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German Corso (Cane Corso & German Shepherd Mix) Info, Pictures, FAQs & More

German Corso Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix
Height:24 – 28 inches
Weight:70 – 100 pounds
Lifespan:9 – 13 years
Coat Colors:Black, tan, brindle, blue, gray, liver, sable, white, red
Temperament:Highly intelligent, eager to please, protective, loyal, dependable, alert, excellent guard dog
Suitable for:Experienced owners; active families

In the canine world, we often see comparisons between reasonably similar dogs, such as the German Shepherd versus the Cane Corso. But have you ever thought about what a German Shepherd Cane Corso mix would be like? 

While it is common to find German Shepherds and Cane Corsos head to head when it comes to features, their mix is quite rare. The German Corso is a large dog likely to have the best of its parents’ characteristics. 

It might seem that a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is a good pet to own. However, there are things to consider before doing so. Read on as I share everything you need to know about this cross!

What Is a German Corso?

The Cane Corso German Shepherd mix, also known as Corso Shepherd or German Corso, is a rare hybrid dog resulting from crossing the German Shepherd and the Cane Corso. It is a large, loyal, and intelligent dog that’s eager to please its owners. It’s also quick to protect its territory and family.

Given the traits of both parent breeds, German Shepherd Cane Corso mixes are excellent guard dogs. If they are properly trained and socialized at an early age, German Corsos make great family companions as well.

Like most designer breeds, the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is not recognized by most kennel clubs. And since it is a rare mix, it has yet to be acknowledged by designer dog breed registries as well. 

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Origin and History: Where Does the German Corso Come From?

The origin of the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is not easy to obtain. In fact, information on the intentional or accidental breeding of this mix has yet to be confirmed by canine historians. 

To better understand the features of this designer breed, let’s take a look at its parent breeds’ history.

The Cane Corso is an ancient breed that also goes by the name Italian Mastiff and Cane Corso Italiano. 

The Italian Mastiff dates back to first-century Italy, where they were used as war dogs in the Roman Empire era and also served as hunting and herding dogs. 

The Cane Corso came to America in the 80s but got recognized as a dog breed by the American Kennel Club in 2010. 

Classified as working dogs, they currently serve in the police and military forces. However, Cane Corsos also do well as family companions.

The German Shepherd Dog, on the other hand, originated in Germany in the 17th to 18th century, where they were used as guarding and sheep-herding dogs. They were bred by Captain Max Von Stephanitz

To this day, the German Shepherd’s remarkable intelligence lands them in roles in search, rescue, security, herding, and more. They were officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1908.

Both the Cane Corso history and the German Shepherd history are pretty interesting. Learning about the past of these breeds is a necessary step to get a general idea of how the German Corso will turn out. 

It will also help explain the temperament and medical needs of this rare mix.

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Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Appearance: What Does a German Corso Look Like?

The appearance of the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix may vary depending on which parent it takes after. 

A German Corso could either have a round or elongated head, long or short muzzle, and floppy or erect ears. Their bodies could be lean and fluffy or stocky and toned. 

As for their fur, you can expect a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix pup to sport a short to medium-length double coat.

This hybrid’s coat can come in an array of colors, though they would typically have solid black or black and tan coats. They could also look like a brindle Cane Corso or inherit their red, gray, or brown coat. 

Otherwise, they would have their German Shepherd parent’s blue, sable, gray, black, white, tan, and tan and black coats.

Check out this video to see what you can expect from a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix:

German Shepherd x Cane Corso Mix

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Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight: How Big Do German Corsos Get?

Both German Shepherds and Cane Corsos are huge dogs, and the same can be observed in their mix. Full-grown German Corsos stand between 24 and 28 inches and weigh about 70 to 100 pounds. 

Based on its size, a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix might reach its full height at approximately 18 months. At around this age, this hybrid already takes on a full-grown German Shepherd’s height.

However, the growth of the Cane Corso Shepherd mix could take longer because, like any other mixed-breed dog, its growth can be unpredictable. 

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Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Temperament: Do German Corsos Make Good Family Dogs?

Provided that they have breed-appropriate training and early socialization, the German Corso is a loyal, affectionate dog that is excellent with kids. 

As a wonderful family pet, this mix loves being around its humans and is deeply attached to them.

Despite having the blood of working dogs, Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes can also be great companion dogs. Just like their parents, the German Corso is a smart dog who is eager to please its owners. 

They are also alert and protective with unbelievable strength. Moreover, they could easily defend their family and property from any threat to their safety, making them good guard dogs

When it comes to other pets, a Cane Corso GSD mix will easily get along with them if they are well-socialized. 

However, with both parent breeds known to have high prey drive, they do not go well with cats and other small animals in general. 

Cane Corso German Shepherd dogs need an experienced owner, preferably one with experience on large dogs. 

This is because they need obedience training and stimulation to keep themselves busy. If they don’t get it, they could be prone to aggression.

READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Cane Corso: Which Is Better?

Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Lifespan and Health Issues: Are German Corsos Healthy Dogs?

A Cane Corso German Shepherd mix could live from 9 to 13 years. Designer breeds like the German Corso are generally healthier than their parent dogs because of hybrid vigor.

However, we cannot ignore the possibility of them acquiring the health issues of both the German Shepherd and the Cane Corso since, genetically, they are linked to these breeds.

Here are some health risks Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes might get from their parents:

  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Both German Shepherds and Cane Corsos are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. This issue is common in large dogs but can be avoided if both parent breeds don’t have a history of these diseases. Elbow and hip dysplasia occur when the ball and socket of the elbow and hip joints do not develop or fit properly, causing them to rub against the bone instead of sliding smoothly.
  • Bloat: Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), commonly referred to as bloat, happens when a dog’s stomach expands due to gas, food, or fluid. Subsequently, the stomach twists, which may result in more severe problems. This condition is often seen in large, deep-chested dogs in their mid-stage of life. Bloat or gastric torsion may be caused by overeating, stress, or exercising after eating, to name a few. 
  • Epilepsy: This disease may be inherited by German Corsos from their German Shepherd parent breed. This has exact unknown causes and no cure. Symptoms of epilepsy may include stiffening, jerking, collapsing, foaming at the mouth, and drooling. It usually targets young dogs aged between one and five years. 
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: This is a spine condition that occurs when the intervertebral discs become thin and begin to degenerate. Degenerative disc disease mostly occurs in middle-aged dogs and progresses over time, leading to paralysis.

While German Corso pups can inherit health conditions from their parent breeds, using healthy dams and sires for breeding could prevent potential risks. 

This is why finding responsible, reputable breeders and avoiding puppy mills is crucial. 

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How to Take Care of Your German Corso

Regular vet visits are necessary for giving your pup the best health and life possible. However, it won’t be enough unless you provide them with all the daily requirements in maintaining their overall health. 

This section will break down the German Corso’s daily food and diet, cleaning and grooming, and training and exercise needs.

Food and Diet

The Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is a highly active and large dog. They will need high-quality dog food that can nourish their body with vitamins and minerals.

Usually, a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix will need three to four cups of dog food daily. Dividing them into multiple meals will help keep them full throughout the day. 

Balance their diet with exercise to maintain a healthy weight as they are prone to getting overweight. More importantly, as each dog has its unique needs, consult a vet for recommended daily food requirements. 

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Cleaning and Grooming

Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes generally have short coats which need brushing once a week. 

However, if they inherit the short-haired coat of their German Shepherd parent, they will need more frequent brushing. You can also expect them to shed heavily twice a year. 

As for bathing, do this only when needed, as it helps keep their natural body oils. Don’t forget to clean their ears as well because earwax buildup can cause ear infections. 

Trim their nails occasionally and brush their teeth daily to maintain their oral and dental health and hygiene.

Training and Exercise

Training dogs like the GSD Cane Corso mix is crucial in raising a well-behaved pup. They are natural working dogs with quick-learning abilities, so training should be fairly easy. Start basic training as soon as you bring them home.

Although an intelligent dog, this mix is headstrong. For this reason, they are better fitting with an experienced dog owner, preferably one who has dealt with large dogs before. 

They will need a firm, consistent owner that will act as a pack leader.

Simultaneously, the Cane Corso German Shepherd mix requires physical activity of at least one and a half hours daily. 

An adult Corso Shepherd is energetic, and it needs both physical and mental stimulation involving interactive toys.

Not enough exercise could lead to destructive behaviors as well as an unhealthy, overweight German Corso. 

Generally, exercise requirements depend on the dog’s age. Puppies should not be over-exercised, while you should maintain lighter exercise routines for older dogs. 

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How Much Does a German Corso Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

If you plan to buy a German Corso puppy, expect to pay from $500 to $1,000. Depending on the breeder, availability, and location, the puppy could be priced higher than the given price range. 

As for adoption, an adult German Corso from rescues and shelters costs around $150 to $400. Most of these facilities rehabilitate their rescues, so you are sure to take home a healthy hybrid puppy.

Apart from the upfront cost, you will have to invest in items your pup will need. In this table, you will see the initial expenses of owning a German Corso puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$100 – $120
Food and Water Bowls$15 – $35
Bed$50 – $200
Crate$60 – $500
Leashes and Collars$15 – $50
Toys$30 – $50
Grooming Essentials$40 – $180
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots$75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Dog License$10 – $20
Microchip$40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies$15 – $30
Total Initial Cost$650 – $2,445

This list provides a rough estimate on how you should plan your initial budget for your German Shepherd Cane Corso mix puppy. Your actual spending may affect these values.

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Places to Find Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption

An important thing to note when buying a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is to avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders altogether. These places sell puppies mainly for profit without considering their welfare and health. 

These are some of the places where you can find Cane Corso German Shepherd mix puppies for sale:

  • Greenfield Puppies – For more than 20 years, Greenfield Puppies has connected puppies with caring, loving families. They have a breeder background check feature to ensure that the puppies experienced humane treatment and were produced through healthy breeding practices. Many mixed breeds, including German Shepherd Cane Corso mix puppies, are available on this website. 
  • Lancaster Puppies – Advertising puppies for sale in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, Lancaster Puppies offers a convenient way to pair puppies with their future owners. With listings of purebred and mixed puppies on their website, you might be able to find a Cane Corso German Shepherd hybrid puppy breeder near you.
  • PuppyFinder – Puppyfinder is a directory service that connects dog lovers around the world with breeders, private sellers, and rescue organizations. They have over 1,000 purebred and mixed breed pups available for sale and adoption. Visit this site to find out if Cane Corso German Shepherd mix puppies are up for sale. 

Aside from the sites mentioned above, you can check out our list of top Cane Corso breeders and German Shepherd breeders because they may also be breeding this cross.

READ NEXT: 10 Best Cane Corso Breeders (2022): Our Top 10 Picks!

Nonetheless, mixed dogs are more likely to be in rescues and shelters than purebred dogs. Hence, adoption is a more suggested alternative if you want to own a German Shepherd Cane Corso mix. 

Here is a list of rescues where you may find German Corsos for adoption:

  • Big Dog Ranch Rescue (BDRR) – Big Dog Ranch Rescue is the largest cage-free, no-kill rescue in the United States. They are committed to helping neglected, abandoned, and mistreated dogs heal and recover in their care. You have a higher chance of finding healthy Cane Corso German Shepherd hybrids in this rescue. 
  • Shake A Paw Center for Rescue and Adoption (SPCRA) – Officially formed in 2012, Shake A Paw Center for Rescue and Adoption’s main goal is to find happy forever homes for their puppies and senior dogs. SPCRA takes in any dog breed, large or small, even crossbreeds like Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes. 
  • Forgotten Friends – Forgotten Friends carefully screens adoption applications to ensure adopters and their foster dogs are perfect matches. With them being a mixed breed rescue, you are highly likely to find your German Shepherd Cane Corso pup here as well. 

You can also review our list of German Shepherd rescues because some purebred organizations are also housing this mix.

Meanwhile, if you’re still unsure whether to buy or adopt a Cane Corso German Shepherd pup, let our ultimate guide to adoption and puppy-buying guide help you decide how you will get one. 

READ NEXT: 10 Best German Shepherd Rescues for Adoption (2022): Our Top 10 Picks!

Pros and Cons of Owning a German Corso

Not all breeds are compatible with first-time dog owners, and the German Corso is one of them. While they can be a good family pet, they can also be a handful for some people. 

To help you decide whether or not owning a Cane Corso German Shepherd mix is a good idea, we have gathered some of its pros and cons.

Let’s start with the advantages of owning the German Corso:

  • Highly intelligent: The German Corso is a very intelligent dog that is highly trainable and can easily retain commands. When combined with its nature as a working dog, you get a family pet and a dog suitable for service work.
  • Excellent guard dogs: It is not surprising that Corso Shepherds make excellent guard dogs and watchdogs, given their parents’ characteristics. Their protective streak, vigilance, and alertness help them protect their owners from perceived threats.
  • Fairly easy to maintain: German Corsos are fairly easy to maintain when it comes to grooming. Although they tend to shed throughout the year, it is usually manageable. As for their health upkeep, you only need to bring them to the vet once in a while and provide them with enough activities as they enjoy training and exercise. 

Meanwhile, these are the cons of a German Corso that you should also take into consideration:

  • Prone to aggression: German Corsos without proper training and socialization are prone to aggression towards other animals. While they are not likely to attack people directly, they might still cause danger to children and other dogs smaller than them. For this reason, they require dog owners who have experience in handling guard dogs.
  • Not suitable for apartment living: This hybrid is a large working dog that constantly needs activity in wider spaces. When cooped in a small space, they tend to get bored, leading to destructive behavior. They also tend to bark a lot, which could be a nuisance even for owners themselves.
  • Do not get along with cats and smaller animals: As dogs with high prey drive, powerful jaws, and hunting and herding instincts, they are mostly incompatible with cats and other pets of small sizes. This is why proper socialization with other pets is important. German Corsos can learn to coexist even with other animals outside your home if they’re given time to acclimate with them. 

Weighing the pros and cons is essential before ultimately deciding whether the German Corso is the right dog for you. When you choose to purchase one, this will also help you prepare for what lies ahead. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are German Corsos Aggressive?

German Corsos are prone to aggression due to their overprotective streak. This is sadly inherited from both their parent breeds.

To illustrate, their Cane Corso parent has aggressive tendencies toward smaller animals. Meanwhile, their German Shepherd parent displays aggression toward other dogs, especially the same sex.

Do Cane Corso German Shepherd Mixes Shed a Lot?

A Cane Corso German Shepherd mix pup can be a moderate to heavy shedder depending on which parent breed they inherited their coat from. They are most likely to shed heavily if they inherit the German Shepherd’s coat. 

Are Cane Corso German Shepherd Mixes Hypoallergenic?

No. Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes are not hypoallergenic. This designer breed sheds hair and dander, which can cause allergies. 

Pet dander is the microscopic flecks of dried skin cells that float in the air. Physical contact with these skin cells may cause dermatitis and other skin irritations, while inhalation may potentially harm the respiratory system. 

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Final Thoughts: Is a German Corso the Right Dog for You?

The German Corso is a very intelligent dog that inherits the best qualities of its parents. 

As mixed breeds, they come with disadvantages in temperament, but they can still be the best candidate for a family, service, and guard dog. 

The bottom line is, with or without the challenges this breed projects, the German Corso deserves as much loyalty, protection, and love as it is willing to give its owner. 

Do you have any interesting experiences with Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes? Let us know in the comments below!