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Cane Corso

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Cane Corso
Alternative names
Cane de Macellaio
Italian Corso Dog
Italian Mastiff
Sicilian Branchiero
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 2 Section 2 #343  
AKC: Working (FSS)  
CKC: Miscellaneous Class  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Cane Corso is an Italian breed used mainly as a guard dog. The dog is a large mastiff-type dog breed.


Breed standards are still developing internationally, and they vary somewhat among different breed clubs. For example, the FCI standard calls for a height at the withers from 58 to 68 cm (22.8 to 26.7 inches), with bitches in the lower ranges and males in the higher ranges, whereas the AKC affiliated club (International Cane Corso Federation) calls for 24.4-26.8 inches (62 to 68 cm).[1] Similarly, different organizations call for weights in various ranges from 36-63.5 kg (80 to 140 pounds).

Its ears are naturally dropped forward, but many breeders crop them short and close to the head so that the remaining stubs stand upright.


This breed can be naturally aggressive with strangers unless well socialized from an early age. The Corso's ancestors were bred as guard dogs and fighters, so proper training is a requirement or the dog may become a threat to those around him. The Corso will not run from a fight, he will not back down from a challenge, and he will also show a reserved attitude towards strangers.


Sixteenth-century breeders in Sicily recreated this breed in an attempt to match the ancient, now-extinct, herding breed Cane di Macellaio. It was used as a drover to move herds of cattle, and it might have been used in dog fighting.

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