"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

My Cane Corso is Different – He Loves Everyone

– Posted in: Breed, Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff), Columns, Mastiff, Molosser, Newsletters

Hi John,

I have a 14month male corso. He’s amazing and when I read all the above stories () I just can’t believe it! I feel very lucky. He’s truly a gentle giant. Well he’s 110lbs so agile. Great with all other breeds and loves everyone. We are thinking of another corso a female this time as folks are saying not to have two males.

Hi Carm,

This is not that abnormal for a Cane Corso of only 14 months. For what it’s worth, you may or may not see a subtle shift where he starts to behave more in keeping with his genetics, once he enters adulthood (18 months to 3 years of age.) This is why it is so important to get a foundation in early and also why so many Cane Corso (particularly males) get euthanized once adults. Many behave like they’re Labrador Retrievers when they’re young and people let their guards down and end up not putting the foundation work in that is necessary for a guarding breed of this size. Don’t let him fool you. A few months down the road, he may remember what his grandparents did for a living and you’ll be glad you put the training and level of life-time supervision, that the breed warrants.

Regards,

John Wade

4 Comments… add one
Nancy Hosford

I had 2 cane corsos that were also gentle giants ALL their life. I walked both of them off leash with several other dogs that belonged to friends. My male who was 140 lbs died at 6 from bone cancer and my female lived 11 years. They were great dogs and I miss them dearly.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I’m happy that you had such a great experience (although sad such a premature demise with the male). However drawing conclusions on the basis of personal experience is known as anecdotal fallacy. That the nature of a guarding breed like the Cane Corso is that of gentle giants, based on two dogs might or may not be entirely accurate. I think they should be, if well bred, properly socialized, trained and maintained gentle giants towards their owners/handlers. Towards perceived threats – not so much.

John

Emily

I do agree that a corso can be amazing if properly managed, and difficult if not. But the behaviour shift at adulthood is not so marked in my experience. My own corso did become more watchful around 18-24 months, but she is still almost lab-like to anyone we bring in the house. I work in a vet clinic, and many of the poorly bred and managed corsi are already ‘sketchy’ by 6 months. In those cases as they get older the fearfulness often develops into fear aggression.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Emily,

I agree that to those with an experienced dog eye the behaviour shift isn’t so marked. They usually see it coming long before. What I’ve found is that the shift has accumulated enough momentum by 18 months of age for less experienced people to realize something is amiss.

I’m not entirely sure that when we see sketchy Corsi at 6 months it’s always due to bad breeding. Sometimes it’s horrible socialization during critical socialization period, sometimes it’s a particularly high drive household in a low drive house hold.

John

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