Rottweiler vs Cane Corso: Differences Between Two Powerful Canines

Both the Rottweiler and the Cane Corso are popular guard and family protection dogs. Both breeds are also popular choices for military, police, and personal protection guard dogs.

But each breed has its own unique requirements for grooming, food, exercise, and training. And every dog breed also has its own unique health issues to be aware of.

In this article, we take a side-by-side look at these two exceptional guarding and protection dog breeds, the Rottweiler vs Cane Corso.

Rottweiler vs Cane Corso

Rottweiler is a very well-known and recognizable dog breed. The Cane (pronounced “cahn-aye”) Corso is much less recognized outside of the protection and guard dog community.

But both dog breeds can make excellent family companions and watchdogs in the right situations. The key is to match the right dog breed to your needs, interests, and lifestyle.

Learn About Rottweiler and Cane Corso Dog Breeds

In this short YouTube video, you can see a quick and useful side-by-side comparison of the Rottweiler and Cane Corso dog breeds in several important points.

Learn about the size, temperament, activity, and other differences between these two powerful pups.

History of Rottweiler and Cane Corso Dog Breeds Comparison

The best place to start whenever you are choosing a companion canine is to learn about the breed history of the dog you are interested in.

Since each dog breed was originally bred for specific purposes, learning about the breed’s history and development can give you a much better idea of whether a certain dog will be a good fit for you.

So let’s take a look at the history of first the Rottweiler and then the Cane Corso.

Rottweiler dog breed history and development

According to King Rottweilers kennel, the Rottweiler is perhaps one of the most ancient dog breeds.

These dogs date all the way back to when they traveled with the Roman armies, guarding livestock and people and even serving as drover dogs to pull heavy carts of supplies.

In fact, the Rottweiler breed name is thought to have arisen from the town of Rottweil, Germany, where Rottweilers traveled with cattle herds. The dogs guarded both livestock and their human handlers from poachers and thieves.

Then during the first World War, Rottweilers were employed both as police dogs and in the military, serving in many different roles that required extreme valor and bravery.

When this tells us is that Rottweilers are as brave as a dog can get. The Rottweiler breed is incredibly loyal to its people.

Rottweilers have an unstoppable work ethic. They are intelligent, highly trainable, and are incredibly strong.

These are all great qualities to have in a family watchdog and guard dog.

Cane Corso dog breed history and development

According to Red Rock Cane Corso kennel, the Cane Corso is the modern descendant of an ancient mollosser dog that also dates back to the Roman empire.

Ancient history describes how Cane Corso dogs fought alongside human soldiers, taking on tasks that required incredible strength and bravery.

And in fact, even though the Cane Corso is often called the Italian Mastiff, this dog breed got its start in Greece, which is where the Romans first encountered these dogs.

The modern Cane Corso dog breed emerged over time through interbreeding with Italian mastiff-type dog breeds. The name Cane Corso is said to mean “guardian dog” or “bodyguard-dog.” This is a perfect description of these brave, loyal and strong dogs.

Rottweiler and Cane Corso Personality and Temperament Comparison

The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that the Rottweiler is currently eighth in popularity out of nearly 200 purebred dog breeds.

The Cane Corso occupies the 25th slot on that same list.

Being in the top 25 most popular purebred dog breeds in America is no small feat! Both of these dogs have earned their place in the limelight year after year.

But are there important differences to be aware of in the Rottweiler vs Cane Corso personality and temperament? Let’s find out.

Rottweiler personality and temperament overview

One of the most important temperament traits to be aware of in Rottweilers is that each dog is truly unique.

As Vetstreet highlights, different Rottweilers may be serious, silly, playful, stoic, or some combination thereof.

Some Rottweilers have a higher prey drive and chase instinct than others. This means some Rotties may make better protection or security dog than others.

So it is very important to meet the parent dogs for any puppy you are interested in and to also spend time interacting with the puppies. This is the best way to get a good match between what personality type you want for your pet dog.

Cane Corso personality and temperament overview

Vetstreet paints a different picture of Cane Corso’s personality and temperament.

These dogs are described as having a more uniformly dominant personality, with a natural instinct to take the lead in guarding and protecting their people.

This can mean the Cane Corso may be a bit too much dog for someone who has limited time for training and socialization or for someone who is new to dog training.

These dogs are so strong and confident that they need a lot of training, exercise, and socialization to fit in well as a family pet and member of a community. So it is important to consider whether you have the time and confidence to train a Cane Corso.

Rottweiler and Cane Corso Grooming and Coat Care Comparison

Another question dog lovers often have before getting a new dog breed is about coat care and grooming.

Different dog breeds can need very different amounts of coat care and grooming to keep the coat and skin healthy.

In this section, we take a look at similarities and differences between the Rottweiler and Cane Corso coats.

Rottweiler coat care and grooming

The Rottweiler has a short, flat, double-layer coat. This is a true working dog coat. The layer of fur closest to the skin functions as a true insulating fur coat. The outer layer of fur is weather-resistant to help repel water and pests.

Because the inner layer of the coat is so warm, it sheds out as temperatures warm up. The outer layer of the coat sheds lightly all year long to make sure the hairs can do their job well.

However, the coat is basically washed and wear. You don’t have to do a lot of brushing or grooming and an occasional bath will do. Your main coat care issue will be to sweep up all the shed hair.

Cane Corso coat care and grooming

The Cane Corso dog’s coat is very similar to the Rottweiler coat. Both dogs are working dog breeds and both have the true double layer working-dog coat type.

Here again, the Cane Corso is a dog that has a short, smooth coat type that is basically washed and wear. But the Cane Corso’s coat is also going to be a high shedding coat, especially when the seasons change and the undercoat shed out.

During these seasonal sheds, you can reduce the amount of dead, shed hair you have to cope with by using a de-shedding tool – a grooming tool for dogs that captures the dead hair before it falls out of the coat.

Otherwise, your Cane Corso should not need more than the occasional bath and never needs professional grooming.

Rottweiler and Cane Corso Training and Exercise Needs Comparison

As we’ve highlighted in previous sections here, both the Rottweiler and the Cane Corso are true working dog breeds.

The majority of working dog breeds have a high natural energy level and need a lot of exercises. In this section, we take a look at how Rottweiler and Cane Corso are similar and different in their training and exercise needs.

Rottweiler training and exercise needs

PDSA charity points out that the Rottweiler is a better choice for an experienced dog owner.

The reason is that Rottweilers are large, powerful, energetic, active dogs. Most Rottweilers also have a very high prey drive and chase drive with strong guarding instincts.

So your Rottweiler will need early and consistent, ongoing socialization to be able to distinguish between neutral visitors and a true threat. Your Rottie will also need plenty of exercises to stay happy and reasonably calm in your home.

Once your veterinarian clears you to allow your Rottweiler to enjoy vigorous and sustained exercise, you should provide at least one to two hours a day of exercise for both body and mind.

Cane Corso training and exercise needs

The Cane Corso has very similar training and exercise needs to the Rottweiler. As The Cane Corso Association of America points out, the Cane Corso is not a suitable choice as a pure family pet.

These are working dogs who are large, powerful, and energetic. Their chase and protective instincts are as powerful as their bodies.

Your dog will need intense socialization training to learn how to react in a variety of situations with known and unknown people and animals.

And here again, once your veterinarian clears you to let your Cane Corso puppy enjoy sustained intense exercise, you will need to find at least one to two hours per day in your schedule to provide this.

Rottweiler vs Cane Corso good with kids comparison

Rottweilers weigh between 95 and 135 pounds and stand more than two feet tall. Cane Corso dogs weigh between 90 and 120 pounds and are even taller.

For this reason, neither the Rottweiler nor the Cane Corso is an ideal family dog if your kids are still very young and small. These dogs are so strong they can cause harm without even knowing it.

But both dog breeds generally get on well with older children who are trained to handle these strong, powerful pups.

Rottweiler and Cane Corso Health and Longevity Comparison

The final and most important comparison you will want to do before choosing between the Rottweiler and Cane Corso dog breeds is to take a look at overall breed health.

As Scientific American sadly points out, many modern breeding practices have become focused on breeding for show ring appearance standards.

This has caused an increase in genetic health issues in certain purebred dog breeds.

Luckily there is an organization called the Canine Health Information Center, or CHIC, that collects information about known genetic health issues and which dog breeds are affected.

In this section, we will take a look at the known genetic health issues that impact the Rottweiler and Cane Corso dog breeds. This will be important when you are pre-screening breeders to choose your puppy.

Rottweiler health and longevity

The CHIC database states that the Rottweiler can be affected by these genetic health issues:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia (joint malformation).
  • Cardiac issues.
  • Eye issues.
  • Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy (JLPP).

Rottweilers are also affected by canine cancer more than many other breeds. United Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) explains that osteosarcoma may affect as many as 12 percent of all Rottweilers.

This is one reason why Rottweilers on average have a life expectancy of just seven to 10 years.

Cane Corso health and longevity

According to CHIC, Cane Corso dogs can be affected by these genetic health issues:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Eye issues.
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis.
  • Patellar luxation (trick kneecap).
  • Cardiac issues.

On average, the Cane Corso dog has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

Rottweiler Vs Cane Corso – Which Dog Will You Choose

Now you have a much better understanding of the breed similarities and differences between the Rottweiler and Cane Corso.

This will help you choose the dog breed that is the best fit for your preferences, lifestyle, and goals.

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