Dog Breed Profile

Cortese History

The Cortese, also known as the Italian Greyhound, is a breed of small Italian molosser that was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2014. The ancestry of the Cortese is disputed. Some claim that the ancestors of the modern-day Cortese included the African basenji or saluki, the greyhound, the Italian greyhound, the pharaoh hound, and spitz type dogs and that the modern cortese descends from these. Other sources claim that a collie-malinois mix was crossed with a pointer-Spaniel and then with the saluki and that, in turn, the collie-malinois mix was crossed with the spitz and the Italian greyhound.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin

United States Of America

Cortese Physical Characteristics

The Cortese is a small, medium-to-large sized, long-haired breed of dogs. Their name literally means “fox” which refers to their bushy, fox-like tail. The breed standards are strict, and approval is granted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. The FCI only recognises two “types” or “varieties” of corsos: the griffon (or “ringtail”) and the setter (or “smoothback”). All FCI member nations recognise both varieties.

Eye Colors


Nose Colors

Black, Brown

Coat Colors

Black, Brown, Red, White, Blue

Height Range

Male Height Range: 10 – 12 inches

Female Height Range: 9 – 11 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 8 – 28 lbs

Female Weight Range: 5 – 22 lbs

Cortese Health

Description of breed health.


11-15 yrs

Cortese Health Concerns

Cataracts, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Retinal Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Cortese Temperament and Behaviour

The Cortese is a calm, gentle, and sensitive dog that is considered one of the purest breeds in existence. They are playful, loving, and affectionate, but they can also be shy and reserved. They are highly intelligent, and are easy to train. They do well with older children, but can get along with other dogs and pets, as long as they are raised with them.

Cortese Activity Requirements

The Cortese is a medium, compact dog that was originally bred to herd cattle. They are a high-energy, intelligent, and active breed that loves to play. While most people don’t think of their dog’s energy level in terms of miles, it’s important to remember that higher energy means they need more exercise and attention. A low to moderate energy dog, such as a Bernese Mountain Dog, can get by with a short walk or short play sessions throughout the day. A high energy dog, such as a Border Collie, will need several hours of exercise and interaction every day. A moderate amount of energy means that your Cortese is well-suited to an active lifestyle. They will enjoy hiking, playing, and other forms of vigorous activity. They also play well with other dogs and with children. If you want a high-energy companion, a Cortese may be just the dog for you.

Miles Per Day

7 miles

Activity Per Day

90 minutes

Daily Food

2 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Cortese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Cortese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Not Recognized

Cortese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Cortese is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.