Presa Canario vs Cane Corso

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 06/07/22 •  7 min read
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Presa Canario vs Cane Corso

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The Presa Canario and the Cane Corso are both very large, beautiful dogs. Because these dog breeds look similar, they’re often mistaken for one another; however, the dogs are different in many ways.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at both dog breeds. The goal is to better understand how the Presa Canario and Cane Corso are similar and yet different! Let’s get started!

Breed Comparison: Quick Overview

Here’s a quick overview of both the Presa Canario and the Cane  Corso. Both of these are large, very strong dogs, and both share a significant ancestor.

  Presa Canario Cane Corso
Other Names Perro de Presa Canario, Canary Mastiff, Canary Dog of Prey Corso
Height 22 to 26 inches 23 to 27 inches
Weight  110 to 130 lbs 88 to 110 lbs
Temperament Strong-willed, confident, calm Intelligent, affectionate, loyal
Energy Moderate Moderate
Average Lifespan  9 to 11 years 9 to 12 years
Grooming Needs Low Low


As you can see from the chart above, these dog breeds share many similarities. At first glance, it’s easy to believe the dogs are more similar than not. However, there are some significant differences between the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso. We’ll take a look at these differences in the following sections!

History of the Presa Canario & the Cane Corso

We hinted earlier that both the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso share a common ancestor and that’s true! Both dogs are descended from the Molossus, which was a Mastiff-type dog. However, the Cane Corso’s history starts in Italy, while the Presa Canario’s history begins in the Canary Islands.

Let’s start with the Cane Corso. This dog breed started in Italy and is believed to be descended from the Masitff-type canines bred by the Romans. The dogs are very large and were used to charge enemies with flaming oil buckets strapped to their backs. Talk about the need to be brave! That’s one thing the Cane Corso doesn’t lack.

From there, the Romans also used the Cane Corso as guard dogs, hunting, herding cattle, and also kept the dogs as companions. The dogs are known for their bravery, intelligence, and for being very protective.

The history of the Presa Canario dog breed is a little different. These dogs were originally bred on the Canary Islands, just off the African coast (the islands are a region of Spain). While the Presa Canario is also descended from the great Molossus dog breed, they were developed in the Canaries to work livestock, guard dogs, and more.

The dogs are known for their intelligence, bravery, physical resistance & strength, and the natural instincts to protect and guard.

The Physical Differences Between the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso

Both the  Cane Corso and the Presa Canario share mastiff ancestors (the great Molossus dog breed). For this reason, these two dog breeds strongly resemble one another. Both have very strong, muscular bodies that are stick and durable.

The Presa Canario is slightly shorter than the Cane Corso by about an inch when it comes to height. However, the Presa Canario weighs between 110 to 130 lbs, while the Cane Corso weighs between 88 and 110 lbs. That’s why the Presa Canario has a more stocky look.

Another significant difference between the dogs is that the Presa Canario has paws that resemble a cat’s! They also have a gait that reminds you of a cat’s. However, that’s where the feline similarities end. These dogs have massive, square-shaped heads and strong jaws.

The Cane Corso, on the other hand, has a long, wide muzzle and usually has a docked tail.

Both dog breeds usually have cropped ears. This started back when the dogs were used for dogfighting. The ears were cropped to make it more difficult for another dog to grab them. In addition, cropped ears were also a benefit in hunting and guarding. Today, the practice has remained with both dogs having cropped ears.

Temperament: Presa Canario and the Cane Corso

Both dogs are extremely loyal and loving to their families. They will do whatever it takes to protect their property and families. These are both confident dog breeds that need a pet parent who can be a strong pack leader. Neither of these dogs is recommended for inexperienced pet parents.

When it comes to being protective, the Cane Corso is more protective, and they’re wary of strangers. The Presa Canario is less “intense” than the Cane Corso; however, they are also very loyal and make great watchdogs.

The Presa Canario also has a stronger prey drive. For this reason, the dogs are not recommended for families that have young kids or other pets.

On the other hand, the Cane Corso is more sociable and affectionate with their families. Kids are accepted into the dogs’ pack and will be protected by the dogs. However, this is a very large dog so it’s not recommended to leave the Cane Corso unattended when he’s with his kids.

We also have to mention that neither of these dogs is a good choice for families with many visitors or families with rowdy kids. These dogs need a calm environment and are extremely protective of their families.


Both dogs are very intelligent and eager to please; however, they’re also challenging to train. These dogs are not recommended for inexperienced pet parents. The dogs need pet parents who understand the breed and how to properly train and socialize the dogs.

Both the Corso and the Presa Canario require proper training and socialization from a young age. As they become adults, the training and socialization must continue. The pet parent for either breed must be firm and consistent. However, they also need to be patient when training these large dog breeds.

The Cane Corso and the Presa Canario both respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. However, the pet parent must have experience working with Mastiff-type dog breeds. The Presa Canario tends to be more challenging, and they respond best to treat-motivated training.

Exercise Requirements

The Presa Canario and the Cane Corso are both working dogs that require plenty of exercise each day. The dogs need at least 2 hours of exercise, consisting of a couple of long walks each day, with jogging in between walking intervals.

Keeping these dog breeds from becoming bored and obese takes a lot of work. The dogs also enjoy playing with their families.


Both dog breeds have short hair that’s easy to maintain. However, the Presa Canario tends to be a moderate shedder. The dogs should be brushed at least once a week. And you’ll be happy to learn that bathing should only be done when needed. Both the Presa Canario and the Corso Cane are prone to dry skin.

Summing It Up

Bother the Presa Canario, and the Cane Corso have many similarities and some key differences. However, both are powerfully strong, large dog breeds.

These massive dogs are not suitable for the average family. Instead, the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario are best for families that live on large farms or pieces of land, where the dogs can roam and work.

While they are both affectionate with their families, the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario are wary of strangers. And both thrive with a pet parent who knows how to work with Mastiff-type dog breeds.

We hope our guide helps you decide if either of these dogs will be a good fit for you and your family!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.