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German Corso (Cane Corso & German Shepherd Mix): Guide, Pictures, Care & More


May 15, 2023
Parent breeds of German Corso - Featured Image


Parent breeds of German Corso - Featured Image

The German Corso is a mix of two dog breeds, the German Shepherd and the Cane Corso. The German Corso is a large, loyal, intelligent dog eager to please its owners. It’s also quick to protect its family and territory.

With this breed, you get the best traits of a Cane Corso and a German Shepherd. Just like the parent breeds, these dogs can also make great companions if well-trained. Read on to discover more about the German Corso.

Breed Overview


White, blue, silver, red, brown, gray, black

Suitable for:

Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog


Loyal & loving, intelligent, cautious, watchful, alert

The German Corso is known for its dedication to its family and ability to guard the home. It’s one of the few dog breeds that you can sleep easy with, knowing that it’s on the lookout at all times.

If you are looking for a mixed breed dog with the best qualities of a German Shepherd and a Cane Corso, this is the dog for you. Not only does it harness both qualities, but it is also an incredibly beautiful dog known for its intelligence and protective nature.

German Corso Characteristics



High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.



Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.



Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.



Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.



Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


German Corso Puppies

The German Corso is a fairly rare designer dog. The puppies can either resemble both parents or take more after one of the parents. The puppies are just as intelligent as their parents and thus require training when still young. Although the adults are highly active and require plenty of exercise, puppies should not be over-exercised to avoid strain on their joints.

You should get a puppy from a reputable breeder, and most charge anywhere from $500 to $1,000. The price will vary depending on the breeder, the dog’s parentage, and your location. Before buying one, you should always ask for an opportunity to see the puppies interacting with the mother. A trusted breeder should also be willing to share with you the father’s details and both parents’ medical records.

Adopting is also a rewarding option, if you can find a German Corso needing a home.

Parent breeds of the German Corso
Image Credit: Left – Eudyptula, Shutterstock | Right – Kamracik, Pixabay

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Temperament and Intelligence of the German Corso

The German Corso is highly intelligent. They also have a good temperament—they are playful, friendly, and goofy around their owners and family.

Due to their intelligence, training them is easy. They can pick up training concepts and commands quickly. They are eager to please and are generally incredibly obedient, which is another reason they are easy to train. Training should be gentle, especially when they are puppies. Consider using treats and positive reassurance instead of harsher methods. However, these dogs can be stubborn from time to time.

German Corsos are calm dogs but can be temperamental when it comes to strangers and outsiders and are highly selective about who they deem worthy of hanging around. This is why early socialization of these dogs is essential.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The German Corso is an excellent family dog. With those they consider part of their pack, they tend to get along well, including young children. However, due to their high energy levels, they are not the best pick for elderly owners who cannot give them the right amount of exercise.

They are also friendly and compassionate and do well with children—but supervision is still required with small children. They tend to knock them down due to their high spirits and may not enjoy when their boundaries are crossed. However, they take a parental role with young children and can be used as nanny dogs. They also make fantastic playmates for energetic children.

German Corsos are loving, loyal companions that are devoted to their owners and family and will protect them from harm, even putting their own lives at risk to do so.

Rehomed German Corsos take a long time before they can warm up to new people and acclimatize to the new surroundings and should be handled with care.

Since they are highly energetic and social, the perfect owner of the German Corso is anyone who can provide company most of the day. Otherwise, this dog will suffer from separation anxiety and may act out when the owner is gone by destroying property.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The German Corso is a friendly breed, and they get along with other canines if they are socialized from a young age. Their ability to get along with another dog will also depend on the temperament of the other dog. If the dog is aggressive, German Corsos tend to get defensive and may exhibit aggressive behavior. Some dogs in this breed also exhibit territorial behavior and may not get along with a dog of the same sex.

The German Corso has a high prey drive, making it incompatible with smaller pets such as cats, birds, and rabbits. If you have them living in the same house, you must keep a close eye on them and separate them when you are not around. Of course, socialization from a young age can help, but their high prey drive can make this challenging.

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Things to Know When Owning a German Corso

The German Corso is a large and energetic dog breed and is not recommended for first-time dog owners. Some things you have to know before owning one include the following:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The German Corso has no special dietary requirements and can eat most varieties of dog food. However, since they are a large and energetic breed, you must ensure you give them food to nourish and build their muscles and bones. They typically benefit from a high-protein diet with lots of vitamins since they burn calories throughout the day when playing or exercising.

If you are unsure what to feed them, you can consult a vet, who will advise you on what to feed them according to their size and age. However, it’s up to you whether to feed them raw food, dry kibble, or a homemade diet. Always double-check the ingredients and ensure all nutritional needs are met.

Balancing feeding against exercise is essential to maintain a healthy weight. The healthiest shape and size for a German Corso is a lean build; it eases pressure on the vital organs and joints and helps your dog avoid diseases such as diabetes.

Exercise 🐕

The German Corso is a highly energetic dog, requiring regular exercise to stimulate it mentally and physically. Teenagers and adults of this breed typically need more hours of exercise than older dogs since they calm down as they age and their energy levels decrease.

You should only consider this dog if you can put in the hours. They need at least 1 hour of strenuous exercise daily, such as playing catch, swimming, and running. If you have a big backyard, you can let them loose and allow them to run until they are tired. Running also will enable them to burn off some steam and calm down.

When dealing with puppies, it’s better to break down the exercise throughout the day to avoid over-exerting them. If you neglect to exercise your German Corso, they can become nervous and agitated and turn to more destructive behavior to burn off the excess energy.

Training 🎾

The German Corso is intelligent, obedient, and eager to please, making training easy. They need consistent obedience training as puppies as well as mental stimulation. This dog also needs to be trained not to bite when it’s a puppy—it has a strong jaw and bite strength and might do serious harm when it bites, even when playing unless it’s trained how to bite softly.

The German Corso has a reputation for being focused during training. The adaptability this dog gets from the German Shepherd heritage makes training it a pleasure. You can expect it to top the class in training or puppy classes.

Since it’s a large and easily excitable dog, socialization is a big part of its training. This will ensure it is manageable even when outside the home. It will also help the dog deal with a wide range of situations. Any domineering behaviors towards other dogs or negative interactions with other people can also be mitigated and managed by teaching your dog to obey recall commands.

Prioritizing the “sit” and “wait” command is also important when training this dog. The best training method is positive reinforcement since these dogs love being praised by their owners.

Grooming ✂️

The German Corso has minimal grooming requirements and only sheds a couple of times a year. The coat is short and sleek and only needs to be brushed once a week. However, if the German Shepherd heritage includes a long-haired German Shepherd, the coat may be longer, shed more, and require more regular grooming.

Cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly is also essential since it removes tartar and buildup. Also, consider taking them to a professional groomer every 4–6 weeks to maintain their coat health, clean their ears, and clip their nails.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The German Corso is a healthy dog with very few health issues. Some of these health issues can be traced back to one parent.

Minor Conditions

  • The German Corso hybrid is a large dog, and some minor health conditions are due to its size and weight. Hip Dysplasia, for example, can happen when the dog exerts too much weight on the joints.
  • Another minor condition is obesity, which occurs when the dog is overfed and does not get enough exercise. Ensure you take your vet to see a vet regularly for checkups to prevent some of these conditions and treat them before they worsen.

Serious Conditions

  • German Corsos can develop several severe conditions, most of which can be traced to their German Shepherd roots due to intensive inbreeding. One is Degenerative Disc Disease which can lead to motor issues and total paralysis. This can be avoided by checking the medical records of both parents before breeding.
  • German Corsos are also at risk of developing epilepsy, especially young dogs between 1 and 5 years old.


Male vs. Female

Each dog is unique, and gender does not affect the general personality of German Corsos much. However, male and female dogs can sometimes have different dispositions. Generally, male German Corsos are bigger and heavier than females. On the other hand, the female German Corso is more likely to be responsive to training and matures faster than its male counterpart.

The males also tend to be less energetic and standoffish with strangers and outsiders. However, both males and females make excellent guard dogs and loving companions within the home.

3 Little-Known Facts About the German Corso

1. They make excellent guard dogs.

Given the nature of both parents, the German Corso is very protective of its family. It’s also very distrusting of strangers and will alert you as soon as anyone steps into your property with a loud and formidable bark.

2. They can be stubborn and strong-willed.

German Corsos can be stubborn and strong-willed, primarily because of their intelligence. If you plan on getting one, you need to be ready to put in the time and effort to train them. Luckily, obedience training is easy for this dog breed.

3. They are big eaters.

The German Corso is a large dog breed with high energy levels. For this reason, they require a lot of food to sustain them. Giving them a high-quality diet packed with nutrients and calories is vital. Feeding them is easy since they are generally not picky eaters.


Final Thoughts

The German Corso is a popular hybrid since it gets positive traits from both parents. They are loyal and cautious and thus make excellent family dogs. They are powerful and athletic with large muscular bodies to match.

However, people with small kids and pets should be wary about bringing a German Corso into the mix. They have a high prey drive which is what made them excellent hunting dogs in the first place.

If you are considering getting a German Corso, ensure you have enough space to house them and allow them to run around.

Featured Image Credit: Left – Didkovska Ilona, Shutterstock | Right – Anna Dudkova, Unsplash

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