• Thu. May 30th, 2024

Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso: Key Differences (With Pictures)


May 19, 2023
Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso - Featured Image


Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso - Featured Image

The Cane Corso and Bullmastiff are both 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, if you’d like to learn more about their distinguishing traits and the main differences between these two giant breeds.


Visual Differences

Bullmastiff vs Cane Corso - Visual Differences
Image Credit: 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


  • 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


Cane Corso Overview

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

The Cane Corso is no small breed. It’s a large-size dog that must be properly trained if you’re looking for a pet that will be loving, protective, and loyal.

Is it the type of dog that we would recommend to someone who’s never owned a dog before? Probably not. This breed needs a strong leader who’s already learned the ropes. You’ll have a hard time training or even socializing one should you lack the requisite level of experience.


Cane Corsos have different personalities, just like humans. So don’t be surprised when you bump into one that rarely barks when you’ve assumed that they don’t stop barking at almost everything. Remember that their temperaments significantly hinge 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.

Speaking of being reserved, they normally love the attention being afforded to them, but they’ll rarely seek it out.

It’s also worth mentioning that these dogs have a pack mentality. They’ll typically be wary of strangers, as 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


The Cane Corso is a breed that was originally bred for action. Your typical dog might not have an issue with you scheduling a few leisure 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 an extra mile in the evening.

On top of the physical activities, they’ll also require some mental stimulation. If for some reason they feel bored, they’ll be destructive, from digging holes in the yard chasing small mammals they view as prey.

Health & Care

You really don’t have to worry that much about health complications, as this breed is generally healthy. That being said, 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 the best 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 dog sports and are often recruited by law enforcement to help them track suspects.

divider-dog paw

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. It’s also considered a relatively large breed, far larger than the English Bulldog.

If you’re looking for a dog that will never back off from any challenge, even if it means putting its own life in danger, this is the one. They are known to be very courageous in the face of adversity, especially if they feel the need to protect their parents or property.

This Mastiff breed is generally quiet—as a matter of fact, some people find it too quiet for their liking. They never get too excited even when they are happy and are often wary of strangers. You’ll have to sign up for a socialization program while it’s still in the puppy stage, or it’ll struggle to get along with other pets and/or people.


There’s no denying that this breed is extremely loyal. However, that doesn’t mean that they are pushovers. They won’t think twice about defending themselves should they feel mistreated or threatened.

Their ability to accurately decipher various situations is also a sign that they are highly intelligent, in addition to being intuitive. We noted that they are independent to some degree, but that wasn’t surprising, given their parent breed (the Mastiff) is known for the same trait.

Those aren’t the only traits they inherited, as they can be quite stubborn at times and reluctant to follow simple commands during training.

bullmastiff outdoors in autumn
Image Credit: photosounds, Shutterstock


When it comes to exercise, the Bullmastiff is not as demanding as the Cane Corso. Your morning runs will be more than enough to keep them physically stimulated, or alternatively, you could play fetch in the yard.

Overexercising the Bullmastiff could lead to a myriad of health problems down the road. Since it’s a huge dog, its joints are often susceptible to wear and tear. In other words, this is not the dog for you if you’re looking for a regular running or training companion.

Health & Care

The most common health issues associated with the Bullmastiff are hip and elbow dysplasia. This may be something that’s genetically passed down from one generation to the next, but it also has to do with the fact that 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 and reputable 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 will be able to 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. Can they be trained to be service animals? Yes. But seeing as they are stubborn, they have to be trained from an early age.


Which Breed Is Right for You?

We can’t say the Cane Corso is better than the Bullmastiff, or vice versa, because both of them come with a long list of pros and cons. However, you must take into consideration 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 opt for a Cane Corso.

In addition, you’ve got 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 kids will love them too, but you have to expose them to strangers from an early age to socialize them adequately.

Featured Image Credit: Top – Olga Raduzhnaya, Shutterstock | Bottom – Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock

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