The Cane Corso is a medium-large guard dog native to Southern Italy. His stable temperament and powerful body make him particularly appreciated as guard dog and protection dog.
Cane corso
Les Veilleurs de Sirius, France

Origin and Etymology
Corsos were originally found Puglia, Sannio, Lucania and Calabria, the ancient region of Capitanata and the generic name for this breed was Cane Corso.

Although the adjective 'corso' means 'corsican' in Italian, the breed's name is unrelated to Corsica.
Accepted colors include: black, various shades of grey (lead-grey, slate-grey and light grey), light fawn and gray brindle. A small white patch on the chest and feet tips is tolerated. In fawn cane corsos a white patch on the nose bridge is also tolerated. Fawn colored cane corsos have a black mask that should not extend further than the eyes.

The Corso is a medium to large sized molosser breed, strongly built, but elegant and distinguished in appearance. His muscles are long and powerfull, expressing agility and endurance.

The muzzele is clearly shorter than the skull with a ratio muzzle/skull of approximately 1 /2, ideally 3.4 /10. The total length of the skull should ideally be 3.6/10 of the height at the withers.
Like all molosser breeds, the Cane Corso is generally a quiet dog, barking only to alert to an out-of-the-ordinary situation. With their owners and their human family corsos are docile and affectionate. However, prospective owners should known that these dogs require a great deal of attention and training. Some previous experience with dominant dogs can proof useful, as corsos can be very dominant, especially males.

Cane Corso
(Italian Mastiff, Italian Corso Dog, Chien de Cour Italien)
Catherine Marien-de Luca for Dog Breeds of the World 2004-2010 © All rights reserved by and

Dog Books
Dog Breeds A to Z
Dog encyclopedia - list of dog groups
Dog Breeds of the World > Guard dogs, Molossers and Italian dog breeds > Cane Corso
Related Pages
Bulldog breeds
Molosser breeds
Guard dogs
Japanese dogs
Best dogs for families with children
Bull and Terriers
Sled dogs
Hairless dogs
Molossser breeds
Dogo argentino
Tosa Inu
Bulldog breeds
Japanese dog breeds

Dog breeds of the world
Popular dog breeds
Dog Breeds of the World 2004-2010 © All rights reserved and
Original idea, design and development by C. Marien-de Luca. Photos on this page courtesy of Celine Chareyre, Les Veilleurs de Sirius.
Photos of the Dog Breeds of the World sphere of flags by Mark Stay.
No part of may be copied, distributed, printed or reproduced on another website without the owner's written permission.
Recommended Books
About Dog Breeds of the World: About us | History | Privacy | Copyright | Contact
An Owner's Guide Raising your Pet Protector
An Owner's Guide to Raising Your Pet Protector
by Lori Berg, Michael ''Gypsy'' Stratten
More information:

However, its true etymology is still uncertain. Plausible explanations say that it derives from an ancient celtic or provenzal word, related to the english word "coarse" or from the latin cohors (a military unit of the Roman army) suggesting its ancient function as a bodyguard or protection dog.

According to a third theory the breed's name shares the same root as the italian noun corso (from the Greek kórtos, meaning "enclosure"), again referring to the dog's function of guard dog that was kept chained up or within an enclosure.
Les Veilleurs de Sirius, France

Character and Temperament
brindle cane corso
Les Veilleurs de Sirius, France

Fawn Cane corso with black mask
Photo by Callalloo Candcy
Cane Corso
(Kennel Club Dog Breed Series)
by Emily Bates
More information: