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Cane Corso vs Boxer: Which One Is Right for Me? (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cane Corso vs Boxer

The Cane Corso is a powerful and large dog breed that originated in Italy. This breed is believed to have descended from Roman Molosser dogs. It was traditionally used as a guard dog and a hunting dog and has become increasingly popular as a pet in recent years. The Cane Corso is a muscular and powerful breed of dog, and they have a strong, loyal, and protective nature. This breed is known for being intelligent and devoted, making them a great family pet.

The Boxer dog breed is a medium-sized dog that has a long and interesting history. It’s believed that the breed originated in Germany in the late 19th century, when a Bullenbeisser, a now-extinct breed, was crossed with an English Bulldog. The result was a strong and energetic dog that was used for hunting and as a guard dog. The Boxer dog breed was officially recognized by the German Kennel Club in 1904, and its popularity spread throughout Europe.

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Visual Differences

Image Credit: (L) Sbolotova, Shutterstock | (R) ChrisShafer, Pexels

At a Glance

Cane Corso
  • Average height (adult): 24–28 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 80–110 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Exercise: At least 30–45 minutes a day
  • Grooming needs: Low; Needs brushing weekly
  • Family-friendly: Yes, but should be supervised around small children
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Easy, especially when started early

  • Average height (adult): 23–25 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 65–80 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Exercise: Minimum of 2 hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes, but should be trained
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Easy

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Cane Corso Overview

Cane Corso
Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

The Cane Corso is an ancient breed with a long and interesting history. The breed actually remained relatively unknown until the late 1990s, when it began to be imported to other parts of the world. As it became more popular and more people started breeding it, several variations of the breed were created.

Cane Corsos are a powerful and loyal breed of dog that makes a great family pet. However, they require plenty of physical and mental stimulation, so they are not suitable pets for people with mobility issues or that can’t keep them stimulated physically.

The Cane Corso is an active breed and needs plenty of exercise. They are also intelligent and require mental stimulation in the form of training and activities. The Cane Corso can become bored and destructive without adequate physical and mental stimulation.

Personality / Character

The Cane Corso is a confident and calm dog breed that is eager to please its family. These dogs are super intelligent, loyal, and protective dogs that thrive when given a job to do. They’re extremely playful and love to play games and interact with their family members. Note that the Cane Corso is a very careful and cautious dog breed and will be cautious around new situations and people as a result.

They can be suspicious of strangers and may bark or growl when they don’t know someone. And give their large size, this can be very intimidating, so it’s best to be careful when introducing them to strangers and houseguests. They can be protective of their family and may act aggressively towards anyone displaying threatening behavior.

And like many other canines, they have a strong prey drive and are natural hunters, so they need to be kept on a leash whenever they go outside as they may chase and even try to hunt small animals. But overall, they are a very affectionate dog breed that adores being around its family and playing with children – though they should be supervised around small children or those under 12.


Cane Corsos are very smart dogs and take to training fairly easily. It’s best to start with basic obedience training, as these dogs can be hard to handle without obedience training. But they’re also a very active breed and must be given the opportunity to exercise for at least a couple of hours each day. It also helps to understand the kind of exercise that is best for this breed, something that’ll vary depending on their age and health.

You can take advantage of this and teach them new tricks and skills while playing games like fetch, going on long walks or jogs, or taking them to dog agility parks. That being stated, your Cane Corso should be trained and socialized before you take it outdoors to be around other dogs and people because they have a tendency to be aggressive in unfamiliar situations.

woman training a cane corso
Image Credit: Akram Huseyn, Unsplash

Grooming & Maintenance

The Cane Corso is a relatively easy and low-maintenance dog breed that doesn’t need frequent grooming – though grooming can be challenging due to its size. You should brush their short, thick coat once a week to remove loose fur and keep it looking shiny. You should also bathe your dog about every 2–3 weeks, as their coats are short but double-layered.

Corsos need to be kept on a consistent schedule to avoid any health issues from developing. They have very thick fur that can hold a lot of dirt and grime, especially if they’re outside playing every day. Keeping their coat trimmed and clean will help to prevent issues with fleas and ticks. You also want to ensure that you clean their ears and trim their paw pads as needed.


Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia isn’t uncommon with canines, especially as they age, and it’s especially common with larger dogs. You may be surprised to learn that it can be passed from generation to generation. Hip dysplasia occurs when a dog’s hip joint is misaligned with its hip socket. It can often cause a lot of irritation, pain, inflammation, and even death in rare cases.

Dogs may struggle to lift weight onto one or both hind legs, making life pretty hard for the canine. It’s important to get your dog to the vet immediately if this happens. Your veterinarian might recommend medication, supplements, and home adjustments depending on the severity and type of dysplasia, and in some cases, surgery.


Entropion is another common condition with some canines. This condition refers to an abnormality in the eyelids which causes an eyelid to roll inwards. The rolling of an eyelid can lead to hair rubbing against the cornea, which can be extremely painful and can also cause vision problems. This condition is usually hereditary and can be corrected with minor outpatient surgery.


Another common issue with Corsos is bloating. Bloating isn’t uncommon with dogs, but it can be fatal and causes a dog to become obese. It happens when the dog’s stomach fills up with air, preventing blood flow to vital organs.

This condition can even cause your dog’s stomach to move out of place in more severe cases. It can often manifest through vomiting, a distended stomach, excessive breathing, and whimpering. This is another condition that is treatable with medication, but you’ll need to take your dog to the vet immediately, because it can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Ear Infections & Issues

Cane Corsos dogs can be more vulnerable to infection because of their distinctive ears. Ear infections can be prevented, but it’s crucial to treat them as soon as possible. They can be very irritating for your Corso.

And to help your dog’s infection, your veterinarian will typically recommend a medicated cleanser. As a preventative measure, it is advisable to perform regular ear cleanings. To reduce the risk of infection, you will want to dry your dog’s ears after they have been wet.

Suitable for:

Cane Corsos are best suited for experienced dog owners. Due to their size, the thrive best in large homes with lots of indoor and outdoor space. They’re great for singles or families with children, provided that they are properly socialized.

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Boxer Overview

boxer dog lying on autumn leaves
Image Credit: larstuchel, Shutterstock

The Boxer dog breed is a natural athlete, known for its agility and stamina. It is also an excellent guard dog, with an instinct to protect its family. Boxers are very loyal, and they make excellent companions for children. They’re also known for their clownish personalities and love of play, making them great family pets.

Like the Cane Corso, Boxers are a very active breed, and they require plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. They make for awesome pets for singles or families with children.

Personality / Character

The Boxer dog breed is an intelligent, loyal, and active breed that is perfect for active families and individuals. With its strong protective instinct and playful personality, it is no wonder that this breed has been so popular for so long. The Boxer dog breed stands out for its funny personality and playful nature. These dogs are a popular breed in the US and in the UK.


Boxers are great companions – and they’re intelligent, which makes them easy to train. Training is something that is needed, because these dogs are very active, eager to learn, and can become a bit rambunctious as adults if left untrained.

Training can start as early as 6 weeks, and it’s best to start with basic obedience training out of the gate. This will teach your dog to understand commands, such as sit, stay, come, and heel. It is important to be patient and consistent when teaching these commands.

You should also use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, when your dog does something correctly. Remember that Boxers will get fairly big in size and they’re really muscular, so they’ll need to be tamed a bit to prevent them from playing to roughly with humans and other animals that you may have in your home.

Healthy Boxer
Image Credit: No-longer-here, pixabay

Grooming & Maintenance

Boxers require minimal grooming, but brushing is an important part of keeping them happy and healthy. They have a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom. These dogs shed very little. They have a single coat and don’t have a heavy shedding season like other dog breeds They do, however, shed consistently throughout the year, so weekly brushing is a must.

Brushing their coat once a week will assist their skin and prevent mats and knots from forming – and it’ll help keep fleas and ticks at bay. You’ll also want to regularly trim your dog’s nails to prevent them from growing too long and causing damage to your dog’s feet. Boxers can also be prone to ear infections, so cleaning them every month with a cotton pad and canine ear drops is helpful.


Boxer Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy represents a variety of issues that can occur with the heart muscle and function. And though cardiomyopathy is not uncommon with larger or deep-chested dog breeds such as Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, and Irish Wolfhounds, Boxers are more susceptible to developing a particular heart condition. Their version is actually referred to as “Boxer cardiomyopathy”. Boxer cardiomyopathy is a condition that causes irregular heartbeats and may lead to weakness or sudden death.

Boxer cardiomyopathy can be diagnosed when Boxers have difficulty breathing. For example, you might notice your dog coughing or wheezing frequently. Or your dog might start panting during walks or playtime. This condition can be life-threatening, especially if left untreated. Taking your Boxer to the vet for a proper diagnosis is essential as they can recommend treatment and recommended activities.


Boxers’ short muzzles pack all of the same nasal structures in a smaller space than dogs with longer noses. So, they have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature and can even have breathing problems. When exercise is combined with high temperatures, the risk of heatstroke and overheating is especially high.

And their short coats are single, but very dense, which can exacerbate overheating potential. To keep them cool in warmer temperatures or times of extended play, you can restrict exercise or playtime to shorter periods, turn on the A/C, splash water on their belly, or use cooling vests/pads.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Boxers are also prone to degenerative myelopathy. Degenerative myelopathy is a condition in which a Boxer’s motor function decreases in its hind legs. It occurs when a Boxer’s spine becomes damaged from injury or simply old age. Because the disease causes muscle atrophy, it can make it difficult for the dog to get up.

It can also cause weakness and loss of bladder control, something that can become more obvious over time. Degenerative myelopathy may lead to paralysis in boxers. Your vet can help with medicines to treat the symptoms and recommend mobility adjustments and exercises.


Boxers are more susceptible to bloat than other dogs. As mentioned earlier, bloat can be a potentially fatal stomach condition, and is more common in large dogs like Shepherds and Boxers. It can be caused by poor eating habits. A Boxer who eats too many meals per day or eats too fast is at risk.

Monitoring your Boxer’s eating habits can help reduce the likelihood of him experiencing bloat. You can reduce the amount of food your dog eats by giving it smaller meals throughout each day if you notice that they love to eat a lot. You should also make sure that your Boxer doesn’t run away or get too excited within the first hour. Dogs that are constantly hungry can swallow air which can lead to gastric swelling and bloat.

Ulcerative Colitis

Many Boxers are also susceptible to ulcerative colitis. This breed is most likely to get the condition, which can be due to certain genetic factors. Ulcerative colitis, a condition that affects the digestive system, can cause ulcers in the intestines.

The disease can also cause diarrhea and weight loss in boxers. The disease is most common in puppies younger than one year. To treat it, your vet can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs as well as antibiotics to your Boxer. They might recommend a diet change in certain cases.

Suitable for:

Boxers are a great choice for single homes or growing families, but again, socialization is key for bringing a Boxer into a home with children. Due to their energy and exercise needs, Boxers are best for active dog owners and those that have plenty of time to spend playing and exercising with them.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

The Cane Corso is an excellent breed for families who are looking for a loyal, protective dog.  They’re very affectionate with their family but should be trained and socialized before they become adults. And the Boxer is an intelligent, loyal, and energetic companion who is sure to bring joy to your life. They’re known for their goofy personality, playful nature, and protective instincts. It’s for these reasons that they make excellent family pets.

Both of these dogs make for awesome family pets. But if you’re looking for a pet that is more on the laid-back side and not as active, the Cane Corso would be a better fit, as the Boxer requires more daily exercise. However, if you’re looking for a smaller dog that may be gentler with young children, the Boxer may be the better fit. The Boxer also has a more lovable personality and is less prone to aggressive behavior.

See also: Cane Corso vs German Shepherd: Which One Is Right for Me?

Featured Image Credit: (L) Sztrapacska74, Pixabay | (R) Meli1670, Pixabay

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