Everyone always asks the question: what's the difference between the Presa/Dogo Canario and Cane Corso Italiano????
Well lets start with type...
When speaking of "ideals" there's many differences in head and body.
A Cane Corso head is basically a square on a square. The head *should* be square with a square muzzle attached (NO TAPERING). Judges like to see a compact head. The ratios are 33.3% (so basically 1/3) muzzle to 66.6% (2/3) head. The eyes should be wide spaced, round and slightly protruding. The stop is very sharp/well marked. The bite should be undershot. I prefer reverse scissors. Scissors bite is a disqualification. Eyes should be dark as possible according to coat. The lips should fall in an upside down U if viewed from the front and from the side the top lip should be enough to cover and shape the lower jaw. If you look at the head from the side, nose should be a 90 degree angle and the planes of the head should be "convergent".
A Corso has a very distinct look...the "expression" is intense and alert.
A Dogo Canario head is not "compact". The muzzle should also be wide and thick but it should be longer than the Corso in comparison and with a slight convergence (tapering). The correct ratio is 40% muzzle to 60% head. The eye shape is slightly oval and the cheeks are pronounced. The lips fall in an upside down V when viewed from the front and from the side, the lips should have more substance. When viewing the head from the side, the stop should not be pronounced and the planes of the head and muzzle are parallel. The Presa also has more dewlap. Proper bite on a Dogo Canario is a scissors bite with reverse scissors as an acceptable bite.
The Dogo Canario also has a very distinct look...the "expression" is of a laidback, distant look.
Compare examples of head type:
Bodies? While both were former farm dogs; the Corso was used for hunting and needed endurance along with some power. The Presa however needed more power and less endurance. Therefore the angulations in the rears are different. The Presa has a straighter rear capable of more powerful thrusts and short bursts of speed/running. The Corso, has a well angulated rear designed for long chases and with enough power to pull down their prey/game once they reach it.
The Dogo Canario croup is higher than it's withers. The back should be straight and the topline ascending to the croup. The Corso has a straight back and a slight lumbar convexity.
Cane Corso Italiano
Chests are extremely different. Presas have wide, dropped chests, the Corso has a weak chest in comparison but strong in itís own way. The Corso chest is muscular but inverted.
Temperament? Also different. I noticed that with some exceptions, the Corso is more of a clinging dog. They want to be with you and look to please you as fast as possible. They have constant eye contact. The Dogo Canario I have found to be more laidback, less energetic and most with a slight stubborn streak. They can both be dog dominant and/or dog aggressive (the Presa a little more so) but for the most part they are both fine with other dogs. As for barking, both are relatively quiet although when they DO bark all of my Dogo Canario have high pitched "happy" or excited barks but are low pitched when upset. My Corsi generally have deep barks.
Colors/coat? Dogo Canario only come in shades of brindles and fawns - all with a black mask. The Cane Corso comes in black, gray, fawns, and brindles. Fawn Corsi must have either black or gray mask. Dogo Canario should have no undercoat while the Corso has a double coat called a "cow coat" that has a thick undercoat. Both shed a little bit constantly and depending on your weather patterns, may "blow coat" seasonally.
TRAIT CORSO PRESA
Head Ratios 33.3% Muzzle : 66.6% Head 40% Muzzle : 60% Head
Planes of the Head Convergent Parallel (slight convergent allowed)
Muzzle Thick NO tapering Thick WITH tapering
Stop Pronounced Slight
Lip Shape from Front Upside down U Upside down V
Eye Shape Round Slightly Oval
Bite Undershot / Reverse Scissors Scissors (reverse scissors allowed)
Chest Inverted Drop (V shaped)
Topline Straight back, slightly convex lumbar region Croup higher than the withers
Have more questions? Feel free to post on our forum.
Dogo Canario photos courtesy of Gran Tenerife Kennels and
Special Thanks to Alexis MacKinnon