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Cane Corso vs. Rottweiler: Which Breed Is Right for You?

By Mawoo Pets · 12 Feb · 8 mins read
Cane Corso vs. Rottweiler: Which Breed Is Right for You?

If you're considering getting a guard dog, you may be thinking about the Cane Corso or Rottweiler: two excellent, brave, and intelligent dog breeds. While both breeds make outstanding companions and protectors, they have unique traits and personalities that better suit each to a specific lifestyle. 

In this article, we will compare the Cane Corso and the Rottweiler, to help you get a better idea of which breed might be the right fit for your family.

Understanding the Breeds

The Origin of Cane Corso

The Cane Corso, an Italian breed, can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire. Originally used as a guardian and hunter, this breed is known for its strength and loyalty. The Cane Corso's history is deeply intertwined with the history of the Roman Empire, as they were highly valued by the Romans for their exceptional skills in a variety of tasks, from carrying weights to guarding homes.

In this Roman time period, Cane Corsos were often employed in the arenas, where they showcased their agility and power in combat against wild animals. These dogs were admired for their ability to fearlessly face off against lions, bears, and other formidable opponents. Their impressive physical prowess and unwavering loyalty made them a symbol of strength and courage.

The Origin of Rottweiler

The Rottweiler, on the other hand, has a German heritage and was initially bred for herding and pulling carts. Their origin traces back to the town of Rottweil in Germany, where they were bred to accompany and protect livestock during long journeys. With their robust build and intelligence, Rottweilers quickly earned a reputation as reliable working dogs.

These dogs were essential in ensuring the safety of the herds, as they possessed natural instincts to guard and protect. The Rottweilers' strength and endurance made them well-suited for the demanding task of herding, while their intelligence allowed them to make quick decisions and effectively communicate with their human handlers. Over time, their versatility and adaptability led to them being integrated into a wide range of roles, including police and military work.

Physical Characteristics

The Cane Corso and Rottweiler are about the same size. The largest Cane Corsos can be just a bit bigger than their Rottweiler counterparts.

Size & Physicality of Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a majestic breed. They stand 24 to 28 inches tall and weigh 90-110 lbs. With their muscular build, square-shaped head, and expressive eyes, they demand attention wherever they go. Their short coat comes in various colors, including black, fawn, and brindle. While they may seem imposing, they have an elegant and regal air about them.

The muscular build of the Cane Corso is not just for show – it’s a testament to their strength and agility. The well-defined muscles on their chest and limbs allow them to move with power, while their square-shaped head gives them a bold look that scares other animals. 

italian cane corso sitting majestically

Size & Physicality of Rottweiler

Rottweilers have a very a distinctive appearance. They stand 22 to 27 inches tall and weigh 80 to 135 lb. Their muscular bodies are covered in a black coat with well-defined rust markings on their muzzle, cheeks, and legs. With a powerful presence and alert expression, Rottweilers are often considered one of the most recognizable breeds.

The tan marking are there to give a sense of imposing strength and the Rottweiler's alert expression is a testament to its natural instinct to identify danger and protect. It's no wonder they are often chosen as guard dogs and police K-9s.

Temperament and Personality

Both the Cane Corso and Rottweiler make excellent family companions. They are brave, strong, loyal, and affectionate towards their families. But there are some nuances to their personalities -- for example, Cane Corsos are a bit better with other pets, while Rottweilers are a bit better with children. 

The Personality of a Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are known for their calm yet assertive demeanor. They are loyal, protective, and affectionate with their families. They're indifferent to children and adapt well to the presence of other pets. However, their natural guarding instincts make them wary of strangers, which is an essential quality for a guard dog.

The Cane Corso doesn’t like to be left alone and craves attention a bit more than the Rottweiler.  

The Personality of a Rottweiler

Rottweilers are confident and alert dogs with a strong sense of loyalty towards their families. They are incredibly dedicated to their pack and will go to great lengths to protect them. 

Rottweilers can also be quite gentle and loving, especially towards children. For this reason, they can be especially good matches for families with kids looking for a guardian companion. 

rottweiler with kid lying on foliage

Maintenance and Exercise

Cane Corsos require less grooming than Rottweilers, but both breeds shed and neither is hypoallergenic. Both breeds are quite active and do best in families with active lifestyles.

Maintaining a Cane Corso

Cane Corsos have short coats that require minimal grooming. However, they shed moderately year-round, so regular brushing can help keep their coat in good condition and minimize loose hair in the house. Daily exercise, such as brisk walks or playtime in a securely fenced yard, is essential to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

Maintaining a Rottweiler

Rottweilers have a moderate shedding coat that requires weekly brushing to remove dead hair and keep their coat looking its best. They shed a bit more than the Cane Corso.

Like the Cane Corso, they need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and keep their minds engaged. Mental stimulation through puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive play sessions can be really excellent for their well-being.

Training Needs of Each Breed

Both breeds are highly intelligent and respond well to training. Training and socialization from an early age are key to avoid destructive behavior in these breeds – this includes leash training, obedience training, and advanced commands to help mold them into obedient guard dogs.

Training a Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are eager to please, making them highly trainable. However, they require a firm and consistent approach with positive reinforcement. Ideally, a Cane Corso is trained by an experienced owner who can establish themselves as the pack leader. 

yonge lady playing with cane carso using a ball

Training a Rottweiler

Like the Cane Corso, Rottweilers require early and ongoing socialization to develop into well-rounded dogs. This breed is extremely intelligent and so it responds very well to training. Positive experiences with different people, animals, and environments from a young age will help them become confident and friendly. 

For both breeds, consistency and positive reinforcement methods work best with this intelligent breed. Providing them with mental stimulation and regular exercise is also key to keeping them happy and well-behaved.

Health and Lifespan

Both the Cane Corso and Rottweiler have a similar lifespan of around 10 years and are susceptible to specific health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

Health of a Cane Corso

The Cane Corso lives approximately 9-12 years.  In terms of health issues, Cane Corsos are susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, and certain eye conditions. Other common conditions for them include epilepsy, gastric dilatation volvulus, and entropion.

Health of a Rottweilers

The Rottweiler lives approximately 8-12 years. Rottweilers are also prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, heart problems, and certain types of cancers. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and routine veterinary care are crucial in maintaining their well-being throughout their lives.


Ultimately, making the decision between a Cane Corso and a Rottweiler comes down to your individual lifestyle and preferences. Consider whether you have children or other pets, the type of temperament you are looking for, and preferences for a specific look. Both breeds can make wonderful additions to the right home.

Deciding between a Cane Corso puppy and a Rottweiler puppy is a significant step towards adding a new member to your family. At Mawoo Pets, we understand the importance of finding a pet that fits seamlessly into your life and home. Our commitment to connecting you with ethical breeders ensures that your future companion is healthy, well-socialized, and comes from a loving environment. Explore puppies now and take the first step towards creating a lifelong bond with your new furry friend.

FAQs on Cane Corsos and Rottweilers

Which breed is better with kids?

Rottweilers are more kid-friendly than Cane Corsos and are better suited for families with small children. Cane Corsos adapt well to children as well, but require a bit more training and socialization for this.

Which breed has a stronger bite?

The Cane Corso. Its bite strength is around 700 PSI (pounds per square inch) while the Rottweiler’s bite force is around 330 PSI.

Which breed barks more often?

Both breeds bark quite a bit, but if we had to choose, we’d say the Rottweiler barks a bit more than the Cane Corso. In general, as Guardian dogs, one of the key roles of these breeds is to alert their owners to danger, and that’s done through barking.  

Which breed is the better Guard Dog?

Both breeds make excellent Guard Dogs. Rottweilers can be a bit more aggressive, whereas Cane Corsos can be stronger. Rottweilers are also a bit more versatile and have high intelligence, which is why they’re often used as police dogs. So depending on your protection needs, one breed may be slightly better suited.

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