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HISTORICAL DIFFERENCES The Rottweiler is one of the oldest German breeds and is named after the city of Rottweil, where it served as personal protection dog and cattle dog. To this day, Rotties are known as “Butchers’ Dogs” in Germany, due to their natural talent for driving and controlling cattle. The Rottweiler’s ancestors were the ancient Roman drover dogs – who had quite similar roles. Their job was to drive the cattle brought along by the Roman army during their conquest of today’s Germany. The modern Rottweiler is a cross between those Roman dogs and local breeds. In the second World War, Rottweilers served as messenger- and guard dogs, and since then, the breed has gained worldwide recognition as protection- and police service dog.  Also a descendant of ancient Roman dogs, the Cane Corso’s ancestors are the feared and revered Molossus Hounds of antiquity. First serving as war dog in the Roman army, the Cane Corso then quickly spread throughout Italy. These powerful Mastiffs were the livestock- and property guardians of choice for countless farmers all over the country.  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. DIFFERENCES IN LOOKS Whilst not a Mastiff per se, the Rottweiler is a very sturdily built, compact dog with a big blocky head and a rectangular frame. Rotties have a marked stop, but neither the facial folds nor the excessive jowls typical for Mastiff breeds. Traditionally, both the Rottie and the Cane Corso have docked tails, and the Corso also used to have cropped ears. However, the practise of cropping and docking has become illegal in many countries.  Adult male Rottweilers can reach heights of 69 cm, which amounts to 27 inches. Their weight can be up to 60 kilos, which is about 100 pounds. Female Rottweilers are slightly smaller and lighter. About as tall, but considerably heavier than Rotties, adult male Cane Corsos can reach up to 70 cm at the withers – which amounts to 28 inches. They weigh up to 68 kg – that is 150 pounds. Again, the females are a bit smaller and lighter. Both breeds have short, tight-fitting, and naturally shiny coats that can come in a variety of colours. For the Rottie, breed standards dictate black with tan markings. The Cane Corso can come in black, fawn, red, grey, or brindle – with or without white markings. INTELLIGENCE & TRAINABILITY DIFFERENCES Both the Italian Mastiff and the German “Butcher’s Dog” come with high levels of intelligence and trainability. However, neither breed is suited for an inexperienced owner, simply because these dogs can cause accidents when not raised, trained and socialized properly. The Rottweiler is more versatile and trainable than the strong-willed Cane Corso - whose stubborn streak is typical for Mastiff-type breeds. When given the chance, Corsos will make their own decisions, whilst Rotties will usually look to their handler for guidance and direction.  That said, the Rottweiler also has a certain tendency for independence and therefore is not the easiest breed to train. As Rotties can display aggressive behaviour when corrected, they absolutely need an experienced handler. With proper socialization and firm but fair guidance, Rotties and Corsos can be trained to very similar, high levels in the fields of tracking, search & rescue, and obedience work. In roles involving personal- and home protection, they both are superb. Contrary to the confident Rottweiler, the Cane Corso can be skittish, especially in the first 12 months of its life. That is why extreme care needs to be taken in their training and socialization: Any negative experiences with humans or other dogs can easily leave a mark in this sensitive dog’s character - and lead to reactive behaviour. Also, being so sensitive, the Cane Corso needs an extra dose of patience on the side of the handler to become a confident dog, who can face any situation with calm composure. TEMPERAMENT DIFFERENCES In their temperament, both of these amazing working breeds are quite similar – active, keen, and alert outside and when working, but calm and composed in the house. These massive dogs are surprisingly calm and settled indoors – which is why they even make good apartment dogs, when exercised enough.  They are extremely effective natural guard dogs who can and will protect you and your home without fail. And whilst Rottweilers can make good family guardians, caution is advised due to a certain level of natural aggression that runs in the breed. Which makes them not the best choice for families with small children. The Cane Corso on the other hand is known to form exceptionally strong emotional bonds with its family. These large protectors absolutely love their owner’s children and are very protective of them. Speaking of protection: Both breeds are born with an extremely strong guarding instinct. They are true naturals who do not require any training to defend their own. These amazing dogs are immensely wary of strangers, which is a desirable trait in a guard dog.  When it comes to these canine companions’ devotion and affection for their owners, Corsos are more affectionate and attached to their loved ones than Rotties. They also are gentler in the house and less likely to knock over things – or small children, for that matter. 

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