Is a Cane Corso Pitbull Mix Perfect for Your Home?

When people think of mixed-breed dogs, many think of adorable tiny breeds with unique looks. But others want the other end of the spectrum: an intelligent dog that exudes strength and confidence. If you’re one of the latter group, then a Cane Corso pitbull mix may be the perfect fit for your family.

Before you decide to adopt one, however, there are a few things you should know about this powerful and loyal breed.

What Is a Cane Corso Pitbull Mix?

As the name indicates, the Cane Corso pitbull mix is a cross between the Cane Corso and the pitbull. The Cane Corso is an Italian breed of dog originally bred for hunting wild boar, while pitbulls were originally bred for fighting bulls and other dogs. The two breeds were mixed to create a large, muscular dog with a strong jaw. 

History of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a descendant of the ancient Greek Molossus, a now-extinct mastiff-type dog used in warfare by the Roman army. The Molossus was brought to Italy by Roman soldiers, where it eventually gave rise to the Cane Corso and its cousin the Neapolitan Mastiff.

The word “Cane” in Cane Corso means “dog” in Italian, while “Corso” likely comes from the Latin word Corso, meaning “guardian.” The Cane Corso has long been prized for its guarding abilities and makes an excellent watchdog.

In the 1970s, the breed nearly became extinct but was saved by dedicated Italian breeders who worked to bring the breed back. A long-time popular dog breed in Italy, the Cane Corso arrived in North America in 1988 and grew in popularity. In 2010, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed.

A pit bull cane corso mixed dog on lease

History of the Pitbull

The term “pit bull” refers to a group of American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized dog breeds that include the American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American bully (also known as American bulldog), and American pitbull terrier. These breeds were originally bred from the Olde English Bulldogge in the 1800s in England and Ireland for bull-baiting — a cruel blood sport in which dogs were pitted against bulls for entertainment. When bull-baiting was outlawed in England in 1835, dog fighting became increasingly popular as a replacement activity.

To make pitbulls more adept at fighting, breeders crossed them with terriers to create the modern pitbulls known today. During the American Civil War, as European immigrants moved to America, they brought along the breed to help with hunting and other rural activities.

As time went on, pitbulls gradually became companion dogs. Unfortunately, their reputation for being aggressive has lingered, something breeders and organizations continue to work hard to change.

Currently, the AKC “do[es] not recognize pit bulls as an official breed.” However, according to Animal Care and Control, as long as you own a dog that resembles a pitbull, it is considered a pitbull regardless of its genetics.

It’s important to note that many American cities still have an active ban on pitbull ownership, meaning there may be restrictions or legal consequences to consider before adopting a Cane Corso pitbull mix.

Crossing Cane Corso with Pitbulls

Why would people want to cross a Cane Corso with a pitbull? Well, when done purposefully and responsibly, crosses can result in some pretty incredible dogs. When these two breeds are combined, you get a dog with the best of both worlds. The cross is likely to inherit the size and power of the Cane Corso with the loving personality of the pitbull. When bred by experienced and reputable breeders, these qualities can be harnessed to produce an even-tempered dog that makes an excellent family pet. 

At the same time, every dog is an individual, so it is impossible to guarantee a dog’s temperament. It’s always crucial to research before adding any new furry friend to your family.

A pitbull mix dog close-up

Physical Attributes of the Cane Corso Pitbull Mix

There can be a lot of variation in terms of physical attributes regarding mixed breeds. Depending on whether the Cane Corso is from European or American lines, it can result in a slightly different-looking dog. While European Cane Corsos have boxer-like facial features and are somewhat smaller in size, the American lines tend to have a face similar to a mastiff and are usually bigger.

In general, the cross-breed is athletic and muscular with a long head and rectangular-shaped muzzle. The eyes are typically oval-shaped and come in shades of brown or hazel. The natural tail is long and tapers to a point, while the natural ears are floppy.


The Cane Corso pitbull mix is a large dog. Much like the Cane Corso standard measurements, males can reach up to 27″ at the shoulder and weigh 70-120 lbs. Females are typically smaller, reaching up to 25″ at the shoulder and weighing 60-110 lbs.


Cane Corso pitbull mixes can inherit the coat color from either Cane Corso or pitbull breeds and may come in a wide variety of colors, including black, blue, brindle, fawn, gray, red, silver, and white. While some may only have one color, many will have a combination of two or more colors.

Some may even have white markings on their chest and toes that resemble a pitbull more than a Cane Corso. So, no matter your color preferences, you’re likely to find a Cane Corso pitbull mix that’s perfect for you. 

When purchasing a mixed puppy from a breeder, observe the Corso parent. If they exhibit rare colors, such as liver or fawn color with light-colored eyes, these characteristics may suggest that they have more recessive gene traits. Although they may appear more striking, they also have a higher risk of passing any recessive genes-related health problems onto the puppies.


These dogs usually have short coats that are easy to maintain. A weekly brushing helps remove any dead hair and keeps their coat shiny and healthy. You only need to wash them once every month, or after they get dirty from rolling in mud or playing in the rain. This helps keep their skin and coats healthy and free from infections or parasites. 

Should You Crop the Cane Corso Pitbull Mix Ears and Tails?

These mixed puppies are gorgeous animals with a proud stance and an athletic build. But there are a few attributes that have caused quite a bit of debate among owners: their ears and tails. It’s common practice with both the Cane Corso and pitbull to crop their ears and tails, but is it necessary?

A cane corso pitbull mix dog sits in the snow

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Pros of Cropping

The most common reason owners choose cropping is for aesthetic purposes. Many believe cropped ears and tail give the dog a “regal” look. Others say it makes the dog look more “intimidating” and “protective.” Some even argue that it makes the dog look more handsome!

Another common reason people crop their dog’s ears and tail is that it makes injury less likely during rough playing and working in outdoors. In addition, cropped ears have less surface area for bacteria to grow on, allowing air to circulate better around the ear canal. This practice can be beneficial for dogs living in extremely hot and humid environments.

Cons of Cropping

Like any surgical procedure, cropping your dog’s ears and tail may have several potential complications. For starters, cropping your dog’s ears can lead to hearing loss when the procedure is performed too close to the ear canal, damaging the delicate structures inside the ear. Cropping can also cause bone and cartilage deformities, nerve damage, and infection. Additionally, there is always the risk of the dog feeling general distress due to the pain and anxiety associated with a surgical procedure.

Overall, cropping is an individual decision that should be taken seriously. If you decide the procedure is the best option for your pet, talk with your veterinarian and follow their advice. Whatever your choice, ensure that your puppy receives proper care and attention.


Cane Corso pitbull mixes are loving, loyal dogs that make great family pets. They can take after the Cane Corso nature and be alert and watchful, making them excellent guard dogs. They should not be aggressive unless they feel their family is threatened. As a result, children should learn how to act appropriately with their friends around the dog. In cases where children play aggressively, the dog may believe their family member is in danger and react to protect them.

The pitbull side of the mix can bring out a more playful nature. These dogs usually love to play with their family and don’t mind some roughhousing, as long as they’re comfortable. They are very sensitive to their owner’s feelings and will do anything to make them happy. They are also goofballs who will keep you entertained with their silly antics.

Intelligence Level

The Cane Corso pitbull mix is an intelligent breed, but they can also be stubborn and headstrong if not properly trained and socialized. This hybrid breed does best with an owner who is firm yet gentle in their approach to training, someone who can provide consistent rules and boundaries while still showing plenty of love and affection. With the right owner, the Cane Corso pitbull mix can learn commands quickly and excel in agility and other dog sports. 

A cane corso mix puppy

Training Needs

Early socialization and obedience training are essential for all dogs, but they are a necessity for the Cane Corso pitbull mix. This hybrid has a high prey drive and can be aggressive toward other animals if not properly trained and socialized from a young age. They also have a strong hunting instinct, so they should always be supervised in an unsecured area once properly trained. 

Like all dogs, the Cane Corso pitbull mix needs socialization training to interact with other people and animals. This is especially crucial if you frequently take your dog out in public. Without socialization training, your dog may become aggressive or fearful around others, which could lead to accidents or bites. 

Cane Corso pitbull mixes also need obedience training so they know who is the boss in the household. Without obedience training, your dog may start to think they are in charge, which can lead to behavioral problems down the road. Teach your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, come, down, and off so you can better control them in public and at home. And because these pups can grow up to be over 100 lbs, having all these commands can make grooming and vet visits much more manageable.

A cane corso pitbull mix stands on concrete

Exercise Needs

The Cane Corso is a high-energy breed that needs a lot of exercise. A healthy Corso should get at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily. If your Corso doesn’t get enough exercise, they may become destructive or even aggressive. 

The pitbull side of the equation isn’t quite as high energy as the Corso side, but they still need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. A good rule is to give your pitbull at least 45 minutes to an hour of exercise daily. This can be in the form of walks, runs, games of fetch, or any other activity that gets the heart pumping. 

When it comes to the Cane Corso pitbull mix, it’s important to err on the side of caution and ensure they get enough exercise. Around an hour of exercise every day, split between two or more sessions, will ensure they stay happy and healthy for years to come. You will also find that when they get the proper amount of exercise, they will be much better behaved in public and at home. 

Life Expectancy

The Cane Corso has a life expectancy of 9-12 years, while the pitbull has a life expectancy of 13-15 years. When it comes to the Cane Corso pitbull mix, you can expect your dog to have a life expectancy somewhere in the middle, around 11-13 years. However, depending on individual genetics and nutritional habits, this life expectancy can fluctuate by a few years in either direction.

Common Cane Corso Pitbull Mix Health Concerns

Cane Corsos are generally a healthy breed with few health concerns. However, there are a few health conditions to be aware of if you own a Cane Corso: cardiomyopathy (a heart condition) and bloat (a condition in which the stomach becomes swollen with gas) are not uncommon in this breed. 

Pitbulls are also generally less plagued with genetic health problems than other breeds. But like all large, stocky breeds, pitbulls are prone to joint problems, such as patellar luxation (a condition in which the kneecap pops out of place). 

Some common concerns between both breeds include hip dysplasia (a condition in which the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint), elbow dysplasia (a condition in which the bones in the elbow do not fit together correctly), and von Willebrand disease (a blood clotting disorder)

To ensure your puppy grows up healthy and happy, check your breeder’s papers to see if either parent has any known health issues. You should also feed your pup a high-quality diet and take them to regular vet check-ups to ensure they stay healthy.

A cane corso with brindled coat sits on hay

Bottom Line

Overall, the Cane Corso pitbull mix is a loyal, loving companion who can make an excellent addition to any family. They’re large dogs and require a lot of attention and exercise, so it’s essential to make sure that you’re able to provide them with the proper amount of love and care. With the right environment, these pups can grow to be wonderful companions for many years! 

If you think this breed is a good fit for your home, begin your research by finding a breeder. At the same time, it is always an excellent idea to chat with your local pet training coaches and plan a puppy training program to ensure your pup is socialized and trained properly. Additionally, you may want to check out our article “A Comprehensive Guide to Training Your Cane Corso Puppy” for extra tips on raising a healthy, happy pooch. Happy pup parenting!

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