Breed HistoryThe etymology of the name Corso is still uncertain. The most credible hypothesis are those which indicate Greek origins: KORTOS = wall and from the Latin: COHORS = guard of the courtyard. Until recently the oldest documentation citing the name of the Cane Corso, consisted of a few poems and some prose dating from 1500
The Cane Corso Mastiff is an ancient Italian versatile farm and hunting dog. Dogs which resemble the Cane Corso in murals, painting, and ancient manuscripts referred to as the Cane Corso since Roman times. For centuries Corsos were all around farm dogs and large game hunters. The average farmer needed the Corso to herd semi wild cattle, pigs, and goats for them. They were also used to provide protection over the livestock and property from poachers or predators. Corso’s were also prized scent hunters and course down large game. Until 1988 the Cane Corso was still used only for isolated farmers various use. Many historians and breed fanciers believe the ancient dogs depicted in the ancient murals and manuscripts from centuries ago still remain a pure unspoiled breed maintained on isolated Italian farms. The Cane Corso Mastiff is strongly devoted to its family and they are usually Velcro type of dogs. They want to be close to their owners and will often follow them around the house or yard. They will give themselves completely to their owners but will typically remain aloof and suspicious of strangers. The Cane Corsos are still a more primitive working protection type of breed. This makes them very intuitive to even the most minor changes in their environment. A Cane Corso may bark & react cautiously at furniture moved out of place or new foreign object placed in the room.
Cane Corsos require extensive socialization. Most Cane Corsos if not socialized properly can become nervous, fearful, overly cautious, or show aggressive behaviors in new surroundings or with strangers. An under socialized Cane Corso can be converted into a socially acceptable dog within a fairly short amount of time by dedicated caring owners. In the beginning of Cane Corso ownership, it is common for your Cane Corso to have separation anxiety because they grow such a serious and rapid attachment to their new parents. The Cane Corso’s aloof and suspicious personality with strangers and different places can be greatly reduced or eliminated by proper and regular positive socialization. Cane Corsos are intelligent, willing to please, and easy to obedience train as well as to housebreak. Many Cane Corsos still retain many of their ancient working drives and enjoy competing in obedience, agility, tracking, herding, etc.
The Cane Corsos are a naturally protective breed with their families and property but are considered to be a quiet breed. They remain alert but not prone to barking for unjust causes. The Cane Corso can be a dominant type of dog, especially with intact male Cane Corsos. Some lines of Cane Corso have more dominant personalities than others and such lines should be owned only by experienced dog owners. This is why if you choose to buy from a breeder, it is imperative to research the breeders and make sure they are breeding dogs with even temperaments. Many Cane Corsos in other healthy, stronger lines are sweet and confident, thus displaying a healthy temperament rather than excessive dominance. Majority of Cane Corsos are affectionate and gentle with the family. Most Cane Corsos are very fond of children. They are tolerant and gentle with children in the family. Majority of Cane Corsos who are in healthy homes are loved by families with children. Cane Corsos are naturally more protective of women and children.
Despite their rugged exterior appearance Cane Corsos are very sensitive breed with their families and only fair positive training methods should be used. Many Cane Corsos will sulk and become obviously upset for hours after being scolded by their owners. The Cane Corso is like a constant shadow always wanting to stay in close contact with their owners and love being 100+lb lap dogs. The Cane Corsos love and devotion are unequal to most any other breed of dog. Not only do they want to be part of the family but they need this kind of bond and interaction from their families. The Cane Corso truly suffers mentally / physically if they are living a life of isolation being kenneled or restricted to life outside away from its family. Once a Cane Corso has given itself to a loving caring family they are not handed over easily. Cane Corsos are known to mourn over the loss of a loved one for the rest of their lives. They can also become so despondent they can become physically ill. Even Cane Corsos kenneled for short times while their owners are away may become stressed and depressed until their return.
Understanding the Cane Corso’s true personality is normally limited to family type of socialization. The Cane Corso’s goofy, gentle, and affectionate ways with their families are normally limited to only be seen by their families and close friends. This means the affectionate greeting you get will not be displayed on friendly company visiting. The well socialized Cane Corso will greet the visitor with reserved eagerness and affection. Cane Corso is not like a Golden Retriever who will just happily go with anyone who pays attention to them. They won’t just jump in a car for a ride with a stranger or play a game of fetch without their family being around. A Cane Corso may be very obedient to their family members but may normally ignore any orders given by company/strangers. Given that, a Cane Corso would typically need to get used to such things as a dog sitter or dog walker coming to their home. With proper management, socialization, & training the Cane Corso is very adaptive to the lifestyle of most loving families.
The Cane Corsos on average have a moderate energy level. They are normally have a moderate – high activity level outdoors with low indoor activity level. Most Cane Corsos would enjoy a game of fetch, hiking, swimming, & any dog sports with their owners. The Cane Corso should get 10-20 minutes of exercise sessions twice daily, preferable off leash in a contained area. Many Cane Corsos have adjusted living with inactive families & going for leash walks in their neighborhoods 2-3 times daily. Keep in mind, the Cane Corso’s activity level varies. Most are moderate, some are inactive, while a few are high energy. Age is also a factor, once mature (around 3-4 yrs old) the energy level sufficiently reduces. Some Cane Corsos are natural couch potatoes so it depends on the individual Cane Corso.
Cane Corsos vary with their sociability with other dogs. Like most dogs, they are happiest living with opposite sex dogs (hence why that is typically a requirement of adoption in the case that the potential adopter has another dog). Majority co-inhabit very well with other dogs they live with. Still if not socialized they may not have the same reaction with strange dogs. More dominant males especially do better with more submissive female dogs to share a home with. Cane Corsos also vary with their reactions to smaller animals like cats and pocket pets. If socialized majority (but of course depending on the dog in particular) get along well with such animals. In the right home, the Cane Corso’s undying devotion & affection will capture your heart forever.
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