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White Cane Corso (Straw Cane Corso): Facts, Pictures & History

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cane Corso frumentino

White Cane Corso (Straw Cane Corso): Facts, Pictures & History

The White Cane Corso is a rare color variation within the Cane Corso breed, not a separate breed. Also known as a Straw Cane Corso, the White Cane Corso is quite striking because the most common color found in this breed is black. Beyond its striking coat color, these dogs exhibit the same qualities that make the Cane Corso so beloved across the globe: its intense loyalty, courage, and protective instincts.

Breed Overview


23.5–28 inches


99–110 pounds


10–12 years


Black, gray, red, fawn, chestnut, brindle

Suitable for:

Experienced dog owners, people with active lifestyles


Intelligent, confident, loyal, highly trainable

While “straw” or “white” may not be an official color for the Cane Corso, these dogs can still make for amazing companions. Read on to learn more about these majestic dogs, from their origins to the breed’s current state.

White 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.


The Earliest Records of the White Cane Corso in History

The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, is a large and ancient dog breed that originated in Italy as far as two thousand years back to the Roman Empire. The breed’s ancestors were likely the Molossus, a type of dog commonly used by the Romans in warfare and hunting, combined with other local Italian breeds.

During the Roman Empire, these dogs were primarily used as war dogs, for personal protection, and as livestock guardians. They were known for their strength, agility, and fearlessness, which made them highly prized in these roles.

How the White Cane Corso Gained Popularity

The Cane Corso’s geographic distribution was initially limited to Italy, but as trade and travel increased over the centuries, the breed also made its way to other parts of Europe. Still, the breed’s rural nature meant it never became very popular outside of those circles.

In fact, the breed was close to extinction by the mid-20th century. Thankfully, a group of dedicated Italian breeders began to revive the breed in the 1970s, working to preserve its unique characteristics and lineage.

A few years after that, the breed was introduced to the United States in the 1980s by Neapolitan Mastiff enthusiast Michael Sottile. He saw one after attending a Sicilian wedding and ended up bringing the first Cane Corso litter to the country. Michael Sottile played a key role in the breed’s development in the US, which also contributed to greater recognition of the breed overall.

Nowadays, the Cane Corso is one of the most Googled dog breeds in the world and one of the top 20 most popular dog breeds, according to the AKC.

Formal Recognition of the White Cane Corso

Cane Corso Frumentino allevato in Lombardia
Cane Corso Frumentino allevato in Lombardia (Image By: Cuccuiu, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Cane Corso as a general breed was recognized by the Italian Kennel Club (Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana) in 1994 and by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1996. The American Kennel Club (AKC) followed suit in 2010.

While the breed itself has achieved official recognition, the White Cane Corso has not. Their coat color is considered a fault in the breed, and they are not eligible to compete in shows.


Top 3 Unique Facts About the White Cane Corso

1. The breed’s name is pronounced KAH-NAY KOR-SO.

It also came from the Latin word “cohors,” which meant protector or guardian.

Cane corso sitting on the ground
Image By: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

2. Romans used them to fight lions.

Aside from being war dogs, Cane Corso dogs were also used for entertainment in Ancient Rome. They were so powerful that they were frequently made to fight lions!

3. White Cane Corso dogs can suffer from health issues.

White Cane Corsos are more prone to deafness and skin issues due to their lack of pigmentation.

divider-dog pawDoes the White Cane Corso Make a Good Pet?

Yes, White Cane Corso dogs can make for exceptional pets. However, they’re a better fit for experienced dog owners. The White Cane Corso is not a lap dog that will be content snuggling and napping all day.

They require consistent training and socialization from an early age due to their strong-willed nature and powerful stature. Aside from training, they also need lots of exercise. This dog will happily go on long hikes and other adventures with you. But without that, it can quickly become a destructive dog.

Grooming requirements for a White Cane Corso are relatively low. Their short, dense coat only needs regular brushing to remove loose hair and maintain its healthy appearance. They don’t shed too much, as well.

In all, owning a Cane Corso is a serious commitment, but if you’re up for it, you’re going to have a fiercely devoted and loving companion for life.


The White Cane Corso may not make it to the show ring, but their hearts and personalities are just as big as those with standard colors.

If you’re thinking of bringing one home, know that the Cane Corso can be a challenging breed to own. They’re large and powerful, with an assertiveness that requires training to shape it into a gentle, obedient, and confident companion.

Other than that, a well-trained Cane Corso is an exceptional dog—protective, loving, and ready to lay down its own life for its family.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Cane Corso frumentino (Molossus angitae, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

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