How to Prevent Aggression in Your Cane Corso



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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He also trains dogs, mostly large breeds and those that suffer from aggression problems.

If you have been fortunate enough to add one of these great dogs to your family, you must realize that one of the main reasons people give them up to rescue organizations, or take them to shelters, is their aggressive behavior.

It is not that Cane Corso are harder to train and socialize than some other breeds, it's that a dog that weighs over 100 pounds must be especially easy to handle or things can get out of control quickly. Not everyone can handle a dog that size.

How to Prevent Your Cane Corso From Being Aggressive

  1. Work on early socialization: The period before 16 weeks is vital to your Cane Corso. If the puppy is kept locked up at the kennel, or is at his new home but is not taken out during this period, he will become nervous around anyone or anything he does not know. Some trainers will tell you that it is enough to take your dog to "puppy parties" and allow him to meet strange humans and other dogs. I think the Cane Corso needs more. Puppies need to be taken out, even before their last set of vaccines, and walked around so that they can meet other people and other dogs. Yes, there is some danger of infectious disease. When the sensitive socialization period is missed, however, the best opportunity for teaching your dog is over.
  2. Start early obedience training: As soon as you get your Cane Corso home you should start training. Do not wait until he is an adolescent and too strong to handle. Young puppies can learn the basics early, so get started today.
  3. Teach bite inhibition: This is important when dealing with such a large dog, even if your puppy is well socialized and he learned some bite inhibition with his mother and littermates. There is a lot of controversy on the best way to do this, as some trainers recommend “scruffing” the dog if he bites. Others recommend shreiking loudly to startle the puppy if his teeth touch your skin. If your Cane Corso puts his teeth on you while playing, tell him “no”, remove your hand, and stop playing with him for at least five minutes. Your dog should be upset at the loss of his companion and you should not need to scruff or yell at him.
  4. Provide leadership: A Cane Corso will watch your behavior more than most of the small lap dogs. You can provide leadership by making him sit before being fed, making him wait at the door before you let him out, and telling him to lie down and wait quietly while you are busy eating or working. The best way of providing leadership, and decreasing your puppy´s chances of showing dominance aggression, is by starting with obedience classes. Positive training with no force is best for the Cane Corso.
  5. Continue socialization: Taking your dog out for walks will not make up for a lack of early socialization. If your puppy was never taken out of the yard for the first four months, he will be shy and things are going to be difficult for you. If he was not properly socialized as a puppy, or even if he was, you should socialize him as an adult to reduce shyness and lessen the chances of him developing aggression to other dogs. Shyness may be learned or inherited and your Cane Corso may run and hide or stand and bite. When you take your dog out for a walk each day bring along a bag of his favorite treats, something very special. Each time a new person meets him allow them to give him a treat. Your Cane Corso should realize that meeting a stranger equals getting a special treat.
  6. Stop aggression as soon as your dog starts: If your dog shows any signs of aggression as he grows older, you need to let him know that it is not okay. Mildly aggressive signs like staring down your visitors, growling, or even barking, should be controlled by obedience commands. Tell your dog to sit and then lie down so that he will be in a less dominant posture.
  7. Never encourage aggression: The members of this breed of dog are natural guardians and are usually suspicious of strangers, other animals, and sometimes even of objects. You do not need to teach them to be wary of new situations, and excessive praise or encouragement (when he is growling or acting nervous/aggressive) may lead to an excessively aggressive dog.

Will Neutering My Cane Corso Stop His Aggression?

Neutering is not the answer. The surgery may be effective in controlling aggression with other male dogs, but it does not always help. It is never effective in controlling aggression to people.

What if My Cane Corse Is Aggressive With Other Dogs?

If you notice your Cane Corso begin to be aggressive with other dogs when he is still young, please use the methods I described above to stop this behavior. If this happens when he is older, you can try some of the methods in dog to dog aggressiveness to control it. I use these methods in training dog aggressive dogs but you need to be aware that sometimes nothing works.

Should I Consult a Behaviorist?

This breed of dog is not as easy to handle as others because of his size and the work that he was developed for. If you are not able to handle your Cane Corso´s aggression problems you should consult an animal behaviorist before making any decisions as to his future.

If you do not know of any behaviorists in your area, talk to your vet or a local dog trainer. They will often be able to give you advice on where you can get more help for your dog.

Your Cane Corso was developed to be tough. He was selected to hunt and later was used for personal protection, which is why he might seem to be impervious to a lot of pain and might seem different than some other breeds. I believe that this dog is not like a wolf, though, and will be loyal and not despise you and try to take you down if he sees a moment of weakness. It is everyone else you need to worry about.

In order for your Cane Corso to learn to be okay with those others, he needs plenty of your time, gentle training, and adequate leadership.

More About Training Your Dog...

  • Dog Training Tips: Barking
    The main cause of excessive barking in dogs is boredom. Boredom is caused by lack of a job, lack of a diversion, and most of all lack of exercise. Since you probably can´t throw your dog into the back of your truck and go to work, the next best thing
  • Dog Training Tips: Digging
    Dogs love to dig. This article will tell you the reasons dogs dig, and give you a few tips to decrease your dogs´digging.
  • Dog Training Tips : Jumping Up
    Jumping is normal behavior and not something you should punish your dog for. If you don’t want a dog that jumps you can utilize these training techniques. Even if your dog is well trained she might make a mistake, though, so don’t punish her for it.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have a 6 month old cane corso she has been to training here and there she is overall has a calm temperament; when she plays with my sons she ends up jumping on them and biting them and she goes crazy. I'm the one who she looks as a leader and two times she has tried to bite me while I'm trying to calm her down. Shes just going to get bigger and stronger what should I do?

Answer: How does your CC respond to commands? If this were my puppy, the first thing I would tell her when she started to get rambunctious is "down". She should respond to you and to your sons the same way--when she is told that command she should learn to respond.

You are soon going to have a big, hard to control dog. If you do not teach her to respond now, to you and to your sons, you are going to have problems.

If she does respond perfectly to all of you, the only other thing to do is to stop playing with her and working her up.

Question: We brought home our female Cane Corso pup last night. She is 9 weeks old. She’s been very sweet. However, my husband came home and tried to pet her and she lunges at him and bit him. He instantly said no with a stern voice, then I picked her up a few minutes later and put her in his arms so she could get to know him. To know that he won’t hurt her. She then lunged and bit his face a second time. Do you have any advice on how to correct this behavior while our Cane Corso is still young?

Answer: This is very strange behavior for a puppy of this age, no matter what the breed. There might be more going on here so talk to your local vet and get a consultation with a local animal behaviorist.

This might cost more than you are willing to pay. All I can tell you is that the puppy might have psychological problems that will flare up when she is older. If this were a Yorkie or Maltese it would not be that big a deal, but for a CC or a Golden such cases are serious and need to be evaluated while the puppy is young.

Question: I'm getting a three-year-old Cane Corso. From what I've seen, she's a giant baby. And she's smart. Would she be good for service dog work? She has no aggression whatsoever, and again, she's a giant baby and smart.

Answer: They are not usually a popular choice for a service dog, but not because of aggression. They are large and intimidating, so it depends on what type of service work she would be trained for.

Question: We got my Cane Corso at seven-months-old, and we want to get rid of him after a couple of days because he tried to go toward my son's girlfriend because he’s never seen her before. Do you have any tips on how to train him because we really want to keep him?

Answer: A seven-month-old puppy has gone past the sensitive socialization period. It is still possible to get him used to new things but it is not as easy as when your dog is young. Plan on spending at least twice as much effort for every little thing.

1. Obedience train your dog. This is vital. If your dog does not sit, lie down, and stay on command 100% of the time you have work to do. If you can not handle this get a trainer.

2. Socialize your dog. You need to expose him to everything, every day. Take him for walks, introduce him to new people, etc. Find out if you have a canine good citizens program in your area (it is sponsored by the AKC).

3. Have your dog neutered.

This is not going to be easy. If you stick with it, however, you will have the best dog ever.

Question: I adopted a Cane Corso a year ago from someone who basically kept him in the backyard for the first 3 years of the dogs life. The dog is affectionate to me, but not socialized with other dogs and people. He knows basic commands (2,000$ on training so far), but he is overly protective of me. He snapped at a friend in my kitchen, so I don't have people over. Will he ever get better with people and dogs?

Answer: Dogs that are not socialized in their sensitive socialization period (up to about 16 weeks) are difficult to work with and sometimes never get over their fears. I have trained some aggressive dogs that have been "stunted" by the vet telling the owner to not let the puppy out of the yard until all vaccines are given, at about 16 weeks.

Sometimes, with intense socialization, these dogs will get better. Often they will not.

The problem with a potentially aggressive Cane Corso can not be overemphasized. Even if the dog responds 99.9% of the time, if he breaks loose and bites someone he is going to be branded a "dangerous dog". The next time this occurs animal control will probably take him and put him down.

The only potential solution you have is to socialize the dog even more. Make sure that he is used to going everywhere, and have everyone that meets him give him a treat. If this were my dog I would never take him out of the house without a good muzzle, both for his safety and the safety of others.

If you want to read more about some techniques that might help, you can read my article at/dogs/dog-to-dog-aggression

Question: I'm getting my first Cane. She is a puppy, and I will pick her up in a few weeks. Both my wife and I are dedicated to spending time with her. We already have a smaller breed dog. We both work and we will have to leave her in a big kennel during the day while we work. Will this cause a problem with her training?

Answer: Cane Corso are not one of the breeds that do well if left alone all day. When your dog is a puppy, it is even worse. Yes, this will affect her training. If you do not have someone come in and walk her during the day in her formative first months in your home, she is more likely to become neurotic. Do you leave your other dog alone in the house during the day? Your puppy is going to be a lot happier if she can be in a kennel with the other dog, and then when she gets a little older, they can be loose in the house together.

Question: Our 11 week old Cane mix does not act normally during socialization. She is growls and lunges at other dogs. Do you have any advice?

Answer: Tell her no and then immediately give her commands like sit and down. When she obeys, praise her, but do not do so until she obeys.

Question: I plan on getting a Cane Corso puppy, but my brother also plan on getting a smaller breed puppy; how do I make this work?

Answer: Some larger breed dogs, like the Cane Corso, get along just fine with smaller dogs, especially if introduced when still puppies. Be sure to read articles on how to introduce a new dog to your other and read this as it might help: https://hubpages.com/dogs/my-dog-is-suddenly-aggre...

Question: My Cane Corso mix puppy is eight weeks old. I have a small breed dog who is male, the opposite sex and is friendly and calm. However, from day one of bringing her home he has growled at her a few times and does not seem interested in her. I wonder if he is trying to establish his dominance in the home because he is older. Is it ok to make her understand that she is the low man on the totem pole? That I am the boss, then my child, then my little dog. I want her to stay under control.

Answer: Some dogs just do not care about puppies much, and your older dog may never care about your Cane much. The only problem with the situation you describe is that she might become too submissive. If this is the case as she grows older, build up her confidence with obedience training. Even if she learns she is the low dog on the totem pole she needs to have some self confidence.

If she is overly submissive, she might eventually become a fear biter, which is something you definitely want to avoid.

Question: My eight-week-old Cane Corso pup growls when I stop her from doing something. What's the best way to stop this?

Answer: This is definitely the time to take care of the problem. Your puppy is testing her limits at this time, and you need to let her know that when you want her to stop, she must stop. I would recommend starting obedience training now.

You can teach her to sit and lie down at this age, but the most important lesson you can teach her now is "leave it." If she is chewing on something, tell her "leave it" and replace the object she is chewing on with an acceptable substitute. I keep a bowl of chicken feet on top of my microwave, and when I want to stop a puppy from chewing on a shoe or some other forbidden object, I replace it with a delicious substitute. No puppy is going to growl when he knows that the alternative is so tasty.

Here is an article on how to train a puppy early. I start as soon as five weeks with my Pitbulls but only for 5 minutes at a time. Any longer than that is too much.

This article has a great video on how to teach leave it. It usually only takes one session to teach this, but you should practice it every day, and substitute what your dog leaves alone with some tasty treat, so that the lesson sticks with your cc even as she grows older.

Since this article is about teaching a puppy to be polite, take the time to read all of it and see what other ways you might train your cane corso.

If you have any other problems with her be sure to leave a question on one of those articles.

Question: How do I make sure my Cane Corso does not eat until told?

Answer: If your dog is running to his bowl without waiting, you need to teach impulse control. If your dog grabs food off of the floor if it falls while you are cooking, your dog needs to learn impulse control.

Teach your dog to be polite with this article: https://hubpages.com/dogs/teach-your-dog-impulse-c...

Teaching him "wait" will make both of your lives significantly better.

Question: I have a 2 months Cane Corso and she is bored. I am not sure how to keep her interested in work. What do you recommend?

Answer: What do you mean about work? If your puppy is only 8 weeks old she is much too young to work, and will spend the majority of her time eating, sleeping, and even more sleeping.

If you want to start training her it is fine but it only needs to be for 5 minutes at a time. Young puppies get tired and distracted very quickly. If you try long training sessions she is going to get tired and burnt out.

Here is an article I wrote about training early. I usually start at 5 weeks, but as I mentioned it is only for 5 mintues at a time!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 04, 2020:

Kelly, it sounds like there are some serious problems so I am not sure if I can help on the internet. Riley is probably snapping at your husband because of him grabbing her by the collar to punish her. The only alternative is to slip a leash on her each time you want to move her (a slip leash available in Petsmart and that type of store, not a regular leash that you attach to the collar).

As far as the situation with the bones and food, here is an article that might help/dogs/Dog-Training-Tips-Aggr...

If you cannot deal with these problems ask your local veterinarian if she has a behaviorist she works with. Sometimes it helps if a disinterested person is able to evaluate the dog.

Letting her be friendly with everyone does not mean that she is going to be less of a protector.

Kelly Hilson on September 02, 2020:

Hi,

My Cane Corso (Riley) is 5 1/2 months old, we got her at 9 weeks. I have 2 small children and she plays rough with my daughter and growls and at times tries to snap at everyone in the house bc if food, bones even when we tell her to come or get off bed she won’t listen my husband will grab her collar to remove her and she goes to snap at him. She lunged at my mom when she went to pet her in her (Riley’s bed). She bite my husband when he attempt to punish her for peeing in the house. I am the only one she hasn’t tried any of that with I feel I know what she likes/dislikes but when my daughter stops her from grabbing food off the plate she’ll try and snap at her. Everyone is getting fed up and losing faith and interest but I know she is a great loving protective dog and I want to keep her. She jumps constantly on everyone, doesn’t listen the first few times and seems hard headed at times. I need your help please before she seriously hurts someone or they decide to get rid of her. I read some tips you posted and will definitely try those as far as walking and getting to know other dogs better maybe dog parks a good idea?? My family also thinks she shouldn’t be too friendly with strangers bc she is our protector so they don’t want her to basically welcome someone who really is not welcomed. Thank you for help and sharing all your info!!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 17, 2020:

Danielle, I do not think it is the boys fault for being too playful with her. Try reading up on "how to teach a dog to have a soft mouth" and "bite inhibition training for dogs" and you will get plenty of tips. This is something that you should start now, today, because at her age the bite is not serious but it will be if you put it off until she is an adult. Best of luck with her.

here is an article I wrote years ago on bite inhibition. There are some good videos on soft mouth training on Youtube./dogs/dog-training-bite-inhi...

Danielle on August 16, 2020:

We have an 11 week old female cane corso. I also have two 5 and a 8 yr old boys. My cane corso is very confident and can be very sweet and loving towards my boys and i, but She growls, barks and doesn't hesitate to bite at them and bite at their clothes when they are playing or running around her. Her bite is not hard, but its not soft either. Is this something i should be worried about? I've tried to say "ouch" loudly and leave her alone when shes biting too much or too hard, sometimes it works, but she is still doing it, i will keep trying if it keeps happening. I've read other forums where the corso owners say their dog doesn't even growl at their kids. The growling makes me wonder if my kids are too rambunctious around her?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 02, 2020:

Jolie, I would be very reluctant to give up on a puppy that young. It is not possible to socialize well after the sensitive socialization period, but you can definitely work more on obedience. You can train your dog so that he remains in the down/stay position until you release him, no matter who walks by.

Jolie Dominguez on July 01, 2020:

Hello i have a 11 month old cane corso and as he was growing up he never got the chance to socialize because we had just moved in a new home. Every time a guest comes over he instantly starts to bark i usually tell him to sit then lay down he does then when he see them again he jumps up and barks...my little cousin was walking by and all of a sudden he bits her on the arm i honestly dont know what to do anymore his behavioral problems are getting out of control we have guests over all the time.... i would really appreciate the advice thank you.

Alan on March 20, 2020:

Can anyone recommend a reputable Breeder in NSW, Australia?

Mateo on February 28, 2020:

I have a cane corso, she was good even with other strangers & dogs. In the park she is was good, However she was "bullied" by other dogs that challenged her, I think because she is big. She was fine until she reach her first heat. Then she became very protective mainly of strangers. She is now very protective and she does not like strangers coming home, with my close friends she is v good because she remembers everyone that came many times home she she was a pup, but she forgot some others and she is not good with some people in the street that may "jump" to her too quickly. Other than this she is amazing & crazy intelligent. How can I train her back to trust strangers? I appreciate your help. Thanks

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 30, 2019:

Tonja--why was she given up at this age? This behavior may have been going on a long time. Here are some ideas you can try:

Tonja Damon on December 29, 2019:

I resently got a 19 month old female Cane Corso. She is great with people, and children but sometimes attacks others dogs in my home. Why is that? What can I do to change this behavor?

Sheri Mullins waid on October 20, 2019:

I have a 125 pound cane corso i rescued...most sweet and loving male dog..he has been eith ud gor about 2 months now socialized and walked up to 3 to 4 x a day..he just started growling when i try to kiss his face.

He turns his head..we love him..he is so beautiful..any advice

Tamsin on March 20, 2019:

I have a 16 mth cain corso who is lovly I rescued him so hand reared him and took him to puppy classes for 6 mth sadly I became poorly with cancer and had no choice but to ask a friend for help. I took my friend to puppy classes gave him a list off wot to do with him and not wot to do and thought I could trust him. While he had my baby he never brought him up to see me. I asked him repeatly to respect my wishes on how I wonted my baby to be handled. When he came home few weeks ago for a few days he grawled at myself and granddaughter and was playing tug off war when I told my friend not to teach him as he big powerful enough to break a child arm. When I asked him why he grawled he told me it was me. When I went to visit my dog I cough him and his son teaching him to grawl and playing tug off war.. In the end I was so worryed iv when got him brought him home. He no longer walks nicely on the lead and he's grawling at the other two dogs he lived with from a pup when he got a toy when before he was happy to share. I'm worryed that my friend has thought my dog very bad beheaver and won't be able to get him back from it. He also came home cover in scares where he a load his dogs to bite him, and he wonders why I'm very upset..

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2018:

Julie, the puppy is only 9 weeks old? You should feed him the same amount but 4 times a day, as he is probably usually hungry. He is not being aggressive, just playing and testing his boundaries. If you take puppy obedience classes he will calm down.

[email protected] on July 03, 2018:

cane corso has biting and showing teeth,growling with 9 week old blue cane He is taking out side for walks also play time! He is on a raw diet and is always hungry as well He is taught to sit and wait before getting his food He is feed 3 Times a day ! Please can you suggest anything ?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 27, 2018:

jessy, your CC mix is at the age where she is first testing limits. If you do not get things under control now this will be hard to deal with.

When she jumps up and bites, tell her NO, tell her sit, then tell her down. If she is not obedience trained already, and obeying you when you tell her to sit and down, that is the first thing you need to do. Your CC will respond to positive reiforcement training; she will not respond if you do not know how to control things.

Walking away is definitely not going to solve things.

Jessy on June 27, 2018:

I have a five more month old female Cane Corso mix.Can she be showing signs of aggression?? she jumps up and bites when I tell her to stop or correct her she still jumps up and bites, she could be calm for a while then all of a sudden she begins to act crazy ,run around and throws herself up and bites.I try walking away and she keeos following me and doing the same thing.what should I do?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 05, 2018:

Mike, your dog is probably already too large for those types of coercive training techniques, and they are going to get you in trouble. Read this article on how to teach your dog to be polite and start using some of the gentle training suggested in the videos:/dogs/teach-your-dog-impulse...

Cane Corso are no more unpredicatble than any other dog. He was fighting with the Pitbull over food, which is normal.and since he responded to your command that is a very good sign.

You do need to make sure your dog is well trained since you get him when he was older and past the sensitive socialization period. Make sure he is socialized as much as possible now.

Best of luck with him.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 05, 2018:

Lorri, take a few minutes to read the article at

Dog on dog aggression can be a big problem, as you already know. The best way to handle it is obedience training and counterconditioning.

Most dogs will get better with a lot of work, but you must be able to handle your dog if he gets riled up. If you cannot, he must be better trained. You will also need the help of friends with dogs so that your dog can learn to walk close to other dogs without getting excited, as outlined in the article.

This is not a simple problem.

Lorri Coleman on May 04, 2018:

I can not take my Almost two year old make Cane Corso who is the most loving dog in the house out for a walk. He literally acts like he wants to kill every dog we see. I’m so disappointed.

He has been raised around other dogs cats. Been to the dogs pal and now all of a sudden he’s acting like a killer. My neighbors hate me. But we love him so. Please help!

Thank you

Lorri

mike cosola on April 20, 2018:

Greetings, i bought a 9 month old CC, hes very friendly, lets the kids play with him, allows my poodle to eat out of the same bowl as him but today for the first time he snapped at my pit. my son dropped some food on the ground and they both went for it. he snapped and my pit snapped back and as soon as I entered the room and said NO they both went their separate ways..... my question is, are CCs unpredictable, I have tons of kids and friends in and out all day and I don't want an unprovoked attack. other than today there has been no issues at all..... i do know that he is still learning to sit and other basic commands. he was the last of the litter and I have no idea what life was like for him prior to me purchasing him. do I have anything to fear? I'm just nervous about the potential for unprovoked attacks. when i tell him to sit he wont, so I push him down until he complies.... is this the correct way to teach him, he is always praised and is very gentle otherwise. just a nervous first time owner. Ive had other large breeds.

thanks in advance

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 29, 2018:

Lena, it is not a sign of aggression but can become one. Puppies will often mount other puppies to determine hierarchy in the family. You are doing the right thing by making him stop. The best thing you can do is to tell him "down" and make him sit for a few seconds and calm down. If he does not know "down" at his age you need to get him into obedience classes right away before he gets too big to handle.

Lena on March 29, 2018:

Recently adopted a male 4month old cane corso. I have had him 4days he started yesterday while playing to grab my leg with his two paws&try to hump it. When I tell him to stop he stops then tries again. He does not do this to my husband. Why does he only do this to me? Is it a sign of aggression towards me?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 17, 2018:

Jocelyn, do you think your dog is breaking into the cabinests because he is hungry, bored, or just does not know when his next meal is coming? If it is the last one, it may be something that happened with his previous owner so will take time to get over.

If he is hungry, feed him twice a day but only by hand. Make him sit before giving each piece of food. If it is boredom, exercise him more so that he is tired and not likely to do things like break into cabinets.

When he turned on you, how did you handle it? If a dog like that growls or acts aggressive to me I immediately put him through obedience commands. If he does not obey, he needs more training. That will take some time but you should have several good years with him and the time you spend now will be rewarded many times down the line.

I hope you can work things out with him. Good luck with his training.

These tips are most helpful if he is hungry and not sure when his next meal will arrive:

Jocelyn on March 16, 2018:

I adopted (recently) a cane corse mix who is 10 years old. He is great and most of his stuff I can deal with except he is very food aggressive and he pillages through cabinets for food, take what he wants and when I try and correct him or stop him he becomes very aggressive. Tonight, when he got into the cat food and I went to stop him he turned on me. Thankfully, I diverted him with turkey and the episode deescalated. Now he is sleeping happily next to me. Its like two different dogs. Any suggestions on this issue? Can an old guy learn that he isn't suppose to break into cabinets and help himself and more importantly turn on me.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 01, 2018:

Hi gg just left you a long answer in the question box above. If your little dog does not like your puppy, it does not help to just give him extra attention.

gg on February 01, 2018:

got a cc mixed puppy.

My little dog is growling at her

should I give him special attention? Does he feel threatened by her taking over?

Brooke on August 07, 2017:

Im so in love with my 14 week old CC and I've only had him for 5 days. In this amount of time he's learned sit, lay and shake. He heels without even being told. What age is the sensitive socialization period?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 04, 2017:

A five month old CC is past the sensitive socialization period so it will take a lot of work; if he was never used to small kids, I would be worried.

jaime on July 31, 2017:

i just adopted a 5 month old Corso this past Friday you can tell hes never been socialized and is very scared of people except me of which he is very attached already. I took him to the park yesterday he went up to strangers and let children pet him which is a huge goal for him. My question is I have a 5 and 3 yr old i wonder if he will ever be completely comfortable with them or if I should re-home him?

New Rescue Owner on June 18, 2017:

Hi! Just yesterday I rescued a 3 year-old Cane Corso female from the local animal shelter. We introduced her to our current dog, 11 year-old GSD mix, and the interaction was uneventful and we decided to go along with adopting the CC. Now on the first full day of having her, she has snapped at the GSD twice now. The first time was when the GSD tried to enter her crate, understandable. The second time, I was on the couch and my CC was laying on the floor when my mother invited the GSD onto the couch. My CC immediately lunged and snarled at the GSD sending him sprinting away and causing him to hide in a bathroom until we convinced him the CC was no longer in the room. The CC was spayed only 5 days ago, but the GSD takes priority in regards to safety. Please help me! I would hate to take the CC back to the shelter but if she continues to snap at the GSD I will have no other choice.

CC Owner on May 04, 2017:

I have a year old male cc. I did not use violence in his training, never praised him if he showed signs of aggresion (even barking at the door), started taking him out socializing since he was a month and a half. This dog is the most amazing, never starts fights, would play with any dog, if other dogs show signs of aggression he backs down. This is my first dog, but investing time in training documentaries and in his training paid off. Do not choose a cane corso if you do not have time for heavy training, he has a huge destructive power, but in the right hands they're a blessing. Tip: Taking him on bike rides (while still immature, no more than an hour every 3 days if it's on CONCRETE) will keep his energy at a moderate level and will stop the leash pulling. You will be amazed on how much energy he shows, taking him on a walk with your slow pace is only a tease for a cc. To wrap it up, fantastic dogs in the right hands.

Manny AA on April 13, 2017:

Hi :)) so I got 2 cane corso & they are both blue & so beautiful! They are both nice, smart, & great with people but my male cc is so over protective hell bark at random people or random dogs. But other then that he is great it's just randomly when he growls at someone.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 13, 2017:

Tisa, not sure if all of these suggestions are going to be helpful but here is another article I wrote:

The main points to remember in a dog that is blind in one eye is not to free choice feed, feed more than once a day, and feed in a laundry room or other isolated area. Who has he bitten? You can definitely train him to accept others around his food at this age, but do you have to? Can you not feed him in a few times a day so that he will never feel that his food is being threatened?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 13, 2017:

Stella, although your dog is very young to start experiencing dog-dog aggression, it is not unknown. Please read the article on dog aggression and look for some tips that can help you:

Please look into classical conditioning. That has the best chance of helping you since she is so young.

Stella1119 on March 13, 2017:

I have an almost 4 month old cane corso and we recently tried to socialize her with a group of dogs during a puppy play time. She was aggressive a few times and we had to separate her. I thought it was because there were too many dogs around. The next day we brought her to meet a friends dog that is 25 pounds and she was nothing but aggressive. We are so upset and hope this can be resolved. She is walked 2-3 times daily, is taken out another 3-4 times a day and is only crated for a few hours during the day on most days. On 2 days she is crate the maximum of 5 hours with breaks for walks. I'm not sure what else we can do for her. Any suggestions? I've had large breeds and never had this issue.

Tisa on March 12, 2017:

Hi, i have a 3 year old cane corso whom i need help. He is blind in one eye; he is showing sign of food agression, its like reflex for him to bite when someone is close enough while he is eating. But he would act really sorry and scared afterwards. What can i do to change this? I know it doesnt help that he is blind in one eye. Can i still train him at this age to not to get startled and bite?

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 05, 2017:

Hey Shelbi is your Cane satisfied when he is done eating? Four times a day is enough, but not if he is still hungry after finishing his meal. Maybe it is not enough.

Shelbi leser on February 03, 2017:

I have a 10 week old cane corso love my sampson. Was wondering something i feed him about 4 to 6 times a day small amounts but he still seems hungry do I need to feed him more.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 24, 2017:

Babyblu, that is very difficult. If the cats run away, the puppy will chase so that he can play. It really depends on the cats at that age. Can you get them to sit on your lap when the puppy is around? Some cats, like Siberians and Maine Coone, do not stress as much, but some cats will run and start a chase response in the dog. If you have trained him to sit/down that will help a lot, may take care of the problem for you.

babyblu on January 23, 2017:

Hello, how do you teach a 9 week old cc pup from chasing, growling and barking at kitties in the home? Thank You for any help.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 07, 2017:

Kisa, barking and looking intimidating are pretty standard for the breed. Some dogs need to be treated very calm, so maybe playing is not even a good option with your dog. As far as the problem when people come in, teach the dog to down-stay until you release. If you do not know how to do this or are not able to teach him you need to hire an experienced trainer.

Kisa on January 06, 2017:

Hi Rachel My corso won't let any one come in the house how do Teach him if the person has been invited not intruding. He also does not listen to any one once he gets playful. Has been socialized when he was pup had lot of of play time is going to obedience classes but nothing seems to help with his barking and making himself look very intimidating.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 16, 2012:

Hi Rachel! They do look a lot alike, but these guys are so huge. One of the Cane Corsos I work with always jumps up when he sees me (despite training!) and probably would knock me down if I wasn't used to it.

Thanks for coming by!!!

Rachel Koski Nielsen from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota on September 16, 2012:

The puppies are so cute. I swear my dad's pit bull mix is part cane corso. His markings are so similar - but then again, I guess stripes and a white chest blaze are common markings. Great hub, I love all of the information you share about dogs and dog behavior.

wetnosedogs from Alabama on September 15, 2012:

Such a beautiful dog. Cane Corso must have the type of bone structure boxers have, though probably stronger. My daughters' family has two boxers and they are definitely stronger than my dogs. They don't even weigh 100. But walking the boxers is different from walking my dogs. I can really feel their strength.


Life With My Giant

If you’ve recently discovered the Cane Corso breed or are considering owning one of these majestic giants, I’m sure this question has entered your mind. If it hasn’t, you shouldn’t own a Cane Corso.

Like most dog-lovers, I strongly believe that environment and experience have an enormous impact in any dog’s behavior. But, I’m a realist. I understand that dogs are individuals just like people. Sometimes people who do bad things come from good families and happy childhoods. In my experience, dogs are no different. It’s also important to understand and recognize each breed’s physical ability. If your Pomeranian is having a bad day you can easily pick it up and put it in its time-out spot and move on with your life. If your cranky Pom bites, typically a couple of bandaids will take care of it. While a cranky Cane Corso is as capable as a UFC champ with a grudge.

The Corso is an old Italian Breed descending from Roman War Dogs that was developed for guarding and hunting big game. The breed was revived in the 1970s with the first litter hitting the states in the late 80s. AKC recognized this breed only as recently as 2010. The Corso is still not commonly found in homes but gaining in popularity. Today’s Corso is known to be sensitive, intelligent, confident, loyal, stubborn, and fiercely protective of their family. Weighing in at 100+ lbs, the Corso’s appearance can be intimidating which makes them an effective family protector. At 6 months old Indi is still a big chicken but her “scared” face looks like a serious “attack” face so she is still an effective deterrent. Bonus!

Respect their Ability: Cane Corso’s average 25″ in height (at shoulder) and 110 lbs. Although I have a growing Corso pal who is 9 months old and 124 lbs and Indigo’s Dad boasted a whopping 160 lbs. Those sweet little puppies with the giant paws have the potential to weigh more than an adult man. Oooh. Aaaah. Okay, I’ll give you a minute to admire the novelty of sharing life with a big man-sized fur baby who loves you more than cake… Yeah, it’s cool. You’d be the envy of all your friends. You could walk the park and not have to worry about bad guys. He’d give the best snuggles and kisses. Yep, all that’s true. But you also have to control this beast – keep it out of the trash, off the kitchen table, away from the neighbor’s cat…you catch my drift.

Many reports boast a 700 psi bite force for a Cane Corso Mastiff. What does this mean? It means a full force bite would not only tear flesh, it could break bones. They say a lion has 600 psi bite force. How’s that for perspective? Lucky for us Cane Corso’s are instinctively lovable and sweet.

Environment and Experience: If you’ve been keeping up with Indi you’ve probably heard me say the word “socialize” no less than 7000 times. Socializing with people and other dogs is an absolute first priority for a Corso owner. Avoid “bad socialization” – exposing your Corso to dogs who may display dominate or aggressive behavior. This will have the opposite result and tell your Corso it’s okay to greet new dogs with aggression. The same rule applies to socializing with people – don’t allow roughhousing or encourage your pup to intimidate others for fun. It’s your job to protect your pup from bad socializing as much as possible so do not hesitate to correct someone who is teaching your Corso bad habits…especially children. Take a moment to check out Stop the 77. This site enlightened me to so many things I was doing wrong which could have potentially put my little ones and my pups in a dangerous situation.

Take your Corso everywhere they are allowed to go with you (after proper vaccinations of course). Don’t put your big’un up when guests come over. They have to learn appropriate visitor behavior and get to know your extended pack. Don’t worry, with proper training and socializing your corso will still know when to do their job and keep unwanted strangers at a distance… again, instinct is a magical thing.

To share a home with a Corso, you will love and spoil your baby but you must immediately teach her that no means no. If you don’t establish your place as pack leader your Corso will be the boss of you quickly. Training with these guys should be done with love and confidence but skip the yelling and spankings. Aggressive punishment could lead to an aggressive Corso. With a 700 psi bite force behind a 100 lb pooch, I wouldn’t take my chances.

Playtime is critical to a growing Corso. Indi requires several hours of hard play each day. Otherwise she is destructive and generally unhappy. Before bringing home a Corso you should check and double check your 3 yr calendar to make sure you have time to give your baby the interactive, stimulated play that it will require. Corso’s behave like puppies for several years – this is not a breed that will be spending its days sleeping on the couch. Playtime will match nap time the first 2-3 years.

If you are considering adopting an adult Corso (or Corso over 6 months old) I will pass along some advice we received from a local dog trainer: Do at least 5 lengthy meet and greets with the new Corso before bringing it home. Introduce children and other pets on the 3rd visit and include them in the remaining visits if possible. Contact a Trainer to schedule a training plan to begin within the first week of bringing your baby home. No matter who the Corso’s current owner may be, you have no idea what experiences or training happened during the most critical development months (Birth – 5 months). A reputable trainer will help you assess and identify bad habits or tendencies so you can get to work on them right away.

Get to Know your Corso: This is my favorite part… learning all of the things that make your Corso unique. Your Corso may require more play than a littermate or may not want to be bothered while she’s napping. Through training you can teach your Corso how to tell you when she’s cranky or doesn’t want to be bothered without aggression but it’s also important to respect your pooch and the things that make her special.

Are Cane Corso’s aggressive? Again, I’m no expert, but its been my experience that any breed can be aggressive. I had a chihuahua that wouldn’t hesitate to bite the mailman’s ankles every chance he got. Some studies indicate a predisposition in some breeds, while others show that environmental factors are a bigger influencer than breed. Traditionally, the Cane Corso is not a known aggressor, although if they fall into the wrong hands the potential exists.

If you’re considering a Corso for your family – do the breed a favor and do your research so you know what you’re getting yourself into. This is not a novelty breed. Cane Corso’s are a full time commitment for only experienced and confident dog owners. Unfortunately, unprepared Corso owners often rehome these beautiful giants when they’ve not been properly socialized or trained and have grown too big to handle – their fate isn’t always a happily ever after.

My Indigo is the first XL breed for our family and, while she requires a lot of our time and attention, I can’t imagine a better way to spend our time. Indi is smart, stubborn, silly and fiercely loyal. She is a scaredy cat at times, but I know she’s got my back. She loves everyone she meets and has her very own fan club at our local pet store. She has forced me to get off the couch and get active with our long walks and backyard play dates. Her silly antics have brought so much laughter to our home I can’t imagine our family without her. I can’t speak for all Cane Corso’s but our Indi – she’s only aggressive with her tug of war rope…unless you consider giant, sloppy puppy kisses assault.


Breed and aggression. It is important to recognize the power of a strong breed, like the pit bull, the Cane Corso, and the Mastiff. These dogs are very powerful and, if they are unbalanced, they can cause serious injury.

Though the Cane Corso was not used for dog-fighting, dog aggression (often very serious) can still be a problem. He should be thoroughly socialized with other dogs from an early age. I wouldn't keep a Cane Corso with another large dog of the same sex. Cane Corsos have tighter skin than other mastiffs and drool less.


Cane Corso dog-aggression causes horrifying knock-down injury

Accounts describing the potentially dangerous nature of the Cane corso are usually about aggression directed towards humans and not other dogs. Nonetheless, a Cane corso and other large breeds with strong tendencies to attack other dogs may likewise pose considerable danger to humans, particularly in a public setting.

For example, outside of a home setting, dogs are usually in the proximity of their owner or other people, such as in a park setting or when a dog is being walked in a residential setting. And if a fight breaks out between dogs or when one dog launches an unprovoked attack on another dog, a person in the proximity of the dogs may be bitten or a person may be knocked to the ground. Below, I share the correspondence I received from an 62-year-old lady about a horrifying attack by a Cane corso on her blind 15-year-old Carin terrier. In the skirmish, she was knocked down and sustained a fractured wrist

Correspondence to Dr. Polsky

“I was walking our two dogs with my 23 year old son and walked by the house where the Cane corso was watching us through the side Fence of his yard. The owners had accidentally left the gate to their yard open while moving something into their house. As we passed by their driveway we saw this large Cane corso running to us. I stopped to try to quickly pick up my small terrier but never made it. The dog (male) ran right into me knocking me off my feet and immediately started attacking my small dog. He was shaken 3 times – a blind, 15 year old cairn terrier.

Our other small dog snapped her leather leash in half and ran away. My son kept trying to pull their dog off of ours. I was still on the ground – never made it back up…..but was trying to protect our pup as much as I could.

This dog never bit my son nor myself. He was solely Intent on killing our terrier. This attack lasted probably less than 5 minutes, but my son and myself were both screaming.

The woman owner finally came out of the house and pounded on their dogs head multiple times to no avail. The Cane corso was locked onto our dog’s neck and wouldn’t let go. The man owner came later and actually pried the dog’s mouth open. Our dog literally dropped onto the pavement- looked dead.

These owners apologized as I quickly picked up our dog to get him home, in the car, to the hospital. He stayed the night at the hospital and had in excess of 25 stitches on his neck and under his chin. He is going to be alright.

I sustained a wrist fracture from when the dog knocked me off my feet, that has required surgery for pinning – with another surgery to remove them followed by a cast. I cannot do anything strenuous for 4 months and my surgeon says it will cause pain and swelling for up to a year or more. I am a nurse who has worked part-time for over a year, and in addition to that we had just put our house up for sale.

I was in a state of shock and was quite hysterical while in the hospital – have never experienced that before – but I couldn’t stop crying. I still have experience flashbacks. What makes this whole episode worse is that these neighbors live directly behind us and we share a back fence. Reflecting on the incident – we realize our dogs were acquainted with each other because of that, and both are males. I have visions of this dog breaking through our fence to get at ours and I always go outside with him. They are panic attacks…..I imagine I will get over the event eventually but can honestly say it was the most traumatic experience I have ever had.

The police in our city were notified….. they are taking the owners to court, where they City Lawyer and Judge are going after this Case with all they’ve got, to have him officially labeled as ‘vicious’ requiring many stipulations with continued ownership of this dog – or have him euthanized.”

From what I understand, this is a strict liability state. The City Attorney and Police Animal Services unit are charging this dog owner, who has pled ‘not guilty’ at the arraignment. Now it is going to trial in November, and my son and I are witnesses. The dog owners had their Cane Corso, Rex, neutered following this incident and also put him into a ‘charm school’ for assessment and training, (I am assuming). They did arrive on our doorstep a month following the incident, to apologize, but did not offer to pay any of our costs, until I asked them if they would at least consider picking up our veterinary bill ( $1000).


Owing to a puppy and then care for them is the most important. Cane Corso is a beautiful breed and requires proper care like any other breed. They are easy to handle and care for as compared to other large dog breeds. It is the most popular breed among dog lovers.

This is the large breed in the Mastiff family and they are faster, athletic, and agile than their larger Mastiff breed members. Came Corso has great energy and is too adventurous. They need to get exercise daily so they can bring their energy out. You have to socialize your puppy at an early stage and give them proper training to be well-behaved adult dogs. This breed is highly loyal and wants to spend time with its families. If they feel left alone or neglected they may be destructive.

If you are going to adopt a cane Corso, you can do research and follow the tips of experts for a better experience. Here we are sharing 10 tips to care for cane Corso.

1. Set Boundaries For Your Puppy

Behavior is learned just like any other child, puppies also need to learn how to behave. Set the boundaries for a puppy to make him realize what you are expecting from him.

  • There is not more stressful thing than having a destructive dog and out of control. Simple tasks even walking with your dog in a park will be a miserable experience if your dog is not trained and is ill-mannered. It will be very difficult to allow your dog in outdoor activities without proper training.
  • If he thinks like he is the boss it is difficult to revert his thinking. So do not allow him to show dominance. Train him from the very first day. This will be good for you and your puppy.

2. Crate Train

This is the best way to keep your puppy’s housebroken and it also teaches your dog to know when he is allowed to enter the house.

  • Most people think it is not fair but the reality is the opposite according to the experts. Crates are just like dens which are usually used for the wild environments. Puppies feel protected, safe and secure in dens. Your puppy will experience the same protection and security in the crate and it will also give him a teaching tool.
  • Dogs that are allowed to roam freely in the house feel like they can walk anywhere anytime in the house. This habit creates a lot of problems for their owners.

3. Squash Separation Anxiety

When puppies move to a new place or a new owner, they make a sound that feels like they are sad or crying. They need time to adjust to a new place.

  • Hearing a puppy cry is painful for some people. Many puppies cry starting when you adopt them then you do everything to please them. You stay near to him and talk the baby talk because you think they are sad or missing their old place and people. But in reality, they are not necessarily crying for something but sometimes trying to learn to control their new owner.
  • Each time he is catered to while crying or whining he learns to control you. This will make him a needy dog or may result in separation anxiety. Squash the behavior by realizing that it is ok for him to whine and cry in the crate. This will save you from the problems that he is going to create in his adulthood.

4. Social Socialize Your Puppy

Socializing is the main thing in producing a happy, healthy, and well-behaved adult dog. Without socializing your pet, he will never know how to behave with your friends, kids, and other dogs.

  • Think of the situation that you plan for all the places and people your dog will be with you and how you want your dog to behave with these people and places. Allowing your puppy to socialize will teach him to handle all these kinds of situations and people throughout his life.
  • The more he will be exposed to as a puppy the more he will behave well with children, dogs, and other people in his adulthood. If you will not allow your puppy to play and socialize with children and other dogs, he will be aggressive with them when grown up because he does not know how to behave with them. Socialize your beloved puppy in all kinds of situations and environments to make him a sensible dog.

5. Feed Your Puppy Right

From a young age, your puppy needs a balanced diet. In setting a diet plan consult your breeder about what type of food they were giving to him and set the diet plan accordingly.

  • If you want to change the brand of food because of any reason do not do this instantly. Instead, start mixing the old brand food which he was given with the new brand in it. Do this for several weeks by increasing the quantity of new brand in old one and then completely feed the new brand.
  • No matter what brand you choose but it must be containing all the essential nutrients that he needs to be a healthy dog. Feed him a balanced diet.
  • Never use food as a training tool because it will leave a bad impact on his personality. So be careful how you use it.

6. Give Him a Playtime

This is an active breed fond of playing and likes to run and use his mind in different activities. Start playing with your puppy at a young age so he will come to know what to expect and realize how to play with kids and dogs.

  • Give your puppy dog games to play so that he will be more active and smarter. You can research different playing games for your puppy to increase his activeness.
  • Playing with your puppy keeps him happy, healthy, and energetic. With games give him to exercise daily. Set his routine when to play and for how much time.

7. How To Teach Them Discipline

Puppies can be frustrating if you do not teach them discipline. Proper training and care are necessary to bring discipline into your puppy’s life. It will be good for both you and your puppy.

● Your puppy can do plenty of mistakes as he learns how to behave well. Do not shout at them when you are exhausted instead teach them with care and love.

● Be calm with your lovely pet, because humbleness and discipline will help him to understand what he did wrong. If you behave rudely with them they will become sad or aggressive. So be gentle and treat your dog nicely.

8. Cane Corso Grooming

Brush your dog frequently to reduce shedding and to keep them clean. Check for fleas and clicks everyday especially during hot weather.

  • Mostly cane Corso does not require frequent baths, if you bath them for few times a year it will work.
  • Comb your puppy coat and cut out any mats. When you bath him, rinse out all the soap thoroughly because dirt will stick to the soap. Keep them clean always.

9. How to Handle a Cane Corso

This breed is easy to handle than any other breed. You can carry them easily as compared to other large dogs.

  • If you want to carry your puppy with you take one hand under his chest and another hand in supporting his ramp and legs.
  • Never attempt to hold your puppy, with forelegs, tail, or nape. If you have an adult cane Corso, then lift him from the underside, bracing her chest with one arm rear them with another hand.

10. House for Cane Corso

Your puppy needs a cozy bed and a peaceful home to relax. You can buy a bed for your puppy or make a dog house from wood in the home. Place a clean and comfortable pillow in his bed.

  • Make sure your puppy home is clean. Wash his bed covering very often. Your puppy can be unwell if you do not keep his home clean.
  • Place a bowl of water in the home during summer. When your puppy stays outside in the summers and plays, they require a lot of water to drink.
  • House protection is also very important. Your puppy’s home should be strong and protected so that any other animal cannot harm your puppy.

Conclusion:

Cane Corso is a beautiful dog breed. If you own them caring is a must. Without proper care, your puppy can be sick. Follow all the tips for their caring mentioned above. If you feel any difficulty in caring for and handling your puppy because of any reason, do let us know by comments we will be pleased to help you. Good luck!


Watch the video: Cane Corso Training Dog Aggression wpreviously attacked Alpha Male! Giant Corso Pups Too


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