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Cane Corso Breed Standard/s


• FCI (Italian) Cane Corso Standard
• ENCI (Italian) Cane Corso Standard
• AKC (American) Cane Corso Standard, 2010

• [ Earlier standards included for reference below ] •
• CCAA (American) Cane Corso Standard, 2007
• ICCF (American) Cane Corso Standard, 2003


FCI (Italian) BREED STANDARD
FCI-Standard N° 343 / 12. 03. 1999 / GB

FCI Cane Corso Standard # 343

Translation: Dr. Antonio Morsiani , Dr. J.M. Paschoud and Prof. R. Triquet
Origin: Italy
Date of publication of the original valid standard: 12.03.1999
Utilization: Guard, protection, police and tracking dog.
Classification F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer, Molossian and Swiss Mountain-and Cattledogs. Section 2.2 Molossian, Mountain type. Without working trial
Brief Historical Summary: Its direct ancestor is the old Roman Molossian. Formerly scattered all over Italy, in the recent past, the breed was only prevalent in the Province Apulia and in the adjacent regions of Southern Italy. His name derives from the Latin "cohors", which means "protector, guardian of the farmyard".
General Appearance: Medium to large-sized. Robust and sturdy, nevertheless elegant. Lean, powerful muscles.
Important Proportions: The length of the head reaches 36% of the height at withers. The dog is somewhat longer than high.
Behavior/Temperament: Guardian of property, family and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game.
Head: Large and typically molossoid. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and the muzzle converge slightly.

Cranial Region

Skull: Wide; at the zygomatic arches its width is equal to or greater than its length. convex in front, it becomes fairly flat behind the forehead as far as the occiput. The medio-frontal furrow is visible
Stop: Marked

Facial Region

Nose: Black and large with ample, open nostrils, on the same line as the nasal bridge.
Muzzle: Noticeably shorter than the skull (ratio muzzle: skull approximately 1:2). Strong, square: the front part of the muzzle is flat; the lateral surfaces are parallel; the muzzle is as wide as long. The profile of the nasal bridge is straight.
Lips: The upper lips hang moderately and cover the mandible, so that the lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the lips.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws very large, thick and curved. Slightly undershot. Level bite acceptable, but not sought after.

Eyes: Medium-sized, ovoid, looking directly forward, slightly protruding. Eyelids close fitting. Color of iris as dark as possible depending from the color of the coat. expression keen and attentive.
Ears: Triangular, drooping, with a wide set on high above the zygomatic arches. Often cropped in the shape of an equilateral triangle.
Neck: strong, muscular, as long as the head.


Head with the more frequent defects (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)

Body:

The body is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. sturdily built, but not squat.
Withers: pronounced, rising above the level of the croup.
Back: Rectilinear, very muscular and firm.
Loins: short and strong
Croup: Long, wide, slightly inclined
Chest: Well developed in three dimensions, reaches to the elbow.
Tail: Set on fairly high; very thick at the root. The tail is docked at the fourth vertebra. In action carried high, but never curled nor erect.


Body with the more frequent defects (by the book"Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)

LIMBS:

Forequarters:

Shoulder: Long, oblique, very muscular
Upper Arm: Strong
Forearm: Straight, very strong
Carpal Joint and Pasterns: Elastic
Forefeet: Cat feet.


Fore profiles (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)

Hindquarters:

Upper Thigh: Long, wide, back line of thigh convex
Lower Thigh: strong, not fleshy
Hocks: Moderately angulated
Metatarsals: Thick and sinewy
Hindfeet: Slightly less compact than the forefeet.


Hind profiles (by the book "Il Cane Corso" R. Carosio)

Gait/Movement: Long stride, extended trot. The preferred gait is the trot.

Skin: Fairly thick, rather close fitting

Coat:

Hair: Short, shiny, very dense with a light undercoat.
Color: black, lead-grey, slate-grey, light grey, light fawn: stag red and dark fawn; brindle (stripes on different shades of fawn or grey); in fawn colored and brindle dogs the clack or grey mask on the muzzle should not go beyond the line of the eyes. A small white patch on the chest, on the tips of the feet and on the bridge of the nose is acceptable.

Size and Weight:

Height at Withers: Males from 64 to 68 cm; females from 60 to 64 cm. Tolerance of 2 cm more or less.
Weight: males from 45 to 50 Kg; females from 40 to 45 Kg.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Severe Faults:
Axes of muzzle and skull parallel or too converging; lateral surfaces of the muzzle converging
Partial depigmentation of the nose
Scissor bite; pronounced undershot mouth
Ring-tail, tail in vertical position
Permanent amble when trotting
Over-or undersize

Eliminating Faults:
Axes of muzzle and skull diverging
Total depigmentation of the nose
Bridge of nose very hollow, rams's nose
Overshot mouth
Partial or complete palpebral depigmentation. Wall eye; strabism.
Tailless, short tail (docked or not)
Semi-long, smooth or fringed hair
All colors not indicated in the standard: large white patches.
N.B. Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended.

 


 

ENCI (Italian) BREED STANDARD

ENCI Cane Corso Standard

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
Its direct ancestor is the "Canis Pugnax" (the old Roman Molossian) of which he is the light version employed in the hunting of large wild animals and also as an "auxiliary warrior" in battles. For years he has been a precious companion of the Italic populations. Employed as property, cattle and personal guard dog and used for hunting purposes too. In the past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify. In the recent past he has found a excellent preservation area in Southern Italy, expecially in Puglia, Lucania and Sannio. His name derives from the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian", "Protector".

GENERAL APPEARANCE
Medium-big size dog, strongly built but elegant, with powerful and long muscles, very distinguished, he expresses strength, agility and endurance. The general conformation is that of a mesomorphic animal whose body is longer than the height at the withers, harmonious as regards the form and disharmonious as regards the profile.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS
The lenght of the body is about ll% over the height at the withers. The total length of the head reaches 3,6/10 of the height at the withers. The lenght of the muzzle is equal to 3,4/10 of the total lenght of the head. The height of the thorax is 5/10 of the height at the withers and it is equal to the height of the limb at the elbows.

BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT
Intelligent, active and even-minded, he is an unequalled watch and protection dog. Docile and affectionate with the owner, loving with children and with the family, if necessary he becomes a terrible and brave protector of people, house and property. He is easily trained.

HEAD
Brachycephalic. Its total length reaches 3,6/10 of the height at the withers. The bizygomatic width, which is equal to the lenght of the skull, is more than half the total height of the head, reaching 6,6/10. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and of the muzzle are slightly convergent. The perimeter of the head, mesured at the cheek-bones, is more than twice the total length of the head even in the females. The head is moderately sculptured with zygomatic arches stretched outwards. The skin is firm and sticking to the tissues underneath, it is smooth and quite stretched.

CRANIAL REGION

Skull
Seen from the front it is wide and slightly curved, seen from the side it draws an irregular curve that, accentuated in the subregion of the forehead, becomes flat along the external saggital crest. Seen from the top, it looks square because of the outstretching of the zygomatic arches and the powerful muscles swathing it. Frontal sinuses well developed and stretched forward, deep forehead hollow and visible median furrow. Occipital crest not much developed. Supraorbital fossae slightly marked.

Stop
Very marked because of the very developed and bulging frontal sinuses and because of the prominent superciliary arches.

FACIAL REGION

Nose
It is on the same line as the nose pipe. Seen from the side it mustn't stick out from the front vertical margin of the lips but be, with its front, on the same vertical line as the front of the muzzle. It has to be voluminous, rather flat on top, with wide nostrils, opened and mobile, wet and cool. The pigmentation is black.

Muzzle
Very broad and deep. The width of the muzzle must be almost equal to its lenght, which reaches 3,4/10 of the total lenght of the head. Its depth is more than 50% the lenght of the muzzle. Due to the parallels of the muzzle sides and to the fullness and the width of the whole jaw, the anterior face of the muzzle is flat and square. The nasal bridge has a rectilinear profile and it is rather flat. The lower side profile of the muzzle is determined by the upper lips, the suborbital region shows a very slight chisel.

Lips
Rather firm. Seen from the front, the upper lips form at their disjunction an upside down "U" and, seen from the side, hang moderately. The commisure is rightly evident and it always represents the lowest point of the lower side profile of the muzzle. The pigmentation is black.

Jaws
Very wide, strong and thick, with a very slight shortening of the upper jaw with a subsequent light prognathism (undershot mouth). The branches of the lower jaw are very strong and, seen from the side, are quite curved, the body of the lower jaw, well accentuated forward, points out well the marked chin. The incisors are firmly placed on a straight line.

Cheeks
The masseter region is full and evident, but not hypertrophic.

Teeth
White, big, complete in growth and number. The lower jaw incisors pass only slightly (about 1/2 cm) their correspondent ones on the upper arch, so the bite is slightly undershot.

Eyes
Of medium size compared to the size of the dog, in a sub-frontal position, well spaced. Rima palpebrarum nearly oval, eyeballs slightly protruding, adherent eyelids with the borders pigmented with black, the eye mustn't let the sclera be seen. Third eyelid strongly pimented. Iris as dark as possible according to the colour of the coat. Look intelligent and alert.

Ears
Of medium size in relation to the volume of the head and to the size of the dog; covered with short hair, of triangular shape, with rather pointed apex and thick cartilage, in a high position, much above the zygomatic arch, with a wide bottom, hanging, they stick to the cheeks without coming down to the throat. Quite outstretched and slightly protruding at the joint, they become semi-erect when the dog is watchful. They usually get amputated in a equilateral-triangular shape.

NECK

Top line
Slightly arched.

Length
3,6/10 of the height at the withers, that is equal to the total lenght of the head.

Shape
Of oval section, strong, very muscular, with a marked disjunction form at the nape. The perimeter, at half lenght of the neck, is about 8/10 of the height at the withers. Harmoniously joined with the withers, shoulder and chest, the neck has its ideal direction at 45ƒ from the ground and at right angle with the shoulder.

Skin
The lower margin of the neck is practically without dewlap.

BODY
Compact, strong and very muscular. Its lenght is 11% over the height at the withers, with allowance of ±1%.

Top line
The back region is rectilinear with a slightly lombar convexity.

Withers
They clearly rise on the dorsal line and over the rump level, are high, long, wide. They are lean and joint harmoniously to the neck and to the back.

Withers
It is wide, very muscular as the whole upper line of the trunk, slightly climbing from the back to the front and with a strictly rectilinear profile. Its length is approx. 32% of the height at the withers.

Loins
The lumbar region has to be short, wide, well joined to the backand to the back and to the rump, very muscular, very solid and, seen from the side, slightly convex. Its length, slightly higher than its width, is equal to 20% of the height at the withers.

Croup
It is long, wide, quite round due to the considerable growth of the muscles. The length, measured from the ridge of the hip to the ridge of the nates is equal to 32% of the height at the withers. Its average width is equal to 23% of the height at the withers, its inclination on the horizontal line, on the basis of the ilium-ischiatic line is of 28ƒ/30ƒ, on the basis of the line from the ridge of the hip to the insertion of the tail is of 15ƒ/16ƒ. Therefore the rump is slightly inclined.

Chest
Wide, well inclined and open, with well grown muscles. Its width, in close relation with the width of the thorax, reaches 35% of the height to the withers, the breast-bone is at the same height as the tip of the shoulders. Seen from the side, the chest is outstretched forward between the fore legs and slightly convex.

Thorax
It has to be well grown in the three dimensions with long, oblique, wide and well hoped ribs with wide intercostal spaces. The 4 false ribs are long, oblique and open. The thorax reaches down at the elbow and its height is equal to half the height at the withers. Its width, measured at half of its height, is equal to 35% of the height at the withers and decreases slightly towards the sternum region without forming a carina. The depth (saggital diameter) is equal to 55% the height at the withers. Its perimeter is over 35% the height at the withers.

Underline and belly
The sternum region is lean, long, wide and seen from the side it outlines a semicircle with a wide radius which caudally goes up smoothly to the abdomen. The abdomen region is neither hollowed nor relaxed and, seen from the side, rises up from the sternum edge to the groins with a smooth curve. The hollow on the side is not very marked. Tail - It is inserted quite high on the rump line, it's thick at the root and not too tapering at the tip, and if stretched is not too much over the hock. When not in action is low. Otherwise is horizontal or slightly higher than the back, it must never be bent to form a ring or in a vertical position. It gets amputated at the 4th rib.

LIMBS

FOREQUARTERS
Perpendicular, seen from the front or in profile. The height of the limbs at the elbows is equal to 50% of the height at the withers. Well proportioned to the size of the dog. Strong and powerful.

Shoulder
Long, oblique, strong, equipped with long, powerful and well divided muscles, is adherent to the thorax but free in the movements. Its length, from the top of the withers to the ridge of the shoulder, is equal to 30% of the height at the withers and its inclination on the horizontal line is between 48ƒ/50ƒ. In relation to the median plane of the body the ridges of the shoulder-blades are slightly swerved.

Arm
It is slightly longer than the shoulder, strong, with very well grown bones and muscles, well joined to the trunk in its top 2/3, measured from the ridge of the shoulder to the tip of the elbow, it has a length equal to 31/32% of the height at the withers and an inclination with the horizontal line of approx 58ƒ/60ƒ. Its longitudinal direction is parallel to the median plane of the body. The angle between the shoulder-blades and the humerus is between 106ƒ and 110ƒ.

Elbows
The elbows, long and protruding, adherent but not too close to the ribcage, covered with lean skin, must be like the humeri, on a strictly parallel plane to the sagittal plane of the trunk. The tip of the elbow (olecranon epiphysis) is located on the vertical line lowered from the caudal (or back) angle of the shoulder-blade to the ground.

Forearm
It is perfectly vertical, oval section, with several muscles, in particular in the top-third, with a very strong and compact bone structure. Its length, from the tip of the elbow to the one of the arm is equal to 32/33% of the height at the withers. Its perimeter, measured straight underneath the elbow, is equal to 39% of the height at the withers, the carpus-cubital groove is quite marked.

Carpal joint
Seen from the front, it follows the straight vertical line of the forearm; it is lean, wide, mobile, thick. Its perimeter reaches 26% of height at the withers, at its top margin the pisiform bone is strongly projected backwards.

Pastern
It is quite smaller than the forearm, is very strong, lean, elastic, slightly flexed (it forms with the ground an angle of approx. 75ƒ). Its length must not be over one sixth of the height of the forelimb at the elbow. Seen from the front, it follows the perpendicular line of the forearm and of the carpus.

Forfeet
They have a round shape, with very arcuated and gathered toes (cat's foot). Lean and hard soles. The nails are strong, curved and pigmented, there is a good pigmentation also in the plantar and digital pads.

HINDQUARTERS
Perpendicular, seen from the front or in profile. Well proportioned to the size of the dog, strong and powerful.

Thigh
It is long and wide, with prominent muscles, therefore the nate ridge is well marked. Its length is over 33% of the height at the withers and the width is never lower than 25% of such height. The thigh-bone axis, quite oblique from the top to the bottom and from the back to the front, has an inclination of 70ƒ on the horizontal line and forms with the coxal axis an angle wich is slightly more than right (coxo-femural angle).

Second thigh
It is long, lean, with a strong bone and muscle structure, has a well marked muscular groove. Its length is equal to 32% of the height at the withers and its inclination from the top to the bottom and from the front to the back is of approx. 50ƒ on the horizontal line.

Stifle
The angle of the stifle joint, is of approx. 120ƒ. Its direction is parallel to the median plane of the body.

Hock joint
It is wide, thick, clean, with well marked bone. The protruding hock ridge shows clearly the continuation of the leg groove. The distance from the ridge of the hock to the sole of the foot (to the ground) shouldn't be over 26% of the height at the withers. Its direction, in relation to the median plane of the body is parallel. The tibio-metatarsal angle is of approx 140ƒ.

Hock (Metatarsus)
It is very thick, lean, rather short, cylindrical, and is always perpendicular to the ground, seen from the side and from the back, its length is equal to approx 15% of the height at the withers (tarsus and foot excluded). Its internal side has to present itself without spur.

Hindfeet
They have a slightly more oval shape than the fore ones and a less arched toes.

GAIT/MOVEMENT
Long steps, stretched trot, some steps of gallop, but with inclination to stretched trot.

SKIN
It is, rather thick, has limited subcutaneous connective tissue and therefore is adherent everywhere to the layers underneath. The neck is practically without dewlap. The head mustn't have wrinkles. The pigment of the mucous membranes is black. The pigment of the soles and the nails must be dark.

COAT

Hair
Short hair but not smooth, with vitreous texture, shiny, adherent, stiff, very dense, with a light layer that becomes thicker in winter (but never crops up on the covering hair). Its average length is approx. 2/2,5 cm. On the withers, the rump, the back margin of the thighs and on the tail it reaches approx. 3 cm without creating fringes. On the muzzle the hair is very short, smooth, adherent and is not more than 1/1,5 cm.

Colour
Black, plumb-grey, slate, light grey, light fawn, deer fawn, dark fawn and tubby (very well marked stripes on different shades of fawn and grey). In the fawny and tubby subjects there is a black or grey mask only on the muzzle and shouldn't go beyond the eye line. A small white patch on the chest, on the feet tips and on the nose bridge is accepted.

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT

Height at the withers
For males from 64 cm. to 68 cm. For females from 60 cm. to 64 cm. With allowance of ± 2 cm.

Weight
Males from 45 to 50 Kg. ratio weight/size O.710(Kg/cm). Females from 40 to 45 Kg. ratio weight/size 0.680 (Kg/cm).

FAULTS
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and diffusion.

ELIMINATING FAULTS

Head
Accentuated parallelism of the axes of the skull and the muzzle very marked converging axes of the skull and the muzzle, converging side lines of the muzzle, scissors bite, pronounced and disturbing undershot mouth.

Nose
Partial depigmentation.

Tail
Forming a ring or in a vertical position.

Size
Oversize or undersize.

Gait/movement
Continued amble.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

Head
Diverging axes of the skull and the muzzle, overshot mouth nosebridge resolutely hollow or ram-like.

Nose
Total depigmentation.

Eyes
Partial and bilateral palpebral depigmentation, wall-eye, bilateral strabismus.

Sexual organs
Monorchidism, cryptorchidism, obvious incomplete growth of one or both testicles.

Tail
Tailless, short-tail, artificial or congenital.

Hair
Semi-long, smooth, fringed.

Colours
All colours not prescribed, white patches too wide.

Note
Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

 


 

AKC (American) Cane Corso Breed Standard, 2010

The Cane Corso received AKC recognition, into the Working Group, in 2010.

General Appearance
Ancient Italian breed medium-large size Molossus Dog. Sturdy, with a strong skeleton. Muscular and athletic, it moves with considerable ease and elegance. It has always been a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game such as the wild boar.

Size, Proportion, Substance
A muscular, balanced, large-boned dog, rectangular in proportion. The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock is approximately 10% greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground.
Height: Dogs: 25 to 27.5 inches; bitches: 23.5 to 26 inches.
Weight: Proportionate to height.

Head
Molossus, large, its total length reaches approximately one third of the height at the withers. Planes of the skull and muzzle are slightly convergent; they are not parallel. The circumference of the head measured at the cheekbones is more than twice the total length of the head; skin is firm and smooth. Skull: Viewed from the front, skull is wide and slightly curved; width is equal to the length. From the side, a prominent arch begins above the eyes and then flattens backward toward the occiput. Viewed from the top, it has a square appearance due to the zygomatic arches and powerful muscles swathing it. Stop: Well-defined due to developed and bulging frontal sinuses and prominent arch above the eyes.

Expression: Very alert and attentive. Some wrinkling on forehead occurs when alert.

Eyes: Medium-size, almond-shaped, not round or bulging, tight fitting rims preferred with only a minimal amount of haw being visible.

Eye Color:
Dogs with black muzzles (coat colors of black, fawn or red, and these colors brindled) dark brown eyes are preferred. Gray muzzles (coat colors of gray, fawn or red and these colors brindled), lighter shades are approved. Pigmentation of the eye rims is complete, pigmentation of eye rim matches pigment color of dog.
Disqualification: Yellow bird of prey; blue eyes.

Ears:
Set well above the cheekbones. May be cropped or uncropped. If cropped, it is in an equilateral triangle. If uncropped, they are medium size, triangular in shape, held tight to the cheeks, and not extending beyond the jaw bone.

Nose:
Large with well-opened nostrils, pigment color to match pigment color of the dog. Dogs with black pigment have black noses; gray pigmented dogs have gray noses; pigmentation is complete. The nose is an extension of the topline of the muzzle and does not protrude beyond nor recede behind the front plane of the muzzle.

Muzzle:
Very broad and deep, width is almost equal to its length, which reaches approximately one third of the total length of the head; the depth of muzzle is more then 50% of the length of the muzzle.
The top and bottom muzzle plains are parallel, and the nose and chin form a perpendicular line. Viewed from the front, the anterior face should look flat and form a trapezoid, wider at the bottom. Muzzle is not overly narrow or snipey.

Lips:
Rather firm. Upper lips moderately hanging, they join under the nostrils to form an inverted "U." Pigmentation matches color pigment of dog. Dogs with black pigment have black lips; gray pigmented dogs have gray lips.

Bite:
Slightly undershot (no more than ¼ inch) and level preferred. Scissor bite is acceptable, if parameters of the head and muzzle are correct. Dentition is complete. Incisors are in a straight line. No more than two missing teeth.
Disqualification: More than two missing teeth; wry mouth. Undershot more than 1/4 inch.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck: Slightly arched, flowing smoothly into the shoulders with a small amount of dewlap. The length of the neck is approximately one third the height at the withers.

Body: Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog, descending slightly below the elbow. Ribs are long and well sprung. Moderate tuck up.

Chest: Broad, well-muscled, strong forefront.

Back: Wide, strong, muscular. Highest part of shoulder blade slightly rising above the strong, level back.

Loin:
Well-muscled, and harmoniously joined to the back.

Croup: Long, wide, slightly sloping. Rump should be quite round due to muscling.

Tail: Tail set is an extension of the backline. It is thick at the root with not much tapering at the tip. When not in action, carried low, otherwise horizontal or slightly higher than back, not to be carried in a vertical position. It is docked at the fourth vertebrae. In the case of natural tails, the tip reaches the hock but not below. Carried low, it is neither broken nor kinked but supple. Hanging when the dog is in repose; generally carried level with the back or slightly above the level of the back when the dog is in action, without curving over the back or being curled.
Disqualification: A natural tail that is atrophied or a natural tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted.

Forequarters
Strong and muscular, well-proportioned to the size of the dog. Straight when viewed from the front or side; height of the limb at the elbow is equal to 50% of the height at the withers.

Shoulders: Muscular, laid back.

Upper arms: Strongly muscled, with good bone, powerful.

Elbows: Held parallel to the ribcage, turning neither in nor out.

Forelegs: Straight and with good bone, well muscled.

Pasterns: Almost straight, strong but flexible.

Feet: Round with well-arched toes (catlike). Lean, hard, dark pads and nails, except in the case of white toes.

Front dewclaws: Can remain or be removed, if left intact should only be a single dewclaw on each leg.

Hindquarters
As a whole, they are powerful and strong, in harmony with the forequarters. Straight when viewed from the rear or front.

Thighs: Long, wide, angulated and well-muscled.

Stifle: Should be moderately angulated, strong.

Legs: Strong bone and muscle structure.

Hocks: Wide set, thick and clean, let down and parallel when viewed from behind. Rear pastern: straight and parallel.

Rear dewclaws: Any rear dewclaws are removed.

Hind feet:
Slightly more oval-shaped and less-arched toes.

Coat
The coat is short, stiff, shiny, adherent and dense with a light undercoat that becomes thicker in cold weather.

Color
Acceptable colors are black, lighter and darker shades of gray, lighter and darker shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades, have a black or gray mask. The mask does not go beyond the eyes. There may be a white patch on the chest, throat, chin, backs of the pasterns, and on the toes.
Disqualification: Any color with tan pattern markings as seen in black-and-tan breeds.

Gait
The movement is free flowing and powerful, yet effortless, with strong reach and drive. As the dog accelerates, the feet converge toward a center line of gravity in a near-single track. When viewed from the side, the topline remains level, with minimal roll or bounce.

Temperament
The Cane Corso as a protector of his property and owners is unequaled. Intelligent, he is easily trained. Noble, majestic and powerful his, presence is impressive. He is docile and affectionate to his owner, loving with children and family.

Summary
The overall conformation of the dog should be well-balanced and proportionate. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Cane Corso; any deviation from the above described dog is penalized to the extent of the deviation.

Disqualifications
Yellow bird of prey; blue eyes.
More than two missing teeth; wry mouth.
Undershot more than ¼ inch.
Any color with tan pattern markings as seen in black-and-tan breeds.
A natural tail that is atrophied or a natural tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted.

Approved: October 20, 2009
Effective: June 30, 2010

 


 

CCAA (American) Standard, 2007

General Appearance
The Cane Corso is an ancient Italian breed, medium-large sized molossoid. Sturdy, with a strong skeleton, muscular and athletic. It moves with considerable ease and elegance. It has always been a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game such as the wild boar.

Size, Proportion, Substance
A muscular, balanced, large boned dog, rectangular in proportion. The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock, is 11% percent greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground.
Height: Dogs: 25 to 27.5 inches, Bitches: 23.5 to 26 inches.
Weight: Proportionate to height.

Head
Mollossoid, large, its total length reaches 36% of the height at the withers. Planes of the skull and muzzle are slightly convergent, they are not parallel. The circumference of the head measured at the cheek bones is more then twice the total length of the head; skin is firm and smooth.

Skull: Viewed from the front is wide and slightly curved, width is equal to the length. From the side a prominent arch begins above the eyes and then flattens backwards towards the occiput, viewed from the top it has a square appearance due to the zygomatic arches and powerful muscles swathing it.
Stop: Well defined due to developed and bulging frontal sinuses and prominent arch above the eyes. Expression: Very alert and attentive. Some wrinkling on forehead occurs when alert.
Eyes: Medium sized, almond shaped, not round or bulging, tight fitting rims preferred with only a minimal amount of haw being visible.
Eye Color: Dogs with black muzzles (black, fawn, red, and these colors brindled) dark brown eyes are preferred. Gray muzzles (gray, fawn, red and these colors brindled) lighter shades are acceptable. Pigmentation of the eye rims is complete, pigmentation of eye rim matches pigment color of dog.
Disqualification: Yellow bird of prey, blue eyes. Wall eyed.
Ears: Set well above the cheekbones. May be cropped or uncropped, if cropped it is in an equilateral triangle. If uncropped, they are medium sized, triangular in shape, held tight to the cheeks, and not extending beyond the jaw bone.
Nose: Large with well-opened nostrils, pigment color to match pigment color of the dog. Dogs with black pigment have black noses, gray pigmented dogs have gray noses, and pigmentation is complete. The nose is an extension of the topline of the muzzle and does not protrude beyond nor recede behind the front plane of the muzzle.
Muzzle: Very broad and deep, width is almost equal to its length which reaches 34% of the total length of the head; the depth of muzzle is more then 50% of the length of the muzzle. The top and bottom muzzle plains are parallel and the nose and chin form a perpendicular line. Viewed from the front the anterior face should look flat and form a trapezoid. Muzzle is not narrow or snipey.
Lips: Rather firm. Upper lips moderately hanging, they join under the nostrils to form an inverted “U”. Pigmentation matches color pigment of dog, Dogs with black pigment have black lips, gray pigmented dogs have gray lips.
Bite: Slightly undershot (no more then1/4 inch) and level preferred, scissor bite is acceptable if parameters of the head and muzzle are correct. The incisors are firmly placed on a straight line. Dentition is complete with no more then two missing teeth.
Disqualification: More then 2 missing teeth, wry mouth. Pronounced and undershot more then ¼ inch.

Neck, Back and Body

Neck: Slightly arched, flowing smoothly into the shoulders with a small amount of dewlap. The length of the neck is 36% the height at the withers.
Body: Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog, descending slightly below the elbow. Ribs are long and well sprung. Moderate tuck up.
Chest: Broad, well muscled, strong forefront.
Back: Wide, strong, muscular. Highest part of shoulder blade slightly rising above the strong, level back.
Loin: Well-muscled, and harmoniously joined to the back.
Croup: Long, wide, slightly sloping. Rump should be quite round due to muscular development.
Tail: Tail set is an extension of the backline. It is thick at the root with not much tapering at the tip. When not in action carried low, otherwise horizontal or slightly higher than back, not to be carried in a vertical position, it is docked at the 4th vertebrae. Natural tails are accepted, though not preferred. In the case of natural tails, the tip reaches the hock but not below. Carried low, it is neither broken nor kinked but supple. Hanging when the dog is in repose; generally carried level with the back or slightly above the level of the back when the dog is in action, without curving over the back or being curled.
Disqualification: A natural tail that is atrophied or a natural tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted.

Forequarters
Strong and muscular, well proportioned to the size of the dog. Straight when viewed from the front or side, height of the limb at the elbow is equal to 50% of the height at the withers.

Shoulders: Muscular, laid back. Upper arms: Strongly muscled, with good bone, powerful.
Elbows: Held parallel to the ribcage, turning neither in nor out.
Forelegs: straight and with good bone well muscled.
Pasterns: Almost straight, strong but flexible.
Feet: Round with well arched, toes (cat like). Lean hard dark pads and nails except in the case of white toes.

Hindquarters
As a whole, they are powerful and strong, in harmony with the forequarters.

Thighs: Long, wide, angulated and well muscled.
Stifle: Should be moderately angulated, strong.
Legs: Strong bone and muscle structure.
Hocks: Wide, thick and clean, let down and parallel when viewed from behind.
Rear pastern: straight and parallel.
Rear dewclaws: Any rear dewclaws are removed.
Hind feet: Slightly more oval shaped and less arched toes than the front feet.

Coat
The coat is short, stiff, shiny, adherent and dense with a light undercoat that becomes thicker in cold weather.

Color
Acceptable colors are black, lighter and darker shades of gray, lighter and darker shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades have a black or gray mask; it does not go beyond the eyes. There may be a white patch on the chest, throat, chin, backs of the pasterns, and on the toes.
Disqualification: Any color with marking pattern as seen in black and tan breeds.

Gait/Movement
The movement is free flowing, powerful yet effortless, with strong reach and drive. As the dog accelerates, the feet converge towards a center line of gravity in a near single track. When viewed from the side, the topline remains level, with minimal roll or bounce.

Temperament
The Cane Corso as a protector of his property and owners is unequaled. Intelligent he is easily trained. Noble, majestic and powerful his presence is impressive. He is docile and affectionate to his owner, loving with children and family.

Summary:
The overall confirmation of the dog should be well balanced and proportionate. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Cane Corso any deviation from the above described dog is penalized to the extent of the deviation.

Disqualifications:

More then 2 missing teeth, wry mouth.

Undershot bite more then ¼inch.

Yellow bird of prey, blue eyes. Wall eyed.

Any color with marking pattern as seen in black and tan breeds.

A natural atrophied tail or a natural tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted.

 


 

ICCF (American) BREED STANDARD 2003

Medium-large sized molossoid, sturdy, compact, with a strong skeleton, muscular and athletic, it moves with considerable ease. Its head is massive, with a dignified and proud expression. It has had a selection parallel to that of the mastiff, it comes from lighter progenitors but has maintained that original conformation. It has always been a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game, such as the boar. It originated in the central-southern regions of Italy where it was used as a cowherd for cows and swine raised in the wild. It also defended travellers and carters from highwaymen. Its name is the one by which it has always been known in the south, having the same root as "corsiero" (courser), the medieval war horse; perhaps it derives from the Latin "cohors" (courtyard, body guard). Due to environmental changes, the Courser risked extinction. A few enthusiasts initiated its recovery which today is complete. Its modern functions are watchdog, defending people and their belongings. An adaptable and courageous worker, of proverbial loyalty, alert and reactive, who is able to withstand difficult environmental conditions and experiences due to its solid equilibrium,. A strong build but not without elegance. Built on a rectangle, it absolutely must not resemble the Neapolitan Mastiff. Its skin adheres to its body and does not form wrinkles.

UTILIZATION - Watch, protection, police, and track dog.

CLASSIFICATION - Working group 1, dogs like Argentine Dogo and Black Russian Terrier.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY - Its direct ancestor is the "Canis Pugnax" (the old Roman Molossian) of which he is the light version employed in the hunting of large wild animals and also as an "auxiliary warrior" in battles. For years he has been a precious companion of the Italic populations. Employed as property, cattle and personal guard dog and used for hunting purposes too. In the past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify. In the recent past he has found an excellent preservation area in Southern Italy, especially in Puglia, Lucania and Sannio. His name derives from the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian", "Protector".

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Medium-big size dog, strongly built but elegant, with powerful and long muscles, very distinguished, he expresses strength, agility and endurance. The general conformation is that of a mesomorphic animal whose body is longer than the height at the withers, harmonious as regards the form and disharmonious as regards the profile.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS - The length of the body is about ll% over the height at the withers. The total length of the head reaches 3,6/10 of the height at the withers. The length of the muzzle is equal to 3,4/10 of the total length of the head. The height of the thorax is 5/10 of the height at the withers and it is equal to the height of the limb at the elbows.

BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT - Intelligent, active and even-minded, he is an unequalled watch and protection dog. Docile and affectionate with the owner, loving with children and with the family, if necessary he becomes a terrible and brave protector of people, house and property. He is easily trained.

HEAD - Brachycephalic. Its total length reaches 3,6/10 of the height at the withers. The bizygomatic width, which is equal to the length of the skull, is more than half the total height of the head, reaching 6,6/10. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and of the muzzle are slightly convergent. The perimeter of the head, measured at the cheek-bones, is more than twice the total length of the head even in the females. The head is moderately sculptured with zygomatic arches stretched outwards. The skin is firm and sticking to the tissues underneath, it is smooth and quite stretched.

CRANIAL REGION

Skull - Seen from the front it is wide and slightly curved, seen from the side it draws an irregular curve that, accentuated in the subregion of the forehead, becomes flat along the external saggital crest. Seen from the top, it looks square because of the outstretching of the zygomatic arches and the powerful muscles swathing it. Frontal sinuses well developed and stretched forward, deep forehead hollow and visible median furrow. Occipital crest not much developed. Supraorbital fossae slightly marked.
Stop - Very marked because of the very developed and bulging frontal sinuses and because of the prominent superciliary arches.

FACIAL REGION

Nose - It is on the same line as the nose pipe. Seen from the side it mustn't stick out from the front vertical margin of the lips but be, with its front, on the same vertical line as the front of the muzzle. It has to be voluminous, rather flat on top, with wide nostrils, opened and mobile, wet and cool. The pigmentation is black or dark grey.
Muzzle - Very broad and deep. The width of the muzzle must be almost equal to its length, which reaches 3,4/10 of the total length of the head. Its depth is more than 50% the length of the muzzle. Due to the parallels of the muzzle sides and to the fullness and the width of the whole jaw, the anterior face of the muzzle is flat and square. The nasal bridge has a rectilinear profile and it is rather flat. The lower side profile of the muzzle is determined by the upper lips, the suborbital region shows a very slight chisel. Lips - Rather firm. Seen from the front, the upper lips form at their disjunction an upside down "U" and, seen from the side, hang moderately. The commeasure is rightly evident and it always represents the lowest point of the lower side profile of the muzzle. The pigmentation is black.
Jaws - Very wide, strong and thick, they can have a very slight shortening of the upper jaw with a subsequent light prognathism (undershot bite). The branches of the lower jaw are very strong and, seen from the side, are quite curved, the body of the lower jaw, well accentuated forward, points out well the marked chin. The incisors are firmly placed on a straight line. Cheeks - The masseter region is full and evident, but not hypertrophic.
Teeth - White, big, complete in growth and number. The bite should be slightly undershot (max 5mm) or level. A scissor bite would be tolerated only if all parameters (length of the muzzle, parallel muzzle sides, the upper longitudinal axes of the skull and of the muzzle are slightly convergent) The canines would be divergent and very distant among them (in the males, in the apex of the crown, they would need to be not less than 5,5 cm/5,7 cm apart).
Eyes - Of medium size compared to the size of the dog, in a sub-frontal position, well spaced. Rima palpebrarum nearly oval, adherent eyelids with the borders pigmented with black, the eye mustn't let the sclera be seen. Third eyelid strongly pigmented. The color for the subjects with a black muzzle (black, tawny and brindle) iris as dark as possible. For the subjects with gray muzzle (gray, tawny and brindle)light brown color, lighter colorations are approved.
Ears - Of medium size in relation to the volume of the head and to the size of the dog; covered with short hair, of triangular shape, with rather pointed apex and thick cartilage, in a high position, much above the zygomatic arch, with a wide bottom, hanging, they stick to the cheeks without coming down to the throat. Quite outstretched and slightly protruding at the joint, they become semi-erect when the dog is watchful. They usually get amputated in an equilateral-triangular shape.

NECK

Top line - Slightly arched. Length - 3,6/10 of the height at the withers, that is equal to the total length of the head.
Shape - Of oval section, strong, very muscular, with a marked disjunction form at the nape. The perimeter, at half length of the neck, is about 8/10 of the height at the withers. Harmoniously joined with the withers, shoulder and chest, the neck has its ideal direction at 45ƒ from the ground and at right angle with the shoulder.
Skin –The inferior part of the neck introduces more abundant but elastic skin.

BODY - Compact, strong and very muscular. Its length is 11% over the height at the withers, with allowance of ±1%.

Top line - The back region is rectilinear with a slightly lumbar convexity.
Withers - They clearly rise on the dorsal line and over the rump level, are high, long, wide. They are lean and joint harmoniously to the neck and to the back.
Back - It is wide, very muscular as the whole upper line of the trunk, slightly climbing from the back to the front and with a strictly rectilinear profile. Its length is approx. 32% of the height at the withers.
Loins - The lumbar region has to be short, wide, well joined to the back and to the rump, very muscular, very solid and, seen from the side, slightly convex. Its length, slightly higher than its width, is equal to 20% of the height at the withers.
Croup - It is long, wide, quite round due to the considerable growth of the muscles. The length, measured from the ridge of the hip to the ridge of the nates is equal to 32% of the height at the withers. Its average width is equal to 23% of the height at the withers, its inclination on the horizontal line, on the basis of the ilium-ischiatic line is of 28ƒ/30ƒ, on the basis of the line from the ridge of the hip to the insertion of the tail is of 15ƒ/16ƒ. Therefore the rump is slightly inclined.
Chest - Wide, well inclined and open, with well grown muscles. Its width, in close relation with the width of the thorax, reaches 35% of the height to the withers; the breast-bone is at the same height as the tip of the shoulders. Seen from the side, the chest is outstretched forward between the fore legs and slightly convex.
Thorax - It has to be well grown in the three dimensions with long, oblique, wide and well hoped ribs with wide intercostal spaces. The 4 false ribs are long, oblique and open. The thorax reaches down at the elbow and its height is equal to half the height at the withers. Its width, measured at half of its height, is equal to 35% of the height at the withers and decreases slightly towards the sternum region without forming a carina. The depth (saggital diameter) is equal to 55% the height at the withers. Its perimeter is over 35% the height at the withers.
Underline and belly - The sternum region is lean, long, wide and seen from the side it outlines a semicircle with a wide radius which caudally goes up smoothly to the abdomen. The abdomen region is neither hollowed nor relaxed and, seen from the side, rises up from the sternum edge to the groins with a smooth curve. The hollow on the side is not very marked.
Tail - It is inserted quite high on the rump line, it's thick at the root and not too tapering at the tip, and if stretched is not too much over the hock. When not in action is low. Otherwise is horizontal or slightly higher than the back, it must never be bent to form a ring or in a vertical position. It gets amputated at the 4th rib.

LIMBS

FOREQUARTERS - Perpendicular, seen from the front or in profile. The height of the limbs at the elbows is equal to 50% of the height at the withers. Well proportioned to the size of the dog. Strong and powerful.
Shoulder - Long, oblique, strong, equipped with long, powerful and well divided muscles, is adherent to the thorax but free in the movements. Its length, from the top of the withers to the ridge of the shoulder, is equal to 30% of the height at the withers and its inclination on the horizontal line is between 48ƒ/50ƒ. In relation to the median plane of the body the ridges of the shoulder-blades are slightly swerved.
Arm - It is slightly longer than the shoulder, strong, with very well grown bones and muscles, well joined to the trunk in its top 2/3, measured from the ridge of the shoulder to the tip of the elbow, it has a length equal to 31/32% of the height at the withers and an inclination with the horizontal line of approx 58ƒ/60ƒ. Its longitudinal direction is parallel to the median plane of the body. The angle between the shoulder-blades and the humerus is between 106ƒ and 110ƒ.
Elbows - The elbows, long and protruding, adherent but not too close to the ribcage, covered with lean skin, must be like the humeri, on a strictly parallel plane to the sagittal plane of the trunk. The tip of the elbow (olecranon epiphysis) is located on the vertical line lowered from the caudal (or back) angle of the shoulder-blade to the ground.
Forearm - It is perfectly vertical, oval section, with several muscles, in particular in the top-third, with a very strong and compact bone structure. Its length, from the tip of the elbow to the one of the arm is equal to 32/33% of the height at the withers. Its perimeter, measured straight underneath the elbow, is equal to 39% of the height at the withers, the carpus-cubital groove is quite marked.
Carpal joint - Seen from the front, it follows the straight vertical line of the forearm; it is lean, wide, mobile, thick. Its perimeter reaches 26% of height at the withers, at its top margin the pisiform bone is strongly projected backwards.
Pastern - It is quite smaller than the forearm, is very strong, lean, elastic, slightly flexed (it forms with the ground an angle of approx. 72/73ƒ). Its length must not be over one sixth of the height of the forelimb at the elbow. Seen from the front, it follows the perpendicular line of the forearm and of the carpus.
Forfeet - They have a round shape, with very arcuated and gathered toes (cat's foot). Lean and hard soles. The nails are strong, curved and pigmented, there is a good pigmentation also in the plantar and digital pads.

HINDQUARTERS - Perpendicular, seen from the front or in profile. Well proportioned to the size of the dog, strong and powerful.

Thigh - It is long and wide, with prominent muscles, therefore the nate ridge is well marked. Its length is over 33% of the height at the withers and the width is never lower than 25% of such height. The thigh-bone axis, quite oblique from the top to the bottom and from the back to the front, has an inclination of 70ƒ on the horizontal line and forms with the coxal axis an angle which is slightly more than right (coxo-femural angle).
Second thigh - It is long, lean, with a strong bone and muscle structure, has a well marked muscular groove. Its length is equal to 32% of the height at the withers and its inclination from the top to the bottom and from the front to the back is of approx. 50ƒ on the horizontal line.
Stifle - The angle of the stifle joint is of approx. 110ƒ. Its direction is parallel to the median plane of the body.
Hock joint - It is wide, thick, and clean, with well marked bone. The protruding hock ridge shows clearly the continuation of the leg groove. The distance from the ridge of the hock to the sole of the foot (to the ground) shouldn't be over 26% of the height at the withers. Its direction, in relation to the median plane of the body is parallel. The tibio-metatarsal angle is of approx 130ƒ.
Hock (Metatarsus) - It is very thick, lean, rather short, cylindrical, and is always perpendicular to the ground, seen from the side and from the back, its length is equal to approx 15% of the height at the withers (tarsus and foot excluded). Its internal side has to present itself without spur.
Hindfeet - They have a slightly more oval shape than the fore ones and less arched toes.

GAIT/MOVEMENT - Long steps, stretched trot, some steps of gallop, but with inclination to stretched trot.

SKIN - It is, rather thick, has limited subcutaneous connective tissue and therefore is adherent everywhere to the layers underneath. The neck is practically without dewlap. The head mustn't have wrinkles. The pigment of the mucous membranes is black. The pigment of the soles and the nails must be dark.

COAT

Hair - Short hair but not smooth, with vitreous texture, shiny, adherent, stiff, and very dense, with a light layer that becomes thicker in winter (but never crops up on the covering hair). Its average length is approx. 2/2,5 cm. On the withers, the rump, the back margin of the thighs and on the tail it reaches approx. 3 cm without creating fringes. On the muzzle the hair is very short, smooth, adherent and is not more than 1/1,5 cm.
Colour - Black, plumb-grey, slate, light grey, light fawn, deer fawn, dark fawn and tubby (very well marked stripes on different shades of fawn and grey). In the fawn and tubby subjects there is a black or grey mask only on the muzzle and shouldn't go beyond the eye line. A small white patch on the chest, on the feet tips and on the nose bridge is accepted.

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT

Height at the withers - For males from 25.6-26.8 inches (tolerance +/- 0.75”) for females from 24.4-25.6 inches. (tolerance of ± 0.4”.)
Weight - Males from 103 (97) to 117 (123) pounds. Females from 88 (84) to 101 (106) pounds. The lbs in the parenthesis reported weights to the tolerances in height.

FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and diffusion.

ELIMINATING FAULTS - Head - Accentuated parallelism of the axes of the skull and the muzzle very marked converging axes of the skull and the muzzle, converging side lines of the muzzle, scissors bite, pronounced and disturbing undershot mouth. Nose - Partial depigmentation. Tail - Forming a ring or in a vertical position. Size - Oversize or undersize. Gait/movement - Continued amble.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS - Head - Diverging axes of the skull and the muzzle, overshot mouth nose bridge resolutely hollow or ram-like. Nose - Total depigmentation. Eyes - Partial and bilateral palpebral depigmentation, wall-eye, bilateral strabismus. Sexual organs - Monorchidism, cryptorchidism, obvious incomplete growth of one or both testicles. Tail - Tailless, short-tail, artificial or congenital. Hair - Semi-long, smooth, fringed. Colours - All colours not prescribed, white patches too wide.

Note - Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

International Cane Corso Federation, 2003

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