Looking for a large breed dog and wondering how big do cane corsos get? Previously a very rare breed of large dogs, and only well known in Southern Italy, Cane Corsos, or Italian Mastiff, has now seen its popularity explode worldwide. And no wonder! The Cane Corso is a very impressive breed, both in terms of its strong looks and grand temperament. This large dog breed makes a great guard dog.
History of the Cane Corso
An Italian breed of dog, the Cane Corso has a storied and long history. The breed is believed to have descended from the ancient Molossian dogs that were used by the Roman army in battle. These dogs were fierce and powerful, and they were used to protect soldiers and to fight alongside them on the battlefield.
The breed’s name roughly translates from Latin as “bodyguard-dog.”
But there is no doubt about it, the Cane Corso is a big, powerful breed, and it is for no amateur.
The Corso is part of the Mastiff breed of dogs.
Corsos are more lightly built than the Neapolitan Mastiff.
Over time, the breed evolved and was used for a variety of purposes, such as herding, hunting, herding, and guarding livestock. The Cane Corso was especially prized for its ability to hunt wild boar, which was a dangerous and challenging task.
A working dog, corsos have been bred to guard, hunt game, and be a farmhand in rounding up cattle, pits and helping drive the animals to market.
As farming moved to more mechanized, the Corso breed came near extinction.
Despite its popularity in Italy, the breed began to decline in the mid-20th century as agriculture became less common and the need for working dogs decreased. By the 1970s, the breed was nearly extinct, with only a handful of dogs remaining.
During the 1970s, the breed was reintroduced.
In 1983 the Society Amatori Cane Corso was formed.
In 1988, Michael Sottile brought the first litter of corsos to the United States.
A second litter followed in 1989.
Fortunately, a group of dedicated breed enthusiasts worked to revive the Cane Corso, and by the 1990s, it had become a popular breed once again. Today, the Cane Corso is recognized by the American Kennel Club and is a beloved companion and working dog for many families worldwide.
Recognition was granted in 2010 by the American Kennel Club.
The Cane Corso Association of America now governs the corsos breed.
So if you have fallen in love with the breed, and are thinking about choosing a perfect Cane Corso puppy, then here are the facts on what size, strength, and shape to prepare for!
Note: If you are seeking one of these purebred dogs, please consider adopting one who is in the care of rescue groups or shelters.
How Big do Cane Corsos Get?
Cane Corsos are large and muscular dogs that typically weigh between 88 to 120 pounds (40 to 54 kg) and stand 23 to 28 inches (58 to 71 cm) tall at the shoulder. Female Can Corsos are generally smaller and lighter than females.
When fully grown, Cane Corsos have a powerful and imposing presence, with a broad chest, strong legs, and a large head. They are an athletic breed that requires regular exercise and plenty of space to move around.
While Cane Corsos are large dogs, it’s important to note they are not considered giant breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs. However, their size and strength require responsible ownership and training to ensure they are well-behaved and safe around others.
What is the appearance of a Cane Corso?
According to Dog Time, the Corso is a large, muscular dog. Males stand 25 to 27.5 inches at the withers; females 23.5 to 26 inches. Weight is proportionate to height and typically ranges from 90 to 120 pounds.
Let’s start with the basic breed Statistics:
The Official Standard in Europe (FCI) of a properly conformed Cane Corso:
Height at the shoulder blades:
Male cane corsos: 64 cm – 68 cm / 25-27 in
Female cane corso: 60 cm – 64 cm / 23-25 in
With a slight tolerance allowed.
Males: 45 – 50 kg / 100-110 lbs
Females: 40 – 45 kg / 88 – 100 lbs
And the FCI officially defines the proper Cane Corsos appearance as such :
The Cane Corso is a large and muscular breed with a powerful, athletic appearance. Their body is rectangular in shape, with a broad chest, straight back, and strong legs. They have a large, square head with a short muzzle and a strong jaw. The ears are typically cropped and stand erect, although some owners choose to leave them natural. The eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped, and can be brown, hazel, or gray in color. Any of these colors may have a brindle pattern: irregular streaks of light and dark color.
A black or Gray Mask is sometimes found on Solid fawn and red cane Corsos
The Corso’s ears may be cropped or uncropped.
The coat of a Cane Corso is short and shiny, with a thick, dense undercoat that provides protection from the elements. The coat can be black, gray, fawn, or red, and may have white markings on the chest, feet, and face. The skin is thick and loose, especially around the neck and shoulders, and may form wrinkles.
Overall, the Cane Corso is an impressive and imposing breed with a strong and athletic appearance. Their physical appearance reflects their history as a working breed, capable of performing a variety of tasks with strength and agility.
The Cane Corso is a breed that has a distinctive and recognizable appearance.
Some of the important proportions that are desirable for a Cane Corso include:
- Body Length: The Cane Corso should have a rectangular-shaped body with a length that is slightly greater than its height at the shoulder. The length should be around 10% greater than the height.
- Head Size: The head of a Cane Corso should be large and proportionate to the rest of the body. The length of the muzzle should be approximately equal to the length of the skull.
- Chest Width: The Cane Corso should have a broad and deep chest with well-sprung ribs. The chest should be approximately 30% of the dog’s height at the shoulder.
- Leg Length: The Cane Corso should have strong and well-muscled legs that are in proportion to the rest of the body. The front legs should be straight and the rear legs should be well-angulated.
- Tail Length: The tail of a Cane Corso should be docked at the fourth vertebrae and should be approximately one-third the length of the dog’s body.
These proportions are important in creating the overall appearance and functionality of the Cane Corso breed. It’s important to note that while these proportions are desirable, they may vary slightly between individual dogs and should not be the sole determining factor in choosing a Cane Corso.
The ‘American’ Cane Corso
The American Cane Corso is a breed of dog that is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the American Canine Association (ACA). It is a descendant of the original Italian Cane Corso, but there are some differences in appearance and temperament between the two breeds.
The American Cane Corso is typically larger and more muscular than its Italian counterpart, with a broader chest and head. The breed is also known for its impressive athleticism and agility and is often used in activities such as obedience training, agility, and protection work.
In terms of temperament, the American Cane Corso is generally loyal, protective, and affectionate with its family, but may be aloof or wary with strangers. It requires early socialization and training to ensure it is well-behaved around people and other animals.
Like all Cane Corsos, the American Cane Corso is a large and powerful breed that requires responsible ownership and training. It is important to choose a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs and to provide proper socialization, exercise, and training to ensure a happy and well-adjusted pet.
In recent years in America, some people have been breeding the Cane Corsos even bigger and stronger, so much so that this would not fall within the breed’s proper standard.
While only a little taller than the European standard, some of these dogs are bred very differently, with cane Corso breeders aiming for an even more substantial look and these adult Cane Corso weighing 180lb and above.
So be aware that if you are looking at a breeder in the U.S., you may choose a much heavier and stronger Cane Corso than you expect.
Because of these changes, some people claim that outside of Central Europe, the Cane Corso is being incorrectly bred and is losing its proper confirmation.
Please go through a responsible breeder when considering cane Corso puppies.
The Corso is not a good “first dog.”
He requires plenty of proper socialization, training, and physical exercise to be a good companion.
So if you want an ‘official’ standard Cane Corso, you should look first for a Central European breeder.
Now that you know more about the Cane Corso breed, you can learn more about the other best large family dog breeds.
Cane Corso Health Issues:
Like all dog breeds, Cane Corsos are prone to certain health issues that prospective owners should be aware of.
Here are some of the most common health issues that can affect Cane Corsos:
- Hip Dysplasia: A common orthopedic condition where the hip joint does not form correctly, causing pain and mobility issues.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: A heart condition that causes the heart muscle to weaken and enlarge, leading to heart failure.
- Cherry Eye: A condition where the gland in the third eyelid protrudes, causing redness and swelling in the eye.
- Entropion: A condition where the eyelids roll inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eye and leading to irritation and infection.
- Gastric Torsion or Bloat: A life-threatening condition where the stomach twists and fills with gas, causing abdominal pain, bloating, and shock.
It’s important to work with a reputable breeder who conducts health tests on their dogs and to keep up with regular veterinary check-ups to catch any health issues early. Proper diet, exercise, and care can also help to prevent some of these health problems.
Pet insurance can help you give your dog the best care when needed and help in the event of unexpected illness or accidents.
Corso Breed Personality
The Cane Corso breed is known for its loyal and protective personality. These dogs are affectionate with their family members and are often described as “velcro dogs” because they like to be close to their people. They are also typically very intelligent and trainable, making them excellent candidates for obedience training and other activities.
Cane Corsos are known to be watchful and alert, making them good guard dogs. They are usually wary of strangers and may take some time to warm up to new people. Early socialization is important to help them learn appropriate behaviors around unfamiliar people and animals.
Despite their size and protective nature, Cane Corsos are generally not aggressive towards people when properly socialized and trained. However, they do have a strong prey drive and may be inclined to chase small animals, such as cats, squirrels, or rabbits.
Overall, the Cane Corso is a loyal and affectionate breed with a strong protective instinct. They are intelligent and trainable but require early socialization and consistent training to ensure they are well-behaved and good canine citizens.
Most corsos are affectionate towards all, including small children.
Corsos are highly intelligent dogs,
The giant dog breed can be bossy and dominate a home without boundaries and firm owners.
It is important to teach them the rules and enforce them by training them, using rewards like dog treats.
The Corso can become aggressive and dangerous without proper training or in the wrong hands.
In July 2014, two Corsos were in the USAToday after they attacked and killed a jogger.
A Corso understands the tone of voice and responds well to praise and rewards and when he isn’t doing what you want.
Is the Cane Corso a good family pet
Yes, the Cane Corso can make a great family pet for the right family. They are loyal, protective, and affectionate with their family members and can be very gentle with children when properly socialized and trained. However, they are a large and powerful breed and may not be suitable for families with very young children or inexperienced dog owners.
Cane Corsos require consistent training and socialization from an early age to ensure that they are well-behaved and well-adjusted around people and other animals. They are also an energetic breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.
If you are considering adding a Cane Corso to your family, it’s important to research the breed thoroughly and work with a reputable breeder who conducts health tests on their dogs. It’s also a good idea to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to ensure that you are prepared to handle a dog of this size and temperament. The Cane Corso can make a wonderful and devoted family pet with proper care and training.
Final Thoughts on the Cane Corso Breed
Consistency is key with the Corso breed.
This breed enjoys time alone, such as in a confined yard or crate–start this at a young age so they understand when they are adult size.
However, the Corso requires exposure to sights, sounds, people, and experiences from an early age–preferably proper socialization before four months.
This exposure will help him be more well-rounded, and friendly, and not have anxiety when left alone.
Corsos are not demonstrative, but they enjoy “talking” to their people with “woo woo woo” sounds, snorts, and other verbalizations.
Cane Corso owners find the breed to be a loyal dog.
It’s a popular choice of dog among giant breeds.
And now you know how big a Cane Corso gets.