracking
Classification F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer,
Molossian and Swiss Mountain-and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossian,
Mountain type. Without working trial
Brief Historical Summary: Its direct ancestor
is the old Roman Molossian. Formerly scattered all over Italy,
in the recent past, the breed was only prevalent in the Province
Apulia and in the adjacent regions of Southern Italy. His name
derives from the Latin "cohors", which means "protector,
guardian of the farmyard".
General Appearance: Medium to large-sized. Robust
and sturdy, nevertheless elegant. Lean, powerful muscles.
Important Proportions: The length of the head
reaches 36% of the height at withers. The dog is somewhat longer
Behavior/Temperament: Guardian of property, family
and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it
has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game.
Head: Large and typically molossoid. The upper
longitudinal axes of the skull and the muzzle converge slightly.
Wide; at the zygomatic arches its width is equal to or greater
than its length. convex in front, it becomes fairly flat behind
the forehead as far as the occiput. The medio-frontal furrow is
Black and large with ample, open nostrils, on the same line as
the nasal bridge.
Muzzle: Noticeably shorter than the skull (ratio
muzzle: skull approximately 1:2). Strong, square: the front part
of the muzzle is flat; the lateral surfaces are parallel; the
muzzle is as wide as long. The profile of the nasal bridge is
Lips: The upper lips hang moderately and cover
the mandible, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined
by the lips.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws very large, thick and curved.
Slightly undershot. Level bite acceptable, but not sought after.
Medium-sized, ovoid, looking directly forward, slightly protruding.
Eyelids close fitting. Color of iris as dark as possible depending
from the color of the coat. expression keen and attentive.
Ears: Triangular, drooping, with a wide set on
high above the zygomatic arches. Often cropped in the shape of
an equilateral triangle.
Neck: strong, muscular, as long as the head.
Head with the more frequent defects (by the book "Il
Cane Corso" R. Carosio)
is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. sturdily built,
but not squat.
Withers: pronounced, rising above the level of
Back: Rectilinear, very muscular and firm.
Loins: short and strong
Croup: Long, wide, slightly inclined
Chest: Well developed in three dimensions, reaches
to the elbow.
Set on fairly high; very thick at the root. The tail is docked
at the fourth vertebra. In action carried high, but never curled
Body with the more frequent defects (by the book"Il Cane
Corso" R. Carosio)
Shoulder: Long, oblique, very muscular
Upper Arm: Strong
Forearm: Straight, very strong
Carpal Joint and Pasterns: Elastic
Forefeet: Cat feet.
Fore profiles (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)
Upper Thigh: Long, wide, back line of thigh convex
Lower Thigh: strong, not fleshy
Hocks: Moderately angulated
Metatarsals: Thick and sinewy
Hindfeet: Slightly less compact than the forefeet.
Hind profiles (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)
Long stride, extended trot. The preferred gait is the trot.
Fairly thick, rather close fitting
Hair: Short, shiny, very dense with a light undercoat.
Color: black, lead-grey, slate-grey, light grey,
light fawn: stag red and dark fawn; brindle (stripes on different
shades of fawn or grey); in fawn colored and brindle dogs the
clack or grey mask on the muzzle should not go beyond the line
of the eyes. A small white patch on the chest, on the tips of
the feet and on the bridge of the nose is acceptable.
Height at Withers: Males from 64 to 68 cm; females
from 60 to 64 cm. Tolerance of 2 cm more or less.
Weight: males from 45 to 50 Kg; females from
40 to 45 Kg.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a
fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded
should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Axes of muzzle and skull parallel or too converging; lateral surfaces
of the muzzle converging
Partial depigmentation of the nose
Scissor bite; pronounced undershot mouth
Ring-tail, tail in vertical position
Permanent amble when trotting
Axes of muzzle and skull diverging
Total depigmentation of the nose
Bridge of nose very hollow, rams's nose
Partial or complete palpebral depigmentation. Wall eye; strabism.
Tailless, short tail (docked or not)
Semi-long, smooth or fringed hair
All colors not indicated in the standard: large white patches.
N.B. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles
(American) BREED STANDARD
sized molossoid, sturdy, compact, with a strong skeleton, muscular
and athletic, it moves with considerable ease. Its head is massive,
with a dignified and proud expression. It has had a selection
parallel to that of the mastiff, it comes from lighter progenitors
but has maintained that original conformation. It has always been
a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game, such as the
boar. It originated in the central-southern regions of Italy where
it was used as a cowherd for cows and swine raised in the wild.
It also defended travellers and carters from highwaymen. Its name
is the one by which it has always been known in the south, having
the same root as "corsiero" (courser), the medieval
war horse; perhaps it derives from the Latin "cohors"
(courtyard, body guard). Due to environmental changes, the Courser
risked extinction. A few enthusiasts initiated its recovery which
today is complete. Its modern functions are watchdog, defending
people and their belongings. An adaptable and courageous worker,
of proverbial loyalty, alert and reactive, who is able to withstand
difficult environmental conditions and experiences due to its
solid equilibrium,. A strong build but not without elegance. Built
on a rectangle, it absolutely must not resemble the Neapolitan
Mastiff. Its skin adheres to its body and does not form wrinkles.
- Watch, protection, police, and track dog.
- Working group 1, dogs like Argentine Dogo and Black Russian
HISTORICAL SUMMARY - Its direct ancestor is the "Canis
Pugnax" (the old Roman Molossian) of which he is the light
version employed in the hunting of large wild animals and also
as an "auxiliary warrior" in battles. For years he has
been a precious companion of the Italic populations. Employed
as property, cattle and personal guard dog and used for hunting
purposes too. In the past this breed was common all over Italy
as an ample iconography and historiography testify. In the recent
past he has found an excellent preservation area in Southern Italy,
especially in Puglia, Lucania and Sannio. His name derives from
the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian",
APPEARANCE - Medium-big size dog, strongly built but
elegant, with powerful and long muscles, very distinguished, he
expresses strength, agility and endurance. The general conformation
is that of a mesomorphic animal whose body is longer than the
height at the withers, harmonious as regards the form and disharmonious
as regards the profile.
PROPORTIONS - The length of the body is about ll% over
the height at the withers. The total length of the head reaches
3,6/10 of the height at the withers. The length of the muzzle
is equal to 3,4/10 of the total length of the head. The height
of the thorax is 5/10 of the height at the withers and it is equal
to the height of the limb at the elbows.
AND TEMPERAMENT - Intelligent, active and even-minded,
he is an unequalled watch and protection dog. Docile and affectionate
with the owner, loving with children and with the family, if necessary
he becomes a terrible and brave protector of people, house and
property. He is easily trained.
- Brachycephalic. Its total length reaches 3,6/10 of the height
at the withers. The bizygomatic width, which is equal to the length
of the skull, is more than half the total height of the head,
reaching 6,6/10. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and
of the muzzle are slightly convergent. The perimeter of the head,
measured at the cheek-bones, is more than twice the total length
of the head even in the females. The head is moderately sculptured
with zygomatic arches stretched outwards. The skin is firm and
sticking to the tissues underneath, it is smooth and quite stretched.
REGION - Skull - Seen from the front it is wide and slightly
curved, seen from the side it draws an irregular curve that, accentuated
in the subregion of the forehead, becomes flat along the external
saggital crest. Seen from the top, it looks square because of
the outstretching of the zygomatic arches and the powerful muscles
swathing it. Frontal sinuses well developed and stretched forward,
deep forehead hollow and visible median furrow. Occipital crest
not much developed. Supraorbital fossae slightly marked. Stop
- Very marked because of the very developed and bulging frontal
sinuses and because of the prominent superciliary arches.
REGION - Nose - It is on the same line as the nose pipe.
Seen from the side it mustn't stick out from the front vertical
margin of the lips but be, with its front, on the same vertical
line as the front of the muzzle. It has to be voluminous, rather
flat on top, with wide nostrils, opened and mobile, wet and cool.
The pigmentation is black or dark grey. Muzzle - Very broad and
deep. The width of the muzzle must be almost equal to its length,
which reaches 3,4/10 of the total length of the head. Its depth
is more than 50% the length of the muzzle. Due to the parallels
of the muzzle sides and to the fullness and the width of the whole
jaw, the anterior face of the muzzle is flat and square. The nasal
bridge has a rectilinear profile and it is rather flat. The lower
side profile of the muzzle is determined by the upper lips, the
suborbital region shows a very slight chisel. Lips - Rather firm.
Seen from the front, the upper lips form at their disjunction
an upside down "U" and, seen from the side, hang moderately.
The commeasure is rightly evident and it always represents the
lowest point of the lower side profile of the muzzle. The pigmentation
is black. Jaws - Very wide, strong and thick, they can have a
very slight shortening of the upper jaw with a subsequent light
prognathism (undershot bite). The branches of the lower jaw are
very strong and, seen from the side, are quite curved, the body
of the lower jaw, well accentuated forward, points out well the
marked chin. The incisors are firmly placed on a straight line.
Cheeks - The masseter region is full and evident, but not hypertrophic.
Teeth - White, big, complete in growth and number. The bite should
be slightly undershot (max 5mm) or level. A scissor bite would
be tolerated only if all parameters (length of the muzzle, parallel
muzzle sides, the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and of
the muzzle are slightly convergent) The canines would be divergent
and very distant among them (in the males, in the apex of the
crown, they would need to be not less than 5,5 cm/5,7 cm apart).
Eyes - Of medium size compared to the size of the dog, in a sub-frontal
position, well spaced. Rima palpebrarum nearly oval, adherent
eyelids with the borders pigmented with black, the eye mustn't
let the sclera be seen. Third eyelid strongly pigmented. The color
for the subjects with a black muzzle (black, tawny and brindle)
iris as dark as possible. For the subjects with gray muzzle (gray,
tawny and brindle)light brown color, lighter colorations are approved.
Ears - Of medium size in relation to the volume of the head and
to the size of the dog; covered with short hair, of triangular
shape, with rather pointed apex and thick cartilage, in a high
position, much above the zygomatic arch, with a wide bottom, hanging,
they stick to the cheeks without coming down to the throat. Quite
outstretched and slightly protruding at the joint, they become
semi-erect when the dog is watchful. They usually get amputated
in an equilateral-triangular shape.
- Top line - Slightly arched. Length - 3,6/10 of the height at
the withers, that is equal to the total length of the head. Shape
- Of oval section, strong, very muscular, with a marked disjunction
form at the nape. The perimeter, at half length of the neck, is
about 8/10 of the height at the withers. Harmoniously joined with
the withers, shoulder and chest, the neck has its ideal direction
at 45ƒ from the ground and at right angle with the shoulder.
Skin –The inferior part of the neck introduces more abundant
but elastic skin.
- Compact, strong and very muscular. Its length is 11% over the
height at the withers, with allowance of ±1%. Top line
- The back region is rectilinear with a slightly lumbar convexity.
Withers - They clearly rise on the dorsal line and over the rump
level, are high, long, wide. They are lean and joint harmoniously
to the neck and to the back. Back - It is wide, very muscular
as the whole upper line of the trunk, slightly climbing from the
back to the front and with a strictly rectilinear profile. Its
length is approx. 32% of the height at the withers. Loins - The
lumbar region has to be short, wide, well joined to the back and
to the rump, very muscular, very solid and, seen from the side,
slightly convex. Its length, slightly higher than its width, is
equal to 20% of the height at the withers. Croup - It is long,
wide, quite round due to the considerable growth of the muscles.
The length, measured from the ridge of the hip to the ridge of
the nates is equal to 32% of the height at the withers. Its average
width is equal to 23% of the height at the withers, its inclination
on the horizontal line, on the basis of the ilium-ischiatic line
is of 28ƒ/30ƒ, on the basis of the line from the ridge
of the hip to the insertion of the tail is of 15ƒ/16ƒ.
Therefore the rump is slightly inclined. Chest - Wide, well inclined
and open, with well grown muscles. Its width, in close relation
with the width of the thorax, reaches 35% of the height to the
withers; the breast-bone is at the same height as the tip of the
shoulders. Seen from the side, the chest is outstretched forward
between the fore legs and slightly convex. Thorax - It has to
be well grown in the three dimensions with long, oblique, wide
and well hoped ribs with wide intercostal spaces. The 4 false
ribs are long, oblique and open. The thorax reaches down at the
elbow and its height is equal to half the height at the withers.
Its width, measured at half of its height, is equal to 35% of
the height at the withers and decreases slightly towards the sternum
region without forming a carina. The depth (saggital diameter)
is equal to 55% the height at the withers. Its perimeter is over
35% the height at the withers. Underline and belly - The sternum
region is lean, long, wide and seen from the side it outlines
a semicircle with a wide radius which caudally goes up smoothly
to the abdomen. The abdomen region is neither hollowed nor relaxed
and, seen from the side, rises up from the sternum edge to the
groins with a smooth curve. The hollow on the side is not very
marked. Tail - It is inserted quite high on the rump line, it's
thick at the root and not too tapering at the tip, and if stretched
is not too much over the hock. When not in action is low. Otherwise
is horizontal or slightly higher than the back, it must never
be bent to form a ring or in a vertical position. It gets amputated
at the 4th rib.
FOREQUARTERS - Perpendicular, seen from the front or
in profile. The height of the limbs at the elbows is equal to
50% of the height at the withers. Well proportioned to the size
of the dog. Strong and powerful. Shoulder - Long, oblique, strong,
equipped with long, powerful and well divided muscles, is adherent
to the thorax but free in the movements. Its length, from the
top of the withers to the ridge of the shoulder, is equal to 30%
of the height at the withers and its inclination on the horizontal
line is between 48ƒ/50ƒ. In relation to the median plane
of the body the ridges of the shoulder-blades are slightly swerved.
Arm - It is slightly longer than the shoulder, strong, with very
well grown bones and muscles, well joined to the trunk in its
top 2/3, measured from the ridge of the shoulder to the tip of
the elbow, it has a length equal to 31/32% of the height at the
withers and an inclination with the horizontal line of approx
58ƒ/60ƒ. Its longitudinal direction is parallel to the
median plane of the body. The angle between the shoulder-blades
and the humerus is between 106ƒ and 110ƒ. Elbows - The
elbows, long and protruding, adherent but not too close to the
ribcage, covered with lean skin, must be like the humeri, on a
strictly parallel plane to the sagittal plane of the trunk. The
tip of the elbow (olecranon epiphysis) is located on the vertical
line lowered from the caudal (or back) angle of the shoulder-blade
to the ground. Forearm - It is perfectly vertical, oval section,
with several muscles, in particular in the top-third, with a very
strong and compact bone structure. Its length, from the tip of
the elbow to the one of the arm is equal to 32/33% of the height
at the withers. Its perimeter, measured straight underneath the
elbow, is equal to 39% of the height at the withers, the carpus-cubital
groove is quite marked. Carpal joint - Seen from the front, it
follows the straight vertical line of the forearm; it is lean,
wide, mobile, thick. Its perimeter reaches 26% of height at the
withers, at its top margin the pisiform bone is strongly projected
backwards. Pastern - It is quite smaller than the forearm, is
very strong, lean, elastic, slightly flexed (it forms with the
ground an angle of approx. 72/73ƒ). Its length must not be
over one sixth of the height of the forelimb at the elbow. Seen
from the front, it follows the perpendicular line of the forearm
and of the carpus. Forfeet - They have a round shape, with very
arcuated and gathered toes (cat's foot). Lean and hard soles.
The nails are strong, curved and pigmented, there is a good pigmentation
also in the plantar and digital pads.
HINDQUARTERS - Perpendicular, seen from the front or
in profile. Well proportioned to the size of the dog, strong and
powerful. Thigh - It is long and wide, with prominent muscles,
therefore the nate ridge is well marked. Its length is over 33%
of the height at the withers and the width is never lower than
25% of such height. The thigh-bone axis, quite oblique from the
top to the bottom and from the back to the front, has an inclination
of 70ƒ on the horizontal line and forms with the coxal axis
an angle which is slightly more than right (coxo-femural angle).
Second thigh - It is long, lean, with a strong bone and muscle
structure, has a well marked muscular groove. Its length is equal
to 32% of the height at the withers and its inclination from the
top to the bottom and from the front to the back is of approx.
50ƒ on the horizontal line. Stifle - The angle of the stifle
joint is of approx. 110ƒ. Its direction is parallel to the
median plane of the body. Hock joint - It is wide, thick, and
clean, with well marked bone. The protruding hock ridge shows
clearly the continuation of the leg groove. The distance from
the ridge of the hock to the sole of the foot (to the ground)
shouldn't be over 26% of the height at the withers. Its direction,
in relation to the median plane of the body is parallel. The tibio-metatarsal
angle is of approx 130ƒ. Hock (Metatarsus) - It is very thick,
lean, rather short, cylindrical, and is always perpendicular to
the ground, seen from the side and from the back, its length is
equal to approx 15% of the height at the withers (tarsus and foot
excluded). Its internal side has to present itself without spur.
Hindfeet - They have a slightly more oval shape than the fore
ones and less arched toes.
- Long steps, stretched trot, some steps of gallop, but with inclination
to stretched trot.
- It is, rather thick, has limited subcutaneous connective tissue
and therefore is adherent everywhere to the layers underneath.
The neck is practically without dewlap. The head mustn't have
wrinkles. The pigment of the mucous membranes is black. The pigment
of the soles and the nails must be dark.
- Hair - Short hair but not smooth, with vitreous texture, shiny,
adherent, stiff, and very dense, with a light layer that becomes
thicker in winter (but never crops up on the covering hair). Its
average length is approx. 2/2,5 cm. On the withers, the rump,
the back margin of the thighs and on the tail it reaches approx.
3 cm without creating fringes. On the muzzle the hair is very
short, smooth, adherent and is not more than 1/1,5 cm. Colour
- Black, plumb-grey, slate, light grey, light fawn, deer fawn,
dark fawn and tubby (very well marked stripes on different shades
of fawn and grey). In the fawn and tubby subjects there is a black
or grey mask only on the muzzle and shouldn't go beyond the eye
line. A small white patch on the chest, on the feet tips and on
the nose bridge is accepted.
AND WEIGHT - Height at the withers - For males from 25.6-26.8
inches (tolerance +/- 0.75”) for females from 24.4-25.6
inches. (tolerance of ± 0.4”.) Weight - Males from
103 (97) to 117 (123) pounds. Females from 88 (84) to 101 (106)
pounds. The lbs in the parenthesis reported weights to the tolerances
- Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered
a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded
should be in exact proportion to its degree and diffusion.
ELIMINATING FAULTS - Head - Accentuated parallelism of
the axes of the skull and the muzzle very marked converging axes
of the skull and the muzzle, converging side lines of the muzzle,
scissors bite, pronounced and disturbing undershot mouth. Nose
- Partial depigmentation. Tail - Forming a ring or in a vertical
position. Size - Oversize or undersize. Gait/movement - Continued
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS - Head - Diverging axes of the skull
and the muzzle, overshot mouth nose bridge resolutely hollow or
ram-like. Nose - Total depigmentation. Eyes - Partial and bilateral
palpebral depigmentation, wall-eye, bilateral strabismus. Sexual
organs - Monorchidism, cryptorchidism, obvious incomplete growth
of one or both testicles. Tail - Tailless, short-tail, artificial
or congenital. Hair - Semi-long, smooth, fringed. Colours - All
colours not prescribed, white patches too wide.
- Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.
Cane Corso Federation, 2003