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From the looks alone, the Cane Corso aka the Italian Mastiff can be quite intimidating. The athletic build, mean look, and sheer size are enough reasons to think twice about owning one. However, a Cane Corso is one of the most docile and loving dogs. He goes by the nickname “bodyguard” and doesn’t shy away from dispensing his duties of protection when need be. This is one of the many benefits you get from having one at home. In this guide, we take you into a journey of exploring a Formentino, one of the varieties of the Cane Corso. Here are the top 10 facts you didn’t know about this interesting dog breed
1. Has a Blue Fawn Color Pattern
Cane Corso breeds come in different coat colors. The most common one is obviously the black Cane Corso, complete with a black shiny short coat. Pet owners find this kind of coat very attractive and prestigious. The color black absorbs heat better, meaning these dogs also get warmer when temperatures dip. The second variety, the brindle, has a pattern and comes with a short and super-smooth texture. Many pet owners don’t fancy this breed so much because the coat is too smooth for their liking.
The last kind, the Formentino has a blue fawn color pattern. Essentially, this is a carbon-colored (or washed out) fawn with a blue nose and mask.The name Formentino is Italian for “fermented wheat” which implies the color of their coat. Compared to the brindle, the Formentino gets the attention of many dog lovers but a good number of them still prefer the black Cane Corso to the gray one.
2. Grows To A Giant Size
Unknown to many people, the Cane Corso is one of the biggest dog breeds known to man. When young, they tend to be of average size but as they grow older, they explode in size. An average Cane Corso stands to a height of 27 inches and weighs up to 120 lb. If not accorded enough physical activity, they can become obese and bigger than this weight. A Formentino Corso’s head is massive and only measures up to a few breeds out there. The body is equally muscular, big, and strong.
3. Strong-Willed And Stubborn
Although not all Cane Corso dog breeds are hard-headed and strong-willed, most of them unfortunately are. They love to have their way around the house and have things done their way. If you don’t exercise authority, this breed will unapologetically dominate your household. To be safe, set the necessary boundaries earlier on and be firm. If not trained properly and early enough, these dogs can get aggressive. Apart from training, Cane Corso dogs need early socialization to avert their hostile nature. Thankfully, these dogs make up for this trait by loving you and wanting to spend every waking hour with you.
4. High Exercise Requirements
Whether you settle for a black or Formentino Cane Corso, be prepared to give them plenty of exercises. The breed was essentially a working breed during the Roman Empire. Although much has since changed, he still thrives in an exciting activity. Like many other active and agile dogs, a Cane Corso gets restless and destructive when they don’t move their body as they should every day. So, when you notice your Formentino cane corso barking and scratching endlessly, let him off the leash and go for a run, jog, or walk around the neighborhood. Ideally, physical activity lasting not less than one hour should do it. If you can afford more, go for it.
5. Minimal Grooming
Not a fan of brushing and combing your pooch daily? You are in for a treat when you own a Formentino Cane Corso. With a short-haired, solid, and coarse coat, he can go for days without needing any type of grooming. Of course, if you want the coat to remain shiny and soft, you might want to brush him a few times a week. This breed tends to shed twice a year. When he does, the house will need vacuuming to keep the hair situation manageable. Other grooming requirements include the obvious – trim his nails, brush his teeth, and bathe when necessary.
6. Loyalty and Owner-Pleasing
While Formentinos have a tendency to be strong-willed and independent-minded, they are also pleasant, literally. If treated right, they will accord you plenty of hugs, kisses, snuggles, and company for as long as you want. The AKC website actually claims that Cane Corsos in general love pleasing their owners even more than eating their snacks. For a dog, this is a pretty big deal. Whether you are going for a winter excursion, playing a sport in the summer heat, or gardening, your dog will stay by your side the entire time. He doesn’t mind warming the sofa for you after a long hard day’s work at the office.
7. Loves to Work
Alongside physical activity, don’t shy away from giving your Formentino Cane Corso work around the house. After being developed to work for centuries, trust this dog to be a hard worker. When doing laundry, for instance, feel free to teach him to pick up the laundry from the basket and pass it to you to store away. Allow him to carry a backpack with his water, pull a specialized cart with your baby in it, and more. You will realize that when you give your dog these kinds of jobs, he will get excited thrilled.
8. Very Protective In Nature
Back in the Roman Empire, the Cane Corso was heavily used to hunt, protect, do farm work, and a few outdoor jobs. At the center of his responsibilities was keeping a close eye on things in case of impending danger to his owners—ill-meaning strangers, thieves, stray dogs, you name it. No matter the size of the opponent, the Italian Mastiff has no problem putting up a fight to protect his owners. This breed is loyal to its owners only. He can become standoffish and unfriendly to strangers of any kind. If he senses any danger, he gets very agitated and aggressive.
It goes without saying that a Formentino deserves to be a pet dog rather than a guard dog. If you decide to use him for the latter, realize that the connection between him and the owners will be severely affected. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a watchdog for a pet, right? Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Here’s another important thing to keep in mind before bringing a Formentino Cane Corso puppy home. This breed is not one to be left alone for long periods of time. He is outgoing and social, especially around his owners. He portrays sensitivity and affection than most dogs out there. If you work for long hours, organize for a dog sitter to walk the dog. Also, try to engage his mind using toys. If you can, purchase a programmable feeding system that allows you to talk to him from time to time when away from home.
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10. A Formentino Doesn’t Do Well With Violence
As a parent of young kids, spanking may seem like a good discipline for them. However, when it comes to a Formentino Cane Corso, avoid violence of any kind as it can awaken his aggressive side. This breed has been known to deliver deadly and painful bites. His size alone can knock you down before sinking his teeth into your body. The best way to teach Cane Corso new tricks is via praise and rewards, period!
A Formentno Cane Corso is a large breed that can make up for a great family dog. As an extroverted, loyal, and social nature, he gets along with everyone in the family. If you can handle the strong-willed and stubborn nature as well as the high exercise requirements, you will end up with an affectionate, low-maintenance (in the way of grooming), and hardworking dog ever.