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Should I Get A Cane Corso Or Presa Canario As A Family Protection Dog?

The Cane Corso and Presa Canario are two very popular working breeds commonly used for guarding and protection work. Both are large mastiff-types with roots in southern Europe. The Cane Corso is Italian, while the Presa Canario was developed in Spain’s Canary Islands. Although superficially somewhat similar, the Cane Corso and Presa Canario do have a number of differences, some of which have implications on their suitability for family protection work.

The Presa Canario was primarily bred to work as shepherd and farm guardian, but was also used in dog fighting. This resulted in the creation of an aggressive, impulsive, and independent breed which often works without the direction of a handler. In contrast to this, the Cane Corso’s main historic lines of work were guarding and hunting. As with the majority of hunting breeds, the Corso is intelligent and responsive to its handlers’ commands. It understands that it works best through a handler, and takes to training very well.

Although both breeds were viewed as “rare” at one point, the Cane Corso was resurrected with higher levels of genetic diversity than the Presa Canario. This means that the Cane Corso is a relatively healthy breed (not withstanding conditions typical to larger breeds such as hip dysplasia) and – quite importantly – relatively temperamentally sound. In contrast, the Presa Canario gene pool is smaller, resulting in an often temperamentally unreliable breed.

Physical differences are less important, but they are still worth discussing. Presa Canarios have slightly longer bodies than the Cane Corso, as well as noticeable slope around the shoulders. Cane Corsos have a more square build, and a less elongated snout than the Presa Canario. Ultimately, both breeds are large and imposing so often act as a powerful deterrent against would-be intruders or attackers.

Having said all of the above, we feel that the Cane Corso makes a better family protection dog. The most important attribute we seek is temperamental stability and reliability, and in this regard, the Cane Corso will almost always win over the Presa Canario. It tends to take to training better as well, and is able to assimilate into home settings. This does not mean that all Presa Canarios are unsuitable for family protection work, but by and large they do not meet the required standards.