The Cane Corso is an ancient dog breed that originated in Italy. The Cane Corso is thought to be descended from the Canis Pugnax, the Roman battle dog. This dog is believed to be the ancestor of all Mollosers.
Around the 4th century BC, the ancient Romans are said to have brought Molloser dogs from Greece to Italy.
The first description of the Cane Corso in Italian literature dates back to 1200.
The Cane Corso is pronounced "Kane" Corso, the pronunciation "Keen" Corso is incorrect. Because many thought that the breed originally came from Corsica, the breed has undergone a name change. In 2000 the Italian Kennel Club decided to add the word "Italiano".
The Cane Corso is an all-round dog and was a valued help on the farm in the country of origin around the 12th century. They were used to guard the yard and protect the livestock, they were also used to help the farmer move the cattle from the stable to the pasture. The qualities of vigor and decisiveness were necessary, exaggerated aggressiveness was absolutely not appreciated. It was important to the Italians that the dog had a social attitude towards family and acquaintances. Still, the Cane Corso's suspicious attitude was seen as a positive trait.
The Cane Corso was not only loved by farmers, but butchers could also use the dogs to help them, for example, to guide bulls to the slaughterhouse. Because of their good hunting instinct, the dogs were also appreciated by the hunters. They were mainly used to hunt big game, such as porcupines and wild boars.
Modernization made the Cane Corso more or less redundant in society. So that in the 1950s the dogs could only be found on the most remote farms in southern Italy.
To prevent the breed from becoming extinct, Dr. Paolo Breber (Italian cynologist) decided to set up a breeding program in the 1970s. Together with a number of enthusiasts of the breed, he founded the SACC = Società Amatori Cane Corso in 1983. Partly because of this, the Cane Corso was recognized by the Italian Kennel Club in 1994. The breed was granted "Provisional Recognition" status in 1996 from the FCI, only to receive final recognition in May 2007.