The Cane Corso is a descendant of the Molossus Hound of antiquity and was utilized as war dog by the ancient Roman armies. After the fall of the Roman Empire, this breed successfully adapted to civilian life, where it served their owners mainly as hunting companion, herding dog for cattle as well as farm- and livestock guardian.
The Cane Corso was introduced to the United States and to the rest of Europe in the early 1980s. Today, this majestic Italian Mastiff breed has gained worldwide popularity as family guardian and also as service- and therapy dog.
A guardian breed by design, the Doberman is named after its creator, the German tax collector Karl Dobermann. Due to his profession, the man needed a reliable personal protection dog to take along on his rounds. And in 1890, the motivated taxman began crossing different breeds in an attempt to create the ultimate guard dog: A large, fearsome-looking canine who would courageously defend him, should the need occur. Mr. Dobermann crossed Rottweilers and German Pinschers with Great Danes, English Greyhounds and probably a few other breeds.
His efforts were a huge success, and he created a strong, intimidating and yet deeply loyal personal protector who rapidly gained recognition all over the world.
DIFFERENCES IN LOOKS
Both breeds are large and majestic dogs - well-muscled, strong, and yet athletic. However, Dobermans and Cane Corsos are quite easy to tell apart, with the Italian Mastiff being far bulkier than the elegant, light-footed Doberman: With its high legs and narrow, long-muzzled head, the Dobie strongly resembles its Greyhound ancestor. The Cane Corso, on the other hand, has the tell-tale muscle-packed body and the massive, blocky head typical for Mastiff-type breeds.
Adult males Cane Corsos can reach up to impressive 70 cm at the withers – which amounts to almost 28 inches. They weigh up to stunning 68 kg – that is 150 pounds. As with any breeds, the females are slightly smaller and lighter.
Dobermans are about as large as Corsos, but much lighter. In their overall appearance, they give the impression of great speed and agility. Their height at the wither is up to 72 cm for adult males, which amounts to 29 inches. Male Dobies weigh up to 45 kg – that is 100 pounds. Traditionally, both breeds have cropped ears and docked tails. However, the practise of cropping and docking has become illegal in many countries.
Both the Dobie and the Cane Corso have short, tight-fitting, and naturally shiny coats that can come in a variety of colours. For the Doberman, breed standards only allow black or chocolate along with tan markings. The Cane Corso can come in black, fawn, red, grey, or brindle – with or without white markings.
INTELLIGENCE & TRAINABILITY DIFFERENCES
These incredible working breeds have extremely high levels of intelligence and trainability. However, the Doberman is far easier to train the strong-willed Cane Corso, who does come with a stubborn streak typical for breeds of the Mastiff-type. If given the chance, Corsos will make their own decisions.
Dobies are far more forgiving when it comes to any mistakes their handler might make in training. On the other hand, to correct a mistake with a Corso takes lots of patience and skill. Therefore, this breed is not suited for inexperienced owners. However, provided with strong leadership and early socialization, the Cane Corso can reach similarly high levels of obedience as the Doberman. Which is why both breeds are so popular as personal protection dogs, guard dogs and K-9 police dogs.
Dobermans in particular are very talented, quick-learning and highly capable working dogs who excel in many kinds of canine sports. Agile and versatile, they beautifully combine trainability and intelligence, which is why Dobies can be a good choice for less experienced owners.
And this brings us to the temperaments of these strong and smart, yet very sensitive working breeds. Due to their history as war dogs and livestock guardians, Corsos are born with an extremely strong protective instinct. Of course, as Dobermans were particularly bred for protection purposes, they are no lesser suited for guarding roles. These breeds are true naturals, and they do not require any training to defend what is theirs. Especially Corsos are immensely wary of strangers, which is of course a desirable trait in a guard dog.
When it comes to these canine companions’ devotion and affection for their owners, they are almost equally loving and devoted. Compared to other guardian breeds, they form exceptionally strong emotional bonds with their family. These large protectors absolutely love their owner’s children and are very protective of them. Which makes the Cane Corso and the Doberman superb family guardians. And house dogs, for that matter: For their size, these dogs are amazingly gentle when walking around indoors. When exercised enough, they are pleasantly calm and laid-back in the home. EXERCISE AND GROOMING DIFFERENCES
Despite their calm demeanour in the home, Dobies and Cane Corsos 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.
To prevent these highly active dogs from chasing after cats, rabbits, and other animals that might cross their path, serious obedience training is key. Most importantly, they have to have mastered perfect recall before you let them off the leash outside a secured area.
Normal walks will not satisfy either one of these athletic breeds. However, as they both are very intelligent and adaptable, you can teach them to run next to a bicycle. Alternative ways to exercise these active and fun-loving dogs is play: Teaching your Dobie or your Cane Corso to play fetch, or to play with a flirt-pole, are excellent ways to satisfy their prey drive. Of course, you should also walk them daily and allow them to meet and greet plenty of other dogs and humans throughout their lives.
Now, let’s talk about grooming. The very good news here is that these amazing guardian breeds hardly shed, apart from during the normal shedding season in spring and autumn. Dobies 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.