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Cane Corso vs Great Dane: 4 Key Differences

When you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family, it’s essential to do your research and learn about different dog breeds’ characteristics to choose the best fit for your lifestyle. The Cane Corso and the Great Dane are popular and majestic breeds that are often compared. 

While both big dogs have a commanding presence, they have distinct differences in temperament, size, and physical traits. Understanding these differences can help you decide which breed suits you and your family. 

Here are the key differences and similarities to decide Cane Corso vs Great Dane; which giant dog is right for you?

Cane Corso vs Great Dane

Image from PxFuel & Image by mtajmr from Pixabay. 

You might enjoy reading my articles on Cane Corso vs German ShepherdBullmastiff Cane Corso Mix and Cane Corso Male vs Female

Origins of the Cane Corso and Great Dane

The Cane Corso is a powerful and ancient Italian dog breed that originated in the southern regions of Italy, including Puglia and Campania. These large dogs are believed to have descended from ancient Roman war dogs and was used for various tasks, including hunting, guarding, and fighting. Today, the Cane Corso’s popularity continues to grow as a loyal and protective companion and working dog.

The Great Dane is a large and imposing breed of dog that originated in Germany, known as the Deutsche Dogge, which means “German Mastiff.” The breed’s ancestors can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where large hunting dogs were used for hunting boar and other game.


Image from PxFuel. 

The Great Dane remains popular for families looking for a loyal and gentle giant. Despite its imposing size, the Great Dane is known for its friendly and affectionate nature, making it a beloved companion and great family member.

Cane Corso vs Great Dane: 4 Key Differences 

Great Danes and Cane Corsos are large and powerful dog breeds with some physical and personality differences. Great Danes are known for their towering height and gentle disposition, while Cane Corsos are muscular and protective. 

Both of these giant breeds can make excellent pets for the right owner, but understanding the differences is essential when deciding which breed best fits your lifestyle and family.

1. Appearance 

Great Danes and Cane Corsos are large and powerful dog breeds with some physical and personality differences. Great Danes are one of the tallest dog breeds. On average, Great Danes stand 30-34 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 110 and 175 pounds. 

The Cane Corso is generally shorter. Depending on whether it is a Cane Corso male or female, this big dog stands at 23-28 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 88 and 120 pounds.

Cane Corsos have a compact and muscular build with a broad chest. Great Danes have lean, athletic bodies, long legs, and deep chests. Great Danes have long, narrow heads with slightly rounded foreheads and folded ears. Cane Corsos, on the other hand, have a broad and square-shaped head with a deep muzzle and floppy ears that are naturally droopy.

Cane_Corso_Forest (1)

Image by Sophie Hollies from Unsplash

Both breeds have short, smooth coats that can come in various colors. Both breeds can have black coats. But Great Dane’s coats also come in fawn and blue. In contrast, the Cane Corso’s short coat is most commonly gray, fawn, and red. 

2. Personality and Temperament 

Great Danes and Cane Corsos both have distinct personalities. While both breeds can make excellent companions, they have some notable differences in temperament.

The Great Dane breed is known for its gentle nature and loving personality. They are often called “gentle giants” because of their size and affectionate demeanor. These dogs are usually calm and patient, which makes them good family pets even for those with small children. Because of this, they are also considered one of the best emotional support dog breeds. They can be somewhat reserved with strangers but are usually friendly and sociable with people they know.

Cane Corsos, on the other hand, are known for their loyalty, courage, and protective nature. These dogs can be confident, self-assured, and assertive. Cane Corsos are highly intelligent and require a lot of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They are usually reserved with strangers and may be territorial, making them good guard dogs. However, with proper socialization, Cane Corsos can be friendly and loving with their families.

Both Great Danes and Cane Corsos require early socialization and training to develop into well-adjusted and well-behaved pets.


Image by mtajmr from Pixabay.

Great Danes may be more laid-back and easy-going, while Cane Corsos may require more firm and consistent training to control their protective instincts. Ultimately, each dog’s personality will depend on factors such as genetics, upbringing, and socialization.

3. Exercise Needs

While both breeds are large and powerful, they have different energy levels and exercise requirements due to their distinct origins and temperaments.

Great Danes do not require as much exercise as some other large breeds. A Great Dane needs at least one or two daily walks to maintain their health, but they do not require high-intensity exercise. Great Danes are prone to obesity, leading to serious health problems. So it is vital to monitor their food intake and exercise regularly to keep them healthy and fit with a game of fetch now and again. 

On the other hand, Cane Corsos are a more active breed with high energy levels that requires regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Cane Corsos were initially bred as working dogs, and so today, they have a strong instinct to protect their families and territory. 

They are intelligent and confident dogs that require daily exercise and mental stimulation. Cane Corsos need at least an hour of exercise daily, including walking, jogging, and hiking. They also benefit from training and obedience classes to keep them mentally stimulated and well-behaved.

As with all dogs, it is essential to provide regular exercise and a balanced diet to keep them healthy and happy.


Image from PxFuel.

4. Training 

Training a Great Dane or a Cane Corso requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. However, there are some differences in training these two breeds. Great Danes are known for being stubborn and independent, which can make training a challenge. 

They can be slow to learn and may require more patience and persistence. It’s important to start training early and use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior. Cane Corsos, on the other hand, are known for their eagerness to please, making them easier to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and can be quick learners. 

However, their protective nature requires early socialization to prevent aggression toward strangers. Cane Corsos must be taught appropriate behavior around new people, animals, and situations to prevent them from becoming overly territorial or aggressive.

Both Great Danes and Cane Corsos benefit from obedience training, which can help establish boundaries and teach them how to behave appropriately. Consistent training can help prevent behavioral issues such as jumping, chewing, and barking. Being patient and consistent with training is important, as both breeds can be sensitive to harsh training methods.


Image by mtajmr from Pixabay

Cane Corso and Great Dane 3 Similarities

Great Danes and Cane Corso dogs share several similarities. They are both large and powerful breeds of dogs. They are both known for their loyal and affectionate nature towards their owners, making them excellent family pets. 

1. Socialization 

Great Danes and Cane Corsos require socialization to develop into well-adjusted, happy dogs. Socialization involves exposing these breeds to various experiences and situations from a young age to help them become comfortable and confident in multiple environments. Without proper socialization, both breeds can become potentially hazardous hounds.

For Great Danes, socialization is especially important given their large size and potential for intimidation. By socializing them early on, they learn to interact appropriately with people and other dogs and are less likely to become overly protective or aggressive. Socialization can also help prevent separation anxiety, common in Great Danes, as they are prone to developing strong bonds with their owners.

Cane Corsos, on the other hand, are known for their protective nature and can be wary of strangers. Socialization can help them distinguish between real threats and harmless situations and learn to trust and accept new people and experiences. Additionally, socialization can help prevent territorial behavior, leading to aggression towards visitors or other animals.

It is vital for owners to prioritize socialization from an early age and to continue providing opportunities for positive experiences throughout their dog’s life.


Image from PxFuel.

2. Grooming

Despite being different breeds, Great Danes and Cane Corsos share some similarities regarding grooming needs. Both breeds have short, dense coats that require regular maintenance to keep them clean and healthy. 

One important aspect of grooming for both breeds is brushing. Although their coats are short, they still shed and require regular brushing to remove dead hair and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. A weekly brush session with a soft-bristled or rubber curry brush can help keep their coats shiny and healthy. More frequent brushing may be necessary during shedding season, which typically occurs twice a year.

Another important aspect of grooming for both breeds is nail trimming. Great Danes and Cane Corsos have solid and fast-growing nails that can become long and sharp if left untrimmed. Long nails can cause discomfort and even lead to joint problems, so it is essential to trim them regularly. A general guideline is to trim their nails every 2-3 weeks, but the frequency may vary depending on the dog’s activity level and lifestyle.

Both breeds require regular dental care to prevent dental problems such as tartar buildup, bad breath, and gum disease. It is recommended to take your dogs for regular dental checkups. Daily toothbrushing with dog-specific toothpaste and regular dental checkups can also help to keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Great_Dane_water cane corso vs great dane

Image from Pxfuel. 

Lastly, both breeds need regular ear cleaning to prevent ear infections. You should check these dogs regularly for redness, swelling, or discharge. Their ears should be cleaned with a gentle, dog-specific ear cleaner when necessary.

With regular maintenance and care, their coats, nails, teeth, and ears can stay healthy and clean, contributing to their overall health and well-being.

3. Health

Great Danes and Cane Corsos share similar health issues common in large-breed dogs. Both Great Danes and Cane Corsos are at risk for hip dysplasia, a genetic condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop properly. This can lead to arthritis, pain, and lameness in the hind legs. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and proper nutrition can help reduce the risk of hip dysplasia.

Both breeds are also susceptible to bloat, a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. This can cut off blood flow to the stomach and other organs, leading to shock and organ failure. With these dogs feeding them small, frequent meals and avoiding exercise after meals are essential preventive measures. 

Great Danes and Cane Corsos are both at risk for dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart disease in which the heart becomes enlarged and weakened. Symptoms may include coughing, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. Treatment may consist of medication and lifestyle changes. 

In terms of life expectancy, Great Danes are known to live seven to ten years on average. The Cane Corso dog has an average life expectancy between ten to eleven years.


Image from PxFeu

Both breeds are also at a higher risk for certain types of cancer, including bone cancer and lymphoma. Regular veterinary checkups, proper nutrition, exercise, and preventive measures can help reduce the risk of these health issues and keep these breeds healthy and enjoying a happy life.

Great Dane vs Cane Corso: Frequently Asked Questions: 

Which Breed Is More Suitable for Families with Children?

Both breeds can be good with children, but Great Danes are generally known for their gentle and patient nature, making them an excellent choice for families with children. Cane Corsos are also good with children, but their protective nature may require more supervision around strangers.

Between a Cane Corso and Great Dane, Which Breed Is Easier To Train?

Both Great Danes and Cane Corsos are intelligent breeds, but Great Danes can be more stubborn and independent, making training more challenging. Cane Corsos are known for their loyalty and eagerness to please, which can make them easier to train with proper socialization and positive reinforcement.

Which Breed Has a Higher Risk of Health Problems?

Both breeds are susceptible to specific health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and bloat. However, Great Danes are more prone to certain conditions, such as heart disease and bone cancer, while Cane Corsos are more prone to skin issues and allergies.

Which Breed Is Better for Apartment Living?

Both breeds are ideal for apartment living, but Great Danes can adapt better than Cane Corsos due to their lower activity level and smaller size. However, both breeds need enough space to move around and regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.


Image by mtajmr from Pixabay

Cane Corso or Great Dane: Which Giant is Right for Your Family? 

Both Great Danes and Cane Corsos can make great family dogs, but the best choice for your family will depend on your lifestyle, living situation, and preferences. And don’t forget to only speak with reputable breeders.

Great Danes are typically good with children and other pets and are often calm and patient. Great Danes can do well in smaller living spaces with enough room to move around. They tend to drool and snore, which some families may find off-putting.

Cane Corsos can make excellent family pets with the proper training and socialization. They are typically good with children and other pets, but their protective instinct may require more supervision around strangers. Consider your lifestyle and preferences when choosing which breed best fits your family.

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