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Dog vs dog aggression

We have a three year old male cane corso that is not neutered.

He has been to dog parks three to four times every week since he was 12 weeks old, so I think it is safe to say that he has been socialized with dogs of all sizes, for quite some time.

He has been extremely gentle towards other dogs and also avoided conflicts when other dogs have shown aggression but lately (3-4 months), if a new and large male dog visits the dog park, our dog has instantly attacked that dog. I can read his signals so I could quickly separate him from his "victims". I was also walking down the street and on the other side of the road, a big dog began barking viciously at our dog. Instantly, our dog wanted to cross the road and fight that dog.

We have since been to a good vet and he isn't in any pain, which otherwise could have ignited the aggression.

I'm wondering if and what I have done wrong and also, this probably means that it will be no more visits to the dog park? The glory days of hanging out with other dogs will be a distant memory, similar to Al Bundy´s glory days at Polk High...


Well-Known Member
It sounds to me like a not uncommon scenario of a dog reaching full maturity and naturally not tolerating other dogs. Notice I said naturally. It probably doesn't have to do with anything you did or did not do.

Several breeds are known to just not get along with dogs once they are mature – especially dogs of the same sex. I have heard it said of the Bullmastiff, the Akita, and of a lot of the livestock guardian breeds and more. It very much could occur in Cane Corsos as well.

The fact that your Corso only seems to get aggressive with large dogs is not surprising to me. That seems to be his natural propensity. It makes sense that a lot of dogs would see a dog of appreciable size as more of a threat and/or they are more intimidated by them.

So, I don't think you've done anything wrong. My previous dog, a working Doberman, no longer could be taken to the dog park from the age of about 2 yrs. on. I am expecting my current pup to lose the ability to tolerate other dogs as well once he really matures. In the meantime, I am socializing him most days with dogs. His makeup is 3/4 livestock guardian breeds and 1/4 working mastiffs. Not a recipe for harmony with other dogs.

Take heart. It is said that dogs do not need dog friends. They just need their human family. But yes, I understand that we humans find it enjoyable to let our dogs romp and play as we socialize ourselves. :)