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Cursinu 1.jpg
A Cursinu in profile
OriginCorsica (France)
Breed statusNot recognized as a standardized breed by any major kennel club.
Weight approx 25kg
Coat Thick, short or medium-length
Color All shades of tan and black with or without brindle. Limited white patches.
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Cursinu, is a breed of dog originating from Corsica. It has existed on the island since the 16th century, but went into decline during the late 20th century; however it was saved and became recognized by the Société Centrale Canine. Used for a variety of working purposes, it has no specific health issues.


Cursinus have been known on Corsica since the 16th century.[1] Until the 1950s, the breed was used as a versatile hunting and farming dog on the island. During the second half of the 20th century the breed suffered due to competition from continental breeds. In 1989 the L'association de Sauvegarde du Chien Corse was set up to safeguard the breed.[2]

The breed has been recognised by the Société Centrale Canine, the French kennel club, since 2003; it is placed in the spitz and primitive group breeds, as a primitive breed.[1][2]


The breed measures 46–58 centimetres (18–23 in) at the withers with male dogs being slightly larger than females. Their coat can be fringed, with usual colors being fawn, black and tan or brown. The presence of a melanistic mask is permitted under the breed standard. White markings can be on the chest or the legs. The skin of the dog adheres closely to the body, and dewlaps do not appear in the breed.


The Cursinu is docile, loyal and very attached to its owner. It is wary of strangers. It's an intelligent, calm and stable dog capable of adapting itself to many situations. Calm at home, it explodes with energy and speed when in action.[2]


It is a versatile breed, having been used as a sheepdog, as well as to herd cattle and in some instances for dog fighting. In hunting it is most often used in hunting Wild boar, but has been used for fox and hare.[2] It is still used as a herding dog, a watchdog and for companionship. It can require further training than some other breeds, but can become a pleasant companion to its owner.[1]


There are no breed specific health issues.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Guy Bedos, a French actor and comedian, owned a Cursinu named Malo.[3]
  • In the French film The Corsican File, the detective Jack Palmer goes to a bar where he sees a female Cursinu, that he mistakes for a mutt.


  1. ^ a b c d "Le Cursinu" (in French). Club de Cursinu. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Standard SCC (2003)" (in French). Club du Cursinu. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Corse Le chien de Guy Bedos abattu d'une balle à bout portant à Lumio". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2017.