The Cane Corso is a large molosser type breed of dog with a muscular build. It has a square muzzle that is typically about as wide as it is long, and naturally drooping ears. The Cane Corso is commonly seen with cropped ears and a docked tail, although the controversial practise of docking tails and cropping ears is discouraged in many dog shows, and has been made illegal in several countries. The coat is short and smooth with black and fawn being the most common colour variations.
The Cane Corso was originally bred in Italy as a working dog where it was used both for hunting, as well as guarding livestock. It’s name comes from the Latin “Cohors”, meaning “guardian”. Like many European breeds of dog, the Cane Corso nearly vanished after the Second World War, but has been making a steady comeback due to the efforts of enthusiasts who have been working to revitalise the breed since the 1980s.
Relative to many other breeds, the Cane Corso is exceptionally intelligent and easy to train. However, while they have a long history of guarding livestock against wild predators, this does not always translate to the ability to guard against criminals as a guard dog or a protection dog. For work as a guard dog today, it is best to stick with working breeds, such as the German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois, who have demonstrated clearly that they posses the nerves required of a true guard dog.