Are Cane Corso Dogs Dangerous?
The Cane Corso, a majestic and muscular Italian breed dog, is renowned for its impressive physical stature and protective instincts. Historically, the Cane Corso was bred as a working dog entrusted with guarding properties, livestock, and families. This breed’s intimidating appearance and keen intelligence make them effective guard dogs. Still, they also require responsible ownership and careful training to ensure they do not threaten society.
If these dogs do not receive adequate training or are purposefully raised to be vicious, there could be major problems. Even today, dog bite incidents remain a significant public safety concern. According to one study, there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites in the United States annually, with 19% resulting in injuries requiring medical attention. To make matters worse, almost 27,000 people in 2018 needed reconstructive surgery after experiencing a dog bite. While Cane Corso dogs account for only a fraction of the overall dog population, their size, strength, and prey drive can lead to more severe injuries when they attack.
If you have been a Cane Corso dog bite victim, contact The New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer immediately.
Overview of the Cane Corso breed
The Cane Corso breed dates back centuries. They originated from Italy and were initially bred to work alongside farmers, helping guard their properties and livestock. These loyal and powerful dogs quickly gained a reputation for their protective instincts and ability to deter potential threats. Over time, their role evolved, and they became trusted companions for families due to their affectionate nature and strong bonds with their human owners.
Temperament and physical characteristics
Selective breeding plays a vital role in shaping the temperament and behavior of Cane Corso dogs. By carefully mating specific dogs with desired traits, breeders aim to enhance certain characteristics over generations. In the case of a Cane Corso, their breeding history emphasizes protective instincts, loyalty, and a strong sense of territoriality. While this has made them exceptional guard dogs, it also means they can be more prone to being overprotective and potentially aggressive, especially if they perceive a threat to their family or territory. As with any breed, the environment and training responsible owners provide play a crucial role in determining how these inherent traits manifest in individual dogs.
Cane Corso dogs possess distinctive physical traits that contribute to their imposing presence. They have a large muscular build, showcasing strength and agility. Their short coat, typically in various colors like black, gray, or fawn, is easy to maintain. With their well-defined facial features, including a broad head and strong jaw, Cane Corsi has a commanding appearance that often commands respect. These dogs are also known for their keen intelligence, which helps them excel in various tasks and makes them quick learners when properly trained.
How dangerous are Cane Corso dogs?
Even though Cane Corsi does not have nearly as many reported attacks as other breeds, that does not mean their attacks are less vicious. According to one study from 1982 to 2022, Cane Corso dogs were responsible for 21 reported attacks—11 on adults and four on children. The attacks resulted in 12 maimings and even two deaths. Due to their size, strength, and strong prey drive, Cane Corsi can be considered potentially dangerous. While it is important to note that not all Cane Corsi are aggressive or dangerous, their powerful build and protective nature can lead to severe consequences in the event of an attack. It’s important to remember that the breed does not solely determine the severity of dog attacks but is also influenced by factors such as socialization, training, and responsible ownership.
Are Cane Coro dogs more aggressive than Pit Bulls?
Cane Corso dogs and Pit Bulls share some similarities despite being distinct breeds. Here are a few ways in which they are similar:
- Physical strength. Cane Corsi and Pit Bulls are robust and muscular breeds with considerable physical strength. They have powerful jaw muscles, which can contribute to their bite force.
- Loyalty. Both breeds are known for their loyalty to their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and are often protective of them.
- Intelligence. Cane Corsi and Pit Bulls are intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and can excel in various training exercises with positive reinforcement and consistent training methods.
- Playfulness. Both breeds can exhibit playful and affectionate behaviors, especially when properly socialized and raised in a loving environment.
- Need for Socialization. Cane Corso dogs and Pit Bulls require early and ongoing socialization with other dogs, animals, and people to ensure they become well-adjusted and friendly adults.
- Prey drive. While the prey drive may be more pronounced in a Cane Corso, both breeds can have the instinct to chase and sometimes catch smaller animals due to their historical roles as working dogs.
However, a Cane Corso and Pit Bull have different historical breeding purposes influencing their behaviors. Cane Corsi were originally bred as guardians and protectors, often defending properties and livestock from potential threats. On the other hand, Pit Bulls have a varied history, including roles in hunting, herding, and serving as family companions.
Due to their breeding history, Cane Corsi have developed a strong sense of guarding and protection, making them more prone to aggression in certain situations. Their instinct to protect their family and territory and their imposing physical presence can result in aggressive behaviors toward perceived threats—even more so than with Pit Bulls. While aggression is not inherent in all Cane Corso dogs, their breeding purpose has shaped their instincts and responses to specific stimuli.
A Cane Corso has an extremely high prey drive
Prey drive in dogs is an instinctual behavior from their ancestors’ hunting background. It’s like a strong inner urge that pushes dogs to chase, capture, and sometimes even catch smaller animals. This natural drive is particularly robust for the Cane Corso breed due to their history as working dogs used for guarding and protecting. The prey drive is a powerful motivator for them, influencing their behaviors and reactions in certain situations.
How a strong prey drive can lead to unpredictable behaviors and aggression
A high prey drive can lead to unpredictable behaviors in Cane Corsi. When triggered, they might become hyper-focused and fixated on a moving target, making them less responsive to commands from their owners. This intense focus can be mistaken for aggression. Still, it is important to understand that the dog is merely acting on its instinctual drive rather than a deliberate intention to be aggressive. However, if the situation escalates, there is a risk that the dog’s natural response to the perceived “prey” can result in aggression and harmful consequences.
Cane Corso dogs don’t choose to behave aggressively but are driven by their instincts. Their behavior results from thousands of years of breeding and adaptation for specific tasks that involve guarding and protecting. While most Cane Corso dogs may never act aggressively towards people, the strong prey drive poses potential risks, especially when the dog is not adequately trained or supervised in certain situations. Responsible dog owners should proactively understand and manage their Cane Corso’s prey drive, utilize positive training methods, and maintain a safe environment to prevent potential harm or unintended consequences.
Instinct makes a Cane Corso more likely to target smaller animals and children
Due to their incredibly strong prey drive, a Cane Corso is likely to see smaller animals, such as cats or dogs, as potential prey. When encountering such animals, their instincts can take over, leading them to chase or attack the smaller creature. Additionally, a Cane Corso may view young children as potential “prey” due to their quick movements and higher-pitched voices, which can trigger the dog’s instinctual response. It is so important for Cane Corso owners to be aware of this instinct and take necessary precautions, such as supervised interactions and proper training, to prevent any potential harm to smaller animals or children.
Contributing factors to Cane Corso’s aggression
Sometimes aggression is not always so cut and dry, especially in dogs. In the Cane Corso breed, several elements significantly shape their behavior and tendency to become more aggressive.
Lack of proper socialization and training
Proper socialization and training are vital for all dog breeds, including Cane Corso dogs. Socialization involves exposing the dog to various people, animals, and environments from a young age. This helps them develop positive behaviors and adapt well to different situations. Without adequate socialization, Cane Corsi may become fearful or anxious when faced with unfamiliar circumstances, leading to defensive or aggressive responses. Training is equally essential in teaching dogs appropriate behaviors and responses to commands. A lack of training can result in a Cane Corso being unsure of how to behave in certain situations, potentially leading to aggressive behaviors as a form of self-defense.
Irresponsible ownership and neglect lead to aggressive tendencies
How a dog is raised and treated has much more of a significant impact on its behavior than you may realize. Irresponsible ownership, such as neglecting proper care, not providing enough exercise, or using harsh training methods, can contribute to developing aggressive tendencies in a Cane Corso. Dogs not adequately cared for or mistreated may become fearful or defensive. As a result, this will potentially lead to aggressive behavior as they cope with their environment or as a way to protect themselves.
Potential genetic predisposition to aggressive behavior
While it is important to recognize that not all Cane Corso dogs are aggressive, some individuals within the breed may have a genetic predisposition towards aggression. Selective breeding practices in the past might have unintentionally passed on aggressive traits, making some of these dogs more prone to aggressive behavior. However, genetics is only one factor that can influence a dog’s behavior, and responsible breeding and socialization can play a significant role in shaping a Cane Corso’s overall temperament.
Why does aggression happen?
Sometimes dogs showcase their aggression immediately. Other times, people are caught off guard because a seemingly nice dog suddenly snaps and turns aggressive. What’s the reason either of these even happens?
- Fear. Aggression can be a defensive response when a Cane Corso feels threatened or afraid. It is their way of protecting themselves from perceived dangers or uncomfortable situations.
- Territoriality. With their strong guarding instincts, Cane Corso dogs may display aggression when they feel their territory is being invaded or perceive someone or something as a threat to their family or property.
- Lack of socialization. Insufficient exposure to various people, animals, and environments during the critical socialization period as puppies can lead to fear and aggression towards unfamiliar situations or individuals.
- Pain or discomfort. Dogs in pain or discomfort may exhibit aggression to communicate their distress or protect themselves from being touched or approached.
- Possessiveness. These dogs may also show aggression if they feel possessive over resources such as food, toys, or their resting spots.
- Frustration. Frustration resulting from restraint, lack of exercise, or inability to access something they desire can manifest as aggression.
- Previous negative experiences. Past traumatic experiences or abusive treatment can lead to defensive aggression in a Cane Corso.
- Genetic predisposition. Some Cane Corso dogs may have a genetic predisposition towards aggressive behaviors.
Recognizing the signs of aggression
Identifying signs of aggression in a Cane Corso is an important part of being a responsible dog owner. However, it is also helpful for anyone interacting with this type of dog. Here are some common signs of aggression that a Cane Corso may display:
- Growling and snarling. Growling and snarling are vocal expressions of displeasure or discomfort, indicating that the dog feels threatened or defensive.
- Raised hackles. When a Cane Corso feels threatened, the hair along their back and neck may stand on end, known as “raised hackles.”
- Stiff body language. Aggressive dogs may exhibit stiff and rigid body postures, with their muscles tense and their tail held high or straight.
- Lunging or snapping. Cane Corsi may lunge or snap at people or other animals when they perceive a threat or feel uncomfortable.
- Showing teeth. Baring teeth is a clear sign of aggression and a warning signal that the dog may be more aggressive if the threat is not removed.
- Direct eye stare. An aggressive Cane Corso might fixate its gaze on a perceived threat, demonstrating an intense focus and readiness to react.
- Raised lips. When a Cane Corso raises its lips to reveal its teeth, it exhibits a defensive or aggressive posture, signaling potential aggression.
- Protective or possessive behavior. An aggressive Cane Corso may also display possessive behaviors over food, toys, or territory, becoming defensive if someone or another animal approaches these resources.
Owning a Cane Corso can affect your homeowners or renters’ insurance
It may not be all too surprising to hear, but owning a Cane Corso, like any other potentially dangerous dog breed, can impact your homeowners or renters’ insurance. Insurance companies assess risks associated with different breeds; some may have specific policies or restrictions concerning certain breeds, including a Cane Corso.
Because Cane Corsi are known for their size, strength, and potential to display aggressive behaviors, insurance companies may consider them a higher liability risk. As a result, some insurance providers may charge higher premiums for homeowners’ or renters’ insurance or exclude coverage for specific incidents related to the dog. In some cases, insurance companies may require you to take certain precautions if you own a Cane Corso, such as having a secure fence around your property or obtaining additional liability coverage for dog-related incidents.
The impact of a Cane Corso bite
A Cane Corso is a strong dog whose bite force can be quite significant. Due to their muscular build and sharp teeth, their bites can cause severe damage to their victims. Their bite force is stronger than many other dog breeds, making it essential to know how to handle them responsibly and ensure they are well-trained.
Severity of injuries
A Cane Corso possesses a daunting physical strength characteristic of their breed. With a well-muscled and robust build, they are eye-catching and can weigh up to 110 to 150 pounds in adulthood. This size and strength, combined with their protective instincts, can make them powerful and potentially more dangerous in certain situations.
A Cane Corso’s bite is incredibly forceful
Their bite force is one crucial factor contributing to their ability to cause severe damage. Cane Corsos have powerful jaws, and their bite force is known to be stronger than many other dog breeds. According to some studies, a Cane Corso’s bite force can range between 500 to 700 pounds per square inch (psi). To put this into perspective, the average bite force of a human is about 150 psi. This means that a Cane Corso’s bite can exert several times more pressure than a human, making it capable of causing significant harm.
Due to their strong jaw, dog bites from Cane Corsi can result in very severe injuries, including deep tissue wounds, punctures, and fractures. Victims may require immediate medical attention, surgery, and extended rehabilitation. These dog bite injuries can sometimes have long-term consequences, such as scarring, nerve damage, and emotional trauma. These injuries can significantly impact a victim’s physical and emotional well-being, and in severe cases, they may require ongoing medical treatment and support.
Who are likely victims of a Cane Corso dog bite?
Anyone can be a dog bite victim, including Cane Corso attacks. However, certain factors may increase the likelihood of an incident with this breed. For instance, young children may be more susceptible to dog bites due to their small size and higher-pitched voices, which can trigger a dog’s prey drive or territorial instincts. Additionally, individuals unfamiliar with dogs, acting threateningly or inadvertently provoking a Cane Corso, may be at greater risk.
Legal implications of Cane Corso attacks
Dog owners are legally responsible for ensuring their pets do not pose a danger to others. When a Cane Corso, or any dog for that matter, inflicts harm on a person or another animal, the owner may be held liable for the damages caused. This responsibility is based on the principle of negligence, where owners are expected to exercise reasonable care to prevent their dogs from causing harm to others. If a dog attack occurs, the victim may pursue a legal claim against the owner to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the incident. Considering the type of damage a Cane Corso can do in just one bite, the expenses can quickly increase.
How a dog bite attorney can help
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite from a Cane Corso or any other type of dog, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. An experienced dog bite attorney will collect evidence, interview witnesses, secure your medical records, and talk to the insurance company of the dog’s owner. As with any type of legal issue, you should never try to handle it by yourself. A dog bite attorney can make your situation much less stressful to handle, especially if a settlement cannot be reached and the case winds up going to court in New Jersey.
Contact an experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyer today
If you have experienced a Cane Corso dog attack, seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney specializing in dog bite cases. David J. Cowhey at the New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer is an excellent choice to represent you in such a situation. With a deep understanding of New Jersey’s laws related to dog attacks and a proven track record of successfully advocating for dog bite victims for decades, we possess the expertise needed to navigate the complexities of your case.
We understand how traumatic dog bites can be—that’s why we’ll do as much as possible to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and emotional distress. You should not try to fight a case like this on your own. To receive the legal support and representation necessary to pursue your claim and move forward on the path to recovery, please call David J. Cowhey at 866-343-3181 or reach out to us through our online form and schedule your free consultation.