Difference Between a Cane Corso and A Mastiff
By Claire Miles - December 25, 2022

Both the Cane Corso and the Mastiff are giant, faithful working dogs who were raised to be guard dogs and protectors. The Corso and Mastiff have considerable physical similarities, and there is a high risk of mistaking one for the other. Many breeders call the Cane Corso the Italian Mastiff or English Mastiff since it is a Mastiff descendent. This is what accounts for the many similarities. But what are the differences?

Summary Table

  1. Known as the English Mastiff, it is descended from Roman fighting dogs
Known as the Italian Mastiff, it is a cross between Roman farm dogs and the Neapolitan Mastiff
Cane Corso Relaxing On Steps

Getty images/EyeEm/Damjan Gosak/EyeEm

Cane Corso vs. Mastiff

Mastiffs get along well with other pets but might be wary of strangers. The Mastiff is a loyal, calm, and ready-to-please dog that makes excellent family companions. However, the Mastiff is sensitive to harsh words and training techniques, and if not handled carefully, it will become unresponsive and stubborn.

The Cane Corso is a faithful dog who defends its owners. The Corso makes an excellent family friend if a strong leader trains it. This breed is not recommended for inexperienced dog owners since it requires breed-specific training. The Cane Corso is intelligent yet obstinate and overprotective, especially around strangers. The Mastiff is obstinate but not particularly smart.


Mastiffs are the larger of the two kinds. The Cane Corso is a giant dog breed, but the Mastiff is a massive breed. The male Mastiff may grow to be 31 inches tall and weigh up to 230 pounds, while the male Cane Corso can grow to be 24-28 inches tall and weigh up to 110 pounds. The Mastiff may weigh twice as much as the Corso at its heaviest.
Mastiffs come in a variety of coat colors and kinds. Mastiffs have a double-layer coat that can be short or long and sheds annually. The Mastiff has a huge head, long ears that are not docked, and prominent lower jowls. Tibetan Mastiffs also have a lion’s mane-like ruff of hair on their head and neck.

The Cane Corso has short hair that does not shed and four standard coat colors. It features a big, mastiff-like head, long ears that can be docked, and pronounced lower jowls. White patches on the upper chest and lighter coloration around the muzzle are typical markings.