The cane corso and pitbull are two of the most amazing dog breeds.
They are loyal, easy to care for, and intelligent - And these are just some things that make them incredibly special. They make the best cuddle buddies, and you’ll never get bored with a cane corso or a pitbull around your home.
However, if you can’t decide which of these two breeds of dogs is right for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Here, we provide an in-depth comparison of the two dog breeds to help you see how different attributes and characteristics stack up against each other
Let’s start with a quick breed comparison of cane corso vs. pitbull.
Cane Corso vs. Pitbull: A Quick Breed Comparison
Average height (adult)
25 to 27 inches tall
15 to 21 inches
Average weight (adult)
Between 80 and 120 pounds
Between 30 and 90 pounds
Short shiny coat;
Color: Black, fawn, gray brindle, gray, red, black brindle, chestnut, and red
Rough and denser coat;
Color: Black, brindle, red, white, black, brown, gray, and blue.
Health and Care
Exercise: 1 hour/day
Exercise: 45 mins/day
Three cups of food/day
2 and ½ cups of food/day
High, agreeable, highly intelligent
10 to 12 years
11 to 14 years
$2,000 to $3,000
$2,000 to $3,000
The Cane Corso - Overview
The Cane Corso (pronounced Kah-nay corso; plural: cane corsi) is a Mastiff-type breed. It is a large and muscular canine with a double-layered coat that sheds and requires weekly brushing.
The American Pit Bull Terrier - Overview
The American Pit Bull Terrier is generally muscular and a medium-sized dog with a short and smooth coat that comes in different patterns and colors, except the merle. Pit bulls have long, whip-like tails and sometimes cropped ears.
Cane Corso vs. Pitbull: In-Depth Breed Comparison
Knowing the roots of these two breeds can help you understand their differences and similarities better.
The cane corso and the pitbull come from the Molosser family of dogs, known for their large stature, muscled legs, and broad chests.
American pitbulls were bred in the United Kingdom in the 1800s for bull-bating. At that time, it was considered a sport where two dogs harassed a bull for hours until the animal collapsed from injuries, fatigued, or both.
In 1835, the British Parliament prohibited baiting some animals, which turned the public's attention to “ratting.” The “pit” in pitbull comes from the rat-baiting blood sport
As dogfighting and ratting both required more speed and agility, bulldogs were crossed with terriers. This was the birth of pit bull terriers. Before long, these dogs were taken to the US because of their protective qualities.
Soon after, people called these dogs the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or the American Bully.
Unlike the pitbull breed, the cane corso is a single breed. This dog breed became popular when it caught the attention of the invading Romans in Greece. They’ve been admired for their guarding instinct while proving to be capable hunters.
The Romans used the cane corso for gladiator games and as war dogs after breeding them with the Italian breeds.
This breed went almost extinct after World War II but had a revival in Italy. It was then brought to the U.S. in the 1980s and is now recognized by the American Kennel Club.
While pit bulls were originally bred to participate in blood sports, they were also trained to be gentle and affectionate family companions.
On the other hand, the cane corso was bred to perform certain jobs, such as guarding flocks and fighting alongside the Roman legion. That’s why their name means “guard of the estate” in Latin.
Despite their somewhat misinterpreted pasts that cause them to wait three times longer for adoption, both breeds make excellent family pets if socialized early and raised properly.
When comparing the cane corso with a pit bull, you’ll see that they almost always have the same appearance, but different sizes.
Weighing between 80 and 120 pounds and standing roughly 27 inches tall, the adult cane corso is large. They have a deep chest and a square head. But despite their imposing stature, they make affectionate lap dogs.
Like the tough-looking cane corso, pit bull breeds are also muscular and medium-sized dogs. Their standard size varies from medium to large, with 30 to 90 pounds. The average height of pitbulls is at the shoulder or between 15 to 21 inches.
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Color/ Coat Type
Cane Corso’s have short coats that come in different colors, not just black, as many think. They also come in fawn, gray brindle, gray, red, black brindle, chestnut, and red.
Meanwhile, Pitbulls have short, shiny coats available in different colors, including brindle, red, white, black, brown, gray, and blue.
However, the cane Corso's coat type is rougher and much denser to the touch than the smooth coat of the pit bull.
They almost have the same color coats since they carry the brindle gene.
Grooming these breeds is pretty straightforward. Simply brush their coat once a week to keep them shiny and smooth. It also promotes blood circulation in the skin. Both breeds require a bath every month or two months, and when they get really dirty while on an outdoor walk or playing.
Pitbulls are more prone to sensitive skin conditions. These can be prevented by not bathing them too often. If you regularly brush their teeth, clean their ears, and trim their nails, you’ll have good looking and healthy pups.
Corso’s don’t need as much physical exercise as the American pit bull - they are happy simply pacing around the house or yard daily. They do this as their natural guarding instinct so they’re not content to just lay around the house.
Temperament is defined as an animal’s nature, disposition, or personality. Knowing this is important because some individual differences are biologically based.
Corso’s are intensely loyal to their family or pet parent, intelligent, and affectionate.
Most pit bulls are patient and gentle with all their family members and are fun-loving companions. Yet, as with all canine breeds, there are exceptions.
Both cane corso and pit bulls are playful and silly with their immediate family. You can also expect them to be protective of their human siblings. They are obedient dogs and eager to please their pet parent or human family members.
The cane corso breed may be more dominant and unruly sometimes, whereas pitbulls are very sociable, even to a friend or stranger.
Are Cane Corso’s more aggressive than Pit Bulls?
Yes, the cane corso can be more aggressive than pit bulls. This is because they were initially bred for fighting and guarding, while pitbulls were bred for dog fighting.
The Cane corso may also be more likely to attack or chase smaller animals.
On the other hand, pit bulls are not typically considered aggressive dogs. Owners will tell you that they are loving and gentle animals. It may be because pitbulls were also bred for companionship. So, they are less likely to attack strangers or pets and more affectionate towards their families.
Are Cane Corso’s smarter than Pit Bulls?
Yes, Cane Corso's may be smarter than pitbulls because they were bred in the past as hunting dogs. Hence, they are good at problem-solving.
They are also often used as working dogs in military service and law enforcement. These jobs require a high intelligence level too.
Aside from these, the Cane Corso has high obedience intelligence. They’re good at following commands and are quick learners.
On the other hand, American pit bull terriers have excellent adaptive intelligence. It means they’re quick to adjust to new situations and are good at learning from their surroundings.
The Cane Corso wins in the area of bite force more than a pit bull. That’s because its bite force is around 700 PSI vs. pitbull’s 235 PSI (pounds of force per square inch). Pitbull’s bite force is just about average for most dogs of the same size.
This data can provide helpful information for evaluating the dog’s jaw muscle activity and function.
The corso are generally healthy. Yet, like the other breeds, they can be prone to some health conditions.
For instance, they can be prone to eyelid abnormalities, such as cherry eye, ectropion, and entropion. Other medical conditions they can be prone of includes hip dysplasia and bloat (gastric torsion).
The pitbull is also generally a healthy breed, yet they can suffer from some kinds of health conditions, like allergies and hip dysplasia. Early diagnosis of their condition is the key to a happy and long life, so ensure routine checkups with your veterinary.
Whether you decide to adopt a corso or a pitbull, make sure to check the health clearance from the breeder. That way, you can ensure that the puppy’s parents are free from hip dysplasia or eye disease.
The corso eats around three cups of food daily, while the pitbull around 2 ½ cups. This varies, depending on their energy levels and size.
According to data provided by the Cane Corso Association of America (CCAA), the cane corso needs early training and ongoing socialization before their large size makes them hard to handle and control.
Pitbulls are easily trained. Positive, reward-based training is a good approach for both of these breeds. These rewards can be a belly rub or a toy when they do the desired behavior. Undoubtedly, the use of small treats works wonders too.
Both of these breeds are highly trainable.
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Cane Corso's have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while pitbulls 11 to 14 years.
The good news is that there are several things you can do as a pet parent to increase the longevity of your dog’s life. Some common-sense steps include providing them with healthy and quality food, taking them to the vet once a year for an overall checkup and exercising them regularly.
Being proactive with your pet’s health will help them live longer, and it will also save you money in the long run.
Cane corso puppies are not difficult to find and cost around $2,000 to $3,000. There are many breeders available.
Pitbull puppies can also range from $2,000 to $3,000 from a reputable breeder and $200 to $600 from adoption fees if you adopt from a rescue center.
Final Verdict: Which Breed Is Right for You?
Overall, if you have an active family (enjoys engaging in physical activity) with older children, the cane corso is the ideal choice. The cane corso is also an excellent guard dog and a loving family member.
On the other hand, if you have ample space at home or a yard, the American pit bull terrier will be a fantastic choice. A pit bull can be protective of its family and eager to please.
Both breeds are highly energetic, so they need a good amount of exercise. Neither is more difficult or easier to take care of.
Life with dogs is better, no doubt.
They’re the best friends and companions you could ever ask for. A matching human and dog clothes would make an awesome gift to celebrate a day with your furry bestie.