The cane corso is a large working dog and is a native of Italy. The name Cane is Italian for "dog" & Corso is the Greek word, "Cohors", which means "guardian of the courtyard". The ancestors of these dogs, the "Roman Molossus", were known for their strength & agility, and were used in the arenas by the ancient Romans to fight against lions & other beasts. They were also used in game hunting, herding cattle, guarding property & as guardians for the Roman soldiers. After the ancient Roman era, the cane corso became popular with Italian farmers and were used as guard dogs on their plantations to protect the animals from thieves & other predators, and also used to drive their livestock to the market or slaughter houses. Many Italians also used the cane corso as guard dogs on their estates. The growing demand for this majestic breed by the farmers in many regions of Italy became so great that soon after WWII, the cane corso faced the danger of extinction. In the mid 1970's, selective breeding began, and thus began the growth of a new generation of the cane corso.
In the late 1980's, the cane corso was introduced to the United States by a mastiff breeder, Dr. Mike Sottile. The cane corso was then recognized as a great, loving family companion. The cane corso are very playful, protective & yet very gentle with their owners, especially with children. They enjoy being involved in family activities such as long walks, bike riding, swimming, jogging, or just playing in the park. At home, they bark only to alert the owners of unusual situations, otherwise, they are generally quiet in nature. The cane corso are very intelligent dogs and will always be suspicious of strangers and are able to judge character without exception. They should be socialized starting at a young age since they do bond quickly to their family, and will get along with other pets.