Breed Spotlight: Cane Corso

Four Minutes
Sep 12, 2022

Cane Corso Quick Stats


9 – 12 years


90 - 110 lbs


23 – 28 inches




Watchdog, confident, assertive, intelligent, loyal

Common Health Problems:

Bloat, demodex mange, hip dysplasia

The Cane Corso: How Do I Look?

Cane corsos strike an imposing figure and give off an air of cool intelligence. Thoroughly muscled and always alert, few would mistake the cane corso for anything other than what it is: the preeminent watchdog.

Coat Type and Colors

The cane corso’s coat is often darkly colored, ranging from black and gray to chestnut and red.3 They may sometimes have a “mask” of darker or lighter coloration on their face. Whatever the color, their coat is always short and smooth.

Shedding and Grooming

Cane corsos grow a double layer of fur during the colder months, then shed it in the spring.3 They require regular brushing year-round to remove dead fur and promote new growth. Their nails should also be trimmed regularly.


The ears of the cane corso are set high above the cheekbone. In their natural state they are of medium size, triangular, and fall to the jawbone.3

Drooling Level

As might be expected of dogs their size, cane corsos tend to drool often. Expect to get slobbered on as part of their affection.

Cane Corsos: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

I practically set the standard for tall, dark, and handsome. But don’t let my looks fool you — I’m as smart as I am striking. If you can keep up with my physical and mental needs, I’ll be a loyal companion to you and your family for life.


The cane corso temperament can be described as intelligent and collected. Their coolness can sometimes gloss over their demanding exercise needs. Likewise, the imposing stature of a cane corso hides the heart of a big softie. These pups love their family and will happily return affection that’s given to them.

Exercise Needs

Cane corsos require a high level of daily exercise.3 They’re just as happy on long hikes as they are on a walk or run each morning and evening. They also need plenty of mental stimulation. Cane corsos were bred to be workers and aren’t happy unless they have a job to do. Canine sports, like agility or tracking, can be a good outlet for their ambitious spirit.

Good with Other Pets?

As long as they have been socialized early, most cane corsos should get along just fine with other dogs.3 If you have more than one pooch in your furry family, your cane corso may take it upon themselves to lead the pack.


Early socialization and obedience training is key for cane corsos. Otherwise, their intelligence could lead to a domineering personality that’s hard to control. Cane corsos have a naturally protective nature, so they may try to become the boss of the house if left untrained.

Good with Kids?

As natural protectors, cane corsos can be a good fit for children aged 6 and older. Due to their size, however, they are not recommended for families with kids younger than 5.

Barking Level

The cane corso can be quite vocal, especially when fulfilling their guardian instincts. Take steps to help them recognize what is and isn’t worth barking about.

Cane Corsos: A History

This storied breed has seen the rise and fall of empires. Originally bred for warfare by the ancient Romans, cane corsos have since become a renowned workhorse.3 They were popular throughout Italy as hunting dogs and herders, until the mezzadria sharecropping system collapsed in the 1960s.4,5 It wasn’t until the 1980s that a sizable population was bred again. In 1983, the Società Amatori Cane Corso breeding society was formed to further their return.

Decades later they were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010.3 Today there are between 3,000 and 4,250 cane corsos registered with the Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana.5 Despite the centuries that have passed, this breed still lives up to its Latin name: “cane,” for “dog,” and “corso,” derived from “cohors,” or “guardian.” Literally, “guardian dog.”6

Cane Corso Mixes

  • Cane corso pitbull mix
  • Mastiff cane corso
  • Cane corso mix with Great Dane

4 Cane Corsos Health Issues

Cane corsos are a hardy breed, but still may experience a variety of health issues, including3:

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Cane Corsos


As a large-chested dog, cane corsos are prone to bloat. Canine bloat occurs when the dog’s stomach fills with gas, but its exact cause is unknown. If the condition worsens, it can cause gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), a life-threatening condition in which the stomach twists on itself to block the entrance and exit of the organ.

If afflicted with GDV, emergency surgery is required as quickly as possible to save the dog’s life. Because cane corsos average over 100 lbs, they are 20% more likely to experience bloat.8 Opening a dog insurance policy as early as possible is the best way to make sure you’re prepared should the worst happen.2

Demodex mange

This variation of mange is caused by Demodex canis and Demodex injal, parasitic mites that live in a dog’s hair follicles. All dogs have some Demodex living in their hair follicles. It only becomes a problem if the immune system is compromised or immature, allowing the mites to rapidly multiply. Thus, younger dogs (12 — 18 months) are more prone to demodex mange.9 If you adopt a cane corso puppy, pet insurance could help cover the cost of mange treatment.2

To learn more about how a pet insurance policy could help keep your cane corso healthy, read our breakdown of what pet insurance does and doesn’t cover. With flexible options and even family plans, MetLife Pet Insurance makes it easy to give your furry family the care they need.1,2

Protect your Cane Corso with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.   

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Cane Corso Dog Breed Information,” American Kennel Club

4 “Cane Corso Italiano,” Federation Cynologique Internationale

5 “Cane Corse,” Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana

6 “What Does Cane Corso Mean?,”

7 “Seizures in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

8 “Bloat Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

9 “Demodectic Mange in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

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