The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff Mix  – What are the differences between the breeds and how Well do they mix?

Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix is a dog for those that have experience in handling large and powerful Mastiff breeds. This hybrid mix is strong and dominant and is unfortunately not going to suit most homes. 

For those of you that are experienced with the larger Mastiff type breeds, you’ll be fully aware of the need for a strong dedication to training and socialisation. Although many of these dogs can grow into sweet, gentle giants, their desire to guard and protect needs to be kept in balance so that they do not become overly aggressive. 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix shares a lot of similarities in origins, temperament and appearance, however there are also some distinct differences between the breeds that can make for an interesting mix. And in the case of the Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix, these differences can make all the difference, especially when it comes to predicting the future personality of a puppy. 

It must be said that although interest in Mastiff breeds has been on the increase in recent years, this mix is yet to become overly popular. If you’re interested in this muscular and powerful hybrid, then stay tuned as we look to educate on the key differences and similarities between the breeds.

The Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is an ancient breed of which is descended from the Roman molosser. These dogs were once upon a time used as war dogs, but later evolved into guardians for farms across Italy and Europe. The Cane Corso is strong willed, energetic and hard working. 

The breed is known for its muscular and intimidating appearance, typically enhanced by ear cropping, made popular across the USA. 

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso needs regular training and socialisation from an early age. Owners need to show exceptional leadership qualities in order to bond and build trust. They are naturally suspicious of strangers but should be trained to react only to real threats. 

The breed does make for an excellent guardian and protector of land and property and can become a great family dog if well trained and socialised. 

The Neapolitan Mastiff 

The Neapolitan Mastiff is also an ancient Italian breed, evolved from the molosser. It is understood that the Romans left the early Neapolitan breeds in England, which were then used to guard farms and wealthy estates across the land. 

The Neapolitan Mastiff almost became extinct until revived by Commissioner Thompson, later becoming accepted by the Italian Kennel Club after Piero Scanziani produced wonderful results with his Italian based revival after becoming an enthusiast at a dog show in 1946. 

It is thought that due to their occupation on wealthy estates throughout England, that their temperament became more laid back and a more gentle, easy going nature was likely bred forward. 

That said, the Neapolitan Mastiff still has great protective qualities and makes for an exceptional watchdog. As with the Cane Corso, they are exceptionally large and powerful. They require regular training and socialisation in order to function as a family dog. 

What are the differences between the Cane Corso & Neapolitan Mastiff? 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff of course has a lot of similarities, as do many of the Mastiff type breeds. But they also have many points of difference that potential future owners might find intriguing when considering ownership. These are:

Common Nicknames 

  • The common nickname of the Cane Corso is the Italian Mastiff. It has also been referred to as the Dogo di Puglia, due to its popularity with male ownership characteristics coined as “For proud men with strong attitudes”. 
  • The common nickname for the Neapolitan Mastiff is simply Neo. 

Coat & Colour

  • Neapolitan Mastiffs come in black, blue, tawny, mahogany, and brindle colours. The coat texture is rough and short. 
  • Cane Corsos colours come in black, blue, grey, fawn, brindle combos. The coat hair is short.

Facial Appearance 

  • The Neo has extreme facial folds and adorable wrinkles. Its huge jowls mean a lot of drooling is a recurring theme at home. Best to invest in a drool bib or five. Their eyes are typically blue when puppies but later develop into amber or brown as they mature. 
  • The Cane Corso has a much tighter face, although it still has loose skin around the eyes, a similar trait in all Mastiff breeds. Its jowls do have a tendency to drool, however the slobber is much less significant than that of the Neo. Eyes of the Cane Corso can range from blue to amber and brown. A significant feature difference is cropped ears (popular in the USA), however this is illegal in the UK and Cane Corsos are preferred with floppy ears.

Life Expectancy 

  • Neapolitan Mastiffs have a shorter life expectancy, with a minimum said to be around 8 years. 
  • Cane Corsos have a longer life expectancy, with the minimum said to be around 10 years.


  • The average height of the Neapolitan Mastiff is between 28 to 30 inches, depending on male or female. 
  • The average weight of a Neo is around 50 to 60 kg, depending on gender (males being larger). 
  • The average height of the Cane Corso is between 26 to 28 inches, depending on male or female. 
  • The average weight of a Cane Corso is between 40-45 kg, depending on gender (males being larger). 
Differences between Cane Corso & Neapolitan Mastiff


  • The Neapolitan Mastiff is more gentle and lazy. However, it is more obedient, but can be dominant and stubborn. In general the Neo is more patient and can be a great companion for kids, even though they sometimes also have a mischievous side. 
  • The Cane Corso temperament is more confident, energetic, intelligent, courageous but stubborn. Leadership is a must from owners as they need to respect you as the alpha, if this is not established, they can become a living hell. Set boundaries early and make it clear! 

Exercise Needs

  • The Neo is the less active dog of the two. It requires around 30-45 mins of exercise a day. They enjoy lazing around with their owners and keeping watch in the garden. This follows the traits of other large mastiff breeds such as the French Mastiff or English Mastiff. 
  • The Cane Corso loves to work with the owner, its history of farmyard activity means this worker dog enjoys having a job. It’s also a large part of their stimulation requirements. This is a high maintenance dog that requires rigorous exercise, equating to around 2-3 hours per day. A large garden and fenced yard is absolutely essential for this breed. 

Health Issues 

  • The Neapolitan Mastiff can suffer from certain issues such as dental disease, hip dysplasia, eye problems and thyroid issues. 
  • The Cane Corsos health can suffer from issues such as gastric bloat, hip dysplasia and eyelid abnormalities.

Ownership Legality 

  • The Neapolitan Mastiff is mostly legal throughout the world. However, it is banned in some countries such as Singapore and Qatar. It may also need individual assessment in countries such as Romania. 
  • The Cane Corso is legal in many countries such as the UK, Australia & America. However, some nuances may apply such as the state of residence and importing bans. It’s best to check how the legality of ownership may be applied to your circumstances before committing to the breed. 

What is the Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff Like As A Hybrid Mix? 

As mentioned above, the Cane Corso & Neapolitan Mastiff share a lot of origins and lineage from their roles in Roman history. Both dogs were used in the conquest of foreign lands, however it seems that the differences in the breeds started to appear as the Romans took the Cane Corso back to Italy and left the Neapolitan breed in England. 

Throughout the ages the Cane Corso maintained its active lifestyle by guarding farms and being used for hunting and protection. Whereas the Neo was recruited to wealthy estates across England as a guardian. However, it seems that well docile manners were bred into the lineage which has resulted in a lower energy dog that is often considered as more gentle. That’s not to say that its protective qualities have disappeared entirely, they most certainly have not. 

When breeding the two, the Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix is unpredictable and requires the ability to handle such a large beast. This is likely why the hybrid is yet to take off in popularity. 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix appearance 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff is huge, growing up to about 30 inches tall and packing a lot of muscle and power. They can weigh over a 100lbs which can make them hard to physically control, especially if they have a more wild temperament. 

Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff Mix
Cane Corso Neo Mix – Credit Instagram @makavelithecorso

Both parents have a short coat that does shed throughout the year, although overall grooming maintenance is moderate and likely skews more towards a more energetic dog (inherited from the Cane Corso side). The range of colours can vary, from black, blue, grey, fawn, mahogany, brindle and tawny. 

There is a large variance in facial appearance depending on which side of the parents lineage is more dominant. It’s therefore hard to predict if the outcome will have more folds and wrinkles, larger jowls or a tighter face. Once again, some may have their ears cropped but this is thankfully becoming less common. 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix temperament 

The predicted temperament of a Cane Corso Neo mix is difficult to gauge. There are key differences in their temperament that are typically the result of their energy levels. 

The Cane is high energy, the Neo is low energy. The Cane is strong willed and the Neo can be gentle. That said, both can be stubborn and both certainly require a lot of training and socialisation in order to turn them into functioning dogs in wider society. Do not bother with this hybrid breed unless you’re able to cope with their physical and mental demands! 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff Lifespan & Health Issues

here are many similar and overlapping health issues that surround both breeds. When mixed together, the dog may eventually suffer from one or more of the following: 

  • Gastric bloating 
  • Eye abnormalities 
  • Hip and joint issues 
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis 
  • Entropion 
  • Ectropion 

Although some of these issues may be manageable through good lifestyle and diet habits, owners should be aware of their progression and consult a qualified vet when necessary. 

In life expectancy, the Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff can expect to live from any between 8-10 years. However, by choosing reputable breeders it’s possible that yours may experience a longer, healthier life. 

Who is the ideal owner of the Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff ? 

The ideal owner of the Cane Corso Neo Mastiff is someone who has experience with larger, energetic working dogs and preferably Mastiffs. The mix is unpredictable depending on its inherited temperament and physical characteristics. 

Owners should have exceptional leadership skills and a strong command, this dog MUST see you as the alpha and respect that everything comes from you! 

The owner should also have the physical capacity to manage this dog. It can weigh up to and over 100lbs, therefore a great deal of strength is required to control the dog if it is aggressive or frequently misbehaves. 

Lastly, the owner needs a house with a lot of space and a large fenced garden that allows the dog to roam safely and indulge its senses. 

Does the Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff mix make a great family dog? 

The Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff can certainly make for a great family dog. However, strong commitment to lifetime training and socialisation are required in order for that to become a reality. 

The dog will also require frequent exercise to ensure its physical and mental needs are met. A well stimulated dog should lead to improved behaviour as its needs are being met. It is likely that the Neo Cane Corso mix will become a high maintenance dog that can’t be left alone for overly long periods of time.

The breed’s size may also be a concern for families with smaller children, and although Neapolitan Mastiffs can often be considered gentle, both breeds can be boisterous if not well behaved. 

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