CANE CORSO-Page 1 of 6
BRIEF DISCRIPTION AND HISTORY
PRONOUNCED "Caah-Nay Cor-so"
The Cane Corso is one of two Italian Mastiff breeds, the other being the Neapolitan Mastiff. They are described as medium to large size breed that moves with considerable ease. The first look at a Cane Corso, should instantly give you the impression of a strong well-defined athlete, perhaps a well built power lifter or bodybuilder. The Cane Corso should possess heavy bone substance and solid muscle definition. The Cane Corso is a head breed, and thus should immediately draw attention to a massive and powerful looking skull, quite substantial in relation to the rest of the body.
Back in the old days, the Greeks and Macedonians brought with them large dogs that they utilized for warfare and also for hunting, Badgers, Wild Boar and even Bear. When the Greeks colonized Italy, they brought with them these ferocious beasts, described by Marco Polo as "large as Donkeys". When the Roman empire conquered Italy they discovered, the dog's ability to fight, whether the enemy was of the two or four-legged variety. The Romans developed from these molosser type of dogs what came to be known as the "Canis Pugnax" (the Roman War Dog). It is believed that from this ancient breed the modern day Cane Corso and Neapolitan Mastiff have been developed.
The name derived from the Latin word "cohors", which means "protector" or "bodyguard". Early depictions show these War Dogs devouring Christians in the Coliseum, locked in combat with each other, and the baiting of Bulls. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Cane Corso proved its versatility by being employed in numerous varying tasks. These included that of a guardian, hunter and farm dog. As the ideal farmhand, he was well suited as a flock guardian, often deployed in the war against predators such as Wolves and Bears. In these times the Cane Corso often wore collars made of steel with barbaric spikes, so when they faught off these predators they could have an advantage. Today, you can still see some of these old traditions being used in farmer's fields, especially in the Central and Southern parts of Italy. For the most part, the Cane Corso of today is being used extensively as a home and property guardian!