Are Cane Corsos protective

Are Cane Corsos protective? (Guard dogs?)

Cane Corsos are large, imposing, and impressive dogs. Their muscular and athletic bodies are bursting with power. But are Cane Corsos protective, and can they be used as guards or protection dogs? Many are looking not only for a companion or family dog but also a dog that can guard the house, yard, and family.

Cane Corsos are naturally protective and have a guarding instinct and a protective instinct and are ideally suited for use as a guard dog or protection dog. The prerequisite is a consistent but loving education and proper socialization so that no accidents happen. In the past, Cane Corsos were used to guard farms and protect herds of cattle.

Difference between protection instinct and guarding instinct!

For many people, guard instinct and protector instinct is the same thing. But there are significant differences.

Dog breeds with a guarding instinct sound the alarm when someone unknown approaches their territory or when something unusual happens. They pay attention and alert their owners by barking loudly.

Since a guard dog is only there to alert its owners but not to protect them in an emergency, smaller breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier are also suitable for this task.

With the protective instinct, the dog not only announces danger but also acts accordingly to protect his reference person or territory.

Over the centuries, the distinctive protective instinct of the Cane Corso also developed through its use as a war dog in the Roman Empire, as a guard and protection dog for herds of cattle. These characteristics later made him attractive as a police and service dog.

Origin Cane Corso

If you want to know if dogs have certain instincts like guard instinct, protection instinct, or hunting instinct, you have to look at what the dogs were used and bred for in the past and are still used today.

Cane Corsos were already used in Italy to guard farms and protect livestock.

Merchants also used the imposing Cane Corso as protection from muggers when they came from the market with their bags full of money.

If you go back even further, you end up with the Romans who used the Cane Corso, or its ancestors, in battle or the arena against wild animals and gladiators.

Cane Corsos were, therefore, specifically used as guard and protection dogs. So these skills and instincts are in his genes.

Cane Corsos were also used as hunting dogs and can have a strong prey drive.

Are Cane Corsos guard dogs and have guarding instincts?

The main characteristics of Cane Corsos are that they are very territorial and have a strong guarding instinct. With deep barking, they announce when someone unknown approaches your property or when something unusual happens.

Its size and dark bark prevent potential burglars from breaking into your home or trespassing on your property.

Cane Corsos show the first signs of guard instinct as puppies, and this increases with age.

So you don’t have to separately encourage the guarding instinct in a Cane Corso. Targeted encouragement and reinforcement can lead to your Cane Corso barking in any situation. In addition, you will only encourage aggressive behavior in your Cane Corso.

Especially in densely populated residential areas where someone is constantly walking past your fence, especially in the summer, this can quickly become annoying for you and your neighbors.

Are Cane Corsos protective, and are they suitable as protection dogs?

In addition to having a strong guarding instinct, Cane Corsos are protective and have an excellent protection instinct. They would not hesitate to defend you or, rather, their pack in case of danger.

Cane Corsos were also used as protection dogs in the past. That’s where the strong protective instinct shows up because they had to protect and defend herds of cattle from all kinds of attackers.

But also, his use as a protection dog for the police proves that the Cane Corso is easy to train and, at the same time, has a very well-developed protective instinct.

Due to their use over decades, a natural guarding and protective instinct has developed and strengthened, which does not need to be fostered separately if you see the Cane Corso as a family dog.

You must train him consistently and be sovereign so that the pronounced instincts do not become a problem.

Cane Corsos have protection and guarding instincts
Malou, our Cane Corso, with protection and guarding instincts

Problems with the protection instinct

On the subject of protective instinct, I have to elaborate a bit.

In a wild dog pack or wolf pack, the lower ranking animals take over the “guarding” and observing of the environment and strike when something unusual or supposed danger approaches.

The leading animal, the pack leader, must then decide whether there is danger and react accordingly in the situation.

So in our time, your Cane Corso should bark when someone approaches your property. Your task is to show him that everything is ok and he can go to his blanket.

If your Cane Corso does not perceive or accept you as the pack’s leader, he may take the lead in certain situations and try to defend you. This can show itself, for example, in aggression towards other dogs.

For us and many others, this was the case in dog encounters. My wife was out early in the morning with our Cane Corso female. Suddenly, a dog that was also large jumped out of a parked car and bit Malou, who was one year old at the time.

From that moment on, she was aggressive toward other dogs. Our dog trainer said that in situations with other dogs, she no longer saw us as sovereign pack leaders but took the initiative and tried to protect us.

If you don’t react accordingly and don’t radiate calm, it further reinforces your Cane Corso. With time they sense that you are getting nervous as soon as other dogs approach and try to protect you even more.

They don’t sense that you are getting nervous because your dog might escalate again. They think the other dog worries you, ignore you as a potential pack leader, and wants to drive him away by barking and baring their teeth.

We have gotten this back under control through specific training to strengthen our role as pack leaders, and walks are relaxed again.

However, Malou remains a Cane Corso who likes to answer a Jack Russel barking aggressively at us.

Tips for living with a Cane Corso

Here are a few tips to make a living with a Cane Corso easier and get the guarding and protecting instinct in order so there are no problems.

  • An important point is socialization. From the beginning, your Cane Corso must get to know other dogs, people, children, cars, etc., and consider them normal. Your dog must learn that there is no danger but that these are normal, every day, non-threatening situations.
  • Besides socialization, training is essential. Of course, this should apply to every dog. But with such a large and dominance-prone breed as the Cane Corso, the consequences of inadequate or incorrect training are all the more serious. You must be 100% consistent yet sensitive. Your Cane Corso must accept you as the pack leader and follow your lead. You are the boss and make the decisions.
  • Even if it is a relaxed Molosser, Cane Corsos need daily exercise and mental stimulation, so they do not develop negative behaviors out of boredom and frustration. A well-trained and exercised Cane Corso can also be kept in an apartment.

Conclusion: Do Cane Corsos have protection and guarding instincts?

Cane Corsos have strong protection and guarding instinct. For this reason, they were used in the past and are still used today as guard dogs or protection dogs. However, consistent training and sensible socialization make them also great family dogs.

I am Marco with my Cane Corso and my Broholmer


I am Marco, and I am very lucky to live with 3 big Mastiff-type dogs. In this blog, I want to share all my experiences and knowledge about dogs.

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