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Cane Corso Facts

Origin: Italy
Lifespan: 9-12 years
Breed Group: Working
Coat Type: Short and dense
Coat Colours: Black, fawn, gray, red, brindle
Temperament: Loyal, Confident, Protective
Height: 58-70 cm (23-27.5 inches)
Weight: 40-50 kg (88-110 lbs)


The Cane Corso, an elegant and powerful Italian breed, falls within the Working category, closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. These majestic dogs possess agility and intelligence but may not suit inexperienced dog guardians due to their dominant and headstrong nature. Originally bred for herding, hunting, guarding, and even warfare, today, they excel as loyal companions and guardians, displaying aggression towards strangers and animals.

Considered a “Molossus” dog, with origins dating back to ancient Greece where they faced off against elephants, lions, and more, the Cane Corso is a modern descendant of this formidable lineage. They are known for their strength, endurance, and agility, setting them apart from other Mastiff-type dogs. Notably, these dogs have a penchant for water and a love for splashing about, making them less than dainty or tidy housemates.

Whether you’re an experienced Cane Corso owner or just beginning your journey into the world of this magnificent breed, we will provide you with valuable insights into their history, characteristics, and where to find Cane Corso puppies for sale in various Irish counties.

A Brief History

The Cane Corso, pronounced as “Kah-neh Kor-so,” hails from Italy and has a rich and storied history. While not native to Ireland, these remarkable dogs have made their presence known on the Emerald Isle. Originally bred to be formidable protectors of livestock and property, the Cane Corso’s lineage dates back to ancient Roman times. They were used as guardians, hunting companions, and even gladiatorial dogs.


The modern Cane Corso traces its lineage back to the ancient Molossus breed, which has since gone extinct. These versatile dogs were highly esteemed in their native Italy, serving multiple roles as companions, guard dogs, cattle herders, and hunters of large game.

A Warrior’s Companion

In the days of old, the Cane Corso’s ancestors were used by Romans in warfare, known as “canis pugnax.” While most ancient battlefield dogs are no longer engaged in hand-to-dog combat, they continue to find roles in modern military operations, such as sentry duty, tracking, scouting, and guarding.

The Catch Dog

The Cane Corso was originally employed as a “catch dog” by drovers and carters, a term referring to dogs specially trained to apprehend large animals, including livestock. These dogs were also fearless hunters, taking on the formidable wild boar and bear.


Their imposing stature made Cane Corsos efficient guard dogs for night watchmen, property protection, and safeguarding both livestock and humans. Today, some Cane Corsos still serve in this vital role.

Near Extinction and Recovery

Over time, changes in rural farming communities and property division led to a decline in the Cane Corso’s presence. In the 1970s, they faced near-extinction until a dedicated group of enthusiasts embarked on a mission to restore the breed’s former glory. After more than two decades of tireless efforts, the Cane Corso was officially recognized as the 14th Italian breed and received recognition from the Italian Kennel Club in 1994.

Global Recognition

The Cane Corso’s intelligence, affection, and loyalty have earned it recognition by prominent kennel clubs worldwide. It was first recognized by the Italian Kennel Club in 1994, followed by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2008 and the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2010.

Today, the Cane Corso stands tall as a majestic and intelligent breed, embodying the rich history and enduring legacy of the Molossus lineage.

In Ireland, the Cane Corso has gained popularity as a loyal and protective family pet. Their striking appearance and unwavering loyalty have endeared them to Irish families seeking a reliable companion. These dogs have adapted seamlessly to the Irish way of life, becoming cherished members of households from Dublin to Cork, and everywhere in between.

Cane Corso: Did you Know?

  • Also referred to as “Cane Corso Italiano” and “Italian Mastiff.”
  • The name “Cane Corso” originates from “cane da corso,” denoting catch dogs used in rural activities.
  • “Cane” is derived from the Latin word “Canis,” which means dog.
  • Additionally known as “Dogo di Puglia,” signifying “dog of Puglia,” a Southern Italian region along the Adriatic Sea.
  • Featured in the 2010 movie, “From Paris with Love.”

Cane Corso Puppies

For those considering adding a Cane Corso to their family, understanding the puppy stage is crucial. Cane Corso puppies are known for their adorable, wrinkled faces and playful nature. They are born with floppy ears and a tail that is traditionally docked but is now discouraged in many countries, including Ireland, due to animal welfare concerns.

When acquiring a Cane Corso puppy in Ireland, make sure to choose a reputable breeder who adheres to ethical breeding practices. Responsible breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs, ensuring that puppies are socialized, vaccinated, and receive proper veterinary care.

Size and Weight

The Cane Corso is a robust and muscular breed that commands attention wherever it goes. These dogs are known for their imposing presence and impressive size. Here are the vital statistics for Cane Corso size and weight:

  • Height: Males stand between 25 to 27.5 inches (63.5 to 70 cm) at the withers, while females are slightly smaller, measuring 23.5 to 26 inches (59.7 to 66 cm).
  • Weight: Cane Corsos are heavyweights, with males weighing between 99 to 110 pounds (45 to 50 kg) and females ranging from 88 to 99 pounds (40 to 45 kg).

The sheer size of Cane Corsos can be intimidating, making them excellent choices for guarding properties and providing a strong sense of security to their owners.

Coat & Colours

Cane Corsos boast a short, dense, and coarse coat that is easy to care for. Their coat colours vary and add to their unique charm. Common coat colours for Cane Corsos include:

  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Brindle


  • Black, an exquisite and elegant hue, graces many Cane Corso.
  • The coat is entirely solid black, occasionally featuring slight brindling or a small white patch on the chest or toes.


  • Fawn, a warm and lustrous shade, is a common sight among Cane Corso.
  • The coat spans a range from light beige to a deep tan, with the colour being uniform and unblemished across the body.


  • Grey, a striking colour, can vary from a light silver to a darker charcoal tone.
  • The coat should maintain a solid grey hue without any patches or markings.


  • Red, a vibrant and attention-grabbing colour, is another option for Cane Corso.
  • The coat may range from a light reddish-brown to a deeper mahogany shade, with a solid and even colouration.


  • Brindle, a distinctive and captivating pattern, adorns the coats of some Cane Corso.
  • This pattern combines a base colour (often fawn or black) with darker streaks or stripes, creating a stunning and unique appearance. Intensity and distribution of the brindle pattern may vary.

Other Colours

  • In addition to the commonly seen colours, Cane Corso may exhibit less recognised variations.
  • These may include shades like blue, formentino, and reverse brindle, where the base coat is lighter than the brindle markings.

While the Cane Corso’s coat doesn’t require extensive grooming, regular brushing will help keep their fur healthy and reduce shedding.


Cane Corsos are known for their unwavering loyalty and protective instincts, making them excellent guardians for families and homes. Here are some key temperament traits:

  • Loyal: Cane Corsos form strong bonds with their families and are intensely loyal.
  • Protective: They have a natural protective instinct and will defend their loved ones if they sense a threat.
  • Intelligent: These dogs are highly intelligent and respond well to training when handled with patience and positive reinforcement.
  • Gentle Giants: Despite their imposing appearance, Cane Corsos are often described as gentle giants. They are affectionate with their families, including children.
  • Reserved: They can be aloof with strangers, which contributes to their effectiveness as guard dogs.

Pros of Cane Corso Ownership

  • Playful, Intelligent, Energetic: Cane Corsos are known for their playful and energetic nature. Their intelligence makes them responsive to training.
  • Superior Guard Dog: These dogs have a natural instinct to protect their family and property, making them excellent guard dogs.
  • Superior Watchdog: Cane Corsos are alert and vigilant, often serving as superior watchdogs to alert you to potential threats.
  • Devoted to Their Family: They form strong bonds with their family and are deeply devoted, offering companionship and loyalty.
  • Experienced Guardians: While their qualities are admirable, they are not the best choice for first-time dog guardians due to their dominant and headstrong nature.

Cons of Cane Corso Ownership

  • Moderate Activity Level: Cane Corsos are moderately active dogs with impressive stamina, requiring substantial daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental health.
  • Need for Experienced Handler: Their strength and temperament necessitate an experienced and confident handler.
  • Shedding Dog: Cane Corsos are shedding dogs, which may pose issues for individuals with allergies.
  • Training Challenges: Without early training, their exuberant personalities can make them difficult to control.
  • Socialization is Key: Proper and ongoing socialization is crucial; without it, they may exhibit aggression towards unfamiliar humans and animals.
  • Not Ideal for Young Children: They are not a suitable choice for families with very young children due to their size and energy.
  • Risk of Obesity: Insufficient exercise can lead to weight gain, so they are not ideal for low-energy or older guardians.
  • Loneliness Concerns: Leaving them alone for extended periods can lead to boredom, resulting in destructive behaviours, excessive barking, digging, or escape attempts.

Cane Corso for Sale Ireland

If you’re considering bringing a Cane Corso into your Irish home, it’s essential to find a reputable source. Here are some tips for finding Cane Corso puppies for sale in Ireland:

  1. Research Breeders: Start by researching breeders in your area or nearby counties. Look for those with a strong reputation for ethical breeding practices and the well-being of their dogs.
  2. Visit the Breeder: Arrange a visit to the breeder’s facilities to meet the puppies and their parents in person. This will give you an opportunity to assess the breeder’s environment and the health of the dogs.
  3. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the breeder questions about the puppy’s lineage, health records, and any certifications or tests that have been conducted on the parents.
  4. Check References: Seek references from previous puppy buyers who can vouch for the breeder’s credibility.
  5. Consider Adoption: Another option is to check local animal shelters or rescue organizations for Cane Corso dogs in need of a loving home. Adopting a dog can be a rewarding experience.

In Ireland, you can find Cane Corso puppies for sale in various counties, including Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick. Be prepared for the responsibilities that come with Cane Corso ownership, including proper training, socialization, and providing a loving and secure environment.

Living with a Cane Corso in Ireland

In the context of Ireland, where living conditions can vary from bustling cities like Dublin to more rural areas such as County Kerry or County Donegal, it’s essential to consider how well the Cane Corso fits into different environments.

Space Requirements

The Cane Corso is not well-suited to smaller living spaces, such as apartments or tight urban quarters. These dogs are large and energetic, requiring ample space to move around comfortably. A securely fenced yard is highly recommended to allow them to run freely and safely.

Exercise and Activity

Ireland’s picturesque landscapes and countryside provide an ideal backdrop for a Cane Corso’s need for exercise. These robust and energetic dogs thrive on physical activity. Daily exercise, including brisk walks, should be a part of their routine. Counties like Wicklow, with its stunning trails, offer excellent opportunities for long walks.

Mental Stimulation

Beyond physical exercise, Cane Corsos also require mental stimulation. Engaging in family activities and taking them along during outings not only provides mental exercise but also helps with socialization. For instance, a visit to the scenic Cliffs of Moher can be an exciting and enriching experience for your Cane Corso.

Avoiding Boredom

Leaving a Cane Corso alone for extended periods, whether in a vibrant city like Galway or a tranquil village in County Mayo, can lead to boredom and destructive behaviour. These intelligent dogs have a strong work ethic rooted in their history as working dogs. Without a job to do or activities to engage their minds, they may resort to undesirable behaviours like digging, chewing, or excessive barking.

Incorporating Them into Family Life

For a Cane Corso to remain happy and well-balanced in an Irish setting, they should be integrated into family life. Consider including them in activities like hiking in the scenic County Cork or enjoying a day at the beach in County Wexford. Involvement in your daily life helps fulfil their need for companionship and purpose.


The Cane Corso is a magnificent breed that has made its mark in the hearts of dog lovers throughout Ireland. Their rich history, impressive size, loyal temperament, and striking appearance make them ideal companions and guardians for Irish families.

Whether you’re seeking a Cane Corso puppy for sale in Dublin, Cork, or any other county in Ireland, it’s crucial to do your research and choose a reputable breeder or consider adoption from a rescue organization. When you bring a Cane Corso into your home, you’re not just acquiring a dog; you’re gaining a devoted and protective family member who will stand by your side in the beautiful landscapes of Ireland.