Part of the joy of writing about puppies — aside from spending a day looking at adorable puppy pictures — is learning as much as I can about the specific dog breed I’m focusing on. I know most people are in it for all the squeals and other such exclamations of delight, and that’s more than acceptable. When the wheel of fortune came up with Cane Corso puppies, though, I was intrigued.
Cane Corso: What’s in a name?
How about some facts about Cane Corso puppies to accompany these cute puppy pictures? First of all, how do you pronounce the name of this large dog breed? “Cane Corso” is a name of Italian origin, so the proper way to say “Cane” is “Con-eh,” rather than you would a walking “cane” or candy “cane.” Cane simply means “dog,” and is the source of our words “canid” and “canine.”
What about the “Corso” bit? Unlike the heteronym “Cane,” “Corso” is a true cognate with the English word “courser.” An original function of Cane Corso puppies was service as hunting dogs, particularly coursing dogs. Unlike treeing dogs, who force game into trees, or flushing dogs, who drive game into the open, coursing dogs are sighthounds. This means that Cane Corsos are known for speed and pursuit.
According to sources, Cane Corso puppies derive their name from “cohors,” a Latin term related to a military group or company, also the source of our word “cohort.” Cane Corso puppies trace their genetic roots to the canis pugnax, which was not a specific breed, but a reference to their use as warrior dogs in the ancient world. Some Cane Corso puppies are still trained today as working police dogs.
Cane Corso puppies and the Molosser family
Cane Corso puppies are members of a different kind of cohort. Also called Italian Mastiffs, Cane Corso puppies are typically grouped with a type of dog known as the Molosser. Molosser dogs, like the Cane Corso, are a grouping of large-breed dogs linked by certain common physical features, including big bones to support their lithe but massive bodies.
Even as puppies, you can tell that Cane Corsos will have large heads supported by short, thick necks. Cane Corso puppies are brachycephalic dogs, a term that describes the wider, flatter shape of their skulls. These skulls are adorned with floppy, hanging ears and shortened muzzles.
These distinctive physical features are recognizable among all of the Molosser cohort. You will not be surprised to hear that Cane Corso puppies are in the same family of dogs as the Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Great Dane, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Makes perfect sense, right?
The size, power, and beauty of Cane Corso puppies characterize each of the Molosser dog breeds. While doing the research for this piece, the one thing that did come as a shock was that the Molosser family of dogs has a slightly unusual branch. Like Cane Corso puppies, this branch has a stocky build and a short muzzle. Unlike Cane Corsos; well, let’s just say it’s an interesting family reunion when your cousin is a Pug.
Cane Corso puppies need room to play
Cane Corso puppies are active dogs who like to run and play. They certainly can live indoors, but must get sufficient time outside to keep fit and toned. This puppy has a tough choice to make. The courser in this Cane Corso puppy would seriously love to get out of the house and chase after that tennis ball. The powerful jaws in that compact head are made for clamping down, which would suggest tug-of-war with the shoe. Which would you choose?
Now this is what I’m talking about. Cane Corso puppies were made for sylvan scenes like this. The fallen leaves on the forest floor, like the bandana draped about the neck set off this Cane Corso puppy’s mottled coat. The Cane Corso puppy looks out over the banks of the river flowing nearby. So much to see! So much to explore! Plenty of space for the young Cane Corso to stretch his legs.
Hold them while you can!
Male or female, when Cane Corso puppies reach full size, they can weigh in at 100 pounds or more. They grow into huge, gorgeous dogs. That means if you like holding a dog in your arms, you should cradle Cane Corso puppies while you can because that time flies by.
For such intimidatingly large dogs, the Cane Corso temperament tends to be quiet and even-keeled, especially when they are properly and patiently trained from puppyhood. Cane Corso puppies are loyal, friendly, and even cuddly with their owners and people that they know well. They can also be cautious or protective when meeting strangers as they age.
Like most domestic dog breeds, the Cane Corso has transitioned between roles throughout his long history. Employed in ancient Italy as warriors, they later became hunters and protectors. These days, as their popularity in America continues to rise, Cane Corso puppies are best friends first and foremost.
Share your Cane Corso memories!
Have you ever owned or interacted regularly with Cane Corsos? What are your impressions of this magnificent breed? If you have photos or stories about Cane Corso puppies or dogs, please share them in the comments!
See more about breed puppy pictures on Dogster: