Brindle Cane Corso – All you Need to Know

Brindle Cane Corso

What is a Brindle Cane Corso?

A Brindle Cane Corso refers to a specific patterning which is commonly found on a Cane Corso. In it’s native Italian the effect is referred to as Tigrato due to to it’s similarities with the stripes of a Tiger. Unsurprisingly this effect is incredibly popular with owners due to the unique and striking looks it can produce.

Brindle is located in the K Locus which is the same place as the Dominant Black color which is so common amongst Cane Corso. Due to Brindle being recessive to the Dominant Black color it is a lot less common. A recessive gene means that both parents need to possess the gene for any puppies to be born Brindle. If a Brindle is bred with a Cane Corso which does not carry the gene then no Brindle puppies will be produced. However you can have two non-brindles produce Brindle offspring if they both carry a copy of the Brindle gene.

Different Colors of a Brindle Cane Corso

Black Brindle Cane Corso

Black Brindle is the most common style of Brindle that is found on a Cane Corso. This is unsurprising given the prominence of the Black color on a Cane Corso. On a Black Cane Corso the brindle pattern will display in alternating stripes between the normal dark black color and a lighter dark brown. As every brindle pattern is unique it is impossible to predetermine how much of each will show but more common to see more of the Brown color than Black. When this is reversed and the dog is almost all Black this is often referred to as a Reverse Brindle effect.

Blue Brindle Cane Corso/Gray Brindle Cane Corso

The Blue Brindle Cane Corso is a lot more rarer to be seen than the normal Black Brindle. Officially this color is known as Gray Brindle by the AKC which is important to note if anyone ever refers to them as Blue.

In order for a Brindle Cane Corso to be Blue it requires the recessive dilution gene. As this is a recessive gene it needs to be passed on by both parents in order for it to be displayed by any puppies. The best way to produce these rare Cane Corsi, is through breeding Blue Brindle dogs together.

Chestnut Brindle Cane Corso

The Chestnut Brindle Cane Corso is a very rare Cane Corso color combination. Whilst the majority of Cane Corso colors are dark with Black being the most common. Chestnut is a much lighter color appearing more similar to a traditional Brown/Fawn. The Brindle effect appears as darker stripes throughout their coat making a beautiful and unique color combination.

How to tell if a Cane Corso is Purebred

With a large amount of Cross breeding through the years it is hard purely to tell by sight if a Cane Corso is a purebred. That does not mean however you can’t have a good idea that they are mainly Cane Corso. They should be around 27 inches in height (slightly shorter for females) and over 100 pounds in weight. They will be a very lean muscular dog with a large chest. There will also be much longer rear legs making the back appear to slant downwards when stood upright. In addition they will have short fur and will usually appear in darker colors.

The best way to add certainty is too look back through their lineage. There are requirements for being able to register these dogs to the AKC and a long lineage will help add confidence. You can also go down the route of DNA testing although it is debatable how accurate this will be but it will certainly be an indicator when combined with other factors.

Why do they cut Cane Corso Tails/Crop their Ears?

Historically there were reasons as to why these were cropped. It was mainly seen in dogs which had a working role in either hunting or fighting other animals. This was to stop their tails or ears potentially being grabbed by one of these animals and therefore removing them offered them greater protection. There have also been reasons over time for a variety of reasons such as for spiritual reasons or even in some areas for tax reasons.

In the modern day there is no reason to engage in this practice and any breeder offering this service should be a red flag. This practice is outlawed in a large number of countries due to it offering no notable benefits and especially in the case of ears leading to a lot of extra health 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 capability to fight alongside the Legionnaires. They frequently 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 important dogs acclimated 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 still 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 part in society they were infrequently 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 formerly 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 canine herding cows. This led to him enquiring further 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.

Cane Corso Health Issues

Blue Cane Corso

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.

Hip Dysplasia 

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.

Elbow Dysplasia

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.

Cherry Eye

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.

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