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5 Things to Know about the Cane Corso Pitbull Mix (With Pictures)

Individually, the Cane Corso and the Pitbull are famous breeds. Both are strong and muscular, and — let’s be honest — both have reputations.

Pitbulls garner attention for being aggressive dog breeds, while Cane Corsos are known to be very protective and on top of their guarding game. So, was it wise to combine these two breeds into one mega pooch with a penchant for dodgy doggy behavior?

Contrary to what you might think, people are falling in love with this interesting mix of the generally affectionate — yes, affectionate — American Pitbull Terrier and stately Cane Corso. Chihuahuas can be more terrifying at times: have you seen some of those doggy TikToks?  

To put your mind at rest, here’s a comprehensive look at the Cane Corso Pitbull mix and everything you can expect from this big dog. 

cane corso pitbull mix

What is a Cane Corso Pitbull Mix?

This breed is generally the offspring of an Italian Cane Corso and the American Pitbull Terrier. Its parents have a lot to offer in terms of muscle and guarding capabilities, so the Pit Corso (as these mixes are known) are fantastic working dogs. 

These muscular dogs are known for their strength and protective skills. But they can be a challenge to own, especially for a first-time dog owner. This is not only because of their size, but also because of the fighting and guarding instincts instilled through hundreds of years of social evolution. Proper training and early socialization are critical.

This particular designer breed is still new on the scene, and no one knows where it originated as their breeding is still in its infancy. In terms of normal breed standards like coat length, growth, and temperament, the breed is still too new, so statistics vary across the board. 

So it’s important to know more about the parent breeds to see where this dog is coming from in terms of personality.  

The Parent Breeds: Cane Corso and Pitbull

Both names invoke a sense of respect for these large and powerful dogs. Here’s a closer look at them. 

Cane Corso

Although this muscular dog is known for its Italian heritage, they descended from the Greek Molossus dogs. These were true big bois growing up to six feet in height and weighing over 200 pounds. The giant frames, big-boned strength, and ferocity of this tall dog breed was something to be in awe of — making them perfect guardians for the Ancient Greeks. 

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Image by agutti from Pixabay

The Roman Empire adopted them, named them Cane Corso, and used them as war dogs and guard dogs. Once the Roman reign fell, they became farm and hunting dogs and transitioned to a family pet. 

The breed almost went extinct in the mid 20th-century, but luckily enough survived to ensure their legacy. A group of Italian fanciers put effort into a breeding programme for them in 1970 to reinvigorate the breed’s numbers. The Cane Corso officially arrived in the U.S. in 1988, but was only recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2010. 

They typically weigh 90 to 110 pounds, depending on whether it’s a male or female Corso, and vary from 13 to 28 inches tall at the withers. They live an average of nine to twelve years. 

American Pitbull Terrier

So, Pitbulls aren’t an exact breed — instead, it’s a group of dogs that share similar traits and characteristics when it comes to looks and personality. There are plenty of dogs that look like Pitbulls but aren’t. There are five proper Pitbulls recognized in America:

  • The American Pitbull Terrier (APBT)
  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (also called a Staffie)
  • The American Staffordshire Terrier (known as the Amstaff)
  • The American Bully
  • The American Bulldog, although sometimes this dog is omitted from the list

These are all typically medium to large dogs with short coats, and come in every natural color you can imagine on a dog. They have a muscular build with broad heads, medium-sized ears, and big mouths. 

You might be wondering why these dogs fall under the Pitbull umbrella and yet don’t bear the name. This is because of the negative associations a lot of people have with the word “Pitbull,” so currently the American Pit Bull Terrier is the only one that has the moniker. 

A Pit Corso mix is generally the combination of the American Pit Bull Terrier with a Cane Corso, so that’s the specific Pitbull this post will focus on.  

The American Pitbull Terrier is the result of breeding bulldogs and terriers together a long time ago. They were bred largely in the early 19th century as baiting dogs in England. The whole point of their existence then was to bait bulls (and sometimes bears) in constructed pits, hence their name, “Pitbulls.” 

pitbull-under-table

Image by Mike Burke from Unsplash
When this practice ended, thanks to animal welfare laws, they became prominent in the dogfighting circles, which were illegal but easier to organize quietly. These were eventually abolished, but because of this history, the Pitbull has maintained a reputation as an aggressive, fighting breed. 

In terms of weight, they’re much lighter than Corsos, varying from 30 to 60 pounds depending on sex. They’re also shorter at 17 to 21 inches tall. Their lifespan varies by quite a bit, starting from eight years all the way up to 15 years. 

Cane Corso Pitbull Mix

1. Pitbull Cane Corso Mix Appearance

They’re large and in charge, there’s no doubt about it. The Pit Corso is typically muscular, as are both of its parents, and they usually have the blocky head and stoutness of the Pitbull. But from there, all bets are off.  

They can vary wildly from 50 to 90 pounds in weight, and are usually 20 to 24 inches tall. Their build is typically square, meaning their length and height are similar or the same. However, these are only rough estimates as it depends on the individual parents. 

The pups usually stop growing around the age of 18 months, although they can add a few inches more to their height after that depending on genes and nutrition. Their lifespan so far ranges from 10 to 14 years. 

If they take more after their Pittie parent, their short coat will be a little closer together, their muzzle broader, and their jowls tighter with a clean line to the lips. If the Corso traits hold over, the short coat will be more dense with folds here and there. The loose droopy jowls of the Corso may carry over, as well as the height of their Italian ancestry. 

While Pitbulls have high-set ears, Cane Corso ears are droopy and there’s no way to predict which your pup will inherit, so look forward to the surprise. The same goes for droopy jowls — your pup may have a firmer look to their muzzle. 

They usually have the Cane Corso’s almond-shaped eyes rather than the Pitbull’s round eyes. In rare occurrences, their eyes can be yellow or blue, and these pups generally cost a lot more. As for coat color, they typically inherit it straight from one of their parents. 

cane-corso-puppy

Image by Winsker from Pixabay

The colors they come in are usually typical breed colors, but because of the interesting mix of genes, sometimes a unique color comes along. Here are some of the coat colors you can expect to find in a Pit Corso: 

Black

A black Corso Pit is a beauty to behold, that’s for sure. It’s the signature color for a Cane Corso, but on the mix it looks equally stunning. Often a black Pit Corso will have a splash of white fur on their chest and belly. 

Blue

Blue coloring in a dog’s coat looks similar to gray, and it’s typically the result of a dilution gene that subdues color in the follicles and makes it lighter than it would otherwise be. Blue is a fairly rare color for this mix, so it’s a lucky day for you if you find a Pit Corso with a grayish-blue coat. 

Brown

It’s the most standard color for a dog, and you’ll find Pit Corsos in all shades of it, from a light fawn to a deep chocolate. 

Brindle

Brindle is a very common coat pattern amongst canines, and both parent breeds of Corso and Pitbull come in this color variety. It’s a pattern of tiger-like stripes that alternate between brown and dark brown or black, and can look lovely. 

White

White is the rarest color for a Pit Corso, even more so than blue. Some Pitbulls are white naturally, so it could be that your mixed pup is simply toting their parent’s white looks. But it can also be the result of an albino gene. This is usually harmless, but if a merle gene is the culprit for that shining white coat, beware. 

While merle produces a beautiful and unique coat that you can flaunt at the puppy park, it comes with unseen dangers. One merle gene is usually alright if bred responsibly, but two merle genes can lead to premature blindness and deafness in your pooch. 

Red Nose

Some Pitbulls have red or pinkish-brown noses, and if they happen to be a parent to a Pit Corso, the pup can inherit this pretty coloring. The red nose comes from a recessive gene that is not common in either parent breed. If the pup is blessed with this rare Rudolph nose, their coat is usually a similarly reddish-brown color. 

cane-corso-puppies-blue-coat

Image by JackieLou DL from Pixabay

Blue Nose

Yes, another rare-nosed variety of Pit Corso exists. This is when the nose is grayish-blue thanks to the same dilution gene that causes a blue coat. They will typically be light gray, blue, or even white if their nose is blue. 

You might enjoy reading my article on the Cane Corso Bulldog mix dog breed.

2. Cane Corso and Pitbull Mix Grooming

With their short coats, these mixed pups are usually very easy to care for and don’t require much grooming. Generally, a brush once every other week is enough.

Regarding cleanliness, there is an unfortunate tendency to drool in one of the parent breeds. The Corso is a moderate drooler, so the odds are you may end up with a drippy dog — and that’s okay. Just keep some wipes around to clean their face up a bit when the gob gets a bit much.  

In terms of bathing, only give your Pit Corso a bath when it’s necessary and make sure you use dog-friendly shampoo. Their skin and fur have different needs than our scalps and hair, and anything designed for human use may cause harm to their skin or coat.  

3. Pitbull and Cane Corso Mix Temperament

At first glance, you might think that breeding a giant guard dog with a Pitbull is a bad idea all round. 
Obviously, the result would be some villainous Cerberus (minus the extra two heads) bent on domination and destruction, right? After all, Pitbulls have somewhat of a reputation for having a bad disposition and a likelihood of attacking humans and other dogs. 

Unfortunately, there are some Pitties that do live up to this legend — you’ll hear about it on the odd news report or Instagram reel. Although you don’t really hear about Cane Corso attacks, they are renowned as having strong guarding and protection instincts and can be very wary of strangers. 

Mixing these two personalities together doesn’t mean you’re in for an evil spawn of a puppy, though. It just means that you’re going to need to socialize your pup very well at a young age and continue to train them with the help of an expert handler. 

For every bad story you’ve heard about Pitbulls and Corsos, no doubt you’ll have heard or read a dozen more promoting them as the sweetest, most loving dogs towards family members. And as for their mix, they are supremely loyal and loving to their owners. You won’t catch a Pit Corso hurting their family in any way.

5 Things to Know about the Cane Corso Pitbull Mix (With Pictures) 1

Image by Christiane from Pixabay

However, they’re not the friendliest around other dogs, and can even pose a threat to them — see why training is so important with this breed? This means going to the dog park when it’s fairly empty and perhaps maintaining a one-dog household, as adding any smaller floofs to your family could prove to be a mistake. 

Pit Corsos are also very into stranger danger and will be wary of anyone they don’t know. This is one of the other reasons why training them is so important. 

Training and socialization are essential, but buying from a responsible breeder is the first step to ensuring you end up with a Pit Corso with a good temperament. Good breeders will only breed with reputably well-natured dogs with friendly temperaments. This produces a higher chance of well-mannered pups that are loyal, loving, and gentle with their family as well as being healthy.  

If you buy from a cheap or untrustworthy breeder, there’s the possibility they might’ve bred with unreliable parents. If their pup inherits any anti-social genes, training will have to be more intensive to keep a handle on any undesirable behavior. 

4. Exercise Requirements for a Cane Corso Pitbull Mix Dog

These big dogs are full of life, and they love to engage in play and exercise. It’s an active breed, so they need to be walked daily and have their need for interactive play met at home. A bored dog full of unused energy becomes destructive, and this can get serious when the dog is as big as a Pit Corso.

Throwing ball or tug of war (if you’re strong enough) are great ways to use up some energy, but using intellectually challenging toys is a fantastic way to engage them. Hiding some treats inside a snuffle mat is very engaging for them, and sniffing tires them out. A treat puzzle is equally amusing and doubles as a slow feeder. 

5. Cane Corso Pitbull Mix Dog Breed Health Issues

The good news is, being a mixed breed, the Pit Corso is generally a healthy dog and should live a fairly uncomplicated life full of energy and vitality. That said, a few things can cause a blip on their medical chart. Here are some of the most common issues.

pitbull-mix-in-forest

Image by benjamin lehman from Unsplash

Obesity

They’re a large breed, and they like to eat. It can be hard to gauge just how much to feed them though, so they can easily become obese from overeating. Check with your vet how much you should be feeding your Pit Corso and stick to that amount with occasional treats only — before you end up with a giant blubber ball. 

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Both the Cane Corso and Pitbull tend to suffer from this condition, making it highly likely in the Pit Corso mix if the parents weren’t bred responsibly. Elbow and hip dysplasia are typical in large dog breeds, and occurs when the joints develop abnormally. It typically causes a lot of pain for your dog and mobility issues. 

Cherry Eye

Did you know dogs have a third eyelid? Cherry Eye is when this eyelid gland pops out due to weak fibrous attachment and looks swollen and red. Vet intervention is necessary.

Cataracts

It’s a common ailment with elderly dogs, but Pit Corsos are highly likely to develop these clouded, milky eyes that cause them to lose their vision. Luckily, cataracts can be removed surgically, but even if you opt to leave them be, your dog can still lead a wonderful life without perfect vision. 

Bloat (Gastric Volvulus Dilation)  

Unlike in humans, bloat is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition in a dog. Their stomach fills with gas and twists, trapping the gas, causing a blockage in the digestive tract, and preventing blood supply to vital organs. This issue is no joke, so get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect bloat is their ailment

pitbull cane corso mix grey

FAQs About Pitbull Cane Corso Mix Dog Breed

Have any lingering questions? You’re sure to find the answers right here.

Is Cane Corso and Pitbull a Good Mix?

This question is probably at the top of your mind when considering this mixed breed. Both are individually intimidating, muscular dogs with formidable physiques and faces, not to mention histories of fighting and guarding. 

What people can forget, though, is that temperament can be affected hugely by proper socialization at a very young age when their little personalities are still amenable. Teaching these dogs with somewhat of a bad reputation the best way to be a good boy and good girl as puppies will make a world of difference, leaving you with a loving, sweet companion despite their large size. 

Are Cane Corso Pitbull Mixes Good Family Dogs?

As mentioned, these designer dogs can be trained and socialized into exemplary canines, loyal and loving to their human owners at the very least. They’re great as a family pet if you don’t have small kids. 

It’s not that they’re likely to hurt them — not intentionally, anyway. It’s just that these dogs are powerful and can be pretty big, and can easily knock over a waddling infant. There’s also the possibility that they could revert to their herding instincts around what they perceive to be a small animal.

The Cane Corso parent is responsible for some of this, but it does mainly come down to the specific Pitbull parent in the mix. Even though the American Pitbull Terrier is the one spoken about most here, it is possible to breed a Corso with another dog from the Pitbull family. 

So if you have a household with younger kids, rather pick a Pit Corso that was bred using Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Bully as parent stock. These are the friendlier and smaller of the Pitbull family, so you’re more likely to have a child-friendly result.  

How Much Do Cane Corso Pitbull Mixes Cost?

At the moment, a Pit Corso mix puppy will set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 in the United States. It’s possible for the price to be higher, though, depending on lineage, health condition, color, and the breeder’s reputation. Do make sure you only contact a reputable breeder for your puppy. 

The breed is still fairly new and rare, and breeders are finding their feet when it comes to pricing these pups. But they are getting rather popular, so don’t be surprised if the price continues to rise. 

Nonetheless, don’t be afraid to pay more for your pup. A cheap puppy is often a badly bred puppy, so it’s better to spend more now to save on vet bills later. Plus, your dog will have a healthier, more fulfilled life.
No matter the price, though, fully vet the breeder you intend to buy from before making a commitment. 

dark-pitbull-mix

Image by Jaclyn Clark from Unsplash

What are Advantages and Disadvantages of Breeding a Cane Corso Pitbull Mix?

Within the canine community, there are mixed opinions on the breeding of these two dog varieties. Some say it’s great for diversity, and some say the offspring are too likely to carry health problems. Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons:

pitbull-on-couch

Image by Arttu Paivinen from Unsplash

Pros of Cane Corso Pitbull Mix

The upside is each pup is likely to have a unique appearance, even compared to its brothers and sisters from the same litter. This is because they’re still new to the scene and haven’t had certain traits bred into them yet. They can have an excellent temperament, taking the best aspects of each parent breed, and better overall health thanks to being a mixed breed. 

Cons of Cane Corso Pitbull Mix

It’s possible with new breeds that, instead of having robust health, the pup inherits the genetic disorders of both breeds, resulting in a sickly dog. It takes time to breed out genetic issues. The same goes with temperament and behavior — there hasn’t been time to breed out any negative traits yet, and no one can predict which temperament the pup will inherit. 

Some Pit Corsos are more friendly, and some more protective. Their appearance also counts as a con for some, with pups sometimes growing much larger than expected or have an odd mix of features.  

cane corso and pitbull mix dog breed

Wrap-Up on Cane Corso Pitbull Mix

So there you have it — everything you need to know about the Pit Corso all wrapped up neatly for you, from its disputed temperament to its health and more. Maybe at this point you’ll have decided this is the dog of your dreams and you can’t wait to start searching for one. 

But, if after all this information you decide that the Pit Corso isn’t the dog for you, perhaps you’ll find your soul mate in this list of the least aggressive dog breeds. You’re pretty much guaranteed something friendly there. 

You might enjoy reading about the Great Dane Cane Corso Mix Dog Breed.

cane-corso-puppy-with-blue-eyes

Image by Bruno Simoes from Pixabay

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