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Tibetan Mastiff vs Cane Corso – A Comparison

A lot of people, when looking for a dog, try to find a cuddly cutie that will serve as a lovable house pet.

However, many others want a dog that will, besides being a loyal companion, provide protection for them and their property.

For this other group, the dog’s size and power are very high on the order of priorities.

Hardly any breed can match this description better than Tibetan Mastiff and Cane Corso.

Both of these breeds have an imposing presence, boast plenty of strength, and frequently rank high on the lists of best guardian dogs.

Still, while the Tibetan Mastiff vs Cane Corso comparison shows a lot of similarities, different backgrounds and the primary purpose of development resulted in some clear distinctions between the two.

Below, I’ll look deeper into these differences and explore what makes each of these breeds a good fit for certain owners.

So, let’s dive in!

AttributesTibetan MastiffCane Corso
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogYesYes
Apartment FriendlyWith Enough ExerciseYes
Good Family DogPossible With Lots Of TrainingWith Enough Training
SheddingLow To Moderate Low
Barking And HowlingModerate To High Moderate
Height24-30 inches (61-76 cm) 23.5-27.5 inches (60-70 cm)
Average Life Expectancy 10-12 Years 9-12 Years

Tibetan Mastiff – Dog Breed Information

Tibetan Mastiff by Alexandr frolov (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Tibetan Mastiff is one of the most ancient dog breeds, with a history spanning over centuries.

Most likely, this breed is the ancestor of modern, and often more popular mastiff breeds.

As their name says, they hail from Tibet where they were originally bred to protect livestock, monasteries, and households in the Himalayas.

To this day. Tibetan Mastiff is still greatly appreciated for their guarding skills.

Still, due to their calm demeanor and devotion to their humans, they also often serve as family dogs.

Plus, they have gained a lot of popularity lately as show dogs.

Appearance

The first adjectives that come to mind when seeing this breed are massive, powerful, and muscular.

The characteristic, lion-like mane only adds to their imposing presence.

Still, this breed is very light-footed and surprisingly agile.

Coming from the harsh-climate region, Tibetan Mastiffs feature a thick double coat, protecting them from adverse weather.

The topcoat is dense, long, and coarse, while the undercoat is wool-like and much softer.

The hair is always straight, never wavy or curly. The coat color can be black, brown, red, or blue, with occasional tan or white markings.

Tibetan Mastiffs have large heads with deep-set eyes which can be various shades of brown. The tail is feathered and arches across the dog’s back.

Males grow around 26-30 inches (66-76 cm) and weigh 90-150 pounds (41-68 kg).

Females are 24-30 inches (61-76 cm) high and can weigh 70-120 pounds (32-54 kg).

Temperament

Tibetan Mastiffs have all the makings of a great guardian dog. They’re strong-willed, intelligent, alert, and very loyal.

They’re pretty calm and mellow, but their stature alone is often enough to deter potential impostors.

In addition, this breed is rather aloof and distrustful towards strangers.

When it comes to their humans, their devotion knows no limits, even though they don’t require much attention or constant pandering.

Tibetans are usually great with kids, although they can get overprotective sometimes.

Their strong independence tendencies may be an issue for some owners, especially those with less experience.

They don’t look to humans for direction and often follow their own agenda.

This is why early obedience training with an experienced trainer is of the utmost importance.

In addition, they should be socialized from a young age, so they don’t become too aggressive in protecting their territory.

Cane Corso – Dog Breed Information

Cane Corso is a molosser-type breed with Italian origins.

Throughout their history, they were bred with multiple purposes in mind and mostly used for guarding duties and hunting.

Even their name can be roughly translated from Latin as “bodyguard dog”.

Appearance

These are large and athletic dogs with majestic and elegant stature.

Still, the large head and very muscular body also give them a somewhat menacing appearance.

This breed has a short and stiff double coat with a light undercoat and thick and coarse topcoat.

The upper layer is often compared to the coat of a cow.

The coat color may vary, but the most common are black, grey, red, or fawn, with or without a brindle pattern.

The imposing presence of a Cane Corso is accentuated by a broad chest, wide skull, and forehead wrinkles., while the floppy ears soften their look a bit.

The eyes are almond-shaped and commonly different shades of brown, but can also be blue or yellow.

Males can be 24-28 inches (62-70 cm) high and weigh 99-111 pounds (45-50 kg).

Adult females reach 22-26 inches (58-66 cm) in height and weigh 88-111 pounds (40-50 kg).

Temperament

Cane Corso is confident, smart, and ready to answer any challenge.

Due to their high intelligence, vigorous temperament, and somewhat bossy nature, they’re not the dogs for everyone.

They require firm leadership and a human whose confidence can match their own.

They’re fearless, extremely protective, and do not appreciate strangers. In the wrong hands, this can make them overly aggressive.

However, with the right owner, they’re very docile and loving towards family, and especially great with children.

Early socialization and proper training can prevent many of these potential issues. They respond well to training and are willing learners.

As working dogs, they’re used to operating under high levels of stress and require plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

Getting the best out of them may be challenging, but the reward is a very versatile, loyal, and affectionate dog.

Tibetan Mastiff vs Cane Corso – What’s the Difference?

Tibetan Mastiff Cane Corso
Tibetan Mastiff by Alexandr frolov (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The first thing you’ll notice when comparing these two breeds is the distinction in appearance with the size difference in favor of Tibetan Mastiff.

When it comes to personality, the two breeds have a lot in common.

They’re both loyal and affectionate towards their families with strong protective instincts but rather aloof towards strangers.

However, Cane Corso can sometimes be overprotective to the point they become aggressive in protecting their humans.

Tibetans are more calm and collected.

Neither of these breeds is great for first-time owners, particularly Cane Corso who can engage in bad behavior without strong leadership.

Both breeds shed moderately, but due to their long hair, Tibetan Mastiffs will require more work and grooming effort.

On the other hand, Cane Corso are more active and require more exercise.

The lifespan of the two is similar, but Cane Corso is the healthier breed with fewer potential health issues.

Tibetan Mastiff vs Cane Corso – Which One is Stronger?

Both Tibetan Mastiff and Cane Corso rank at the very top of the list of the strongest dogs in the world.

These are the two behemoths, with a powerful physique and strong bite.

Tibetan Mastiffs are larger, heavier, and bulkier. The longer hair further emphasizes the size difference.

When it comes to sheer strength and power, the advantage is probably on their side. On the other hand, Cane Corso is a bit smaller but leaner, more muscular, and athletic.

They also have a stronger bite.

Cane Corso’s bite force is at a remarkable 700 PSI, while the bite of a Tibetan Mastiff can produce a respectable 550 PSI of pressure.

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