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Presa Canario vs Cane Corso: A Lot in Common But Not the Same

presa canario vs cane corso

Many speak of the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso as though they are different varieties of the same breed.

These dogs share a lot of traits in common. However, to fully appreciate these breeds, it’s essential to understand the differences.

What are the similarities and differences between Presa Canario vs Cane Corso?

Both of these breeds are of Mastiff origin, with their ancestry in the Mediterranean region. However, there are some essential subtleties to keep in mind with these breeds.

You can see a comparison Video of the two breeds here. Seemingly minor differences may substantially impact this dog’s fitness for an individual or a family.

Where Do the Presa Canario and Cane Corso Come From?

Both of these breeds are Mastiffs with origins in the Mediterranean region. Both breeds come from different countries.

The Presa Canario, also known as the Canary Dog or Dogo Canario, originates in the Canary Islands and Spain.

This breed is a type of Mastiff, part of the dog family known as the Molosser type. Its earliest known use was in working with guarding livestock.

In addition to guarding livestock, Presas also protected the home and family. When these dogs are in a working setting, it is not uncommon for them to spend days watching the flocks or herds and nights protecting the family indoors.

The Cane Corso, also known as an Italian Mastiff, has a history of hunting wild boar and guarding livestock.

Corso comes from the Latin word for guardian or protector, Cohors. Like the Presa Canario, the Italian Mastiff is a guardian.

Over time, Cane Corsos expanded into military and police work as Italy became less of an agricultural society. The dog’s overall evolution from a hunter to a livestock guardian to a tactical dog has made it very versatile.

Although from the same region of the world and share a similar history, these dogs are distinct breeds with somewhat different traits. Despite both dogs being Molossers, they have developed in various ways to unique advantages.

What is the Appearance of Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos Like?

These breeds are different enough that people familiar with Mastiffs are not likely to mistake them for each other.

However, someone less experienced with dogs or the Molosser type might mistake these dogs for each other or other types of Mastiffs. These dogs are also sometimes mistaken for Pit Bulls.

Both breeds are large and very muscular. People who encounter these dogs often find their appearance quite formidable. One advantage that both of these breeds offer is looking intimidating to prospective intruders.

These breeds’ sizes and muscular builds help make them effective foes against predators like bears, wolves, and feral dogs. However, there is a subtle difference in these dogs’ proportions.

Presas are slightly longer than Corsos, while the Italian Mastiff has a more proportionate body. Of the two breeds, Cane Corsos are usually slightly taller and heavier.

Ear cropping is something found in both breeds but more common in Canary Dogs. Cropping helps add to the dogs’ somewhat more intimidating appearance and helps protect the ears from injury when guarding against predators.

Both breeds have large muzzles that allow for a strong bite. Presa Canarios have massive heads with a square shape that demonstrates their strength. Cane Corsos have long, wide muzzles that assist them in the field.

Each breed has a distinctive trait that helps it stand out. Presa Canarios have large paws often described as very similar to cat paws that can beat away predators. When walking, the dog’s gait is cat-like.

Some Cane Corsos have hanging jaws and neck dewlaps. These loose areas of skin are in contrast to the tightness of the rest of the dog’s skin. The lines that the dogs are from may impact whether dewlaps are present.

Both breeds have short coats, without distinctive undercoats in most cases. Fawn and brindle are the most typical coat colors for both breeds. Italian Mastiffs may also have black coats, sometimes with white chest, chin, or toe markings.

In short, both Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos are powerfully-built dogs that come in several colors and feature short coats. Anyone who sees these dogs will immediately identify them as being natural protectors.

How Would the Presa Canario and Cane Corso Temperaments Be Described?

Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos have a lot of temperament-related traits in common.

Both breeds enjoy playing and will join in fun activities that other household members get involved with. Because of their high energy levels, a willingness to play will help keep these dogs calmer.

Dogo Canarios and Corsos have a relatively low sensitivity level in comparison to other breeds. Few life changes are likely to upset them, which helps ensure that they can adapt easily when faced with something new.

Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos have average affection levels with their household members. They are neither exceptionally demanding nor standoffish. One thing that Canary Dog owners should be aware of is that these dogs usually favor one member.

The breeds differ slightly in their social needs. Canary Dogs have average social needs in comparison to other, similar dogs. Corsos, on the other hand, thrive on somewhat more interaction than many other breeds.

Both dogs have excellent watchdog abilities but rarely bark. Cane Corsos are somewhat more likely to bark than Presa Canarios.

One thing that owners can be sure of is that these dogs customarily have good reasons for barking when they do bark.

Most of the biting that these dogs do is defensive. However, because herding is a task that they have performed, these breeds can be somewhat mouthy. Parents of young children may want to keep this in mind with these dogs.

Dogo Canarios and Italian Mastiffs have high prey drives, as well as a chance of being aggressive toward other dogs of the same size. Owners in multi-pet households will need to be aware of this during socialization and training.

Another thing that people need to be aware of with these dogs is that they may have separation anxiety issues. Cane Corsos, in particular, do better in a home where someone can be with the dog most of the time.

Despite having somewhat similar temperaments, both of these have some significant differences. Understanding how these dogs differ can help families discern which of the dogs is a better fit for their family.

What Are the Exercise Needs for Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos Like?

Both dogs require at least an hour of exercise daily. This requirement makes them a medium-energy breed, despite bursts of high energy.

Cane Corsos require more intensive exercise than Presa Canarios. Corsos thrive on activities like tug-of-war and Frisbee. If you are so inclined, you may want to consider setting up an agility course for one of these dogs.

If you go jogging regularly, you’ll find that this is an activity that either breed will enjoy. For optimal safety, jogging is something that your dog should do once full-grown. When they are no longer actively growing, there is less of a bone injury risk.

Hiking is another form of exercise that is perfect for both breeds. Whether you use an urban nature trail or a more rigorous option in a state park, these dogs will enjoy the exercise. Tactical harnesses with weights can be helpful.

One of the things that you will want to consider for either dog is how to keep it occupied when you aren’t home. Interactive toys that have treats to find can be helpful. Either of these breeds is capable of being destructive without stimulation.

When you take either of these breeds out of your yard for exercise, you will want to know if there are any local restrictions on these breeds. Depending on the location, you might need to keep the dog muzzled during your walk.

How Should Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos Be Trained?

Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos both require experienced owners. These breeds are physically powerful, as well as very willful at times.

Socialization needs to be done as early as possible with either of these breeds. Same-sex aggression is a particular problem with Italian Mastiffs. The size of both breeds makes the conflict between the dogs a good situation to avoid.

Canary Dog owners need to show strength to earn their dog’s respect. If this breed senses weakness or uncertainty, it will behave accordingly. Because these dogs often test the limits of boundaries, they need owners who understand dog behavior.

Positive reinforcement works well with this breed, especially in the form of food rewards. Owners will need to be consistent about the commands given to bring about the best results. Otherwise, they will lack a clear understanding of the commands.

Italian Mastiffs are also inclined to push boundaries with their owners. Positive reinforcement and food rewards work well with this breed. Like Presas, Corsos are also inclined to be more reserved with strangers than other breeds.

If owners lack a background in prior dog ownership or have difficulties training these breeds, a professional trainer may be able to help. You may want to consider a trainer with extensive experience training Mastiffs for the best chances of success.

What is the Health of the Presa Canario and Cane Corso Like?

Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos have relatively few health problems. Because the few health problems are serious, owners should be aware.

Gastric torsion is a possible problem with these breeds. This life-threatening condition involves stomach twisting due to exercise before or after a meal. Dogs that show symptoms that include retching and panting require veterinary care.

Like other large breeds, Dogo Canarios and Italian Mastiffs may have elbow or hip dysplasia. Some of the effects include painful arthritis and difficulty with movement.

Presas are more vulnerable to Osteochondritis dissecans because of their slightly shorter stature and increased weight. This condition puts excess pressure on their joints when still growing. These dogs may get Panosteitis or growing pains.

Heart-related issues, such as Dilated Cardiomyopathy, may occur in Cane Corsos. Screening is available for such conditions, and there are many treatments available. Dogs with heart disease can have an excellent prognosis.

How Much Should Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos Eat?

Based on their average size, Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos eat an average of three cups of dry food a day. The kibble that these dogs eat should, ideally, be a formula for large breeds. Such foods will contain helpful joint nutrients.

If you have one of these dogs from puppyhood, you should eat dog food for large breed puppies. When possible, you may want to consider feeding the same brand from puppyhood through adulthood. Food with extra nutrients will maintain bone health in old age.

When you give your dog treats, these need to be considered as part of their daily food allowance. Overfeeding treats may contribute to too much weight gain for your dog. Because obesity impacts joint health, you’ll want to avoid this situation.

Do Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos Have Major Grooming Needs?

Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos are short-coated, requiring relatively little care. Both breeds shed lightly, with a twice-weekly brushing being sufficient. Switching to brushing daily during the spring shedding season can be helpful.

Besides removing loose hair, brushing helps distribute natural oils throughout the coat. A brush with stiff bristles of natural material will get through the dog’s coat quickly. Using a grooming mitt after brushing will remove remaining dead hairs.

These breeds will require a bath every other month, although an extra bath might be in order if the dog has gotten exceptionally smelly. One of the things that you will want to avoid is stripping the dog’s coat of oil, which comes with too-frequent bathing.

The Presa Canario and Cane Corso are two breeds with a lot of similarities but different enough to have essential distinctions.