Why Your Black Cane Corso Experiences Anxiety

cane corso puppy laying on table

The black Cane Corso stands 23.5 to 27.5 inches tall. They weigh 90 to 120 lbs. The black Cane Corso is intelligent and trainable. Their lineage goes back to Roman times. They are eager to please and versatile, making great guard dogs. Besides guard dogs, they were used to hunt wild boar in the past. They are large dogs that need a job to do. Without direction, black Cane Corsos can develop anxiety.

The black Cane Corso is best for experienced dog owners with fenced-in yards. They are not suited for apartment living. A dog owner will need to give the Cane Corso plenty of exercise and training, or they may end up destroying your belongings. You wouldn't want your Cane Corso to suffer from separation anxiety.

You'll want to give the black Cane Corso jobs to do. You can get them involved in dog sports such as tracking, obedience, nose work, dock diving, or agility. If you have a farm, they will help with the livestock. Otherwise, though, they'll be running near the fence barking at people, digging large holes, or chewing up your furniture. They will be dedicated to the people and animals in their family, but they won't necessarily be friendly with people and animals outside the family. The black Cane Corso is not for inexperienced dog owners. They can be problematic, but they can still be excellent pets under the right conditions.


The black Cane Corso is a descendant of Roman war dogs. They were bred to hunt animals, protect lands, and be farmhands. They rounded up pigs and cattle and drove them to the market.

The word "Cane" is Latin for dog, and the word "Corso" may come from "Corsus," an Italian word meaning sturdy. It could also come from "Cohors," which means bodyguard.

As farming began to use more machinery, they declined as farm dogs. They came close to extinction, but in the 1970s, there was an effort to breed them again. People realized they had to put in the effort to save the Cane Corso.

Michael Sottile brought the first litter of Cane Corso to the US in 1988. A second litter came in 1989. In 1993, the International Cane Corso Association was formed. Eventually, the breed sought to be recognized by the American Kennel Club, which occurred in 2010. There is now the Cane Corso Association of America which governs the breed. Thankfully, the black Cane Corso is still with us today, as they are excellent dogs.

cane corso puppy laying on deck


As a working breed, the black Cane Corso needs a lot of exercise to stay in peak condition. Plan on walks of at least a mile in the morning and the evening. Be careful with Cane Corso puppies, as their musculoskeletal system isn't fully developed until they are 18 months old. They need more walks to burn off puppy energy, but they should be slower and shorter. You wouldn't want to hurt your puppy by working them too hard.

Spend at least 20 minutes a day providing your dog with a job. This would include dog sports, learning tricks, practicing obedience, or herding livestock. You can break it up into 10 minute periods in the morning and evening. Your dog needs mental stimulation.

Don't allow your black Cane Corso to run loose. A very secure fence is non-negotiable. An electric one won't stop the black Cane Corso or protect a cat or dog from wandering into his area, which could be deadly. You need to realize the black Cane Corso is a powerful dog and do the right thing to keep them from getting into trouble.

Be ready to spend a lot of money on your black Cane Corso for the next 10 to 12 years. The vet bills for a larger dog are more expensive. The cost of anesthesia for surgery such as spay and neutering is more costly due to size. There will also be more poop to scoop. There are the costs of training classes, dog sports, and pet sitting and boarding if you are away from home. A large dog can be expensive, and the Cane Corso is no exception.

Can Black Cane Corso Experience Anxiety?

Just like people, the black Cane Corso can experience anxiety. This is more likely if they were subject to cruel acts of abuse. It can also happen to shelter pets. It's not known why, exactly, this is the case with shelter animals, but it is thought to be because they were separated from someone they cared about. However, a black Cane Corso of any background can suffer from anxiety. There are signs to watch for and things you can do if your black Cane Corso suffers from anxiety. You can help them overcome it with patience and care.

What is the difference between Fear and Anxiety in Black Cane Corso?

Fear aggression happens when the black Cane Corso is afraid. Almost all aggression is the result of fear. Fear is a reaction to a perceived threat. Anxiety is a response to an anticipated threat. A phobia is an exaggerated fear response resulting in panic. Of course, you wouldn't want your black Cane Corso to experience fear and anxiety. Thankfully there are signs to watch for and things you can do if your black Cane Corso experiences anxiety. You can help them overcome this.

Fear Periods in Black Cane Corso Puppies

Like Pitbull-type breeds, the black Cane Corso is sometimes mistaken as dangerous. The truth is, with training and socialization, this is not the case. However, you have to be aware of the two fear periods in the maturation of the black Cane Corso. The first is between 8 and 12 weeks of age.

Between 8 and 12 weeks of age, there are several ways that puppies show fear, including urinating, cowering, hiding, yelping, trembling, and tucking the tail.

This stage in puppyhood is marked by a hesitant curiosity, fear of loud sounds, and wariness of new things, people, and animals. An experience that is negative, frightening, or otherwise unpleasant can affect the dog's behavior in the future.

This would be the first few times the puppy leaves the den and learns what it should fear while being out and about in the wild. Naturally, this isn't the case today but can lead to a lasting impact on your dog.

The second fear stage occurs between 4 and 14 months of age at repeated intervals until they mature.

An older, larger Cane Corso puppy may react to fear more unpredictably. This can include fleeing, biting, lunging, and lashing out when frightened. Things that never bothered the black Cane Corso are suddenly terrifying for them.

They aren't trying to be cute and revert to being a puppy; the fears are real for them. Some experts think that the sudden fears in adolescence are due to having the body and instincts of an adult dog but not the brain yet able to handle being territorial and courageous.

This second period should disappear by the age of 16 months. You'll want to take care during these periods to ensure your dog is safe and isn't afraid.

cane corso on lease in a field

Separation Anxiety in Black Cane Corso

If your black Cane Corso becomes an escape artist, barks for hours and hours, destroy household items, or urinates and defecates in the house, he could have separation anxiety. These things happen when the Corso is left alone and you are away. It results from the pet's nervous reaction to being separated from its pack. This frustrating behavior that can result in expensive repairs is not done to upset you; it is done as a coping mechanism. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, there are things you can do to help. You'll want to act quickly to stop these behaviors from becoming normal for your dog.

Causes of Anxiety in Black Cane Corso

Some things can cause anxiety in your black Cane Corso. Here are a few.


It would help if you were consistent with your black Cane Corso. They thrive on routine. They should know when they will eat, sleep, and go for walks. You wouldn't want your black Cane Corso to experience anxiety simply because you couldn't keep a schedule. That wouldn't be fair. You can help your black Cane Corso avoid anxiety by being consistent with them.

Confusing Commands

Your dog may find some commands confusing because they don't grasp language the same way humans do. For instance, saying, "Down," to lay down and, "Get down," to get off the couch can confuse them because they are similar commands that mean very different things. The commands "Drop it" and "Give that here" sound very different yet mean the same. You'll have to be clear and consistent to avoid confusing your Corso. If you aren't, you could cause anxiety for them.

Staring Directly at Your Dog

Of course, your Cane Corso is a beauty, and you'd want to look at them a lot. However, don't stare at your dog. Staring is a sign of aggression in canines. Instead, look at them from the side, which will relax them more. You wouldn't want to cause your black Cane Corso anxiety simply by looking at it.

two cane corso dogs sitting on path

Unnecessary Punishment

If your black Cane Corso is simply acting like a dog, don't punish them. This includes if they roll in something gross or if they steal food off the counter. While these things are annoying, they are natural dog behaviors. Instead, practice situation avoidance, keep your dog on a leash, and don't leave food out. This will help not stress your dog out.

Telling Your Dog, "It's okay."

While it might seem natural to tell your dog everything is okay during stressful times, such as when they visit the veterinarian or during a thunderstorm, don't do this. They may begin to associate these phrases with extreme fear. Instead, give them treats.

Signs Your Black Cane Corso is Suffering From Anxiety

There are signs your black Cane Corso is suffering from anxiety. Here are a few.

Growling, Whining, or Barking

If your dog is growling, it is trying to tell you something. Someone is either too close to them, or they are in pain. Don't punish for growling as it may lead to a bite in the future instead. Please give them the space they require and take notice. Whining or barking is sometimes an automatic behavior. However, you should pay attention because this can also be a sign of anxiety. It will be up to you to determine this from the stimuli at hand. Whining and barking can be signs of anxiety in dogs.

Body Language, Freezing, and Pacing

There are a few body language signs that show your dog is suffering from anxiety. These include the ears being pinned back or a tucked tail. Your dog is trying to tell you something with these visual queues. Freezing is a significant sign that your dog has anxiety and is shutting down. Be careful with this as the next step is often biting. Pacing back and forth at mealtime may not be a big deal, but it could be a sign of anxiety at other times. You'll have to watch for this and determine why your dog is pacing.

cane corse sitting in field

Aggression or Urinating and Defecating in the House

Aggression is often a response to fear in a dog and can be seen as a sign of anxiety. You need to control your dog if it shows signs of aggression; you wouldn't want your dog to hurt someone. Aggression can be a sign of anxiety. This is a frustrating problem, but don't punish your dog. Instead, try to get to the root of the problem. If your dog is eliminating in the house, it can be a sign of anxiety in the dog.

Drooling and Panting

Excessive behavior of many forms is a sign of anxiety, including drooling. While some might consider this gross, your dog is trying to tell you something because they are trying to cope with anxiety. Panting isn't always related to anxiety, but if it's excessive, it can be. You'll have to watch your dog to see if this is an indicator that they are stressed.

Destructive Behavior

Annoying and expensive, destructive behavior can signify anxiety in dogs. Your dog has separation anxiety and is trying to cope with it. You'll want to see what you can do for your dog's behavior if they are chewing things up and destroying them. Not to worry, as there are tips for what to do if your dog is suffering from anxiety.

Depression and Compulsive Behaviors

If your dog no longer seems interested in playtime or toys and seems to mope around, they could be depressed. This could be a result of anxiety. You'll want to see what you can do to help with this if your dog suffers from anxiety. Anything a dog does repetitively or compulsively could be seen as a result of anxiety. Your dog lets you know they don't want to be left alone. You'll have to keep an eye out for these behaviors.

cane corso sitting in grass

What We Know About Managing Anxiety in Humans

It might surprise you that not all stress is bad. Stress can be nature's way of protecting you as well as your dog from dangerous situations. We know that some of the best things you can do for stress are getting enough sleep, getting enough rest, and eating well. You can also take vitamins and supplements for stress and anxiety. One such supplement is L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves. Wouldn't it be great if you could also give this to your black Cane Corso? Well, you can! You should try Calming Zen Chews from Calming Dog. They contain Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan. You can also try the Calming Cuddle Bed and Calming Spray.

Other Treatments for Anxiety in Black Cane Corso

There are things you can do if your black Cane Corso suffers from anxiety. Here are a few.

Training and Learning Body Language

You'll want to train your Cane Corso to minimize anxiety. You may find that their training needs are more than you can provide. In that case, you may want to hire a trainer. If you do, do your research and make sure they can work with your Cane Corso's anxiety. Don't hire just anyone and waste your money. Many body language visual queues can pinpoint anxiety, including pinned-backed ears and a tucked tail. You'll have to pay attention to what your dog is telling you.

Socialization and Obedience

You'll want to introduce your dog to new people, places, and things. This will help your dog be more well-rounded and stable. It will help prevent an anxious response to new things in the future. It is much easier to socialize an obedient dog. You'll want to work on obedience every day with your Cane Corso. You can hire a trainer to help you in the beginning.

Exercise and Nutrition

A healthy dog is much more likely to be a stable dog and not have anxiety. You'll want to make sure your dog gets long walks every day. Keeping with the theme of health, you'll want to make sure your dog eats a portion of high-quality dog food. Make sure you get the best you can afford. You can discuss this with your veterinarian.

Situation Avoidance

While you won't want to change your whole life, there are small steps you can take to avoid anxious reactions from your dog. If your black Cane Corso is afraid of other dogs, then avoid the dog park, as an example.

Crate Training and Giving Your Dog Jobs

Crates can be a dog's safe space. You'll need to be careful with this option, though, as crate training can stress out some dogs. You'll have to be aware of what your dog is doing to determine this. If they are stressed, use a baby gate instead to contain them. You'll want to give your dog jobs. They can practice dog sports, go on new hikes, and get food puzzle toys. You'll want to make sure your dog is mentally stimulated as much as possible to avoid anxiety.

cane corso dog standing behind fence

Physical Touch and Massage

There might be nothing more calming to an anxious dog than the touch of its owner. Simply pick your dog up if they are a puppy or give them a good petting session to calm their anxiety. This will help them if they are having anxiety. Not only does massage work to relax a human, but it can relax a dog as well. Start at the neck and work downward. You'll definitely calm your dog down with a massage session. You won't have to worry about anxiety with a nice massage.

Music Therapy and Time-Out

Music can be calming and relaxing while you and your dog are at home or in the car. It can also block out street noises that might be stressful. This is a good use of your time if your dog suffers from anxiety. Anxiety isn't necessarily a bad behavior but sitting out if the dog is being destructive is a good idea. You might want to crate them just for a short time to separate them from the situation. Time-outs are effective if your dog has anxiety.


Black Cane Corsos are great dogs. They need to be trained and socialized to avoid anxiety. If they aren't, they can engage in destructive behavior. You can watch for signs in your dog to see if they have anxiety, such as specific body language and lunging. You can do things, such as giving your dog jobs and crate training them to help. Hopefully, if you have a black Cane Corso, you can help them overcome their anxiety.

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