Is a Cane Corso Right For You?
Cane Corso Dog Breed Introduction
The Cane Corso dog breed is a large Italian Mastiff that is related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Cane Corso is the “Athletic Mastiff” as they are well muscled and less bulky than most other varieties of this breed. With a chiseled muscle structure, this dog can look very intimating-but looks can be deceiving! A Cane Corso is a dog that is very eager to please their owner – they are loyal, proud, strong and fearless. As with any dog – the temperament depends on how that dog is raised.
This breed should not be left alone-they are very social animals and require attention from their owners. They were bred to protect and make excellent watch dogs as they are wary of strangers and very loyal to their families.
The Cane Corso is not a beginners dog. They are extremely intelligent and will “push the limits” to see how much they can get away with! If you are intimidated or not firm and consistent-they will run your house.
Cane Corso Dog Breed History
Translated, the name Cane Corso basically means “body guard“ -but can be translated a bit differently in different regions of Italy. In ancient times these dogs walked alongside warriors getting ready for battle. As time went on these dogs adapted to a more civil and farm life. These dogs were tasked with protecting the livestock from other wild animals or any other potential threat. Legend has it that Cane Corso’s were used to fight lions in the Roman empire! By the middle of the 20th century, the Cane Corso had almost become extinct. They could only be found on rural Italian farms. In the 1970s an Italian group of dog enthusiasts located the few remaining dogs and began to breed them-bringing this majestic breed back from near extinction!
Cane Corso Dog Breed Appearance
Males usually weigh a bit more than females with weights ranging from 88-120 lbs. The general coat colors of Cane Corso’s are black and fawn but there are variations such as brindle and “blue”. According to AKC breed standard-
“Acceptable colors are black, lighter and darker shades of gray, lighter and darker shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Any color with tan pattern markings as seen in black-and-tan breeds is not acceptable.”
Their lifespan is generally between 9-12 years. If you would like to read more detail about the Cane Corso’s appearance – follow this link to the AKC official breed standards.
5 Health Problems Seen in the Cane Corso
While the Cane Corso is generally a healthy dog breed, it is also prone to certain health conditions that could affect their well-being. Below are five of the most common conditions in this breed.
Breeding problems are not uncommon in dogs. In fact, almost all purebred breeds have certain genetic disorders which they pass on to their offspring. While it is quite rare for a Cane Corso to suffer from one of these conditions, the following are the five disorders recorded in this breed so far.
- Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a condition wherein there is an abnormal formation of the hip joint of the dog making it weak, loose and unable to support the weight of the dog. This leads to pain in the hips and lameness in young dogs. In the evaluation of 1,300 hip x-rays of Cane Corsos, the Orthopedic Foundation of America found a 39% rate of Hip Dysplasia. 13th highest of all breeds.
- Bloat or Gastric Torsion
This is also known as canine stomach volvulus. This condition occurs when the Cane Corso’s stomach becomes bloated with gases, fluids or food which causes it to twist. A bloated stomach obstructs blood flow of the heart and other vital organs in the body leading to death if not treated promptly. Bloat, if caught early, can be treated by passing a stomach tube to release the gases or fluids. Surgery is however required in most cases.
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
One of the most common yet least understood health problem in dogs is epilepsy. And it’s no different for the Cane Corso. When this breed of canine is affected, it usually manifests with seizures which are recurrent and unprovoked. Idiopathic epilepsy usually starts around the age of 2. There is no apparent cause for the seizures. The dog might just suddenly collapse and convulse without any warning or previous sign that it’s about to have one.
4. Prolapse of the lacrimal gland
This is a condition where the ball-like sac that holds the tear fluid in the eyes is displaced downwards. This often results to watery eyes and eye discharges. Although it can happen at any age, dogs who are younger than 1 year old are more likely to suffer from this condition. A Cane Corso with this condition is often diagnosed by a veterinarian after careful observation and examination. The vet will also take x-rays of the dog’s head to confirm the diagnosis.
Symptoms of Prolapse of the lacrimal gland are watery eyes, eye discharge, inflammation and swelling in the corner of the eyes and excessive blinking.
It is a condition which is not painful and does not cause discomfort to the dog. However, both the dog owner and the Cane Corso should still be aware of it as, if left untended, this can lead to other problems such as corneal ulcers.
- Patella Luxation
This is a condition where the kneecap or patella moves out of place. It usually happens suddenly without any previous sign that it’s about to happen. The knee cap could become dislocated, subluxated or completely luxated. The condition is more apparent when the puppy is standing, walking or running. It can be mild where the dog can still function but it will get worse if not treated. It can be a sign of trauma but is often related to genetics. Severe cases require surgery to correct the problem.
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