Boerboel vs. Cane Corso

What's the Difference?

The Boerboel and Cane Corso are both large and powerful dog breeds, known for their protective nature and loyalty to their families. However, there are some notable differences between the two. The Boerboel, originating from South Africa, is slightly larger and heavier than the Cane Corso, which hails from Italy. While both breeds are intelligent and trainable, the Boerboel tends to be more independent and assertive, requiring a firm and experienced owner. On the other hand, the Cane Corso is generally more obedient and eager to please, making it a bit easier to train. Both breeds excel as guard dogs and require early socialization and consistent training to ensure they become well-rounded and well-behaved companions.


Photo by niklasfotografics on Unsplash
AttributeBoerboelCane Corso
OriginSouth AfricaItaly
Weight150-200 lbs88-110 lbs
Height24-28 inches23.5-27.5 inches
CoatShort and denseShort and dense
ColorVarious shades of brindle, fawn, or blackBlack, fawn, gray, or brindle
TemperamentConfident, intelligent, protectiveSteady, confident, loyal
TrainabilityHighly trainableHighly trainable
Exercise NeedsHighHigh
Health IssuesHip dysplasia, bloatHip dysplasia, bloat
Cane Corso
Photo by Reid Naaykens on Unsplash

Further Detail


When it comes to choosing a loyal and protective canine companion, two breeds that often come to mind are the Boerboel and the Cane Corso. Both breeds have a rich history and possess remarkable attributes that make them popular choices among dog enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics, temperament, physical appearance, and exercise needs of these two magnificent breeds, providing you with a comprehensive comparison to help you make an informed decision.


The Boerboel, also known as the South African Mastiff, is a large and powerful breed originating from South Africa. They were initially bred as working dogs, guarding farms and protecting livestock from predators. Boerboels are known for their fearlessness, confidence, and protective nature. They are incredibly loyal to their families and are excellent guard dogs.

On the other hand, the Cane Corso, an Italian breed, is also a formidable guardian and protector. Historically, they were used as hunting dogs and war dogs. Cane Corsos are known for their intelligence, alertness, and strong protective instincts. They are highly devoted to their families and are known to be excellent watchdogs.


Boerboels have a calm and stable temperament, making them great family pets. They are known to be gentle and affectionate towards their owners, especially children. However, they can be wary of strangers and may exhibit protective behavior if they perceive a threat. Early socialization and training are crucial to ensure a well-rounded Boerboel.

Cane Corsos, on the other hand, have a more reserved and aloof temperament. They are highly intelligent and require consistent training and socialization from an early age. While they are generally good with their families, they can be cautious around strangers. Proper socialization is essential to prevent any potential aggression or shyness.

Physical Appearance

Boerboels are large, muscular dogs with a distinctive square-shaped head and a powerful neck. They have a short, dense coat that comes in various colors, including brindle, fawn, and black. Their ears are typically floppy, and their tails are often docked. Boerboels have a confident and imposing presence, reflecting their protective nature.

Cane Corsos are also large and muscular dogs, with a more elongated head and a strong jawline. They have a short, dense coat that comes in various colors, including black, fawn, and gray. Unlike Boerboels, Cane Corsos have naturally floppy ears and a long, tapered tail. Their overall appearance exudes strength and athleticism.

Exercise Needs

Both Boerboels and Cane Corsos are active breeds that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Boerboels enjoy daily walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation. They thrive in a spacious environment where they can roam and explore. However, it's important to avoid excessive exercise, especially during their growth stages, to prevent joint problems.

Cane Corsos also require daily exercise, including long walks, jogging, and interactive playtime. They have a higher energy level compared to Boerboels and benefit from activities that challenge their intelligence. Mental stimulation, such as obedience training or puzzle toys, is essential to prevent boredom and potential behavioral issues.


Both the Boerboel and the Cane Corso are remarkable breeds with unique attributes that make them excellent companions and protectors. While Boerboels are known for their loyalty and calm temperament, Cane Corsos possess intelligence and a reserved nature. Their physical appearance and exercise needs also differ slightly. Ultimately, the choice between these two breeds depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to provide the necessary training and socialization. Whichever breed you choose, both the Boerboel and the Cane Corso will undoubtedly bring joy, loyalty, and protection to your life.

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