The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, is a large Italian breed of dog, for years valued highly in Italy as a companion,Guard dog and hunter.
This old Italian dog breed was developed to guard property and hunt big game such as wild boar. He is powerful and athletic and is best suited to an experienced owner who has a large, securely fenced yard.
The Corso is one of many Mastiff-type dogs. This one was developed in Italy and is said to descend from Roman war dogs. He is more lightly built than his cousin, the Neapolitan Mastiff, and was bred to hunt game, guard property, and be an all-around farm hand. Their work included rounding up pigs or cattle and helping to drive them to market.
The breed declined as farming became more mechanized and came near to extinction, but starting in the 1970s dog fanciers worked to rebuild the Corso. The Society Amatori Cane Corso was formed in 1983, and the Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed in 1996. A man named Michael Sottile imported the first litter of Corsos to the United States in 1988, followed by a second litter in 1989. The International Cane Corso Association was formed in 1993.
The Cane Corso is not recommended for novice dog owners. As a puppy, it requires strong leadership and consistent training and it is highly encouraged to begin socialization as soon as possible. Ideally the Cane Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react in a protective manner when a real threat is present.
Corsos are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Corsos will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.
The Corso can be prone to hip dysplasia; eyelid abnormalities such as entropion, ectropion, and cherry eye; demodectic mange (which can be heritable); and gastric torsion, also known as bloat.