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Cane Corso vs. Neapolitan Mastiff: Differences Explained (With Pictures)

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cane Corso vs. Neapolitan Mastiff

Cane Corso vs. Neapolitan Mastiff: Differences Explained (With Pictures)

The Cane Corso and Neapolitan Mastiff are both large dogs that make great watchdogs but are also loyal and loving enough to make great family pets, if you are having trouble deciding between these two pets, keep reading while we compare the two and look at their maintenance requirements, temperament, health concerns, training requirements, and several other things to help you make an informed decision.


Visual Differences

Cane Corso vs Neapolitan Mastiff - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – Cane Corso (Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock) | Right – Neapolitan Mastiff (Anil Sharma, Pexels)

At a Glance

Cane Corso
  • Average height (adult): 23–28 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 85–110 pounds
  • Lifespan: <10 years
  • Exercise: 1–2 hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Sometimes
  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: Intelligent but strong-willed
Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Average height (adult): 24–32 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 110–150 pounds
  • Lifespan: 7–9 years
  • Exercise: 1 hour a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: Smart but stubborn


Cane Corso Overview

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


The Cane Corso forms a strong bond with their owner and likes to spend time with them. They are protective dogs that make perfect watchdogs but are relatively gentle and calm, especially if you socialize them with plenty of people and other animals when they are still a puppy. They have a high energy level and require 1–2 hours of exercise each day and plenty of toys to play with, or they can get bored and start barking or misbehaving. This means they’re ideal for families with children who can help keep them entertained.


The Cane Corso is extremely intelligent and can learn complex tasks fairly quickly. However, keeping them focused can be a struggle because they are high-energy dogs. Schedule your training sessions after long walks or playtime, and keep them short for the best results.


The Cane Corso is a healthy dog breed, but they are predisposed to many health issues like hip dysplasia, eyelid abnormalities, idiopathic epilepsy, and demodex mange. Since they are large dogs with a deep chest, they are also susceptible to bloat, which is a dangerous condition where the dog swallows too much air with their food, and it causes the stomach to swell up, blocking blood flow to other organs and blocking food from entering the intestines.

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


The Cane Corso has a short, smooth coat that sheds less than the average dog breed and is exceptionally easy to maintain with the occasional brushing. While black is the most popular color for these dogs, you can also find them with fawn, red, grey, grey brindle, black brindle, and chestnut brindle. A black or grey mask is also common. You won’t need to bathe them unless they get into something messy, and you won’t need to trim the fur. Other maintenance requirements include trimming the nails if you hear them clicking on the floor and brushing the teeth regularly to help slow the advance of dental disease.

Suitable for:

Cane Corso dogs are perfect for guarding commercial or residential property. They are also loyal and playful and make great family pets if you socialize them with people and other pets as a puppy. They need plenty of space to run and a great deal of exercise, so they are best suited to large homes with children than to small city apartments.

divider-dog paw

Neapolitan Mastiff Overview

grey and black neapolitan mastiff puppies
Image Credit: Fomin Serhii, Shutterstock


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a favorite among pet owners partly because of their wrinkled faces. They are extremely loving and gentle with their owners and children and like to stay close by, even trying to climb on your lap while you watch a movie. They are large dogs, often weighing more than 110 pounds, so they make great guard dogs despite being relatively quiet, but they can be wary of strangers if you don’t socialize them with plenty of people as a puppy.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a smart dog that is capable of learning new tricks, but they tend to have a strong will that keeps them from being interested or focused. Many owners recommend hiring a professional trainer to teach them essential commands, especially if this is your first pet.


The Neapolitan Mastiff is a hardy dog that is generally healthy but rarely lives beyond 9 years due to their massive size. These dogs often suffer from cherry eye, which causes their third eyelid to become red and inflamed but usually doesn’t lead to permanent damage. Hip dysplasia is also common in this breed, as is bloat. Obesity is a serious concern because these dogs are already so large, and dental issues are a concern with all breeds. Studies show that over 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease.

Neapolitan Mastiffs
Image Credit: Christian Mueller, Shutterstock


The Neapolitan Mastiff has a soft, short coat, much like the Cane Corso, that is just as easy to maintain, but this breed tends to shed more, and they are heavy droolers, so they can leave quite a bit of slobber around. Due to the wrinkles, you will need to spend more time cleaning their face so they don’t develop any skin problems, and you will also need to trim their nails every few weeks if you hear them clicking on the floor.

Suitable for:

Neapolitan Mastiffs are great dogs that are suitable for large and small families. However, they won’t be comfortable in a small apartment due to their size. They can also accidentally knock over small children, so most owners recommend them for families with bigger kids and a large yard. They are hard workers and well-suited to farm life, and they make excellent watchdogs.


Which Breed Is Right for You?

The Cane Corso and the Neapolitan Mastiff make great family pets with many similarities. They both make great watchdogs and are loyal, friendly, and intelligent. The Neapolitan Mastiff has an adorable, wrinkled face and is extremely affectionate, but they are large and need plenty of room to move around, so they are best for people with large homes and bigger kids. The Cane Corso is smaller but needs more exercise, so they are better for active families with children that can keep them entertained.

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Featured Image Credit: Dogster/Shutterstock

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