From The Formentino Cane Corso To The Blue Cane Corso: 101

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso, the dog whose majestic appearance is only matched by their incredible power. 

Famously called the Italian Mastiff,  the Cane Corso is both a sight and personality to be held, and that’s why they are the discussion of this article. 

First up just how do you say their name? Pretty simple, just pronounce “Cane”, like the name “CONNIE” then Corso sounds just like it looks, “COR-SO”. Another way to phonetically pronounce it is “KAH-NAY KOR-SO”. But don’t worry if you thought Cane was pronounced like “Cane” in Candy Cane because it’s a very common mispronunciation. 


Cane Corso


Formentino Cane Corso – History 

Like all Cane Corsos, the origins of the Formentino come from the same place. Like all mastiff and bully breeds, the Cane Corso lineage can be traced back to the molossoid dogs of Ancient Rome and Greece.

Molossus dogs are often noted for their commanding size and strength, though this wasn’t the case for all that fell into this loosely defined breed of shepherding and guard dogs.

However, the Cane Corso origins are directly linked to the larger variety. And if the Cane Corso seems big to you, your mouth would likely drop if you saw how big their ancestors were. 

During the 1960s, the Cane Corso, including the Formentino Corso, almost went extinct. Thankfully, there were enough Cane Corsos still in existence by the 80s, and through selective breeding, the Corso has made a resounding reappearance.

In fact, out of about 200 officially recognized breeds, the Cane Corso makes it all the way to the 30th spot on AKC’s The Most Popular Dog Breeds list. 


Cane Corso Facts


Fact #1 – Cane Corso are some of the sweetest dogs you could ever meet unless you get on the bad side of their family. Called the ultimate bodyguard-dog by many, there is no challenge too big or small for the Cane Corso. 

Fact #2 – Cane Corso has gotten a bad rap, but little of it is due to them personally. The Cane Corso is an incredible dog with an immense amount of power and intelligence. This combination can be dangerous with poor training. What’s poor training? Aggression and lack of training are sure ways to perpetuate the rap this breed has gotten. 


The Cane Corso is a large dog closely related to the Mastiff breed. However, they have a thinner, more athletic appearance. Their head is large and boxy, and they have short ears that hang tight to their face.

Ear cropping along with tail docking are common in this breed, but they happen less and less, thankfully. Black and fawn are the two most common coat colors and the two basics, but variations such as blue, Formentino, and brindle occur in their coat as well. 

With a sleek and short coat, with slightly saggy skin in some spots and rippling muscles in others, males can stand 28 inches at the shoulder and exceed 100lbs. It’s not unheard for some of the males of this breed to exceed 120lbs even. 


The Cane Corso is incredibly loyal to their owners and naturally protective over their family. They are eager to please but will make the occasional pushback to test their boundaries as pups. The Cane Corso loves being active, but they aren’t without their docile moments. 

The Cane Corso isn’t generally a dog for first-time dog owners or even second-time owners. While one of the most loyal dogs you will ever come across, this isn’t done without early and regular obedience training

Exercise & Training 

Cane Corsos are working dogs, and that means they have big energy demands that you must fulfill. An unexercised Cane Corso can be quite the handful. Bred to work, give this dog a job, and they are happy as clams.

With this breed, they’ll find a “job” one way or another. You aren’t required to give this breed a job though, as long as you’re meeting their exercise needs. A long walk is OK, but a nice hike or jog is better for the Cane Corso. 

Moving on to training, this is not a breed for first-time dog owners. Corso can be quite protective over its owner, so early socialization is a must. Owners will need to be assertive, stern, but caring when training, and never allow their Corso to have their way with inappropriate behavior.

The Corsos are dogs that are deeply in love with their owners, however, making them eager to please and quick to learn.


Generally healthy, hip dysplasia is probably the most common disease this breed sees. Hip Dysplasia is the deterioration of the hip joint that allows it to pop out of the joint socket, causing pain and mobility issues.

The Cane Corso is prone to this disease due to their larger size.  Cherry eye, bloat, and demodectic mange are also diseases to watch out for when you have a Cane Corso.


Due to their incredible size and active nature, the Cane Corso has a daily calorie requirement that rivals many humans. As with all large and giant dog breeds, it’s vital they are on a diet formulated for their size when they are puppies.

While a formulated diet won’t prevent hip dysplasia, it can go a long way in reducing the severity and onset of this hereditary disease. 


Cane Corso



Whether you have a Brindle Cane Corso or a Formentino Cane Corso, your pup’s grooming needs will be low to moderate. They do have a double-layered coat despite it appearing so short — though some Corsos have a decently long undercoat.

This means they shed all year and will have seasonal blowout periods where shedding is heavier. If you keep up with weekly brushing, only expect for it to take a few minutes. A quick wipe down does wonders for keeping this breeds’ coat well-groomed. 


Cane Corso Formentino 

The name Cane Corso Formentino is just another term used to describe Cane Corso with a Formentino coat. While some may tell you the Formentino Cane Corso or the Blue Cane Corso are a separate breed from the black and grey Corso, they definitely aren’t. 


Formentino Cane Corso puppies

When looking for a Cane Corso puppy, expect to pay anywhere between $900 to $2,000 for one. And if you’re heart is set on a Formentino Cane Corso puppy, except the higher end of that range due to their rarer coat markings and colors. 

What is a Formentino Cane Corso?

A Formentino Cane Corso has a fawn or washed-out tan coat with a blue or bluish-black muzzle and sometimes a mask. 

How to get a Formentino Cane Corso?

We always suggest looking into rescues and shelters before turning to a private breeder when you’re looking for a specific breed or type of dog.

We’ll be honest if you go with this route, it may take a while to find a Formentino Cane Corso, especially if you’re looking for a young puppy. You can try searching for “Formentino Cane Corso rescues” to see if anything pops up in your area. 


Cane Corso


How to get a formentino Cane Corso with breeding

Without a doubt, if you’re looking to breed a litter of  100%Formentino Cane Corso puppies, you’re going to want both parents to be Formentino Cane Corso. 

According to Breeding Blue And Formentinos by Bonnie Spiece, “In the Cane Corso, blue, blue brindle and formentino are considered diluted colors, while black, black brindle and fawn are considered dominant.”

If one of the parents has a dominant color, at most, the puppies will only be a carrier for the Formentino gene.

Now, a dog that’s a carrier for the Formentino gene can have Formentino puppies if bred with a Formento dog. However, there is still only a 50/50 chance the puppies turn out Formentino themselves.

Only when breeding two Formentino Cane Corsos together, can you ensure the litter will be mostly Formentino. 


How to breed a Formentino Cane Corso?

Before you look to breed your Formentino Cane Corso, it’s important to understand that the genetics that gives them their coat color is associated with health problems. Dilute dogs like the Formentino and Blue are at a greater risk for developing hot spots, mange, and Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA). 


Blue Cane Corso

There is debate over whether the blue color exists or not. Some say it’s just gray that has enough black in it to give off a blue hue in certain lights. 



Final Thoughts 

Whether blue, black, brindle, or Formentino, the Cane Corso is one incredible dog breed. Smart, proud, highly trainable, and capable, for the right person, this is the dog to get when you want a truly unique companion who always stands out amongst the pack. 

Enjoyed articles like these and don’t want to wait to read another one full of interesting facts? Neither would we. Don’t worry, we have more articles just like this one, and more, from best training practices to the best pet foods. So make sure to stay up with Tindog!

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