Are you trying to decide on a Cane Corso vs a Great Dane? Aspiring large dog owners can find themselves unsure of which one they should pick.
Both of these dog breeds are considered some of the largest canines out there. Many people even confuse them due to their size and external similarities.
However, there are some clear differences between the two, especially when it comes to their temperament. Future dog owners must know precisely what to expect from both breeds as choosing the wrong one can end with a dog unfit for the household it’s coming in.
Both dogs are considered to be large working dogs, at least according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). They are commonly used as guard dogs and family dogs, and due to their size, they’re not fit for apartment living as they require lots of outdoor space for their high energy levels.
More or less, this is where their similarities end.
If you’d like to know more about the differences when it comes to a Cane Corso vs a Great Dane, you’re in the right place. We’ll explain all you need to know about owning both of these breeds. This can help you make the best possible choice not just for you, but for your future dog as well.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane Comparison Chart
Both the Great Dane and the Cane Corso are large breeds that don’t look like canines you’d want to mess around with. To those who don’t know the differences between the two, they might even look the same.
Before we get in-depth, here are some of the main differences between these two large breeds:
|Cane Corso||Great Dane|
|Height:||24 to 27.5 ins||28 to 32 ins|
|Weight:||90 to 120 lbs||110 to 175 lbs|
|Lifespan:||9 to 12 years||7 to 10 years
|Temperament:||reserved, calm, independent||friendly, gentle, affectionate|
|Good with kids:||Yes with training||Yes|
|Good with pets||No||Yes with training|
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s talk a bit more about the Cane Corso vs the Great Dane comparison:
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane Breed History
The breed history is important for understanding the dog’s temperament and overall behavior, but also for understanding its appearance. Humans have bred all dog breeds with a specific purpose, and adapted them to be better suited for the intended job.
Both the Cane Corso and the Great Dane are ancient breeds, but with rather different histories.
Cane Corsos were first mentioned in ancient Roman times, where the Romans used them as bodyguard dogs and war dogs. Their ancestors were Neapolitan Mastiffs, and the breed remained in Italy after the Romans left – which is why it’s also known as the Italian Mastiff.
The Cane Corso was a popular guard dog until the world wars when it lost its purpose as most people moved to large cities and battle dogs were no longer needed in the battles.
In fact, the breed was almost extinct until the 1970s when breed enthusiasts decided to bring it back. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that Cane Corso dogs were popularized in the U.S.
As such, the AKC didn’t recognize Cane Corsos as a breed until 2010.
Great Danes have a somewhat calmer history – although, despite their name, they don’t come from Denmark, but rather from Germany.
They were used by nobles to hunt large animals – mostly boars. Many people also used them as guard dogs and watchdogs, but they occasionally did herding dog jobs together with German Shepherds.
Great Danes are some of the first breeds that were recognized by the AKC as the kennel club registered them back in 1887.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane Size And Appearance
As you might’ve guessed, the Cane Corso is a Mastiff breed. This also means it has many physical traits that all Mastiffs share, such as a droopy face and a large, muscular body.
Female Cane Corsos usually reach a height of 24 to 26 ins, while males can be much larger – anywhere between 25 and 27.5 ins is up to the breed standard. They are bulky, heavy dogs that can easily reach more than 100 lbs.
Their coat is usually dark – in black, brindle, or red color, but they can also come in a few lighter shades, such as grey and fawn.
On the other hand, Great Danes don’t belong to the Mastiff-type breeds, even though they share some similarities, such as the large and muscular body build. However, their faces are far less droopy and their ears are larger – although most breeders crop them while they are still puppies.
Great Danes are considered some of the tallest dogs out there. Females usually reach 28 to 30 ins in height, while males mostly grow up to be 30 to 32 ins. However, it isn’t uncommon for them to grow up much taller – the tallest Great Dane, Giant George, was reported to be 43 ins high!
While they look leaner than Cane Corsos, they are quite heavier. Most females weigh up to 140 lbs, but males can reach more than 175 lbs!
Compared to Cane Corsos, Great Danes are a more colorful breed. Almost any coat color is recognized by the AKC! This includes some rare varieties such as harlequin, mantle, merle, and chocolate.
Both dog breeds have a short double coat that is effortless to groom and maintain.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane Temperament
When it comes to temperament, this is where the biggest difference can be noticed. In fact, many people would consider the two to behave in entirely opposite ways!
Cane Corsos are a prime example of a guard dog. They are calm and alert, and they don’t do well with strangers. This is why they have the reputation of being one of the most aggressive dog breeds in the world, together with Rottweilers and Pitbulls.
On the other hand, Great Danes are gentle giants. Despite their large size, they think they’re lap dogs that can just sleep on you all day long. While they still have fairly high energy levels and exercise needs, they are far less active compared to Cane Corsos.
Overall, most Great Danes are approachable dogs that will love to make new friends, while Cane Corsos would just like everyone but their owner to leave them alone.
Still, despite which one you choose, socialization is the key to creating a well-behaved dog that will do great around new people. Even calm Danes can not be fond of strangers, and they need to learn to adapt to new environments, people, and pets.
Is a Cane Corso a Dangerous Dog?
Cane Corsos are dogs that were used as war dogs and as guard dogs for generations. As such, they are bred to be unapproachable. Even if you compare them to other Mastiff-type dogs, such as the English Mastiff or the Pitbull, they are far less friendly.
This, however, doesn’t mean they don’t make good pets. They will be very loyal to their owners and their kids, and they even have an affectionate side.
One thing that’s important to note is that Cane Corsos have one of the strongest bites in the canine world. In fact, they can bite stronger than lions!
As such, a Cane Corso dog that isn’t socialized is much more dangerous than a Labrador Retriever or a Wolfhound. These are powerful dogs that can do a great deal of damage, and this is something you don’t want to happen.
Because of this, we would advise you to buy from reputable breeders only as this can give you an insight into your dog’s lineage.
Is a Great Dane a Dangerous Dog?
While Great Danes might look scary, they are far from aggressive – although you have to know that any breed of dog can display aggressive behaviors if you don’t socialize it on time.
Quite the opposite – these are some of the calmest dogs out there! Some might even call them scaredy-cats.
However, if it happens that a Great Dane becomes aggressive, this is much more dangerous than when some smaller dog gets behavioral problems.
While it cannot bite as strongly as a Cane Corsos can, these are still muscular dogs that can easily overpower a human. As such, you should spend as much time as possible training and socializing them.
Once again, it’s essential to buy such powerful dogs from responsible breeders who will only breed dogs with the best temperament possible.
Aggression isn’t in the Great Dane genes, and purebred Danes are not likely to attack a human or even another dog.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane Trainability
When you’re dealing with such large dogs, it’s essential that you train and socialize them on time.
Sure, having a small dog such as a Chihuahua angry all the time looks cute and harmless, but you cannot allow things to go that far when you have a dog that weighs more than many humans around you!
All dogs can be trained if you know how to do this. Still, it helps to deal with breeds that are predisposed to high trainability. So, where do we stand when it comes to Cane Corso vs Great Dane dogs?
Cane Corso puppies are easy to train when they are young. These are intelligent dogs that can learn new tricks rather easily and quickly.
However, as they grow older, their independence will become more and more prominent. This can make them not want to listen to you, especially if you’ve spoiled them even a little bit while they were puppies.
Also, despite their size and temperament, Cane Corsos are sensitive dogs that don’t respond well to yelling – let alone hitting them. They need to be trained by someone with experience, and not a first-time owner.
Great Danes, although more well-natured, can be a bit more challenging when it comes to training. This is mostly due to their laid-back nature, which makes them appear quite lazy.
If a Great Dane doesn’t want to learn new things today – he doesn’t want to learn. Making them focus can be quite a challenge, although they do respond well to positive reinforcements.
Great Danes are also easily distracted, and even the smallest thing such as a squirrel or a TV that is turned on can make them lose focus. If you decide to train them on your own, you need to pick a relatively quiet place with as few distractions as possible.
Cane Corso And Great Dane Mix
Photo from: @plutointhepnw
If you’re looking for a large dog breed that will have the focus of a Cane Corso, but a bit more mellow personality like a Great Dane, you might want to look into the Cane Corso Great Dane crossbreed! This might be the best dog to guard your home.
Known as the Italian Daniff, this mixed breed might be everything you’re looking for in a large dog – although a Cane Corso’s somewhat challenging temperament means you’ll have to pay close attention to this dog’s behavior.
While the Cane Corso Poodle mix also exists, there are many other reasons why it still might not be an excellent family dog – even though the Poodle’s friendly personality calms down a Cane Corso’s aggressive tendencies.
Cane Corso Great Dane Mix Size
When you think of Italian Daniffs knowing who its parent breeds are, you’re probably expecting a gigantic dog – and you won’t be far away from the truth.
Crossbreeds can grow up to be anywhere between their parents sizes, while keeping features of one or both parents. As such, most Italian Daniffs are bigger than a Cane Corso, but smaller than a Great Dane, which doesn’t sound that bad.
However, if your pooch keeps most traits of its Cane Corso parent, but takes the Great Dane size, he might end up being the scariest dog you’ve ever seen!
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane As A Family Pet
If you have a large family – especially if you have small children – it’s essential to pick a dog that will get along with as many people as possible.
No one wants to endanger their family members by bringing home a dog that is aggressive or one that might hurt them!
The first thing we have to address is the elephant in the room: both the Cane Corso and the Great Dane are large dogs. They are much heavier and even much taller than most small children.
Any dog that is as big as these two can hurt a child by accident during playtime. You should never allow them to be alone with small kids without adult supervision.
Now, when it comes to Great Danes, they can make amazing family pets. They are friendly dogs that will love to be friends with just about anyone! At the same time, they are patient, so they won’t get stressed out by an overly active child.
Of course, the most important thing is that you’ve socialized your Great Dane on time. A dog needs to get used to kids as early as possible as this will lower the chances of accidents later on.
As long as the Great Dane is used to new people and various types of household noise, they can be loving family pets that will love everyone around them.
On the other hand, a Cane Corso will need lots of socialization to get used to new people, especially children. These dogs love to be left alone most of the time, and dealing with kids might be too much for them.
Not just that, but their exercise requirements are rather high, and they might be challenging to keep up with, especially if your kids are so small that they don’t have too much stamina.
However, if a Cane Corso is used to children from a young age, they can be great with kids. In fact, these dogs love their family members and would do anything to protect them. With proper help, they will love your kids as if they were their puppies!
One thing, though, where both breeds fail is dog allergies. If someone from your family is sensitive to dogs, it’s essential to note that both breeds can cause an allergic reaction.
While their coats are short and they won’t have hair flying everywhere, they are both prone to drooling. As dog drool is another common allergen, this makes them unsuitable for people with dog allergies. Getting a hypoallergenic Poodle mix, such as the Great Danoodle, might be a better option.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane With Other Pets
If you have other pets in the household, or if you plan on getting a new dog to join your Cane Corso or Great Dane, you might wonder whether this is a good idea.
Overall, Great Danes get along with other pets, especially if they’ve been properly socialized. They are not prone to dog aggression – although they might be reserved toward dogs they don’t know.
They’ll mostly do well with small animals as well. While they do have a prey drive, it’s not nearly as strong as in some other canines, so most pets are safe around them.
Cane Corsos, however, are at their best behavior when they are the only dogs in the household. They don’t tolerate other dogs as they are very territorial. Same-sex aggression is especially common within the breed.
In fact, until you’re completely sure your Cane Corso has been socialized, we would advise you against bringing them to the dog park or even having them join dog shows.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane Lifespan
Large dog breeds have a much shorter life expectancy than their smaller counterparts. This is mostly because their body has to develop at a much faster pace, which can lead to cancer and bone issues.
Cane Corsos, though, have a fairly long lifespan for a dog of their size as it isn’t uncommon for them to live up to 12 years. They are still prone to some health conditions that are typical for big dogs, such as elbow and hip dysplasia, and gastric torsion (bloat).
Bloat can be especially dangerous as it can kill a dog in a matter of hours. In fact, this is the most common cause of death in young, large breed dogs. The best way to prevent bloat is to make sure your Cane Corso eats only the best dog food it can get.
Great Danes live much shorter. They’ll rarely live longer than 10 years, which is why some dog owners fear owning them.
They are also prone to many health problems, including not just bloat and dysplasia, but also cardiomyopathy, osteochondrosis, and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. Eye problems, such as entropion and ectropion, are also common.
Also, both breeds are prone to obesity if they don’t meet their exercise requirements, and this is especially an issue for somewhat lazy Danes.
Obesity can further lead to many health issues, including even some forms of cancer.
When it comes to the dog’s health, an important factor to weigh in is, once again, the breeder you’re buying your pooch from.
A good breeder will conduct various health tests to make sure only the healthiest dogs enter their breeding programs. This leads to healthy litters and reduces the chance of many health conditions.
Cane Corso Vs Great Dane – Who Would Win?
Finally, we come to the final verdict. Which one is the better dog when it comes to Cane Corso vs Great Dane?
Just like with many other things, it all comes down to what you expect from your future dog.
Cane Corsos undoubtedly make better guard dogs. In fact, they are likely the best dogs for this job. If you buy yourself a Cane Corso, you can sleep soundly knowing that all intruders will be scared away.
However, if you’re a first-time owner, Cane Corsos can be too much to handle. They are not beginner dogs, and just letting them stand at the gate barking at passers-by will likely end badly.
They need proper obedience training, and you’ll likely need help from a good dog trainer. In fact, many Cane Corso breeders will insist on both you and your new dog visiting a trainer at least several times while the puppy is still young.
Great Danes, on the other hand, don’t make as good of guard dogs. They can be too friendly, and they might rather beg a burglar for a snack than bark at them and warn you that someone’s on your property. However, their mere size is enough to scare most people away, which is an advantage.
If you’re looking for a family pet or a nanny dog, getting a Great Dane is certainly the better option. These are patient dogs that will love humans of all ages. They are playful enough to join kids in a game of fetch, yet calm enough to tolerate a small kid trying to ride them (although you shouldn’t allow your children to do this).
Cane Corsos and Great Danes are dogs that look alike, but behave in quite different ways. As such, they are meant for entirely different families, and they play different roles in the household.
In the end, both make amazing dogs if you know how to tackle their flaws and improve their virtues. There are no bad dogs, only bad or inexperienced owners. This is especially true with both of these breeds.
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