Ten things you need to know about the Cane Corso dog before you buy one
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Ten things you need to know about the Cane Corso dog before you buy one

The Cane Corso is a massive and very imposing-looking dog type, and one that a lot of people in the UK have never seen in the flesh. They’re also the type of dogs that you’d only need to see once in order to remember in future, and sometimes, just a glance is enough to turn heads and generate enough interest in the Cane Corso to serve as the first spark of interest in potentially buying one.

If you’ve spotted a Cane Corso in your local area and are wondering what it’s like to have one as a pet, or if you’ve started researching Cane Corsos with a view to potentially buying one, this article is for you. Read on to find out ten things you need to know about the Cane Corso dog, to get you started on the right path to doing all of the necessary research you’ll need to undertake prior to making a purchase.

Cane Corsos are not recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK

First of all, the Cane Corso is not recognised as a pedigree dog breed in the UK, and they are not eligible for Kennel Club registration as a result of this.

This means there’s no breed standard in place in the UK for Cane Corsos to dictate their desirable looks and temperament, and so this can be somewhat variable from breeder to breeder.

However, outside of the UK, the Cane Corso is recognised by the American Kennel Club, and whilst this confers no benefits in the UK, does provide a point of reference for the general appearance and temperament of dogs of this type as a whole.

They’re really big dogs

The Cane Corso is huge – they stand up to around 70cm tall at the withers, and can weigh up to 50kg or more. They’re also very stocky and muscular and physically strong, and are generally classed as a giant dog type.

The Cane Corso is a type of mastiff

The Cane Corso’s large size and strength is inherent to most dogs of the mastiff type, and the Cane Corso has all of the typical mastiff traits. They’re also close relatives of another mastiff breed too, the Neapolitan mastiff, and they might in fact be even older and longer established than these close cousins!

It is also possible that the Cane Corso is the very last extant coursing mastiff breed (coursing meaning to pursue and catch prey) and as a result of this, they’re somewhat leaner than most other mastiffs.

Cane Corsos are very expensive to buy

Despite the fact that they’re not afforded pedigree status here in the UK, the Cane Corso is one of the more expensive dog types to buy. The average asking price according to our Pets4Homes statistics for dogs of this type at the time of writing (August 2019) was around £1,096 each, which is quite an investment.

They also tend to cost more than the average dog to keep

Because of the Cane Corso’s large size, they can also be prohibitively expensive to keep as well as to buy in the first instance. As you might expect, a huge and very muscular dog eats a significant amount of food, and they also need to live in a large home, and require big beds, bowls and everything else – and as the owners of large dogs are all too aware, the larger your dog, the higher the prices of all of their accessories!

Even flea and worming treatments for large dogs cost more, as do routine surgeries like spay and neuter.

The Cane Corso is very protective and an excellent guard dog

As you might expect from the Cane Corso’s physical appearance, the Cane Corso is a natural and very good guard dog, and they are highly territorial and protective of the things that they see as theirs.

They will patrol their home and garden and are fearless in the face of a potential threat, however, their idea of a threat might consist of “passers by” and “the postman” as well as “deranged axe murderer in the night.” Cane Corso owners have a great responsibility to keep their dogs contained and under control, and to keep people who come to their home safe.

They also tend to be very gentle with family children

Cane Corsos are very protective of their families as well as their territories, and they are notably very kind and gentle within the home, and have a particular soft spot for family children.

In contrast with many guarding breeds they are generally considered to be quite amenable to children in general, however, constant supervision and great care is required nonetheless when it comes to the Cane Corso and close proximity to kids of any age.

…However, the Cane Corso can be prone to dominance and they need careful management

Whilst Cane Corsos are affectionate and personable with their families as a whole, this hinges entirely on the appropriate lifestyle and management being provided for such dogs, and they need to be respectful of their handlers and display good manners and appropriate behaviour.

They need an owner and handler that can win the dog’s respect, give clear direction, and provide firm but fair rules and boundaries, as well as a reliable day to day routine.

There are some health issues in the Cane Corso gene pool

The Cane Corso, like many giant dog types, has elevated risk factors for a couple of hereditary health conditions of the bones and joints, being hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia respectively.

There is quite a high occurrence rate of both of these conditions within the Cane Corso gene pool, and all potential buyers of a Cane Corso are strongly advised to choose a puppy from a breeder who undertakes hip and elbow scoring on their parent stock, and produces pups from only well-scored dogs.

The Cane Corso is not generally a good choice for a first-time dog owner

The Cane Corso can be one of the most rewarding of dog breeds to own in the right hands, but they do need an experienced and confident owner. Knowing how to handle, manage and motivate a very large, powerful and potentially dominant dog is vital, as is proper supervision and care taken to control the dog’s territorial traits.

Excellent early socialisation is required for dogs of the breed too, and they are generally considered to be a breed that is not a good choice for an inexperienced or first-time dog owner.

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