The Cane Corso [ˈkaːne ˈkɔrso] is an Italian breed of dog, for years valued highly in Italy as a companion, guardian and hunter.
The Cane Corso is a large Italian Molosser, which is closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. In name and form the Cane Corso predates its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is well muscled and less bulky than most other Mastiff breeds. The breed is known as a true and quite possibly the last of the coursing Mastiffs. The official Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) standard expects ideal dogs to stand 62–72 cm (24–28 in) at the withers, with females in the lower range and males in the higher. Weight should be in keeping with the size and stature of these dogs, ranging from 45 to 50 kg (99 to 110 lb). The overall impression should be of power, balanced with athleticism. A Corso should be moderately tight skinned; however, some dewlap on the neck is normal, and the bottom of the jawline should be defined by the hanging lip.
The head of the Cane Corso is arguably its most important feature. It is large and imposing. In general, it gives the appearance of regality. The forehead should be flat and convergent to the muzzle. The muzzle is flat, rectangular (when viewed from above), and generally as wide as it is long approximately 33% the total length of the skull (a ratio of 2:1). The eyes are almond in shape, set straight and when viewed from the front, set slightly above the line of the muzzle. Darker eyes are preferred, however, the color of the eyes tends to emulate the shade of brindling in the coat. Traditionally the ears are cropped in equilateral triangles that stand erect.
Cani Corso appear in two basic coat colours: black and fawn. This is further modified by genetic pigment dilution to create grey (from black) and frumentino or formentino(from fawn) colours. Brindling of varying intensity is common on both basic coat colours as well, creating tigrato (black brindle), and Grigio Tigrato (grey brindle). White markings are common on the chest, tips of toes, the chin, and the bridge of the nose. Large white patches are not desirable. The average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_Corso
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