by Ken Alden
Wondering how to discipline a Cane Corso? The prospect can be daunting considering their size and aggressiveness, but with a little time and patience it can be done!
Cane Corsos have experienced a big resurgence since their repopulation back in the 70's and for good reason. When given proper training, these dogs will pay you back with tons of affection, loyalty, and protection. However, this breed is not suited for new dog owners as their discipline requirements are very specific.
To discipline a Cane Corso puppy or adult, you must be well versed in various training methods. Like most dogs, Canes thrive on positive reinforcement and socialization. However, collar training and alpha training are required to help your dog develop a healthy sense of order in your household, and for you to maintain control.
Read on to learn the disciplinary needs of Cane Corsos and what training you can use to meet them. 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 Amazon.com now.
The best way to understand the Cane Corso is to study the history of the breed. Cane Corsos are Italian Mastiffs that descend from Greek guardian dogs known as molossers. When the Roman Empire captured the Greek islands, they began crossbreeding molossers with their own breeds, creating dogs that would fight on their frontlines.
However, as the Roman Empire dissolved and time transpired, these Corsi took on more daily tasks, like wild boar hunting, farming, livestock herding, and guarding farms.
As a trainer, what makes the Cane Corso so special also presents your biggest obstacles. At best, this dog is intelligent, loving, and eager to please. However, if left unchecked, Cane Corsos can become unruly, hard to manage, and protective to a fault. Being a large and powerful breed, an uncontrollable Cane Corso is dangerous.
To sum it up, when it comes down to how to discipline a Cane Corso they need a positive learning environment with a lot of structure.
Encouraging your Cane Corso’s good habits will develop their manners as they grow from rambunctious puppies into mature adults.
Consider these methods as you begin training:
Clicker training provides a clear line of communication, so your dog understands exactly what they are doing right. When your dog performs your desired behavior, mark it with a specific audio cue (i.e., a mechanical clicker, a whistle, a snap). Then reward the behavior with a treat, toy, or their favorite activity. It is important to teach your dog what the clicker means before training. This is known as “loading the clicker.”
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!
This training can teach your dog new behaviors by using a treat as a lure. Use a specific hand movement, with treat visibly in hand, to coax your dog through the action. Once completed, you can reward your dog with the treat. It’s important to phase out the treat as training progresses. Otherwise, your dog will become dependent on the treat for instruction which is a no-no when it comes down to disciplining your dog.
You can shape behavior by prolonging rewards. For example, when teaching your dog to roll over, first, you would use reward training to teach them how to lie down. Later, you would not reward the dog after they lie down, but wait until they roll over. This can be a great way to teach prolonged duration of simple commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’
Before you begin training, there are some guidelines you should follow:
Socialization helps dogs acclimate to unfamiliar places, people, dogs, animals, sights, sounds, smells, textures, and the world at large.
Being a guard dog, Cane Corsos need to be socialized, so they do not interpret everything as a threat. It’s almost like behavioral therapy, but for dogs. Your Cane Corso’s guarding instincts will alert them when presented with unfamiliar situations. Socializing will help your Cane Corso navigate these instincts and understand when it is appropriate to act on them.
So make an effort to expose your Cane Corso to new experiences. As long as you take your time and use discretion, you will find that socialization can make a great teacher. Soon your Cane will be as well mannered as Bruce Wayne!
We give many more helpful tips on the best ways to socialize your Mastiff in our article dedicated to just that!
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 Amazon.com now.
Training with an e-collar or prong collar has gotten a bad rap in the past, and unrightfully so. In fact, these collars offer a humane way of correcting larger breeds that could become otherwise unmanageable. I’ll walk you through how both work.
E-Collars, or electric training collars, use radio transmitters to send subtle, unpleasant stimuli in order to correct bad behavior or encourage good behavior. Usually, the stimulus is a static shock equivalent to when you touch a carpet or magnetic surface. Most e-collars provide adjustable shock levels, so be sure to start with the lowest levels before adjusting to your dog’s size and needs.
We recommend DOG CARE’s Dogcare Electronic Dog Training Collar, which can be purchased on Amazon. If you are not comfortable with shocks, it offers other corrective stimuli, such as beeps and vibrations.
Read our reviews of the best training collars to not only see what they're about but to see which one is right for you and your pooch.
Prong collars, while intimidating at first glance, actually replicate a mother’s bite to correct your dog. Besides providing a very familiar and natural means of communication, prong collars are designed to prevent damage to the spine and trachea. Plus, you can add and subtract prongs as your Cane Corso grows up.
This is especially important in adolescence when this breed fluctuates in size quite frequently.
When perusing prong collars, consider the Herm
SPRENGER Ultra-Plus Prong Dog Training Collar. This collar is finely crafted in Germany and will not fall
down your dog’s neck if they pull.
Cane Corsos thrive when they have a sense of purpose and place. So it’s important that owners take charge while training.
That being said, there is definitely a right and wrong way to pursue alpha training. Earlier methods, based on dominating and repressing the dog, have actually been proven to cause behavioral outbursts.
In some ways, alpha training trains the owner more than the dog. You must continually work on your leadership skills, with your dog, and in all other facets of life.
Think of the qualities that make a good boss. Most likely, you will picture someone who is calm, confident, firm but fair, decisive, assertive, and admirable, among other things.
Remember, Cane Corsos want to be led. So use alpha training as a way of earning their trust and respect. They will be more than willing to follow you.
This page of ours offers Mastiff training tips which will help you become the alpha dog your Cane will respect.
In short, the best way to discipline a Cane Corso puppy or adult is by leading them with confidence and positivity. Encouraging good behavior with a clicker, treats, and praise will inspire your Cane Corso to pick up good habits. Socializing this breed will prepare them for unfamiliar situations. Collar training can correct bad behavior in a humane way.
Most importantly, you must establish yourself as a leader that your Cane Corso wants to follow.
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.