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How to Train a Cane Corso: 6 Expert Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

cane corso playing

How to Train a Cane Corso: 6 Expert Tips

Cane Corso puppies are the sweetest things ever. Those droopy eyes, paws too big for their bodies, and floppy ears—what’s not to love?

However, that tiny pup will quickly grow up to be a large, powerful dog with a bite force stronger than a lion’s.1 Add their dominant nature and protective instincts, and you’ve got a dog that requires serious training to blossom into an amazing companion.

The good news is that Cani Corsi (plural) are extremely smart and trainable. They’ve been bred to work alongside humans, and wanting to please their owners is in their DNA.

So now, it’s up to you! In this article, we’ll walk you through the basic steps of training your new buddy, starting with how to prepare for it.


Get Ready for Training

Training your Cane Corso begins before you bring them home. You’ll want to set them up for success, and that includes:

  • Preparing Their Stuff: Welcome your pup home with their very own bed, crate, toys, treats, food, grooming tools, and bowls. Don’t forget the leash, collar, and poop bags!
  • Designating a Potty Spot: Choose a quiet spot in the yard away from foot traffic.
  • Setting Ground Rules: Everyone in your home needs to be on the same page when it comes to training your Cane Corso. Who’s responsible for what? Is the pup allowed on the furniture? These are the types of questions you need to address before bringing your pup home.
  • Puppy-Proofing Your House: Your puppy is going to be a tiny shark for the first few months. Hide cords, cover outlets, and make sure anything fragile or dangerous is out of reach. Consider putting up baby gates to manage your pup’s access to certain areas of your home.

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The 6 Expert Tips For Training a Cane Corso

Once the basics are done, it’s time for the fun part. Get your training sessions off to a great start using these tips:

1. Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Woman sitting next to dog and holding pet treat in hand in outdoors, side view
Image By: IRINA ORLOVA, Shutterstock

Reinforce good behaviors by rewarding your puppy when they do something right. You can use treats, praise, pets, or toys—whatever gets him excited the most!

Make sure to reward them the moment they successfully complete a task. This way, they associate the act with the reward, so they’re more likely to do it again.

Use negative reinforcement sparingly (if at all). Punishment will only make your dog less likely to cooperate in future training sessions.

2. Crate Train Your Cane Corso From Day One

Some dog owners feel guilty about crating their dogs, but don’t be. Provided you teach them that the crate = awesome things, it actually offers lifelong benefits to both of you.

For instance, it gives them a safe place to retreat when they feel scared or anxious. Dogs are den animals by nature, so they feel most secure in small, dark spaces—like the inside of a crate.

The crate also makes it easy to contain your dog as needed, such as when you’re not home, when guests are over, or when you need to take them somewhere. It can even speed up the potty-training process because dogs don’t like eliminating where they sleep!

To start crate training, put your puppy inside with some toys and treats. Leave the door open while they get used to their new surroundings. After a few days, try closing the door for a few minutes and then opening it again. Repeat this process until your puppy is comfortable staying in the crate for longer periods of time.

3. Be Consistent with Potty Training

Cute cane corso puppy dog outdoor sitting on the green lawn
Image By: Julia Blazhuk, Shutterstock

Potty training your Cane Corso is easier than you probably think. The most important ingredient? Consistency.

Keeping your puppy on a strict schedule will help you predict when they need to go out and prevent accidents. You also need to be consistent with their potty area, so they don’t get confused about the “correct” place to go.

Finally, factor in your puppy’s age during training. As a general rule, puppies can only hold their bladder for about one hour per month of age. So, if your pup is four months old, they can hold it for four hours before needing to relieve themselves.

As for how to potty train your Cane Corso, follow these steps:

  • Take your puppy every two hours, regardless if they need to go or not.
  • Take them out after eating, drinking, napping, and playing.
  • Reward your puppy when they go potty outside. Make a big deal out of it!
  • In case of accidents in the house, ignore your puppy and just clean it up ASAP. Use enzyme cleaners to remove the smell completely; puppies will go back to the same spot if it smells even faintly like urine or poop.
  • Never punish your pup for accidents! This will only make them afraid of you, or even make them want to hide when they need to go potty.

Repeat the process every day—your dog will be housebroken before you know it!

4. Take Obedience Training Seriously

Obedience training is more than just teaching your dog some cool tricks. It’s a communication tool, a way to build a stronger bond with your dog, and lays the foundation for a lifetime of good behavior.

Start with the basics: sit, come, stay, down, and leave it. These are the building blocks of more advanced commands, such as place, recall, and heel.

As for the training sessions, keep them short and fun! Spread several 5–10-minute sessions throughout the day, and try to practice every day. Consider attending a puppy class to get a feel for what obedience training looks like—or better yet, work with a professional trainer for guidance.

5. Socialize Your Cane Corso Early & Often

cane corso puppy sitting between ownerš legs outdoors
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Socialization will help build your Cane Corso’s confidence and help them become a well-adjusted dog.

By “socialization,” we don’t mean letting your pup loose at the nearest dog park. Socializing your dog means exposing them to as many different people, animals, and situations as you can. This includes making sure that each and every interaction is a positive one.

Get started using these tips:

  • Have your puppy walk on various surfaces, such as concrete, tiles, grass, dirt, and sand. This will help them get used to different textures on their paws.
  • Bring your puppy to busy places, like malls, parks, and beaches.
  • Introduce your pup to people of different ages, sizes, genders, and more.
  • Arrange playdates with other dogs.
  • Take them for car rides.
  • Expose them to various noises, such as loud machines (e.g., the vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, etc.), honking cars, barking dogs, children playing, and more.
  • Schedule regular trips to the vet—not just when they’re sick or need shots—to familiarize them with the experience.

A well-socialized Cane Corso will be easier to train, more comfortable around other people and animals, less likely to bite or become aggressive, and overall, a better companion.

6. Build Physical & Mental Exercise Into Their Routine

Cane Corsos are active and energetic dogs. They need a way to burn off that energy, or you will have a destructive and frustrated dog on your hands. And that kind of dog won’t be very receptive to training.

Schedule at least one long walk a day, and play with your dog often. Exercise their brain with puzzles, stuffed Kongs, and other interactive toys that will challenge them to figure things out. If you’re not home much during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to give your dog some exercise and social time.



Training your Cane Corso will take time, patience, and consistency. But as long as you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll eventually end up with a loyal, obedient, and loving dog who will bring so much joy into your life. Have fun and enjoy!

Featured Image Credit: Miroshnikova Arina, Shutterstock

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