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White Cane Corso: The Italian Mastiff

White Cane Corso: The Italian Mastiff

The Cane Corso is also known as the Italian Mastiff is an old Italian dog breed that was originally developed to be guard dogs and protect their owners. They are known for their beautiful blue, short coat. But is there also a white Cane Corso?

Because they belong to the Mastiff breeds, Cane Corsos are very powerful and athletic, best suited to experienced pet parents who have large, securely fenced yards. They always need to have something to do. Otherwise, they may find ways to reduce boredom. Most probably with destructive behavior since they have a lot of excess energy. So they are not a good option for first-time owners and an inexperienced dog owner.

If you can give your dog plenty of space, exercise, and training, then this is the breed for you! But if you have only limited time and space, maybe look into another smaller dog breed.

History of the Cane Corso

The Corso is one of many Mastiff-type dogs, they are purebred dogs. This one was developed in southern Italy and is said to descend from Roman war dogs which makes them great guardians. The Corso’s lineage goes back to ancient Roman times, and the breed’s name even roughly translates from the Latin as bodyguard dog.

Fun fact: besides the Italian Mastiff, there is also the Neapolitan Mastiff and English Mastiff.

They are originally hunting dogs, dogs to guard property, and be an all-around farmhand. Also, besides this, their work included rounding up pigs or cattle and helping to drive them to market. They were used to hunting big game like wild boar. A man known as Michael Sottile imported the first litter of Corsos to the United States in 1988. This was followed by a second litter in 1989.

Size, appearance, and personality

As we said previously, the Corso is a large, muscular, and powerful dog. One picture at Cane Corso dog breed pictures will tell you that this is a giant breed. Males stand 25 to 27.5 inches at the withers; females are 23.5 to 26 inches. Weight is proportionate to height and typically ranges from 90 to 120 pounds. But, they don´t only have a large body, but also a large head. They can be your true bodyguard dog, a protector of your family.

So do they have a good temperament? Corso’s history describes him as having a “vigorous temperament, ready to accept any challenge”, and to be loyal until the end. However, that type of temperament can be a double-edged sword. In the wrong hands, these dogs can become aggressive and be a danger to everyone, especially the public. This is also quite a stubborn pup, so you will need to know how to treat them.


Corsi is bright, loyal, ready to please, versatile, and deeply loyal to their humans, yet they can also be pushy and headstrong and end up owning an unwitting owner.

The ideal Corso is docile and affectionate toward his family, including children. Getting him to that point requires adaptation, early socialization, and training from an early age. So train puppies if you want a well-behaved dog. Like we already said, the Corso is a highly intelligent dog breed. However, they also have a bossy nature, so it’s easy to see how he could come to dominate the household without firm boundaries. But, don´t worry, you shouldn´t have any trouble training your dog, this is a smart little guy, a very intelligent animal.

Socialization helps to ensure your Corso puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Without a lot of experience of the world, he can easily become fearful or aggressive, same as with humans. The more you socialize him, the better mannered will your White Cane Corso be. 

Health and care

Corsos are in general healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. The white Cane Corso is prone to the same diseases as the regular Corso.

The most common diseases these dogs are prone to are hip dysplasia; eyelid abnormalities such as entropion, ectropion, and cherry eye; demodectic mange (which can be heritable); and gastric dilatation or torsion, also known as bloat.

This is a very complex dog with special needs when it comes to health, food, training, and so on. Every dog has different needs, and this working breed needs plenty of physical activity to stay in shape. If you are a passive person, then think about taking a Corso for your dog. Plan on taking him for a brisk walk or jog of at least a mile, morning and evening, every day. If you like to bicycle, get an attachment that will allow him to run alongside you.

When it comes to food and food intake, you need to consider your dog´s activity level. When your dog is a puppy they will need less food, but as they grow, their needs change to promote healthy growth. And the profit margins are far narrower than you may anticipate. Being even little overweight will increase your Cane Corso’s risk of developing a variety of ailments such as arthritis and diabetes.

Escape artists

Never allow a Corso to run loose. A solid, secure fence is a must for one dog such as this one! Because they are essentially impervious to pain in general, many Corso owners are frequently unhappy to discover that electric invisible fence containment systems do not dissuade their dogs. It also won’t protect your neighbor’s dog or cat if he wanders into your yard – this all depends on how you train him and as said, socialize him to the public.

Finally, be prepared yourself for the large bills that can go along with owning a large dog. There’s more poop to scoop, and essentials such as spay/neuter surgery are more expensive for big dogs than for small ones. Also, they can eat a lot, so you must be aware of this and feed them properly!

Breed Colors And Grooming

The Corso has a short, stiff coat with a light undercoat. It can be black, gray, red, or dark fawn and may or may not have a brindle pattern. These dogs require much grooming despite their short hair. The coat sheds heavily twice a year, so having a powerful vacuum cleaner on hand to suck up the dust bunnies is a good idea.

In the end, if you plan to bathe your Corso regularly, accustom him to the experience at an early age so he can be comfortable when he gets older. Bathe him weekly as a young pup, teaching him the command “Bath,” so that he learns to expect and accept it. Give him plenty of praise and rewards to sweeten the deal. By doing all of this from the article, this dog will be your guard forever!

The breed colors that are accepted by the American Kennel Club are:

  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Gray
  • Gray Brindle
  • Red
  • Black Brindle
  • Chestnut Brindle

Read more about: Cane Corso colors: All the beautiful shades

Does the color of Cane Corso puppies change over time?

Yes, but not drastically. If you have a light gray Cane Corso, for example, it can change into a much darker gray shade, but it can’t change into a red or pink color. When it comes to genetics, that is not the case.

Puppies may lose or gain their markings as they get older, but they won’t change into colors on the other end of the spectrum. Their color changes are very small, and they are usually caused by the following things: Maturity Sunlight Nutritional health Medications There is something wrong with your skin. 

In that case, when do you register them? The AKC says that registration must be done within 12 months of the litter’s registration. When a pet owner registers a dog, it doesn’t matter if he or she changes colors.

They’re still the same sweet puppy on paper and in person! Most people, on the other hand, register their puppies when they’re 12 weeks old, but not everyone does.

What determines the color of a Cane Corso?

Now, this is an interesting question. The Federation of Cynologique Internationale has done an excessive study on this topic. While we won’t bother you with some excessive nerdy talk, you can always go and read the full study on their website.

The Cane Corso Imbreed standard allows the following colors: black, black brindle, brindle, fawn, grey and grey brindle. It’s also allowed for them to have a black mask or gray mask around their muzzle. As you can see, there are no “blue”, “gold” or “color red” variations, even though some questionable breeders advertise their dogs as such.

Blue refers to a light gray, gold is usually a cream-yellow color caused by a fawn gene, and the color red probably refers to a more vibrant fawn coat.

In case you paid attention in biology class, you probably already know that there are dominant genes and recessive genes. All dominant genes will result in a solid black Cane Corso. That is because darker color genes are usually the more dominant ones.

The brindle dilute gene is a recessive one. The brindle or merle pattern describes a coat in which there are lighter patches on the usually darker coat. There is also an inverted brindle pattern when there are darker patches on a lighter coat.

Straw Cane Corsos

Straw Cane Corsos are also known as “Paglia”. But how rare are they? And are they accepted by the American Kennel Club, and part of the Cane Corso AKC breed standard?

Some breeders will try to convince you that these cream-colored puppies are rare and they can charge as much as $5,000 for one of them. They can additionally have a bit of a gray pigment or black pigment. Surprisingly, straw hay-colored Cane Corsos have appeared in the show ring in the last couple of years.

Breeders have different views on straw color Cane Corsos. Some say it’s just a lighter variation of shades of fawn, while others say it’s an unacceptable deviation from the standard.

It looks like the straw Corso isn’t the result of a modern cross, but rather a return to a historical color. The straw Corso likely came from crossbreeding with the Maremma or Abruzzese Sheepdog, which is the Kuvasz or the Great Pyrenees of the Italian regions. A light-colored Cane Corso, known as the “straw hay dog,” was said to be a favorite of farmers in Italy’s meridional region, no matter where it came from.

History of the Straw Cane Corso

This rare color is the result of a linebreeding between a Cane Corso and Maremma Sheepdog. As cute as straw pups are, they aren’t allowed according to the Cane Corso world standard. The acceptable modern colors according to this standard are black, gray, fawn, and red. These colors can have brindle patterns, even though the stripes aren’t visible on black dogs because they are so dark. It also says that fawn and red dogs must have black or gray masks on their faces. This is because the AKC standard says that these dogs must be solid fawn and red.

Straw is one of the things that is mentioned “Robyn Salisbury, who wrote a post on the Cane Corso Association of America website, says that “non-standard” coat colors like chocolate, liver and Isabella fawn (dilute liver) can be found too. She says it’s “a light yellow or cream color with no mask and the nose is most often a faded brown color or black.”

Despite what some people call them, these straw dogs are not a completely white Cane Corso. As a result, they don’t have the health problems that come with albinism in a white Cane Corso, like being deaf and not having enough color. Straw Cane Corsos look like they are white, but they aren’t. They are not white. Against a white background, their natural color comes out more clearly.

FAQ – White Cane corso breed guide

Is it possible for Cane Corsos to be full white?

There is no such thing as a pure white Cane Corso. The most common misconception about a white dog is that it is a formentino Cane Corso with a washed-out carbon hue. It is important to note, however, that this dog breed may have white markings on its chin, throat, chest, backs of the pasterns, and toes.

What Does the AKC Breed Standard Mean by “Black Mask” and “Gray Mask”?

In the AKC breed standard, the names “black mask” and “gray mask” refer to a melanistic pattern that extends from the dog’s muzzle to its ears. Puppies with the coat colors red, fawn, yellow, tan, and brindle are frequently seen wearing these masks.

Is Color Important?

The short answer is that a dog’s coat color, including the white Cane Corso color, does matter, even though there isn’t enough evidence that it affects its temperament or how it acts. You might not understand why. Several studies have found that certain colors in a puppy’s coat mean that it was born with some health issues.

According to a study in Science Daily by the University of Sydney, the color of a puppy’s coat has a direct effect on how long he or she will live.

Different colors have different effects. Having liver or chocolate-colored dogs is more likely to make a dog overweight, hurt its joints, or get an ear infection, the researchers said in their study.

Besides this, another study looked at how 11,000 dogs would do on the BAER test (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response). They say that dogs with merle, white, and piebald coat colors are more likely to have congenital hearing loss.

There are some health risks to buying a puppy with darker coats. If you aren’t aware of this, you might buy a puppy that doesn’t have good health and end up having to pay a lot of money for doctor visits in the long run.

Is the color of a Cane Corso linked to how long he will live or not?

It turns out that there is a link between the color of his coat and how long he lives. It seems as if the recessive and dominant gene of any color variation also causes different health issues in a Cane Corso. The recessive gene is problematic in particular, as it brings a greater risk of different diseases.

Over 232 naturally dead Cane Corsos were owned by 73 people and their kennels in 25 countries. This data collection looked at information from these dogs.

Even though this is the biggest study of its kind, it’s still very small in general. Because it’s so big, you should still take it with a grain of salt. Further, bigger studies need to be done to be sure about what is going on with the world. That’s not all: Most of this study was done on Cane Corsos from the Eastern European area. Which is also something to think about.

Cane Corso colors and how long they live

Black Brindle: 10.30 years
Brindle: 10.13 years
Grey Brindle: 9.84 years
Isabella Fawn: 9.01 years
Black Dogs: 9.00 years
Grey: 9.00 years
Other: 8.09 years 

But don’t give up too soon. There is still a lot of information about Cane Corsos that lived even up to 18 years. If you want your Cane Corso to live a long time, you need to take good care of his health. There are a lot of things you could do better, such as: 

  • Make sure that he goes to the vet on time. 
  • Low-stress life 
  • A healthy and well-balanced diet 
  • Regular exercise 

Read also: Cane Corso price: What does this breed cost

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.