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German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix: Facts, Details, Pictures

German Spherards and Cane Corsos are very different at first glance, so you may be surprised to know that they make a great pair. Breeding them creates a stunningly strong and loyal pooch, the German Corso. 

History and Where the German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix comes from

When two purebred dogs of different breeds are intentionally mated, a designer dog is born. The term designer dog breed is new, but the practice dates back to ancient times.

Most of today’s pure breeds are actually a result of this type of breeding, including the Cane Corso. 

The practice, or the term, is only about 20 years old. It’s rare to know where a designer breed comes from, and this is true of the German Shepherd Cane Corso as well.  

We don’t know who first created this breed, or when. However, we do know the history of the parent breeds. 

Cane Corso History 

The Cane Corso is a descendant of the ancient Greek Mollosser. Other Mollossers include Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Bulldogs. 

The Cane Corso began by fighting alongside Roman soldiers. Once the war was over, the Corso made itself useful in other ways.

They became a farm dog, protecting livestock and helping out with tasks. They were also used as guard dogs. In fact, their name means “bodyguard dog” in Italian. 

The breed was almost extinct in the 1970s. However, a chance encounter saved the breed. They came to America in the 1980s. They grew in popularity quickly, although they are still relatively rare.

German Shepherd History 

The German Shepherd was created in the 1800s. As the name suggests, the breed originated in Germany. They were first bred by Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz. 

He fell in love with sheepdogs. As pasture in Europe began to dwindle, he feared the breed would disappear. He began breeding the sheep dogs for certain characteristics, and the German Shepherd was born. 

He sought a dog that was beautiful, with a wolf-like appearance, herding abilities, and intelligence. The main job of the German Shepherd was guarding sheep. 

By World War 1, the dogs were very popular in Germany. They began making their way to other parts of the world as well. 

They were originally bred to be working dogs, but owners quickly discovered that they made excellent companions as well. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Facts

The German Shepherd Cane Corso is a medium to large sized breed. They have a graceful appearance, and are very loyal to their family. 

Both the German Shepherd and Cane Corso are purebreds, and can be registered with the AKC. However, the German Corso can’t be registered, because they are considered a mixed breed.

This means that they can’t compete in confirmation shows. However, they can still participate in other events. If you want a companion pooch, this isn’t much of a concern. However, if you want to show your furry friend, you may need to consider another breed. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Appearance

The German Shepherd and Cane Corso don’t seem similar in appearance at first glance. However, they have more in common than you might expect. 

It’s important to note that they will inherit physical traits from each parent. They will typically resemble one parent more than the other, which makes it difficult to predict how they will look. Even puppies within the same litter can look very different. 

German Corso Physical Appearance 

German Shepherds have an elongated head, while the Cane Corso has a rounded shape. Shepherds have erect ears, while the Cane Corso will have larger, floppy ears. 

Your pooch may inherit either parents’ traits in these areas. 

When it comes to body shape, both parent breeds are well muscled. However, Shepherds are leaner and sleek. Cane Corsos are stockier, with larger bones and more muscle mass. 

Most German Corsos will fall somewhere in between the parent breeds. They will be stockier than a German Shepherd, but leaner than the Cane Corso. 

Coat and Colors 

German Shepherds have a long coat, while Cane Corsos sport a short one. Most German Shepherd Cane Corsos will inherit a medium length coat. 

Both parent breeds have a double coat. This means they have a dense undercoat that keeps them warm, and a topcoat that is visible. Your pooch will also inherit this double coat. 

Both parent breeds have several potential coat colors. When bred together, the color can be difficult to predict. 

Both parent breeds can have black or black and tan coats. These are the most common colors for the German Corso. They may be brindle, which gives them black stripes on a lighter base coat. 

It’s possible for them to inherit other coat colors, including solid tan, red, gray, or brown.

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Price and Expenses

A German Shepherd Cane Corso typically costs between $500 to $1,000. This is less expensive than their parent breeds.

A registered Cane Corso typically costs $1,000 to $2,5000. A registered German Shepherds range in price from $800 to $3,500. 

Of course, buying a puppy is only the beginning of the costs associated with dog ownership. 

German Corso Ownership Expenses 

The initial ownership expenses are between $250 to $1100. This includes a dog bed, crate, and toys.  

You’ll also need to consider initial veterinary expenses. This ranges from $3150 to $1,260. This includes vaccines, wellness exams, and spay or neuter surgery. 

A German Corso also requires plenty of food, because they are large breed dogs. This will cost $60 to $80 each month. 

The total initial expenses for your German Shepherd Cane Corso will be $650 to $2,430. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Rarity

German Shepherd Cane Corsos are rare. One reason for this is the rarity of the parent breeds. German Shepherds are the second most popular dog in the U.S., which makes them very common. 

Cane Corsos are rarer. They rank 17th in popularity, which means they are less common than most breeds. The rarity of the Cane Corso means that Cane Corso mixes are also rare. 

The other reason for their rarity is that they are a new breed. This means there are few breeders currently breeding the German Corso. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Life Expectancy

A German Shepherd Cane Corso mix will have a lifespan similar to their parents. You can expect them to live for 9 to 13 years. 

Cane Corsos typically live for 9 to 12 years. German Shepherds live for 9 to 13 years. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Size and weight

German Shepherd Corsos are considered large dogs, like their parents. Their exact size will vary slightly, depending on which genes they inherit from their parents. 

They will grow to 24 to 28 inches tall, and weigh 70 to 100 pounds. Males will be a bit larger than females. 

When it comes to the German Shepherd, they grow to 22-28 inches tall, and weigh 66-88 pounds. Cane Corsos grow to 23-28 inches tall, and weigh 85-120 pounds. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Health

German Shepherd Cane Corsos are considered healthy dogs. However, there are a range of potential health conditions they can develop. Some conditions must be inherited from both parents, while others can be inherited from just one parent. 

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia is common in medium to large breeds. It occurs when the hip or elbow joint doesn’t form correctly. The condition is inherited, but other factors also impact the risk of developing the disorder. 

A healthy weight and exercise can reduce the risk of developing hip dysplasia. 

The symptoms include pain, particularly with movement. Depending on the severity, it can affect the dog’s ability to walk, run, or jump. 


Both parent breeds are at risk of epilepsy. There are three types of epilepsy. 

Primary or idiopathic epilepsy occurs when there’s no other apparent cause, like a stroke or injury. German Shepherd Cane Corsos are at risk of developing this type of epilepsy. 

It typically develops between 6 months and 3 years old. The symptoms include shaking, drooling, falling over, and loss of consciousness. They may also lose bladder and bowel control when having a seizure. 


Bloat is a life threatening condition. It can occur in any dog, but it’s more common in large or barrel chested breeds. Bloat occurs when the gas in the stomach can’t be released. 

If the dog doesn’t get treatment quickly, this pressure will continue to increase. This causes the stomach to twist, which is fatal in 80% of cases, even with veterinary treatment. 

If the dog gets treatment before the stomach twists, they have a 50% chance of survival. 

You can reduce the risk of bloat by feeding your pooch a few smaller meals each day, rather than one large one. If they eat quickly. a slow feeder bowl can also reduce their risk. 

Eye Disorders 

Eye disorders are common in both parent breeds, so they can also occur in the German Corso. 

Cataracts is one of these conditions. Cataracts causes a film to form over the eye. This can interfere with their vision, but it’s not painful. 

PRA, or Progressive Retinal Atrophy, is another concern. PRA causes the eyes to stop functioning, usually at 2 or 3 years old. The condition causes blindness. 

Less serious eye conditions include entrophin and cherry eye. These conditions occur when the eyelid turns inward or outward. 

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is possible in any breed, but it’s more common in a few breeds, including the German Shepherd. This puts the German Shepherd Cane Corso at risk for the condition as well. 

Degenerative disc disease causes the outer discs to degrade. Eventually, this can cause them to rupture. This is known as a herniated disc. 

Degenerative disc disease itself doesn’t cause symptoms. Symptoms do occur if a disc ruptures. 

The symptoms of a herniated disc can range from mild to severe pain, and even paralysis. The pooch may be reluctant to move due to pain. 

Treatment will depend on the stage of the disorder. Mild degenerative disc disease can be treated with rest and anti-inflammatory drugs. Serious cases require surgery. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Behavior/Characteristics/Temperament

German Shepherd Cane Corsos are energetic and friendly. They may be standoffish with strangers, however. 

They are excellent with children, and will be protective of their family. In fact, Cane Corso means “Bodyguard dog” in Italian. German Shepherds are also known for being highly protective. 

They are highly observant and watchful. They are playful with their family, but will be serious when the situation calls for it. 

Their love for life and enthusiasm makes them great companions. 

They are eager to please their owners, particularly the alpha of the family. They are also extremely loyal. 

How to care for a German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix

German Shepherd Cane Corsos are considered relatively easy to care for. However, you should know how to care for them before you decide to bring one home. 

How much exercise do German Shepherds Cane Corso Mixes need?

How much exercise your German Shepherd Cane Corso mix needs will vary depending on which parent they take after in that area. Both parent breeds are energetic, and require plenty of activity, so you should expect the same from your German Corso. 

German Shepherds need 1 1/2 to 2 hours of exercise each day. Cane Corsos need at least 1 hour of exercise daily. 

German Corsos need at least 1 hour of exercise each day. Most will do well with 2 hours each day. 

Exercise can include running, walking, swimming, and agility courses. Games like fetch are also a good way to help keep them active. 

In addition to physical activity, German Corsos also require plenty of mental exercise. Both parent breeds are very intelligent, which means mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. 

You can provide this by teaching them new tricks or commands, playing games with them, and puzzle toys. 

Do German Shepherd Cane Corso Mixes shed a lot?

How much your German Corso sheds depends on the coat they inherit. German Shepherds have a thick double coat, with a long topcoat. 

They will shed year round, and shed significantly in the spring and fall. 

Cane Corsos have a short double coat. They will shed in the spring and fall, but much less than the German Shepherd. 

If your pooch has a German Shepherd type coat, they will shed a lot. If they inherit the shorter Cane Corso coat, they will have minimal shedding. 

Do you need to groom German Shepherd Cane Corso mixes often?

How much grooming your pooch requires will also depend on the coat they inherit. The long coat of a German Shepherd requires brushing every few days. Cane Corsos require brushing once or twice a week. 

If your German Corso has a long coat, they will need brushing every couple of days. If they have a shorter Corso coat, you can brush them once or twice a week. 

You can bathe them as little as once every 6 to 8 weeks, or as often as once a week. 

They also need regular nail trimming. This can be done once every 4 to 6 weeks. 

Do you need to train German Shepherd Cane Corso Mixes a lot?

German Shepherd Cane Corsos do require plenty of training.  They are large and energetic dogs, which makes training them properly very important. 

Both parent breeds can be highly protective, which also makes training essential. When properly trained, a German Corso will be well behaved. 

They are highly intelligent, and are eager to please. This does make training a bit easier. However, the Cane Corso can be stubborn. These pooches require a strong alpha leader. 

If you aren’t experienced with strong willed dogs, you should consider signing them up for an obedience class. 

Training should begin early, before the dog develops bad habits, or tries to establish themselves as the boss of the home.

When training them, be sure to use positive reinforcement. Punishment will only bring out the stubborn side of their temperament.  Be calm but authoritative. 

It’s important to know that both parent breeds are working dogs. They are used by police, rescue teams, and as service dogs. 

The German Corso, like their parent breeds, needs a job to do. Training them well is a great way to begin.

What they do isn’t really important. They can guard the home and family, retrieve objects, or help with tasks around the home. The important thing is that they have a job to help them feel useful and keep them occupied.  

Remember, both parent breeds commonly work as service dogs, police dogs, and help with rescue operations. They are highly trainable, and can meet high expectations. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Socialization 

Their protective nature makes socialization essential for German Corsos. When they are properly socialized, they will be wary but calm with strangers. 

If they aren’t properly socialized, they can be aggressive. 

You’ll also need to socialize them with other pets, particularly any within the home. Both parent breeds have a high prey drive. If they are socialized with smaller pets early on, they will view them as companions. 

If they aren’t socialized, they will view smaller animals as prey. This can cause them to attack, causing an unfortunate accident. 

German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix Diet

Because they are a large breed, diet is very important for the German Shepherd Cane Corso. They do best with a dog food designed for large or energetic breeds. 

The diet should be high in protein and have a medium fat content. Look for a food that has protein sources as the first 3 to 5 ingredients. 

Puppies younger than 6 months old  should be fed 3 to 4 times a day. Pooches 6 months old can be fed 3 times a day. Once they reach 1 year old, you can reduce their meals to 2 times a day. 

Puppies should be fed a puppy formula. Dogs who are 1 to 2 can be fed an adult dog food. 

Are German Shepherd Cane Corso Mixes good family pets?

German Shepherd Cane Corsos are excellent family pets. However, there are some things to consider. German Shepherd Corsos are loyal and affectionate.

They may bond closely with one member of the family, but they will care for and protect everyone in their household, or pack. 

They need plenty of attention each day, which also makes them ideal for families. They don’t do well being left alone for long periods. 

They can be wary of strangers. As long as they are socialized from an early age, they will get along well with strange people and pets, but they may not be friendly with them.

They are excellent with children. They are gentle and patient with them. They also love to play, which makes them great babysitters. Perhaps most importantly, they are also highly protective over children. 

How do you buy a German Shepherd Cane Corso Mix?

Because they are rare, it can take some time and patience to find a German Shepherd Cane Corso. The most important thing is to find a reputable breeder. 

Where to find a German Shepherd Cane Corso

The easiest way to find a German Corso is with an internet search. In addition to searching for a German Shepherd Cane Corso, you can also check organizations that are devoted to the parent breeds. 

These include the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, and the Cane Corso Association of America.

Finding a Reputable Breeder 

To find a reputable breeder, you’ll need to ask questions. How do they determine breeding pairs? How do they ensure the dogs and puppies are healthy?

It’s also a great idea to visit the home of the breeder. This will allow you to meet the parent dogs, and the puppies. You’ll also be able to see the dog’s living conditions. 

If the breeder is too far away, ask them for a video chat. It’s also a great idea to look for reviews of the breeder online.