Are Cane Corsos Aggressive
Or Dangerous Dogs? depends

by Ken Alden

So are Cane Corsos aggressive or dangerous dogs?

Canes were bred to protect their owners with a fearless resolve only matched by their loyalty and deep bonds with their humans. Although the Corsi have a genetic predisposition towards protective behavior, could they be considered as a breed to beware of??

Are Cane Corsos Aggressive Or Dangerous Dogs?

Cane Corsos can be aggressive or even dangerous if not properly socialized or if abused by their owner. Although all dogs can become this way regardless of breed, this dog has the mass/size to do serious damage. Corsi requires obedience training and special care to lessen this tendency.

Cane Corsi makes an intelligent and loyal member of a human household and is eager to please their owners. To ensure that they are happy and socialized, we will discuss the unique history and genetic temperament that Corso owners should consider when planning to own or train these loving bodyguards. Read More Below...

Pro-tip: Ever try lifting a Cane Corso? Their weight can hurt not only your back but their joints when they hop down from cars, sofas or even your bed. To protect your back and theirs check out the best Mastiff ramps on now.

Are cane corsos aggressive or dangerous dogs

Cane Corso: Their History Of War Explains A Few Things

To understand the cane Corsi breed, one needs to look at their history. As in most working dog breeds, the Corsi were interbred to fulfill their dominant function. In the case of the Corsi, their primary duty was that of protection. 

The Cane Corso belongs to a category of working dogs named molossus dogs named after the Mollossi, an ancient Greek tribe said to have bred these fearless guard dogs. Originally dogs of war, the molossus dogs were called piereferi or ‘fearless’ and were sent into enemy lines with flaming oil strapped to their backs. They even had their own battle armor to protect themselves from arrows.

With the decline of western culture in the 15 century, the breed was set to guard duty or boar hunting and livestock driving. With economic and social upheaval and the increased mechanization of agriculture, the breed was all but extinct by the 20th century. 

Luckily, a group of enthusiasts found the last breeding pairs in Italy’s more remote areas and formed a society to protect and breed the Corsi in 1983. The breed was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2010.

Quick Fact: In Italian the word Cane means dog and the word Corso means guardian. Judging by their size we're guessing they were good at it. 

Learn More Arrow

The aggressive tendency of the Cane Corso can be traced to it's past history. Read more about what they were bred for in this fascinating article of ours.

Pro-tip: Cane Corso anxiety, aggression, destructive chewing, jumping up, fearfulness, and other behaviors can be controlled with the right training program.

Here’s a great course that addresses these issues along with many other dog training basics: Check it out now!

Factors Which May Affect Cane Corso Aggression

Genetic predisposition is not the deciding factor in whether your Cane Corso is destined to be aggressive. Like most large breed dogs, the consequences of aggressive behavior are far more far-reaching than in smaller breeds, but their aggression cannot be determined by breed alone. are cane corsos aggressive or dangerous 

Although their intimidating appearance has developed a bad reputation for aggression toward other animals and humans, this is not necessarily so. Finding reputable breeders is an essential step in finding a Cane Corso with an even temperament, and the dog’s nature can be shaped by training and environment.

Individual Temperament and Personality of Your Cane Corso

Finding a reputable breeder who breeds their puppies selectively to promote less aggression in the breed is an essential first step. You should research your breeder and visit the breeding pair/pairs to note their behavioral characteristics. You may also work with your breeder to find a puppy that does not exhibit dominant feeding and play behavior.

Training and Environment

The Cane Corso is the most easily trained of the mastiff breeds due to their intelligence eager to place natures. From a very young age, Corsi puppies should be firmly and gently turned away from dominance displays or aggression. Socialization is of primary importance for the Corsi from a young age and basic obedience training (which is essential in any large breed canine.)

Scientific studies have shown that aggression towards dogs during training and harsh training methods increases the dog’s aggression by as much as 2.9 times than a gently corrected dog. Obedience should appeal to a dog’s willingness to please for real effects on aggressive behaviors, especially in large breed dogs such as Corsi.

Is A Cane Corso Dangerous To Their Owners?

A Cane Corso, raised from puppyhood in a loving environment where dominance is gently but firmly discouraged, should not exhibit aggression to their owners. The Corsi is known and loved for their protective and endearing affection towards their owners. Adult Corsi who have suffered abuse may show aggression to their owners, but that is ubiquitous across the canine family. 

Although there have been reported incidences of fatal attacks on their human owners, these are exceptions rather than the norm. Incidences such as these merely highlight the importance of proper training and environment for these potentially dangerous large breed dogs.

Pro-tip: Cane Corso's (and their owners) love dog crates…and for good reasons. Crates keep dogs from mischief while you're away, are perfect for house training, for traveling by car, and provide the dog a place to de-stress. Check out the best Mastiff crates on now.

Will A Cane Corso Attack An Intruder?

Being an intelligent breed, Cane Corsos will assess potential danger to their human family before attacking an intruder. Well-socialized Corsi will not exhibit aggression to friends and family who show no threat to their ’pack’. However, due to the breed’s loyal nature and proactive instincts, they will most likely attack an intruder who exhibits threatening behavior to the member of its human family.

The Corsi’s protective nature becomes more pronounced as they mature. Still, a trained and socialized Corso will exhibit a watchful aloof stance to strangers that are characteristic of the breed. Owners who prefer species who exhibit friendliness towards non-family members should consider choosing another dog breed.

Learn More Arrow

So do Cane Corsos make good protection or guard dogs? Does this role come naturally? or must it be instilled within them? This article of ours ansers this question 

How To Stop Your Corso From Becoming Aggressive

With a weight of up to 110 lbs (50 kgs) and a 700 pounds per square inch (PSI) bite, your Cane Corso is a breed that you need to train responsibly. In 2014, a Michigan couple was given a jail sentence when two Corsi fatally mauled a passing jogger. Although the Corsi fatalities are nowhere near that of Pitbulls, their bite force is three times stronger than the Pitbull PSI of 230. 

Owners hold a responsibility to the public to ensure these loyal companions do not harm those around them. Here are some ways to ensure your Corso remains non-aggressive:

  • Start socialization early. Behaviors are learned early in this intelligent breed, and socialization with other humans and dogs is essential.

  • Start obedience training as early as possible as your Corso becomes large, fast, and more challenging to handle in adolescence.

  • Teach bite inhibition from early puppyhood by firmly and gently removing all contact when your puppy bites in play. Although some recommend more harsh measures, preventing contact, and playing for a duration after biting will gently teach your pup his bad behavior.

  • Show your pup strong leadership early on, such as sitting before meals and waiting before you allow them outdoors. It’s never too early to start teaching gentle obedience until your pup is old enough for puppy obedience.
  • Continue to socialize your Corso through their lives, not only as a puppy. Older Corsi should be encouraged to interact with other people and dogs and be rewarded for social behavior.

  • Promptly curtail dominant behavior towards humans and other dogs by using obedience command to sit or lie down. 

  • Never encourage protective or aggressive behavior in your dog, as this will encourage them to further aggression.

Is The Cane Corso A Family Dog?

Are Cane Corsos aggressive or dangerous and make for good family dogs? Due to its size and breed-specific tendencies, Cane Corsos do require special care when placed in an environment with small children. Play fighting or general rough and tumble behaviors of children may be misconstrued by the Corso, so care should be taken to teach children proper behaviors around their pets. Even though they make loving additions to family homes, Corsi’s size and temperament do not lend itself well to toddlers and smaller children.

Learn More Arrow

If you're thinking of bringing a Cane home as a new family member, just how good are they around kids or babies?

Are Cane Corsos Aggressive Or Dangerous...Final Thoughts

Those who love Cane Corsi defend the breed vigilantly and promote this intelligent breed’s loving and loyal nature. However, these faithful companions can also be deadly if not properly raised and trained correctly. They are not an ideal breed for first-time owners but make exceptional pets if they are aware of their protective natures and are willing to put in the hard work.

About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

These Articles On Our Site Will Shed A Bit More Light On The Cane Corso Temperament...

  1. Mastiff Guide Home
  2. Cane Corsos
  3. Are Cane Corsos Aggressive Or Dangerous?