Cane Corso

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Cane Corso
MCH Birra.jpg
Fawn Cane Corso
Other namesItalian Mastiff
Country of origin Italy
Traits
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
 
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Cane Corso
MCH Birra.jpg
Fawn Cane Corso
Other namesItalian Mastiff
Country of origin Italy
Traits
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Cane Corso [ˈkaːne ˈkɔrso] is an Italian breed of dog, for years valued highly in Italy as a companion, guardian and hunter.

Description[edit]

Eight year old Cane Corso

Appearance[edit]

The Cane Corso is a large Italian Molosser, which is closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. In name and form the Cane Corso predates its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is well muscled and less bulky than most other Mastiff breeds. The breed is known as a true and quite possibly the last of the coursing Mastiffs. The official Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) standard expects ideal dogs to stand 62–72 cm (24–28 in) at the withers, with females in the lower range and males in the higher. Weight should be in keeping with the size and stature of these dogs, ranging from 45 to 50 kg (99 to 110 lb).[1] The overall impression should be of power, balanced with athleticism. A Corso should be moderately tight skinned; however, some dewlap on the neck is normal, and the bottom of the jawline should be defined by the hanging lip.

The head of the Cane Corso is arguably its most important feature. It is large and imposing. In general, it gives the appearance of regality. The forehead should be flat and convergent to the muzzle. The muzzle is flat, rectangular (when viewed from above), and generally as wide as it is long approximately 33% the total length of the skull (a ratio of 2:1). The eyes are almond in shape, set straight and when viewed from the front, set slightly above the line of the muzzle. Darker eyes are preferred, however, the color of the eyes tends to emulate the shade of brindling in the coat. [2] Traditionally the ears are cropped in equilateral triangles that stand erect.

Cani Corso appear in two basic coat colours: black and fawn. This is further modified by genetic pigment dilution to create grey (from black) and frumentino or formentino(from fawn) colours. Brindling of varying intensity is common on both basic coat colours as well, creating tigrato (black brindle), and Grigio Tigrato (grey brindle). White markings are common on the chest, tips of toes, the chin, and the bridge of the nose. Large white patches are not desirable. The average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

Temperament[edit]

Cane Corso are easy to train, they have a willingness to please, and form a close attachment with their owner. As a puppy, it requires strong leadership and consistent training. Its natural instinct is to be suspicious of strangers and for this reason it is highly encouraged to begin socialization as soon as possible. Ideally the Cane Corso should be indifferent when approached and should only react in a protective manner when a real threat is present.

History[edit]

With natural ears and tail

The Cane Corso is a descendant of the canis pugnax,[2] dogs used by the Romans in warfare. Its name derives from cane da corso, an old term for those catch dogs used in rural activities (for cattle and swine; boar hunting, and bear fighting) as distinct from cane da camera which indicates the catch dog kept as a bodyguard. In the recent past, its distribution was limited to some districts of Southern Italy, especially in Basilicata, Campania and Puglia[2]

The Cane Corso is a catch dog used with cattle and swine, and also in wild boar and cougar hunters. It is also used by night watchmen, keepers, and, in the past, by carters as a drover. In the more distant past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify.

References[edit]

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