The Cane Corso originated in Italy. His name derives from the Latin "Cohors" which means guardian "Protector".

The life expectancy for the Cane Corso is 10 to 11 years.
Males can weigh 100-140 pounds; Height 24-28 inches.
Females can weigh 88-110 pounds; Height 23-26 inches.

Italian authorities believe that the Cane Corso is one of two breeds which stem directly from the Roman Molosser It is said that, in ancient times, the historic Molossus gave rise to two quite different breeds. One dog was very massive and became the progenitor of the Neapolitan Mastiff. The other was a taller, lighter and less cumbersome dog, known for his quickness and agility. From this very athletic Molossus sprang today's Cane Corso.

In medieval times, the Cane Corso was used as a big game hunter. His power, courage and agility made him especially valuable on wild boar. It is also reported that he was used on stag and bear. Italian fanciers of the breed say, proudly, the Corso is "the only true coursing mastiff."

With the decline in big game hunting, the Corso found a home with Italian farmers. He was often used as a drover, moving animals to market or to the slaughterhouse. On the farm, he protected livestock from both human thieves and animal predators. He also doubled admirably as a guard dog for the home. Indeed, to this day he can still be seen throughout rural Italy performing these old duties.

What is the Cane Corso like to live with? "They're great dogs," Mike Sottile says. "Although they are superb protection dogs, they are quiet around the house. They're not at all noisy. They love their family and need lots of personal hands-on attention. There's a lot of eye contact with this breed. I'm very impressed with their intelligence. They always seem to be thinking. It's like you can just see the wheels turning. They are so eager to please that they are usually at your side just waiting for your next command."

Despite the breed's size, they make excellent house dogs. The Cane Corso definitely needs socialization, and it is strongly urge that owners obedience train their dogs. Properly raised and trained, the breed is suspicious of strangers, but wonderful with the family. When raised correctly, the dog should be submissive to all members of the family.

"This breed gets along very well with children. They are protective, yet gentle. The Cane Corso has a very stable temperament," Mike observes. Ettore Frassinetti says that the breed "Devotedly loves his owners, his family and in particular children with whom he behaves delicately and gently ."


Translation: Dr. Antonio Morsiani , Dr. J.M. Paschoud and Prof. R. Triquet
Origin: Italy
Date of publication of the original valid standard: 12.03.1999
Utilization: Guard, protection, police and tracking dog.
Classification F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian and Swiss Mountain-and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossian, Mountain type. Without working trial
Brief Historical Summary: Its direct ancestor is the old Roman Molossian. Formerly scattered all over Italy, in the recent past, the breed was only prevalent in the Province Apulia and in the adjacent regions of Southern Italy. His name derives from the Latin "cohors", which means "protector, guardian of the farmyard".
General Appearance: Medium to large-sized. Robust and sturdy, nevertheless elegant. Lean, powerful muscles.
Important Proportions: The length of the head reaches 36% of the height at withers. The dog is somewhat longer than high.
Behavior/Temperament: Guardian of property, family and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game.
Head: Large and typically molossoid. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and the muzzle converge slightly.

Cranial Region

Skull: Wide; at the zygomatic arches its width is equal to or greater than its length. convex in front, it becomes fairly flat behind the forehead as far as the occiput. The medio-frontal furrow is visible
Stop: Marked

Facial Region

Nose: Black and large with ample, open nostrils, on the same line as the nasal bridge.
Muzzle: Noticeably shorter than the skull (ratio muzzle: skull approximately 1:2). Strong, square: the front part of the muzzle is flat; the lateral surfaces are parallel; the muzzle is as wide as long. The profile of the nasal bridge is straight.
Lips: The upper lips hang moderately and cover the mandible, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the lips.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws very large, thick and curved. Slightly undershot. Level bite acceptable, but not sought after.

Eyes: Medium-sized, ovoid, looking directly forward, slightly protruding. Eyelids close fitting. Color of iris as dark as possible depending from the color of the coat. expression keen and attentive.
Ears: Triangular, drooping, with a wide set on high above the zygomatic arches. Often cropped in the shape of an equilateral triangle.
Neck: strong, muscular, as long as the head.

Head with the more frequent defects (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)


The body is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. sturdily built, but not squat.
Withers: pronounced, rising above the level of the croup.
Back: Rectilinear, very muscular and firm.
Loins: short and strong
Croup: Long, wide, slightly inclined
Chest: Well developed in three dimensions, reaches to the elbow.

Tail: Set on fairly high; very thick at the root. The tail is docked at the fourth vertebra. In action carried high, but never curled nor erect.

Body with the more frequent defects (by the book"Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)


Shoulder: Long, oblique, very muscular
Upper Arm: Strong
Forearm: Straight, very strong
Carpal Joint and Pasterns: Elastic
Forefeet: Cat feet.

Fore profiles (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)

Upper Thigh: Long, wide, back line of thigh convex
Lower Thigh: strong, not fleshy
Hocks: Moderately angulated
Metatarsals: Thick and sinewy
Hindfeet: Slightly less compact than the forefeet.

Hind profiles (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)

Gait/Movement: Long stride, extended trot. The preferred gait is the trot.

Skin: Fairly thick, rather close fitting

Hair: Short, shiny, very dense with a light undercoat.
Color: black, lead-grey, slate-grey, light grey, light fawn: stag red and dark fawn; brindle (stripes on different shades of fawn or grey); in fawn colored and brindle dogs the clack or grey mask on the muzzle should not go beyond the line of the eyes. A small white patch on the chest, on the tips of the feet and on the bridge of the nose is acceptable.

Size and Weight:
Height at Withers: Males from 64 to 68 cm; females from 60 to 64 cm. Tolerance of 2 cm more or less.
Weight: males from 45 to 50 Kg; females from 40 to 45 Kg.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Severe Faults:
Axes of muzzle and skull parallel or too converging; lateral surfaces of the muzzle converging
Partial depigmentation of the nose
Scissor bite; pronounced undershot mouth
Ring-tail, tail in vertical position
Permanent amble when trotting
Over-or undersize

Eliminating Faults:
Axes of muzzle and skull diverging
Total depigmentation of the nose
Bridge of nose very hollow, rams's nose
Overshot mouth
Partial or complete palpebral depigmentation. Wall eye; strabism.
Tailless, short tail (docked or not)
Semi-long, smooth or fringed hair
All colors not indicated in the standard: large white patches.
N.B. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended.

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