As your 1 year old Cane Corso celebrates their first birthday, we take a look at the milestones they should have reached, and the ones coming up next.
- How much should a 1 year old Cane Corso weigh?
- When do Cani Corsi stop growing?
- How much should a 1 year old Cane Corso eat?
- When is it time to switch to an adult diet?
- How does a 1 year old Cane Corso behave?
- What is the best way to train a 1 year old Cane Corso dog?
- Cane Corso 1 year checklist
At 1 year old, a Cane Corso is nearly coming to the end of their puppyhood. But, they still have some physical and emotional development left to go, and the task of training them isn’t over yet!
Handsome Hercules completely transforms from a newborn puppy to young adult in this video. Let’s find out more about the milestones he’s reached.
1 year old Cane Corso
The Cane Corso, also known as the King Corso or Italian Mastiff is an impressive-looking dog, originally bred for guarding work, but more likely to be kept as a pampered pet today. If you’re lucky enough to meet a Corso on their first birthday, you’re not quite seeing the finished dog yet. They’re still on the cusp of adulthood, and it’s an exciting time!
1 year old Cane Corso size
Rather than specify upper and lower weight limits for ‘ideal’ Cani Corsi, the Cane Corso breed standard only specifies that their weight should be proportionate to their height. However, we know from owner reports that a full grown Cane Corso typically weighs 85-100lbs if they’re a girl, and 100-115lbs if they’re a boy. By their first birthday, Cani Corsi are usually within fractions of an inch of their final adult height. But they have only reached around 90% of their final body weight. In fact they might still look rather like gangly teenagers. Which is appropriate, because 12 months old is still within the adolescent period for a dog this size. Over the next few months, they’ll fill out with muscle, and gain another 10lbs or so in the process.
Factors besides sex that determine a Cane Corso’s final adult size are birth weight and litter size. Smaller puppies and puppies with lots of siblings tend to become smaller adults. However this is only a generalization – there are lots of Cane Corso owner who will tell you their dog is the exception to the rule!
When do Cani Corsi stop growing?
Most Cane Corso dogs reach their final adult weight by about 15 months old. Continuing to weigh them regularly after their first birthday and keeping a simple chart of the results is the easiest way to recognize when they have stopped growing. Most veterinarians have scales in the waiting area which you can pop in and use for free. Lots of pet stores also have free-to-use scales. Pinpointing the weight at which their growth levels off will give you a useful idea of their ideal adult weight, for future reference.
Cane Corso size chart
You can also ask your breeder if they kept growth records for the dogs in their breeding lines, and when they finished growing. Bear in mind that whilst a Cane Corso size chart based on average values is useful, every individual will also follow their own unique trajectory.
NOTE: Unlike smaller dogs, giant breeds all grow at very different rates. For example, French Bulldogs and Cocker Spaniels reach a similar size, and reach it at roughly the same pace. But even though an adult Cane Corso weighs about the same as a Great Dane or St Bernard, all three have growth spurts at different times. The message being, don’t compare your growing Cane Corso to your friend’s growing Bernese Mountain Dog! If you’re worried about your puppy’s size, ask your puppy’s breeder or another experienced Corso owner for their advice. Even better, ask your vet to assess your Corso’s body condition.
How much should a 1 year old Cane Corso eat?
Any Cane Corso owner can tell you that feeding their dog is one of the most expensive parts of owning them. These giant dogs have super-sized appetites to match. Until they finish growing, they need a diet which is specifically described as being suitable for large breed puppies. These diets are carefully balanced to support a healthy rate of growth – growing too slowly and too fast are both equally dangerous.
How much a 1 year old Cane Corso should eat depends upon what they are eating. If you’re buying food from the pet store, follow the portion guidelines on the packaging. Raw and homemade diets should be checked and approved by a veterinarian, and reviewed regularly. If you’re worried that your Cane Corso is gaining weight too quickly, or not rapidly enough, ask a vet’s advice before making changes to their diet.
When is it time to switch to an adult diet?
Giant dog breeds take longer than any other to reach physical maturity. This makes sense, since the difference between their puppy weight and their adult weight is proportionately greater! At a year old, your Cane Corso puppy is still not quite fully grown, so your breeder and veterinarian may recommend keeping them on puppy food for a while longer. Or switching to a food which is suitable for all life stages, rather than only adult dogs. If in doubt, ask them – they’ll be happy to advise!
How does a 1 year old Cane Corso behave?
Let’s move on from the physical, to the emotional. How can you expect a 1 year old Cane Corso to act? Their historical background is very significant here. Like lots of big dogs, the Cane Corso dog was originally bred as a guard dog. Some were also trained to perform hunting and herding tasks, but more than anything they were kept to guard livestock and property.
Guarding breeds tend to be slower than average to reach emotional maturity, and may retain some puppy behaviors throughout their whole life. This extended period of thinking and feeling like a puppy means more time to form intense emotional attachments to their social group. Which is what drives them to protect those things selflessly and without hesitation if they think they are under threat.
So if your Cane Corso still seems quite puppyish at the moment, that’s not surprising. They are still maturing, and their temperament won’t be fully stable until they are at least 18 months old. You might even continue to see development right up until they are 4 years old.
What is the best way to train a 1 year old Cane Corso dog?
Cani Corsi are very intelligent dogs. They learn new cues quickly, and they relish mental stimulation from training games and having a job to do. Guarding dogs are also frequently described as being independent and headstrong. These were useful qualities back when they were primarily kept as working dogs!
Training a Cane Corso successfully depends upon being absolutely consistent, so they know exactly what behavior is the most rewarding. It also demands patience and endurance, since nothing you’ve taught them is truly fixed until they are fully emotionally mature.
Training with positive reinforcement and rewards is the most effective way of coaching a Cane Corso to make the right choices. It also makes training pleasant and rewarding, so that you’re more likely to stick with it. If you’re not already using positive reinforcement training, now is the time to give it a go!
1 year old Cane Corso health notes
Hopefully your Cane Corso came from health tested parents, and their first year has been uneventful besides routine puppy shots. Here are a couple of health notes to be aware of around their first birthday:
- Between 40 and 60% of Cani Corsi are estimated to be affected by hip dysplasia. Elbow and shoulder dysplasia are also common. Since the growth plates in their joints may not be completely closed yet, continue being careful about how you exercise them for a couple of months longer.
- Neutering male dogs should also wait until after the growth plates have definitely closed. Testosterone produced in the testicles has a significant role in closing the growth plates at the right time.
- Cani Corsi are one of the breeds most prone to prolapse of the tear glands. Also known as cherry eye, it occurs when the tear gland flips outwards and protrudes from the lower eyelid. In three quarters of affected dogs, the glands prolapse for the first time by their first birthday. If it hasn’t happened yet, you may be one of the lucky ones.
Cane Corso 1 year milestone checklist
Your puppy’s first birthday is an exciting and sometimes emotional time to reflect on how much has changed since you brought them home. Here’s a summary of things to have in mind over the next few weeks:
- Make an appointment for their booster shots. These fall due 12 months after their puppy shots were completed.
- The booster shot appointment is a good time to discuss the pros and cons spaying or neutering with your veterinarian, even if it’s too early for the actual procedure.
- Basic obedience training should be well underway, but don’t get complacent yet! Keep preventing unwanted behaviors and rewarding the right ones, or you’ll start to lose progress.
- If your puppy’s food doesn’t have an adult equivalent, or you’re thinking about changing brands anyway, start researching alternatives now. Ask your friends what brands they love!
- Don’t stop considering their joints when you exercise them just yet.
How is your own King Corso dog faring on their first birthday? Share your reflections on the past year and you plans for the future in the comments box down below!
Genevois et al. Prevalence of hip dysplasia according to official radiographic screening, among 31 breeds of dogs in France. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopedics and Traumatology. 2008.
Hawthorne et al. Body-Weight Changes during Growth in Puppies of Different Breeds. The Journal of Nutrition. 2004.
Mazzuchelli et al. Retrospective study of 155 cases of prolapse of the nictitating membrane gland in dogs. Vet Record. 2012.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Salt et al. Growth standard charts for monitoring bodyweight in dogs of different sizes. PLOS One. 2017.
Spady & Ostrander. Canine Behavioral Genetics: Pointing Out the Phenotypes and Herding up the Genes. Perspectives In Human Genetics. 2008.
The Cane Corso Association of America.
Trangerud et al. A longitudinal study on growth and growth variables in dogs of four large breeds raised in domestic environments. Journal of Animal Science. 2007.
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