The Cane Corso is a dog that nearly went extinct during World War two, and only recently have people become interested in this massive breed which has survived for hundreds of years.
This breed started out in the Tibetan highlands around one thousand years ago. It was used for guarding to keep ancient monasteries safe. The Roman people discovered this dog and were so impressed by it that they brought it back to Rome. Here, it was used to fight lions and also made it into Alexander Macedonian's army.
As the years passed, this dog was used for many different things such as guarding, game hunting, herding, and everything else a farm dog would do. One other thing that it was used for was dog fighting. Although dog fighting became illegal a long time ago, this did not stop people from taking this breed and turning it into an aggressive animal. These people, in an effort to enhance the aggressiveness of the breed, bred it with dogs such as the Doberman and the Alano. This led to the degradation and near extinction of the breed that was luckily saved by a group of enthusiasts in the seventies. On a better note, today you can still find this dog working on the farms in Italy.
This dog is extremely intelligent and highly-trainable. However, it requires someone with a lot of experience because animals like these need to know why they should listen to you. It is not one of those breeds of dogs that follow orders. Even though a handful at times, the love this dog has for its owner is unequaled. It needs its family to survive and is truly happy only if its loved ones are nearby.
Although it is an excellent guard dog, it needs to be socialized at an early age. It is good with children and people in general, but needs consistent and firm obedience training. Otherwise, it becomes a little difficult to manage.
It is a big dog and has been described as 'brave and fierce-looking'. It has a deep, wide muzzle that is flat on top. Even though it has big cheeks, it does not drool too heavily. It usually has a docked tail and cropped ears (cropped very close to the head). It has to look lean and mean but also have the lines of an athlete. It has a short, thick fur that comes in different shades of black and red. Some white is accepted but not much, just a little on the neck, feet, and muzzle.
Males should be between 24 to 27 inches tall and females between 23 to 25 inches tall. In terms of weight, males should be between 99 to 110 pounds and females between 88 to 99 pounds. Males are generally larger than females. This breed does best when occupied and having something to do, which makes it unsuitable for apartment life. It needs a lot of exercise.
This dog is prone to those joint and bone problems that are typical to large breeds. Its life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.
The Cane Corso is a beautiful dog that will bring a warm ray of love and happiness into every home and every heart.