As descendant of the ancient, Mastiff-type Molossus Hound, the Cane Corso is born with immensely strong guarding instincts. Which no doubt came in handy when the breed was recruited as dog of war by the ancient Roman army: Driving back the enemies’ front lines, these dogs knew no fear and contributed to many Roman victories. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Cane Corso quickly adapted to civilian life, where it mainly served as hunting companion, herding dog for cattle as well as farm- and livestock guardian.
Just like the Cane Corso, the Bully Kutta is a very old Mastiff breed, dated back by some sources to the time of the Persian King Xerxes the Great, who ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 486 to 465 BC. Also known as Indian or Pakistani Mastiffs, Bully Kuttas were primarily used for hunting game and for protection purposes. Sadly, they were also used for illegal dog fighting competitions. But despite their ancient history, Bully Kutta breeders in India and Pakistan appear to not have documented the breed's history, nor have they kept records of their dogs’ pedigree. Also, health testing is only now becoming common amongst Bully Kutta breeders in the Western World.
DIFFERENCES IN LOOKS
Both breeds are large and muscular dogs of the Mastiff-type who come with a sky-high intimidation factor. However, the Cane Corso is the smaller breed of the two. With its high legs and comparatively slender appearance, the Bully Kutta rather resembles a Great Dane than a typical Mastiff. However, both breeds have the large-boned body, massive, blocky head and the large jowls typical for Mastiff-type breeds. In their overall appearance, both the Corso and the Bully Kutta give the impression of great strength combined with speed and agility.
Adult male Corsos can reach up to 70 cm at the withers – which amounts to almost 28 inches. They weigh up to stunning 68 kg – that is 150 pounds.
Towering over almost any dog breed in existence, adult male Pakistani Mastiffs can reach heights up to impressive 89 cm– which amounts to 35 inches. They can weigh up to 77 kg – that is almost 170 pounds. For both breeds, the females are slightly smaller and lighter.
Traditionally, both breeds come with cropped ears, and Corsos used to have docked tails. However, the practise of cropping and docking has become illegal in many countries. Both Mastiffs have short, soft, and naturally shiny coats. The Bully Kutta’s coat can come in brindle, fawn, red, black, white or harlequin (which means black spots on a white base coat). Cane Corsos can be black, fawn, red, grey, or brindle, with or without white markings.
INTELLIGENCE & TRAINABILITY DIFFERENCES
The Cane Corso and the Pakistani Mastiff are formidable working breeds who come with high levels of intelligence. However, when it comes to trainability, these breeds are very independent and strong-willed. Unless guided by a very experienced, calm, consistent canine leader, these powerful Mastiffs will adopt the leadership position themselves, and make their own decisions.
With the Cane Corso, conventional methods and harsh corrections lead nowhere, as the breed is extremely sensitive. What will work best with them is a balanced approach with lots of positive reinforcement. The Pakistani Mastiff is known to be particularly resistant to training efforts, much more so than the relatively trainable Cane Corso: These dogs have been bred to make their own decisions in their traditional working roles as livestock- and farm guardians in India and Pakistan: For hundreds or even thousands of years, these Far Eastern Mastiffs were left to their own devices to ward off large predators such as, large cats, feral dogs and humans.
And this brings us to the temperaments of these strong and smart Mastiff breeds. They both come with an extremely strong protective instinct – a gift from their history as war dogs and guardians. Both the Italian and the Pakistani Mastiff are true naturals when it comes to defending their own. And they do not require any training for that either. However, having a professional guard dog trainer work with your dog is not a bad idea with these powerful breeds: Such training will enhance the control you have over your dog in any given situation.
When it comes to these canine companions’ devotion for their owners, the Cane Corso is especially loving and affectionate. Compared to other guardian breeds, these dogs can be the proverbial gentle giants and form exceptionally strong emotional bonds with their people. They adore their owner’s children and are very protective of them. Which makes the Cane Corso a superb family guardian - and house dog, for that matter: For their size, Cane Corsos are amazingly gentle when walking around indoors.
Bully Kuttas, on the other hand, seem to do best when provided with a large, secure area outside the home – a place where they can hold watch and patrol the perimeter of their territory. Like Corsos, they are fiercely loyal and devoted to their owners, but are said to be less attached to them than the Italian Mastiff.
Both the Cane Corso and the Bully Kutta need to be well-socialised from early puppyhood onwards. But even with socialisation, Pakistani Mastiffs are known to be extremely prone to dog-aggression. And whilst both breeds are naturally wary of strangers, the Cane Corso can be socialised to a high level. With the Bully Kutta, this is far more difficult to achieve: After all, these dogs have never been bred to tolerate strangers coming close to them and even touching them. Whereas the Cane Corso has been selectively bred – especially during the last few decades – to perform in conformation trials, Schutzhund or French Ring trials etc. And all those types of competition demand the dog be calm around strangers and even let them touch the dog. Therefore, the Bully Kutta’s natural wariness of strangers can easily escalate and make the dogs dangerous around people.
So, it goes without saying that both breeds, but especially the Bully Kutta, are unsuitable for beginners: To become safe and dependable canine companions, they absolutely need an experienced leader.
EXERCISE AND GROOMING DIFFERENCES
Cane Corsos and Bully Kuttas are very energetic dogs with a high prey drive. To satisfy their desire for running, chasing, and playing, they need lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation – at least 2 hours per day. To prevent these highly active dogs from giving chase to everything that moves, diligent obedience training is a must. Most importantly, you should not let them off leash in public unless they have mastered perfect recall under distraction.
As normal walks will not satisfy their desire for movement, you will need to get creative: As both breeds are very intelligent, you can teach them to engaging with a spring-pole. They also love interactive play with their owners, for example with retrieval dummies or flirt-poles.
When it comes to grooming, these amazing guardian breeds hardly shed (apart from during shedding season in spring and autumn). Bully Kuttas and Corsos require next to no brushing. To keep their short and tight coats clean, you merely need to give them a quick once-over with a soft bristle brush once or twice a week.