Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso: What’s the Difference?

Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso
Image credit: cali_girl_presa (left photo) / Instagram

One of the most discussed subjects in the canine world is the comparison between the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso. As both are enormous, well-built, and dominating dogs, it is reasonable to pit them against each other. But how exactly are they different?

Cane Corsos are usually slimmer and taller than Presa Canarios. These dogs are also more active and clingy than Presa Canarios. Corsos are calm, confident, and vigilant dogs. Meanwhile, Presa Canarios are larger dogs who are more likely to be couch potatoes. They are also a bit mellow and distant.

Do you want to know more about them? This comparison guide covers the distinctions between Cane Corsos and Presa Canarios in terms of their histories, personalities, and more. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

At a Glance

Presa CanarioCane Corso
22–26 inches
23.5–27.5 inches
84–110 pounds
88–100 pounds
Vigilant, Confident, Calm
Affectionate, Intelligent, Protective
Activity Level:
Activity Level:
9–11 years
9–12 years

Breed History

Cane Corso exploring outdoors

Presa Canario

Traditionally, canines with a frightening appearance and hyperawareness, such as Presa Canario and Cane Corso, are used as guard dogs for herding livestock. 

The Perro de Presa Canario, or Presa Canario for short, is a dog breed from the Molosser family that was introduced by Spanish conquistadors in the 15th century to the Canary Islands for the purpose of protecting farmland.

In the 1940s, the Presa Canario became nearly extinct due to dogfighting and the arrival of other guarding dogs to the island, such as the German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, and Great Dane.

Additionally, the Presa Canario has been outlawed in several nations due to its extreme territorial tendencies. Even so, this breed is allowed in the United States but is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)

The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), however, offers a safe place for their records and allows them to participate in AKC companion competitions. To this day, FSS breeds are accepted but not eligible to be registered with the AKC.

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is another dog breed that came from the Molosser family. This dog, as opposed to the Presa Canario, was originally bred with fighting dogs from England.

Historically, Cane Corsos were used for hunting, protecting flocks, farms, and people from intruders, and fighting alongside Roman legions in battle.

After World War II, the Cane Corso nearly vanished. But in the 1970s, a group of Italian Cane Corso fanciers came together to revive the breed. 

The comeback of the breed led to the creation of the Society Amatori Cane Corso (SACC) in 1983.

In the following decade, Cane Corsos were exhibited in European dog shows. This dog was eventually brought to America in the 1980s.

The AKC recognized the Cane Corso breed in 2010, and as of 2021, it ranked 21st out of 197 different breeds listed on the most popular dog breeds.


Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso appearance
Image credit: cali_girl_presa (left photo) / Instagram

Both the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario descended from the Molosser breed. Dogs of this breed typically have a similar appearance. They often have huge heads, short muzzles, heavy bones, and thick and wrinkled skin.

Despite these similarities, the Presa Canario is typically an inch shorter, on average. It is also heavier than the Cane Corso. Its height ranges from 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighs 84 to 110 pounds.

On the other hand, the Cane Corso is slightly taller and leaner, measuring between 23.5 and 27.5 inches. Its weight is approximately 88 to 100 pounds, which is proportional to its height.

Both the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario have short, straight coats, though the Cane Corso’s fur may be a little denser. Additionally, the Cane Corso has a wider range of coat colors than the Presa Canario.

The Cane Corso has seven color variations: black, fawn, gray, gray, red, black, and chestnut. In contrast, the Presa Canario has six color variations. These are brown, fawn, gold, orange, silver, and tiger.

If you learn best visually, check out this video to see how the Presa Canario and Cane Corso differ in appearance:


Temperament and Personality

Watchdogs, such as the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso, have a tendency to be somewhat aggressive, especially towards strangers. Therefore, it is crucial for these breeds to get early socialization and obedience training.

These dogs are also intelligent, devoted, and eager to please their owners. In fact, Presa Canarios are great for farming and country living. If they reside on a farm with livestock, they will instantly take on the role of a working farm dog.

Meanwhile, Cane Corsos are excellent guardians and protectors. These dogs are strong-willed and require a very assured, powerful leader they will obey.

A breeder colleague of mine who specializes in large and intimidating dog breeds both produce the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso. While many look at these two breeds as family guardians, he mentioned that many enthusiasts seek these breeds even as family pets.

He mentioned that though both dogs are good choices, he slightly prefers the Cane Corso over the Presa Canario. He has observed the Presa Canario to be more distant from everyone and has a higher prey drive. 

That said, these canines are not suited for crowded households or families with boisterous kids.

Unlike the Presa Canario, the Cane Corso gets along well with kids and other pets. Despite its larger size, this dog is more affectionate and tolerant of its environment. 

However, supervision is still advised because its eagerness and affection could cause harm to a little one by pure accident!

Exercise and Training

Cane Corso tongue out
Image credit: apexcanecorsos / Instagram

Due to their enormous size, Cane Corsos and Presa Canarios are prone to obesity. Thus, these dogs should be exercised for at least 60 minutes a day to keep them in peak condition and avoid boredom and obesity.

Due to the Cane Corso’s high energy level, this type of dog typically needs more vigorous exercise than the Presa Canario. This means that this dog is more willing to spend the day running, jumping, and playing.

When it comes to training, the Presa Canario and Cane Corso will be a challenge, especially for novice dog owners. Although trainable, these dogs will sense any weakness and go beyond the boundaries set by their owners.

For Presa Canarios and Cane Corsos, positive reinforcement training is quite effective. Hence, persistence and tolerance are essential during training sessions.

Obedience training is also important for preventing temperament and behavioral issues. This will help your dog learn to listen and respect you as the pack leader.

Although equally necessary to these two dogs, the Presa Canario may benefit more from this since it is more stubborn than the Cane Corso. It can become unruly and occasionally aggressive, so never put this dog in a leadership role.

Nutrition Needs

The Presa Canario and Cane Corso need extra caution during mealtime. They grow more quickly than smaller dogs. Thus, high-quality kibbles specially formulated for their size are advised from puppyhood and into adulthood.

The eating habits of these two dogs are the same. They require a minimum of three cups of food each day. However, not just any kibble will do! Always get high-quality dog food to make sure your pet’s health is optimized.

Large breed dogs like them also need diets rich in macronutrients. Although all macronutrients give dogs the energy required for daily tasks, carbohydrates may be the most vital as they fulfill their body’s most immediate energy needs.

It’s also crucial that you monitor your dog’s treat intake because both breeds have a particular fondness for foods. Treats are fantastic training aid, but too many may cause obesity.

These dogs might even wander into your kitchen in search of food, so teach them when they should and shouldn’t eat. 

Common foods found in a kitchen that should not be given to the Presa Canario or Cane Corso include garlic, chocolate, ice cream, and almonds. 

Grooming Needs

Presa Canario standing on a grass field
Image credit: cali_girl_presa / Instagram

Both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso are low-maintenance breeds. They don’t require regular bathing, brushing, trimming, or other coat supplements because they have short hair.

However, the Presa Canario sheds more than the Cane Corso; therefore, it’s crucial to give it extra brushing to get rid of its dead hair and encourage new hair growth.

A bath may be given every two months to get rid of the odor and maintain the health of your Presa Canario’s skin and fur. If you bathe your Canario more frequently, you put it at risk of losing its natural coat oils, which irritates the skin.

For both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso, regular nail trimming is advised to prevent overgrowth, splits, and cracks in their fast-growing nails. Moreover, the ears should be cleaned to prevent wax and debris buildup, which can lead to infection.

Finally, it’s best to brush their teeth every day. If their mouth is healthy, even thrice a week is enough. However, because the Cane Corso is a drooler, this should be done more frequently in its case.

Lifespan and Health Problems

The Presa Canario and the Cane Corso are generally healthy dogs. In fact, the Presa Canario may survive 9 to 11 years, and the Cane Corso may live a year longer at around 9 to 12 years.

However, this does not imply that these dogs are immune to the health issues common to large dogs. For instance, as the joints of Presa Canario and Cane Corso get weaker over time, elbow and hip dysplasia may develop.

Additionally, both of them are vulnerable to gastric torsion. This may happen when they consume a substantial meal right before or after exercising. As a result, their stomach twists, causing them severe discomfort.

The Cane Corso and Presa Canarios are also predisposed to certain conditions associated with their breed. 

For Presa Canarios, osteochondritis dissecans and panosteitis are prevalent. Because they are slightly shorter and heavier than Cane Corsos, their bodies and joints experience extra pressure, resulting in their legs’ lameness.

Meanwhile, the Cane Corso is a primary candidate for cranial cruciate rupture due to its powerful and highly active body. Although this ailment is seen as an injury, the knee has some heritable elements that make ruptures more likely.

Regular veterinary checkups and other general care will also help your pet live a long, healthy, and happy life. Early detection and intervention allow you to take preventative measures and treat the disease in its early stages.

Puppy Price

Presa Canario dog looking upwards
Image credit: cali_girl_presa / Instagram

As large dogs, the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso will cost significantly more than dogs of typical size. Although both dogs are equally wonderful, the Presa Canario is more expensive by hundreds of dollars than the Cane Corso.

The Presa Canario usually costs between $2,000 and $3,500 due to its scarcity. On the other hand, the Cane Corso usually costs between $1,500 and $2,500 due to its popularity. 

In addition to those already listed, other factors that affect the cost of Presa Canario and Cane Corso may include age, variations, lineage, and breeder’s reputation, among others.

Getting a Presa Canario or a Cane Corso from reputable breeders is always advised. These people often charge a hefty price, but they provide the finest canines and ensure each client gets a dog that suits their personality.

If you’re ready to become a pet parent, then you can now start searching. Rescues for Presa Canario and Cane Corso are also available if you want to save money. These organizations ensure that each rescued dog will have a second chance at life.

Similarities Between Presa Canario and Cane Corso

The Presa Canario and Cane Corso may look like identical twins with their medium-sized eyes, short, wide muzzles, slightly curved skulls, wrinkled skin, and overall intimidating appearance.

In addition, both the Cane Corso and Presa Canario may undergo ear cropping at a young age in countries that allow this practice. This is usually done by dog enthusiasts to enhance the dog’s appearance and give it a better look.

These dogs are also classified as large-breed dogs. They both have powerful, thick bodies that show off their strength, which can be a huge benefit for watchdogs like them.

Both the Presa Canario and the Cane Corso came from Molossers. This earned them a poor reputation in the dog society in the past. However, modern Molosser dogs are known for being docile, sociable, curious, and alert.

If these dogs receive proper training and early socialization, they will become very obedient dogs devoted to their families. They will also respond to any threat and do everything they can to protect their humans.

Moreover, the similar size of these dogs requires more balance and a higher quality of dog food than other dogs. Ideally, three cups of high-quality dog food should be given to them daily. 

As for their grooming needs, both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso are low-maintenance breeds. These dogs have short hair that does not require regular bathing, brushing, trimming, or other coat supplements.

Due to their huge size, both the Presa Canario and Cane Corso may develop health problems that are common in large breeds. This includes gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and other joint problems.

Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso: Which Is Better for You? 

Cane Corso lying on the grass
Image credit: world_of_canecorso / Instagram

Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso is a battle between two giants. These dogs have equal positive and negative sides, which you may or may not like. After listing everything you need to know about them, now is the time for you to choose.

When making decisions, though, it is important to consider your lifestyle and personality. Taking this into account will help you be a successful pet parent by making pet ownership simpler and more enjoyable.

You should consider the Presa Canario if you:

  • Are not fond of exercise and physical activity, but you still want your pet to stay healthy.
  • Appreciate the efforts of a good-natured dog who loves lounging around and snoozing.
  • Are committed to training with positive reinforcement and capable of understanding the causes of your dog’s behavior.
  • Adore mellow dogs who will stand up for you if necessary.
  • Want to take a break from cleaning and enjoys cuddling a tidy dog.

You might prefer a Cane Corso if you:

  • Are willing to break a sweat with them several days a week.
  • Are living in a setting with plenty of opportunities for interaction and active recreation.
  • Are ready to train a dog eager to learn and develop all of its potentials.
  • Enjoy cuddles with clingy dogs that insist on sitting on your lap despite their large size.
  • Are prepared to wipe saliva stains from your clothes and everywhere.

While some folks might find it difficult to choose between these two breeds, others favor either the Canario or the Corso. Whichever breed you decide on, you will have a fiercely loyal, loving member of the family!

Final Thoughts

The Cane Corso and Presa Canario would differ from one another as independent and distinct breeds in terms of their respective backgrounds, physical appearances, temperaments, and other aspects.

Although one is outlawed and has no support from organizations, this does not make them any less valuable than the other breed. Notably, with the right care, both breeds can turn into perfect family pets.

After taking a deeper look into the similarities and differences between the two, which one would you choose? Let us know in the comment section your take on the Presa Canario vs. Cane Corso debate!

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