The Cane Corso, or Italian Mastiff, is a strong and noble breed that was almost wiped out in the mid twentieth century.
After a group of enthusiasts banded together to revive the breed in the 1970s, they have only grown in popularity. They are loved as both family pets and guard dogs. In fact the breed name roughly translates to “the bodyguard”!
This is not a beginner’s dog. These guys need intensive training and care. They need a job to focus on or they can become extremely destructive.
It’s traits like this that push up the price of a Cane Corso above that of a regular dog.
In this article, we will talk you through how much you should expect to pay to buy one, and discuss the most common costs associated with owning one of these incredible dogs.
Contents and Quick Navigation
- How Much Does A Cane Corso Cost?
- Factors That Impact The Cost Of A Cane Corso
- Long Term Ownership Costs
- How To Find A Reputable Cane Corso Breeder
How Much Does A Cane Corso Cost?
Cane Corso Puppy Price
A Cane Corso puppy will usually cost between $900 and $2,000.
This is for a puppy that has a good pedigree and health checks but isn’t of a high enough standard to show. This doesn’t indicate that there’s anything wrong with the puppy, only that they don’t fit the breed standard to show level.
Puppies that are show quality are generally sold for $2,500 to $4,000 but prices may rise as high as $8,500 (these puppies will have a superior pedigree which drives up their price). A pedigree is proof that the dog is purebred and comes from an excellent line.
A breeder that uses dogs with show level pedigrees will have had to pay more for the use of the male dog.
There will also be the running cost that comes from keeping dogs at show level condition. The net effect is that a show quality Cane Corso will cost a breeder more to raise and they’re going to pass that cost on in the purchase price.
Cane Corso Dog Price
If you are not interested in a puppy, there is always the option of taking on an adult Cane Corso. Rescuing a dog is an extremely rewarding experience – some Cane Corsos find themselves in rescue centers through no fault of their own.
The average price for adopting a Cane Corso is between $250 to $500.
This usually covers work that the center has done with the dog including spaying or neutering, health checks and some basic training. The center will also be able to give you a good idea of whether or not this dog is a fit for your lifestyle.
You can also find rescue centers that focus solely on Cane Corsos. Their website lists dogs that need help and you may find one in your area.
Remember, taking on an adult dog may be difficult. Some dogs have had traumatic histories that could cause behavioral issues. Training for these dogs is vitally important and should be taken into consideration when making the decision to adopt an adult or buy a puppy.
Cane Corso Service Dog Price
The Cane Corso wasn’t nicknamed “the bodyguard” for nothing. These dogs are formidable watchdogs. They are strong, powerful and naturally highly protective over their family.
Many people believe these dogs are the best guard dogs for property and personal protection.
Having a professional guard dog should not be taken lightly. If it’s something you are interested in, you should find a professional company that is experienced in training these dogs. A fully trained protection dog is going to cost you between $8,500 and $13,000.
Factors That Impact The Cost Of A Cane Corso
When you’re buying a Cane Corso, there are lots of factors to consider that will have an impact on the price of your dog.
It’s important to think hard about what you want from your Cane Corso. This section will help you understand here best to spend your money.
Unless you’re talking about a fully trained protection dog, the most expensive a Cane Corso is going to be is between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks. This is the prime time for buying puppies and it’s when breeders will charge the most for them.
If the breeder doesn’t manage to sell all their puppies in the 8 to 12 week window, they tend to lower their prices. Once they are a year old, the price of a puppy greatly reduces.
The coat colors that the Cane Corso is most likely to show are black, grey, red, fawn and brindle.
Most coat colors are acceptable within the breed standard for Cane Corso. When the breed was being developed by enthusiasts, they wanted to produce a larger variety of beautiful colors.
Occasionally you do find pups that have coat colors that are not accepted by the breed standard, for example ‘blues’. These puppies are slightly cheaper than those with traditional coat colors.
There is not much difference in the price of a male and female. Males tend to grow larger than females and will need more food (this is really the only extra cost). Females are recommended for first time Cane Corso owners as they have a sweeter, calmer nature.
Lineage and Bloodlines
The lineage of your puppy will greatly impact their price. If you have a dog that has a show winning bloodline (that the breeder can prove), the price of the puppy will increase.
In one way this is good as show dogs have to have excellent temperaments so you’re sure to receive a dog with a great character. On the other hand, many breeders who don’t breed show quality dogs still have excellent puppies with wonderful personalities. You just have to be sure to do your research into your breeder.
Traveling to pick up a puppy is always going to raise the cost. The further away your breeder is located, the more expensive it will be to pick up your pup. Some breeders even offer flight packages to have puppies flown over to you.
We would always recommend going over to see the puppy first and traveling back with it if you are able. This way you can be sure of what you’re buying.
The Cane Corso is an American Kennel Club certified breed. This means breeders are held to a certain standard if they want to be registered with the American Kennel Club.
Remember, the higher the welfare practices, the more expensive the pup will be. Registered breeders are going to charge more for their puppies because their care is more expensive.
Unregistered breeders may be able to charge less for their puppies but they may also have lower welfare standards.
Certification and Warranties
For a show quality dog, it’s definitely worth buying a puppy with all the fancy certifications and proof of bloodlines. These will improve your chances of doing well in the show dog world.
If you don’t want to show your pup, it’s really not as important to have all the certificates. And of course, dogs without certificates will be significantly cheaper.
Long Term Ownership Costs
The price of buying a dog is not the only price you have to pay. There are many different expenses needed to keep a dog healthy and happy. Much like children, there’s a hidden cost to dog ownership that needs to be considered.
Their training is incredibly important. These dogs are intelligent, protective and affectionate towards their owners but if you’re not careful they will easily end up owning you.
These dogs need training from the moment they come home. Signing up for group puppy classes and individual training sessions are a must. This will cost you between $20 (group) to $100 (individual) per session.
Obviously, this is different if you’re bringing home a fully trained personal protection dog. The trainer will spend a couple of days handing the dog over to you and teaching you their commands. They will also help settle the dog in and this all comes with the price of the dog.
The Cane Corso doesn’t require a huge amount of grooming. Their coat is short and sheds twice a year (in spring and fall). Regular brushing should keep their fur healthy and clean. As they are a large dog, you may not have the facilities to bathe them. In this case, a professional groomer is going to be a big help.
They don’t need grooming very often and once every couple of months should be more than fine. Groomers will also clip nails and brush teeth if this is something you’re nervous about.
Grooming will start at $50 per session.
Health Care and Veterinary Bills
Vet checkups should happen yearly and will usually cost between $20-$75. The Cane Corso is well known for being an extremely hardy breed. The only conditions they’re prone to are hip dysplasia, bloat and entropion.
- An operation for hip dysplasia is likely to cost $1,500-$6,000. Medication for pain relief is going to be quite expensive too as they’re heavy dogs coming in at 90 to 120lb.
- If your dog develops bloat, it’s going to cost $1,500-$7,500 to fix. Making sure they’re eating small meals more frequently as this should help reduce the risk of bloat.
- Entropion is when the eyelid is shaped abnormally and may cause damage to the eye itself. This will cost $300-$1,500 to fix.
Although they are relatively healthy, the possibility of one of these conditions appearing should not be overlooked. Having good insurance is the best way to manage these health costs.
The Cane Corso is considered one of the most expensive breeds to insure – this is mainly due to their large size.
It’s going to cost a minimum of $100 per month for insurance, but you could get reimbursed for every vet bill from now on! Save massively on your pet’s medical costs whether it’s an illness, injury, or wellness expense that needs taking care of.
Some companies even refuse to cover this breed, so you should do some research into this before getting one.
Food and Treats
The Cane Corso is a large dog and they need plenty of food to keep them healthy.
High-quality kibble is recommended for this breed and they will need 4-8 cups of it a day. The exact amount they need will depend on their weight and level of activity. The more active the dog, the more they will need to eat.
A 30lb bag of dog food contains 120 cups of dog food. If your Cane Corso eats 6 cups a day, that bag will last you around 20 days. Assuming one bag costs $50, you’re going to be spending almost $1,000 on dog food each year. That’s not including treats which you will have to buy as these dogs will need them for positive reinforcement training.
The last items to consider are items like the dog’s bed, bedding, water and food bowl, lead, collar, harness, dog tags and toys.
These items are important, but don’t feel like you have to spend huge amounts of money on them. Your dog will appreciate a good bed but won’t care if their collar doesn’t match their harness.
Think carefully about where to spend your money.
How To Find A Reputable Cane Corso Breeder
Finding a reputable breeder for a Cane Corso is important as these dogs have some character traits that can be difficult to manage.
Good breeders only use dogs that display personalities that fit the breed standard. A Cane Corso should be intelligent, affectionate, loyal, confident and protective. An overprotective nature that could lead to aggression is not a good trait and a good breeder will not breed with a dog that shows this trait.
Bad breeders just breed to make money and will be producing dogs that are substandard. When you are looking for a breeder, look out for warning signs such as selling puppies under 8 weeks old. Also, it’s not a good sign if they ‘always have puppies available’. A breeder that seems to be trying too hard to sell the puppies is likely to be a poor breeder.
Good breeders will have puppies in a clean and safe environment. They will be able to provide you with the correct paperwork and health checks for your puppy.
This should include hip scores. They will also be able to tell you about any health issues and assist you with training and diet advice. Many good breeders have contracts that you sign when buying the puppy that ensure you have to take them to training classes and return agreements.
The Cane Corso is a noble dog but they’re not for a first time dog parent.
This is a powerful breed that takes an experienced hand to shape it into a loving companion. With consistent socialization and training, these dogs make wonderful pets for the right owners.
Now you have a general idea of how much these dogs will cost, you should be able to make an informed decision about whether you should bring one of these dogs into your life.
It takes a specific type of character to truly live happily with this majestic breed.
Do you have a Cane Corso shaped hole in your life? Let us know in the comments section below…