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Cane Corso and Young Adulthood

I have an almost 7-month-old male, neutered Cane Corso/ bullmastiff/ bully pit mix.I’vee had Zeek since 9.5 weeks old. He has the best temperament, has yet to show a single sign of aggression. He’s been working on socialization since the day i got him. He’s a mixed breed but the corso is the dominant gene. I had always planned on getting another puppy because I love dogs and figure another dog would keep Zeek company and give him someone to play with.

My concern comes from reading some of your articles about Cane Corsos going through a phase around 18 months. Would getting another puppy while Zeek’s 7 months and still growing prevent him from having issues with the other puppy if he does go through this phase? Should we wait until this phase passes and get another puppy when he’s a few years old? Scrap the idea altogether and just have a single dog household?

I would be looking at another mastiff type dog whether its a Boerboel, English or even another mix.


Mike – Woonsocket

Hi Mike,

I just have a couple of comments/suggestions. The first is that, before you add a second dog to “keep Zeek company and give him someone to play with” read this article I wrote “Second Dog – Good Idea or Not“. Second, I don’t think a Cane Corso goes through much of a “phase” at 18 months of age if it has been appropriately bred, socialized, supervised, and trained. Cane Corso owners in increasing numbers are neglecting to ensure that these aspects are part of the Cane Corso they buy and raise and some learn why they’re so important when their dog hits about 18 months of age.

18 months of age is just when most breeds start to enter adulthood. They come into their genetics a bit more in some cases and a lot more in others and if the aforementioned areas are wanting they can become a handful for a lot of people and an impossible handful for others. I get most calls about the Molosser breeds like the Cane Corso when they hit this age but it’s the same for all the breeds I see. It’s just with a Cane Corso, they are physically powerful, very large dogs capable of doing a lot more damage than the average breed. Without the sort of attention to detail, I’ve mentioned another breed like a Golden Retriever may not turn out to be aggressively unfriendly but just may be aggressively overly friendly even when asked to suck it up by their owners. Either way, the problem is that the dog owner is then faced with changing the behavior in an adult as opposed to a youngster. Harder.

If you want to get another dog I generally recommend the opposite gender and opposite temperament. By temperament, I mean as it pertains to other dogs. If Zeek is a natural follower around other dogs then get him a companion that is more inclined to lead but not so much that he’s going to be bullied day in day out by some megalomaniac of a dog. Vice versa applies. Problems have been known to arise when the dogs are evenly matched in “dog to dog” attitude whether high or low on the spectrum.

The conflict between dogs occurs in a lot of households as well over perceived resources when the dogs’ owner(s) are not crystal clear from the get-go and with built-in daily reminders throughout life, as to who is living in whose home, so there’s that too. You can get away with things in a single dog home that you can’t in a multiple dog home. Hierarchy, exercise, training etc. become much more important for many reasons but certainly for keeping the peace between the dogs as well.


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6 thoughts on “Cane Corso and Young Adulthood”

  1. He’s not a corso ! So please don’t give this breed a bad name. If u neve had the chance to own one of the most awesomeness dogs in the world. Am sorry for u.

  2. We just lost our English mastiff due to health problems. My husband has coworker who has male & female cane corso’s neither has been fixed. He cannot care for them any longer due to job change. He has someone who will take the male and we offered to foster the female, she is 18 months.
    I’m just a little worried about such a big change. She will definitely get a lot of love but sounds like the male was very dominating about everything. Our mastiff was inside dog and she is mostly outside but likes being inside is what we were told. Any advice we are supposed to get her in a day or two.

    1. Hi Malon,

      I really don’t know where to start and as it’s Christmas Eve I’m a little short of time. I don’t know how much baggage this dog will be bringing to your door and unless you have some experience with assessing dogs you won’t know what questions to ask or what to look for or the sort of safety protocols that anyone fostering a dog, let alone a Cane Corso should embrace as they flesh out the dog’s strengths and weaknesses over the days, weeks and months to come. All things considered, I’d recommend doing a search on my site ( for Cane Corso and read everything that pops up. (Click Here For A Shortcut)

      Perhaps the best advice I can give is to do not use your English Mastiff experience as your guide. Most English Mastiffs have a very diluted idea of what their ancestors did for a living. Not the case with most Cane Corsos and combine that with the “I know the difference between a male and a female Cane Corso and therefore I’m a breeder’ practices the breed is being subjected to since its relatively new popularity, little to no understanding of how their critical socialization period, pup vs adolescences vs adult periods, day to day environment and training approach impact their behavior I have no idea what you can expect or how you should proceed.

      The best I have to offer is to play it safe and assume the worst and hope for the best. Also, as she’s intact, take note that if she’s going into, is in, or is coming out of heat what you see one day may be different outside the heat period.


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense

  3. Rehoming a six-year-old cane Corso intact female playful with a four-year-old male neutered very mellow , wanting to know the right way to introduce the two dogs together. I want to take it slow. Would you recommend letting them smell each other through a bandanna first your thoughts? Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      While I don’t think it will do any harm, I don’t think it will do much if any good. There are a lot of “okay at first glance, but silly when you think about it” recommendations in the dog world. When I attended a prenatal class prior to the birth of my first son, the nurse instructor was asked about introducing a newborn human infant to the family dog. One of the recommendations was to around the dog in question to carry a baby doll around during the pregnancy. Apparently that was and is pretty common advice. I wondered if they had considered the odds that strategy would have any meaningful impact versus the reality that a baby doll is typically made of the same material as a dog toy, and might trigger the wrong sort of interest. Probably neither, dogs aren’t that dumb. Similar to the bandandas-scent strategy, we were also told to in advance bring home baby’s blanket for the dog to sniff, again to help prepare the dog for the baby, and again silly when you think about it. I asked if the expectant first time mothers in the room that had viewed their prenatal ultrasound snapshot had found that by viewing that image, they were now more prepared for labor or motherhood. If not, they had better look for better guidance. I started writing my first book as a result. (Prepare Your Dog for Your Baby – The Right Way! with John Wade)

      Here’s a free article I put together for people faced with introducing two dogs where the intent is for an ongoing relationship. It may be overkill for what you need, as it’s written from the perspective of the dogs in question having a history of not liking unfamiliar dogs. The first rule of introduction for any dogs, but especially, breeds like the Cane Corso, is to make the introduction at a location (territory) that is completely unfamiliar territory. Here’s a link to the article: Introducing Unfamiliar Dogs To Each Other – John Wade.

      – John “Ask The Dog Guy” Wade – Embracing Science and Common Sense

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