black cane corso dog sitting in a field

The Cane Corso: is it the right breed for you? reading-time-icon 4 min read

A strong, athletic dog, the Cane Corso has historically been favoured by owners because of their protective nature.

Part of the mastiff family, they are intelligent & caring dogs that have been used as working dogs because of their guarding and herding abilities. 

Cane Corso Summary: 

  • Strong, intelligent dogs
  • Coat is short  
  • Common colours include chocolate, black, blue, brown & brindle
  • Average size = 58 - 70 cm
  • Average weight = 40 - 50 kg
  • Life Expectancy = 9 - 11 years
  • Estimated monthly cost = High
  • Exercise needs = High
  • Attention needs = Medium
  • Sociability = Medium

Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Cane Corso need?

Strong and energetic, the Cane Corso needs a lot of exercise. They can become bored if they don’t get enough physical & mental stimulation. 

They’ll require two long walks every day to ensure that their exercise needs are met. To prevent them from becoming bored during the day, give them puzzle games to work on as they like to be kept busy.  

To keep them happy and healthy, take them to a secure environment where they can run off-lead, with lots of interesting things to see and sniff. As with all breeds, be careful not to over-exercise them whilst they are still growing, as this can have long term effects on their joints. 

Cane Corso dietary requirements

Your Cane Corso will need a balanced diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It’s best to feed them complete dog food specially formulated for large breeds to ensure that they are getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. 

Growing pups may prefer 3-4 smaller servings during the day, rather than two larger meals. This can be reduced to two meals a day as your dog gets older.

The recommended portion size will depend on your individual dog. You’ll need to take into account their activity level, age and metabolism. To avoid weight gain, make sure your Cane Corso has a healthy and balanced diet and gets plenty of exercise.

black cane corso sitting down with a stick

Training: how to train a Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are intelligent dogs that are willing to learn. Because of their size and strength, it’s important they are trained from an early age with plenty of positive reinforcement to stop them pulling on the lead or jumping up. 

Their curious, inquisitive nature means they need plenty of mental stimulation, which you can add into their daily life using challenges and games.

As is the case with all breeds, Cane Corsos will start to approach new experiences with caution when they are around 12 weeks old. Therefore, it’s really important for their development that they experience as many different situations as possible. 

Whilst they are still so young and receptive, it's a good idea to introduce your Cane Corso to other dogs, people and livestock as well as car travel and unfamiliar noises, such as traffic.

Grooming: do Cane Corsos shed?

Cane Corsos are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Thanks to their short, dense coat, a quick brush once a week will suffice. You should only need to bathe your Cane Corso when they get muddy. 

They are known to drool more than other breeds, so bear this in mind if you are worried about marking furniture. 

Unfortunately, because of their imposing, handsome good looks some Cane Corso have fallen victim to ear cropping. Ear cropping is also illegal in the UK and should be reported.

Complete your Cane Corsos grooming routine with regular tooth brushing, nail clips and ear checks.

Read More: Stop ear cropping: support the #CutTheCrop campaign

Cost of owning a Cane Corso

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Cane Corso, remember to take into account the following costs:

Are Cane Corsos prone to any health problems?

Cane Corsos are prone to certain health problems, just like all breeds. This doesn’t mean your dog is guaranteed to contract any particular disease – it’s just something to bear in mind.

To keep your Cane Corso as healthy as possible, monitor them closely and attend routine 6-month health checks with your vet. This will allow the vet to give your dog a thorough check-up and to pick up on minor (often symptomless) conditions before they have a chance to escalate into something worse.

Possible health complications for Cane Corsos Include:

Before welcoming a new dog into your household, make sure you’re able to cover the costs of any routine or emergency medical treatment they may need. Pet insurance will help massively with this. Why not ask your vet about their recommended pet insurance policy?

blue cane corse puppy sitting by leaves

Cane Corso temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Cane Corsos are loyal, protective dogs who need plenty of space to roam. Because of their size, they might not make the best pet if you have young children, because of the risk of knocking them over. 

Cane Corsos love children but respond better to those who know how to behave appropriately around dogs, so are better suited to households with adults and older children. As with all breeds, it’s recommended that children are supervised when playing with dogs.

They aren't ideally suited to apartment living and require a spacious environment because of their high energy levels. 

Are Cane Corsos suitable for first time owners? 

Cane Corsos may not be the easiest companion, especially if you’re a first-time pet owner. They’re very intelligent and physically powerful dogs that can quickly become a handful if they’re not properly stimulated and socialised.

Historically used as working dogs, they enjoy training sessions but are better suited to experienced owners because of their powerful physique. 

That said, if you lead an active outdoor lifestyle and are prepared to put in the hours when it comes to training, there’s no reason for a Cane Corso not to be your ideal pet. If you have done your research beforehand, owning a Cane Corso can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet. Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page.

Related tags