NEW CANE CORSO PUPPY: Is attacking and aggressively biting me? Please help.

Discussion in 'Cane Corso' started by melisarayy, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. melisarayy

    melisarayy New Member

    I'm a new dog owner, and I know a lot about dogs just not training a big breed like my cane corso. I have an 11 week old cane corso named Bella, I just got her maybe a week ago and she is aggressively biting me. I'm the "dominate" one to her, I feed, bathe, cuddle and play with her the most which puzzles me why she is always biting me. I've tried everything with her replacing her biting with a toy, ignoring her, stand up away from her, saying no in a loud voice, saying ouch and even pining her down. NOTHING works, it just makes her bite and lounge at me harder. She growls too when I say no, and I know it's nothing playful. Each time I come in the room it's like she wants to attack me. I'm starting to feel very stressed out and I need all the advice I can get. She has her first two shots, going to vet for her third and classes in a couple days. What worries me the most, if she did meet my uncle's dog who is a rottie but very well behaved. He was really hyper and excited to meet Bella and she did not like it. She growls and yapped for him to stay away and peed and pooped all over herself and was in a corner, and all my family told me not to cuddle her and let her gain her confidence and it made me feel crappy because that's all I wanted to do. Since then I feel like I scarred her and she's not respecting me anymore. I defitnely don't want to give her up but it's putting my whole family in a strain, I'm desperate and need advice. She didn't like other dogs and is super shy, and I try and get her out to exercise but she doesn't want to leave me front yard. I've tried taking her on little walks and she doesn't even budge, every day I play with her outside for a couple hours to get her exercise. Thanks. Btw, she loves other people and my family, it's literally me who she is attacking.:(
  2. musicdeb

    musicdeb New Member

    She is a puppy and that's how puppies play because that's how they played with their siblings by biting and growling. A 11 week old puppy should not be labeled aggressive, they are a puppy.

    She growled and yapped at the uncle's dog because she was afraid.Slow and steady introduction to all things new.

    Avoid high dog traffic areas and other dogs until she's had her 2nd to the 3rd round of shots to avoid disease. Her immune system is not strong enough to fight off disease.

    When she bites, yelp a loud "OW!" and tell her in a firm, calm voice, "no!" Redirect her to chewing toys, i.e. ropes, nylabones, frozen wash cloths or hand towels, kongs with treats/frozen yogurt inside, ice cubes with treats frozen in the middle, and/or deer antlers.

    Start training her with basic commands, i.e. sit, stay, come, lay down, and look at you. Start leash training her, i.e. wear the leash around the house for a few minutes each day.

    Relax...she's being a typical puppy. Show her what you want her to do and reward her when she does it with motivational rewards.

    The following tips/suggestions are based on my experience as a dog mommy, forum member*s posts and volunteering at an animal shelter for a year.


    You want to crate train the pup. Make sure you have a blanket, stuffed animal (about their size) and white noise (ticking clock or ipod with soft music) so the pup can sleep. The pup is used to cuddling with siblings.

    Make the crate the pup*s happy place to go to when he wants to sleep, decompress or just hang out.


    You want to keep the pup in a room with a family member. Mastiffs need to be near their family members.


    Find out what kind of food the shelter/rescue/breeder was feeding the pup and continue to feed it to the pup until you transition to a newer food, if you want. Most shelters/rescues use the cheapest food, meaning it is not very good for the pup.

    Slow transition to the new food is as follows to prevent diarrhea. If at any time during the transition, the pup has diarrhea return to previous amounts of food per feeding. If you are switching flavors made by the same manufacturer, you should not have to do a slow transition.

    Amount per feeding:

    Day 1-4 ¾ cup of old food and ¼ cup of new food.

    Day 5-9 ½ cup of old food and ½ cup of new food.

    Day 10-14 ¾ cup of new food and ¼ cup of old food

    Day 15 Start 100% of new food

    Generally, mastiffs are allergic to grain and chicken found in kibble. You can check for dog food ratings and customer feedback. Mastiff puppies should eat Large Breed puppy food and they can continue to eat the food all of their lives or you can switch them to a Large Breed Adult Food at about 8-10 months.

    You may want to check out the raw diet for your pup. Check out the sub forum on raw diet that has a wealth of information. It is not recommended to feed the pup kibble and raw food. Dr. Becker talks about this in one of her videos.

    Check out Dr. Becker*s videos on for a lot of great information regarding the raw diet. Here is Part 1 there are 3 parts to the series. Well worth the time to watch the videos.



    They not used to their new environment and this is a natural behavior. Take the pup to a quiet place at meal times and sit and hand feed the pup. This will help the pup to eat when they are placed in a calm atmosphere, help you to bond with the pup and helps the pup establish trust with you. As they become settled, they will naturally follow your routine.


    Keep the pup in your yard and place newspapers down where they will walk on the ground. Keep the pup away from dog areas unless they have had their 2nd set of shots, leaving the pup prone to infection with Parvo or other illnesses. This is very important!



    Socialize after they*ve had at least 2 round of shots preferably 3 rounds of shots to be safe. Prior to the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] or 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] round of shots, keep the pup in your own yard. If that is not possible, bring newspapers with you for the pup to walk on. Avoid dog parks and areas with heavy traffic of animals.


    The pup will chew on anything they can find unless you re-direct the chewing. Provide frozen washcloths or small towels, nylabones, ropes, deer antlers, Kongs with frozen yogurt so they can chew to their heart*s desire. Some people use boxes, be aware that the pup will chew all boxes.


    Start basic commands and reward with motivational treats (fav food or fav toy). Train for about 5 minutes per day and slowly increase the training time. Teach one command at a time. Once they master one command, move onto another command.

    Number one command is sit. Teach the pup to sit, by placing a treat in front of his head and move it to the back causing him to sit to get the treat. When the pup sits, tell them good sit and give them the treat.

    Second command should be "focus/look" This will help you tremendously when the pup is over 100 lbs. Put the pup into sit. With a treat in your hand (let the pup smell it), put the treat up to your eyes and tell the pup to look or focus. They may only do this for about 1-2 seconds. As soon as they look at your eyes, tell them good look or good focus and give the treat. Generally, mastiffs do not like to look anyone in the eyes for long because that means a challenge to them. Titan is up to 55 seconds of looking me in the eyes.

    Other commands are "down/off", "leave it," "wait" (short pause), "stay" (pausing until you release) and "quiet/calm".

    When you are training and when the pup does not do as you ask, then tell him no in a calm, stern voice and redirect back to the command. The only time a stern and loud NO should be used is when they are doing something that can cause harm to themselves or others.

    Praise is the most powerful tool you have and the dog WANTS to please you. Show them clearly what you want, notice and praise when they comply, and learning goes much faster and pleasant for you both.

    Mastiffs can be extremely stubborn and if you get frustrated with them, they will shut down. Mastiffs do not do well with yelling or hitting. Hitting can result in some unwanted mastiff behavior meaning fear aggression, which equals biting.


    Your pup will most likely not like the leash. Have the pup wear it around the house for a few hours each day and reward when the pup wears the leash with no issues.

    If the dog pulls, do not walk until they stop and turn to look at you, then thank
    them and start walking again. If they nip, put them away from you so they don't get attention--don't make it a game.


    Do not allow children and pup on the floor together. Pup will see them as playmates and nip at them. Picture the pup playing with their siblings.

    Keep the pup on leash while the children are on the floor so you can have control of the pup. Pup and children should not be allowed to play alone.

    If you puppy is biting/nipping, then try the following. This behavior can sometimes take a lot of patience and consistency in training.

    They bite because that is how they played with their siblings.
    When they bite, tell them “OW†in a high-pitched voice and “NO†in a stern, calm voice. NEVER HIT OR YELL AT A MASTIFF. They will shut down on you and ignore you.

    When the pup stops biting, tell them to sit and reward. Tell him “good sit.â€

    Have the children hand fed the pup and help with training, i.e. teach the pup to sit, stay and come. This helps the pup to see them as non-playmates but as people in authority. These activities are great bonding exercises.


    Puppies can exercise with natural movements and free play like running, stretching, playing on soft surfaces (grass and dirt). This type of exercise is actually healthy and good for their developing bodies but they do need to be able to pace themselves.

    Structured exercise/play on hard surfaces and where they don't have they ability to pace themselves is where you need to be very careful. This type of exercise could harm the pup*s joints and bones. Puppies should not do any excessive exercise, i.e. walking, jumping, running and navigate stairs for the first 12 months to avoid injury.

    Stairs should be maneuvered while on leash (even in the house) especially going down the stairs. Stairs should have carpet or rubber matting to give the pup traction. Mastiffs should be assisted up and down stairs until they are about age 12 months to prevent injury.

    Most mastiffs can be very lazy but they still need to exercise. Generally, the amount of time to exercise is 5 minutes per each month of age.


    Remember, mastiffs do not tolerate heat. In the heat, reduce walk/exercise times. Have clean water available at all times. I freeze towels to either place on Titan or put on the floor for him to lie on in the summer to cool him off. Buy a kiddies* pool for the pup to play in to keep cool.


    Mastiffs should not be neutered/spayed until 18 months to 2 years. NO MATTER what the vet says. Early neutering can cause growth problems and health issues.


    Enjoy your baby! Have lots of patience! The pup will reward you with love and loyalty!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
    Cheko likes this.
  3. cmj2830

    cmj2830 New Member

    Excellent advice musicdeb, I find cane corso to have a stuburn streak at times so definitely patience is most definitely the key. I have always raised siberian huskies who are sturburn but independent, the cane corso is stuburn at times and dependent.
  4. Al and Julie

    Al and Julie New Member

    the growling when you are saying no might just be her talking back. My female just loves to answer back just like a teenager. she might be a bit young for this. but they are vocal dogs.

    Sent from my U8666-51 using Tapatalk 2
  5. danielleconn

    danielleconn Member

    My Zoe was the same way at that age....they do grow out of it. But don't assume she is aggressive or trying to dominate you. My girl plays hard and always has. Best thing we did was baby gate her in our her freedom in the home until 4-5 months of age and even that was leashed all the time. If she bit us, which was often, like every 2 minutes sometimes, we left the room for a minute or two. She bites, then she looses her playmates. We joked all the time about our "pirrhana puppy"! Yelping made Zoe go in super bitey mode, we just left the room & out of sight. But stay optimistic, this too shall pass and then it will get replaced by something else that drives you nuts. Just be firm but consistent in your methods. And if you feel overwhelmed take a break. Put the pup in the crate with good treat, we used a kong with plain yogurt that we froze. No yelling, they assume you are barking with them and will growl and play more, Zoe did. Don't think because you try something once and it doesn't work then you have to try something else. You will repeat a lot, but he/she will get it in time. Don't be afraid of your pup...I did too for a short while at that age. Mine is now 10 months and she is so smart and loving. Teach him/her and love him/her and in a few short months they will be your best friend. Right now she is young & doesn't know what you are communicating...if only puppies spoke English! Hang in there!

    Just be mindful, puppies play with other dogs all in their face. Zoe still does but we are working on her greeting calmer and respecting space. It takes time. The puppy had that initial confidence and then was corrected,it's okay.You don't need to cuddle her...let her work it out herself. She might be shy right now, it's understandable, a Rottie is 5x her size. Once she is immunized socialize her often & many places. It will boost her confidence but allow her to determine her comfort zone at this age.

    Playing in the yard is great exercise for this stage. Walking is very short at this point if at all. Zoe would place her butt on the ground and not budge. A front clip harness gave us the leverage to tug and she would eventually follow. But she wanted to tug the leash for fun at this age as well. Just practice patience and work with her on some basic has good videos if you need help luring her into position.

    Don't think of her "attacking" you, she really is playing...Zoe growled, bit and barked at this stage. Now she grumbles for attention but no biting or growling anymore. Just remember to keep your head up. You will have one of the best dogs you can imagine if you put the time in to teach him/her.
  6. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Lots of great advice here ^^
    You are NOT alone!
    This is not a crazy mean puppy... this is just a puppy trying to play and learn what works and what doesn't to get what she wants.

    She's learning every moment you are together - and digesting those lessons when you are apart. So, be sure you teach her all good things - like waiting for food patiently is what gets you your food (good)... using your mouth on humans makes the humans unhappy and causes games to end (bad)...

    Be calm, patient and consistent. If you find yourself getting angry or frustrated, put the puppy in her crate so you BOTH can unwind, relax, and recharge.

    Denna (EM) was also very bity as a puppy... more so than I remember our past dogs being at that age, but... my memory is often selective, so hard to really say. :)
    Denna was still mouthy and grabby until she was 5 months old or so... but she has a VERY soft mouth now, and is very careful and gentle when taking treats and even when playing tug (I let go if she pulls to hard, so if she wants the game to continue, she has to play nice).

    We did the "yipe & Redirect" method from day 1. If she put her teeth on us, we'd "yipe" like a fellow puppy, then STOP MOVING - just FREEZE - and wait for her to back off, even if it's just a hesitation because she's confused at what you're doing - that's the first step you want to "capture" or "mark" as GOOD! (because her hesitation was also her not biting!)... once she backed off, play could resume - normally with a toy stuffed in her mouth for a soft game of tug or chase-the-toy.

    Think of her as a toddler for a few more weeks - she's still learning how to communicate and just throwing things out there to see how you react - help her learn your language now by being consistent and confident... she'll start to follow your lead, eventually.

    Check out the [video=youtube;ipT5k1gaXhc][/video] to help teach your puppy some impulse control - it's the basis of "wait" and "leave it" and will help in lots of things down the road.
  7. fdchampion

    fdchampion New Member

    I agree with what the others are saying too. I have had Titan from the day he was born until present day (he turned 2yrs old today) and once his siblings went home to the breeder I swear he turned into a lil devil puppy!!!! Biting, growling & scratching me everytime i tried to pet, play with or pick him up...I really thought he hated me. I did have a little help though...I had just adopted his mother and everytime he started being "devil puppy" she would put him in his place(and to this day still will if need be LOL). But that's all he was doing was being a puppy. He was my 1st CC puppy and I didn't know much about them at the time, i had only just adopted his mother when he was born. Now he is a crazy hyper, very loving, protective and sweet baby boy!! Just hang in there and I know everything will be just fine!! We have alot of really awesome members with great advice...all you have to do is take it.
  8. Cane corso dude 210

    Cane corso dude 210 New Member

    I am new to this breed as well. My Male pup is Bowser and he is 13 weeks he just started to get real aggressive and bite a lot. I taught him to sit and will start to work on stay and leash training next. It works most of the time when he gets to crazy you and lunges at me and bits me he has a deep growl. I tell him no in a loud voice and he barks back and try to keep biting me. So I put him in his crate to calm down. My uncle and mom told me to hit him with a rolled up news paper, I read on this forum not to hit him or he will become aggressive. So I hit him because he bit my mom on the hand and now when he sees the paper I. My hand he gets even angrier. Any help would be nice and I will not hit him again but he keeps trying to bite me and other family members too. I k ow he likes to play and nibble but he can get to aggressive at times and attack me.
  9. musicdeb

    musicdeb New Member

    You need to read the responses above and stop hitting your puppy with a newspaper! He's 13 weeks old and he's being a puppy. Biting and growling is how they played with their siblings.

    You can possibly cause fear aggression in your pup by hitting him and that is a behavior you do not want in your puppy! In addition, mastiffs have short muzzles and hitting them on muzzle can cause damage.

    Stop hitting your pup!
  10. glen

    glen Super Moderator Staff Member

    x2.Please read all the good advice everyones wrote.Hitting a dog gets you no respect from your pup i have seen so many rescue dogs scowling in a corner and barking looking aggressive because owners have hit them.good luck be kind
  11. musicdeb

    musicdeb New Member

    Right on, glen! Titan was hit by previous owner and he was fear aggressive towards men and he still is. I'm still working with Titan 2 years later. It's not an easy behavior to correct.
  12. glen

    glen Super Moderator Staff Member

    so sorry so hear this.This last rescue we got we know had been thumped and kicked,we have spent hours kicking a ball to him and punching his toys to him to show him that good things can come from a foot and a clenched fist.Its working but it breaks my heart to think what they have gone through.Titan is very lucky to have you,you give great advise to everyone and i can tell how much you care about dogs.Just wish there were more people out there like whats on this forum.
  13. musicdeb

    musicdeb New Member

    Thanks, glen! Titan saved me too and he's worth every second of training, socialization and more training and socialization. I agree, we have some great people on this forum!
  14. tlf030459

    tlf030459 New Member

    My Natale was 11lbs when I picked her up. She would nip and bite anything that was in reach. For the first couple weeks, she would curl up in my lap and she would nip and bite my arms, my legs, my hands. I would just tell her no bite and tap her on the top of her nose with one finger - it backfired! Now, she's 12 weeks 30lbs still climbing into my lap and she does the nip and biting on purpose now. If I don't do the tap on the nose when she nips and bites , I get the paw slap until I do. She points her head up,squints and waits for the tap with the little extra rub. Now the biting on my toes and my legs I chalk up to her wanting to play because I can say no bite a zillion times and she will just run in circles growling and barking until I play with her. I don't remember having another puppy this vocal and I've been on the phone and have had people ask if everything is ok because she sounds mean. It's just her way of talking,she's probably saying I got tis one wrapped around my paw lol
  15. Ronin

    Ronin New Member

    From what I've gathered over the years, a lot of the people who have problems like this were afraid of their pup before it ever started to nip or bite them...this may be the very reason they do that at times. I said it in another post and I'll say it here...dogs are extremely sensitive to the energy you are putting out to them. If you are afraid of your pup, it isn't something you can hide...your pup KNOWS it. As the pup ages it is trying to sort out its pack order...they are trying to identify the alpha and if they can't, they will become the alpha. Showing any kind of hesitation, helplessness, fear or even frustration will signify to your pup that YOU ARE NOT ALPHA! I just got finished reading another thread about the Bullmastiff attacking two kids and killing one...then I come across this thread's sad! Regardless of what anyone is never the dogs fault, and I do firmly believe that some people are not meant to have powerful breeds. If you are not a strong willed person, maybe the breed isn't for you. I never had a CC(this is my first), but I did have a male Rottweiler, and from day one I made sure he knew who alpha was. Not by abuse, hitting or even yelling at him, but by FIRM CONSISTENCY AND MY OWN CONFIDENCE THAT I WAS ALPHA! It is sooo key! I'm sorry, but if you can't do that, please don't get ANY breed that is stronger willed than you...even if it's a chihuahua. It only hurts the dog! I get really disappointed and upset reading other posts like the one I mentioned and then seeing comments under the article that it was a "monster dog" and "pure evil"! The dog is an innocent animal and although genes can have a significant influence in predisposition, the biggest influence is YOU...that will determine the animals POST-disposition! Please know yourself before committing to something you may not be able to handle and when in doubt...err on the side of caution and don't do it...pleeeeease!!
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  16. season

    season Active Member

    Dogs know a leader when they see one and are around one. I'm reading some of these post and it's giving me a headache. If you don't want your puppy to bite ect (yeah its cute and yeah it's what they do with their litter mate) but it shouldn't be allowed and it's not cute. Giving advice saying "he or she will grow out of it" to me is giving false information. Sure, it might happen but that's also an excuse in my book. It puts the responsibility on the dog and not on the owner who should be establishing rules boundaries and limitations and if you have a puppy that is sitting on your lap biting on you then you have established none of those. This is the honest truth and telling you anything otherwise would be doing you a disservice. I'm not going to sugar coat this by say it's cute and your dog will grow out of it. And if you don't want to take it from me take it from a "professional" who has over 50 yrs of experience. Ed Frawley
    1. "Dogs don't know how to be good unless we show them."
    2. "You create your dogs value system."
    3. "People don't give birth to a brat!"
    4. “You can feed, water, and love your dog and he will like you, but he very well may not respect you.”
    5. “Dogs know what you know and they know what you don*t know.”
  17. season

    season Active Member

    If you'd like to keep learning more feel free to read a great article by Ed Frawley about the ground work it takes to become your puppy's leader. You may end up having to go backwards a bit but it will be well worth it if u do. Everyone has an opinion on how to train/socialize etc.....I stand by what this guy talks about and he has the experience to back it up. He tells it like it is. Straight forward. Some people don't like that, which is cool, but your dog needs a leader (you) and these articles can help u.
    Leerburg | The Ground Work to becoming Your Puppy's Pack Leader
  18. Rugers-Kris

    Rugers-Kris Active Member

    You have gotten some really good advice so far and there are several tips to try and you will find one that works for you. My opinion is that the puppy is NOT being agressive, she is simply playing inappropriately because she doesn't know better yet. The stress and fear that you are feeling are definitely being conveyed to the pup as well which wil impede the process so as hard as it is, you have to manage to stay calm and just be consistent and she will come around. Having her on a leash will help to control those moments as well. All puppies do this and all of them have to be taught how to play appropriately. Also, please keep in mind that not only is she still just a baby but you have only had her for a week....She is no doubt still trying to figure everything out. No training is going to happen overnight or in less than a week. I will say that you absolutely must start doing some training and bonding with the pup as you definitely do not want a full grown Corso that is doing this. I would say that the first thing you need to do is sit down and really think about if this is what you want. Puppies grow more and more frustrating as they get bigger in all new ways. They are A LOT of work. I am not telling you that you shouldn't keep your pup, I am just saying that you must be sure this is what you want and that you are willing to put the time and effort into her because if you aren't willing to do that, it will be a lost cause. Good Luck to you. Please keep us updated.
  19. Siloh

    Siloh Member

  20. Ronin

    Ronin New Member

    Awesome article, Season! I agree...this guy knows his stuff. OP should really take what he says to heart.

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