Previously a very rare breed, and only well known in Southern Italy, the Cane Corso, 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 its grand temperament. The Corso’s lineage goes back to ancient Roman times, and the breed’s name roughly translates from the 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. 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!
How Big do Cane Corsos Get?
Cane Corso Size and Weight
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: Males: 64 cm – 68 cm / 25-27 in
Females: 60 cm – 64 cm / 23-25 in
With a slight tolerance allowed.
Weight: Males: 45 – 50 kg / 100-110 lbs
Females: 40 – 45 kg / 88 – 100 lbs
And the FCI officially defines the proper Cane Corso appearance as such :
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Medium to large sized. Robust and sturdy dog, nevertheless with some elegance. Lean and powerful muscles.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The dog is rectangular in outline and is slightly longer than tall. (The length of the dog is 11% greater than the height of the dog). The length of the head reaches 36 % of the height at the withers.
So that is what you can expect to find from a well-bred Cane Corso, from a breeder that is following the correct conformation of the breed.
The ‘American’ Cane Corso
In recent years in America, some people are breeding the Cane Corso even bigger and stronger, so much so that this would not fall within the proper standard of the breed.
While only a little taller than the European standard, some of these dogs are bred very differently, with breeders aiming for an even stronger look, and these Corsos can weigh 180lb and above. So be aware if you are looking at a breeder in the U.S, you may be choosing a much, 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. So if you want an ‘official’ standard Cane Corso, you should look first for a Central European breeder.