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Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso Dog Breeds

Written by aslmad.yaz

Both the Presa Canario, abbreviated from the Perro de Presa Canario, and the Cane Corso are powerful Mastiff breeds from the Molosser group. In recent times, these devoted dogs have surged in popularity as companions. Specifically, in merely a few years, the Cane Corso dog swiftly jumped from the 40th spot to claim the 16th position in popularity among breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, along with both breeds’ growing popularity, they have also garnered unwarranted attention, often associated with a perceived reputation for aggression. Despite their similarities, these pups have distinct origins, temperaments, and care requirements. For anyone thinking of adding either the Presa Canario or Cane Corso dog breeds to their homes, investing time into research is essential.

Presa Canario and Cane Corso dog origins

The Presa Canario, also known as the Canary Mastiff, is a Spanish breed originating from the Canary Islands. The ancestor of the modern-day Presa Canario was first brought to the present-day Canary Islands by the Spanish. Once there, these Mastiff-type dogs were bred with local dogs to create a fierce guardian that farmers could use to protect livestock from predators. Powerfully built, they excelled at various tasks such as guarding livestock, herding cattle, and even assisting in hunting wild game.

Similarly, the Cane Corso dog traces their roots back to Italy, where they were revered for their versatility as a working dog. Originating in the rural regions of southern Italy, the Cane Corso was bred for a multitude of similar tasks, including guarding, herding, and hunting. The fierce ancestors of these dogs were also used in battle by the Ancient Romans, and it’s no wonder! The breed’s formidable stature and innate intelligence made them indispensable to warriors and the common farmer alike.

Similarities and differences in the appearances of Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso dog breeds

Young dog breed Presa Canario in the garden looking around.
(Photo Credit: Nestor Morales Moreno | Getty Images)

The Cane Corso and the Presa Canario, both Molossus ancestors, share similarities in their solidly built, large stature and average height of around 25-28 inches. Despite their comparable size and generally good health, with lifespans typically reaching around 10 years, they exhibit distinct differences in appearance. The Presa Canario — slightly longer and heavier than the Cane Corso — boasts unique cat-like paws and a thick, muscular body complemented by a massive square-shaped head. These powerful dogs can easily weigh up to 140 pounds in comparison to the Cane Corso’s 120 pounds. While both breeds often undergo ear cropping, historically done for protection during hunting or defense, they naturally have large ears that droop down if left untouched. Both breeds come in a number of colors, including those appearing in beautiful brindle patterns. Traditionally, the Cane Corso’s tail is docked.

Temperament and personality differences in the breeds

Let’s cut to the chase with the questions commonly posed online: “Is the Cane Corso aggressive?” or “Is the Presa Canario dangerous?” It’s crucial to address right away that neither breed is inherently aggressive or dangerous, despite their inclination towards protective behaviors. Just like any dog, they require proper socialization and training to foster well-adjusted behavior. However, owing to their historical roles in guarding and defending, their innate instincts have been exploited over time. Tragically, both breeds were historically utilized in dog fighting.

Along with being protective, a deep devotion to their owner marks the Presa Canario’s temperament. These dogs form strong bonds and will usually find “their person.” When properly socialized with humans and other animals, these pups can be devoted, gentle, and obedient. They will always be a bit strong-willed, so be sure to remain confident in your leadership.

Likewise, the Cane Corso is also intensely loyal and fearless, if a bit stubborn. These canines are also known for their intelligence, calm nature, and docility. To any naysayers, both breeds possess the disposition to serve as therapy dogs. The Cane Corsi is also known to be more even-tempered than the Presa Canario, as well as more outwardly affectionate. If you adopt a Cane Corso, you might end up with a hundred-something-pound lapdog made of pure muscle. These sweethearts are known to put their paws on their person when seeking attention. Perhaps because of their affectionate nature, they are also a bit more likely to take on the bodyguard role if they sense danger towards their humans.

Training for the Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso

Training and socialization are crucial for both the Cane Corso and Presa Canario breeds, given their protective instincts and strong personalities. Early socialization is vital to ensure they are well-adjusted and comfortable in various environments, particularly around other animals and people. Both breeds require firm yet positive reinforcement-based training methods to establish boundaries and obedience. You should never use physical punishment or fear-based training methods with any dog. This is especially true with these breeds.

The Cane Corso may exhibit more independence and stubbornness than the Presa Canario. As a result, they may require more frequent training. Because the Presa Canario tends to be more assertive and dominant, they’ll need a strong leader. So, if you’re thinking of bringing home a Presa Canario or Cane Corso puppy, you will need to immediately begin training.

The importance of early socialization in dogs cannot be reiterated enough. Beyond basic puppy training, socialization includes plenty of time spent in public to mitigate potentially dangerous anxious behavior towards unfamiliar people or animals. Providing structured training sessions, ample exercise, and mental stimulation are essential for fostering well-behaved and balanced companions in both breeds. You can always look at finding professional training help or an animal behaviorist as well.

Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso dog breed health

Health considerations for the Cane Corso and Presa Canario are similar due to their shared traits and size. Still, each breed may have specific tendencies. Both breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and entropion, which can affect their mobility and eye health. Additionally, both may be at risk for conditions like gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) and hypothyroidism. However, the Cane Corso is more commonly associated with cherry eye and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart condition. Alternatively, the Presa Canario may face a higher susceptibility to bloat. Regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and preventive care are essential for maintaining the health and well-being of both breeds.

Does the Cane Corso make a good family dog? What about the Presa Canario?

Little girl and her grandmother sitting at home and hugging Cane Corso dog.
(Photo Credit: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER | Getty Images)

Yes, Cane Corsos can make excellent family dogs under the right circumstances. Likewise, the Presa Canario makes a wonderful family companion if they are raised in a loving home and given the proper training. Both breeds display undeniable loyalty, intelligence, and a protective nature, which can make them devoted pets. With abundant care, socialization work, rigorous training, and plenty of attention, these breeds can thrive in family environments.

Considerations to make when choosing to adopt either of these dog breeds

While both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso share similarities in their personalities and care requirements, there are distinct differences to consider. Prospective owners must carefully evaluate their lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet the needs of each breed before making a decision. Whether opting for the Presa Canario or the Cane Corso, responsible ownership entails commitment. This includes providing proper care and training, as well as exposure to other dogs, people, and environments. Sadly, these dogs gain a poor reputation, mostly stemming from irresponsible ownership. As a result, they can end up in shelters or may be euthanized for an “aggressive” temperament.

If you’re thinking of bringing one of these breeds home, be honest with yourself. Are you ready to devote the time and energy to these unique breeds? Do you have the patience to work with your pup through training? Will you actively invest in socializing your Presa Canario or Cane Corso dog early in their lives? By understanding the unique characteristics and requirements of each breed, individuals can make an informed choice when finding a companion who aligns with their lifestyle.


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