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Cane Corso vs. Boxer: Differences Explained (With Pictures)

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cane Corso vs. Boxer: Differences Explained (With Pictures)

If you’re looking for a larger dog that’s protective of their family, both the Cane Corso and the Boxer are great choices. But while they’re similar in a lot of ways, they vary quite a bit in others.

Before you bring home either dog, you need to know which one is right for you, and the best way to figure that out is to learn about both of them! So, keep reading and we’ll break down everything you need to know.

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Visual Differences

Cane Corso vs Boxer - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – Cane Corso (Eudyptula, Shutterstock) | Right – Boxer (Lee Hardy, Unsplash)

At a Glance

Cane Corso
  • Average height (adult): 23.5–27.5 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 90–110 pounds
  • Lifespan: 9–12 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Often
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Affectionate, intelligent, protective, and instinctual
Boxer
  • Average height (adult): 21.5–265 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 50–80 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Exercise: 1.5+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Affectionate, loyal, protective, and eager to please

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Cane Corso Overview

two cane corso puppies in a basket
Image Credit: Polina Yanchuk, Shutterstock

Standing up to 27.5 inches tall and weighing up to 110 pounds, the Cane Corso is one of the more intimidating-looking dog breeds out there. But while they might look a bit scary to some, they are lovable giants that can’t get enough time with their families. They’re a little misunderstood, but maybe we can help break down some of those misconceptions for you below.

History

Do you think the Cane Corso looks intimidating? If so, you’re not alone. And a brief look at their history tells you why these dogs are so intimidating. Their origins date back to the Romans, and during that time, there were “pugnaces.”

This meant they used them to attack wild animals, which made them ideal choices to guard flocks, property, and even people. They also fought beside Roman legions, making them true war dogs. From there, they developed into typical guard dogs, and even today, they maintain that working dog mentality.

two cane corso dog running
Image Credit: DTeibe Photography, Shutterstock

Personality & Character

As traditional guard dogs, it’s no surprise that the Cane Corso still possesses many of those same traits today. They’re incredibly affectionate and loyal, but you need to raise them with a steady hand or else they might go after someone they shouldn’t.

Without proper training, there’s a good chance they’ll view anyone not a part of their family as a threat, which can lead to some very dangerous situations. But even with that in mind, the Cane Corso isn’t an aggressive breed, they’re a protective breed.

As long as you train them properly, you don’t need to worry about these dogs going after anyone, especially someone in their family unit.

Finally, the Cane Corso is an extremely intelligent breed, allowing you to train them to do almost anything. All it takes is a little time and patience and these lovable giants will be everything you could want and more!

Suitable For:

While the Cane Corso is a great dog, we don’t recommend them for first-time dog owners or for those that don’t have plenty of space for them to roam. These dogs require a consistent hand when training, and any mistakes you make while training them can have very serious consequences.

And because of their larger size, it’s best to have at least a little bit of space for them to get out, run around for a bit, and come back in. While you can meet this requirement without a yard, it means a lot more walks and trips to the dog park.

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Boxer Overview

boxer puppies walking on grass
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

Standing up to 25 inches tall and up to 80 pounds, the Boxer is another dog that can be intimidating to look at. But once you get past their potentially intimidating exterior, they’re extremely lovable. They’re high-energy dogs that people love, but they need a firm hand to train them correctly.

History

Boxers are working dogs through and through, and they come from a wide range of breeds. The mix of breeds that helped form the Boxer include the Bullenbaiser, Mastiff, Great Danes, and possibly Terriers.

Originally, people used these dogs to bait bulls, and eventually, they started to help butchers by controlling cattle in the slaughterhouse. Both jobs required a fierce personality so they could stand up to the animals they were working with.

Interestingly enough, the Boxer didn’t make it to the United States until 1940 following the conclusion of the first World War. Today you can find Boxers as police dogs, seeing-eye dogs, guard dogs, and, of course, companion dogs.

male and famale boxer dog sitting
Image Credit: Gabor Kormany, Shutterstock

Personality & Character

Boxers are extremely intelligent, affectionate, and loving dogs, but they’re also a bit needy when it comes to attention. They need something to keep them busy almost all of the time, and they prefer the company of their family to strangers.

They’re great guard dogs, but they don’t bark all that often. They keep their barking to situations when they need it, although they will growl to communicate quite frequently. This can seem a little intimidating at first, but a Boxer isn’t always growing to try and scare you off.

Suitable For:

If you live an active lifestyle, the Boxer might be the right dog for you. They typically do well with families, but they need space to run and play. The most important thing about owning a Boxer is that you can spend a lot of time with them.

Whether this is a busy home with lots of people or a quiet home with someone that likes to stay in a lot, it’s best to give a Boxer near-constant companionship.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

There’s really no wrong answer between the Cane Corso and the Boxer, but if you’re a first-time dog owner or if you have other pets in your home, we recommend going with the Boxer. Either way, with the right training, both pups can make wonderful additions to your home.

Just keep an eye on their behavior, and if they start to act out in any way and you don’t know how to rectify the situation, sign them up for professional training.

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Featured Image Credit: Dogster/Shutterstock

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