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8 Things to Know about the Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix

Let’s be honest; the Cane Corso and the German Shepherd are both extraordinary dog breeds. Both are large, loving, protective, and worthwhile companions. However, it’s safe to say that they both have preconceptions surrounding them. 

The German Shepherd is a very intelligent and easy-to-train dog, whereas the Cane Corso is known for its loyalty and protectiveness. So, there is no clear winner when discussing a Cane Corso vs. a German Shepherd

Now, what actually happens when you combine the two? Well, you get a hybrid like no other that combines the trainability of the German Shepherd with the devotion of the mighty Cane Corso.

Whether you want a dog that provides the family with a new furry and cuddly companion, or a protective addition, the German Corso (as they are aptly named) will be just for you.

To give you more insight into this wonderful breed, let’s look at everything you need to know about the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix and what you can look forward to.

1. What is a German Corso?

As you already know, a German Corso is another name for the mix between a German Shepherd and a Cane Corso. The German Corso is one of those rare hybrids, so up until now, you might not have known much about them.

The rare, designer crossbreed inherits its large and robust stature from the parent breeds and individual characteristics from each. They combine the trainable, hard-working, and adaptable features of both the Cane Corso and German Shepherd dogs.

cane corso german shepherd mix

Some consider the German Corso one of the best family dogs one can have. They will undoubtedly love you and your family, showing plenty of affection. Plus, it is always great knowing that your canine companion will be on the lookout and protect your home 24/7 as they are excellent guard dogs.

While they seem large and in charge, or like they wouldn’t be on their best behavior, then think again. If trained correctly, they are one of the best-behaved dog breeds you can have.

Don’t let their large and in-charge stature fool you – they are sweet and loving fur babies, which at times might be to a fault, but don’t worry, more on their temperament later. For now, let’s look at the origins of these gentle giants.

2. The Parent Breeds: Cane Corso and German Shepherd

The Cane Corso German Shepherd mix has a fascinating history associated with its parent breeds. So, before you can learn about the German Corso on its own, you’ll first want to take a look at each founding breed.

History of Cane Corso 

The Cane Corso Italian Mastiff has by far one of the most interesting histories. Its history dates back to Ancient Rome, descending from Mastiff war dogs called Canis Pugnaces.

The Ancient Romans would use these hounds during the Macedonian Wars due to their robust and adaptable nature. Sounds impressive right? It really is – these dogs were primarily used for herding, hunting livestock, and protecting their human companions during battles.


No doubt, the sheer strength and physical appearance of the Cane Corso is a testament to its ancient counterpart’s attributes. Centuries later, Cane Corsos are used for protecting and herding livestock. Luckily, they do no need to be a partner in battle, don’t you think? 

German Shepherd


Photo by Jana Ohajdova on Unsplash

The German Shepherd is one of those dogs everyone knows about, like the popular girl in high school – although much nicer. They are common amongst crossbreeds, like the German Shepherd Australian Shepherd mix or the unassuming Corgi German Shepherd mix.

The German Shepherd’s origins date back to around 1899 in Germany, where Max von Stephanitz had bred several herding dogs until he landed on the German Shepherd.

As the name suggests, the German Shepherd was first used to herd sheep and other livestock but has since expanded more than anticipated. They were even used as messengers and guard dogs in the Second World War.

Nowadays, we look at German Shepherds as intelligent and highly-functioning in society. If you know any German Shepherd facts, you’re well aware of their work in the police force and military.

German Shepherds are now used for anything from search and rescue, police work detecting bombs or drugs, or even helping disabled people. Suffice to say, the German Shepherd is undoubtedly an impressive dog breed.


3. German Shepherd and Cane Corso Mix Appearance

Both the Cane Corso and the German Shepherd have very different appearances. The Cane Corso sports a smooth and short coat, whereas the German Shepherd has a double coat that is a bit longer. That’s why you can rarely predict what your German Corso will look like.

The color of their coats can range quite a bit, too. Cane Corsos are typically a single color throughout, whereas German Shepherds are known for their coats of various shades. Unsurprisingly, the German Shepherd and Cane Corso mix usually has a mixture of coat colors.

Solid color German Corsos usually have grey, black, silver, sable, white, red, fawn, or blue fur. These German Shepherd Mix dogs might also sport a brindle or striped grey, chestnut, or black coat. However, they can have any combination of these colors and patterns.

german shepherd cane corso mix

Their ears, snout shape, and tails are often entirely different, too – so their appearance is often a pleasant surprise. In general, though, all German Corsos will be large in stature, weigh up to 110 pounds, and have a height of up to 28 inches. The rest is up to mother nature. 

You might enjoy reading my articles on German Shepherds Short or Long HairDog Breeds that don’t smell or shed and dog jokes. 

4. Cane Corso and German Shepherd Mix Temperament

Like the Cane Corso and the German Shepherd, the German Corso has a gentle and joyful persona that brings a sense of love and affection to any pet owner. They are always ready to play, have fun, and be the center of attention.

They possess a great sense of loyalty from their Cane Corso roots and the affectionate personality of the German Shepherd, so you can expect them to be a bit clingy. Clingy isn’t a bad thing for the most part – your Cane Corso and German Shepherd mix dog will always want to be by your side as you lounge around or play with them. they need plenty of exercise. However, you might find that leaving them alone leads to some anxiety and, often, destructive behaviors.

They are also rather protective of every family member and even young children – sometimes overly protective and aggressive thanks perhaps to their high prey drive. So, proper socialization and proper training are always important. Otherwise, time with children is perfectly safe when supervised and they make for great family pets. German Corsos are also wary of strangers.

The Cane Corso mixed with German Shepherd is highly alert and intelligent, so training them should be a breeze. Their natural herding instinct means they have a lot of pent-up energy to get out, so they love chasing a frisbee or ball in the garden or park. Definitely ready for fun. 

5. Taking Care of a German Corso

german shep cane corso mix

Unlike a poodle or a Basset hound, the German Corso is not low-maintenance. If anything, they require a lot more care than many newbie dog owners can provide. What should you keep in mind when looking after one, though? Let’s have a look.


While the German Corso is considered highly trainable, they still need a firm teacher to get them through. They are stubborn in some ways, so a professional trainer yields the best results. And make sure you start with getting your german shepherd cane corso puppy from a reputable breeder.

Worry not – of course, you can still train them yourself. You need to be firm and use plenty of positive reinforcement. Training should be a key focus in the dog’s early years. You should start training your puppy as early as possible, even as early as 12 weeks. While you can teach them the basics, like sitting or lying down, before then, the more complicated commands require a bit more focus than a little pup can allow. 

As they grow older, you can start with a more stern type of training, but of course, always praise them when they do something right. This is an intelligent dog so should pick things up quite quickly.

Fun fact: Cane Corso german shepherd mixes are sensitive to different body language and tones of voice (no doubt owing to their intelligence). So, they can pick up when you’re happy or angry – which certainly comes in handy when training them.


How much exercise does a German Corso need? The short answer is a lot. They are one of the most energetic dog breeds out there. Can you really blame them, though? Both the Cane Corso and the German Shepherd can attest to this active nature.

german shep cane corso brown puppy

This means that your German Corso will need several hours a day reserved for exercise to keep their body and mind healthy. At least an hour should be reserved for vigorous and strenuous exercise. So, take this muscular dog on a walk or a run with you in the mornings, or spend plenty of time outside playing catch. 

The Cane Corso German Shepherd mix also benefits from a lot of mental stimulation. This is an excellent time to use some fun toys and stimulating puzzles. A large wobble ball would be perfect to keep your four-legged friend busy. You’ll also find that lick mats and other chew toys for large dogs are all great options for keeping your pup busy.

Maintenance and Grooming

Grooming your German Corso isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. It all depends on your dog’s attributes and whether or not it inherited the coat of the Cane Corso or German Shepherd.

If they have shorter fur associated with the Cane Corso, they won’t shed as often, and you’ll have easier grooming them. Typically, brushing them once a week is fine. 

On the other hand, if they got the thick, double coat from the German Shepherd, shedding would be much more intense. That would mean brushing daily and removing any excess, loose fur build-up. Ultimately, it all depends on the type of German Corso you have.

In terms of bathing, it is recommended that you take your pooch to the groomer every four to six weeks. This keeps their coat and skin as clean and healthy as possible. Bathing them any more than this can strip necessary oils from their skin and lead to irritation and skin issues – and you don’t want that.

The rest is all typical grooming. Keep their teeth and ears clean, and trim their nails when necessary. Your pup will thank you for it later.

8 Things to Know about the Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix 1

Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

You might enjoy reading about the cane corso and bulldog mix dog.

6. Food and Dietary Requirements

As you’d expect, being a larger breed with high energy levels, the German Corso needs plenty of food and nutrients to sustain itself. That is easily achieved with high-quality dog food rich in vitamins and nutrients.

They tend to benefit more from higher protein content and plenty of fatty acids, and some carbs. Usually, three or four cups of food throughout the day keeps them sustained. However, if you have any specific worries about feeding your precious pooch, then it is best to consult your local vet for particular requirements. 

Also, avoid giving your dog any human food or bones as these can sometimes be hazardous. Better safe than sorry.

7. Common Health Concerns for the German Corso

Unfortunately, your furry companions aren’t entirely immune to the forces of nature. While they are generally happy and healthy angels, German Corsos share a few health concerns with their parent breeds that you might want to look out for. 

Common Health Problems: Cane Corso 

  • Hip dysplasia: A joint complication where the ball and socket joint of the hip doesn’t sit correctly, causing grinding and discomfort.
  • Elbow dysplasia: A joint disorder that affects large breed dogs that causes elbow abnormalities and a limp.
  • Entropion: The inward rolling of a dog’s eyelid that irritates the eye.
  • Ectropion: The drooping and outward rolling of a dog’s eyelid that causes irritation and discomfort.
  • Coronary heart disease: When the heart’s arteries can’t deliver sufficient oxygen around the dog’s body.
  • Cardiomyopathy: Degeneration of the heart muscle.

Common Health Problems: German Shepherd

  • Degenerative disc disease: When dogs lose function in their spinal discs.
  • Degenerative myelopathy: The slow deterioration of the spinal cord resulting in paralysis or weakness of a dog’s hind legs.
  • Bloating: The twisting of a dog’s stomach due to trapped gas, food, and fluid after eating.
  • Von Willebrand disease: A bleeding disorder that prevents proper blood clotting.

8. Pros and Cons of the Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix

german shep cane corso black puppy

Photo by Davor Lovrenčić on Unsplash

Like any dog breed or animal, there are positives and negatives to owning a German Corso. So, it is best to look over a few pros and cons before deciding on adding this precious pup to your family.


  • They are very trainable: The trainable nature is mainly due to the German Shepherd. The intelligent nature of the police and military-trained pooches is passed down to the crossbreed. That means you can teach your German Corso plenty of new and exciting tricks with relative ease.
  • Very affectionate and loyal: This crossbreed also has a loving nature. While it may not seem that way based on their appearance, German Corsos love their family and inherit that incredible, protective nature from their Cane Corso parent breed.
  • Able to get along with other dogs and cats: Contrary to what you might think, the German Corso can get along with other dogs and cats in the household. However, this depends on socialization and training, so ensuring they are trained from a young age is essential.


  • Not suitable for a novice dog owner: These dogs require a lot of attention and care from owners and need careful training and socialization. So, perhaps steer clear of these guys if you’re a newbie dog owner.
  • Need plenty of physical and mental stimulation: The German Corso has a lot of energy. As a result, they often need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. 
  • Needs companionship most of the time: This goes without saying, but some dogs need that extra love and attention. The German Corso is no different. They often need their human companions around to give them the attention they need without them getting overly anxious or disruptive. 
german shep cane corso

Photo by Sofia Guaico on Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions On the German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix

If you are thinking about adding the German Corso to your home and family, then you undoubtedly have some questions running through your mind. To help ease your mind, here are three frequently asked questions regarding the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix.

What is the Lifespan of a Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix?

Separately, a Cane Corso and a German Shepherd have life spans of around 10-12 years and 13 years, respectively. That is good for larger dog breeds. The German Corso is no different, with a life expectancy between 10 and 13 years.

Is a German Shepherd and a Cane Corso a Good Mix for a Dog Breed?

When it comes to the German Corso, there are plenty of benefits and beautiful attributes that these four-legged friends bring to the table.
First and foremost, they are incredibly intelligent and highly trainable. So, they are a great option if you want to show off your dog’s exceptional skills. They are also very athletic and protective of their family, making a perfect guard dog. 
Sure, they can be super energetic and need attention, but any loving dog owner already has their pup’s best interests in mind. However, the German Corso is a rather high-maintenance dog breed, so perhaps not the best for novice dog owners who don’t have much time.
So, yes – in short, the German Shepherd and Cane Corso make for a good – no, a great dog breed.

How Big Does a Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Get?

The German Corso is definitely one of the larger dog breeds you can find. The Cane Corso typically grows to around 100 pounds heavy and 28 inches tall, whereas the German Shepherd grows to about 100 pounds and 26 inches tall.
You can expect the German Corso mix to grow to a height between 23 and 28 inches and weigh anywhere between 65 and 100 pounds. However, they can weigh up to 120 pounds in some cases.

Cane Corso Mix German Shepherd | Wrapped Up

8 Things to Know about the Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix 2

Photo by Davor Lovrenčić on Unsplash

An excellent combination of the Cane Corso and the German Shepherd is something that you’d never expect. The Cane Corso Shepherd mix makes a great addition to the family with their loving and caring nature, loyal and protective personalities, and imposing appearance.

While their parent breeds might sometimes portray them as serious and aggressive, the German Corso is far more. These gentle giants will bring so much joy with the proper training and exercise regimes.

However, they aren’t for the faint of heart or those who are scarcely around. These four-legged angels need plenty of attention and rigorous training throughout the day. So, if you are a new dog owner, are rarely home, or even have a small yard or apartment, then perhaps the German Corso isn’t for you.

So, if a high-maintenance dog like the German Corso isn’t up your alley, perhaps check out some of these fantastic, low-maintenance dog breeds you will love.

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