Must Love Corsos Rescue is a community-based non-profit rescue dedicated to saving the lives of neglected and abandoned Cane Corsos.

Foster FAQ

To help you make an informed decision on fostering a rescued Cane Corso through our organization, MLCR has compiled a list of FAQs and responses. We hope you find this information beneficial and informative, as our goal is to ensure the fostering of a rescued Corso is done successfully and safely.

What do I need to have ready for the arrival of my new Corso?

We recommend break-fast slow feeder bowls, food, a crate, a leash, a collar, and lots of love and patience.

What should I feed my foster dog? How much? How often?

Premium food is vital for the health of the Corso, such as Acana or Solid Gold. Frequency and quantity vary according to the condition of the Corso, in general, we recommend twice-a-day feedings with no more than 2 cups per feeding to avoid bloat, which is the 2nd leading cause of death in dogs. It is best to keep the quantity at 2 cups and increase the frequency from 2 to 3 times a day and sometimes 4. A Corso that needs to gain weight should be on a non-fish-based food, while the latter is best for overweight Corsos.  Please note: Cosos that are emaciated sometimes need a special diet, which will be dependent upon their individual needs. Meal plans for these fosters will be provided prior to placement but may also undergo changes as your foster becomes healthy again.

What type and size crate will I need?

Wire crates are fine; the drop pin is the sturdiest. Some Corsos will fit in an x-large crate, although most will need a 2x-large or gigantic.

Is the Corso crate-trained?

We usually cannot answer this question with any degree of certainty. You may need to work with your foster to get him/her crate trained. If he/she is having difficulty getting acclimated to the crate, contact a member of the Crew, and we can give you helpful suggestions.

Will the Corso I'm fostering be house-trained?

Most Corsos are house-trained but expect accidents. For some, they have just been abandoned by their family and are coming from a shelter. For others, they may not have been in a house living all their years in a kennel with little to no human contact. Remember this breed is highly intelligent so even an old dog can be house-trained in a relatively short period of time. You may want to keep the foster on a hard floor surface rather than carpet during the first few days of his/her arrival.

DECOMPRESSION, what is it and how important is it when fostering?

Decompression is the most important thing you can do to help your new Corso acclimate to its new life with you. Please look at recent events through your dog’s eyes. In recent months, this is at least the 3rd time their life has been completely turned upside down. The biggest thing you can give them at the start is TIME. Time to process, time to destress, and time to learn that these changes are good.

Please read the attached link to better understand decompression and how important it is.  Read More

When should my foster Corso feel Comfortable in my home? - Decompression Period

3 Days to Decompress

  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • May feel scared or unsure of what’s going on
  • Not comfortable enough to be themselves
  • May not want to eat or drink
  • Shuts down and/or hides under furniture
  • Tests boundaries

3 Weeks to Decompress

  • Starts settling in
  • Feels more comfortable
  • Realizes this could be his forever home
  • Figures out his environment
  • Gets into a routine
  • Lets their guard down, may begin to show his true personality 
  • Behavior issues may start to appear

3 Months to Decompress

  • Finally feels completely comfortable in their home
  • Begins to build trust and a true bond
  • Gains a complete sense of security with his new family
  • Settles into a routine
    Downloadable Chart
Will the Corso I’m fostering get along with my other animals?

MLCR makes every attempt to evaluate Corsos with other animals prior to being accepted into the foster program; unfortunately, there are times when this is not possible and we must rely on our fosters to provide us with insight and recommendations. When knowledgeable of a Corso that is suspected of not doing well with other animals, MLCR will share this information and require a foster placement in an ‘only dog’ household.

As with any animal, caution is always a must; therefore, we recommend not introducing your foster to any other pets during the first week or two of his/her arrival. It requires work and technique to acclimate any dog into a pre-established pack. We are here to assist you with this process.

When can I introduce my foster to my pets?

Please take the time to do slow introductions with current pets in the home. A dog stressed and unsure may not feel like having an unknown dog in their space. It may make them feel scared or threatened.

We have found that slow and structured introductions work, they do. Please use us as a resource for any questions regarding this. If you have current pets in the home, we have taken that into consideration in regard to your new foster.

Will the Corso I'm fostering be good with children?

MLCR will only place a Corso into a foster home with young children (under seven) when the Corso has a known history of living with young children. On the other hand, if you have children 7 years and older we may consider placing a foster in your home with your consent. In either case, a child should NEVER be left alone with an animal especially one that is just being welcomed into the family as both will need time to get acclimated to one another; this requires adult supervision.

When can I groom or bath my foster?

Your Cane Corso may not be open to being bathed, groomed, nails clipped right away. Please do not attempt to do things with your Corso that require them to trust you before you have earned that trust. 3 to 4 weeks is a good benchmark. If you feel your Cane Corso needs to be washed in that time, they do sell wipes for that purpose.

How much time will I need to devote to fostering?

It depends on the needs of the Corso. At the very least, you will need to devote time each day for feeding, exercising, and training. Within the second week, we need 3 photographs and a written paragraph sent to info@mustlovecorsosrescue.org. This may take a little extra time but is critical because it allows us to get your foster posted on the MLCR website and begin the process of searching for his/her forever family. Weekly updates are expected, needed, and required as we are here to support you and want the best foster experience to occur so communication is a must. Corsos require exercise, constant socialization, and grooming; all of which require an element of time.

My foster is not very affectionate, what should I do?

Your foster is probably unsure of all the changes that just occurred. He/she needs some time to adjust. Being a guardian/protective breed, you may need to earn their trust. This can sometimes take up to a month, but in most cases, it is merely a few days.

Treats can sometimes encourage your Corso to come closer to you but don’t feel bad if he/she refuses to take the treat from your hand and instead eats it from the floor. This is normal; remember he/she doesn’t know what a wonderful person you are. They will learn this in time.

How can I establish the rules and expectations when fostering?

There are a few simple things you can do with your Corso to practice ‘Nothing In Life Is Free (NILF)’. Require the Corso to sit and wait until a release word is given prior to eating. If you are feeding kibble, stir the kibble with your hands to get the human sent distributed, which also conveys that ‘all good things in life’ come from my human. Always make him sit patiently at open doors. Ask for behaviors and reward appropriately and remember 1 key aspect of training, don’t just tell your Corso what not to do, also show them what to do. Make the feeding and training rituals a family affair, if there are children in the home teach them and allow them to participate. It is important to convey that all humans in the home are the pack leaders and appear at the top of the hierarchy.

Do you have any treat/toy suggestions during fostering?

Black Kongs or Blue Kongs (radio-opaque in case you have a Corso who is known for eating non-food items!) filled with peanut butter kept in the freezer are a welcomed treat for most Corsos.

Treat balls filled with kibble can keep him/her occupied for hours.

Bouncy Bones are another favorite. Most enjoy playing ball. Raw bones from the butcher can be a bit messy but offer valuable nutrients and endless hours of enjoyment.

Benebone brand and Nylabones are other heavy-duty chewer-friendly toys!

Are there any treat/toys that are NOT recommended when fostering?

Toys that can be chewed to pieces and eaten can be dangerous. Batting filled bedding, many Corso’s love to eat the filling, which can require surgery to remove and in worst case scenarios can lead to death.  IF YOU FEEL YOUR FOSTER HAS INGESTED A FOREIGN OBJECT, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY!

What are my financial responsibilities as a foster parent?

You may need to purchase these items if you do not have them in your home: Slow-Feed bowls, grooming aides, leash, martingale collar, bedding, and food. Medical care is the responsibility of the rescue, but pre-approval by a board of directors is required (Melanie, Cheryl). On the other hand, if you choose to provide medical care for your foster without prior consent from a member of the rescue’s board then this would be an added expense and greatly appreciated but NOT an expectation.

My foster has a URI (upper respiratory infection), is this contagious to my other pets?

Short answer: Yes, a URI can be contagious to your other dogs. 

Those more at risk are puppies, seniors, and dogs with weakened immune systems (chronically ill, emaciated, undergoing treatments for cancer, etc.). Upper respiratory infections are spread through direct contact, sharing water bowls, toys, or airborne. This is another reason why we advocate for KEEPING PERSONAL PETS SEPARATE FOR UP TO TWO WEEKS. The BORDATELLA vaccines can prevent or lessen the effect of some strains, but not all, so EVEN IF YOUR PET IS VACCINATED, THEY CAN STILL CATCH A URI.

However, most upper respiratory infections are mild and only cause occular and nasal discharge and a cough. They’re fixed with a simple trip to the vet for some antibiotics. If for some reason, though, your foster or personal pet become lethargic, stop eating, have severe nasal discharge or a continuous cough, please inform us. We will put a hold on fosters coming into your home until it clears up and get the foster to the vet. You will need to be responsible for your own pets’ resulting treatments. 

Corsos who have been residing in shelters are more likely to experience an URI than those surrendered by an owner.
Learn more: Upper respiratory infection

My foster has demodecosis (domodectic mange) is this contagious to my other pets?

No, this is a non-contagious type of mange. It looks bad and feels worse. It is treated with injections, oral Ivermectin, or the flea prevention, Bravecto. Treatment will be complete when two skin scrapings are negative, which can take 6 to 8 weeks and sometimes longer.

My foster is heartworm positive is this contagious to my other pets?

No, not directly. Heartworm is not contagious but it will kill the dog without treatment. Heartworm is a parasite that is transmitted through mosquitoes. The treatment for a heartworm-positive dog is completed in two stages each taking about 3 weeks. Your foster will be very, very sick after the first treatment requiring complete bed rest, limited activity, and leash walking for bathroom purposes only. It is recommended the vet provide pain relief medication for the first 10 days after treatment.

To ensure your pet never has to endure this, please keep them on monthly prevention. Yes, even in winter!

Complete Foster Application

We are always in great need of fosters. As a foster-based rescue, we cannot save any Cane Corsos without our fosters!

Complete Volunteer Application

We are always looking to grow our volunteer base. Transports, Home Visits, and more!