Upon researching the perfect breed for my partner and myself, I’ve stumbled over many Mastiffs and one of my top contenders was the Cane Corso.
Little side note: Ultimately, we went for a wonderful female Rottweiler, but the Corso is definitely a close second.
After diving deeper into the breed, I’ve noticed a huge discrepancy in Cane Corso size charts.
Everybody had a different opinion and I was pretty shocked to see that the size differences made a huge difference in how the breed appears.
Don’t get me wrong, every breed has smaller and larger individuals but with the Cane Corso, it’s just the Wild West out there.
I’ve seen relatively small (in terms of height) and incredibly stocky types which look more like American Bullies.
The true Corso (whatever that means is dependent on whose book you’re reading or who you’re listening to) is quite large, athletic, and bears little resemblance to bully-type dogs.
Confirmation came as I inquired with breeders who bred really large, healthy types (judging by, among others, hip/elbow x-rays and physical ability for sports).
These males went up to 150 pounds instead of the max of 100 pounds you’ll often read!
Keep in mind, at this weight, most dogs are just flat-out overweight.
So I rationalized it by thinking European breeders just bred another type of Cane Corso.
Even the AKC doesn’t have guidelines on the Cane Corso’s weight and instead just says it has to be “proportional to the height”.
So keep these things in mind:
- Research the Cane Corso types and see which fits you best
- Stocky or tube-resembling types can end at 100 pounds while those with a strong bone structure can reach 120-150 pounds
- The AKC has no guidance, except “proportional height/weight”
- Most Cane Corso growth charts you’ll find are not from breed experts
Yep, that last point is sadly true.
Apart from the difference in end weight for Cane Corsos, I’ve seen websites mention that 8-week-old puppies range from 26-36 pounds which is far too heavy.
Funnily, according to that chart, they only gain around 4 pounds a week (about half of what they really gain) which creates the same end weight.
Having a relatively accurate growth chart is important to avoid your Cane Corso being underweight (or worse, overweight).
Vets are not always familiar with the Italian Mastiff and it’s your responsibility to make sure your pup has a healthy weight and gets all the nutrients as well as age-appropriate exercise.
Recommended Reading: How Much a Cane Corso Will Really Cost You
Cane Corso Growth Chart
This Cane Corso growth chart will help to keep track of your pup’s growth which usually occurs at a rate of approximately 2.5 pounds (1 kg) per week for several months and should be proportional to their height.
If your Cane Corso deviates +/- 5 pounds as a pup or up to 10-15 pounds as an adult, don’t worry as long as your dog is looking healthy.
Similarly, I didn’t provide ranges but averages instead, meaning if your dog is 1 inch (2.5 cm) larger or shorter, that’s not an issue at all as long as it’s proportionate.
You can easily tell if your Cane Corso is growing properly if you can see the outline of their ribs, notice their belly being tucked in and, when looking from above, clearly see the waist.
Besides looking from the side and from above, you should also be able to locate the ribs, spine, hips, and tail base by feeling.
Your Cane Corso might be underweight if you can clearly see a sharp outline of the ribs.
Conversely, if you can’t spot and can’t easily feel the ribs, then your pup might be overweight.
In that case, the side profile is one flat line without that neat spot where the belly tucks in which often creates an athletic look.
How Fast Do Cane Corsos Grow?
Cane Corso puppies grow around 2-4 pounds (1-2 kg) per week as puppies but their weight gain slows down and growth in height stops after 10 months, from there on they only become wider and fill out with muscle.
Bone growth is finished at around 18 months which is why it’s so important to wait with neutering until that mark at the very least.
You can definitely disrupt the usual Cane Corso growth chart if you opt for early neutering.
During this time, your dog will also go through many behavioral stages.
Mental stimulation is just as important for your dog as physical exercise so definitely don’t discount a Cane Corso’s cognitive development.
Their increasing size correlates with changing behaviors as the hormones kick in.
However, sometimes the problem is that they get bigger and still behave like a puppy (i.e. leash pulling, excitement level, and so on).
It’s your job to properly navigate through all the stages, and that includes fear stages because mental development lasts until 2-3 years of age with large dogs.
How Big Will My Cane Corso Get?
How big your Cane Corso will get depends on their genetics, diet, as well as exercise. If you want a large Cane Corso, don’t pick the runt of a litter or one where the parents aren’t large themselves.
Female Cane Corsos usually weigh in at 90-110 pounds (40-50kg) at 2 years of age at a height of around 23.5-26 inches (60-66 cm).
If you already have a pup (or past litters to compare your pup to) then you can check the Cane Corso growth chart to see whether or not your Corso falls below or above the range.
Sometimes, a dog can make incredible jumps in the span of 2 months but if you suspect a growth problem, consult your vet as health issues can also prevent your dog from properly growing.
The best way to bulk up your Cane Corso is a healthy diet and age-appropriate exercise which can include swimming or training with weighted vests but only after your dog’s bone growth is finished around 18 months.
It’s okay to desire a strong and healthy-looking Cane Corso but there’s a fine line to having an overweight dog.
Being overly bulky is not helpful for dogs at all and with large breeds such as the Cane Corso, it can even be damaging to their hips and elbows.
Instead, aim for an athletic frame and don’t try to force any specific appearance.
Some individuals just look more muscular by nature.
Even within athletic breeds, there can be differences so don’t worry about your Cane Corso getting bulky too soon.
Cane Corso Size Comparison
The growth charts and sizes of dogs such as the Rottweiler, Bullmastiff, Presa Canario, and Great Pyrenees are very similar to the Cane Corso’s growth chart.
Assuming you’re comparing females of each breed.
Males are a slightly different story.
For male Cane Corsos, this study has found their growth rate to cluster with three giant dog breeds: Saint Bernard, Great Dane, and English Mastiff.
However, these dog breeds end up being slightly larger in most cases than your average Corso.
That definitely doesn’t mean that the Cane Corso is a small dog, they’re definitely among the biggest out there, especially if you check out the 150-pound males.
Many first-time owners rush into it, thinking they need the biggest and baddest guard dog, but that also comes with a huge responsibility and financial commitment.
Be prepared to occasionally check your Cane Corso’s growth rate and have an occasional weigh-in (vets usually have a scale large enough for these big boys and gals).
Did you know?
Similar to the Cane Corso’s weight and height gap between males and females, there’s also a considerable size difference between male and female Rottweilers.Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.