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The Cane Corso

An insight into the beautiful breed


At Lockdown Kennels UK, we feel it is imperative that all breeding stock and puppies are used and produce in line with a breed standard. We work to the FCI standard, which you can see here.

Corso History

The cane corso’s history goes back to ancient Rome, and beyond. Most experts believe they’re descended from the now-extinct Greek Molossus dogs and later, after being bred with fighting dogs from England, they became the Roman “pugnaces” (a category of dogs used for attacking wild animals). Historically, they fought alongside Roman legions, hunted boar and other prey, and, later, guarded flocks, property, and people on farms.


The corso almost went extinct after World War II but experienced a resurgence in Italy in the 1970s, and was brought to the United States in the 1980s. The breed has become increasingly popular in the United Kingdom in the past 10 years, with only a handful of breeders breeding responsibly and for health, temperament and true conformation.


Their name means “guard of the estate” in Latin, though some corso advocates, believe it means “coursing dog,” referring to the practice of coursing, or pursuing prey using sight (as opposed to scent).

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The Corso Today

Regardless of the etymology of the name , the cane corso (pronounced Kah-nay corso) is a working dog through and through, and one whose instinct is to protect their family.

Corsos are typical mastiffs in every sense: large and impressive, intelligent and affectionate, and intensely loyal to their people.


Standing at approximately 27 inches tall and weighing between 80 and 120 pounds, with a large, square head and deep chest, adult corsos have an imposing stature.


Like many powerful, high-drive, or “tough-looking” dogs, like pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds, corsos have earned a reputation as dangerous, or even aggressive. And, as with all of these dogs, that rep is more than a little unfair if you ask breed experts, and many of the stories of dangerous corsos are actually stories about irresponsible dog owners and poor breeding decisions.

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View Corso Health

Find out more about the breed and how to care for your companion.

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