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John Paul Trueman
Aug 13, 2020
Italian Mastiff / Cane Corso
The Cane Corso (Corso for short) is a serious dog breed for a person who is serious about having a dog as a companion and who can provide him with the firm and loving guidance he needs to become a great dog. He is a family-only dog. Don’t expect him to buddy up with everyone he meets: He has no interest in people or other animals outside his family, but those within the family will have his undivided loyalty and protection. Give this dog a job. He’s unwilling to just lie around all day and will find his own “work” to do if you don’t provide it: usually running the fence and barking at passersby, digging holes to China, or chewing up your furniture. If you have a farm or ranch, he will help you with the livestock; otherwise, get him involved in a dog sport such as agility, dock diving, nose work obedience or tracking.
The Corso’s short coat comes in black, light, and dark shades of gray; light and dark shades of fawn; and red. Any of these colors may have a brindle pattern: irregular streaks of light and dark color.
Solid fawn and red Corsos may have a black or gray mask.The Corso’s ears may be cropped or uncropped.The Corso is a working dog who needs lots of mental and physical stimulation.Corsos are not demonstrative, but they enjoy “talking” to their people with “woo woo woo” sounds, snorts, and other verbalizations.The Corso is not a good “first dog.” He requires plenty of socialization, training, and exercise to be a good companion.
This working breed needs plenty of physical activity to stay in shape. Plan on taking him for a brisk walk or jog of at least a mile, morning and evening, every day. If you like to bicycle, get an attachment that will allow him to run alongside you. Go easy on puppies. Their musculoskeletal system isn’t fully developed until they are about 18 months old, so while they need more walks to help burn off their puppy energy, those walks should be shorter and slower. For mental stimulation, provide this dog with a job. Good employment for a Corso includes herding livestock (your own or a trainer’s), learning tricks, practicing obedience skills, or being involved in a dog sport. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on these types of activities. It’s okay to break it up: for instance, 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. Never allow a Corso to run loose. A solid, secure fence is a must. An electronic fence will not prevent him from leaving your property if he chooses to, and it won’t protect your neighbor’s dog or cat if he wanders into your yard. Finally, be prepared for the amount of care and large bills that can go along with owning a large dog. There’s more poop to scoop, and essentials such as spay/neuter surgery are more expensive for big dogs than for small ones. If your Corso needs surgery for any other reason, the cost of anesthesia will be high because he needs more of it than a small dog, as well as larger amounts of pain medication after surgery. Finally, there are the costs of training class, entry fees for dog sports, and pet-sitting or boarding when you are away from home. Take all of these expenses into consideration before acquiring a Corso because you will be facing them for 10 to 12 years.