This large, molosser-type breed is indigenous to Italy and is the original Cane Corso breed. It is said that the Cane Corso shares the same distinct ancestry with the Neapolitan Mastiff, that of the historically renowned Roman war dog, Canes Pugnaces. The name is derived from the Latin word “cohors” which means “Protector” or “Guardian.“ Elegant and distinguished in stance, this breed stands at 23 to 27 inches and weighs from 88 to 110 pounds. It has a broad, wide, long and deep muzzle with a very marked stop. Ears are naturally dropped and the tail is short and docked. The neck is very muscular and slightly arched. The coat is short, dense and shiny. In winter, a light layer grows over the short coat but not long enough to overlap the covering hair. Colours come in black, plumb-gray, blue-gray, light fawn, deer fawn and dark fawn. White markings can also be seen on the chest, toes, nose and on the chin.
In terms of temperament, the Cane Corso is very stable and well-mannered with excellent guarding and watch dog skills. They have been bred by Italians as working dogs, used to guard property and cattle as well as hunt. This kind of breeding has developed a dog that has extremely strong protective instincts and an unwavering loyalty to its owner. The Cane Corso is very intelligent and highly trainable but its full obedience training must start at an early age if it is intended to become a house pet. They can be docile and affectionate to their family and will deal well with children in the house.