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Gray Cane Corso – Facts, Pictures, and All Info

The gray Cane Corso is a beautiful stately dog. They are massive in size and heart, which makes them loved by many. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are gentle giants. 

However, they are formidable as well, and will defend their family at all costs.  

Gray Cane Corso Facts

A picture of a grey Cane Corso
A picture of a grey Cane Corso

The gray Cane Corso has a unique appearance that sets it apart from other molluser breeds. It’s unmistakable and easy to recognize. They are excellent pets for the right dog owner, and have proved useful throughout history. 

Gray Cane Corso Appearance

The gray Cane Corso is gray, as the name suggests. The gray coloring comes from the dilute gene. Gray Corsos actually produce the same color as black Corsos, Eumelanin. 

Because gray Corsos have the dilute gene, the black ends up being gray. Imagine diluting black paint with white paint. You’ll get gray. This is essentially how the dilute gene works. 

Gray Corsos are often called blue Corsos. Some dog breeds do use the blue term for their gray color. However, when it comes to the Corso breed, they are called gray instead of blue. 

A gray Cane Corso will have a large square head, and a well muscled body. They are large, but don’t let their size fool you. They are very agile, and many participate in agility competitions. 

Gray Cane Corso History 

The Cane Corso is an ancient breed. In fact, they are believed to be descended from the original Molossus of ancient Greece, which is now extinct. 

Roman soldiers discovered the breed, and fell in love with these spirited companions. They fought alongside soliders during the Macedonian War. 

After the war, they found new jobs to do. Fawn Corsos were often used for hunting, because they blended into the countryside. Other Corsos became helpers around the farm. Of course, they were also guard dogs. 

The breed was believed to have died out in the 1900s. That is, until a chance  discovery in the 1970s. They were rediscovered, and Corso lovers began reviving the breed. 

In 1984, the first Cane Corso club was established in Italy. The group, known as Society Amorati Cane Corso (Society of Cane Corso Lovers), is still active today. 

Gray Cane Corso Price 

Grey is typically the most expensive color of Cane Corso. This is because the gray color is caused by the dilute gene, which is recessive. This makes gray more difficult to produce than other colors. 

Generally, the price of a Cane Corso ranges from $800-$6,000. The average price for a Cane Corso is $2,100 for a registered puppy. However, a gray Cane Corso is typically $3,000 because of their rarity. 

Age also affects price. Adults typically cost about $300-$500 less than a puppy, with an average price of $1,600. 

Unregistered puppies are less expensive. In fact, they are about $500 cheaper than a registered Corso. However, there are also higher health risks when purchasing an unregistered puppy.

Lastly, pedigree has a big impact on price. Corsos from a prestigious bloodline will be much more expensive than the average Corso. 

Gray Cane Corso Rarity

Gray Cane Corsos are considered the most rare. This is because the gray coloring, and recessive genes in general, only occur if both the genes are recessive. So, if a black Corso inherits a dilute gene from each parent, they will be gray. 

If both parents are gray, the puppies will be gray as well. If one parent is gray, and the other is black but carries one copy of the dilute gene, some of the puppies will be gray. 

In addition to standard gray, puppies may be gray brindle, which means they have black or gray stripes. 

Gray Cane Corso Life expectancy

Cane Corsos have a life expectancy of 9-12 years. Brindle Corsos have a slightly longer expectancy than solid colors. Grays, and other solid color Corsos, have an average life expectancy of 9 years, while brindle colors have a life expectancy of 10 years. 

Gray Cane Corso Size and weight

Corsos are large dogs. They have a stately and elegant appearance that makes them very attractive.

Corsos weigh about 100 pounds on average. The weight ranges from 90-120 pounds, with females being a bit lighter than males. Their impressive muscle mass and large bone structure play a large role in their weight. 

Gray Cane Corso Health

The good news is that the Cane Corso is considered a healthy breed, known for their hardiness and athleticism. However, there are a few health conditions that are common within the breed. 

Some of these can be identified with genetic testing. Reputable breeders will perform genetic testing on dogs before breeding. They may also test puppies, and provide you with the test results.  

Joint Problems 

Joint problems are common in large dog breeds, including the Corso. The most common issues Corsos have are hip and elbow dypsplasia. They can also develop arthritis. 

Genetic testing can reveal the risk of your dog developing these issues.

Eye Conditions 

Cane Corsos have a few eye problems. Cherry eye, entropion and Ectropion are common in Corsos. Cherry eye occurs when the third eyelid swells, which causes a red mass. Entropion and ectropion are eyelid conditions that are caused by issues with the ligaments around the eye.  


Any dog can develop bloat, but large breeds, particularly barrel chested breeds, are at a higher risk of the conditon. Bloat occurs when gas gets trapped in the stomach. 

The gas builds as food breaks down. Because it can’t be released, it causes increasing pressure in the dog’s stomach. If not treated, this pressure can cause the stomach to twist. 

Bloat isn’t completely understood by veterinarians. They aren’t sure why some dogs develop bloat, while others don’t. There’s no way to test for the condition.

Owners should keep a watchful eye out for signs of stomach swelling, intense pain, and a lack of bowel movements or urination, as these can be signs of bloat. Bloat can be fatal if not treated promptly.   

Skin Problems 

Most Cane Corsos don’t have skin problems. However, the beautiful gray Corso is the exception to the rule. The dilute gene can cause skin conditions that don’t occur in other colors.

Mange and skin allergies are more common in gray Corsos. They can also develop Color Dilution Alopecia, or CDA. This is caused by the dilute gene, and causes them to lose their hair. 

They may develop patches of thinning hair, or patches of hair loss. They can also develop itchy or flaky areas on their skin. Dogs with CDA shouldn’t be bred, because it is a genetically inherited condition. This means if a parent has CDA, there’s a high likelihood they will pass it on to their puppies.

Gray Cane Corso Behavior/Characteristics

The gray Cane Corso may look intimidating, but they are actually very gentle and tolerant. They make excellent guard dogs, and are ideal for families. 

Gray Cane Corso Tempermant 

The Cane Corso has a reputation for being aggressive, but this is rarely the case. They are surprisingly gentle and calm, despite their protective nature. 

Their name means bodyguard in Italian. This sums up them up very well. They are calm and watchful. However, when needed, they can be absolutely fierce.

They do very well on the American Temperament Test. This test measures  aggression and other behavioral factors. 88% of Corsos pass this test, compared to 85% of Golden Retrievers. 

This shows how docile the breed truly is. It’s also one of the reasons why they are great family dogs. They are very tolerant, and extremely loyal to their loved ones. 

How to care for a Grey Cane Corso 

Cane Corsos have higher needs than some breeds. Before you purchase a gray Cane Corso, you should be aware of what caring for one requires. 

Mental and Physical Exercise 

Corsos are relatively energetic. They are happy lounging around and observing the scenery, but they do need plenty of exercise each day. 

They need at least 1 hour, and preferably 2, of exercise each day. Long brisk walks and runs are one way to provide this. 

They also need mental stimulation. They are highly intelligent, and it’s thought that mental exercise expends as much energy for them as physical exercise. 

You can provide mental stimulation by playing games, teaching them new commands, and setting up an obstacle course. Many activities can provide both mental and physical exercise at the same time.  


A Corso’s protective nature makes socialization essential. They must learn early that stranger doesn’t mean danger. As long as they are socialized well, they get along with other dogs. 

You should expose them to both people and other dogs at a young age, and continuously throughout their life. 


The Corso’s size and protective nature also make training essential. They are eager to please, so they are naturally easy to train. Remember that your cute puppy will grow to be a large, very strong pooch. 

Training them early is  necessary, unless you want your Corso calling the shots. Training is also important because they are protective.

You must teach them who and how to protect you, or they will draw their own conclusions. This can lead to them deciding someone is a threat, when they aren’t. 

Let them Work 

The Cane Corso may no longer accompany soldiers into battle, but they are still working dogs at heart. A Corso needs a job to feel happy and valued. 

This job may be guarding the family or helping out on the farm. Teaching them new tricks and commands can also serve as their job. What they do doesn’t matter, as long as they have something to do.  

How do you buy a Grey Cane Corso?

There are a few options if you want to buy a gray Cane Corso. You can adopt a Cane Corso, or purchase one from a breeder. 

Adopting a Cane Corso 

Adopting a Cane Corso is a great thing to do. You’ll be giving a home to a pooch who may not find one otherwise. You may find the dog is even more loyal than most, if that’s possible. They seem to understand that they’ve been rescued. 

Of course, the majority of dogs put up for adoption are adults. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to find puppies to adopt. 

You may find a Cane Corso at your local shelter, but the odds aren’t great. Finding a gray Corso at your local shelter would be nearly miraculous. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt. 

The best option is to contact Cane Corso Resuce, Inc. This organization specializes in fostering, rescuing, and adopting Cane Corsos. You can visit their website, or contact them at 814-68-CORSO

Purchasing from a Breeder 

The easiest, although more expensive option, is to purchase your Corso from a breeder. However, you’ll need to be sure you are purchasing from a reputable breeder. 

Look out for a breeder that focuses heavily on colors. Corsos should be bred first and foremost based on their health and temperament. You should also be wary of breeders promoting non-breed standard colors. 

There’s nothing inherently bad about a Corso having non-standard colors. However, if the breeder is promoting a non-standard color as rare, this is a red flag. Reputable breeders have a strong desire to protect the breed, and will never intentionally breed for colors outside the breed standard. 

 Another factor to consider is whether the parents or puppies are registered. Breeders who register their dogs have high standards, and conform to AKC guidelines. 

If you simply want a Corso as a companion, and have no plans to show or breed them, registration is not required. However, it’s a good idea to look closely at the breeder to ensure they are ethical. 

Lastly, ask if they are a member of any Cane Corso clubs. Club members love the breed, and tend to be reputable breeders. In fact, this can be a great starting point in your search for a breeder. The Cane Corso Association of America, or CCAA has a directory of reputable breeders from around the country.