The commonly used term, Italian mastiff, actually includes two AKC recognized breeds: the cane corso and Neapolitan mastiff. While the cane corso is native to southern Italy, the Neapolitan mastiff has ties to ancient Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia and Asia but was rediscovered in Italy in the 1940s. As members of the working group, both are powerful and muscular breeds. Popular as guard dogs and hunting dogs, these breeds are by no means lightweights.
While the American Kennel Club sets the official breed standards, there is no required weight range for the cane corso. Rather, a recommendation that weight be in proportion to height and the large, rectangular bone structure. However, the United Kennel Club reports a weight range of 100 to 110 pounds for males while females are generally between 88 to 100 pounds. Neapolitan mastiffs, according to the AKC, are a larger breed with males weighing 150 pounds and females weighing 110 pounds. This breed is differentiated from the cane corso by extensive facial wrinkling and a massive head.
Working with both small animals and exotics, Pamela Meadors has devoted more than 15 years to the veterinary field. She possesses a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and is the proud mom of a blind hedgehog.