Do Cane Corsos Get Along With Other Dogs?

Do cane corsos get along with other dogs?

Owning a Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff) is a unique experience. Raising and caring for this majestic giant is not for the faint hearted. Owners should expect an element of intrigue from other dog owners, often asking questions around the dog’s temperament. And although they may marvel at the physicality of the Corso, they are likely trying to see if their preconceived perceptions live up to reality. 

So, are Cane Corso’s friendly with other dogs? 

The truth is, due to its physical prowess and ancient origins as a guardian breed, the Cane Corso (rightly or wrongly) has a perception issue amongst many dog owners as aggressive. However, as with many things in the dog world, this is often untrue and there are many other factors which may be causing this misconception. 

You’re taking the time to research how Cane Corso’s generally behave around other dogs, my guess is you’re a responsible (soon to be) owner of this magnificent dog. This is great news, you obviously care about what’s best for you and your Corso. And it is this very trait that will likely shape the personality and experience of your Corso over its lifetime. 

So whilst you’re here, let’s discuss the nature of the Cane Corso around other dogs and what to do about it. 

TLDR Summary;

How well do Cane Corsos interact with other dogs: Cane Corsos can get along when interacting with other dogs, but their behaviour largely depends on their upbringing and socialisation (as with most dogs). Their natural instincts and temperament, including dominance and protectiveness, can influence their interactions with other dogs.  

Personality and temperament: Cane Corsos are naturally assertive and authoritative. They can actually be protective of smaller breeds, conversely they may also exhibit a high prey drive. However, a well-socialised Corso should not have this issue. As a word of caution, they may like to intervene and assert themselves during play, which needs to be monitored.

Physicality: The Cane Corso’s large size can intimidate other dogs, potentially leading to escalated situations. Additionally, body modifications like ear cropping or tail docking can hinder their ability to communicate with other dogs, leading to misinterpretations.

Socialisation: Socialising a Cane Corso is crucial due to their natural instincts, temperament, and size. Early socialisation, exposure to different environments and people, meeting and playing with other dogs, training classes, positive reinforcement, and patience and consistency are key to successful socialisation.

Exercise and routine: Regular exercise and a consistent routine are critical for the Cane Corso, a high-energy breed that requires both physical and mental stimulation. Other considerations for managing potential aggression include neutering/spaying and adopting opposite sexes.

Do Cane Corso’s Get Along With Other Dogs?

Yes, Cane Corsos do get along with other dogs. All breeds have dogs that do unexpected things around other dogs, plus they all have their own life experiences that can influence their behaviour. 

Yes there are Corso’s who are particularly poor, just as there are Corso’s who are excellent around other dogs. On the whole, Cane Corsos are just fine… Ultimately it depends on being a responsible owner who cares for, trains and socialises their dog over the long run. 

But this stereotype must stem from somewhere right?  

This will be the result of a handful of factors, ranging from the dog’s natural instincts and temperament as a protector, but also its physical appearance. 

Let’s talk about their personality and temperament. The Corso is dominant. They’re naturally assertive and hold authority. However, this isn’t all bad. The protective nature of them sometimes sees them take smaller breeds under their wing, which is a beautiful thing to see. 

When it comes to being around smaller breeds, many will talk about their prey drive. We don’t discount this, it’s definitely a feature of their temperament, however a well socialised Corso should not have this issue. 

They also have a habit of taking on a guardian figure when it comes to play, which may cause them to intervene and assert themselves, this is of course something that needs to be watched. 

Credit – Will Atherton Cane Corso Show

What about their physicality?

The physical prowess of the Cane Corso is really at the heart of the misconception around how they get along with other dogs. This is a big breed for experienced owners. The physicality can intimidate but there’s more nuance to this then you may first realise. 

Some things to think about: 

  1. Many other dog breeds have not grown up around or socialised with a dog as large as the Cane Corso. This may cause them to be wary, on–guard and sometimes result in erratic behaviour towards the Corso such as excessive barking and lunging. Such behaviour may ignite an escalation. 
  2. Many Cane Corsos have unfortunately had some sort of body modifications done to them. Whether that’s cropping their ears or docking their tails, there are consequences that come from this. One such thing is communication. Dogs use their ears and tails to communicate, Corsos that are lacking this may cause other dogs to misread them. 
  3. The brachycephalic face of the Cane Corso is often perceived as aggressive and sometimes as snarling. 

So let’s be honest, just like many other dogs, the Cane Corso needs good, responsible owners (and potentially its own personal PR agency). Of course the Corso can get along with other dogs, but how can you ensure your Cane Corso builds these vital social skills?

The Importance of Socialisation

Socialising a Cane Corso is crucial due to their natural instincts, temperament and colossal size which can make them a rough playmate. Without proper socialisation, these traits can lead to behavioural issues such as aggression, fearfulness, or over-protectiveness.

7 tips for socialising a Cane Corso:


Start Early

The earlier you start socialising your Cane Corso, the better. Puppies are most receptive to new experiences between 3 and 12 weeks of age. This means you should be training and socialising your Corso before it’s had its full list of vaccinations. It also means that picking the right Cane Corso breeder is critical. The right breeder will encourage the right environment.

A word of caution here, Corso’s who haven’t had a great start to life may end up with social issues as they mature. This can happen when removed from mother too soon, where they were not corrected by other dogs during the socialisation process. An example of how important this is can be demonstrated by their physical prowess and playing overly rough. This is something to watch, especially when considering their bite force.


Expose to Different Environments

Take your Cane Corso to different environments to expose them to various sights, sounds, and smells. This could include busy streets, parks, pet stores, the beach, your car etc. This helps them become comfortable in a variety of situations. A dog that is only familiar with a couple of environments can become stressed more easily.


Meet Different People

Let your pup meet people of different ages and sizes. This will help them understand that different types of people are not a threat. It also helps get them used to different human personality characteristics. For instance those who are more introverted, vs those who are more extraverted. This is very helpful for letting them understand boundaries.


Meet Other Dogs

Arrange playdates with other dogs as soon as possible. Make sure the other dogs are friendly and well-behaved to ensure positive experiences. Dog parks can also be a good place for this, but be cautious as not all dogs at dog parks are well-socialised, so ask around and do your research. 

You’ll want to ensure that this is done in a comfy atmosphere, is supervised and that you remain patient with your Corso. They’re a strong willed breed and intelligent, this means you need to be a calm leader. 

The occasional puppy day-care might also be a great addition. Supervised fun and social interactions will be in the plenty here, and the intimidating physical prowess of the dog is yet to appear meaning that other dogs won’t be as intimidated. Remember, Corso’s are naturally energetic who enjoy physical play, chasing, etc.


Training Classes

Enrol your Cane Corso in a puppy or dog training class. This not only helps with basic obedience training but also provides a great opportunity for socialisation. Again, you’ll need to do your research here. You’ll also want to ensure consistency with your own training regimen.


Positive Reinforcement

Always use positive reinforcement during socialisation. Reward your Cane Corso for calm and friendly behaviour with treats, praise, or play.


Patience and Consistency

Socialisation is a process that takes time. Be patient and consistent with your efforts. In the end, this is best for both you and your Corso.

Cane Corsos, like other large and protective breeds, often require more socialisation than other dogs because of their natural instincts. Their size and strength mean that if they do become fearful or aggressive, they can potentially cause more harm than a smaller or less powerful breed.  

Remember, socialisation should be a positive experience. Never force your Cane Corso into a situation that scares them. Instead, gradually expose them to new experiences, always associating these experiences with positive rewards.

What about smaller dogs? 

Again, this all depends on how your Corso is raised and its start to life. Many trainers believe that the Corso’s prey drive is too strong and that you’re far better off keeping it with other large dogs. 

However, if it’s well trained and socialised then the chances are your Cane Corso will be just fine with dogs (and cats) of all sizes. 

As mentioned earlier, the breed has a strange tendency to want to moderate play. This likely comes from their guardian background. Experienced Corso owners will tell stories of your Corso playing a protector role of smaller breeds if it senses they’re at a disadvantage. Kind of beautiful when you think about it. 

Are Cane Corso’s good with kids?

The answer is the same, if well trained and socialised, yes the Cane Corso is good with kids. However, this has to work both ways. If you have children that want to play with your Corso, then they need to respect the boundaries of the dog, alongside its obvious power. 

Corso’s do enjoy rough play, so we recommend that play is supervised at all times. You must let both your dog and children know if you suspect something is about to get out of hand. Ideally, we’d only recommend families welcome the Italian Mastiff into their home if their children are on the older side.

 The importance of exercise & routine

The Cane Corso is a high energy breed. It’s a physical behemoth and due to its intelligence, it also requires a lot of mental stimulation to keep it thriving. Therefore, a routine and regular exercise are critical for this breed, whilst also helping to reduce the risk of aggressive behaviour. 

The Corso Mastiff is ultimately a worker breed. It should enjoy daily walks, agility training and running, fun yard games as well as play time around the house. It has bundles of energy that need to be burned. 

Additionally, it’s a smart and assertive one too. Sniff and food puzzles as well as helping out with jobs around the house are great ways to keep your Corso happy. Feel free to throw in some treats to reward them for a job well done. 

Lastly, a routine helps keep your Corso grounded. Try to keep walking, playing, working and eating at regular times when possible. 

Other tips for managing Cane Corso Aggression

Outside of good, consistent training, thorough socialisation and establishing good exercise routines, owners could look to reduce the risk of Cane Corso aggression by considering the following two areas: 


Neutering / Spaying

This will help to reduce dominance and territorial characteristics within the breed, whilst also limiting its energy. This is obviously at the owner’s discretion and should be carefully considered after consultation with your trusted veterinary advisor.


Adopting Opposite Sexes

Males in particular may become territorial and look to dominate each other. Play can turn too rough and jealousy of owner affection can make things turn ugly.

Summary – So do Cane Corso’s get along with other dogs?

Yes, the Cane Corso is just fine when it comes to getting along with other dogs. As with any breed, much depends on their upbringing and socialisation. 

What the Corso suffers from is a reputation issue. Its background as a protector has created many personality traits which if not managed correctly can obviously cause harm due to their size and power. 

Unfortunately, many Corsos also suffer from body modifications (tail docking & ear cropping). Alongside the shortened face, this often creates a more aggressive looking dog. It may then suffer from communication shortcomings with other dogs as it cannot wag its tail or move its ears. This may leave other dogs and even humans to become more wary. 

Ultimately, much of this is a perception issue. When raised responsibly, the dog is a loving, affectionate but protective breed, perfect for those who love the guardian breeds.

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