What is a Blue Cane Corso?
A Blue Cane Corso refers to the presence of the recessive dilution gene in a normally Black Cane Corso. Whilst many other breeds refer to this color as Blue it is officially called Gray when talking about a Cane Corso. Whilst there is some confusion around this topic it is important to realise anyone referring to a Blue Cane Corso are talking about what is officially called Gray.
To produce a Blue Cane Corso it requires the recessive dilution gene to be present. This means that both parents need to pass on the DNA to any offspring produced. When breeding Cane Corsi, you will always end up with Blue offspring if both parents are Blue in Color. This does not mean however that you can’t produce Blue offspring from Non-Blue dogs.
For a Non-Blue Cane Corso to produce a Blue Cane Corso it requires that they are a Blue carrier. Due to Blue being a recessive color it is possible for one with a Black coat to also have the Blue genetics. However unlike breeding Blue Cane Corsi, together it has a reduced chance of producing Blue puppies. When breeding a Blue Cane Corso and a Blue carrier you should expect 1 in 2 to be born Blue with the other half being Blue carriers. If two Blue carriers were bred then there would still be a 1 in 4 chance of a Blue puppy despite neither parent being Blue. There would also be 1 in 2 Blue Carriers and 1 in 4 Non-Blue.
Blue Brindle Cane Corso
A Blue Brindle Cane Corso is officially referred to as a Gray Brindle Cane Corso. A Blue Brindle requires the dilution gene to be present to turn any Cane Corso coat from Black to Blue. In addition to this it also requires the Brindle gene. Whilst it is rarer to see a Blue Brindle than a solid Blue it is still fairly common and easy to breed for. If you are breeding two Brindles together more than 50% of the offspring are likely to also be Brindle.
The Cane Corso is also known as the Italian Mastiff. In Italian the Brindle pattern is called Tigrato which refers to the effect as tiger stripes. The Brindle pattern itself is often referred to in the same way due to the interchanging lighter and darker colors. In a Blue Brindle this will lead to intertwining lighter/darker Blue/Gray shades creating a stunning pattern. It is noted that every Tiger is unique with no pattern repeating itself twice, this is also true for the Brindle pattern.
Does a Blue Cane Corso have Blue Eyes?
The Blue coat found on a Cane Corso does not have any impact on the expected eye color. Whilst the dilution gene leads to a lighter colored coat this does not translate to all areas of their complexion.
Cane Corsi, usually have lighter colored eyes when they are first born. This will often lead to newly born Cane Corsi, having Blue eyes which will then darken over the first few weeks. If there eyes do stay lighter this can sometimes be a sign of eye issues and should be monitored and picked up with a vet if you believe there are any issues.
Cane Corso History
These large powerful Mastiff’s are steeped in history stretching back to the days of the Roman Legions. These large dogs that can weigh up to 130 pounds were an integral part of the war effort with their keen ability to fight alongside the Legionnaires. They often were strapped with oil to run through the enemy lines allowing archers to ignite the oil through their lines. Their role however has evolved over the centuries since.
After the fall of Rome these powerful dogs adapted to life in roles around farms and animal-husbandry. They often were left to carry out tasks such as guarding homes and livestock whilst keeping wildlife at bay such as wild boars. This dog is unsurprisingly popular in it’s native Italy and is very much embedded in the Italian identity.
There was however a time in recent history where the move away from farm-life led towards it’s extinction. around the 1950’s and 1960’s with no clear role in society they were rarely bred and on a steep decline. It was only when some of the last remaining Cane Corsi, were spotted by breeders that their population began to rise again. One of the first breeders to reintroduce the Cane Corso was motivated by the nostalgia around them from remembering how his Grandfather once used to raise Cane Corso.
It wasn’t until as recently as 1988 that the first Cane Corsi, were imported to America. When a Neapolitan Mastiff breeder travelled to a Sicilian wedding he spotted this large athletic dog herding cows. This led to him enquiring more about the dog with the local farmer and he was so impressed by it’s characteristics he took some back to America and their popularity has grown ever since.
Is a Blue Cane Corso a Good Family Dog?
As with many dogs in the working dog group they are fiercely loyal and protective of their human pack. These traits line up well with being a great family dog due to their willingness to play their role in the group. They will often be harder to integrate into wider society however due to this. If not socialised from an early age they will become wary especially around other dogs. It is also important to be careful around young children due to their large size.
They are however a very low maintenance dog, they will not need grooming regularly (around once a month). They also have minimal shedding which will lead to less hair being left to clear up. This should also help to reduce allergies but they are not Hypoallergenic so there will be some reaction.
Cane Corso Health Issues
As with most dogs there a number of health issues to be aware of when raising a Cane Corso, they are afflicted by a number of issues which are common especially around larger breeds.
This leads to a reduced range of movement in the hind legs along with a reluctance in jumping, running and climbing stairs. Ensuring they stay at a healthy weight and are fed a high quality diet will help delay the onset.
In addition to Hip Dysplasia the Cane Corso can also be afflicted in the Elbow. Similar to the hips the onset of this can be hastened by additional stress on the joints from being overweight. It is important to feed a Cane Corso a diet rich in supplements such as Omega 3, Glucosamine and Chondroitin as this is proven to support healthy joints.
Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)
This is largely associated with eating large meals rather than several smaller meals. Studies have shown that dogs which are fed one large meal a day are more likely to be afflicted. In addition it has been observed that foods high in oils such as sunflower or animal fat can be a contributing. Whilst this illness can be life threatening in the worst of cases there are additional ways to reduce the risk. Elevated feeding is recommended as a way to reduce this pressure in addition to several meals a day.
This is a problem which can be fairly common within a Cane Corso. It is where the third eye lid becomes inflamed or irritated. It displays itself as a small red lump under the eye similar to a cherry. This often displays itself through puppyhood and will require vet treatment to either remove or re-attach.
A condition which is present in a number of breeds including the Cane Corso. It will display as sudden and recurrent seizures if you spot these signs you should consult your vet.