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Aggression vs. Protectiveness

Aggression is unnecessary force or dominance in any situation.  Aggression should NEVER be confused with protectiveness.  Protectiveness is where a dog uses force or dominance to protect its people or territory when necessary.

The true Corso temperament, by nature, should not be aggressive.  However, as with any breed, a Corso can become aggressive for various reasons.  Typically, aggressive behavior is established due to a "learned response" and/or results from lack of proper socialization during the dog's developmental stages.  A certain percentage of dogs are genetically unstable and inherit aggressive tendencies.  This is why, before you purchase a puppy, it is important that you ask the breeder about the temperament of the sire & dam and try to see both parents if possible.

Some dogs may have a predisposition for certain characteristics, which may be the basis for their aggressive behavior.  A dominant dog may exhibit Dominance Aggression, an unsocialized dog may develop Fear Motivated Aggression or a dog that is not socialized around other dogs and/or animals may develop Species Aggression (such as dog aggression).

Most aggression can be prevented by proper rearing and early socialization as a puppy.  The most important thing to remember is that aggressive behavior should NEVER be encouraged or tolerated.  It will not increase the dog's likelihood to protect; but instead, will open the owner up to the liability of owning a dangerous dog and putting the general public at risk for serious incident.

Most people do not understand the difference between protection and aggression.  If a dog growls where there is no danger, that is aggression not protectiveness.  A protective dog has the judgement to see when there is a real risk of danger, and therefore, if you have a TRULY protective dog, you may never know it until you are in real danger.  Protective instincts can be shown in subtle ways, such as the Cane Corso tending to stand between their person and a stranger.  Many people who have kids may witness this type of behavior when their child is rough playing with another child or person.

Because of the intrinsic protective nature of the Cane Corso, training as an attack or guard dog is not recommended and to do so may actually be detrimental to the temperament of the Corso.   Most dogs of any breed, including Cane Corsos,  are not suitable for protection training. If you are determined to protection train your Cane Corso, you should only do so after your dog's temperament has been evaluated thoroughly by a professional trainer experienced in protection training.  There are many people out there doing protection training and calling themselves "trainers" but there are very few people who truly know how to properly and safely protection train a dog.  Please research your trainer thoroughly before moving forward.  If raised in kindness and socialized properly, your Corso should be a strong, loving companion who will defend his home and family only when necessary.


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