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Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix: A Hybrid That Will Fascinate You

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix: A Hybrid That Will Fascinate You

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Not many dogs can fascinate people the way the Cane Corso does. We can say with every right that hybrids of this breed and many others (Pitbull, Bulldog, Doberman, Golden Retriever, Boxer, Great Dane, Poodle, etc.) are truly remarkable canines.

Their sharp mind and fast reactions are the top traits all future dog owners want. If you add their affection side from time to time, you have a winner. Our winner today is the incredible German Corso or the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix.

It doesn’t get any better, does it?

What Is A German Corso?

The German Corso is a rare designer dog breed. This is a hybrid or a cross between the German Shepherd and the Cane Corso.

It is supposed to be a wonderful family pet, especially if you train them well and socialize them from an early age.

They’re also considered one of the finest guard dogs, considering the traits both parent breeds have.

The German Corso is an intelligent dog thanks to the German Shepherd’s origin, as well as the Cane Corso side of the family.

They’re quite easy to train, but they should be paired with someone who can be calm and firm while training them.

Plenty of exercise and socialization is required to help your dog overcome unruly or fearful situations.

If we take a closer look at the parent breeds, their origins, and what they once did, we can get a good idea of how the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix will turn out.

Cane CorsoGerman Shepherd
23 to 27 inches22 to 26 inches
90 to 100 lbs50 to 90 lbs
IntelligentConfident
LoyalBrave
AffectionateSmart
Medium energy levelVery high energy
Good health statusAverage health status
9 to 12 years lifespan7 to 10 years lifespan
Costs more than $1,000Costs more than $1,000

Cane Corso History

Italian cane Corso in the Park on the green lawn

Even though this breed wasn’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 2010, the Cane Corso is a very old, in fact, an ancient breed that came from Italy.

The history of Cane Corso or the Italian Mastiff dates back to the 1st century when large Mastiff-like dogs were used for war and hunting purposes. These dogs are purebred, and they produced a group of modern-day Mastiffs like the Cane Corso, Italiano, and Rottweiler.

Intelligent, trainable, and loyal are the traits that always make the Cane Corso puppy grow into an excellent watchdog, guard dog, and family pet.

German Shepherd History

Running german shepherd dog

The German Shepherd was originally bred in Germany by Captain Max von Stephanitz. They were developed as working dogs, used for herding and guarding sheep.

German Shepherds were and still are admired for their intelligence, easy trainability, stamina, and boldness. They were used for herding, as security, for search and rescue, as guides for the blind, and they fulfilled many other roles as well.

Nowadays, the German Shepherd is still a very popular dog in the States, all thanks to its intelligence, loyalty, and affection towards dog owners.

Parent Breeds As Working Dogs

german shepherd and cane corso

Both German Shepherds and the Cane Corso have been bred as working dogs with their main purpose to guard and protect families and their property. Both breeds were also used in hunting and as cattle herders.

Thanks to decades of selective breeding, their crossbreed puppies now have wonderful traits to inherit.

Dogs with such important roles had to be smart, decisive, confident, dominant, intuitive, and have a strong desire to be leaders and work alongside people. Both breeds were even used in civil wars and conflicts in the forces or as messengers.

With lots of proper training, the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix can be successful in police work, search and rescue, service work, helping people with disabilities, etc. Also, they’re still wonderful farm dogs and of huge help.

It’s not really important what the dog does, as long as they have something to do. These doggies need to work. They’re genetically conditioned to be very smart and active, and they need to keep that big brain busy, along with their body.

The Cane Corso German Shepherd mix needs daily mental and physical stimulation, so if you can’t commit to this, don’t adopt one of these gorgeous babies.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Appearance

german corso dog breed

Photo from: @brunothegermancorso

It is difficult to predict how a mixed breed dog will look. The same goes for the German Corso. Still, there are some traits we can still predict, thanks to the insight we have on the parent breeds.

The German Corso is supposed to be a big dog with much strength. Males are always larger than females and very muscular.

Other physical traits can vary. Genetics can influence whether a dog will have a round or elongated head, whether the muzzle be short or long, if the ears will stay erect or be floppy, and what the body shape will be like, etc.

It’s really a lucky dip when it comes to their looks.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Size, Height, And Weight

fawn german corso

Both parents are very large dogs, weighing anywhere from 70 to 100 pounds or even more.

The Cane Corso is a bit larger than the German Shepherd, standing tall at 23 to 27 inches compared to the German Shepherd’s height of around 22 to 26 inches.

It’s safe to say that the Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix will grow to be around 24 to 28 inches tall and weigh around 70 to 100 pounds.

Coat And Coat Colors The German Corso Comes In

german corso dog

The Cane Corso has a short, double coat. The German Shepherd dogs have a medium-length, double-layered coat. Therefore, you can expect your hybrid puppy to have a short to medium-length double coat.

Both parents come in a variety of colors. Cane Corsos can come in blue, black, fawn, or brindle.

GSDs are usually tan or tan and black. They may come in solids like blue or red, without the black markings. With the prevalence of solid darks, the German Corso may be black, tan, or brindle.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix: Behavior And Temperament



Just like their parents, the German Corso is a smart puppy, eager to please, but also very quick when it comes to protecting what’s his.

When training this hybrid puppy, it’s important to use positive reinforcement methods as they’re a bit prone to being overprotective and showing aggressive behavior.

Puppies that pass proper training and socialization in time are more likely to become great additions to any family and loyal sidekicks.

German Corsos are very loyal and dependable canines. This is great if you’re looking for a dog who will be involved in your life to the max. However, they have a tendency to attach themselves to one family member. It’s usually the person they think is the pack leader.

Since both parents were working dogs in the past, it is important to find an occupation for your German Corso too. If you don’t, he will find one himself, and you might not be cool with his tunnels under the house or holes in your flower beds.

Another nasty habit bored German Corsos have is their tendency to bark a lot. Trust us – they can bark for hours! Meaning, if you’re living in an apartment, we hope you’re not too fond of it because you will have to move or deal with your neighbors all the time.

Also, this is not a breed for first-time dog owners. They will be too energetic from time to time, and that requires a family with spare time to exercise them and have them deplete their energy bar.

If they’re alone for too long, they can develop anxiety issues and other behavioral problems like aggression.

Is The German Corso Good With Other Pets?

cane corso german shepherd mix

The Cane Corso and German Shepherd are known for their high prey drive. No wonder they don’t get along with cats, small dogs, and other small animals. You just try to yell “squirrel” in front of this hybrid dog!

Also, the German Corso may have hunting and herding instincts that kick in from the past.

The Cane Corso parent gets along with other large dogs just fine, but the GSD parent is a problematic one, and it often expresses aggressive behavior.

That’s why it’s difficult to predict how the German Corso puppy will act when it comes to relationships with other dogs. Still, socialization is imperative in all cases.

Since both parent dogs get along with kids just fine, you can expect their hybrid puppy to act the same. But, supervision when playing is important, especially if the kids are small. You don’t want them to hurt each other.

If you have kids in your household, you should discourage chasing habits.

Always ensure the puppy you’re getting is friendly and loyal. They should be socialized from a young age to adapt well to other dogs and animals.

How To Train A Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix

german corso dog breed

Training is crucial if you want a well-behaved German Corso puppy.

Since this hybrid is a natural working dog, training shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

The best time to start training your puppy is around the 10-month milestone. Of course, it’s okay to start earlier with some basic commands and rules around the house. It’s the perfect time to teach your dog to sit, lie down, fetch, go to the crate, or how to behave on the leash.

More complex commands require discipline, and that’s something your puppy can’t figure out early. Young puppies don’t have a big attention span and lose interest in training rather quickly.

Insisting on training and repeating commands too many times might result in your puppy becoming frustrated. It affects the training long-term.

All the training done before the age of 10 months should be done through games, so make sure your pup is excited and interested to play. This will be an excellent basis for the upcoming training and a great opportunity to create a lasting bond.

As the puppy grows up, some age-appropriate and breed-appropriate training should be done. You should also become more strict and confident and always use a stern tone that dogs notice and understand.

You may want to do a certain type of training depending on the type of work you want your German Corso to do. Whether you want some simple commands or you’re planning to qualify your dog as a service dog, you should know that this hybrid will show terrific results in all cases.

When training your Cane Corso German Shepherd mix, you should know that your voice is your biggest tool for training. This is an intelligent dog; therefore, it’s no wonder he knows up to 10 different tones of voice. It’s a big range to use to express the three main things you want your dog to catch on to

The first thing is your praise when the dog does something good. The second is a scolding voice you use when the dog misbehaves. Lastly, there’s a threatening tone you use to say they’re doing something wrong and should be stopped immediately.

For the dog to understand all the tones, they must associate a certain tone with an action, i.e., a pleasant tone with a pat on the head or a treat, negative emotions with toy withdrawal, absence of affection, etc.

fawn german corso dog breed

There is actually no need to threaten your dog during training. Ignoring what the dog does or withdrawal of affection works like a charm. They live to serve and love to please their owners, so it’s only natural that these tactics work best.

If the puppy understands that you’re ignoring him when he misbehaves, he will associate misbehaving with being abandoned and ignored. They always stop the unwanted behavior to please the owner and get love and attention in return.

Commands you use during training should be short and easy to understand. You should also use gestures during training, but you shouldn’t change them or the commands. Even though these dogs are smarty pants, they still need clarity to understand what you’re asking of them.

Dogs are usually pretty good when it comes to differentiating their owner’s emotions. They respond very well to positive reinforcement and phrases like “Good boy” or “Well done.”

Positive reinforcement is an excellent training tool that works even in the absence of treats, especially with older dogs.

Using force during training isn’t unusual, but we’re not talking about physical punishment. What we do mean is that it’s perfectly okay to press on the dog’s back if you want them to sit, so they understand the command better.

Keep your guard up because it’s of great importance to keep your authority as a leader. You don’t want the dog to be in charge; otherwise, you can kiss all the training goodbye.

However, force or even punishments shouldn’t be your first choice when it comes to training, especially with this dog breed. It may lead to frustration and unwillingness for all future training attempts.

These are dogs that value affection and love. They don’t respond well to negative emotions or actions. If the training isn’t going like you thought it would, you should see a professional and ask for their help.

Maybe the dog is unsure of something or afraid. Either way, you both need to find the cause and solve it for everyone’s sake.

How Much Exercise Does a Cane Corso German Shepherd Need?

brindle german corso

The German Corso needs lots of exercise daily to remain a happy and healthy puppy. At least one hour of meaningful physical activity is needed a day. The adult dogs are very active, but the hybrid puppies shouldn’t be over-exercised.

Take them on daily walks, give them space in a fenced yard to run around freely. And never let them get bored. There are plenty of interesting toys that stimulate the dog’s mental health, like puzzle toys. They’re fun and useful at the same time.

German Corso Grooming Requirements

The Cane Corso and the GSD shed from time to time, so you can expect your German Corso puppy to shed too.

This means this hybrid is not hypoallergenic and not the best choice for allergy sufferers.

If your puppy has a short coat, you should brush it once a week. Bathe them only when it’s absolutely necessary. In the meantime, deodorizing dog wipes will quickly help you keep them clean and fresh.

When it comes to clipping nails or trimming hair, you can do this yourself or ask a professional dog groomer to step in.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Food And Diet

german corso dog in the car

The Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is a large dog that needs a nutrient-rich diet to keep them happy and healthy.

High-quality dog food is advised for all dogs, and this mix will need three to four cups of dog food each day. The starting point should be feeding twice a day. The exact amount of required dog food depends on the dog’s age, size, weight, and activity level.

The best choice you can make is to buy high-quality dog food rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s ideal for keeping the dog’s skin and coat in perfect condition.

What most dog owners forget is to include probiotics in their daily nutrition as well. They help keep the dog’s kidney and liver healthy.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix: Common Health Problems

black german corso dog breed

Getting a hybrid puppy is a lottery; you never know which health issues the puppy will inherit from both parents.

Take the German Corso, for example. Both parents are prone to bloat, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia.

The Cane Corso side of the family is also prone to eye problems like ectropion and entropion.

On the other hand, the GSD is prone to hemophilia, epilepsy, cataracts, and degenerative disc disease.

This is exactly why it’s important to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder. Also, a healthy lifestyle and regular vet checkups reduce the risk of these mentioned diseases, even one of the nastiest of them all – mange!

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Lifespan

black german corso

Photo from: @ray.thegermancorso

Cane Corsos have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while GSDs have a lifespan of around 9 to 13 years.

A healthy Cane Corso German Shepherd mix may have a life expectancy anywhere between 9 to 13 years.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Adoption

If you don’t want to adopt a puppy, and you’d prefer an adult dog, you should see if your local animal shelter has any German Corsos waiting for a forever home.

Rescuing and adopting from a shelter is a rewarding experience for all dog lovers.

As with all hybrid dogs, it’s hard to find a shelter that only has German Corsos. Check out GSD shelters, and those that have only Cane Corso dogs should be the second step to take.

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Puppies For Sale And Price

cute german corso puppy

The average cost of a German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix puppy is between $500 and $1,000 or even more. It depends on the availability, the breeder, and any unique traits the puppy has.

Finding a reputable and responsible breeder for German Corso is crucial as these dogs can have a personality that can be difficult to handle. A German Corso should be a smart dog, loyal to its owner, affectionate, brave, and confident.

Never buy from puppy mills or backyard breeders. They only sell puppies to make a profit. When searching for a breeder, it is important to know that puppies below eight weeks shouldn’t be sold at any cost.

Reputable breeders keep the puppies and dogs in a clean and safe environment. They’re always happy to provide health examinations if you’re looking for one. Also, good breeders will find it normal if you want to meet the dog’s parents and spend some time around them to get a general idea of their temperament.

All In All…

german corso puppy

The Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix or the German Corso is an intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dog with lots of potential to become anyone’s family dog.

Still, beginners must know that this isn’t the wisest choice for them. They’re energetic dogs that need proper training and plenty of exercise to shape them into a loyal sidekick.

With continuous training and socialization, the German Corso can be an ideal choice for the right dog owner.

The most important factor you should consider before getting a German Corso is the amount of time you have available because you will need to pay lots of attention to socializing and training,

If you believe you can make it, who are we to stop you from getting this awesome puppy?

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