You’ve heard of the gorgeous, rare all-white Cane Corso, and now you’re wondering how to get one. Unfortunately, this illustrious color is scarce and nearly impossible to get ahold of.
That said, white (straw) Cane Corsos are beautiful creatures. If your heart is set on one, take a peek at our guide below and keep your eyes peeled for local, reputable breeders.
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What is a White Cane Corso?
A Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff breed, descending from a Roman war dog. They’re skilled in hunting and make excellent companion dogs. White is the rarest color for this breed, so they aren’t seen as often as the other several colors.
Commonly called ‘straw,’ the coloring is more of a cream hue than white. Straw coloring dates back to crossbreeding between a Cane Corso and an Abruzzese Sheepdog years ago.
While Italian farmers historically valued this color, it isn’t recognized in the modern day by the American Kennel Club as an acceptable color for this breed.
How Rare Are White Cane Corsos?
White Cane Corsos are a non-standard color and the rarest seen in the breed. The most common color is black, while other colors, such as chocolate and Isabella, are also somewhat rare. These colors result from recessive genes, which are more challenging to breed.
These dogs are rare because:
- The gene for the coloring is recessive
- The color is a result of crossbreeding
- Many breeders choose not to breed colors not acknowledged or approved by the AKC
These factors contribute to the white Cane Corso’s continued rarity.
Are White Cane Corsos Albino?
White Cane Corsos are more straw-colored than white. Like any other dog breed, some can be Albino, but the straw color doesn’t automatically mean they are.
That is rarely the case. Straw-colored Cane Corsos have light-colored pigment to their coat, whereas Albino ones don’t have any pigment.
Albino Cane Corsos have other distinctions, such as lighter nose, eyes, masking around the mouth, and more visible blood vessels.
How to Tell the Difference
How do you know you’ve got a straw Cane Corso versus a light fawn instead? When looking at a DNA test for these dogs, a mutation at the E locus is evident. This mutation overrides any other colors, guaranteeing a straw coat.
This genotype also prevents masking, which you can judge visually. A fawn coat will typically present with masking around the face, whereas a straw coat cannot produce any black pigment, so there will be an absence of masking.
Breeding White Cane Corso Puppies
Breeding white Cane Corso puppies is difficult because this color’s genes are recessive. This means it requires each parent to pass on the gene.
This can occur in a few different ways when breeding.
Situation #1: Two White Parents
With two white parents, the odds are higher that some of the offspring will be white, although it’s not guaranteed. It’s likely a majority of offspring will be white, but not all of them.
Situation #2: One White Parent & One of a Different Color, but Who Carries the Gene
Genetic testing would have to be done to verify that the non-white parent carries the recessive gene for a straw coat for this situation to be plausible. If the gene is verified, likely half the offspring could turn out to be white.
Situation #3: Two of a Different Color, but Both Carry the Gene
This is the most common way for a breeder to attempt to have some white offspring, although the odds are not great, considering those recessive genes rarely win over the dominant ones.
Via this method, less than one of every four offspring has the chance of being white.
Some breeders welcome the surprise of a straw-colored pup, and some are against it due to them not being recognized by the AKC. Those who are against it typically sell them as pets, but they don’t sell them to compete.
Beware of breeders marketing ‘rare’ white Cane Corsos and focusing on that as their business model.
These breeders are likely not focusing on the dogs’ health as much as on how to get that color in the offspring, and even then, their results are still tough to achieve. You’ll be much better off with a higher-quality breeder.
Do White Cane Corsos Have Health Problems?
They don’t have health problems associated with Albinism but are susceptible to the same health issues as other colors of Cane Corso dogs. This includes hip and elbow dysplasia, gastric dilation volvulus (GDV), cherry eye, and epilepsy.
Skin problems can occur with lighter-colored coats such as straw as well.
These diseases can be prevented for the most part with proper nutrition, although some issues (hip dysplasia, for example) are genetic. Life expectancy is 10-11 years on average.
Purchasing a Straw Cane Corso
If they’re so rare, how do you get hold of one?
A white or straw Cane Corso costs a pretty penny since they’re a rare color for this breed. For a regular Cane Corso, you can expect to pay an average of $1,500 for a purebred, although that number can vary.
The range is typically between $1,000-4,000. Superior lineages cost much more, even nearing $10,000 in some cases.
The straw color is so rare, though, that the odds of being able to find one to purchase are extremely low. There are only about 10-20 of these straw-colored dogs in the world, only one of which is in the United States.
This is, of course, the ‘official’ number, and there are probably some out there that breeders have sold as pets that haven’t been reported to the governing bodies that keep track of these numbers and report them.
Some even say this color doesn’t exist and that it’s a myth. That’s how rare it is.
Choosing a Cane Corso
When choosing a dog, you usually decide on a breed you want based on personality traits and how best they fit your lifestyle.
Color is rarely a factor. Remember this when looking for a white version of this breed because the odds are pretty low that you’ll be able to find one.
Most often, puppies are claimed before they’re even born, when deposits are put down. This is, of course, before the coat colors are even known.
Then, once they’re born, customers and breeders typically work together to make matches based more on personality than color.
This process doesn’t leave much room to find and request a straw or white coat precisely.
Matching by Personality vs. Color
The color of these dogs’ coats does not influence their behavior, so that doesn’t need to be factored into your decision when choosing a pup. The coat color can influence their lifespan and health, though.
Some health issues are expected when these dogs are bred explicitly for color instead of for personality. Be sure to choose a reputable breeder to avoid these issues.
Here are some examples:
- Eye deformities
- Color dilution alopecia (skin rashes & hair loss)
- Pyotraumatic dermatitis (lesions on the skin)
- Black hair follicular dysplasia (hair loss, skin infection, reduced coat quality & dry skin)
- Otitis externa (inflamed ears)
Other Colors to Consider
If you are set on choosing a pup based on color, there are many more to choose from than just straw for Cane Corsos. There is a beautiful palette of 12 other colors. Black is the most common color, and black brindle is the longest-living coat color.
Here are all of the options besides white/straw:
- Black – red/fawn base color with black stripe overlay
- Gray – gray coat; no masking
- Fawn – most common color variant; black or gray masking
- Red – coats vary from pale red to deep mahogany; black or gray masking
- Formentino – gray mask with a light fawn overlay; rare color
- Black brindle – red/fawn base with black stripes
- Reverse black brindle – a lighter color overlay that lightens the overlay region instead of darkening it like with regular brindle coats
- Gray brindle – fawn/red base color with gray overlay
- Chestnut brindle – red/brown base with a reddish overlay
- Blue – gray coat that’s diluted to a dark, almost bluish color
- Chocolate/liver – brown coat similar to a red coat, but no black masking
- Isabella – diluted shade of chocolate; no masking, but a purplish tint to their eyes & nose
Costs to Consider
As mentioned above, the purchase cost typically ranges between $1,000-4,000 for a purebred Cane Corso when you purchase from a respected breeder.
Ask about receiving a health certificate before purchasing your pup or even providing a down payment. This can provide peace of mind that your pup has no severe genetic conditions that could cost significant money down the road.
If you’ve got your heart set on a Cane Corso but don’t have the funds to purchase a puppy, you could search for a rescue to adopt. You’ll pay less upfront, only about $300-500. Remember, there will be more training needs than a puppy.
Here are some other costs to consider:
- Supplies – this includes a dog bed, a good leash, collar, tag, food & water bowls, poop bags, possibly a kennel, etc.
- Vaccines & checkups – these will be more expensive right off the bat, but also a regular expense to factor in for when they’re due again.
- Heartworm & flea prevention – this is usually a monthly chewable purchased from your vet’s office.
- Food – Cane Corsos are large dogs, so their food cost is higher than it would be for a smaller breed.
- Grooming – this includes professional grooming every couple of months and a brush for the home to use between grooming sessions, possibly a bath if they get dirty often, some dog shampoo, and a pair of nail clippers.
- Entertainment – this includes solo toys such as chew toys, antlers, ropes, etc., as well as toys to use together, such as frisbees, fetching balls, etc.
- Dog license – the cost of this varies based on where you live.
- Doggie daycare – this is only applicable if needed or occasionally.
If you’ve had your heart set on a white Cane Corso, it may be a bit of a heart-breaking revelation that they’re not typically seen and are extremely rare.
It may be a bright spot, though, to learn there are so many gorgeous colors available for this loyal breed you know and love.
Just because you don’t have much chance of snagging a straw-colored Cane Corso doesn’t mean you can’t find a more common one to love and join your family.
You will also like:
- Are Cane Corsos Hypoallergenic?
- Interesting Facts About The Brindle Cane Corso
- Have A Scaredy Cane Corso?
For more Cane Corso Types Of Cane Corsos, check out the video below: