Are Cane Corsos Good Family Dogs?
Top 10 Questions Answered

cane corso with young girl


The Cane Corso, also known as an Italian Mastiff, can make for a fine family dog with a little time and effort. Cane Corsos can weigh up to 110 pounds (49 kg) and are highly lauded for their loyalty and protective nature, making them great guard dogs.

So, are Cane Corsos good family dogs?

  • Though not great with strangers, the Cane Corso is affectionate with his own family, including kids.
  • The Cane Corso is easy to train and does require a lot of daily exercise.
  • The breed is generally easy to care for but is a little pricey.
  • With time and effort, the Cane Corso can be a good family dog.

When you’re looking for a good family dog, you want a dog that’s affectionate, easy to train, not aggressive, and very easy to groom. So, let’s see whether the Cane Corso is the best fit for your family by answering questions families might have...

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Are Cane Corsos Friendly?

The Cane Corso is incredibly friendly with his own family. He’s known to build solid relationships with his owners and will even demonstrate a protective instinct. This breed loves to spend time with those he loves most.

On the other hand, the Cane Corso doesn’t enjoy strangers. Your Italian Mastiff will most likely view every stranger as a threat to you and your pack. So, don’t be surprised if he growls, barks, or gets into a defensive position when strangers approach.

Maintaining Safety

Since the Cane Corso is a mighty dog with an incredible bite force, he poses a risk to strangers in the outside world. For that reason, you want to make sure that you’re keeping everybody at a distance when you bring your Cane Corso outdoors.

That means using a heavy-duty leash designed for large breed dogs and a harness that keeps your pooch from pulling. You might even want to purchase a muzzle in case an unrestrained dog (or child) gets too close.

Both kids and adults love to pet dogs, but your Cane Corso isn’t like most dogs. That’s why it’s in your best interest to avoid letting strangers pet your Cane Corso, no matter how politely they ask you.

Your pal will likely never be comfortable around strangers, but he might be more at ease when he encounters the same strangers more often. 

How Are Cane Corsos With Babies And Toddlers?

There have even been cases where people have let their Cane Corso babysit their children, but we wouldn’t recommend going that far.

Cane Corsos are known to love playing with kids and just being around them. You might even catch your dog trying to squeeze in a nap next to your sleeping toddler. It’s definitely cute, but you need to be careful about the size difference.

Improving the Cane Corso/Child Interaction

The most important thing is training your children how to play with a dog, especially a large breed dog like the Cane Corso. That means you should take some extra time to teach your children to:

  • Learn the commands like “no” and “sit” to have better control over playtime
  • Play without tugging on your Cane Corso’s tail or ears
  • Keep from getting in your Cane Corso’s face
  • Learn to play fetch, tug-of-war, or hide and seek
  • Avoid playing wrestling or tackling your Cane Corso

Your Cane Corso might love your children to death, but you’re not sure how he’ll act with children he doesn’t know. So, be wary of letting your pooch get too close to children he hasn’t been acquainted with yet.


Pro-tip: Does your Cane Corso have issues with anxiety, destructive chewing, aggressiveness, jumping up, barking or fearfulness?

Brain Training For Dogs is an excellent online training course that
addresses these behavioral issues as well as dog training basics.


How Are Cane Corsos With Other Dogs And Cats?

The Cane Corso might do well with other dogs, but cats are a clear “no.” That’s because this breed has a relatively high prey drive, meaning he’ll likely terrorize your cat and chase him down anytime they cross paths.

When it comes to dogs, the Cane Corso usually does better with dogs of the opposite sex. The Cane Corso is known to be aggressive with dogs of the same sex. When it comes to the prey drive, smaller dogs are in danger, so a large dog of the opposite sex is best.

Proper Socialization

We know that Cane Corsos don’t fare too well with new dogs and people, but that can be avoided if you work on socializing your Cane Corso from the time that he’s a puppy. Puppy classes are great, teaching your Italian Mastiff puppy the basic commands while meeting new dogs.

The trick to keeping your dog friendly with other dogs is to keep up with the socializing on a consistent basis. That means bringing him for walks outside where other dogs might be and become accustomed to meeting new people.

While you can’t completely remove his protective instincts, you can help to make him more welcoming of new friends.

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Are Cane Corsos Good Guard Dogs?

The Cane Corso was once considered a war dog several thousand years ago in ancient Rome. The breed then eventually transitioned over to being guard dogs, known to be extremely protective of his own property and livestock.

Today, the Cane Corso still has these protective instincts, and they’re more than capable of being great guard dogs. They’re known for being wary of strangers and will audibly bark to let you know that a threat is approaching.

Training a Guard Dog

Even though your Cane Corso has a natural instinct to protect his own, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to bring a Cane Corso puppy home and have him immediately assume the role of “guard dog.”

Training a Cane Corso to be a guard dog can take years.

A lot of it comes down to training your dog who’s a threat and who’s a friend or neighbor. The last thing you want is for your Italian Mastiff to be defensive every time a person approaches the house, right?

Also, once he assumes this role, it’s very likely that he’ll be in “guard dog” mode at all hours of the day. This completely ruins your chances of ever having a friendly encounter with a neighbor or dog when your Cane Corso is with you.

If you really want this breed as a  guard dog that much, it’s best that you hire an expert. It might cost a few thousand dollars, but it’s the only way to ensure that he’s trained right.

This YouTube Video Has Additional Info You Might Find Helpful...

Do Cane Corsos Drool A Lot?

We don’t have a clear answer because it really varies from dog to dog. The Cane Corso does drool a little, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the drooling habits of a Bullmastiff, Bulldog, or Boxer.

It all comes down to how your Cane Corso’s mouth is physically structured. The lips are used to hold in any saliva or drool, so looser lips means your Cane Corso will likely drool a lot more. But, he’ll also drool when he’s hungry, thirsty, or just exhausted.

Stopping the Drool

Since you don’t know whether your Cane Corso is a drooler until he’s full-grown, you have to be prepared for anything. If he does turn out to have a gnarly drooling habit, you have to be able to deal with it as it happens.

So, the Cane Corso tends to drool a lot when he’s hungry, eating, or thirsty. So, it would be a decent idea to put some type of rubber mat underneath his bowls. That way, your kitchen floor stays spotless, and you can easily rinse the mat off underneath the faucet.

Yet, the Cane Corso also gets particularly drooly when he’s tired from playing. If your dog loves to run around to the point of near exhaustion, it would be a good idea to put a bib around his neck to keep the drool from finding its way onto your floor.

While drool is a little disgusting, it’s just another part of owning a large breed dog like the Cane Corso.

Here's an additional helpful article of ours on drool control

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Do Cane Corsos Shed A Lot?

The Cane Corso doesn’t really shed all that much and actually has a decently short and smooth coat. With that said, you should be fine only brushing your Cane Corso’s coat about once or twice a week.

If you notice that your Cane Corso’s shedding is a little more intense at certain times of the year, brushing him more often can keep the loose hair on your furniture to a minimum. Rubber glove brushes are great for a quick brush.

Do Cane Corsos Need Lots Of Exercise?

If you’re lazy or you spend long days at work, the Cane Corso might not be the right breed for you. That’s because the Cane Corso needs a lot of exercise on a daily basis. He needs to keep his muscles and heart working to keep them strong and healthy.

The Cane Corso also craves constant mental stimulation. He hates to be alone and wants to bond with you any way he can. That means he needs long daily walks and a separate playtime to stay active. 

How to Play with Your Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is the perfect exercise partner if you like to run or jog. He’ll be able to keep up with you without much of an effort when you find on long winding runs through your neighborhood.

Yet, the last thing you want to do is just send your dog to a fenced-in backyard with a toy and hope he runs around on his own. He needs you there to run around with, play fetch, or even play tug-of-war.

Generally speaking, you should be okay with giving your Cane Corso a few long walks per day and about 20 minutes or more of exercise on a daily basis. More is always better.

Are Cane Corsos Hard To Train?

The Cane Corso usually isn’t hard to train, so long as you begin the training process as young as possible. You need to assert yourself as your dog’s master and remain confident and dominant in your training regimen.

This breed picks up on rules generally quick, but the breed is also known for being a little stubborn. So, don’t be surprised if your Cane Corso tries to push the boundaries to see what he can get away with.

Cane Corso Training Tips

You need to be absolutely ready to take control and remind your Cane Corso that you’re the leader of the house. That means you can’t bend on any rules and that you have to be consistent with training during his lifespan.

One way to keep him interested in training and following the rules is through positive reinforcement. Cane Corsos are absolutely willing to do anything to please you, especially if there’s some food involved.

Puppy training and/or regular training classes are also great if you’re struggling to keep your Cane Corso in line when he’s at home. These classes can help to teach your Cane Corso the rules, but can also help you to build the confidence to be his leader.

Finally, the Cane Corso hates to be alone, but it’s going to happen occasionally. So, work on leaving him alone for short periods of time every once in a while, so he’s less likely to misbehave while you’re gone.

What's The Cost Of Cane Corso Puppies? (in USD)

Since this dog is a highly sought-after breed, it should come as no surprise that they’re rather expensive. A Cane Corso puppy is usually $1,000 a more, with older puppies being a little less expensive.

There are a few other factors that will impact the price tag. For one, a Cane Corso that comes from a good blood line will be a lot more valuable. Show-ready puppies might be approaching $10,000 each.

Just remember that adopting an older Cane Corso from a shelter is also always an option. This will allow you to give an older dog another shot at life and will only cost you a few hundred dollars, on average.

What's The Cane Corso Cost Per Year?

The Cane Corso is definitely a great family dog and a great guard dog, but there’s no doubt that you’re going to be shelling out a ton of money when you buy a Cane Corso puppy. Plus, you’ll be spending more to care for your Cane Corso on a yearly basis.

You need to take into consideration the cost of a Cane Corso puppy, the cost of fully vaccinating a Cane Corso puppy, the cost of yearly vet visits and immunizations, the cost of joint supplements, the cost of food, and the cost of medical treatment.

Breaking Down the Cost

Owning a dog comes with a lot of costs. So, we want to break down exactly what you might be spending every single year that you own a Cane Corso. Let’s take a look!

Vet Visits: You should be taking your pal to the vet at least once a year for a checkup, but you might be making extra visits if he isn’t feeling well. Vet visits cost up to $100 in most places, so factor in one or two a year.

Total: About $200

Joint supplements: The Cane Corso is more prone to degenerative joint diseases, including hip dysplasia and arthritis. So, daily joint supplements that include glucosamine and chondroitin would be a pretty good idea.

Let’s say you’re giving your Cane Corso Zesty Paws Glucosamine for Dogs. Since he weighs a lot more than other dogs, he’ll be needing 3 chews a day. There are 90 chews per container, so one container valued at around $25 will last you about a month.

Food: The average Cane Corso eats up to eight cups of food per day, which equals about two pounds of food per day. At that rate, you might be going through 2,920 cups of dog food per year, which calculates to 730 pounds (331 kg) of food a year.

Let’s say you’re giving your Cane Corso Blue Buffalo Wilderness (Large Breed Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food), which comes in a 24-pound (10 kg) bag around $50 each. You’ll need somewhere around 30 bags of food over the course of the year.

Total: About $1,500

Total it all up, and you’re looking at least $2,000 a year to keep your Cane Corso alive and healthy. Extra medical procedures and care will obviously cost you even more money.

Pet insurance is always a wise choice, check out our comparisons between 3 of the top carriers.

Conclusion...

The Cane Corso is a large breed dog known for its highly protective and loyal nature. At the same time, the Cane Corso also builds unbreakable connections with his family with enough nurturing. Here’s what you need to know about the Cane Corso.

  • You’ll be shelling out well over $1,000 a year to feed and care for your Cane Corso.
  • The breed is easy to train but does like to test your boundaries.
  • Your Cane Corso needs a ton of exercise and playtime every day.
  • The breed is great with children and might be okay with large dogs of the opposite sex.


Here's Other Things To Consider Before Making
A Cane Corso A Family Member...



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