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Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso: Key Differences (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso: Key Differences (With Pictures)

The Cane Corso and Bullmastiff are gentle giants and one cannot help but compare both their appearance and personalities. Other attributes that you might find yourself focusing on include loyalty, reliability, health, as well as their exercise needs. While some of these are very similar, there are some differences worth noting, too.

Keep on reading to learn more about their distinguishing traits and the main differences between the two giant breeds.

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Visual Differences

Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso - Visual Differences
Image By: Left – Jen Dunham, Shutterstock | Right – CharlitoCZ, Shutterstock

At a Glance

Cane Corso
  • Average Height (Male): 25–27.5 inches
  • Average Height (Female): 23.5–26 inches
  • Weight (Male): 99–110 pounds
  • Weight (Female):  85–99 pounds
  • Grooming Needs: Moderate
  • Exercise: 2+ hours per day
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Pet-Friendly: Sometimes
  • Family-Friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Protective, reserved, loyal
Bullmastiff
  • Average Height (Male): 25–27 inches
  • Average Height (Female): 23.5–26 inches
  • Weight (Male): 110–130 pounds
  • Weight (Female): 100–120 pounds
  • Grooming Needs: Low
  • Exercise: 1+ hour
  • Lifespan: 7–10 years
  • Pet-Friendly: No
  • Family-Friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Independent, loyal, protective, reliable

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Cane Corso Overview

adorable one month old cane corso puppy
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

The Cane Corso is a large dog that must be properly trained if you’re looking for a loving, protective, and loyal pet. They’re not recommended for first-time owners since they need an experienced leader who’s already learned the ropes. You’ll have a hard time training or socializing them if you lack the requisite level of experience.

Personality

The Cane Corso’s temperament depends on the level of training that they’ve been subjected to and the amount of care provided. You’ll know you’ve done a good job if your furry friend is always reserved, confident, and assertive. Although they love getting attention from their owners, they rarely seek it out.

It’s also worth mentioning that Cane Corsos have a pack mentality. They’ll typically be wary of strangers since they may view them as threats to the pack. To be clear, the owners, together with all their family members, are normally considered part of the pack.

cane corso dogs in a field
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Exercise

The Cane Corso was originally bred for action. Your typical dog might not have an issue with you scheduling a few casual walks per week, but the Corso will. To feel like they’ve been productive on any given day, they have to cover at least one mile in the morning and one in the evening. Typically, they need around 2 hours of exercise daily.

In addition to the physical activities, they’ll also require mental stimulation. If they feel bored, they’ll be destructive, digging holes in the yard and chasing small mammals they view as prey.

Health & Care

You don’t have to worry that much about health complications since the Cane Corso is generally healthy. However, regular vet checkups are compulsory, especially if you’d like to catch any medical condition before it develops. Some of the health issues to watch out for include:

  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Ectropion (lower eyelid rolls outwards)
  • Entropion (eyelid folds inwards)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Mange
cane corso with ectropion
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

Suitable For:

As mentioned before, the Cane Corso is a working breed. They are ideal companions for hunters who love hunting big game, such as wild boar, and can also serve as guard dogs for families. Their agility is also the reason why they usually excel at canine sports and are recruited by law enforcement to help them track suspects. They aren’t suitable for inexperienced owners with young children but are loyal pets for active owners.

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Bullmastiff Overview

bullmastiff puppy sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Sergey Lavrentev, Shutterstock

The Bullmastiff is a product of the English Bulldog and the English Mastiff. They’re big dogs and are much heavier than the English Bulldog and Cane Corso. If you’re looking for a dog that will never back down from any challenge, even if it means putting their life in danger, the Bullmastiff is ideal. They are known to be very courageous in the face of adversity, especially if they feel the need to protect their parents or property.

Bullmastiffs are generally quiet, and some people find them too quiet for their liking. They never get too excited, even when happy, and are often wary of strangers. You’ll have to train and socialize them so that they learn to get along with other pets and people.

Personality

There’s no denying that the Bullmastiff is incredibly loyal. However, that doesn’t mean that they are pushovers. Should they feel mistreated or threatened, they won’t think twice about defending themselves. When properly trained, they’re calm and relatively affectionate.

Their ability to accurately decipher various situations is also a sign that they are highly intelligent and intuitive. They are independent to some degree, but that isn’t surprising since the Mastiff is known for the same trait. Due to their stubbornness, they can be difficult to train, but an experienced owner shouldn’t have much trouble handling them.

 

bullmastiff outdoors in autumn
Image Credit: photosounds, Shutterstock

Exercise

When it comes to exercise, the Bullmastiff is not as demanding as the Cane Corso. However, they still need at least an hour of daily exercise. As adults, they can join you on brisk walks and hikes, but they shouldn’t engage in intensive activities until their bodies are fully developed. They enjoy playing fetch and other games in the yard and will benefit from having access to a large, fenced-in yard.

Overexercising the Bullmastiff could lead to a myriad of health problems down the road. Since they’re huge dogs, their joints are more susceptible to wear and tear.

Health & Care

Hip and elbow dysplasia are the most common health issues associated with the Bullmastiff. Those conditions can be genetically passed down from one generation to the next, but they’re also more vulnerable to them because they are so large. Other not-so-common issues that they might grapple with in their lifetime include:

  • Bloat
  • Cystinuria
  • Entropion
  • Cancer
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Panosteitis
  • Bloat
  • Subaortic stenosis

Remember, taking your Bullmastiff to an experienced vet for regular checkups is the only way that you’ll be able to guarantee that they’ll live a long and healthy life. Only a professional can catch a developing condition in time before issues start to manifest.

fawn brindle bullmastiff drooling
Image Credit: DejaVuDesigns, Shutterstock

Suitable For:

The Bullmastiff can make an incredible family pet. They’ll guard your kids as though they are their own and protect your property while you’re away. They’re not as challenging to train as a Cane Corso, but they also need an experienced owner to guide them. Although they’re not as energetic as the Cane Corso, the Bullmastiff is more suitable for active owners with large backyards.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

We can’t say the Cane Corso is better than the Bullmastiff, or vice versa, because both come with a long list of pros and cons. However, you must consider that these two breeds are massive and will, therefore, require adequate space. Living in a small apartment is not really an option, especially if you adopt a Cane Corso.

In addition, you have to think about all the other pets living with you. The Cane Corso and Bullmastiff both have a strong prey drive, and smaller pets may be seen as prey rather than friends. Both breeds are incredible as guard dogs, and older kids will love them too, but you have to expose them to strangers from an early age to socialize them adequately.

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Featured Image Credit: Dogster/Shutterstock

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