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Presa Canario vs Cane Corso – Gigantic Dogs Comparison

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These two are entirely different dogs. Yet, many people mistakenly interchange them. Presa Canario, or Canary Mastiff, is a completely different dog. Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff, a dog from a whole different country.

Yet, people still mistake these two dogs. Yet, they are a large dog breed. But that is where similarities end. Today, we will talk about the difference between Presa Canario versus Cane Corso.

General Overview

When you look at these two dogs, the similarities are they are big, mighty dogs. Built for power, they share some history and traits of Bully breeds. But they are not thought as dangerous as the American Pit Bull terrier.

They do have a bad reputation. But that is because these powerful dogs need a proper dog owner. Poor ownership can result in dangerous and aggressive dogs.

Breed History


When you look at the history of Presa Canario versus Cane Corso comparison, they are both Mediterranean Mastiffs.

But their origins stem from different parts.

For example, the Presa Canario, or the Spanish Mastiff, comes from Spain. The Cane Corso dog breed is known as the Italian Mastiff.

The Spanish name Perro de Presa Canario suggests that this large dog comes from the Canary Islands. There, the Presa Canario was used for herding cattle and as a guard dog.

In the 1940s, the canary dog was close to extinction. Dogfighting and the recognition of popular guard dogs like the German Shepherd and Doberman Pinscher by the American Kennel Club threatened the Presa Canario. But in the 1970s, lovers of the Canary dog breed started a program to revive it.

The Cane Corso traces its origin to Italy, where the ancestors of this dog are. It is of Roman descent, and nowadays it is also known as the Italian Mastiff or Neapolitan Mastiff.

The initial dogs were very large and were used to charge enemy lines with flaming oil buckets strapped to their backs.

Similar to the Perro de Presa Canario, the Cane Corso dog breed was threatened with extinction during world wars. Yet, an intensive breeding program started by an Italian doctor in the 1970s saved the breed.

Presa Canario Overview


When you look at these two dogs, the Presa Canario is the larger dog. It is significantly larger than the Cane Corso dog breed.

One key feature of this Canary Mastiff is the catlike feet. They have rounded toes spaced further apart, which gives them longer and more fluid strides. It is a feature unique to this breed.

They also have distinct facial markings. The breed standard of the Canary mastiff suggests a black mask that does not extend past the dog’s eyes. Black noses, lips, and eye rims are also a standard.

Cane Corso Overview


Cane Corso is another large dog breed, but smaller compared to its Canary counterpart. They might be taller in height, but smaller in weight.

They differ in the shape of the head, which is larger and closely resembles the structure of a Mastiff breed. That means a more pronounced set of jowls that droop lower than the less voluptuous bottom lips of the Presa.

Appearance Breed Comparison

As we said before, Presa Canario versus Cane Corso breed comparison tells a size difference. Both are Mastiff-type dogs. They might have a similar appearance, but they are distinctively different.

Presa Canario is shorter by an inch on average than the Cane Corso dog. The Canary dog stands between 23 and 26 inches, while the Cane Corso stands between 25 and 27 inches.

But the Presa makes up that in weight, weighing between 110 and 130 pounds. Cane Corso weighs typically between 99 to 110 pounds. Some people mistake a Cane Corso for an English Mastiff because of the coloring and head shape. But that is not true.

Presa Canario has a stockier looking because of the extra muscle weight. Despite the variety of colors, a Presa Canario dog standard is a black mask that does not go above the eyes, and the nose, lips, and eye rims are always black. Both of these dogs have short straight hair, with the Cane having slightly denser fur.

Personality And Temperament

Both of these dogs are large and powerful that need consistent leadership to thrive. Without an experienced owner, they might cause a lot of problems. You must have a complete understanding of their character and how to take care of them safely. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Presa Canario versus Cane Corso temperament comparison.

They might have comparable size and build, but they were bred for different and distinct reasons. And as such, they behave differently.

For example, Presa Canario was bred to be a guard dog and protect cattle. They hunt down any attacking predators. It was developed for use in dogfighting due to its size and strength.

Because of its instincts, the Presa needs experienced and steady leadership from a proper dog owner. Otherwise, they can become dominant and may show aggression. We do not recommend them for a family with children. But if you are a capable and consistent owner, they can become the most loyal dog breed in the world.

Cane Corso, on the other hand, is better with children and pets. They are true working dogs. The large dog is a versatile jack of all trades. They were initially bred for battle, then utilized for hunting, guarding, and even farm work. The confident and intelligent breed will form a loving and strong bond with a consistent owner.

They are also good with children and make wonderful family dogs when properly socialized. Affectionate and steady, they might need careful interaction with small children because of their sheer size.


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You can say these dogs are medium-energy dogs. Because of their size and weight, they get tired faster than other dogs.

Yet, they still do require 60 minutes of walking and exercise per day. Between the two, Cane Corso needs more intense exercise and interactive games to provide some mental stimulation.

If you want a jogging partner, they can do it. But you have to wait to be fully grown. Otherwise, you risk injuries and wear and tear on their hips and joints.

If they are not entertained during the day, they can become bored and destructive. That is a path leading to a catastrophe because of their sheer size. Use interactive exercises and long walks to keep them entertained.


As we said before, these large dogs need a dominant pack leader and an experienced and consistent trainer. They are intelligent and confident. And if their owner is not experienced, they will try and take advantage of it.

Early socialization is key because you need a well-mannered puppy. If they are not calm and comfortable, you might have an incident looming. Do not let that happen.

Obedience training and instilling discipline in the household are essential. Luckily, these two dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training.

Of the two, the Presa Canario is the more stubborn dog breed. You should never allow that dog into a position of leadership, as that will make it uncontrollable. Sometimes, even aggressive if you allow too much space.

Training for these two breeds is ongoing throughout their entire lifetime. Of the two, Presa Canario is the more demanding dog.

Health Issues

When you consider getting a large dog, you have to be aware of the potential risks. The larger the dog, the more health risks.

These two are giant-sized dogs and are prone to many health conditions. Various joint problems and neurological conditions are common in these two. They do tend to live a long life, with a life expectancy of around 10 years.

Presa Canario is prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, obesity, seasonal and food allergies, and entropion.

Cane Corso is prone to eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, obesity, bloating, demodectic mange, Wobbler’s syndrome, and Cruciate ligament rupture.

Is Cane Corso Stronger?

Both of these breeds are powerful. Their size makes them a powerful dog breed and some of the strongest canine bitters.

But compared between the two, the Cane Corso has a bite force of 700 PSI, while the Canario has a bite force of 500 PSI.

It is essential to train these two from a young age. Only by training and early socialization, you can ensure they interact safely with other pets, animals, and people.

Which Is More Aggressive?

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These dogs have a history of being protective working dogs. This means they have a protective and aggressive streak in them.

When properly trained, they will control their aggressive tendencies. Yet, you have to understand this. Presa Canario thrives in a rural or farm environment where they are guardians of the property. They take up a role of a working farm dog and that means being aloof around strangers. They are the better watch dog but can become aggressive towards people they do not know.

Which Is The Better Family Dog?

No matter which big dog you get, you will get a loyal companion. They are devoted to their families.

Between the two, the Cane Corso is more protective, often serving as a bodyguard. They are very wary of strangers.

Presa has a stronger prey drive, making him less suitable for families that have other pets and young kids. And Cane Corso is the more sociable of the two.

If you have small children as part of the pack, the Corso will be gentle and tolerant of them. He is a wonderful family pet.

Yet remember, both of these are big dog breeds. Always be careful.

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