Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Which breed is right for you?

A Cane Corso next to a Rottwelier. Split screen image
(Image credit: Getty)

What’s the difference between a Cane Corso vs Rottweiler? Given a cursory glance, you may not think there is much to choose between them. Both are large breeds similar in size and there’s not much to set them apart in the looks department either. Since they were originally bred as some of the best guard dogs, they are similar in temperament too. But there are lots of differences, some subtle and some stark and, in discovering more about these breeds, you may be surprised at what you learn.

For example, despite their stature and reputation, both can make for great family-friendly dogs. Indeed, by stocking up on the best dog treats, ensuring your pet is exposed to a positive environment and training them well, you’ll find these breeds will respond well. The trick, to some degree, is to ensure that they are kept mentally and physically stimulated so invest in the best dog toys and the best dog puzzle toys to enhance their wellbeing.

That said, there are differences in temperament and one is also stronger than the other. And both dogs require confidence and experience on the part of the owner. So let’s take a more in-depth look at these breeds and learn more about their various attributes. You can also discover how these breeds fare in comparison to some others so be sure to check out the debates over Rottweiler vs German Shepherd, Pit Bull vs Cane Corso,Cane Corso vs Boerboel and Dogo Argentino vs Cane Corso.

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Origins 

The Cane Corso finds its origins in Italy, and is descended from Roman war dogs. Its ancestor – now extinct – is the Molossus, which was a mastiff-type dog, from which the Cane Corso was bred for guarding property and participating in hunting games. 

Similarly, the Rottweiler can also trace its origins back all the way to Roman times, where they were used to pull carts, herd cattle and guard homes.

You’ll often find that Rottweilers are used in modern-day service situations, such as by the police and as guard dogs, in similar circumstances to the German Shepherd. If you’re also considering that breed, be sure to check our Rottweiler vs German Shepherd guide.

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Size

The Cane Corso and the Rottweiler are considered large dogs. The Cane Corso typically reaches sizes of 25-27 inches for males or 2.35-26 inches for females. They’ll generally weigh 99-110lbs (males), or 88-99 lbs (females). Rottweiler males tend to grow to around 24-27 inches, with females a little smaller at 22-25 inches. You’ll usually find that males weigh between 95-135 lbs, while females reach 80-100 lbs. 

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Temperament 

Both breeds are brave, confident and loyal. But, having been originally bred as guard dogs, they can also be fierce and protective, leading to aggression if not trained properly or when faced with a hostile environment. 

Of the two, the Rottweiler is more suited for households with young children or other pets. Rottweilers are also known for being a little friendlier and cuddlier, with a stronger desire to be around people and other animals. The Cane Corso is quieter and prefers to be around fewer people. 

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Bite force

As we’d expect from breeds with these origins, the bite force of both the Rottweiler and the Cane Corso is pretty strong, but there’s one which comes off notably stronger. 

The Cane Corso has a bite force of around 700psi (pounds per square inch), while the Rottweiler is said to be 328psi. You might therefore feel more comfortable owning a Rottweiler, especially if you don’t have lots of experience of handling large, strong dogs.

Is a Cane Corso stronger than a Rottweiler?

The Cane Corso is widely regarded as one of the strongest dog breeds in the world and, aside from its strong bite force and slightly larger size, it also has a more muscular build. Since the Cane Corso is a dominant dog, it’s recommended that you only consider bringing one into your home if you are experienced. It’s important to have the confidence to show a Cane Corso who is boss. 

Is a Cane Corso smarter than a Rottweiler?

Both of these breeds come out as intelligent, but the Rottweiler is consistently ranked in the top 10 most intelligent dogs in various surveys. How smart they are is just one of 10 surprising Rottweiler facts

As such, the Rottweiler is likely to be easier to train and get its head around tasks more quickly than the Cane Corso. That said, they can both be stubborn dogs, who simply might refuse to do something if they just don’t want to do it. 

Both respond well to a good level of training, and indeed, both will need it to make sure that any aggressive tendencies are kept in check. It’s important to socialize these animals as soon as possible with other dogs and with people to make sure that they don’t become dangerous. 

Obedience is high for both dogs – which again makes sense when you consider they were originally bred as protector and worker dogs.

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Exercise needs

As large dogs with high levels of intelligence, both breeds need a good degree of exercise. It’s also beneficial if you have a decent sized garden or yard for either to run around in (dogs like this are not particularly recommended for apartment living). 

You’ll need to commit to providing both types of dog at least one hour a day of exercise, plus additional mental stimulation – especially if you need to leave them alone at any time. 

The Rottweiler, thanks to its playful nature, may actually need more than an hour – so it’s ideal for active families with lots of time to take their dog for long daily walks. 

Cane Corso vs Rottweiler: Grooming 

The grooming needs for both these breeds is relatively light, since they are both short-haired dogs who won’t need haircuts. That makes them both good for those who want a low-maintenance canine. 

You’ll need to make sure to brush the dog’s teeth, trim their nails and perhaps give their coat a going over now and then with the best dog brushes

One of the big questions you might have is Do Cane Corsos shed? And what about Rottweilers? In general, Rottweilers are known to shed a little more, but as their coats aren’t too dense, for most this won’t be a huge problem unless you’re particularly fastidious. 

Looking for more? Find out how much does owning a Cane Corso cost? Or discover other breed comparisons in our Pit Bull vs Cane Corso and Cane Corso vs Boerboel articles.

Amy Davies

Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.