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Why Does My Cane Corso Growl At Me? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Cane Corso are bred as watchdogs and guardians, so it’s natural for them to be protective of their families. If you have a Cane Corso that growls at you, it could be because they see you as a threat.

If your Cane Corso is growling at you, it’s important to figure out why. Once you know the reason, you can start taking steps to correct the behavior.

If you’re unsure of why your dog is growling, or if the growling is accompanied by other aggressive behaviors, it’s best to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist. They’ll be able to help you figure out what’s causing the problem and how to fix it.

In this article, we are going to talk about the most common reasons why your Cane Corso might growl at you.

Key Takeaway

  • A Cane Corso may growl at you when they are afraid of something, when they are in pain, when they are trying to protect something or someone, or simply because they are a type of breed that is very territorial.
  • Helping a Cane Corso with possession aggression involves consistent training and socialization, using positive reinforcement techniques, practicing the ‘drop it’ and ‘leave it’ commands, and consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if needed.
  • Cane Corsos are generally not known to turn on their owners, but they can exhibit dominance and protective behavior, and if not properly trained and socialized from an early age, they can potentially become aggressive.

Why Does My Cane Corso Growl At Me?

Why Does My Cane Corso Growl At Me

There are several reasons why your Cane Corso might growl at you:

1. They’re afraid of something

A Cane Corso might growl at you if they are afraid. If your Cane Corso is growling because they’re afraid of something, it’s important to help them feel more comfortable and secure.

Try desensitizing them to the things that scare them, and make sure they always have a safe place to retreat to when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

Cane Corsos growl when they are afraid to show their teeth and intimidate the person or animal they perceive as a threat. This behavior is instinctive and can be seen in wild dogs who use growling as a way to communicate with each other.

Growling is also a form of self-defense for Cane Corsos, as it allows them to warn off potential attackers without resorting to violence.

While growling can be a sign of aggression, it can also be simply an expression of fear or anxiety. Cane Corsos that are afraid of loud noises, unfamiliar people, or new environments may all exhibit growling behaviors.

It is important to remember that growling is not always a bad thing, and should not be automatically punished. Instead, try to understand what is causing your dog to feel afraid or anxious, and work on addressing those issues.

With patience and training, you can help your Cane Corso overcome their fears and learn to trust the world around them.

2. They’re in pain

Cane Corsos growl for many reasons, but one of the most common reasons is that they are in pain. If your Cane Corso is growling and seems to be in discomfort, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical issues.

Dogs can’t tell us when they’re hurt, so it’s up to us to be aware of the signs. Typically, a hurt Cane Corso will come up to you and will growl or even whine a little bit. If they hurt themselves on their paw or somewhere, you would be able to see it by visually inspecting the dog.

However, sometimes they might have tummy aches or something else might be going on with them which is not visible to the eye. In that case, monitor their behavior and see if they continue to eat normally. If something is off, take your Cane Corso to the vet.

3. They’re trying to protect something

If your Cane Corso is growling because they’re trying to protect something, it’s important to make sure that whatever they’re protecting is safe. For example, if your dog is growling because they don’t want you to take their toy away, make sure the toy is sturdy and won’t fall apart easily.

Cane Corsos growl to communicate their feelings and intentions, especially when they feel threatened or want to protect something.

Growling is a warning sign that lets others know that they should back off. It’s also a way for dogs to assert themselves and show dominance. If you think your Cane Corso is growling too much, it’s important to consult with a trainer or behaviorist to help you understand why your dog is growling and how you can stop it.

4. They’re being territorial

Why Does My Cane Corso Growl At Me

If your Cane Corso is growling because they’re being territorial, it’s important to make sure that you’re not encouraging the behavior. Cane Corsos that feel like they have to protect their territory are often anxious and stressed, so it’s important to give them plenty of space and not force them into situations that make them uncomfortable.

There are many reasons why Cane Corsos growl when they are territorial. One reason may be to show other animals that they are in charge and to keep them away from their food or toys. Another reason may be to protect their territory from humans or other animals.

Sometimes, Cane Corsos may also growl as a warning to people or animals who are getting too close to their owners or property.

Whatever the reason, it is important to remember that dog growling is usually a sign of stress or anxiety and should not be ignored. If your dog is growling excessively, you should consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to find out the underlying cause and how best to address it.

How Can I Help My Cane Corso With Possession Aggression?

Possession aggression in Cane Corsos can be a difficult behavior to manage. However, there are a few things you can do to help your dog.

1. Recognizing the possession aggression

A Cane Corso, like any other dog, can show signs of possession aggression. Usually, there is a specific thing that your dog wants and is not letting you take it away from it. It could be their favorite toy, a sock, or whatnot.

The first key to fixing the possession aggression in your Cane Corso is by recognizing the root cause of the aggression so you can further fix it.

2. Prevent the behavior

Ideally, you would want to prevent this behavior from happening early on. This is for Cane Corso puppies that are already showing possession aggression towards certain toys or treats.

If you notice that early on while they are still pup, it is best to prevent it from happening in the future by fixing the problem.

3. Give them a treat in exchange for their favorite item

A Cane Corso might be in love with their toy, but they will certainly love food more. So, this goes the same for both puppies and adults.

When your Cane Corso is with their favorite toy and you try to take it away and they start growling, approach them with a treat in your hand. Make sure that your Cane Corso sees the treat.

Next, tell them that you want the toy and move the hand with the treat towards the Cane Corso and the other hand towards their toy. When you see that they are focused on the treat, snatch the toy out of their possession and award them with the treat.

4. Decline them access to the item that makes them aggressive

Many experienced dog behaviorists suggest that if your Cane Corso is aggressive towards one thing, like a toy, you should avoid the conflict and simply don’t give them that toy anymore.

However, there are some Cane Corso that will show possession aggression toward food. You surely can not decline them access to food.

Cane Corso is known to be a territorial and a great guard dog. Some Corso’s might show signs of aggression when they are eating and you can’t get anywhere near them. So, what do you do in this case?

Well, the only thing that you can do is allow them access to the item that is making them aggressive in a controlled space. In this case, if it’s food, only feed them in a separate room or their kennel. This way they’re not gonna be causing you any harm and it’s in a much more controlled way.

5. Teach them the ”drop it” command

If you haven’t taught your Cane Corso the ”drop it” command, now you will have to do it. I encourage all pet parents to go throw all of the commands in the obedience training. However, some might forget this command.

Anyways, when your Cane Corso is possessive of some certain toy, give them the toy and then tell them to drop it. Point a finger down and use a firm voice. Each time they drop it, give them a treat.

However, in some cases, the Cane Corso might have adopted this aggressive behavior, and some slightly positive reinforcement or a treat will not make them drop their toy.

In this case, I would encourage you to seek help from a professional behaviorist. They will probably discuss going on a process of desensitization encounter conditioning that can last for weeks says Pet Helpful.

Do Cane Corsos Turn on Owners?

No, Cane Corsos do not turn on their owners. However, if you don’t establish a relationship where you are the ultimate leader of the pack and the Cane Corso is your follower, they will simply not respect you and will not follow your commands.

Cane Corso was bred to guard homes, families, and livestock, and the alert protective manner of their progenitors remains today. They are suspicious of strangers by nature and will bark to alert owners of their approach.

A Cane Corso needs a leader who can guide them with firmness and consistency without using force or cruelty. Cane Corso loves his family but he’s not demonstrative about it. He will want to be near you, but he’s not demanding in terms of attention or physical touch.

The chances of a Cane Corso turning on owners is pretty low unless he is feeling that one of the owners is abusive towards the remaining family members.


Q: How can I stop my Cane Corso from growling at me?

A: To stop your Cane Corso from growling at you, it is crucial to identify the root cause first. Consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide valuable insights and guidance. They can help you address any underlying issues and develop a training plan tailored to your specific situation. It is essential to create a positive and safe environment for your dog, focusing on positive reinforcement training techniques to encourage desired behaviors.

Q: Is growling normal behavior for a Cane Corso?

A: Growling can be a normal behavior for a Cane Corso, just like any other dog breed. While it can indicate certain emotions, such as fear or aggression, it is a form of communication for dogs. However, it is essential to evaluate the context, intensity, and frequency of the growling. If it becomes excessive, threatening, or causes concern, it is advisable to seek professional help to ensure the safety and well-being of both the dog and the owner.

Q: Can a Cane Corso’s growling be a sign of aggression?

A: Yes, growling can indeed be a sign of aggression in a Cane Corso or any other dog breed. Aggressive growling is often accompanied by other aggressive behaviors, such as bared teeth, raised fur, or a stiff body posture. It is crucial to address any signs of aggression promptly and seek professional help. A qualified trainer or behaviorist can assess the situation and provide guidance on how to manage and modify aggressive behaviors safely and effectively.

Q: Are Cane Corsos known for being protective and growling at strangers?

A: Yes, Cane Corsos are known for being protective of their family and property. They have a strong guarding instinct, which means they may growl at strangers or people they perceive as a potential threat. This behavior is rooted in their breeding and temperament. However, it is important to socialize Cane Corsos properly from a young age, exposing them to various people, situations, and environments to help them distinguish between actual threats and harmless encounters.

Q: Should I punish my Cane Corso for growling?

A: No, it is not recommended to punish your Cane Corso for growling. Punishment can lead to increased aggression or fear, exacerbating the issue rather than resolving it. Growling is a way for dogs to communicate their discomfort or warning signals. Punishing them for growling may cause them to suppress their warning signs, potentially leading to a more dangerous situation in the future. Instead, consult a professional who can guide you on appropriate training techniques to manage and modify the behavior.

Q: Can medical issues cause a Cane Corso to growl?

A: Yes, medical issues can cause a Cane Corso or any other dog to growl. If a dog is in pain or discomfort due to an underlying health problem, they may exhibit behavioral changes, including growling. It is important to rule out any potential medical causes by taking your Cane Corso to a veterinarian for a thorough examination. Once any underlying health issues are addressed and treated, the behavior may improve.

Q: Can fear make a Cane Corso growl?

A: Yes, fear can be a significant factor causing a Cane Corso to growl. When a dog feels threatened or scared, growling is a form of communication to express their fear or discomfort. It is crucial to create a safe and secure environment for your Cane Corso, providing positive and gradual exposure to the things that trigger their fear. Professional assistance from a behaviorist or trainer experienced in fear-based behaviors can be beneficial in helping your Cane Corso overcome their fears.

Q: Can I train my Cane Corso to stop growling?

A: Yes, you can train your Cane Corso to modify their growling behavior. However, it is important to understand that training should focus on addressing the underlying cause rather than suppressing the communication entirely. Consultation with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist is recommended to devise a training plan suited to your specific situation. Positive reinforcement techniques, consistency, and patience can help in redirecting and modifying growling behavior.

Q: Are there any specific situations where Cane Corsos tend to growl more?

A: While every Cane Corso is unique, there are certain situations where they may be more prone to growling. These can include guarding their food or toys, feeling threatened by strangers or unfamiliar environments, protecting their territory, or when they are in pain or discomfort. Understanding these triggers can help you manage and modify the growling behavior effectively. If the growling intensifies or becomes unmanageable, seeking professional guidance is advised.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, Cane Corsos are loyal and protective dogs that can become aggressive or growl if they sense danger.

This behavior should be addressed quickly and effectively by providing positive reinforcement when the dog is calm and not exhibiting signs of aggression.

Additionally, owners should pay attention to any underlying medical issues that may trigger this behavior in their dog.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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