Boerboel vs Cane Corso – Similarities And Differences! (2024)


In this head-to-head, two prestigious dog breeds from different continents face off against each other. Boerboel vs. Cane Corso is a debate that will be contested until the end of time.

Still, both dogs are renowned for their fierce loyalty and make excellent pets because of their protective nature. However, their appearance often gives these dogs an unfair rap.

While they look intimidating, many positive features make you pick one or the other without regrets.

These dogs have soft spots for kids and show strong affection for their immediate family, especially when they sense danger. Both dogs have a stocky build, even though the Boerboel is significantly larger. 

Let’s dive deeply into these exceptional dog breeds to see their similarities and differences, including their strengths and weaknesses.

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Boerboel vs Cane Corso: Breed History


A dog’s history provides valuable insight into its pedigree, personality type, and how to care for its needs. Boerboels and Cane Corsos are mastiff-type dogs with a distinguished history worth checking out.

Boerboel History

Boerboel is a South African mastiff designed to be a hunter before changing roles to guardian dogs. European settlers arrived in South Africa to farm the land.

They brought large dog breeds to guard and protect their property, including bulldogs and mastiffs. 

Over the years, both dog breeds interbred, and the inclusion of unverified dog breeds further refined the Boerboel. 

Today, this dog is an excellent family companion renowned for its ability to take on leopards, fight off vicious baboons, and intimidate lions. 

Boerboels aren’t famous outside the African continent and are even less popular in the United States. It’s no surprise the American Kennel Club ranks the Boerboel 121st on the popularity scale amongst 193 dog breeds.  

Cane Corso History

The Cane Corso is a European breed that traces its ancestry to ancient Rome. It almost went extinct in the 20th century but was repopulated thanks to human efforts. 

The current Cane Corso isn’t as large as its European forebears, renowned as fighting dogs. The historic Cane Corso wore flaming weapons to break enemy lines during battle. 

Today, the Cane Corso is fantastic as a household dog. It’s more popular than its Boerboel rival in the USA and ranks 32nd, according to the American Kennel Club.

Boerboel vs Cane Corso: Appearance


Mastiff dogs are similar in appearance, which is true for both dog breeds. The color, size, and coat separate the Boerboel from the Cane Corso. Both dogs have similar musculature. 

Moreover, it’s tradition to crop the ears of both dogs, which maintains agelong practices. Boerboels and Cane Corsos have naturally floppy ears, which are handicaps during a fight.

Boerboel Appearance

The Boerboel is a slightly larger dog and stands around 24”-28” at the shoulder, weighing up to 200lbs or more. This breed has somewhat lighter colors, including brindle and fawn. 

Breed standards don’t accept the black-furred Boerboel, even though the dog sometimes exhibits this fur. Like many mastiffs, these dogs have a square-like head, stocky build, and a prominent muzzle.

Cane Corso Appearance

The Cane Corso is smaller than many mastiff breeds. It’s also smaller than the Boerboel. Still, it’s 24”-27” at the shoulder and can weigh up to 110lbs. 

The Cane Corso has a darker coat, including brindle, dark gray, and brown. You can also find this doggo in fawn colors. The Cane Corso has a blockhead that isn’t unlike the Boerboel. 

Interestingly, the head makes up a significant part of its body, thus giving it a powerful and audacious look. The dog’s coat is short and dense, unlike the Boerboel, with smoother skin with a lustrous feel.

Boerboel vs Cane Corso: Personality & Temperament


Both dogs have serious, often scary demeanors. Still, it will surprise most that Cane Corso and Boerboels have silly, playful traits, especially with family.

Boerboel Personality & Temperament

The Boerboel looks stern, but that’s where it all ends! These dogs are friendly like no other and can be goofy amongst family. 

Still, they have an intense attachment to their loved ones and will protect their family against strangers. These dogs are known for their fearlessness and won’t back down even when faced with a lion! 

Boerboels are also intuitive by nature and will be suspicious of a stranger if the owner is uncomfortable around them. 

Boerboels love kids even beyond what’s obtainable with the average mastiff breed. They tolerate kids that are part of the family.

Cane Corso Personality & Temperament

The Cane Corso isn’t as agile as the Boerboel, but it’s the goofier, sillier dog. Still, it would be helpful if you didn’t take its playfulness for granted because it’s the quickest to react to danger and take action. 

The Cane Corso isn’t as friendly toward kids as the Boerboel. However, it’s still an intensely loyal dog with a deep emotional attachment to its family. 

Their history as livestock herders makes them excellent housemates with pets. This dog doesn’t mind spending quality time with other animals – particularly livestock. 

Cane Corso vs Boerboel: Exercise Requirement


Mastiff dogs are work dogs with bundles of intelligence and energy. Consequently, the Boerboel and Cane Corso need a minimum of one hour of daily exercise to stay fit.

These dogs enjoy long walks in the sunshine or putting about and making a mess in the garden.

Cane Corso Exercise Requirement

The Cane Corso has similar exercise needs to the Boerboel. You’ll need to work with this dog for an hour to prevent destructive behavior. 

In addition to dedicated exercise and agility training, the Cane Corso requires consistent entertainment to stay happy. Cane Corsos have a fearsome look, but they are very friendly and like to play around. 

Luckily, these dogs make amazing family pets and can burn pent-up energy goofing about the house and playing hide and seek with kids. 

Boerboel Exercise Requirement

The Boerboel may look like a bully because of its large size, but this dog has the brain to match the brawn. Consequently, the dog quickly gets bored and doesn’t fare well when left in the house all day. 

Boerboels can be destructive, and the only way to wear this dog out is a minimum of one-hour agility training and high-intensity workouts daily. Know the leash laws in your location before taking this dog out for a walk.

Cane Corso vs Boerboel: Trainability


Trainability is the ability to motivate a dog to do what you want when you want it. It’s critical to socialize both dogs when they are pups to ensure they stay calm and comfy in various situations.

Cane Corso Trainability

The Cane Corso requires early socialization to be a balanced and lovable dog. However, this dog requires considerable work before it can feel confident around people and pets – including other dogs. 

Fortunately, Cane Corsos enjoy positive reinforcement, which has consistently proven to be better than negative reinforcement for this dog breed. 

It’s also vital for you to be the pack leader because this dog responds to pack mentality. That said, the Cane Corso requires much patience, including a firm hand, and is unsuitable for first-time dog owners.

Boerboel Trainability

The Boerboel is a former hunting dog, so intelligence and cunning naturally run through its genes. It’s an excellent choice for dedicated training programs and works hard. 

However, it’s known for being aggressive, and you’ll need to start training early to ensure the dog is well adjusted. 

A Cane Corso Boerboel mix also requires similar training and will follow your lead for personality and tone. 

Obedience training also works for this breed because the dog is always eager to please its master. Like Cane Corsos, the Boerboel isn’t suitable for individuals owning dogs for the first time.

Cane Corso vs Boerboel: Health Issues


With big dogs comes big responsibility. Cane Corsos and Boerboels are relatively healthy dog breeds.

However, it’s important to screen both dogs for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – an abnormal joint formation of the hip and elbow that makes walking difficult for large dogs.

Cane Corso Health Issues

According to the Cane Corso National Breed Club, you’ll need to regularly take your dog for cardiac evaluation. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a common condition for Cane Corsos, making the heart weak because of thin walls.  

Also known as Canine DCM, the dog may suffer from fatigue and weakness, leading to heart failure if left unchecked.

Boerboel Health Issues

Boerboels also suffer from eye issues – ectropion and entropion. Both conditions turn the eyelids outwards, exposing the eyelid’s sensitive lining, or inwards, in which case, the cornea and lashes rub together to cause discomfort. 

Juvenile epilepsy is another condition that’s becoming a problem for current Boerboel breeds.

Cane Corso vs Boerboel: Nutrition


The Boerboel is the larger dog, and it’s only logical to consume more food than the Cane Corso. While the Cane Corso can dispatch three cups of food daily, the Boerboel will wolf down five cups of food each day without issues.

Boerboel Nutrition

In addition to its daily meal requirements, Boerboels like sweet things, which makes them pack on the pounds quickly. It’s important to keep the dog healthy by offering as few snacks as possible with plenty of exercise. 

Premium kibble is fundamental to keeping Boerboel pups healthy, and you should always provide age-appropriate food for your dog.

Cane Corso Nutrition

The Cane Corso may cost less in food expenses than the Boerboel, but the former has a sweeter tooth than the latter. 

Keeping the Cane Corso healthy is vital because of the likelihood of heart issues. Ensure the dog receives essential vitamins and minerals in its food and keep sweet foods out of sight.

Boerboel vs Cane Corso: Grooming


Fortunately, both dogs are renowned for their short coats, reducing grooming needs and expenses. Below are what you need to do to keep your dog clean.

Boerboel Grooming

Brushing your Boerboel once a week will ensure its coat stays lustrous and dirt-free, keeping the furniture free of dog hair. 

Mastiffs often develop dental issues, so brushing their teeth every three days will nip that problem in the bud. Special doggie toothpaste is designed for mastiffs to rid the teeth of tartar and plaque.

Ear wax buildup is common for all dogs, so cleaning the ears each week will prevent infection. Coconut oil and baby oil are excellent solutions for cleaning its ear – ensure not to push the Q-tip too deep. 

Boerboels require monthly baths, depending on how dirty the dog gets, including its environment. The dog will lose its natural oily coat if you wash it too often.

Cane Corso Grooming

Cane Corsos has a short, wiry-like coat that needs a regular brush every week or two weeks to stay healthy and clean. The ear canal also needs weekly cleaning with gentle oils to reduce the possibility of an ear infection. 

Cleaning the ears is even more important when it has cropped ears because there’s a higher chance of irritants getting into the ear. 

Moreover, brushing its teeth every three days ensures adequate dental protection. At the same time, a monthly bath is sufficient to keep its coat healthy.

Boerboel vs Cane Corso: Price


Both dogs cost more than many others because of their distinguished pedigree and rarity. Let’s look at the individual prices below. 

Boerboel Price

You need to understand local laws before considering the purchase of a Boerboel. A well-adjusted Boerboel is as friendly and loving as any other dog. 

However, it’s still banned in some countries due to prejudices. The rarity of Boerboels in the USA drives up the price, and puppies can go for $1500 up to $2000. Be wary of anything cheap because it’s likely not genuine or a scam!

Cane Corso Price

Cane Corsos are acceptable in more countries and are more popular than the Boerboel in the US.

Consequently, the puppies are slightly less expensive and will set you back $1500 to $1800. Ensure you purchase pups from verified breeders to ensure the dog hasn’t been mishandled or mistreated.

Conclusion For “Boerboel vs Cane Corso”


Cane Corsos and Boerboels are beginning to get the attention they deserve, and it’s not hard to know why. With the increased awareness, many families now understand the value of these dogs. 

They are exceptional guard dogs that are deeply attached to their family members and goofy enough to frolic about with little kids.

Unfortunately, their high demand also means puppy mills and backyard breeders produce as many puppies as possible, even under cruel circumstances. 

Ensure you research both breeds before purchasing or adopting either to enjoy the best of a happy and healthy dog. 

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For more information about the Boerboel Breed, check out the video below: