Mastiff vs Cane Corso: How Are They Related And Different?

Are you planning to adopt an English Mastiff or Cane Corso, but you are not sure which of these two breeds are a better family dog or guard dog? Which one is more suitable for you and your family members? English Mastiff and Cane Corso are regarded as giant dogs. These dog breeds may not be suitable for new dog owners since they are large breeds. These two breeds typically weigh over 100 pounds, they might be tough to handle for an inexperienced dog owner.

Let us understand more about the qualities of English Mastiff vs Cane Corso, so you can decide which one is the best dog for you and your family. If you want to learn more about them, scroll down and keep reading.

Mastiff vs Cane Corso



An English Mastiff is a large dog breed originated in England. It is also known as Old English Mastiff. National kennel clubs, such as the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, refer to the breed simply as Mastiff.


In the 19th century, it is believed that they may have descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae, with a remarkable input from Alpine Mastiff. The modern breed was developed in the in the 1880s and refined since then. Following a period of significant decline, the Mastiff has regained popularity around the world. The Mastiff has influenced the evolution of a number of dog breeds, some of which are referred to as mastiff-type dogs, mastiff breeds or simply mastiffs.

The American Kennel Club recognized English Mastiff as a working breed in 1885. English Mastiff population in the United States rapidly dropped between the 1890s and early twentieth century. Only 24 Mastiffs were registered in the United States between 1906 and 1918. None of these were developed in America after 1910. With the exception of a few exports to North America, this dog breed was extinct outside of Great Britain by the end of World War I.

The American Kennel Club registered Beowulf, a dog bred in Canada from British imports Priam of Wingfied and Parkgate Duchess, in 1918, which started a slow restoration of the dog breed in North America.

Mastiff Appearance


  • Male English Mastiff: 30 in (minimum)
  • Female English Mastiff: 27.5 in (minimum)
  • Male English Mastiff: 73 to 104 kilograms (160 to 230 lb)
  • Female English Mastiff: 54 to 77 kilograms (120 to 170 lb)

The Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds in terms of mass, with an enormous body, broad skull, and often square head. This giant breed is slightly heavier than the Saint Bernard, however there is a significant mass overlap between these two dog breeds. Despite the fact that the Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound can grow to be almost six inches taller, they are not nearly as strong as the English Mastiff.

The body of Mastiff is big with a lot of depth and breadth, particularly between the forelegs, which are positioned wide apart. The body length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock is more than the height of the withers.


The coat of English Mastiffs is fine and smooth. The colors can be apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle.

In all circumstances, a black mask should be present. The fawn is usually a light silver color, although it can also be a golden yellow color. The apricot can range in color from a modest reddish hue to a deep, rich red. The stripes on the brindle should be heavy, even, and clear, but they might be spotty, light, uneven, jumbled, or faint. Piebald Mastiffs are a rare breed.

Some non-standard colors are blue, black brindle, and chocolate brown mask. Other Mastiffs have dark hairs throughout the coat, specifically on the shoulders and back. This isn’t regarded as fault though.

Litter Size

The English Mastiffs can have 3-5 puppies.

Mastiff Temperament


English Mastiffs are intelligent, cheerful, alert, affectionate, loyal, and courageous. This dog breeds are fantastic guard dogs. However, Mastiffs aren’t known for being the most playful of dog breeds. Mastiffs have no desire to chase or catch small animals. They have a lower energy level than other breeds, and typically not used as a service dog.

If you are anticipating guest, make sure you properly introduce them to your dog because each dog is different. An English Mastiff can be aggressive to strangers. Proper socialization is important. As a family pet, it is a very protective guard dog. An English Mastiff will not hesitate to defend his family if he believes it is necessary.

English Mastiff can adapt well to changes in lifestyle and to any living conditions.

When left alone by their handler, they are prone to panic, bark, and cry just like any other puppy.

Mastiff Health


Usually, Mastiffs are healthy dogs, however just like other dogs, they are prone to health conditions. Puppy mills should be avoided, even if they have are very affordable. They can breed unhealthy puppies. It is really not worth it. Some of the health issues are listed below.

  • Gastric dilatation volvulus– also known as bloat. This is common to large dog breeds. It is advised to let the dog rest for 40 minutes to an hour after eating to avoid bloat.
  • Hip dysplasia– a health condition affecting the skeletons. Hip dysplasia can lead to osteoarthritis and pain.
  • Cancer– Osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumor in the bone. It usually affects large breeds, such as English Mastiff. Leg pain and lameness are common early signs. If you have observed that your dog is limping, veterinary attention is needed.
  • Allergies– Their skin becomes irritated as a result of their allergies. Allergies can be treated with medications, ointments, and high quality kibble.
  • Obesity– a condition in which excess body fat has built up to the point where it may be harmful to the dog’s health.
  • Cardiomyopathy– a condition of the heart in which it affects the heart muscle. Shortness of breath, feeling tired, and swelling of the legs are the common symptoms.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy– a dog’s genetic condition that causes gradual blindness over a period of months or years.
  • Cystinuria– is a genetic disorder in which there are high concentrations of amino acid, cystine in the urine. This can cause cystine in the bladders, ureters, or kidney.
  • Seizures– To keep seizures under control maintenance medicines are necessary. Blood tests are required to assess side effects and effectiveness.

If you are planning to buy a puppy, only go to a reputable breeder to make sure that the puppy has a healthy background.

Life Expectancy

The English Mastiff has an average lifespan of about 7 years, however it is not uncommon for some to live for 10–12 years.

Training Mastiff

Mastiffs are simple to train because they are intelligent dogs.

Consistency and positive reinforcement training should always be used when it comes to obedience training. Give them treat or reward positive responses.

If properly socialized as a puppy, Mastiffs get along well with young kids and can coexist with other pets. However, keep in mind that the protective nature of English Mastiff can be harmful to both you, your family member, and outsiders if they are not properly trained. With that said, their training should be more on obedience.

English Mastiff is a natural pack leader. Let him know that you are in control. Train him with confidence and in a calm manner.

English Mastiff has a reputation for being lazy. Try to keep training sessions brief for the best outcomes. Training lessons for your pet dog should only lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.

From an early age, train your dog to being around to people and other dogs or animals. If you want your dog to be well behaved, early socialization is a must. Introduce them to other animals, such as dogs, or cats. Also introduce them to your friends and family members.

Mastiffs should also be house trained. They should be fed on a fixed schedule. Right after they have consumed their food and water, they may have the urge to go outside. It is important not to delay this and help them with this practice. You also need to praise them for doing this.

Mastiff Nutrition and Care

Nutrition And Care

Ideally, you should provide a high quality dog food got your pup. A puppy’s diet should contain 25-27 percent protein and 12-15 percent fat. Puppies require more protein than adults because their muscles grow quickly.

An adult Mastiff’s diet should consist of 21-25 percent protein and 8-10 percent fat.

Senior Mastiffs should be fed less than 20% protein, an amount of more that 21% can lead to hepatic and renal failure.

It is vital for your pet dog to have daily exercise. A daily brisk walk is enough. Do not allow your dog to leap off elevated spots as it may cause harm and break his shoulder.

These dog breeds do not need a lot of grooming. They are low maintenance, and can be bathed every 4 to 6 weeks. They require a weekly brushing because they shed moderately.

Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Also known as Cane Corso Italiano and Italian Mastiff. It is a mastiff breed from Italy. This dog shares the same ancestry with the English Mastiff. The Italian mastiff is mainly used as a companion dog or guard dog, but it can also be used to guard livestock.


Cane Corsos were once used for hunting large game, as well as cattle herding.

The Cane Corso is a descendant of Ancient Rome’s molossoid dogs, according to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale’s breed standard. It was originally found throughout most of the Italian peninsula, but is now only found in Puglia, in southern Italy.

In 1960s, the Cane Corsos became almost extinct after the collapse of mezzadria system of share-cropping. During the two world wars, when there was a scarcity of food, the Cane Corso suffered greatly. From about 1980, a few surviving animals were selectively bred to become the modern breed.

Cane Corso Appearance


  • Male Cane Corso: 24–28 inches
  • Female Corso: 23–26 in
  • Male Cane Corso: 45–50 kg (99–110 lb)
  • Female Cane Corso: 40–45 kg (88–99 lb)

The Cane Corso’s head is big, measuring somewhat more than one-third of the dog’s height at the withers and with a well-defined stop. The top of the skull is flat and somewhat convergent to the muzzle. The eyes of this dog breed is oval-shaped and set well apart. The eye’s iris should appear dark as possible.


Cane Corsos have short, dense, and shiny coat. The colors can be black, lead grey, light grey, slate grey, or fawn such as dark fawn, light fawn, or stag red, it can also be brindled. Few white markings on the nose, chest, or feet are fine.

Just like Mastiff, Cane Corso sheds moderately.

Litter Size

They can have an average of 3-5 Cane Corso puppies.

Cane Corso Temperament


Cane Corsos are loyal, courageous, quiet, cheerful, intelligent and sometimes stubborn. These dogs are very protective when it comes to their family. It is their natural instinct. They are average friendly dogs towards young children, and they are not cat-friendly.

If you are planning to get this type of breed make sure that you are an experienced dog owner who knows how to train this dominant dog.

Cane Corso is a perfect protection dog.

Generally, some Cane Corsos can be aggressive to other dogs. This is where his natural sense of dominance comes into play. They have a strong desire to catch prey. These dogs have a higher prey drive compared to Mastiff.

Cane Corsos have high energy levels and they usually do not sleep for long periods of time.

Cane Corso Health


Typically, Cane Corsos are also healthy dogs, but hey are also prone to to a number of health issues. Common health problems are listed below.

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Cherry Eye– It is a condition in the eye, in which a tear gland in a dog’s third eyelid becomes inflamed.
  • Demodectic Mange– Also called as “red mange”. It is caused by a parasite, particularly demodectic mange mite. The mange lives in the hair follicles of the Cane Corsos. The mites grow rapidly when a dog has an immature system. Usually occurs in dogs that are less than 12 to 18 months.
  • Arthritis– The inflammation of the joints. This is one of the most common health issues of Cane Corsos. Usually it occurs when the dog turns 7 years old or older.
  • Ectropion– It is a disorder in which the lower eyelids droop or roll out in dogs.
  • Entropion- It is a condition in the eye in which the eyelid rolls inward.

If you are planning to buy a Cane Corso puppy, make sure you only go to reputable breeders to ensure that the puppies are healthy.

Life Expectancy

Cane Corsos have an average lifespan of about 10-11 years.

Training Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are a tough breed to own, and they are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners. They are easy to train.

You need to train them while they are still young. You should be firm and consistent.

The most effective way to train your pup is positive reinforcement. Generally speaking, you praise or give a treat to your dog if you see that your pup peed outside, or reward them for good behaviors. Do not shout or be angry at them when they have done something inappropriate.

Early socialization is very important for the puppy. It can help your pup grow into a friendly, sociable, and courageous adult.

Cane Corso Nutrition and Care

Nutrition And Care

Recommended daily amount: You can feed your Cane Corso 4 to 5 cups a day. His diet should always be nutritious that caters to his digestive needs.

They can be bathed every 4 to 6 weeks, just like the Mastiffs,

As mentioned above, they are energetic dogs and require at least an hour of daily exercise. They are ideal for active families.

Mastiff vs Cane Corso conclusion

Conclusion: Mastiff vs Cane Corso

Now that you know the similarities and differences of Mastiff and Cane Corso, you don’t have to be confused as to which dog is perfect for your lifestyle. Both breeds are great guard dogs, but Cane Corso is a better guard dog because they have a strong desire to protect their family.

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