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Thread: What ARE the differences between the Cane Corso and the Presa

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    Junior Member jpresa's Avatar
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    Default What ARE the differences between the Cane Corso and the Presa

    Hey everyone,

    Today I had a guy at my club ask me what the difference was between the Cane Corso and the Presa Canario. I sort of likened the differences between the two breeds to the differences between the Belgian molinois and a GSD or a Giant Schnauzer and a Bouvier. These may have been poor analogies but it made my point. Have any of you been asked that question? How did you reply? I actually DON'T think that the two breeds look alike in person but, I have seen photos at a glance of a dog in the past and had to take a second look at times myself to determine which breed it was. I would like to be able to speak intelligently about my dog and the differences between the two without belittling the person who asks but I also don’t want to be the Canary Dog geek who makes people wish that they never asked because i innundate them with info. How do you guys handle the topic? Please if you reply, specify if your responce is directed towards the people who actually work dogs vs pet owners and above all…BE NICE!!!
    The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence-Boondocks

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    Some presas have Mastino influence, visible one, some bandogs also have mastino influence, infact most of good ones...
    Cane corso is an italian breed and have a common past with mastino...mastino infusions are not rare in cane corsos...Some dog breeders use to joke like this...if is big, thick, skinny, large head with normal bite is mastino...is is smaller, prognated, etc...is cane...breed 2 dogs, pick canes and neo's from that litter fallowing these criterias

    joking aside, there are presas that look similar to SOME cane corso and bandogs, especially "amerian" cane corso type, infact thsoe dogs are mastino mixes or declared bandogs with lot of mastino blood...

    still, despite what each dog owner claim to declare about his dog, there are big differences between TYPICALL presa canario and typicall cane...

    Presa is longer dog than tall, with slightly taller croup than withers, with strong neck and short but not "as" short hair, with specific brindle colors and patrerns, different texture, little harsh hair...Also chest tend to be pretty wide, at least this is the standard prototype of ideal dog..

    Cane corso is rather quadratic dog overall, with straight or slightly descending topline, with moderate/normal chest, longer legs, especially from ones (more air under the dog...).
    that square profile of the body is not necessary only related to body lenght over the height of the withers and croup in case of a cane corso..., body of presa is "long" relative to head/neck, thickness, etc... not only compared to overall height at withers...
    There are longer legged presas which might seem sqare in profile, but the body itself is longer...

    What i mean is "longer body" or "sqare profile" are realtive terms, they are bot used to describe the ration between body lenght and withers height BUT also, there are cases when the dog could fit a sqare and still have a long body but also little too long legs...in such cases, the "fault" is not dog bot being long enough but rather dog having too long leggs, which allthough seem the same, IS NOT...
    Lenght of body can be calculated compared to height at withers BUT also need to consier overall aspect of the trunk imho...


    Anyway, beyond these body related differences, the main difference is related to head,,,,
    In case of molossers head is the most important attribute when we are talking about typicity....
    You will see most judges highly criticizing head typicity compared to body, that because head is considered as "definitory" for the breed more than "body"...

    head of a cane corso is very, very different than presas....
    Presa head is defined by his proportions, 6 parts cranium and 4 parts muzzle...the axis of the head should allways be parralel...the skull like a cube shape, brachicephallic, strong, rather flat on top of it... The BITE should be normal scissors, at most level bite, not encouraged though, undershot bite still accepted but really, in practicall terms it SHOULD be eliminated from selection..IMHO prognatism is a serious FAULT not necessary because of the bite itself but because this type fo bite change the overall appeareance of the head.

    Cane corso have a shorter head, rather round shaped,, skull wide and shorter, rounded....Muzzle is shorter proprotionally compared to presa and much shorter considering overall lenght of the head and skull is smaller in cane corso...Skul, as i said, rahter rounder shaped, the cranium and muzzle longitudinal axis are "slightly" convergent, in reality is infact seriously convergent in most dogs, and also the skull being not flat but round shaped is not easy to define that skull axis...technically, is a tangent line to the skull, skull being rounded is not easy to draw it
    Stop (cranio-nazal depression) is well pronounced, very visible. In case of presas the Stop is very discrete, the cranium and muzzle axis being parallel but also "close" to eachother...

    typicall bite is undershot and this influences the overall aspect of the cranium....


    eyes have a different shape, allthough both oval, presa eyes are rather more allmond shaped, "chinese" sort of aspect somehow, in cane eyes are rather rounded ...different position or the eyes and totally diffrent expression considering the overall head..
    Ears are high insert on cane corso, closer to eachother, while in presa are set little lower...LOw insertion is rather atipicall for presa and much more common to many dogo type dogs but anyway, ears of a presa should not be set too high on top of the head...
    Shape of the skull, wide and longer, also make the ears of a presa look little apart setted compared to cane corso....

    Lips of a presa are oblique but rather than round or square, looked from the front they form a V...lips of a cane are rather sqareish or roundish, also becasue of the shrtness of the muzzle, less marked V when looked from the front...

    Also, presa most often have a neck looser skin and slight dewalp...Loose and heavy skin and lips are not good for presa , skull skin need to be relativelly tight...
    In dogo canario lips are heavier, more square than "cut".. more skin , heavier skin, dewalp and wrincles much more present....

    Anyway, in case of a cane, there is no dewalp and skin is rather tighter also...

    Considering presa, traditional ones, also were described in early standard with minimum looseness of the skin and minimum dewalp, the main difference compared to corso is the lips shape and dewalp which should totally lack in cane.


    There are many more fine differences, my description is also not very accurate and scientific, rather a personal synthesis so to speak...

    In large line that is it...you can say cane is a overshot bited dog with a rounder overall head, more curves than straight lines, compact head, convergent axis...tipicall prognated head ...

    Presa have a longer head but still wide, longer overall, normal bite looking dog with a tipicall expression compared to cane, dlat head and parralel axis......
    Cane is looking like a compact, sqare dog while presa looks rather longer and closer to the ground...


    also, in terms of mechanics, these structural differences usually translate in a totally different type of movement... Presa moves more like a very springy and ferm big cat while cane rather moves like a heavy molosser/mastino if is a thick one or like a big boxer if is a smaller, thinner corso...

    Hard to explain, you need to watch the dogs and if you have the eye for it you see, if not is hard to put it in words...at least for me.


    Last observation : from my own observation, cane corso and traditional type of presa have difrerent temperament...Cane corso is much more molosser like, in rems of drives and ballance... Presa let you see and feel the bully type genes also.
    In case of show dogo canario imho those are also molossers but still different compared to cane corso....BUllmastiff or great dane type of molosser "temp" is different compared to mastino type of molosser temp.....cane is rather a mastino like dog in terms of temp, dogo canario is rather closer to bullmatiff, mastiff, dane type of moloss in terms of temperament...



    To me, traditional presa canario is much more similar to dogo argentino in terms of temperament, allthough dogo argentino have more "electric" charge, they are little more agitated and differently orientated ...but anyway close, energic, gripping type fo dog...cane corso does not usually have that eletric current all the time, is rather a little more active molosser...

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    I have seen a HUGE difference in temperaments; MOST OF THE CORSOS I HAVE SEEN (not saying all; only the ones I have seen) have more of a suspicious temperament; less stable and more fear biting tendencies. Years ago they were very similar looking to Presas; in fact often we had to look at the tail to see if it was a Corso or Presa. Now they are breeding them with muzzles so short (I heard Boxer was added in) their heads look totally different. As with any breed; especially guardian I would be sure to check out the parent's temperament if I was interested in one. I only knew of one breeder that I would consider if I was looking for one and unfortunately I don't think they are breeding anymore. Now that they are accepted by AKC I expect temperaments will get worse and not better......
    Oakleaf Working Presa Canarios
    http://www.oakleafranch.com/

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    Cathy, Corso's never been, according to breed's standard, long muzzled or similar looking to presas...i just said that.
    The issue was in US many "bandogs" or let's call them crosses were produced, also, many were imported, italians also had their mutt's production credits...
    Dogs looking similar to Lucero's Curly bandog but bigger were what US corso ment for years...

    FCI recognition just put some "order" in all these practices but breed was never intended to look like presas....

    What is true though is that in the last yearsthe "boxer" type influence is bigger and bigger, also merit of show importance and FCI politics...Still, allthough they tend to exagerate, what most of US people know as "cane corso" was far, far away from what the breed was in Italy...

    again, the second note, the "similar" aspect was also caused by the fact that mastino influence is and was also visible in enough presas ...

    As far as temp is concerned, sharpness you describe is a total crap.
    In Europe, cane are "colder", i am talking about the show ones..
    THe mastino infused type, also present in here in smaller number compared to US, is indeed more hot BUT as i said in previous post, these dogs are pure molossers...
    Defensive side is dominant in these dogs, just like in mastino, fucked up brains and temperament stability is also similar(i am saying that because i know many "crazy" , imprevisible, challanging, etc...mastinos...)..
    Except if most mastino have a strong temp and less courage issues, in corsos this transformed in sharpness, the "bad" type of sharpness....

    Just like corso took what is poor in mastino somehow..

    Still, i must say i have seen some great corso's...some of them are par with some presas i know...

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    I guess they are totally different in the US....the ones I saw were Italy imports which doesn't make them anymore "pure" than Canary Island imports I guess......like I said as long as the mix is done in "Italy" or "Canary Islands"......it is "authentic????" Deep island pedigrees right?
    Oakleaf Working Presa Canarios
    http://www.oakleafranch.com/

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    well, there is a difference in this case...presa is imho a created breed, not a stable breed infused in order to bring back the attrributes... Made.
    Cane is has more "substance" , they existed, they were allways there, not many as most breed were down especially after WW2... and also, cane was allways mixed with mastino, usually they reffer to cane as "smaller" molossers as far as i know... They were also easier to keep than heavy grey cousins, in rural world size mean more food and food is not something cheap or if it is plenty, is not meat...rural people do not have meat to waste on dogs usually....


    AS far as "deep islands pedigree"..well...a island mix "might" be better sometimes...their recipies which are not allways known or easy to use, their specific native ingredients such as controvesed majorero, also their traditional "methods" of testing, the "knowledge" that involves all these, "tradition" , history...

    Is like i would try to create or select dogs i have grown with...I remember details, i know how they used to behave in various circumstances, i remember what those dogs been able to do, how their temp was, how they move, how they lived, what they eat and how they develope...
    Roamnia is in omologation process with 4 national breeds and believe me, i see how these details MATTER...i see good chinologists who produce nice dogs but those dogs have nothing to do with what i grown with, not a single thing...

    So you are right and you are not 100%...

    Yes, you need to evaluate every case not generalize, yes many times is "fraud", yes, in some cases is just mix....BUT there are cases when coming from x breeder or from "islands" or whatever mean something

    I would judge every case and every dog not all together...

    And i must say one thing....with some "presas" there is indeed something allmost mysterious but in case of most dogo bloodlines imho is exactly as you say...made exclusivelly from "modern" dogs from stable, well known breeds...no challange, no surprise, no big deal..i would say in kost cases, a dogo produced in the islands is as good or as bad compared to a similar dog produced in US or Hungary or whatever...

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    I can't stand the boxer faced Corso's, why that look has become popular is beyond me.

    I have seen some very decent temperament Corso's. Trained with one who was the offspring of a very good one, that unfortunatley died of a twisted stomach and a very stupid vet.
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    Of course, depending on interest, telling them the Cane Corso is from Italy and the Presa Canario from the Canary Islands might be all they need.

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