The Italian Mastiffs have a long history in their home land and have always been renown to be great war dogs. They were also widely used on farms to protect and watch over livestock. I do not believe that these dogs have remained unchanged since Roman times as some show breeders will have you believe. There was many influences over the years as different people arrived and settled in different regions of Italy. They brought with them their dogs which were crossed with local Mastiffs. I have always been off the opinion that the original Cane Corso, Sicilian Branchiero, Cane de Presa and the Mastino Neapolitano were a variant of the same dog known by local names in different regions of Italy. There was minor differences between these dogs from one area to another but it was the show breeders who exaggerated these differences to create the two breeds we have today. The Neapolitan Mastiff and Cane Corso are a modern creation, created by show breeders since the 1950’s by crossing Italian Mastiffs with foreign breeds.
Please check out my Blog #8 for more information on Italian Mastiffs.