Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes



August 30th, 2015

Your Gentle Giants: Torino and Nova, the Cane Corsos

By Tara

Disclaimer: Cane Corsos are not technically considered “gentle giants”, but they are giant dogs who are loyal to their families and we love them all the same!

This is the second post in my “Your Gentle Giants” series. You can read the first guest post about Pua, the Neapolitan Mastiff here. Today, we have Lindsey, Torino and Nova’s mom, sharing her love for Cane Corsos and her babies in particular. If you would like to share your story, contact me.

My name is Lindsey I’m a 25 year-old stay at home mom. I’m a photography buff, addicted to tea, and can’t say “no” to chocolate. We are located in Pennsylvania on 5 acres of land with a beautiful pond that the dogs like to take a dip in every once in a while on a hot day.

My fiancé and I are quite the muscle car enthusiasts (hence our dogs’ names). Torino has a lot of different meanings behind his name. The Cane Corso is considered an “Italian Mastiff.” Torino is a city in Italy and the Grand Torino is a Ford muscle car which translates in English to “large bull.” We thought it was an appropriate name, being as we love a good muscle car and the size he would later become.

I never even knew what a Cane Corso was until one day we were at the Jersey shore. My friends and I were all sitting on the front porch of our beach rental enjoying the sun and some drinks, when I saw this guy coming around the corner with what looked like a small horse of a dog. I usually have no problem sparking up and conversation with anyone, and I HAD to know what that breed was! Turns out the guy was straight out of Italy and I could barely understand him. He kept pointing to the Italian flag on his jacket, and finally muttered out “Mastiff.”

At this point, I obviously put together that he was an Italian mastiff. I got right on the Internet to look them up! Right away I fell in love with their regal and majestic looks. They’re fit and have muscular bodies, with a head the size of a watermelon! I was hooked, so I learned all about them. Their personality, temperament, weight, height, pros, cons you name it; I knew that this was the dog for me!

Torino - Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

Torino – Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

When I was a kid, we had Golden Retrievers. The two that we had were purchased from breeders so without hesitation, I started searching our area for Cane Corso breeders. When you purchase a dog from a breeder, you usually get the puppy at 8 weeks old. Personally for us, we were looking for a young puppy to start our lives with in our new home. There aren’t many Cane Corso puppies up for adoption and most are over one year old and already set in their ways. Part of me wanted to adopt but this was our first time with this breed and I wanted to witness the dog growing up to get a feel of exactly how to train and deal with this breed.

We used www.bludragoncanecorsos.com and they were more than a pleasure to deal with! Linda and Dominick are amazing! They are such loving, caring, and laid back people. They helped us so much in finding the right puppy and making us knowledgeable of the breed. Over the last two years, they have become dear friends to us. I encourage anyone who is looking for a outstanding Cane Corso (and wonderful breeders) to check them out.

My pack consists of me, my fiancé Mike, my daughter Averie, and Torino and Nova. Sometimes, Torino will let our cat Hank into the pack until he’s had enough of him.

Torino - Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

Torino – Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

Torino and Nova are so different from each other! Torino has very bad anxiety, to the point where if we go somewhere too long, I have to end up leaving because he is unable to rest and be fully comfortable. He has had three crates so far and has broken (beyond repair) all of them! Other than that, he is an amazing dog. He loves to play, be chased, and chase you. He has three favorite toys: a rather heavy and pretty big driveway pipe, his duck/goose hunting decoy he found when we moved in, and golf balls!

Torino is my best friend. I don’t know what I’ll do without him. I was always told that any Mastiff breed lives and dies for their owners, and boy, were they right! Torino’s nickname in our house is “Shadow”. He follows me everywhere! He follows me when I fold laundry, make food, grab a drink, take a shower, and, yes, he’s even the potty patrol man! I knew Corsos were loyal but never in my wildest dreams did I know how amazingly true it is. We do everything together and he makes sure no one messes with me along the way.

Torino - Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

Torino – Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

An old friend asked if Torino was protective of me. I answered, “Yes, very. Don’t pull any funky business!” Within seconds, my friend bear-hugged me and pretended to hit me. I tried to keep my my cool to show Torino it was okay but it was too late. He jumped up and latched onto his arm. Our friend let go of me and Torino was back at my feet staring and growling at him. Our friend was in shock at how fast he moved to protect me.

Nova is one brave little girl, I’ll tell you that! She is absolutely fearless. Her first time in a pool was easy. She jumped right in on her own and went at it! She keeps up with the boys and puts them in their place if they get out of line. She is so sweet, an absolute doll! Her confidence and bravery is definitely a relief for me since sometimes I’m caught up with Torino’s anxiety.

Their appearance is a little different, too (which I love). Nova’s ears and tail are a little longer than Torino’s. Torino’s snout is a little shorter and more square than hers. It’s perfect because she’s pretty and more feminine-looking like a girl, whereas there is NO mistaking Torino for the handsome devil that he is! Their biggest similarities are definitely being protective of us and their love for our daughter, Averie. Sometimes, it seems they think she is theirs!

Nova, Torino, Averie - Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

Nova, Torino, Averie – Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

Before I bought my own, when I talked about the Cane Corso breed with other owners, they told me that they are VERY protective of their homes and families. I just didn’t realize that any possible noise would set them off barking! When my fiancé gets home from work, they even bark at him!

I also didn’t realize how protective of the baby they would be. When we are out with the baby and Torino, men are NOT allowed to touch the baby or Torino goes crazy. I am not saying I dislike this trait at all because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a big hulking testosterone-filled animal protecting their child? Haha! The only downfall of this is that the men in my family get a little upset over it but it gets worked out in the end!

cane-corso-italian-mastiff-puppy-baby-happy

Nova and Averie – Photo credit: @torino_nova_canecorso

I never knew that Cane Corsos were considered a “Bully Breed until I had one. Having such a strong and intimidating breed of dog tends to rattle peoples cages who are unfamiliar with the breed.

Bully Breed

…there are a variety of dogs that fall under the category of “bully breeds.” Many of these dogs have unfair reputations for being dangerously aggressive… but they actually make for very loyal and loving pets.

Source: Animal Planet

I have been confronted about my dogs on two separate occasions in a pet store. The first time when Torino couldn’t have been more then 6 months old. A woman came to me and asked, “Is that a Cane Corso?”. I told her it is. “Well, you better do the world a favor and euthanize him now. He is a dangerous breed and I am not comfortable with him near me or my dog.”

The second time was back at the pet store a few weeks ago. I had Nova and Torino with me looking for some new toys. Mind you, my dogs are more than well-behaved. We were minding our own business when an employee of this store came to me and tried selling me this puppy packet for Nova with tons of coupons in it.

After explaining everything I’d get in the packet, she ended by saying “Oh, and your dogs aren’t welcome in our daycare program. We will not house them while you’re away because they are considered a Bully Breed. And if you do try to have us house them, they will be locked in a room together and not allowed to play with the other dogs. That’s our policy.” I handed her the packet and all the toys in my hands and told her, “Anyone who can discriminate a dog just by what it looks like isn’t worthy of our business. We won’t be back!”

My advice for anyone considering a Cane Corso is: do your research. Make sure that this breed fits your lifestyle and family. They are very easily trained, but they WILL test you. In my opinion, you have to be a confident, strong-willed person to have one of these guys! They do not like strangers, and it takes a little while for them to trust people. They are the absolute best companion you could ever wish for. I am never lonely or sad with these two love bugs by my side. If you are not an experienced Corso owner, I suggest getting your first one from a breeder. Adoption or rescue would be better for an experienced Corso owner.

Want more of Torino and Nova? Follow them on Instagram at @torino_nova_canecorso.

Want to brag about your gentle giant? Contact me!