How To Bathe and Groom Your Cane Corso

cane corso grooming

Cane Corsos are a powerful and muscular breed which makes bathing and grooming somewhat of a challenge. That said, this majestic dog benefits from semi-regular grooming, typically every 6-8 weeks. 

Due to the breed’s typically active lifestyle and strong physique, they can be fairly difficult to groom even for experienced owners. If possible, we recommend training your Cane Corso for grooming from when they’re a little puppy with the use of treats and commands. This can make the whole process a lot easier as they grow older. 

Alternatively, you can take your Cane Corso to the local groomers or vet (if they offer a grooming service). Obviously there are ongoing costs associated with doing so, which is why many owners prefer to do it from home. 

So, save yourself the struggle and a whole lot of bathroom puddles by following our helpful tips listed below, starting with bathing and moving onto grooming.

Bathing Your Cane Corso

Cane Corso grooming starts with bathing. As with most dogs, Cane Corsos do not want to be bathed. However, with this breed, you cannot simply pick it up or smear peanut butter on the inside of your tub, you need to be smarter. 

To avoid a lot of noise, frustration and a wet house, we recommend getting a head start by doing some prep work. This involves: 

  1. Running the bath with lukewarm water before beginning
  2. Bringing your doggy towels beside the bath
  3. Have your preferred doggy shampoo at the ready 

This may seem rather obvious to some, but this prep work will ensure your Cane Corso doesn’t bolt for the door once you turn your back to fetch your shampoo.

Using warm water

Typically we recommend lukewarm water, however some owners of the breed opt for slightly warmer water to help get dirt and debris out of the coat. It can also get rid of any loose hair, which stops your K9 shedding it around the house. Please ensure you do not increase the temperature of the water too much, in order to avoid burning your Corso’s skin.

How to wash your Cane Corso properly

Once you have your shampoo at the ready, you should follow the below process: 

  1. Try to calm your friend by caressing him and speaking to him gently. Hopefully this allows you to start slowly getting their head a little wet, coaxing them into the process.
  2. Then start by washing its head, using the warm water and avoiding eyes and nose.
  3. Put a little shampoo on and rub up to the neck. 
  4. Rinse the head with a shower head (on low pressure)
  5. Continue the process around the body, applying the shampoo on the undercoat and around its tail. 
  6. As soon as it’s well rubbed, rinse it thoroughly. 

Use Multiple Towels For The Bathing Process

Although this seems like overkill, we recommend using up to three towels when bathing your Cane Corso. This is more optimal than critical. 

First, place a towel on the floor of the bath. Many dogs dislike the feel of ceramic under their paws. This is likely due to the slippery feeling once soaps and shampoos mix with the water. Remember, many dogs do not enjoy being bathed and are actively looking to escape, this feeling may unfortunately lead to extra anxiety being placed on the bathing process, making future baths even more difficult. 

credit – Instagram @beast.walker

Second, once you have shampooed your Corso, place a towel on its back to stop water from dripping. After which, try to get your dog to shake as much water off as possible. This helps save you from cleaning up lots of little puddles in your bathroom. 

Lastly, your final towel should be for the standard drying process. Simply remove the other wet towel from its back and try to give it a good, firm rub to get it as dry as possible.

Use an anti slip bathroom mat 

For a very small price, we recommend investing in an anti-slip bathroom mat. This should help you avoid damaging your tub once you get your muscle bound Cane Corso out of the tub. The mat helps avoid slipping and likely makes the both of you feel more comfortable.

If You Have a Cane Corso Puppy, Use The Sink

Most bathtubs are many times the height of a small puppy. In this instance, put yourself in your puppies shoes and think how terrifying it must be to see a rush of water surrounding you. Therefore, we recommend a gentle wash in the sink. Remember, we’re trying to ease the friction on this process into the puppies’ adulthood so it’s best to try and limit the stress of the situation as much as possible.

What is the best shampoo to use for the Cane Corso?

We recommend specialist, natural and organic dog shampoos with a pH of 7 due to skin pH. Acidic shampoos have been shown to damage hair and cause dulling of coat colour, sometimes alongside bleaching. This may unfortunately lead to irritating skin issues for your Cane Corso companion.

How often should you bathe your Cane Corso?

Cane Corsos should be bathed every 6-8 weeks. However, this really depends on how active your dog is, how often it plays outside and what that outside environment is. Some owners bathe their Cane Corso once a month. 

credit – Instagram @crocbeau_toilettage

We recommend paying attention to how dirty your dog is getting and judging the bath frequency accordingly. Keep in mind that a dirty coat and poor hygiene is the main source of infection for many dogs. On top of this, it’s worth noting that your Corso is likely to moult and shed up to twice a year. When it does, you should likely increase the frequency of baths to ensure good hygiene. 

Now that your majestic friend is washed and clean, let’s move onto Grooming care…

Cane Corso Coat Care

The Cane Corso coat is short but double layered. There is a soft undercoat which can vary in length depending on the climate that the dog lives in. The topcoat is more wiry and coarse. Typically, each coat should contrast in colour. 

If you want to maintain the glossy sheen, we recommend using a medium bristle brush to brush your Cane Corso once or twice a week, perhaps 4-5 times if in moulting season which can lead to quite a lot of fur being shed, much more than you would expect for this short haired breed. We recommend brushing your dog down after a bath, perhaps using a shedding blade which can remove tufts more easily. 

It’s also vital to note that you should aim to be as gentle as possible when brushing your dog’s coat. Your dog may have irritated skin or flea bites which makes this process more painful. Some owners prefer to use a glove brush to brush their dog. These help the dog by simulating a stroke to reduce their anxiety with brushing.

How to clean Cane Corso Ears

Although controversial to some and illegal in the UK, many Cane Corsos have their ears cropped as their breed standard. This is said to be done to prevent injuries and infection when they play with each other or get into fights. 

The active lifestyle of a Cane Corso likely means the extra build up of mud and dirt. This may lead to ear infections and hearing difficulties later in life. Therefore, we recommend that you try to clean your Cane Corsos ears once a week.

credit – Instagram @hendrixcanecorso

There are a couple of ways that you can clean your dog’s ears: 

  1. Doggy ear drops – They’re great for tackling ear wax buildup, ear mites and so on. However, please make sure they’re suitable for your dog’s age. 
  2. Use a cotton ball dipped in olive oil and slowly wipe your dog’s ears clean, starting from the outside and working your way in. 

 If you do notice any signs of infection, please call your local vet straight away. 

Cane Corso Teeth Cleaning Tips

Just like most other dogs, dental health is a vital aspect of your Corsos overall health. Although, you guessed it… Your Corso isn’t just going to simply oblige, they’re stubborn remember. Again, if you can train this as a puppy, the better off you’ll be. 

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your doggies nashers don’t go neglected: 

  1. Brush once a week. This is critical for preventing build up of plaque and tartar. 
  2. Ensure your brushing is comfortable for your dog. 
  3. Never use human toothpaste, it’s toxic for dogs. 
  4. Buy high quality dental chews, these help prevent decay and strengthen teeth. 
  5. A good, healthy diet. Although we try to advise all budget types, a higher quality natural diet will likely have better dental health outcomes. Where possible, avoid grain by-products. 
  6. Book in a dental check as part of your annual vet visit. 

Cane Corsos are very strong. If bites from a Cane Corso (or any dog) are a concern, be sure to consult our Dog Bite Statistics guide, which provides detailed info on dog bites.

Trimming Cane Corso Nails

Luckily, if your Cane Corso is active and spends adequate time outdoors then you may not need to trim their nails a whole lot. However, if they spend too much time indoors then their nails are likely to grow long, leading to the possibility of a painful broken nail. 

As you can imagine, cutting the nails of a Cane Corso is a daunting task. This is one that we recommend the local groomers for. However, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, then follow these tips: 

  1. Clean the paws.
  2. Bring a source of light with you.
  3. Grab your dog nail trimmer and some treats.
  4. Calm your pooch dog by stroking and speaking gently.
  5. Take one paw and place it under the light.
  6. Find the point where the vein of the nail lies.
  7. Cut the front part of the nail just before the vein is seen.
  8. Give your companion a treat after each nail you trim.

Cleaning Cane Corso Eyes & Nose

This breed unfortunately has a lot of natural build up of gunk in and around the eyes & nose. If this occurs regularly with your Cane Corso, simply use a sterile napkin to wipe away any discharge in the corner of their eyes and around the nose. Please avoid the use of anything abrasive or cotton balls/buds as they can leave fibres which may irritate the dog.

Closing thoughts on Cane Corso grooming

You’ve taken on a much loved, majestic but strong and stubborn breed. Grooming and bathing the Cane Corso is no easy thing. We think it’s best to approach this with an acceptance that things will be challenging, but try to see the funny side (whilst you’re drenched in water). 

Where possible, do your best to nurture good grooming behaviour from puppy age, reducing the stress of the situation as much as possible and rewarding good behaviour. This should make bathing and grooming as an adult Cane Corso easier.

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