These large dogs are naturally protective and loyal to their family. Cane Corsos enjoy being part of families with children because they often treat children like canine companions. They make gentle, affectionate pets for families who have the time, experience and dedication to training a large, occasionally dominant dog. Cane Corsos are large, sturdy dogs who should not be bulky. They should give the appearance of muscle definition and their weight should always look proportionate to their height. They stand about 2 feet to 2 feet 3 ½ inches tall.
These gentle giants will protect their families with their lives. Cane Corsos make excellent companions for families who have experience training large, dominant dogs, who won't let their Cane Corso become the boss.
Cane Corsos are naturally protective. They don't need to be trained to be more territorial than they are naturally. They will have a natural inclination to protect and defend their family, and as a result, they will bond incredibly closely to them. Cane Corsos become extremely loyal and dependent on those whom they strive to protect. Around strangers, they should be discerning and slightly aloof. Part of their protective instinct helps them determine friend from foe, so they should have no inclination to defend without cause. Still, Cane Corsos are dominant dogs who will need authoritative, firm owners who are not at all willing to back down in the face of their big dog. They can sense weakness, and they will take advantage of this to become the alpha dog in the household. Consistent obedience training will help them express their naturally docile and gentle dispositions.
Cane Corsos are not usually the aggressor away from their territory, but they have a strong desire to dominate, so they won't back down from a challenge. They need to be socialized gently and carefully on neutral territory with other dogs to learn proper manners, but even still, they are not always the best choice for the dog park. They do need plenty of exercise and activity, so a large, fenced-in yard is the best choice for these dogs. Despite their natural desire to protect and guard, Cane Corsos make remarkably loyal, affectionate and caring pets. They most enjoy becoming immersed in their families' lives, spending time in the center of the action. They will sulk at length if left alone frequently or if they feel they have been mistreated.
Cane Corsos have short, thick coats that should be coarse and not smooth. The texture should feel similar to a cow's coat. The skin around their body is tighter than the skin on other similar-looking dogs, like Neapolitan Mastiffs or Bulldogs. They do have a dewlap around the neck and some hanging skin flaps around the neck. The coat adheres to the body and covers it evenly. They develop a short, thick under coat during cold weather, and they will shed occasionally.
Their coats are often seen in shades of gray and fawn or red. Many Cane Corsos are black. Some dogs have a brindle coat. Dogs in lighter and darker shades of fawn and red have a black or gray mask. They will also need to be bathed or wiped down occasionally.
The Cane Corso's grooming requirements are minimal. They will appreciate being brushed with a rubber brush or hound glove during the summer months to reduce the amount of hair that they shed.
With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.
The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but dogs with short coats do produce a distinctive dog odor, so your nose may encourage you to bathe them more frequently - about every 8-12 weeks. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing; high-velocity dryers work great to remove excessive loose hair with shedding; coat should be fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.
Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Eyes / Ears
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some short-coated dogs, like hounds and mastiffs, have large, sensitive ears that should be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Pug, take special care to clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like Pugs and Dogues de Bordeaux, be wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.
Cane Corso's teeth do need to be brushed, but only about once a year.