Cane Corso Not Growing: Here’s why  

As a Cane Corso owner, you may and have been eagerly anticipating their growth. As your dog grows, you may start to wonder why they aren’t progressing at the same rate as expected. 

Stunted growth can manifest as a Cane Corso being significantly smaller, shorter, or lighter than what is considered typical for the breed.

We outline the reasons why your Cane Corso is not growing, various factors that can influence the growth of your Cane Corso and provide insights to help you understand why they may not be growing as expected. 

Whether you’re a new owner or a seasoned enthusiast, by understanding these factors, you will be better equipped to ensure the healthy development.

Why is my Cane Corso not growing?

A Cane Corso not growing is due to poor nutrition or an imbalanced diet, internal parasites, underlying health problems such as congenital hypothyroidism, genetics, the gender of your dog because female dogs are generally smaller than male dogs and as a large dog, they take longer to grow.

Cane Corso not growing

What is stunted growth of a Cane Corso?

Stunted growth in a Cane Corso refers to a situation where the dog does not achieve its expected size, weight, or height based on breed standards or typical growth patterns for their age. 

Several factors can contribute to  a Cane Corso not growing or stunted growth. 

Stunted growth can manifest as a Cane Corso being significantly smaller, shorter, or lighter than what is considered typical for the breed. 

It may also lead to other health problems, such as weakened bones and joints, increased susceptibility to diseases, and a shorter lifespan.

It is also important to note that every Cane Corso is unique, and growth rates can vary among individuals.

Factors that cause a Cane Corso not to grow

Several factors can contribute to a Cane Corso not growing or stunted growth. This includes:

Poor nutrition

The diet you provide to your Cane Corso plays an important role in their growth and overall development. Poor nutrition or an imbalanced diet can indeed lead to a Cane Corso not growing or stunted growth. 

Proper nutrition is vital for the healthy growth and development of a Cane Corso. A well-balanced diet that provides important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is key to supporting their growth. 

High-quality dog food specifically formulated for large breeds should be the foundation of their diet. It is important that your Cane Corso’s meals meet their nutritional requirements appropriate for their age and stage of growth.

The quality of the food you provide also matters. High-quality commercial dog food or a well-balanced homemade diet that meets your Cane Corso’s nutritional needs is important. 

Low-quality or poorly balanced diets can lead to growth problems.

Related: When do cane corso puppies start walking?

Internal Parasites 

Internal parasites can significantly impact the growth and overall health of a Cane Corso, potentially leading to stunted growth if left untreated. 

Internal parasites, such as worms ( roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms) can infest your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. These parasites feed on the nutrients in your dog’s digestive system, robbing your Cane Corso of important vitamins, minerals, and calories. 

As a result, your dog may not receive the nutrients needed for proper growth and development.

Infected dogs may experience a decreased appetite due to the presence of parasites in their digestive system. A reduced food intake can lead to inadequate caloric intake, hindering growth.

Internal parasites can also cause digestive discomfort, leading to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These discomforts can further discourage your Cane Corso from eating regularly and can impact their growth.

Beyond growth issues, untreated internal parasites can lead to a range of other health complications, including dehydration, malnutrition, and a weakened immune system, making your Cane Corso more susceptible to other diseases.

Health issues

Health problems can also have an impact on the growth of a Cane Corso. Certain medical conditions, such as hormonal imbalances or skeletal disorders, may affect their growth rate and overall development. 

Hormonal imbalances can contribute to slow or stunted growth in Cani Corsi. The endocrine system plays a vital role in regulating growth and development and if there is an imbalance in hormone production, it can affect your Cane Corso’s overall growth.

Conditions such as hypothyroidism or growth hormone deficiency can interfere with the normal growth process.

The Cane Corso is prone to certain skeletal disorders that can hold back their growth. Skeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) can cause pain, lameness, and hinder proper bone development.

Related: Is my Cane Corso too skinny?


Genetics, the blueprint of life, is one of the primary factors that determine the growth of your Cane Corso. 

Inherited traits passed down from their parents can significantly impact their size, structure, and overall development. 

If your Cane Corso comes from a lineage of large and robust dogs, it is likely that they will also grow to be sizable and strong.

But if your dog comes from a line with smaller or slower-growing individuals, this can impact their growth.

Learn more: When do Cane Corsos stop growing?

Steps to Address Slow Growth

If you’ve noticed that your Cane Corso is not growing as expected, it is important to take action to address this issue. 

While there can be various reasons behind slow or stunted growth in Cane Corsos, there are steps you can take to help your dog reach their full potential. You should:

Consult a veterinarian

When it comes to addressing slow growth in a Cane Corso, it is important to consult your veterinarian. 

Your veterinarian will be able to assess your Cane Corso’s overall health, conduct necessary tests, and provide expert advice tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

They will be able to rule out any underlying health issues that may be affecting your Cane Corso’s growth and recommend appropriate treatment options if necessary. 

Adjust your dog’s diet and feeding routine

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the growth and development of a Cane Corso. To address slow growth, it is important to evaluate your dog’s current diet and make necessary adjustments. 

This should be done with the guidance of your veterinarian to ensure that your Cane Corso is receiving a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their specific nutritional requirements. 

This may involve switching to a high-quality commercial dog food that is specifically formulated for large-breed puppies.

It is important to provide the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to support healthy growth in your Cane Corso.

Monitoring your dog’s feeding routine is also important. Ensure that you are providing the appropriate portion sizes and feeding frequency based on your Cane Corso’s age, weight, and activity level. 

Avoid overfeeding, as excessive weight gain can put a strain on your dog’s growing bones and joints. 

On the other hand, underfeeding can lead to malnutrition and hinder proper growth. Consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal feeding routine for your Cane Corso.

Monitor exercise and activity level

While exercise is important for the overall well-being of your Cane Corso, it is important to strike the right balance. 

Too much or too little exercise can impact their growth and development. Engaging in excessive high-impact activities, such as jumping or running on hard surfaces, can strain the growing bones and joints of a Cane Corso, leading to potential growth issues. 

On the other hand, insufficient exercise can result in muscle weakness and hinder the development of a strong, healthy body.

To address slow growth, it is important to monitor your Cane Corso’s exercise and activity level. Provide them with regular, moderate exercise that is suitable for their age and size. 

Avoid activities that put excessive stress on their growing bones and joints, especially during the critical growth phases. 

Swimming and controlled leash walks are great options for low-impact exercise that promote muscle development without compromising their skeletal health. 

Also, consult your veterinarian for specific exercise recommendations based on your Cane Corso’s individual needs.

Prevention of slow growth

Preventing stunted growth in your Cane Corso is important for ensuring their long-term health and well-being. Preventive measures include:

Choose a reputable breeder

If you’re getting a Cane Corso puppy, start by selecting a responsible and reputable breeder. 

A responsible breeder prioritizes the health and genetics of their dogs, which can significantly reduce the risk of stunted growth due to genetic factors.

Proper nutrition

Feed your Cane Corso a high-quality, well-balanced dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. 

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog. Puppies, in particular, require diets formulated for their rapid growth.

Regular veterinary care

Schedule regular veterinary check-ups for your Cane Corso, especially during the puppy stage. 

Your veterinarian can monitor your dog’s growth and overall health, detect any potential issues early, and provide guidance on nutrition and care.

Parasite prevention

Follow a strict deworming and parasite prevention schedule recommended by your veterinarian. 

Preventing internal and external parasites, such as worms and fleas, is important to ensure your dog receives proper nutrition and avoids the complications associated with parasites.

Balanced exercise

Provide your Cane Corso with appropriate exercise and mental stimulation. Exercise helps with muscle and bone development and maintains overall health. 

Be mindful not to over-exercise puppies, as this can harm their growing joints.

Monitor growth

Keep track of your Cane Corso’s growth by regularly measuring their weight and height. Note any unusual changes or concerns and discuss them with your veterinarian.

Key Takeaway

Several factors can influence the proper growth and development of your Cane Corso including, nutrition, health issues, and genetics. By understanding and addressing these factors, you can help your Cane Corso reach their full potential.

Individual dogs may vary in their growth patterns, and some may experience growth spurts at different times. However, if you notice any signs or symptoms of growth problems, such as delayed growth, abnormal bone development, joint pain, or digestive issues, it’s important to consult your veterinarian for a comprehensive evaluation. 

They can provide guidance on addressing the underlying causes and implementing appropriate treatment plans.