Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff – Which is King of the Big Dogs?

cane corso vs neopolitan mastiff

If you’ve ever thought about getting a big dog as a pet, we know the Cane Corso and Neopolitan Mastiff are likely near the top of your list. Both breeds are muscular, powerful dogs. They can even be called scary to strangers…

However, the truth is that these two breeds don’t mix well together. You should not get both of them. We know you want a big dog, but if you’re set on either one of these breeds, we recommend choosing between them only. If you’re wondering why they don’t mix well together, keep reading. We’ll give you all the information about each breed and let you decide which would be best for your family.

Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff Breed Origins

Cane Corso Breed Origin

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is an Italian guard dog known for its loyalty, strength and protective instincts. It has lived with the Italians for many years (since Roman times, in fact). It has natural guarding instincts and looks scary! They were bred to hunt large animals, including boars and cougars. In the 1920s a standard was written for this breed, though it is currently not recognized by any major kennel club in Italy or abroad.

The Cane Corso is also known as the Italian Mastiff and is favored by the nobility for its ability to protect. It historically has sharp instincts to guard property and find game.

Neopolitan Mastiff Breed Origin

Neopolitan Mastiff

The Neopolitan Mastiffs were bred in Italy too. They are related to the old Roman Molossus breed, who fought alongside gladiators in battle. The Neopolitan Mastiff is considered one of the most ancient breeds that exist today and has changed little since its early development.The Neopolitan Mastiff is known for its loyalty, agility and good protection skills. Although it isn’t very popular outside Italy, it’s making a comeback. This breed also loves kids! They are known as “gentle giants.” Unless provoked or protecting their family. Neopolitan Mastiffs are also called “Italian mastiffs” and were bred to guard property.

Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff Size, Appearance & Coloring

Despite their origins, the breeds have a lot of differences.

Cane Corso

Cane Corso Size, Appearance, ColoringThe Cane Corso has a large head, short muzzle and small ears. It has a broad chest and strong legs too. The coat is short and coarse and comes in all colors, except merle (a blue color). Owners claim it’s hypoallergenic.


The female Cane Corsos are about 23 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. The males are much bigger at over 26 inches! These dogs can weigh anywhere between 100 pounds up to 200 pounds depending on the size of the parents. While they are considered giant breed dogs, they are not actually that large when you consider their ancestor, the Italian Mastiff. Their ancestor was a dog bred to hunt boars and cougars.


Cane Corsos come in many colors, including red brindle, fawn, white with black patches, and dark gray. The only color the Cane Corso doesn’t seem to come in is the blue merle. Very popular amongst other breeds. Some breeders are working to produce a “black mask” pattern.

Neopolitan Mastiff

Neopolitan Mastiff Size, Appearance, Coloring

The Neopolitan Mastiffs can grow to about 25 inches tall, which is still big for a dog! The males tend to be bigger than the females. This breed weighs between 120 pounds and 200 pounds when fully grown. They have large heads and broad chests; their wrinkles make them look especially wise. Their coats are short and come in two colors: mahogany (a dark brown color) or fawn (a lighter brown). Though they seem big at first, the Neopolitan mastiff is very agile.


Neopolitan Mastiffs are 25 inches tall at the shoulder. Males tend to be much larger than females! They can weigh between 120-200 pounds when fully grown. Their large size makes them one of the biggest breeds around…but their agility means they’re not clumsy.


Neopolitan Mastiffs are always black, mahogany, tawny brindle or blue or merle. Brindle is a pattern of dark stripes over a lighter color that reminds one of tiger-skin patterns. Fawn is lighter brown with black, yellow or red markings around the face, eyes and ears. Their eyes are blue when born but transition to brown or amber as they get older.

Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff Temperament

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is known for being independent and confident. They are generally suspicious of strangers – this is a result of their history as a protector –, but once they have established a strong line of communication with the owner, they will be friendly to familiar people. This breed is also very loyal and affectionate towards those who care for it properly.

Cane Corsos need to know who is the alpha, be sure to establish that clearly from the get-go or he’ll try to take on that role. He will try to test these boundaries so be firm.

Neopolitan Mastiff

Despite their imposing size, Neopolitan Mastiffs are actually quite docile and make great family pets. They are especially good with children and tend to be very protective of their home and family.

Today, Neopolitan Mastiffs are still very popular as guard dogs due to their size and strength. They can easily intimidate people which makes it easy for them to protect the home while the owners are away or at work. As family pets though, they can be loving and gentle with children along with other animals if introduced properly when young.

Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff Exercise Needs

Cane Corso

Cane Corso Exercise Needs

Cane Corso are not recommended for first-time dog owners as they can be quite challenging to train and handle. They need a lot of exercise and room to run and can be very destructive if not given enough attention. If you are able to meet their needs, however, a Cane Corso can make an excellent pet and loyal friend.

Neopolitan Mastiff

Neopolitan Mastiff Exercise Needs

The Neopolitan Mastiff needs a lot of exercise and room to run. It is not recommended for first-time dog owners due to its size and strength, but with a firm hand can be a loving and devoted family pet.

The Neopolitan Mastiff needs a great deal of exercise to maintain healthy muscles. They love to play fetch in the yard or will enjoy going on long walks with you during which they will stay right by your side. They do best when they have enough space to stretch out when indoors so it is preferable for them to live in a single-level home without many stairs.

Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff Grooming Needs

Cane Corso

Daily brushing should be done with a hard bristle brush or rubber grooming mitt that has been dipped in water, as the coat is very short and dense.

The Cane Corso’s short, straight hair means that they only need limited grooming. A good brushing once a day should be enough to keep their coats clean and free of tangles. However, the nails may need to be clipped every two weeks or so.

Neopolitan Mastiff

Short hair implies that Neopolitan Mastiffs do not shed much and thus do not require frequent grooming sessions. Brush them once a week with a rubber glove or hard-bristled brush while using water to remove dead hairs from the coat and skin. They also need their nails trimmed weekly if not more often depending on how fast they grow!

Cane Corso vs Neopolitan Mastiff Health Problems

Cane Corso

Cane Corso Health Problems

Hip dysplasia, the bane of many large breeds’ existence, affects Cane Corsos who have parents or grandparents with the condition. They usually will be diagnosed between 6-12 months old during their first checkup with the vet. It is a painful, degenerative disease that can cause serious mobility issues for dogs if not treated. Surgery is possible but only recommended as a last resort.

Skin allergies are also common among Cane Corsos and usually manifest as hot spots on the skin – red, irritated areas with raised edges that can be oozing or scabbing over. These dogs are typically very sensitive to flea bites so it’s important to keep them protected during flea season.

Epilepsy is another health problem that Cane Corsos may develop. It causes seizures in dogs that are otherwise healthy with no other neurological problems. Treatment of epilepsy varies depending on how often the dog suffers from seizures but usually involves prescription medication given until symptoms subside.

Neopolitan Mastiff

Neopolitan Mastiff Health ProblemsNeopolitan Mastiffs rarely suffer from serious diseases such as hip dysplasia or skin allergies. However, they can develop bloating which occurs when their stomach fills with air and becomes enlarged due to the pressure on their diaphragm. This is not very dangerous but it does need to be treated immediately by a vet in order to prevent discomfort and possible suffocation.

As both breeds are of comparable size and build, they may suffer from similar health problems such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and bloat.

Neopolitan Mastiffs need a lot of space to run around in because they are so big that they get tired quickly if confined to small areas like apartments or houses without yards.

The life span of the Neopolitan Mastiff is usually between 6-10 years; however, it has been known for some of these dogs to live up to 19 years old if treated well by owners throughout

If you’re looking for a large, loyal dog that will protect your home and family, the Cane Corso or the Neopolitan Mastiff may be the perfect breed for you. They are gentle giants who love spending time with their family but are also protective and make great guard dogs. Make sure you provide them with plenty of exercise and grooming, and you’ll be sure to have a loyal friend for life.