Cane Corsos are often referred to as the closest relative of the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is a large breed of dog that has been bred throughout its history as a guard and hunter. Unlike many other breeds, it was never developed for “purely” aesthetic reasons until recently. The Cane Corso’s purpose was always to work hard.
Cane Corsos are frequently described as gentle giants weighing between 40 and 50 kilograms. They are large and more muscular than most other breeds, having broad heads and strong jaws.
The muscles of the Cane Corso are more defined than those of many other breeds, which is especially evident when its coat is wet. It has a large chest and an arched neck with a thick dewlap that protects its throat. The tail is slightly curved and reaches around the hock.
The physical appearance of the Cane Corso can be deceiving. Many people are intimidated by the size and power of this large breed, but some others are drawn to it. In either case, the Cane Corso demands respect as a dog that preserves its heritage as a guardian of livestock and as a protector.
It is essential to understand the temperament of the Cane Corso, and that’s why we’ve created this guide. We will discuss Cane Corso’s temperament to help you decide if this is a breed that would be right for you and your family.
Let’s find out if this is the breed for you.
Are Cane Corsos Dangerous?
Yes, Cane Corsos can be aggressive. That is one point that cannot be argued. They are a breed with a strong prey drive and were bred as hunters, which means they sometimes see other animals as prey to hunt and kill.
This makes them unsuitable for living with small household pets such as cats or hamsters. Even larger dogs could possibly become prey to a Cane Corso if they were not socialised around other dogs from an early age.
Most people searching for a guard dog choose the Cane Corso because of its intimidating stature and tendency to fight with dangerous animals such as bears and wolves. It is also frequently used in military operations because it is so courageous.
When this breed is raised around people, it learns to love them and behave appropriately with them. However, if they are not socialised at a young age, they can be aggressive towards strangers or other dogs.
Since the Cane Corso was initially bred to hunt large prey, it has powerful jaws capable of crushing a victim. This can be both a positive and negative quality.
For example, if one of the Cane Corso’s primary purposes were to protect livestock, its powerful jaws would be helpful because it could fight off wolf or bear attacks. On the other hand, if it attacked someone by mistake, that person would likely suffer serious injuries.
Male Cane Corsos are much more aggressive than females, especially when they haven’t been neutered.
Neutering your dog reduces aggression in several ways. It leads to a decrease in testosterone levels and, therefore, less aggression. It can also make dogs more obedient, which means they are less likely to do something that would provoke the owner to be aggressive towards them.
What Can Make Cane Corsos Aggressive?
Many factors can contribute to aggression in a Cane Corso. Some of the most critical include:
The Dog’s Upbringing
It is easier for a Cane Corso to be aggressive if it has not been socialised properly. If they are not exposed to the world around them at an early age, they will not know how to act.
This can cause problems because people often assume that these dogs are naturally aggressive and cannot be trusted around children or other pets. In most cases, though, a lack of socialisation causes the Cane Corso to be aggressive.
The Dog’s Genetics
In some instances, genetics might play a role in aggression. This breed was bred for hunting and fighting, after all. If there are aggressive dogs somewhere in the bloodline, then there is probably a chance that this dog will inherit some of those qualities.
The Dog’s Health
A Cane Corso in pain or is sick may not control its aggression. For example, if it has a toothache and therefore cannot fully close its mouth, your other pets and your children might not be safe around the dog.
In some cases, a dog will be in pain and be unable to tell its owner. For example, suppose the Cane Corso is in a lot of pain from a possible tumour or other growth but has not been examined by a veterinarian yet. In that case, it might accidentally lash out at anyone who gets too close.
Like many other breeds, the Cane Corso can develop trust issues if mistreated. If an owner is aggressive towards the dog, it will not want anything to do with that person.
A Cane Corso that has been poorly treated in the past might be more likely to lash out at any stranger who comes near it because it does not feel safe around them. However, the possibility of aggression is smaller if the dog has been properly socialised from an early age.
The Dog’s Temperament
In some rare cases, Cane Corsos are born with a naturally aggressive temperament. In most instances, though, they become more aggressive when stressed.
For example, if a Cane Corso is in an unfamiliar location or around strangers that it does not know, then it might become aggressive. It may also become aggressive if loud noises and other distractions surround it.
Anxiety can also lead to aggression in these dogs. If the Cane Corso settles in an unfamiliar environment, it might become anxious.
As a result, it will probably make some sort of noise to indicate its discomfort. Sometimes it will do this by growling or barking, but it might become aggressive in the most extreme cases.
In some cases, Cane Corsos feel anxious if they were abandoned by their previous owner. If the dog was already anxious, to begin with, then this could lead to aggression.
Some Cane Corsos are more likely to become aggressive if they are around other dogs. This is not the same as being dog-aggressive because they are still more likely to be social with humans.
However, if they feel that another dog invades their territory, it might become aggressive. The situation can be made even worse if the dog is not well socialised since this will make it less likely to back down from a fight.
Feeling Possessive and/or Territorial
If a Cane Corso feels possessive over something, it might become aggressive. This could include food or toys, but it can also apply to the territory.
A dog will often show this by growling or barking at the other animal, human, or dog that it feels is threatening its property. If the aggression becomes too severe, it might lead to an attack.
A Cane Corso that is afraid will typically lash out at what it fears. Since this breed was bred for hunting big game, it is not unusual for it to feel threatened by some animals.
Cane Corsos might also become aggressive if they are startled, which can easily be done by someone or something unexpected approaching them.
However, Cane Corsos are not generally afraid of things unless they have had a bad experience with them in the past. If that is the case, it might become aggressive if it sees or hears this thing again.
How to Prevent Aggression in Cane Corsos
There are several steps that an owner can take to ensure that their Cane Corso grows up without aggression problems. Some of these are discussed below.
The Cane Corso is a dog that does not like strangers. If it grows up in a household where there are always strange people coming in and out, then it will be more likely to lash out at them when they get older.
On the other hand, if the Cane Corso gets used to being around strange people at an early age, then it is unlikely to act aggressively towards them when it grows up. This is especially true if the dog was not abused or neglected at any point during its life.
As a large and powerful breed, Cane Corsos need to be handled with patience. This is more important than ever if the dog has not been adequately socialised.
If a Cane Corso is pushed to its limits or feels threatened, it is likely to lash out at whatever or whoever is around. This can lead to a dog bite, which might require surgery and up to a year of recovery time.
Training and Discipline
The Cane Corso is often considered stubborn, which means that training can be difficult if not done correctly.
To avoid aggression problems, the Cane Corso needs to learn that it does not have control over everything. This especially includes people since the dog might try to control them by becoming aggressive.
This can be done using training and discipline techniques that focus on rewarding positive behaviour while firmly discouraging negative behaviour. If the dog does not feel that it is in control, it will not try to assert itself by lashing out.
Neutering or spaying a Cane Corso will reduce the amount of testosterone in its system. This will make it less likely to act aggressively if it feels possessive over something or territorial.
If the Cane Corso is spayed at a young age, it will not go into heat and become aggressive. This is especially true if the Cane Corso is an intact female, which is more likely to act aggressively during its heat cycle.
Are Cane Corsos a Good Family Dog?
Cane Corsos can be a good dog for families with children, provided that the family can handle the Cane Corso. This breed might not be suitable for people who have never owned a large dog before.
Since a Cane Corso requires patience and lots of training, anyone who intends on owning one needs to understand what is involved in raising a large dog.
Cane Corsos are very protective of their owners, making it unlikely to get aggressive unless they feel threatened. For this reason, it can be an excellent guard dog since it will not act irrationally or unpredictably.
However, if the Cane Corso feels that it is being mistreated, then it will try to assert dominance over the other pet. This can result in a fight between the two animals, so an owner should always be present when they are together.
Cane Corsos should also not be left alone with children unless the child is old enough and mature enough to handle such a large dog. You should train your child to respect the dog, and you should supervise them at all times when they are together.
The Bottom Line
Cane Corsos can be aggressive if they are not properly socialised, trained, and disciplined. If an owner takes the necessary steps to ensure their Cane Corso grows up without aggression problems, this breed can be a good family dog.
If you have the patience, the time, and the necessary skills to handle a large dog, then a Cane Corso might be right for you. If not, then you should consider getting a less powerful and easier-to-handle breed like the Italian Greyhound or the Italian Mastiff.