There’s a good reason why some people are having a hard time choosing which dog breed to go for. With the Dogo Argentino on the blue corner and the Cane Corso on the red, it’s going to make anyone feel torn between these two splendid doggos.
They both belong in the Mastiff family. They have the same ancestors, but one is unique from the other in several areas with appearance as the most obvious of all. Get to know them better through this detailed breed comparison and find out which between the two fits your preferences.
Originally, Dogo Argentinos were bred to be pack-hunting dogs that would pursue large animals such as wild boars and puma. The key person who helped this dog to come into existence is Antonio Nores Martinez, a native of Argentina, and his breeding program started in the 1920s.
He started by using the fighting dog of Cordoba and had it bred with several other dogs to create a versatile canine who can become a great game hunter. The other dog breeds involved in his program were the Great Danes, Pointers, Irish Wolfhound, Bull Terriers, Great Pyrenees, Dogue de Bordeaux, Boxers, and Spanish Mastiff. By 1928, Martinez had written the breed standards. This is when several kennel clubs started recognizing the dog as an official breed. Ultimately, the American Kennel Club acknowledged this Argentinian Mastiff in 2020.
The Cane Corso translates to “estate guardian” in Latin, but many believe that it means coursing dog. After all, this Mastiff from Italy was used for hunting games which mainly used sight instead of smell. We may be often led to believe that the start of this breed’s existence is in Ancient Rome, but evidence suggests that his history goes way beyond that. One remarkable progenitor of this impressive dog is the Molossus which was known for his incredible size and courage in fighting battles.
This significant root or ancestor passed down these traits to other Molossers including the Cane Corso hence why his popularity spread like wildfire both in Europe and the US. Nowadays, the Italian Mastiff poses as an excellent candidate for reliably guarding properties and homes while at the same showing his competence in being a loving four-legged companion.
Size, Appearance, & Coloring
A few spots on the chest and stomach can be found on the Dogo Argentino. In this image, his natural ears are kept.
Looks-wise, the Argentinian Dogo has a strong resemblance to Pitbull-type dogs. As a result, people would associate him with aggression and viciousness. Judging his exterior look, the Dogo Argentino does indeed look menacing. He has a short, smooth coat that only comes in white. There can be a patch near his eyes but, this shouldn’t comprise more than 10% of his head. Skin pigmentation in some areas is evident, but they shouldn’t look bold through a mature coat.
The Dogo has a massive head with ears that can either be cropped or natural. Cropping is only ideal for a Dogo that does hunting otherwise, this is just purely aesthetics. The height range goes from 24 to 26.5 inches and he should not go down nor exceed 80 to 100 pounds.
A Goofy Cane Corso showing off his cropped ears while laying on a gray stone at a park.
The Cane Corso seems to give off unmistakable impressions. His size comes with unmatched strength, but this isn’t one aggressive Mastiff. One among the many reasons why the Cane Corso is a perfect guard dog is his looks. With a broad and heavy head matched with intimidating observant eyes, anyone would rethink their decision of getting close to this dog.
The ideal weight set out for breeders and owners to achieve must be complementary to the 23.5-27.5 inches desired height. That means, the Cane Corso can be expected to reach at least 85 to over 100 pounds as an adult. His double-coated coat also comes in multiple colors which are:
- Black Brindle
- Chestnut Brindle
Argentinian Mastiffs are not good for first-time owners. They need someone who has adequate experience in handling large and sometimes, very confident dogs. Due to his strong prey drive, consistent and firm training must be done right from puppyhood.
When it comes to his family, the Dogo shows an extreme sense of loyalty and affection. The only thing to look out for is how he reacts to unfamiliar things and people. Ideally, he shouldn’t be aggressive for no reason nor display a very reserved persona. People he’s not familiar with should not joke about threatening his loved ones since he doesn’t take this lightly most of the time.
Cane Corsos are not for everyone. He has personality traits that are loved by many but despised by others. This dog can be confident, assertive, and strong-willed. His strong history as a guard dog would also make him extremely territorial, therefore, making others think he’s one aggressive canine. But, Cane Corsos who are brought up by the right owners mature into loyal, loving pets. Their size comes with a big responsibility and the reason why some dogs grow up with behavioral issues is because of owners who downplayed their dogs’ needs.
To have the guarantee that the Cane Corso doesn’t end up becoming a liability, the family must handle him firmly through consistent rules and training. While he’s still a puppy, socialize him with other people and dogs as much as you can. This helps in lowering down his protective nature.
For those who love to sweat-off daily, the Dogo Argentino would probably be your best workout buddy. This is an active breed who loves to exercise and he can last around 30 minutes to 2 hours each day! This has to be divided into shorter sessions to avoid over-exhaustion or stress on the joints and muscles. Have a vet assess your dog first and find out the level of his energy and the amount of food he eats.
Exercise is vital in keeping your four-legged dog healthy. Typically, Cane Corsos need at least an hour each day, but this largely depends on the activity level, age, health status, and more. Puppies are not advised to be given all day romping around as prolonged vigorous movements can affect their joints and bone development badly. Monitor them well as they can be quite rambunctious and careless.
Thanks to his smooth, short coat, the Dogo would require minimal grooming! You only have to brush him weekly using a quality brush and if he’s out hunting or chasing after prey, a bath would keep him looking clean. However, if he’s mostly indoors, washes need to only take place every 3 months. To avoid skin irritation, use a canine-appropriate shampoo that is mild. Make use of dog conditioners too so he’d look vibrant with his coat!
With his fine fur, it definitely won’t take a whole lot of time grooming a Cane Corso. To remove his excess loose or dead hairs, use a slicker brush and run this all over him a few times a week. Baths are not necessary unless he’s dirty or simply wash him every 6 to 8 weeks. If you want his outside appearance to look topnotch, start by giving him supplements that aid in keeping the coat smooth and shiny. Other routine grooming includes trimming his nails, brushing his teeth, and cleaning his ears.
Dogo Argentinos have a 9-15 years lifespan. With a proper lifestyle and exercise, he’d be able to beat several problems that can strike him as a breed. Watch out for signs and symptoms as they could indicate that your dog has the following:
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Laryngeal paralysis
Cane Corsos are healthy dogs, but like many others, they can develop certain health issues. The most common ones found in the breed are:
- Hip dysplasia
The American Kennel Club sets out the current rankings of the following Mastiff dogs based on breed popularity. Check it out below:
Dogo Argentino: Indefinite
Cane Corso: 32nd
Which Breed Is Better?
Both the Cane Corso and the Argentinian Mastiff are great dog breeds. Choosing which dog is better all boils down to who you can handle. Pretty much, both dogs need a self-confident pack leader. Take note that their personality slightly differs. While Cane Corsos are more into guarding and being observant, Dogos are fond of going after moving things or anything they find interesting.
This distinction gives you a clue that each dog needs to be brought up using different strategies. Lastly, identify which appearance is more to your liking and which one does not. You can make a consensus among your family members.