Are Cane Corso Dogs Vicious?

The Cane Corso dog, also called the Neapolitan Mastiff or Italian Mastiff, is known to be one of the most powerful, imposing, and athletic dog breeds. Originally bred for work protecting sheep and other farm flocks in Italy, Cane Corsos have come to symbolize power and control. They’re not leggy like English mastiff bloodlines but they are a solid mass of muscle, fast on their feet. They were also used to hunt wild board in olden times.

Cane Corso dogs are one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world and have gained popularity recently. Naturally, the Cane Corso dog videos posted on YouTube are mostly of huge, lumbering beasts with rippling muscles, tugging on chew toys, being shown off by their owners. Many are left wondering if this dog breed is going to be a good house pet or if it’s vicious and need careful training.

So what’s the deal? Are Cane Corsos vicious?

The answer to this question is: NO. The Cane Corso is not inherently vicious, but some pet owners with irresponsible practices in caring for their Cane Corso dogs have led to behavioral changes in their pets. Just like most dogs that are left to their own devices and are not properly socialized, the Cane Corso can develop unruly, unwanted behaviors if not trained properly. 

Real qualities of a Cane Corso

  • This is a large and powerful dog breed
  • It has a short coat that’s easy to care for; no intense vacuuming needed
  • It is a calm pet and can be quiet especially indoors
  • Will be a good watchdog
  • Mild-mannered and serious with strangers
  • Energetic, athletic and responsive when in training

Some unwanted characteristics of a Cane Corso

  • Can become destructive when bored
  • Can become aggressive when not properly trained
  • Stubborn and needs a confident, firm owner
  • Can make loud sounds like grunting, snoring, wheezing and snorting
  • Won’t do well with other dogs or pets at home
  • Passes too much gas. Ew!

Tips for caring for a Cane Corso 

  • Train your Cane Corso dog starting Day 1

Start training your pet from the first day it arrives home. Early training, especially respect training, can save you time and effort in correcting bad behaviors later. You can start house-proofing your pet by showing him around. 

If you have an adult dog, it’s easier to see what you’ll get, but a puppy may be difficult to tell. But despite this, shower your pet with love, attention, and care, but don’t forget to be firm when it comes to behavior and respect training.

  • This dog needs regular exercise

Exercise is a part of this strong dog’s day, and if it does not get enough exercise, it will become bored and destructive. So allot at least one hour of running, playing and jogging with your pet. As much as possible, you should only take care of a Cane Corso if you have access to a large yard,  dog park, or outdoor area where it can run and play daily. 

  • Socialization is a must

Just like any other breed, dogs that are not socialized early can develop serious behavioral problems. You may start by meeting dogs while you go for a walk or in a play area. If everything works fine, arrange for a play date. Let other members of the family take care of your pet so it will be more relaxed when handled by other people. 

  • Feed it the correct diet

A Cane Corso is a very large and muscular dog, and thus, it requires a special kind of diet to sustain its physical needs. Talk to your vet about the right kind of pet food and about giving supplements to your pet. 

Cane Corso Dogs’ common health problems

Cane Corsos are known for being a healthy and hardy dog breed but may suffer from some health issues as well. Cane Corso’s most common health concerns include hip dysplasia because of their size, entropion or ectropion, bloating or gastric torsion, and demodectic mange. This dog is also prone to being overweight and with it, may develop arthritis in their joints. Regular visits to the vet will make sure that your strong and smart dog will grow up a healthy and happy dog. 

Hip Dysplasia in Cane Corsos:

The hip joint is technically the most stable joint in the body- whether in humans or in dogs. But what happens when a dog is born with genetic defects predisposing him to frequent hip dislocation?

Such is the case with hip dysplasia. The Cane Corso puppy’s hip socket doesn’t develop fully and fails to cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone, making the dog vulnerable to partial or complete dislocations (ball comes out of the socket).

When you see your puppy displaying the following, take him in to the vet for a thorough exam, which should include hip x-rays:

  • Limping, unsteady gait with “bunny hopping” characteristics
  • Pus is less active than usual
  • The hip joint is stiff and displays decreased range of motion
  • Your dog is unable to jump, run, or climb stairs, or hesitates to do so
  • When you move the hip, there’s a grating sound and your Cane Corso pup pulls away
  • The affected leg is less muscular than the other

First, do no harm. Don’t let your dog strain himself and limit his activity to 20-minute slow walking. Their vet might recommend a specialized leg brace to support the hip during weight-bearing activities, as well as medications to reduce inflammation. It will also help if your dog isn’t overweight to reduce stress and strain on the defective hip.

Physical therapy can also help, as well as home exercises that build up the muscle around their dysplastic hip.

These joint issues shouldn’t detract the loving Cane Corso dog owner from taking his pet out for regular walks. And if walks are just not possible, it’s time to invest in a good, solidly built heavy-duty dog stroller so your furbaby won’t be deprived of the social stimulation of walking with his pack around the neighborhood. Here are our best picks, don’t pick a rinky-dink wagon for your majestic Cane Corso.

If your dog likes to sleep in an elevated surface like your be or the couch, make sure you get him a heavy duty pet ramp that can hold his weight. Only the best for our Cane Corso pups.

Entropion in Cane Corso Dogs:

Cherry eye is common among Cane Corsos. It’s caused by inward growth or curling of their eyelid, resulting to irritation of the cornea by the eyelashes. Treatment is pretty straightforward: surgery involving removal of their third eyelid. Results are pretty dramatic and their teary, bloodshot eyes immediately clear up.


This results from the corrective surgery for entropion – the lower lid if pulled downward, exposing icky pink tissue beneath. With more delicate eye tissues exposed, there is note chance for infection.  But a Cane Corso could live a long, healthy life even with an ectropic eyelid, but he certainly won’t win any beauty contests.


This is a life-threatening emergency requiring surgery – there the Cane Corso’s stomach gets overstretched and twisted from excessive gas. This is common among other large breed dogs and a responsible Cane Corso owner should be aware of symptoms to watch out for. The mortality rate from bloat can go as high as 60%.

When your pet starts showing signs of pain behaviors, moaning, lethargic, and a bloated stomach, take him to the vet asap.  

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Lovelia Horn


Every Creature Counts is passionate about animal rescue! We are a family of rescuers who have worked with small animal shelters around the Southern Illinois

Lovelia Horn