Neapolitan Mastiff vs Cane Corso: A Battle of the Brawny Breeds


Choosing between a Neapolitan Mastiff and a Cane Corso can be a tough choice, especially for potential pet owners who are seeking a large, loyal, and powerful companion.

Both of these magnificent breeds are known for their protective instincts and commanding presence, making them top contenders for anyone considering adding a guard dog to their family. In this article, we will explore the key differences and similarities between these two remarkable breeds, helping you to decide which one might be the perfect addition to your home.

The Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso originate from Italy and boast illustrious histories as working dogs, defending families, properties, and even participating in wars. While they share a common ancestry, these dogs have evolved into distinct breeds, each with their own unique physical characteristics and temperaments. As you read on, we’ll delve into the details that set the Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso apart, examining their training and exercise needs, health issues, and compatibility with families and other pets.

Key Takeaways

  • Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos are large, protective breeds with distinct physical traits and temperaments.
  • Both breeds require proper training and exercise to thrive, but may have differing health issues and lifespans.
  • Consideration of family dynamics, social compatibility, and grooming needs are crucial in deciding which breed is the best fit for your home.

Breed Origins

In this section, we’ll dive into the fascinating histories of the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso. Both breeds have ancient origins, but as you’ll see, their journeys to becoming today’s beloved canine companions differ in some interesting ways.

Neapolitan Mastiff History

Neapolitan Mastiff vs can corso

Originating in Naples, Italy, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a descendant of ancient Roman war dogs and the British Mastiff. As a member of the Molosser group of dogs, this mighty guardian breed boasts a lineage that can be traced back thousands of years. Throughout its history, the Neapolitan Mastiff has been revered for its protective instincts and imposing stature, making it a formidable watchdog.

The Neapolitan Mastiff’s role as a protector of family and property remains firmly entrenched in its DNA. Today, these gentle giants are known for their loyalty and devotion to their human companions while still maintaining an intimidating presence to potential intruders.

Cane Corso History

The Cane Corso is also a large Molossoid-type dog, closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. Hailing from Italy as well, the Cane Corso has a rich history that dates back to ancient Roman times. Initially bred as powerful working dogs, these agile and muscular canines were employed in various roles such as herding, hunting, and even serving in battle alongside Roman soldiers.

As time went on, the Cane Corso evolved into a dedicated farmhand, guardian, and companion. Despite their imposing size and strength, they are known for their gentle nature and adaptability, making them a welcome addition to any family ready to take on the responsibility of owning such a large breed.

Physical Characteristics

In this section, we’ll delve into the physical characteristics of the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso. We aim to provide a better understanding of their differences in size and weight as well as coat and colors.

Size and Weight

Neo Mastiff or Cane Corso which is a better pet

Let’s start with the Neapolitan Mastiff:

  • Average height (adult): 26-31 inches (male), 24-29 inches (female)
  • Average weight (adult): 130-155 pounds (male), 110-130 pounds (female)

Now, let’s compare these figures with the Cane Corso:

  • Average height (adult): 23-28 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 85-110 pounds

As we can see, the Neapolitan Mastiff is generally larger and heavier compared to the Cane Corso.

Coat and Colors

Moving on to the coat and colors, both breeds exhibit unique and beautiful characteristics in their fur.

The coat of a Neapolitan Mastiff is:

  • Short and dense
  • Straight and smooth
  • Lying close to the body

For the Cane Corso, their coat is:

  • Short
  • Dense, but not too thick
  • Almost feels a bit coarse

When it comes to colors, it’s important to note that both breeds display a range of shades. For the Neapolitan Mastiff, their colors include:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Mahogany
  • Tawny

On the other hand, the Cane Corso can be found in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Gray
  • Brindle

There you have it – a brief look into the physical characteristics of both the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso, highlighting their size and weight as well as coat and color variations. Hopefully, this information helps you gain a better understanding of these magnificent dog breeds.

Temperament and Behavior

When it comes to comparing the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso, their temperaments and behaviors are vital factors to consider. In this section, we’ll examine the traits of both breeds to help you understand their personalities better.

Neapolitan Mastiff Traits

The Neapolitan Mastiff, affectionately known as the Mastino or Neo, is a gentle giant that loves its family. Despite their massive size, these dogs often try to cuddle in your lap! They make great playmates for older children, showcasing their affectionate and loyal nature. Their protective instincts make them excellent guard dogs. However, proper socialization and training are essential for these pups to curb any overprotectiveness.

A notable trait of Neapolitan Mastiffs is their relatively low energy levels compared to other breeds. While they enjoy playtime and occasional walks, these dogs are generally content lounging around the house.

Cane Corso Traits

The Cane Corso is another impressive breed known for its loyalty, intelligence, and protective instincts. These dogs are often used as working dogs, as they possess a strong work ethic and adapt well to various tasks. Like the Neapolitan Mastiff, the Cane Corso is an affectionate and devoted family companion, especially when properly socialized and trained.

Unlike the Neo, the Cane Corso is an athletic and active breed, with a higher energy level and exercise needs. Regular physical and mental stimulation is crucial to keep these dogs happy and healthy. This breed appreciates engaging in activities such as agility training, hiking, and generally playing with its human family members.

In summary, the Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos differ in their energy levels and exercise needs, but both breeds are known for their loyalty, affection, and protective instincts. Proper socialization and training are crucial elements to ensure ideal behavior with either breed.

Training and Exercise Needs

When choosing between a Neapolitan Mastiff and a Cane Corso, it’s essential to understand their different training and exercise needs. In this section, we’ll break down each breed’s requirements so you can determine which one might be a better fit for your lifestyle.

Neapolitan Mastiff Requirements

The Neapolitan Mastiff is a large and loyal breed, often described as gentle and laid-back. Their exercise needs are comparatively lower, as they typically need only around one hour of exercise per day. Walking your Mastiff, playing in the yard, or having a short training session can be sufficient for their daily exercise.

As for training, this breed can be intelligent, but they tend to be independent and cautious with strangers. You’ll want to start socializing and training your Neapolitan Mastiff early to ensure they grow into a well-adjusted adult. Be patient and consistent, using positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise to motivate them. It’s important not to push them too hard in training sessions, as they can become resistant or stubborn.

Cane Corso Requirements

The Cane Corso is a powerful and athletic breed, requiring more exercise than the Neapolitan Mastiff. Typically, they need 1-2 hours of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Activities like brisk walks, runs, or games of fetch will help burn off their energy and keep them engaged.

When it comes to training, the Cane Corso is intelligent and very trainable but can be willful. They require a confident and experienced handler, as their strong-willed nature can lead to stubbornness in training sessions. Strive for consistency and clear communication, utilizing positive reinforcement and rewards. Early socialization is crucial for a Cane Corso, exposing them to a variety of people, places, and other animals to develop appropriate behavior.

Health Issues and Lifespan

In this section, we’ll discuss the health issues and lifespan of two magnificent breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso.

Neapolitan Mastiff Health

Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their extra-large size and powerful presence. However, with their large size comes potential health concerns that we, as responsible pet owners, should be aware of. Some common health issues for Neapolitan Mastiffs include:

  • Hip dysplasia: A common issue in large breeds, hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop correctly, causing pain and arthritis in the long run.
  • Elbow dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is an abnormal development of the elbow joint, leading to pain and limited mobility.
  • Cherry eye: This condition occurs when the gland in the third eyelid becomes inflamed or prolapsed, resulting in a red, swollen appearance.

Apart from these, Neapolitan Mastiffs may also face bloat, heart issues, and skin infections due to their wrinkly skin. It’s important to keep a close eye on their health and seek veterinary advice when needed.

The average lifespan of Neapolitan Mastiffs is 7-9 years, a slightly shorter lifespan compared to other breeds of similar size.

Cane Corso Health

Cane Corsos, like their Neapolitan Mastiff counterparts, are large and muscular dogs. As such, they share some similar health concerns, including:

  • Hip dysplasia: Just like the Neapolitan Mastiff, Cane Corsos are prone to hip dysplasia due to their size and weight. Regular veterinary checkups and a balanced diet can help maintain joint health.
  • Bloat: This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood supply. It’s important to feed Cane Corsos smaller, more frequent meals and avoid rigorous exercise after eating.
  • Demodectic mange: This skin condition is caused by mites and can lead to hair loss and skin inflammation. Regular grooming and skin care can help prevent this issue.

In addition to these, Cane Corsos may also experience ear infections and eye problems such as entropion (inward rolling of the eyelid) or ectropion (outward rolling of the eyelid).

Overall, Cane Corsos are known to have a slightly longer lifespan than Neapolitan Mastiffs, averaging around 10-12 years. By being proactive about our dogs’ health and seeking regular veterinary care, we can help keep them in tip-top shape and enjoy many wonderful years together.

Family and Social Compatibility

Children and Other Pets

When it comes to family and social compatibility, both the Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso have their own unique qualities that make them great additions to any household. With children, both breeds are known to be gentle and loving, despite their large size. Neapolitan Mastiffs, or Mastinos, are famous for their affectionate nature, and you might even find your gentle giant attempting to snuggle up on your lap! Similarly, Cane Corsos are also known to be patient and gentle with kids.

As for other pets, both breeds can coexist peacefully if they are appropriately socialized and trained from an early age. However, it is essential to keep in mind that these are powerful and dominant breeds, which could lead to potential conflicts with other dogs. Therefore, it is crucial to establish proper boundaries and monitor their interactions with other pets.

  • Neapolitan Mastiffs: Gentle with children, can live with other pets if well-socialized
  • Cane Corsos: Patient and gentle with kids, can coexist with other pets if trained and socialized well

Guarding Abilities

When it comes to guarding abilities, both the Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso excel at keeping your home and family safe. Their origins can be traced back to their roles as protection dogs in Italy.

The Neapolitan Mastiff was bred to guard families, farms, and estates. Their size, strength, and natural protective instincts make them excellent watchdogs. Similarly, the Cane Corso was originally used for guarding properties, herding cattle, and even serving as a war dog in ancient Roman times. Today, they continue to be reliable watchdogs due to their strong, agile, and muscular build.

However, it is crucial not to let these breeds become overly aggressive or territorial. Proper training and socialization from an early age can ensure your Neapolitan Mastiff or Cane Corso becomes an excellent family protector, while still being gentle and loving with their family members.

  • Neapolitan Mastiffs: Natural protective instincts, excellent for guarding families and properties
  • Cane Corsos: Bred as guarding dogs, strong and agile, make reliable watchdogs

In summary, both the Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso can make great family pets due to their love for children and ability to coexist with other pets if appropriately trained. In addition, their guarding abilities make them valuable additions to any household in need of a watchful protector. Just make sure to invest time and effort into their training and socialization, and you’ll have a loyal and loving companion by your side.

Care and Grooming

When it comes to caring for our lovely Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos, grooming plays a significant role in keeping them healthy and looking fabulous. As we dive into this essential aspect of pet care, let’s reveal some useful tips on how to maintain your dog’s coat and overall well-being.

Both Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos have short, dense coats that are relatively easy to maintain. Regular brushing, at least once a week, is essential for both breeds. It helps control shedding, remove loose hair, and distribute the natural oils evenly across the skin and coat. You may use a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt for this purpose.

Now, let’s talk about bath time. While our gentle giants don’t necessarily need frequent baths, it’s always a good idea to keep them clean. We recommend bathing your Neapolitan Mastiff or Cane Corso every 6-8 weeks, or whenever they get excessively dirty or smelly. A mild dog-specific shampoo is recommended to avoid irritation.

When it comes to nail trimming, we shouldn’t ignore the importance of maintaining our dogs’ nails at a reasonable length. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and potential injuries, in addition to hampering their mobility. Trim your dog’s nails every 3-4 weeks, or as needed, and don’t forget those dewclaws!

We know oral hygiene plays a vital part in overall wellness, so let’s keep those choppers shiny and clean. Regular teeth brushing, dental treats, or chew toys will help minimize plaque and tartar buildup. Aim to brush their teeth 2-3 times a week, and don’t hesitate to consult a vet if you notice bad breath or gum inflammation.

Lastly, we can’t overlook the importance of clean ears. Both Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears. Gently clean their ears with a soft cloth and an appropriate ear-cleaning solution, at least once a week, or as necessary.

So, there you go! By following these simple care and grooming tips, we can ensure our Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos stay happy, healthy, and looking fabulous. Happy grooming!

Final Thoughts

As we’ve explored the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Cane Corso, we hope you’ve gained a better understanding of these two majestic breeds. Both dogs have their own unique qualities, and we want to emphasize that there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to selecting one over the other.

In terms of size, the Neapolitan Mastiff is generally bigger, boasting a more massive and intimidating appearance with its large head and hanging folds of skin. Meanwhile, the Cane Corso is slightly smaller and more athletic, with an average weight of 88-120 pounds and a height of 23-28 inches.

When it comes to temperament, both breeds are loyal and make excellent watchdogs. They can be loving family companions, given the right environment and proper training. However, it’s important to remember they’re not ideal for first-time dog owners, as they can be independent and stubborn to train.

We recommend devoting about 60 minutes daily to exercise your four-legged giant and ensure they stay healthy and mentally stimulated. Grooming requirements for both Neapolitan Mastiffs and Cane Corsos are moderate, as they need regular brushing to keep their coats clean and tangle-free.

Now it’s up to you to make the decision that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Just bear in mind that these breeds are not for everyone and require a skilled owner who can manage their strong will and confidently lead them. So, take your time, research, and speak with breeders and owners to make an informed choice. We wish you the best of luck in your search for your perfect Mastiff or Cane Corso!