Pitbull and Cane Corso are two names that will pop up a lot when choosing a guard dog. Here, we look at both breeds to help make choosing one easier. First-timers especially will want to pay close attention to our expert opinion, though personal preferences may still play a key role.
Cane Corsos are one of the best guard dogs out there and were originally bred specifically for this purpose. They are also great hunters thanks to their physical gits and love for chasing things.
While they are mostly associated with being guard dogs originally from Italy, their history dates far back to ancient Rome. They are an offset of the Molosser breeds which served in the Roman army. The Cane Corso breed of today is a result of intentional breeding in the 1980s intended to save them from extinction.
Pitbulls have a rather storied history dating back to the 19th century. Their name comes from the practice of rat baiting in pits hence their catchy name. They are descended from bulldogs and were originally bred in the United Kingdom.
Unlike most other dogs that have one breed, pitbull is a relative term, one that is used to describe multiple breeds. American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and the American Bulldog are all classified as Pitbulls.
The breed most associated with the term is the American Pit Bull Terrier and will be the focus of this article.
As expected with guard dogs, both Pitbulls and Cane Corsos are domineering physical specimens. Pitbulls are the smaller breed in this case, though they are still relatively large dogs.
Pitbulls range between 43-53 cm in height and weigh between 14-29 kg. Both size and height are influenced by gender, genetics, and personal care by the owner. Pitbulls come in almost every color known to man, so there is surely one you’ll like.
Cane Corsos are one of the largest breeds available, and it is no surprise that they are excellent guard dogs. A Cane Corso’s height ranges between 58-69 cm while they weigh between 39-50 kg. Unlike Pitbulls that come in every color, Cane Corsos have one major limitation, no black-colored members.
Dogs generally need exercise to stay healthy and guard dogs more so. Their large sizes will require more than a daily walk to keep either a Pitbull or a Cane Corso satisfied.
When they don’t get enough exercise, they get bored and can sometimes become destructive. Exercise is as much to burn off excess energy as it is to keep fit. Walks, swim sessions, and obstacle courses all come in handy to keep Pitbulls, and Cane Corsos occupied. The more physical and intense the exercise sessions are, the better.
As both breeds are considered intelligent, the mind will require stimulation as much as the body. Puzzles and other mental stimulation exercises are helpful to keep your guard dog alert.
The most important aspect of care when dealing with Pitbulls and Cane Corsos is grooming. Luckily, both dogs aren’t too hairy; thus, you’ll have less to do and less hair to clean up, thanks to shedding.
Instead, you can focus on trimming their nails and giving them baths once they need them. While you may not do too much hair grooming, you will need to brush them regularly, and the same goes for clipping their nails.
It may indicate a health problem if you notice frequent shedding either from a Cane Corso or a Pitbull. Contact your vet immediately, as early detection gives your dog the best fighting chance.
In terms of feeding, both dogs need nutritious meals and tend to eat a lot owning to their large sizes. They may eat only one meal, but it must be large. Pitbulls especially have special dietary needs, as they are sometimes grain intolerant. In such an instance, your Pitbull will need a grain-free diet.
Larger dogs tend to suffer from more health problems than smaller ones. Pitbulls and Cane Corsos are victims of this and are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is especially prominent among large dogs and is fatal in some cases. Similarly, both dogs are susceptible to mange.
Individually, Cane Corsos are susceptible to allergies, cancer and bloat, with the latter being the most deadly.
On the other hand, Pitbulls are susceptible to thyroid problems, Degenerative myelopathy, and heart problems. There are no known cures for any of these conditions, but they can be managed, albeit with a reduced quality of life for the affected dog. Your best bet is to keep these conditions away with proper dog care.
As you would expect with guard dogs, both Pitbulls and Cane Corsos are general intelligence. Their intelligence comes in handy with training and a basic understanding of commands.
Cane Corsos are generally considered the more intelligent breed but are also more stubborn. While they can comprehend commands, they can also choose not to obey them, especially during training. To that end, you must be firm when training to establish dominance.
On the other hand, Pitbulls are more pliable, and while they tend to be stubborn, they also happen to be more obedient. While they are not dumb, their training may take longer, which is why Cane Corsos are generally considered more intelligent.
Before letting any pet become a part of your family, knowing how long they live is important. There is no point in getting attached if they won’t be around for the long haul. It also helps with planning and estimating finances associated with the care of a dog.
Cane Corsos live between 10 and 12 years, which few big dogs do. Shorter life spans in dogs are often associated with larger breeds, and the bigger they are, the shorter their life span.
While they aren’t the longest-living dogs, they fall within the average dog life span (10-15 years). With the proper care and external factors like health problems, your Cane Corso should last at least a decade.
On the other hand, Pitbulls have a typical dog life span of between 12 and 16 years. Pitbulls have relatively long lives, especially considering their size. Unfortunately, not all Pitbull live full lives, as they sometimes die as early as eight years.
Temperamental or not, no one would like to be on the end of an attack from a Pitbull or Cane Corso. Both dogs are great at their job and are fiercely loyal to their owners. If it comes down to it, either dog would attack and likely hurt anyone. Regardless, they have individual tendencies which they display generally.
Both dogs possess great aggression, but only when they are untrained. An untrained Pitbull or Cane Corso cannot channel its power and aggression and will lash out. You can prevent this by training and socializing them starting as early as possible. The longer you wait to train them, the worse the aggression gets.
Both dogs have recorded cases of violent aggression in which people were hurt, but Pitbulls are the more common occurrence. More than half of the fatal cases of dog attacks recorded involve Pitbulls.
While Cane Corsos haven’t been as active, they also have some gnarly recorded cases. Luckily, training takes away any aggression or, at the very least, suppresses it, especially when they socialize early.
While guard dogs need aggression, they also need to be friendly, especially if they will serve in a home. Both breeds are friendly and tend to form strong bonds with their owners.
Socialization and training will help keep the aggression at bay, but their loyalty will keep them friendly. Unfortunately, their friendliness comes with the possibility of separation anxiety, especially when you are away for a long time. You will find them fawning over you and even cuddling once they have an opportunity.
For Cane Corsos, their friendliness comes at a cost as they consider the owners members of their pack. While this often adds to their loyalty, it has one crucial flaw, the alpha battle.
They will look to assert dominance over their owner, especially when they aren’t properly trained. However, this can be fixed during training by asserting dominance early, causing them to follow.
Cane Corso is the more expensive breed, with an average cost of between $1000 and $2500. Many factors determine the final cost of a Cane Corso puppy, such as the breeder’s reputation, sex, and pedigree. While it isn’t always the case, you can sometimes pay as much as $5000 for one if it has the pedigree.
Pitbulls are normally less expensive, but some pedigrees can be as expensive as $10,000, twice the price of a Cane Corso. The average Pitbull costs around $1000, with some costing a few hundred more.
One trick breeders may employ to hike the price of a pitbull is to claim it is rare. While it may be true, a reputable breeder doesn’t resort to such means and values dogs based on the cost of breeding.
Best Breed For You
The best breed for you ultimately comes down to your dog’s needs. While both are excellent guard dog choices, they are individually suited to specific needs. Despite their terrifying appearance, Pitbulls are perfectly suited as companion dogs. A companion dog that can protect you is a rarity, and Pitbulls fit the bill.
On the other hand, Cane Corsos are perfect for protecting properties and hunting large animals. Cane Corsos generally love it when they have an assignment or a job and view guarding as one. There is hardly a better guard dog out there than Cane Corso.
Pitbull Vs Cane Corso Conclusion
Pitbulls and Cane Corsos are among the world’s most popular guard dog breeds. Choosing which is better for you can be a chore, one that is easily avoided with the right information.
Breed Information, cost, and temperament are ultimately the most important factors to consider when looking to get a dog.