Natural and active shear wave elastography (SWE) are potential ultrasound-based techniques to non-invasively assess myocardial stiffness, which could improve current diagnosis of heart failure. This study aims to bridge the knowledge gap between both techniques and discuss their respective impacts on cardiac stiffness evaluation. We recorded the mechanical waves occurring after aortic and mitral valve closure (AVC, MVC) and those induced by acoustic radiation force throughout the cardiac cycle in four pigs after sternotomy. Natural SWE showed a higher feasibility than active SWE, which is an advantage for clinical application. Median propagation speeds of 2.5–4.0 m/s and 1.6–4.0 m/s were obtained after AVC and MVC, whereas ARF-based median speeds of 0.9–1.2 m/s and 2.1–3.8 m/s were reported for diastole and systole, respectively. The different wave characteristics in both methods, such as the frequency content, complicate the direct comparison of waves. Nevertheless, a good match was found in propagation speeds between natural and active SWE at the moment of valve closure, and the natural waves showed higher propagation speeds than in diastole. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that the natural waves occur in between diastole and systole identified with active SWE, and thus represent a myocardial stiffness in between relaxation and contraction.