A “Jack of All Trades” – and Oh, that Head!











Cane Corso, head

Cane Corso Gris Plata by Juan Manuel Morato/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0


There is no mistaking the breed of the puppy in the photo at the side.

He is a Cane Corso youngster who will likely grow up to be as magnificent as the dog in the top photo, a Corso named “Mako.” We expect that Mr. Puppy will be as large boned, sturdy, and robust – the signs are already there.

An important aspect to this puppy is a hallmark of his breed: An attention-grabbing impressive head: Look at the size of it! When puppy is all grown up, his head will give the impression of being almost disproportionately larger than the rest of him.  In fact, after he grows into those paws, the length of his head will actually be equal to thirty-six percent of the height at his shoulders. His skull and muzzle will be as wide as they are long, a fundamentally critical element of Cane Corso type because it’s what give the head piece a sense of power (from the AKC breed standard:”…width is equal to the length”).

If he grows according to plan, puppy’s muzzle should be wide and deeper than it is long, but the width is not an illusion created by abundant skin or loose flews or lips – the depth of his muzzle will be skeletal with an obvious distinction between it and the skull (again from the standard: “Stop – Well-defined due to developed and bulging frontal sinuses and prominent arch above the eyes”).

There is no mistaking a Cane Corso with a correct head for any other breed, even if just a silhouette of the dog is seen. The Cane Corso Association of America Judges Manual from 2022 puts it this way when referring to the head: “A blocky muzzle of functional length attached to a large, square head is fundamental to correct breed type.”  The aforementioned link offers some very helpful diagrams that we urge you to inspect to better understand this breed’s unique head.

Image: Photo of Mako appears with the kind consent of the photographer, Sara Walter. He is owned and loved by Meryl Cohen


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