Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Formentino Cane Corso: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

fawn cane corso formentino dog on the beach

Formentino Cane Corso: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

The formentino Cane Corso is a color pattern of the Cane Corso breed. They grow to be between 22.8 and 26 inches in height, weigh 88 to 120 pounds at full growth, and have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. As you can see below, these dogs come in various colors, but we’ll concentrate on the formentino for this guide.

If you’re looking for a calm, loyal, protective pet that works for active families, it might be the dog for you. Join us as we discuss the formentino Cane Corso.

Breed Overview


22.8–26 inches


88–120 pounds


10–12 years


Light gray, dark gar, black, fawn, red, black brindle, chestnut brindle, gray brindle

Suitable for:

Active families, owners with a large yard


Calm, loyal, protective

While this color is commonly referred to as a formentino Cane Corso, it’s misleading. In Italian, “formentino” means “fermented wheat.” The color is simply a faded shade of fawn, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming known as the formentino Cane Corso. They are gorgeous creatures and are loyal, calm, and very protective of their pet parents.

Formentino Cane Corso Breed Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

Dogster divider_v1_NEW_MAY_24_

The Earliest Records of Formentino Cane Corso in History

The Cane Corso traces its history back centuries. The breed was refined during the peak of the Roman Empire, but its ancestry goes much further back. The Cane Corso descends from the Mollosus Dog, which was a giant dog in the city-state of Epirus in ancient Greece. Apparently, Roman soldiers brought the Mollosus back with them after returning from war.

The Romans used the Cane Corso as war dogs; they were fearless soldiers and were often sent charging into the enemy’s front line with buckets of flaming oil strapped to their backs.

How Formentino Cane Corso Gained Popularity

The Roman Empire eventually fell, and in 476 A.D., there was no Roman military to serve in, so the Cane Corso had to find a new role. Luckily, the Cane Corso was perfectly suited to a variety of jobs. They worked as farmhands, guard dogs, and hunters.

The Cane Corso became a normal fixture, being just as common on Italian farms as sheep cattle for a brief period. The innovations of the late 19th and 20th centuries changed the world, and farming was no exception. With the new technology, the Cane Corso wasn’t needed anymore and found itself on the brink of extinction.

Then came the World Wars. The Cane Corso once again found themselves soldiers, which only decreased their numbers to the point where they were nearly extinct.

Formal Recognition of Formentino Cane Corso

Fortunately, the Cane Corso was not driven to extinction, and some were discovered in small Italian villages. Breeders managed to return the breed to a sustainable population by the 1970s, and in 1983, the Society Amorati Cane Corso (Society of Cane Corso Lovers) was formed. The breed was popularized across Europe in dog shows and, in 1988, was brought to the U.S.

The Cane Corso was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International Canine Federation) in 1996 and was followed by the American Kennel Club in 2010.

fawn cane corso dog
Image Credit: Natalia Fesiun, Shutterstock

Dogster divider_v2_NEW_MAY_24_

Top 3 Unique Facts About Formentino Cane Corso

1. Cane Corso Means “Bodyguard Dog”

The name Cane Corso is Latin and, translated to English, means “bodyguard dog.”

2. Formentino Cane Corso Are Rare

The gene that gives a Cane Corso a formentino coat is dilute and recessive. This means that both of a Cane Corso’s parents must have the gene for the Cane Corso to have a chance of having a formentino coat.

3. The Cane Corso Is Born With Blue Eyes

All Cane Corsos have blue eyes as puppies. These sea-colored eyes eventually morph into shades of brown and gold.

Dogster divider_v1_NEW_MAY_24_

Does the Formentino Cane Corso Make a Good Pet?

Whether or not the formentino Cane Corso makes a good pet depends entirely on your situation and what you want. If you live in an apartment building, the Cane Corso probably isn’t for you, and homes with multiple pets are also unsuitable for the Cane Corso.

The Cane Corso, at its core, is a guard dog, so if you are looking for a guard dog, you will struggle to find a better option. It is very loving and affectionate towards its owners but doesn’t like strangers. The most important thing to remember is that all Cane Corsos will need early hands-on training and socialization to deal with strangers and other animals. However, if you give the dog the training it needs, you’ll have a loyal, loving companion for life.

Dogster divider_v2_NEW_MAY_24_


The formentino Cane Corso is a color variation of the Cane Corso dog breed and is a smart, loyal, loving pet for an active family. While the breed almost became extinct, they powered through diversity and are now popular pets.

The Cane Corso needs early training and socialization to be good with strangers, kids, and animals. It isn’t the best pet for a beginning pet owner, and it requires a confident trainer that can handle the mighty pup. However, if you are looking for a loyal guard dog, it might be the right pet for you and your family.

Featured Image Credit: Skox, Shutterstock

PangoVet Image Speak With A Vet Online

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.