Cane Corso In Rome: A War Dog

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Written By Penny Parnell

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The Cane Corso has a storied history as a war dog in Rome that dates back to the 11th century. As part of the Mastiff family, these dogs were bred for their strength and ferocity, making them ideal guard dogs. Cane Corsos were highly-prized war animals due to their loyalty, courage and aggression.

Their intelligence helped make them invaluable assets in war situations. They could be trained to follow commands quickly and accurately, allowing them to act as scouts or sentinels on the battlefield. This ancient breed has more than earned its place among the most venerable war dogs of all time.

Dogs Of Ancient Italy

Cane Corso

The cane corso was first documented during the Middle Ages in Southern Italy and Sicily, where they were primarily used by farmers as guard dogs to protect livestock from predators such as wolves and bears. Their impressive size and strength allowed cane corsos to effectively deter potential attackers. The cane corso also served in a more violent capacity during this period: they were used in Central Italian cities such as Rome for public executions of criminals.

During the Renaissance period cane corsos became popular amongst noble families who bred them for their hunting prowess. They were outfitted with protective armor plates so that they could better assist hunters in catching wild boar or deer in marshy areas where the terrain was exceedingly difficult to traverse on foot or horseback. Cane corsos quickly gained fame throughout Europe due to their bravery and innate ability to hunt game with great success.

Development Of The Cane Corso

Cane Corso

The cane corso is believed that it descended from Roman Molosser dogs which would explain its brave and loyal nature. It is also related to other large Italian breeds such as the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane da Pastore Maremmano-Abruzzese. They are carefully bred to produce an exceptional war dog, with its muscular frame and impressive stature making it the ideal choice for soldiers who needed protection on the battlefields.

Back From The Brink Of Extinction

Cane Corso

Once on the brink of extinction, this noble breed has managed to make a remarkable comeback. In the 1970s, cane corsos were close to disappearing due to lack of interest in the breed. It wasn’t until the 1980s that cane corsos began to gain public attention thanks to a group of passionate Italian fanciers who helped create initiatives and promote cane corsos around the world.

The resulting efforts led cane corsos from near-extinction to being one of the most popular breeds worldwide. In 2008, cane corsos were officially recognized by the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) as an official breed.

Today, there are over one million registered cane corsos in over 30 countries around the world – proof that dedication and perseverance can lead even an ancient breed from near-extinction back into global prominence.

The First Cane Corso In The U.S.

Cane Corso

In recent years, the cane corso has become more popular in the United States with people looking for a loyal and imposing guard dog to provide them with protection and companionship. Together with its history, the first cane corso to ever be registered in the United States was named “Divo,” who arrived in the country in 1988.

Introduction To Europe And America

This impressive canine was highly sought after by soldiers who needed protection on the battlefield. It eventually found its way to Europe during wartime, where it quickly gained popularity among European countries such as France and Spain. 

Eventually, the cane corso made its way across the pond to America where it became a beloved family pet and guard dog of many families throughout this country.

Cane Corso In The Modern Day

Cane Corso

In modern times, cane corsos have become sought after family dogs due to their unwavering loyalty, confidence, level-headedness and intelligence. They are intensely devoted and protective of their owners, often forming deep bonds with their humans that last a lifetime. 

Cane corsos are vigilant guardians with a natural instinct to protect anything they consider part of their pack – be it people or animals – from perceived threats. Overall cane corsos are incredibly loyal companions that will stick by your side through thick and thin; but also possess an intimidating presence that can successfully ward off potential intruders from your home or property. A well-bred cane corso is more than capable of making an excellent guardian as well as being a beloved member of the family.

“War Dog” Traits Of The Cane Corso

A Protective Personality

Cane Corso

They are highly astute and aware of their surroundings, making them excellent watchdogs with a keen sense of alertness. Their protective nature comes from the cane corso’s natural instinct to guard its pack or family members.

During times of conflict or danger, cane corsos will protect their own with courage and conviction. They are incredibly brave animals who will risk everything to protect those they love most. This trait is what made them such successful war dogs in ancient times; they would fight alongside soldiers on the battlefield while sacrificing their own safety in order to defend their masters. Cane corsos have a natural affinity towards bonding with their human guardians, which makes them even more effective protectors.

The cane corso’s protective personality makes it a unique breed that is not only esteemed for its bravery but also admired for its loyalty and devotion; it truly is an exceptional breed that has earned its place amongst some of the world.

Strength & Power

Cane Corso

This breed is known for being incredibly strong and agile, able to easily overpower most other dogs in combat. The cane corso has a large, compact body that can be described as ‘athletic’, with long legs and a broad chest which gives them an impressive level of strength. Their heads are square-shaped with almond-shaped eyes, short ears, and a short muzzle which adds to their intimidating demeanour. This breed has powerful jaws which can deliver a high amount of bite pressure making them formidable opponents in battle.

Their strength, power and courage have earned them immense respect throughout history and they continue to be seen as one of the most reliable guard dogs today.


Cane Corso

The cane corso war dog is an impressive and loyal breed of guard dog with a long history.This noble canine can provide security, love and friendship like no other animal can – making it an invaluable addition to any family who wants a strong protector by their side. Its strength, size and loyalty make it the perfect choice for those who need protection or companionship in their lives. Whether you are looking for peace of mind or just want someone special to share your life with, this amazing breed will not let you down!


Why is the Cane Corso such a protective dog?

This breed is considered by many to be one of the most protective breeds, as they are naturally alert and assertive. The cane corso’s protective instincts stem from its loyal nature, as well as its impressive size and strength.

Will a Cane Corso be smart as well as strong?

Yes. Beyond physical strength, the cane corso is also an intelligent breed that has been trained throughout its history to be an effective guardian and protector. The cane corso is known for its loyalty, obedience and trainability.

Were Cane Corsos the preferred dogs in Ancient Rome?

Yes. Cane corsos were highly valued by Roman soldiers and nobility for their loyalty, strength and courage. Prized for its intelligence and agility, they learn new commands and navigate difficult terrain with ease. In addition to being a fierce protector on the battlefield, cane corsos were also highly valued as working dogs.

Are all dog breeds as ancient as the Cane Corso?

No, not all dog breeds are as ancient as the cane corso war dog. Only a few breeds include Salukis, Greyhounds, Poodles and Chows Chows which all date back centuries or millennia depending on the particular breed are ancient.

Cane Corso

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