Cane Corso: Personalities and Behaviors
Today we'll chat about what you can expect when it comes to Cane Corso personalities and common behaviors. The ICCF has a great write up that you can find here that is pretty much spot on but we wanted to share our experiences with Corsos to put a human spin on what can seem like a scholarly document. Of course, each dog is different, each puppy has been raised in unique circumstances; however, most Corsos are known for the following personality and behavioral traits. We'll touch on personalities and behaviors a lot as there are always new things to address and learn but this is a great place to start if you're new to the breed.
Corsos are affectionate, loving, loyal, funny, powerful, and brave dogs. If they could have it their way, they'd spend 100% of the time they are awake (and asleep) by your side. Not in a clingy, annoying way but, rather, a, "I'm here for you if you need me and I love you," kind of way. Their loyalty is one of their most endearing qualities and their quiet presence is comforting. Oftentimes, I'll get up to leave the room and one of our dogs will crack his eyes open to see if everything is okay. "I'll be right back," I'll say to him and he'll close his eyes and go back to sleep.
Extremely intelligent - intuitive, even - Corsos are able to discern when things are okay and when they're not. They develop a deep understanding of their environment and will alert you to when something isn't right. They are also quick to learn and will discover new ways to utilize the knowledge they've acquired. For example, we have a bell hanging from the doorknob of our back door and we teach our dogs from the time they are puppies to ring it for potty time. We do this by touching the bell and ringing it every time we let them out so, as our dogs grow up, anytime they have to go to the bathroom, they walk to the door, ring the bell and turn to look at us. That bell ringing behavior has turned into not just "I have to use the potty" but "I'm thirsty," "I'm hungry," "You're eating something that looks delicious and I want some of it."
These dogs also have brilliant deductive reasoning. When Cassius was a tween, I was in the front yard and he was in the backyard. He stood at the gate wagging his nub and whining, "Can I come out there with you?" "No, Cassius," I told him. Next thing you know, he's trotting across the yard toward me. Wait. What just happened? I walked over, checked the fence, checked the gate, nothing has moved. WTF? I put him back in the back yard and continued doing my yard work when out of the corner of my eye I see movement. I turn around to see Cassius scaling the fence like a spider monkey. "Cassius!" I call his name and he pauses, balancing tenuously at the top of the fence. Pleased with himself that I am witnessing his greatness, he wags his nub, continues his climb, leaps to the ground and trots over to me and lays down. "I'm here, human. I figured out how to get to you and I love you." Corsos love their people and will find a way to be with them. We've experienced this same fence scaling activity with more than one of our Corsos. So much so, that we had to put eight foot stockade privacy fence around our yard. Guess what happened then? Someone learned how to climb the gate. Not kidding. Alas, where there's a will, there's a way.
With that said, because Corsos are so smart and love their humans so much, it's important to understand that in their devotion, they can also become overly protective of their homes and families. That's why socialization and proper training is a critically important part of Corso ownership. If not well socialized as a puppy, a Corso can become a snarling, barking, could-go-through-the-window-at-a-person, climb-over-a-gate-or-fence, type of dog which can be dangerous. Caveat: if your goal is a 100% protection dog because you travel a lot for business and you want to ensure your family is protected while you're gone, then a (well trained) but not so socialized Corso would be fine. But if you have kids with friends that come over or, if you want friends and family to come over for holidays and parties, socializing your puppy from the very beginning - meaning, taking him with you places, introducing him to people and other dogs, cars, different situations and scenarios - is vital. It's important to remember that, like any dog that is frightened or anxious, the potential for a dangerous situation is there. Being mindful that it is in his DNA to protect his home and family, making sure your Corso is a good citizen by participating in trainings and socialization activities as soon as you welcome him into your home, is the best way to go.
Hope this was helpful. Be sure to check back for more posts about the amazing Cane Corso and share this post with friends or people new to the breed. We welcome your comments and feedback and want to hear from you if there is a subject you want us to talk about.