Tips on How to Train a Cane Corso
Animal file: Cane Corso
The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian mastiff, is one of the most impressive Italian dog breeds. In addition, they're easy to care for when using positive reinforcement.
If you are considering adopting a Cane Corso, or have one already, you have came to the perfect place. Keep reading this AnimalWised article as we give you some tips on how to train a Cane Corso.
Characteristics and temperament
The Cane Corso is an independent dog. They can be quite territorial and are both loyal and protective. They develop very deep bonds with the family who cares for them, especially with children.
This breed is more athletic than other Mastiffs and they love to go outside and exercise. So, they are perfect for active families and owners with some experience in dog training. However, Cane Corso dogs tend to be calm and quiet when at home.
They require long daily walks to keep their muscles in top form and to release accumulated stress. We recommend going for three half hour walks every day. If you can, add some physical exercise with tracking and intelligence games for better all round development.
Their general appearance makes them look quite threatening. However, barking and attacking will only occur if they feel their family is in danger. They are actually very gentle and devoted to the family and children.
It is very important to initiate training of the Cane Corso from three weeks of life until around 12, during the period of socialization. You will have to teach them how to inhibit their bite, socialize with people, animals and environments of all kinds and begin with basic obedience commands: sit, stand still, lie down or come here. These are fundamental for everyone's safety, including your dog.
Remember that properly socialized and educated Cane Corsos can be great companions and will tolerate strangers, both human and canine. However, one who has not received the correct socialization and education can be extremely territorial, distrustful and even aggressive with people and dogs. We do not recommend the adoption of one if you are new to the world of dog owning.
Learn more in our Cane Corso breed sheet.
Training a Cane Corso puppy
It's very important to begin light training with a Cane Corso when they are very young: puppies learn the most between 3 and 12 weeks old. The Cane Corso puppy will also need to learn basic commands, such as "sit", "stay", "down" or "heel". This is extremely important for you and your dog's safety.
From the moment your Cane Corso puppy arrives home you must establish wanted behaviors and habits in order to gradually educate them. You should never spoil your puppy or allow any unwanted behaviors such as jumping on the couch, biting your shoes, and so on. If you live with other people, you should establish what you want to teach your dog so that nobody gives contradictory orders. This would of course confuse them and deem training ineffective.
Always use positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding positive behaviors, while a simple "no" is enough when they do something you do not approve of. Don't shout and never be violent towards your puppy.
It is important to let your puppy go though the socialization process with other animals, people and even the environment itself. This is the basis of their education as it will make your dog a stable, sociable and fearless adult. If your puppy was never taken anywhere beyond the garden for their first four months of life, they will be shy and daily tasks will prove difficult.
Socialize Cane Corso puppies as if they were adults. This will help reduce their shyness and prevent developed aggression towards strangers and fellow animals. When you take your dog out for a walk, take some treats. Each time a new person meets your pup, allow them to give your pet a treat. Your Cane Corso will associate meeting a stranger with receiving treats!
Behavioral problems in adulthood and how to deal with them
As with many other breeds, the Cane Corso is a dog that can develop behavioral issues if not trained adequately as a pup. It is not recommended to adopt such a dog if you are new to owning pups. Some problems that may occur are:
It is important to state that not all barking is bad. It is a great method of alerting owners of danger or a suspicious person lurking around. But a dog that constantly barks for no apparent reason, must be tamed somehow.
- When you arrive home, never immediately attend to them. Let them know you are not rewarding them for barking. After they have calmed down, then you can go to them.
- If your Cane Corso barks when the phone rings, teach them to ignore it. Have someone call you repeatedly and do not answer them. This will allow your dog to get bored of the sound.
- You can reward them once they stop barking with a treat. If you say "quiet" and they stop barking, give them a treat. They will of course associate their good behavior with receiving one.
Jumping up on people
When your Cane Corso is a puppy, having them excitedly jump up on you to show their joy towards you can be adorable. However, if this behavior is not dealt with from a young age, once your pup becomes a dog, it isn't so cute.
- The key is to not show excitement to see them. You can be delighted to see your dog but remain calm when greeting them.
- Avoid eye contact and turn your body from them so they slide down and cannot grip onto you as they jump up.
- Once they settle down, praise them and give them a treat if you like.
Dog food aggression
If you give your Cane Corso their dinner, they may turn on you and start growling as they defend their food bowl. This is called dog food aggression. This doesn't mean they have suddenly turned against you, but they are just over protective for their belongings.
- It is important to show them who has the authority. One technique you could use is to place down their empty food bowl. Then you are in charge and can decide when to fill the bowl. Little by little works well.
- You could also walk by their food bowl every so often and place a treat. Then your dog will welcome you to their mealtimes.
It is only natural for puppies to bite, especially when they are teething. However, if your adult Cane Corso still has an issue with biting people, you must interfere.
- If your pet begins biting as you play with them, quickly and sternly tell them “no” and replace yourself with a chew toy.
- You could also tell them off and walk away from them, depending on the environment. If they were having fun with you and suddenly you are not there to play with them, they will realize their behavior was unacceptable. This punishment will sadden them and they won't want to repeat it.
We hope this article was useful when training your Cane Corso. We also encourage you to watch our AnimalWised video below where we talk more about the breed and how to care for them.
If you want to read similar articles to Tips on How to Train a Cane Corso, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.