Cane Corsos have to be some of the fiercest-looking dogs around! But these big lugs are not fighting dogs; they were bred to be watch dogs. The breed’s name derives from the Latin word “cohors” which means “guardian” or “protector.” They are a type of Mastiff and they trace their history back to ancient Rome. In fact an alternative name for the breed is Italian Mastiff.
They are not super common in New York City. There are currently 854 Cane Corsos registered with the city according to the NYC Department of Licensing.
And before we go any further, “cane” is pronounced “CAH-nay.”
Do Cane Corsos Make Good City Dogs?
Based on some anecdotal evidence, we here at Urban Dog think Cane Corsos could make a good apartment dogs. A neighbor of ours had a large female in her New York City apartment and had no problems. Urban Dog reader and Cane Corso owner Rosario Castro says her dog lived happily for more than a decade in her three bedroom apartment.
The MastiffMotif website says they can make good apartment dogs provided you are able to devote the proper amount of time to keep them exercised and occupied. You should not leave these dogs alone to their own devices. MastiffMotif also says they can suffer separation anxiety, so taking care to mitigate that is important.
The PetNetID website gives the breed a three out of fives stars when it comes to apartment living.
Dog expert Michele Welton says adult Cane Corsos are quiet and calm indoors.
There are some who think otherwise! VetStreet gives Cane Corsos two out of five stars for apartment living. And DogTime is even less sure Cane Corsos make good apartment dogs, giving them only one star.
So there you have it! A thoroughly muddled outlook on whether they make good apartment dogs. But we’re going to offer up our constant refrain: pretty much any dog can live in an apartment given proper care and attention. It just appears that Cane Corsos require a greater degree of commitment from their owners.
Do Cane Corsos Bark a Lot?
Cane Corsos are not problem barkers. VetStreet ranks them on the lower end of their dog barking scale, giving them two out of five stars. And DogTime goes VetStreet one further, giving them only one out of five stars for barking propensity.
Are Cane Corsos Easily Trained?
It is important to train your city dog. You don’t want your pooch to misbehave in your building’s common areas. And it’s super important for a big, imposing dog like a Cane Corso to behave well in public.
I found a number of sources that say Cane Corsos are more easily trained than other Mastiffs. Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior, ranks Bullmastiffs and Mastiffs toward the lower end of the intelligence scale. Those two dogs obey first commands about 25% to 30% of the time. That means it can take up to 100 repetitions for them to learn new commands. If what I’ve read about the Cane Corsos is true, and they are smarter than other Mastiffs, then it might be reasonable to assume it should take fewer repetitions to teach them new commands.
How are Cane Corsos with Strangers, Children, and other Animals?
All our research indicates that Cane Corsos need to learn how to respond properly to other humans and animals. They are very owner-focused, so they tend to be aloof with strangers. VetStreet give them a one out of five stars when it comes to strangers. Despite their large size and intimidating appearance, they are actually quite good with children.
Regarding other canines? Michele Welton says Cane Corsos “should be thoroughly socialized with other dogs from an early age.” She adds that she “wouldn’t keep a Cane Corso with another large dog of the same sex.”
All I know is that I met a Cane Corso at a “Meet the Breed” event and she was all over me! Licking me and trying to lie in my lap!
Do Cane Corsos Require a lot of Exercise?
Most of the research I’ve done indicates that these dogs require a fair amount of exercise. You should keep that in mind when you consider getting one.
Taking Care of Your Cane Corso
They require little maintenance since they shed very little. A brush and a bath every now and then should suffice. The rest is typical dog care: brush teeth, clean ears, and trim toenails.
Cane Corsos are known to suffer sometimes from hip dysplasia, certain eye problems like entropion or ectropion, mange, and they are prone to bloat.
They also drool, not as much as other Mastiffs, but a noticeable amount. And some sources say they fart a lot!
The Bottom Line
Cane Corsos get a slightly hesitant thumbs up from Urban Dog as apartment dogs. They are big dogs, that some people find intimidating. They require a fair amount of attention. If you can manage that then you might consider one as your pet.
For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide. Big dogs pose a particular challenge, but don’t worry, you can find places that accept large breed dogs.
Here’s a link to the AKC Cane Corso page.