The Cane Corso Temperament & personality

The Cane Corso temperament and personality produces a strong-willed and strong-bodied dog that is highly intelligent and therefore requires strong leadership and commanding confidence from their owners. 

This ancient breed is not typically recommended for novice dog owners and the breed definitely splits opinion due to its hard-looking reputation and tough perception in popular culture over the past 50 years.  

However, experienced dog handlers and reputable breeders will tell you that the Cane Corso can actually be a fantastic companion and family dog. As with other breeds, this is much to do with the owners ability to nurture and socialise the Cane Corso in a calm, safe but firm manner. 

If you’re particularly worried about the risk of Cane Corso bites, you can read about the risks in our Dog Bite Statistics guide, which is updated regularly.

All dogs have unique personalities. As an owner of mastiffs in the past, I can vouch for this. Some are large, drool and docile love machines. Others can be more of a handful, robust and energetic. However, from my experience they all love to dig, roll in mud and make a splash. 

So, if you’ve come to terms with the fact that these can be a handful and that perhaps you may need to be okay with them having an obsession with your hose pipe, read on. Here we uncover the temperament of the Cane Corso and what to look out for if you’re soon to be an owner of this noble breed. 

What are the Cane Corso personality traits?

As mentioned above, all dogs have unique personalities. However, there are some common traits that appear in the Cane Corso breed, these are: 

  • Loyal & Protective
  • Energetic
  • Strong Willed & Intelligent

The first of which is loyalty. The Cane Corso is loyal to its family, in fact the breed is more attentive to its owners than most other mastiff breeds. The dog is unwavering in its commitment to the family pack. They love their people and they will protect their homes. 

There are pros and cons to this behaviour trait: 

The Pros: 

  1. Throughout its history, the Cane Corso has been mostly used as a guardian dog. It is faultless in its responsibilities as a guardian. 
  2. Despite its grunts, slobber and loud snoring. The Cane Corso is affectionate to its owners and immediate family. 
  3. Due to its bond with owners, the Cane Corso takes to training very well. However, you must be confident in your commands and consistent right from puppy to adult. 
  4. The breed loves to work. If you live on a farm or small hold, put your companion to work as they thrive off the mental stimulation as exercise. 

The Cons: 

  1. Due to its unmatched loyalty to family, the Cane Corso can suffer from separation anxiety. This means you need to be prepared to spend time with your Corso to ensure it doesn’t become anxious and destructive. To help combat this, we recommend crate training from a puppy. 
  2. The Cane Corso is strong willed and has a high prey drive. If yours isn’t well socialised, this may lead to chasing animals such as cats and worse case scenario seriously injuring or killing them. 
  3. Require a decent amount of space due to the size and energetic nature of the dog. No apartments. 

The second trait of the Cane Corso is their energetic nature. You must make sure this breed is adequately stimulated both mentally and physically. 

As mentioned, this breed loves to work. This comes both in the form of physical exercise such as daily walks, tug-of-war, agility training. This can also be physically demanding on the owner, so be prepared to spend upwards of an hour a day exercising your Corso. A well exercised Cane Corso should lead to a more well-mannered personality. 

Then there’s the mental stimulation side of things. If you live on a farm or have a fair amount of land then this may be easier. However, for your everyday household we suggest nose work. This helps give your Cane Corso a daily challenge to help stimulate its high level of intelligence. 

Stubborn & strong willed

Everything you read on Cane Corsos temperament will speak to their strong-willed and stubborn nature. This is true for the most part. Corsi are strong minded, but they’re also eager to please their humans and family. With that said, and we must repeat, we do not recommend this breed for novice dog owners. The anatomical features of the Cane Corso are fairly imposing as it is. However, if you then add a layer of wilfulness and dominance to its behaviour then you must have the necessary experience to be able to cope with the breed.

This dog is assertive and dominant. They respect an owner with confidence and consistency in approach. They are serious and self assured with strangers, yet they’re generally mild mannered unless provoked. 

Your Corso may seem like they’re answering you back from time to time. The fact is they love to talk to their owners. The breed only has a moderate barking level, and unless it’s poorly socialised it shouldn’t feel the need to bark too frequently. 

However, they are also assertive and wilful. As with many big guardian dogs, responsible breeding and socialisation with people and other dogs is vital.

How does the cane corso take to training?

The Cane Corso temperament means it takes to training exceptionally well, they thrive off the challenge and the ability to serve and work. With that said, they need firm and loving guidance. 

Your Corso requires consistent training, and confidence in commands. A lack of direction may lead to your Corso acting on instinct alone, which is unfortunately to treat anything outside their family and friends as a potential threat. This can obviously have dire consequences considering the size and power of the breed. 

However, if your Corso is well socialised then you should be able to improve its personality and behaviour in everyday settings. For this, we recommend introducing them to people from a really early age. The same goes for other animals and common noises around the house, yard and streets. When socialising your puppy you should do so in a calm manner and reward good behaviour when necessary. It’s also critical to set boundaries early on as a pup. 

Good puppy socialisation leads to your Corso being friendly and trusted, meaning they should be more aloof as they age. Poor socialisation can lead to them being dangerous to everyday people and other animals. 

Finally, when on the market for a Cane Corso, we recommend choosing from a reputable breeder. The Cane Corso is a big commitment, a reputable and experienced breeder will be able to set you off on the right path. 

Are there any differences between the behaviour of male and female Cane Corsos?

This is a point of debate amongst the breeder community. Most owners discuss the temperamental differences between both genders of the breed. It’s not entirely conclusive but some owners appear to think that males are naturally more aggressive and dominant in nature and therefore require good socialisation from pups. 

It is also said that the males appear to have more balanced emotions, meaning their behaviour is more stable day to day which leads to a more stable and settled mood. However, on the downside they appear to be quicker to aggression and less affectionate to their owner. 

On the other hand, female Cane Corsos are said to be easier to train, less dominant. However, they are slightly less stable in emotional control and are sometimes more sensitive making them more prone to mood swings. That said, they are said to be more attached to their owners than their male counterparts.

Closing thoughts on the Cane Corso temperament

We mentioned multiple times throughout this piece that we think only experienced dog owners should endeavour to own a Cane Corso. Their strong-willed nature makes them a challenge to have as a family pet. 

However, if you’re up for the challenge and commit to good puppy socialisation, ethical ownership and have a confident, consistent, commanding but calm presence then the Cane Corso can make a superb family dog. 

They love to work, need to be mentally and physically challenged and love their family of humans very much. If you don’t mind the mud puddles, grunting and occasional pierced hose pipe then this may well be the dog for you. 

Whatever your choice, please choose from a reputable and experienced breeder! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *