Cane Corso vs Mastiff


Cane Corso vs Mastiff – What Sets Them Apart?

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on June 16, 2022.

Are you fascinated by massive dog breeds like Corsos and Mastiffs? Let’s do a Cane Corso vs. Mastiff to determine which dog breed can be your future pal.

Are you deciding between the English Mastiff and the Cane Corso as your next family pet or house guardian? The Cane Corso and the Mastiff are both comparable breeds with some distinctions. Both are working dogs as they were bred for the sake of guarding and protection.

Cane Corsos are much more athletic and agile than their Mastiff counterparts. They’re also more independent and headstrong, making them a bit more challenging to train. A Cane Corse is often referred to as an Italian Mastiff because it comes from Mastiff descent.

Therefore, they have many similarities in their physical activities and can be mistaken for the same breed. All in all, both breeds are incredibly loyal and loving and make wonderful family pets.

In this guide, we will go over all of the distinctions and similarities among the breeds and a few fascinating facts about them. But, first, let’s look into Cane Corso vs. Mastiff!

Cane Corso vs Mastiff
Cane Corso vs Mastiff

Breed History – Cane Corso Vs. Mastiff

Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are descendants of the huge Roman military dogs. They were kept as versatile farm dogs to herd sheep, drive animals, pull carts, and guard the land and family members. Cane Corsos had to hunt the wild bores to make their position permanent in the family.

Cane Corsos went short when the industrial revolution arrived, but some breeders in Italy could successfully save them by employing the Neopolitan Mastiff. The appearance of Corso in America was made in 1988 and immediately gained popularity since it resembled the American Pitbull Terrier.


The sweet and affectionate family pet – the Mastiff, has a history of meeting Romans and the British Isles. The Romans encountered the terrible hounds that guarded the British Isles during their invasion in 55 BC. They were the forefathers of the Mastiffs’. Julius Caesar was very impressed by them, so he transported them back to Rome and pitted them against the gladiators and other violent animals. That encounter shed blood spots, and the breeders came to know that the frightening characteristics of these Mastiffs’ forefathers are suppressed.

So the breed was perfected into the breed we all know today as the English Mastiff.

The English Mastiff is the largest dog breed known to man, referring to the fact that “Zorba” is the world’s biggest Mastiff dog who was weight in at 343 pounds. Mastiffs are often compared with Saint Bernard because of their enormous size.

Temperament – Cane Corso Vs Mastiff

Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are fighters by nature, so they are best suited for experienced dog owners who can stick to the training and exercise schedule. For keeping a Corso, you need to have lots of space at your home. People living in the apartments are not advised to keep a Corso.

A Cane Corso is an entertaining, active, and attention-grabbing dog. You’ll stay busy in training, socializing, and fulfilling the activity requirements of Corso as it’s a working dog that is meant for guarding. They are affectionate towards their family members, but their cordiality is limited to the house members to some extent. They are serious, sensitive, and devoted canines and would not welcome a new person entering the house. They often show hostility against strangers if not trained well.

However, the Corsos stay calm and confident if properly trained for socializing and will not upset other dogs,  outsiders, and other animals, reserving their rage for legitimate threats. Fortunately, their tremendous intelligence makes teaching simple.



You can consider getting a Mastiff if you are experienced, physically strong, and not afraid of drooling. The temperament of a Mastiff is characterized as extremely loyal, courageous, and dauntless. While its large size and height may deter some prospective canine parents, this breed is super friendly and makes a wonderful family pet.

Fortunately, biting and aggression are not typical in this breed; you can socialize young children with a Mastiff who is early and consistently trained. You can also bring other pets like cats and small dogs home while keeping this giant-sized canine because of its friendly demeanor.

Because of their intrinsic intellect and drive to please their owner, Mastiffs keep a notable competence. A Mastiff may thrive on service as a quick learner, sharing their history with the battle fighters. Moreover, this massive pet is a slow learner and is best paired with low-key pet parents.

Lifespan And Weight

The lifespan of a Cane Corso is 10-12 years, while a mastiff is 6-12 years. While both breeds are large, the Mastiff is larger among both breeds and can weigh up to 110 kgs as an adult. On the other hand, a Corso weighs somewhere between 45-50 kgs only. That being said, a Mastiff can be twice as big as a Corso and has a more muscular build.


Mastiffs are typically a very solid color, while cane Corsos can be brindled or have more than one color. In addition, the colors of mastiffs can range from fawn to brindle, while the colors of cane Corsos can include black, blue, grey, brown, and red.

Both the dogs can have white markings; mastiffs usually have more white on their chests and toes. Additionally, Cane Corsos often have a “mask” of darker color around their eyes.

Who is More Energetic – Tibetan Mastiff Vs. Cane Corso?

The Tibetan mastiff is a large and powerful dog breed that originates from the mountainous regions of Tibet. They were originally bred as working dogs, and their immense size and strength made them ideal for guarding livestock and property. The cane Corso is a large Italian breed that was also originally bred for working purposes.

These dogs are known for their athletic build and their fearless nature. So, who is more energetic – the Tibetan mastiff or the cane Corso?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as all dogs are individuals with their own unique personalities. However, the cane Corso is likely to be more energetic than the Tibetan mastiff. This is because the cane Corso was initially bred for jobs that required a lot of physical activity, such as hunting and herding.

On the other hand, the Tibetan mastiff was bred more for guarding and protecting. Therefore, they may not have the same high energy levels as the cane Corso.

Who’s Bigger In Size? Cane Corso vs Tibetan Mastiff

When it comes to size, the Mastiff definitely has the Cane Corso beat. While both these breeds are considered large, the Cane Corso can grow to be up to 27 inches at the shoulder, while the Tibetan Mastiff can exceed 35 inches. But don’t let the Mastiff’s size intimidate you – this breed is actually known for being gentle and loving with their family.

Cane Corso
Cane Corso

Health Concerns – Tibetan Mastiff Vs. Cane Corso

Health-wise, both the Cane Corso and the Tibetan Mastiff are generally healthy breeds. However, a few health issues are more common in each breed. For example, the Cane Corso is more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia, while the Tibetan Mastiff is more prone to developing cancer.

Some more health issues cane Corso may suffer from includes:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Bloat

While a Tibetan Mastiff can suffer from:

  • Zinc Responsive Dermatosis
  • CHD
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia

Grooming – Tibetan Mastiff Vs. Cane Corso

When it comes to grooming, Cane Corso requires much more work. But the Tibetan Mastiff may be slightly easier to groom than the cane Corso.

Both breeds will need to be brushed regularly, but the Tibetan mastiff’s coat may be less prone to matting and tangling than the cane Corso’s coat. In addition, the Tibetan mastiff sheds moderately, while the Cane Corso sheds heavily.

So if you’re looking for a slightly easier-to-groom breed, the Tibetan mastiff may be better. But either way, you’ll need to be prepared to invest time and effort into regular grooming sessions.

Exercise Needs – Tibetan Mastiff Vs. Cane Corso

The exercise needs of a Mastiff are not very high. However, they do need some form of exercise to stay healthy and maintain their weight. A simple daily walk or run will suffice. Additionally, playing fetch or other forms of interactive playtime are great ways to keep your Mastiff active.

A Cane Corso will need at least an hour of exercise every day, though ideally, they should have closer to two hours. This can be in the form of walks, runs, or playtime in a secure area. Corsos are very strong dogs, so it’s vital that they get plenty of exercise to avoid destructive behavior. If possible, give your Cane Corso access to a yard where they can run and play freely.

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Nutrition – Mastiff Vs Cane Corso

Tibetan Mastiffs are very large dogs, and as such, they require a lot of food. The average adult Tibetan Mastiff will need around 4 to 6 cups of food per day, split into two meals. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your Tibetan Mastiff has a high-quality diet designed specifically for large breed dogs. This will help to ensure that your dog stays healthy and doesn’t suffer from any joint or bone problems later in life.

A cane Corso’s diet should consist of high-quality dry dog food, meat, and vegetables. Puppies need more calories than adult dogs and may require two or three meals per day. Avoid feeding your cane Corso table scraps, which can lead to obesity and other health problems. Instead, keep fresh water available at all times. Your vet can help you create a tailored feeding plan for your dog.

Who Is Easier To Train? – Cane Corso Vs Tibetan Mastiff

The Cane Corso is typically easier to train than the Tibetan mastiff. However, both breeds require a lot of patience and consistency from their owners to achieve success.

A Cane Corso is generally more food-motivated than Tibetan mastiffs, which makes their training slightly easier. All you need to do is treat them with food upon successfully going through training each day.

However, both breeds are intelligent and can learn a variety of tricks and commands with proper training.

Ultimately, it is essential to choose a breed that best suits your own personality and lifestyle in order to ensure a successful training experience.

Friendliness – Cane Corso Vs. Tibetan Mastiff

It’s debatable to say which of the two breeds is more loyal and protective of their families because both dogs are well-socialized and blendable.

The Cane Corso is more athletic, while the Mastiff is more laid back. Both breeds require a lot of exercise and must be trained from a young age. However, remember that socialization is essential for both breeds to prevent aggression. So, keep them indulged in playful activities.

Coat Differences – Mastiff Vs. Cane Corso

Tibetan Mastiff has a thick coat that is double layered. The outer layer is coarse, and the undercoat is dense. They do not have an undercoat. In contrast, Cane Corsos have a short, stiff coat that is easy to groom.

Shedding Differences – Cane Corso vs. Mastiff

Since mastiffs have a denser double undercoat, and a straight, long outer coat, they shed seasonally but heavily. Cane Corsos on the other hand, have a single-layer coat that is short, stiff, and dense. As a result, they are not heavy shedders, but they do lose some hair throughout the year.

What is a Tibetan Mastiff Cane Corso Mix?

A Tibetan Mastiff cane Corso mix is a cross between a Tibetan mastiff and an Italian Corso dog. These dogs are large, powerful, and loyal, making them great protectors. They require plenty of exercise and socialization, but they can make wonderful family pets.

Who’s Better – Cane Corso Or a Mastiff?

There is no clear consensus when it comes to who is the better breed between a cane Corso and a mastiff. Some people may prefer the cane Corso for its loyalty and protective nature, while others might lean more towards the mastiff for its dauntless and courageous personality.

Ultimately, the decision of which breed is better for you depends on what you are looking for in a dog and which traits you value most.

Cane Corso
Cane Corso


So these were the tidbits on the comparison between Mastiff Vs. Cane Corso, which we are sure will help you decide your well-matched family pet. The English Mastiff is edgy in size and serves well as a guard dog. Similarly, the Cane Corso also takes its duty very seriously when it comes to guarding.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, you are advised to start with a small and friendly dog before switching to a Cane Corso or a Mastiff. This is because they require training and care to behave as great human companions. Hence, once you get the experience of grooming and training dogs, you can be a happy Mastiff or Cane Corso owner. 

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Cane Corso vs Mastiff – What Sets Them Apart?


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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