The Cane Corso is also known as the Italian Mastiff and has the reputation of being protective, intelligent, and affectionate. With those qualities, it makes an excellent pet, but how would this big dog do with kids? The simple answer is that the Cane Corso is best suited to older kids because of its size and the nature of its behavior.
However, if you already own a Cane Corso and want to start a family, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up your beloved pet. So, let’s take a look at this breed more in-depth.
A Little Bit About the Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is excellent with kids in the right circumstances. The American Kennel Club (AKC) rates the Cane Corso as three out of five in their “Good With Young Children” category.1 That means that this breed is relatively safe for older children, but not all children can deal effectively with such a dominant, large dog.
The Cane Corso is nearly 28 inches at the shoulder and can weigh more than 110 pounds. It’s crucial when owning a dog this big and powerful that you are up to the task. Socialization and training from an early age are incredibly important, and they will not do well in a home with people who cannot control a large dog or are afraid of or dislike dogs.
Combine the Corso’s intelligence with its bossy nature, and you can see how it’s so easy for them to take charge if there is no firm leadership in the home or an owner who fails to set clear boundaries.
What to Consider With a Cane Corso and Kids?
If you are thinking of getting a Cane Corso, there are some things you will need to consider first. This is relevant whether or not you have children—the Cane Corso is a big dog, and if you don’t have the time to put in or the patience, you could be risking your safety and that of your family.
Socialization and Training
It’s important for your Cane Corso to be trained and socialized at a young age. This will ensure their dominance is not misguided into aggression toward people and other pets. You can start training as young as 8 weeks old, and the wider the range of experiences you expose your new puppy to, the better.
This intelligent dog thrives in active families, and with its working heritage, it loves playing outside. Your Cane Corso will benefit from a fenced-in yard and frequent walks. They like skills training, agility training, dock diving, and other activities that enrich their body and mind.
If you don’t exercise them enough, they won’t be stimulated and might get into trouble with bad behaviors, like pawing, digging, and jumping. They aren’t a toy-oriented breed, and most aren’t interested in retrieving.
Some fun activities you can share with your Cane Corso are:
Despite its size and the way it looks, the dog is all heart and responds far better to rewards and love than harsh corrections.
Cane Corso Behavior
The Cane Corso is serious and sensitive; their behavior largely depends on the training and care they received when they were young. So, while they are generally assertive, affectionate, and gentle in the right hands, they can be aggressive if they’ve been around an inexperienced or unkind pet parent.
Always supervise your Cane Corso around children and other pets and teach your children how to interact appropriately around them. The dog loves its family to be close by, ideally in the same room, so consider placing dog beds in rooms where you spend the most time.
Cane Corso and Other Pets
If your Cane Corso has been socialized early, they can get along with other pets. However, adults will have problems tolerating other animals, and most trainers recommend that owners of adult Cane Corsos keep them as their sole pets. Like younger kids, smaller pets can be injured by their large size.
The Cane Corso is a large, loving, loyal dog best suited for experienced owners with older children. If you are thinking of adding a dog to a family with kids, we suggest looking at another breed if your kids are still young. Of course, this doesn’t mean giving up your dog if you are starting a family, but this breed requires ongoing training, socialization, mental stimulation, and plenty of exercise.
So, juggling a new family and the Cane Corso will be a lot of work. It’s important to teach your children how to behave around them and to supervise them at all times.
Featured Image Credit: Efanov Aleksey, Shutterstock