The Italian Mastiff, also known as the Cane Corso, is a surprisingly versatile breed that has a rich history and an imposing presence. With its powerful build and protective instincts, the Cane Corso is often mistaken for an aggressive dog. However, this breed is known for its loyalty, intelligence, and gentle nature when properly trained and socialized.

Originating from ancient Rome, the Cane Corso has a fascinating history that dates back to the Roman Empire. Initially used for hunting large game and guarding livestock, these dogs were also fierce protectors of their owners and property. Fast forward to today, the Cane Corso is still revered for its ability to excel in various roles, including as a family companion, a working dog, and an impressive competitor in dog sports. It’s no wonder this majestic breed has gained popularity among dog enthusiasts around the world.

is italian mastiff a cane corso?


Is Italian Mastiff a Cane Corso?

When it comes to the world of dog breeds, there is often confusion and overlap between similar-looking breeds. One such case is the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso. Many people wonder if these two breeds are one and the same or if there are any significant differences between them. In this article, we will dive deep into the characteristics, history, and traits of both the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso to better understand their similarities and differences.

The Italian Mastiff: A Majestic Guardian

The Italian Mastiff, also known as the Neapolitan Mastiff, is a powerful and imposing breed with a long history as a guardian and protector. Originating from Italy, this ancient breed has roots dating back thousands of years. The Italian Mastiff was initially bred to accompany Roman soldiers into battle and guard their homes and livestock.

Physically, the Italian Mastiff is renowned for its massive size and muscular build. They have loose, wrinkled skin, especially around their face and neck, which adds to their distinctive appearance. Despite their intimidating looks, Italian Mastiffs are known for their calm and gentle nature, especially towards their family members.

See also  How Big Is A 8 Week Old Cane Corso?

The Italian Mastiff requires a firm and consistent hand during training due to their independent and strong-willed nature. While they are generally good with children and known to be loyal, they may be reserved or suspicious of strangers. Early socialization and proper training are crucial to ensure a well-rounded and balanced Italian Mastiff.

The Cane Corso: A Versatile Working Dog

The Cane Corso, often referred to as the Italian Mastiff, is a separate breed from the Neapolitan Mastiff. Originating from Italy, the Cane Corso also has a long history of working as a guardian and protector. However, unlike the Italian Mastiff, the Cane Corso was primarily bred for hunting and herding rather than accompanying soldiers into battle.

The Cane Corso is a medium to large-sized breed with a muscular build and an athletic physique. They have a short, dense coat that comes in various colors, including black, fawn, gray, and brindle. In terms of temperament, Cane Corsos are known for being loyal, protective, and highly trainable. They are often described as stable, confident, and intelligent.

When it comes to training, the Cane Corso excels in various fields, including obedience, tracking, and agility. They are inherently eager to please their owners and thrive in structured environments. Early socialization is vital to ensure that the Cane Corso grows up to be a well-mannered and well-rounded companion.

Italian Mastiff vs. Cane Corso: Similarities and Differences

While the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso are often confused with each other due to their similar appearances, these two breeds have distinct differences:


Both breeds are large and muscular, but the Italian Mastiff tends to be heavier and more massive in build. Their faces have more pronounced wrinkles, giving them a more wrinkled appearance than the Cane Corso. The Cane Corso, on the other hand, has a more athletic and streamlined physique.


While both breeds are known for their loyalty and protective nature, the Italian Mastiff often exhibits a more reserved and aloof temperament, especially towards strangers. The Cane Corso, on the other hand, is generally more outgoing and sociable.


Both breeds are intelligent and trainable, but the Cane Corso tends to be more eager to please and easier to train. The Italian Mastiff can be more independent and stubborn, requiring consistent and patient training.

Working Ability:

The Cane Corso has a stronger prey drive than the Italian Mastiff and excels in activities such as hunting, tracking, and herding. The Italian Mastiff, although a capable guardian, is not typically used for working activities.

Health Concerns:

Both breeds are prone to certain health issues. Italian Mastiffs are more prone to hip dysplasia, cherry eye, and bloating, while Cane Corsos are more susceptible to hip dysplasia, eyelid abnormalities, and heart problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are essential for keeping these breeds healthy.

See also  Is A Cane Corso A Mix?


While both the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso share similar origins and have protective natures, they are distinct breeds with differences in appearance, temperament, trainability, working ability, and health concerns. Potential dog owners should thoroughly research and interact with both breeds to determine which one aligns better with their lifestyle and preferences.

Key Considerations for Adopting an Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso

When considering adopting an Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso, there are several important factors to keep in mind:

1. Space and Exercise:

Both breeds require sufficient space to move around, especially the Italian Mastiff due to its larger size. A securely fenced yard is necessary to ensure their safety. Additionally, regular exercise, such as daily walks and mental stimulation, is crucial to prevent boredom and maintain their physical and mental well-being.

2. Socialization:

Proper socialization from an early age is essential for both breeds to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and well-adjusted dogs. Exposing them to various environments, people, and animals helps them develop confidence and reduces the likelihood of fear-based behaviors.

3. Training and Leadership:

Both the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso require consistent and firm leadership. Establishing yourself as the pack leader through positive reinforcement training techniques will help mold them into well-mannered companions. Obedience training, as well as mental stimulation exercises, are vital to keep these intelligent breeds engaged.

4. Health Care:

Both breeds are prone to certain health issues, so regular check-ups with a veterinarian are crucial. Maintaining a balanced diet, monitoring their weight, and addressing any health concerns promptly are necessary to ensure their well-being.

5. Commitment:

Both the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso are not suitable for inexperienced dog owners or those seeking a low-maintenance pet. These breeds require dedicated care, consistent training, and ample socialization. They thrive on attention and affection from their owners, and neglect can lead to behavioral problems.

6. Breed-Specific Legislation:

It’s important to familiarize yourself with any breed-specific legislation or restrictions in your area. Some regions have regulations regarding owning certain large or powerful breeds, including the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso. Compliance with local laws and ordinances is crucial for responsible dog ownership.


When considering an Italian Mastiff or a Cane Corso, it is essential to understand that these are distinct breeds, each with their own characteristics, temperaments, and care requirements. While they share similarities in terms of their protective nature and loyalty, they also have important differences in appearance, trainability, and working ability. Potential dog owners should thoroughly research both breeds, interact with them in person, and consider their own lifestyles and preferences before making a decision. With proper care, training, and socialization, both the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso can make loving and devoted companions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the frequently asked questions section regarding the Italian Mastiff and the Cane Corso breeds. Below, you’ll find answers to common inquiries related to these two breeds.

1. What is the difference between an Italian Mastiff and a Cane Corso?

The Italian Mastiff, also known as Cane Corso, is a specific type or breed within the mastiff family. So, the terms “Italian Mastiff” and “Cane Corso” generally refer to the same dog. Both names are used interchangeably, with Cane Corso being the more commonly used term among English speakers.

However, it’s worth mentioning that in Italy, the country of origin for the breed, “Cane Corso” is the more widely recognized term.

2. Is the Italian Mastiff a good family dog?

Yes, the Italian Mastiff, or Cane Corso, can be a great family dog. They are known to be loyal, protective, and affectionate towards their families. Proper socialization and training are essential to ensure they understand how to interact with all family members, including children and other pets. With proper care and attention, a well-trained Cane Corso can make a wonderful addition to a family.

It’s important to note that due to their size and strength, parental supervision is always necessary when young children are interacting with any large dog breed.

3. How big does an Italian Mastiff/Cane Corso get?

The Italian Mastiff, or Cane Corso, is a large breed with males typically ranging from 24 to 28 inches in height at the shoulder and weighing between 100 to 120 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, usually standing 22 to 26 inches tall and weighing between 85 to 105 pounds. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and individual dogs may fall outside of these general ranges.

Proper nutrition, exercise, and healthcare are vital to ensuring that your Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso grows to their full potential.

4. What is the temperament of the Italian Mastiff/Cane Corso?

The Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso is known for its confident, loyal, and protective nature. They are typically intelligent and highly trainable. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and temperament can vary. Proper socialization at a young age and consistent positive reinforcement training are key to nurturing a well-behaved and balanced Italian Mastiff or Cane Corso.

It’s also important to provide mental and physical stimulation for an Italian Mastiff/Cane Corso as they are an active breed. Regular exercise and engaging activities can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

5. How much grooming does an Italian Mastiff/Cane Corso require?

The Italian Mastiff, or Cane Corso, has a short and dense coat that is relatively low maintenance. They have minimal shedding and are generally considered a breed that is easy to groom. Regular brushing with a soft bristle brush can help keep their coat in good condition and remove any loose hair.

In addition to regular brushing, it’s important to keep their ears clean and nails trimmed. Dental hygiene is also crucial, as with any dog breed, to promote good oral health.

is italian mastiff a cane corso? 2


Cane Corso | Italian Mastiff Dogs 101: Everything You Need To Know – Is It the Right Dog for You?

The Italian Mastiff, also known as the Cane Corso, is indeed the same breed. (13 words)

Both names refer to a large and powerful dog with a protective and loyal nature. (15 words)

These dogs have a long history in Italy and are known for their intelligence and versatility. (13 words)

They are often used in tasks such as guarding, herding, and even as therapy dogs. (13 words)

In summary, the Italian Mastiff and Cane Corso are synonymous and describe the same impressive breed. (15 words)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *