Close this search box.

Are Cane Corsos Bad Dogs? 10 Reasons NOT To Get a Cane Corso

Written By: Sharon Waddington

Last Updated:

“Are Cane Corsos bad dogs?” is a question many ask when getting a new puppy. They aren’t as common as many other breeds, making them an intriguing choice for some. However, getting a new dog is life-altering, so you must know whether or not a Cane Corso is the right breed for you.

Cane Corsos are not always bad dogs but can be if you don’t know how to handle and train them correctly. They require consistent training and are often aloof with strangers. Additionally, they’re inappropriate for small spaces, difficult to manage, and have aggressive tendencies.

Read this guide to learn about Cane Corsos (also known as Italian Mastiffs) and why you shouldn’t get one, as it discusses the top 10 reasons NOT to get a Cane Corso in greater detail.

Please remember that not all of these reasons will apply to everyone because Cani Corsi are the ideal breed for thousands of owners. So, let’s get started!

Are Cane Corsos Bad Dogs?
Are Cane Corsos Bad Dogs?

10 Reasons Not To Get a Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are not necessarily the “worst” breed, but there are a lot of downsides to owning one. So, are Cane Corsos bad dogs? Let’s take a deeper look at why you should avoid getting this controversial dog breed.

1. Cane Corsos Have Consistent Training Requirements

All Cane Corsos have consistent training requirements. You might think, “Why does that matter? All dogs need to be trained!” That is correct, but Cane Corsos are challenging to manage due to their personalities from birth, so training must be more focused and in-depth than other breeds.

Training a Cane Corso requires months, and possibly years, of dedication, patience, and expertise.

Cane Corso owners often opt for professional training because they find it too challenging to train the dogs themselves. And if you don’t know how to properly train your Corso, this can help you learn what to do and not to do when the trainer isn’t around.

So, if you already have dog training experience or have previously handled difficult breeds, a Cane Corso could be an appropriate choice. However, if you’re a first-time dog owner with no real knowledge of dog training and how to manage a frisky breed, it’s best to avoid buying a Cane Corso.

2. They Have a Predatory Nature

All dogs have some level of predation, but it’s higher in certain breeds, including Cane Corsos. Since Cane Corsos were originally bred as guard dogs and hunters, it’s no surprise that they enjoy chasing different animals while walking or playing.

Their predatory behavior can be challenging, especially when visiting a park or walking. Cane Corsos like to chase and possibly attack all kinds of animals, including:

  • Other dogs
  • Cats
  • Squirrels and other rodents
  • Birds

Due to the strength of an adult Cane Corso, it can be hard to control them when they try to catch prey. Some may escape from the leash and run away, potentially causing harm to other people and animals.

If you have a Cane Corso off the leash and it notices potential prey lurking about, it can run off and be difficult to keep up with due to its speed and strength.

Energetic Cane Corso
Energetic Cane Corso

3. Not Appropriate for Small Spaces

Cane Corsos are approximately 28” (71cm) tall and often weigh more than 100 lbs (45 kg), so it’s no surprise that they need plenty of space in their daily lives to function properly. On top of that, they’re highly energetic, requiring plenty of exercise each day. 

As a result, a small apartment is generally not the best location for a Cane Corso to live.

That’s not to say a Cane Corso can’t live in an apartment, but it certainly won’t have the best quality of life, especially if it doesn’t get out much for exercise and socialization. So you’ll need a backyard, as this is the best place for a Cane Corso. 

A small apartment isn’t ideal in the first few months of a Cane Corso’s life because they are more prone to get bored and destroy things while being trained. With more space to roam around, puppy boredom is less likely.

4. Cane Corsos Have Many Physical Activity Requirements

Since Cane Corsos require a lot of physical activity, you should not get one if you can’t commit enough time to go on walks and other adventures daily. Without enough exercise, these lively dogs will become agitated, bored, and distressed, leading to behavioral issues.

The PDSA recommends giving Cane Corsos around two hours of daily exercise, much more than many other breeds need. Do not choose this breed if you are not prepared to put two hours aside seven days a week. 

Additionally, this physical exercise should include:

  • Short, brisk walks
  • Longer walks
  • Runs in the park off-leash
  • Playtime with games like fetch

If your Cane Corso doesn’t get enough exercise each day, you will soon notice troublesome behaviors. Examples of such behaviors might include:

  • Chewing furniture and personal items
  • Scratching at things
  • Constant barking
  • Crying

But don’t get tensed when they turn messy. Here’s a video you should certainly watch before you kickstart the training approach for your Cane Corso:

5. Training Your Cane Corso Too Late Can Cause Dire Consequences

Cane Corsos grow quite quickly, turning into strong and heavy animals

Failure to train them as puppies means they’ll be extremely difficult to handle in adulthood due to their large size and strength. That’s why you should start training them immediately when they’re still small and lightweight.

Starting early also means your Cane Corso can beat bad habits and tendencies before they have a chance to get out of control. Never assume your dog will learn without you putting any effort in because that is never the case.

“Training a Cane Corso requires more than simply teaching the ‘sit’ command. You can never underestimate or undertrain them.”

World of Dogz

As puppies, Cane Corsos must be taught how to deal with strangers, behave in public, and listen to their owners’ commands. A well-trained puppy will be easier to handle as it grows into a fully-grown adult, so starting early is necessary.

If you’re not prepared to start training your Cane Corso from the moment you take it home, you should not get one. Otherwise, there’ll likely be dire behavioral consequences down the line.

Lack of Early Training Can Negatively Affect Your Life

One of the most negative consequences of failing to train a Cane Corso early is how it can affect your relationships and time with family and friends

For example, a badly trained Cane Corso might be aggressive toward house guests, meaning you must either avoid having people over or keep the dog away from everyone, which isn’t ideal in the long run.

The behavior can quickly get out of control and take over your life, so all owners should be prepared for extensive training.

Training Cane Corso
Training Cane Corso

6. Cane Corsos Can Be Difficult To Control and Manage

Only those who know how to manage a stubborn breed should consider getting a Cane Corso. 

From the beginning, you must show your Cane Corso that you are the ultimate boss, not them. To do this, you must be confident and stern without being afraid to put your foot down when your dog misbehaves. 

This is the only way to properly manage a Cane Corso. If you can’t be stern or if you give in easily to bad behavior, a Cane Corso is not for you.

Constant reminders of who is boss are necessary to keep your dog in check, so there’s a need to always be assertive. Never let the dog walk all over you to get what it wants, as this can quickly get out of hand, leading to inappropriate behavior that’s challenging to fix.

When a Cane Corso senses he has control, he’ll take advantage of that to get what he wants. Some owners fail to control this stubborn breed because they’re not assertive enough and are afraid to be “mean.”

While being mean is certainly not the objective, you might have to be firm to get your message across. Being able to physically control a Cane Corso is also highly important, so if you’re physically weak, you should not get this dog.

7. They Have Aggressive Behavioral Tendencies

Cane Corsos are generally less aggressive than other breeds, like Pitbulls and Rottweilers. However, many instances of Cane Corso attacks have occurred over the years.

As an example, a study by SpringerLink discusses the case of a couple that was slaughtered by this controversial breed. Not only did the dog kill two people, but it killed its owners.

Of course, correct training can help prevent such attacks, but aggressiveness can also be a part of the dog’s DNA.

Another individual, a 16-year-old girl, was brutally mauled by six Cane Corso dogs at the end of 2022. In this instance, the victim was unknown to the dogs, so they likely saw her as a threat and acted on their instincts.

CBS News also reported a Cane Corso attack in 2021 involving a pack of these aggressive dogs.

Once you begin reading the different Cane Corso attack stories and reports, it becomes apparent that they have aggressive tendencies and should be monitored cautiously.

These dogs may also protect their food, causing them to cover it and growl or attack if you get too close. To learn more about this behavior, check out this article on Interpreting Your Dog’s Food-Covering Behavior.

So, if you don’t want to risk owning an aggressive, angry dog, you should avoid buying a Cane Corso.

8. Cane Corsos Aren’t Suitable for Young Families

Cane Corso dogs can get along well with people when trained and socialized from an early age, but it’s still not the best idea for a young family to get one. Although many families with young kids experience little to no issues, it’s generally not worth the risk.

Many fully-grown adults aren’t strong enough to control a Cane Corso when it’s excited or nervous. So, a child definitely won’t have enough strength. 

In an attack, a small child will likely be overpowered.

Also, small children aren’t always aware of how to behave appropriately around a dog. Some might annoy the dog accidentally, causing the Cane Corso to snap back. If you have young children, you should consider whether or not a Cane Corso is worth these risks, even if they’re rare.

An expensive Cane Corso
An expensive Cane Corso

9. They’re Expensive To Buy and Own

Cane Corsos are not the most expensive breeds to buy, but they’re also not cheap. You may have to spend over $1,000 on this breed, which many people can’t afford. 

It’s not just the buying costs you should consider but also medical and training costs.

Training a Cane Corso takes time, dedication, and effort. Sometimes, owners can’t handle it and hire a trainer to help them.

While this is a step in the right direction, dog trainers can be extremely costly, with many costing thousands of dollars for multiple sessions, although this will largely depend on your area and how much training is required.

On top of possible training costs, owners must consider veterinary costs. Cane Corsos can develop health issues, requiring plenty of vet visits and medications. They also need annual checkups and a consistent food supply, so costs increase quickly.

Since these are big dogs, they go through food extremely quickly.

10. Cane Corsos Have Health Issues

It’s no secret that many dog breeds experience health issues, and a Cane Corso is no exception. These frisky dogs are more prone to health problems as they age or if they’ve come from an untrustworthy breeder. Therefore, you must research breeders before buying your dog.

The main health issues in Cane Corsos include hip dysplasia and eye problems.

Final Thoughts

Originating in Italy, Cane Corsos have a long history of being guard dogs, war dogs, and skilled hunters. They often have erratic personalities and are aloof with strangers. Unfortunately, they’re inappropriate for inexperienced dog owners because they’re challenging to control and train. 

You should also avoid getting one if you have small children and don’t have enough daily time for walks and other exercises. Small apartments aren’t ideal for Cane Corsos due to their large size and energetic nature.

On the other hand, despite their large size and powerful appearance, Cane Corsos respond well to positive training methods and can make great family pets. They are energetic and vigilant, making them excellent watchdogs, and their protective instincts make them fierce protectors of their families. Check out their many pros in this article, Cane Corso Pros and Cons.

Photo of author

Sharon Waddington

Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs.