Cane Corso Breed standard

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.

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 and 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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