The Cane Corso Dog Breed — One Part Bodyguard, One Part Playmate

Looking for a breed that is ready to tackle any challenge and thrives on hard work but has a soft side? Deeply devoted and protective of their humans, the regal cane corso dog breed makes excellent guardians. Don’t be fooled, though: This breed can be playful and drool like a fool when he wants.

Let’s learn more about this AKC working-group dog breed and its mastiff ancestry.

Do Cane Corso Bark a Lot?

In general, the cane corso (sometimes referred to as an Italian mastiff) barks less than most breeds; however, they can and do have issues with incessant barking and howling. Before you can address excessive barking, identify its roots.

Corsi (plural for corso) are instinctive guard dogs, possessive, territorial, and sensitive to the slightest signs of distress and danger. Each of these factors influences your dog’s tendency to bark at pretty much everything that comes his way. Lack of socialization at an early age can further lead your cane corso (and most dogs, really) to be suspicious and distrustful of new people and situations. Distrust leads to excessive barking. In addition, genetics and how dogs are raised affect their temperament and penchant for barking.

4 things to know about training any dog, including cane corsos

Because the cane corso is a large, strong breed with an independent mind, there are a few tips to keep in mind when training your pet to stop his excessive barking.

  • Be consistent: Consistency can make or break your efforts to reduce your pet’s incessant barking. Make sure all household members and guests follow your training approach; otherwise, your cane corso may take advantage of anyone who doesn’t follow your training.
  • Be patient: While eager to please, cane corsos easy training isn’t a given with a cane corso. You must exercise some patience and understand it may take some time for your dog to stop his excessive barking.
  • Be realistic: Cane corsi make excellent watchdogs and tend to bark for a reason. Because barking is any dog’s natural form of communication, your focus needs to be on reducing, not eliminating your dog’s vocalizations.
  • Be safe: Because a dog may bark or howl due to pain or an injury, make sure your pet’s barking isn’t health-related.

How to train a cane corso to stop excessive barking

If your cane corso is oversensitive to outside stimuli such as people and cars passing by, close doors, curtains, and blinds to reduce your dog’s triggers. You could also initiate a game of tug-of-war or offer a bone or healthy treat to distract your cane corso from barking.

Trigger distractions are more like band-aids than cures, so for long-term bark control, try the following:

  • Exercise your dog regularly and thoroughly. Although the cane corso isn’t a breed that requires a considerable amount of exercise, this working dog breed needs something to do throughout their day. To prevent your pet from howling out of boredom, give your pet plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation (puzzle games and dog toys that last).
  • Don’t reward bad behavior. Anytime your cane corso partakes in attention-seeking howls, the best thing you can do is ignore him. Easier said than done, right? Especially with a dog of the corso’s size! Looking at, petting, and talking to your pet when he’s howling for attention’s sake, reinforces the behavior and the likelihood it will repeat.
  • Train, treat, repeat. When your dog is in the middle of a bark-fest, use a dog training tool to get his or her attention. We recommend an ultrasonic trainer because it is quiet to the human ear and the high-frequency sound gets your dog’s attention so you can issue a correction command. Learn more about our train, treat, repeat method of dog training.

Facts About Cane Corso

Originating in Italy, cane corsi were bred as all-around farm dogs that could hunt wild boar and guard property. While this breed may have some resemblance to pit bulls, they are not related. Corsi are intelligent and profoundly loyal to their humans; however, they can also be willful and assertive.  Because this breed can dominate a household, they require an owner with experience managing a large dog.

  • Size: Cane corsos range from 23 to 27 inches in height and 90 to 135 pounds in weight.
  • Life expectancy: Corsi have an average lifespan of 9 to 12 years.
  • Coat: Canes have a short, shiny, very coarse coat with a light undercoat. Colors include black, light gray, stag red, slate gray, and light or dark fawn.
  • AKC group: Cane corsos belong to the AKC working group.

Are Cane Corsi Easy to Train?

The highly intelligent cane corso is a big, strong breed that requires early socialization and puppy training classes to ensure they grow up into well-mannered, well-adjusted adults. Obedience training is also a must to keep your cane corso from becoming bossy. This breed is affectionate, eager to please, and responds well to positive reinforcement training methods that reward with praise and treats. With that said, you must establish yourself as the leader; however, the use of harsh corrections (yelling, hitting the dog with a newspaper) can lead to fear, aggression, and confusion in your pet.

Does Cane Corso Dog Breed Need Grooming?

The double-layered outer coat of a cane corso is short and stiff, whereas the undercoat varies in length depending on the climate in which the dog lives. The undercoat sheds throughout the year, with a heavier shedding during the spring.

Related: The BarxBuddy Guide to Dog Grooming includes tips for DIY dog grooming

Brushing your cane corso weekly with a medium-bristle brush, hound glove, or rubber grooming glove or tool during shedding season can prevent dead hair from covering you and your home. Bathe when necessary. Regularly trim your cane corso’s nails to prevent them from growing too long, as this can cause your pet discomfort.

Some cane corso owners elect to crop their ears. Some owners believe this procedure can help prevent injuries to the ear and infections that often afflict floppy-eared dogs; however, some believe ear cropping is strictly cosmetic. If you are concerned, talk to your veterinarian.

What If My Breed Is a Cane Corso Mix?

Curious as to what you might expect with a cane corso mix? Interesting and intriguing pups. Although you can never know for sure what traits an offspring will have, you can research both parents’ breeds to shed some light. A cane corso’s protective instincts and devotion to their humans make this breed a growing popular choice for mixing.

Here are some popular cane corso breed mixes:

Resource Links for More Cane Corso Info

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