Cane Corso Lab Mix: All the Details of the Latest Designer Dog
If you’re looking for a dog that combines a fiercely loyal and protective nature with a friendly and patient temperament, a Cane Corso Labrador mix may be a good fit for your home!
Like every other breed, however, this designer dog presents a unique set of challenges and pet-owning requirements.
The Cane Corso Lab mix, also known as a Labrador Corso, is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Cane Corso Italiano or Italian Mastiff.
Because the mix is not a standardized breed, the appearance and personality may vary widely, but the resulting cross creates a large, loyal guard dog with a sturdy build and striking appearance.
So What Is a Cane Corso Lab Mix?
The Labrador Corso isn’t an officially recognized breed yet, everything from its official name to its appearance has yet to be set in stone.
At the most basic level, the Labrador Corso or Cane Corso Lab mix is any dog that has a Labrador Retriever and a Cane Corso Italiano as its parents.
Because both Cane Corso mastiffs and Labrador Retrievers are relatively large dogs, the Labrador Corso is usually pretty large as well. They stand about 25 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 70 to 110 pounds.
The average Labrador Corso will most likely resemble a blend of both parents, which means that they’ll probably look like a slightly beefier Labrador Retriever, but not nearly as bulky as a true Cane Corso.
Depending on the appearance of both parents, the Labrador Corso may range in color from a light fawn to brindle to a deep black coat.
Both Labrador Retrievers and Cane Corso mastiffs have a double coat, so the Labrador Corso will almost certainly inherit that same thick fur.
Possibly due to the influence of the Labrador Retriever, the nose color of the Labrador Corso can also vary widely. While true Cane Corsi tend to have either light brown (“fawn”) or black noses, Labrador Retrievers come in a much larger range of shades.
As a result, a young Labrador Corso puppy may have a black, brown, fawn, or even “blue” nose. Rather than being what we would consider as “true” blue, a blue nose usually looks closer to a light shade of gray.
Cane Corso Lab Mix Temperament
Once again, because the Labrador Corso is such a new breed, their temperament has not yet been firmly established.
The individual dog may inherit the Lab personality, which means they’ll be goofy, friendly, and eager to please.
However, they may also inherit the Cane Corso personality, in which case they’ll be far more aloof and standoffish.
No matter how their individual personality manifests, Labrador Corsi is an extremely intelligent dog. Both Cane Corsi and Labrador Retrievers are bred for their intelligence and their ability to learn new commands.
As a result, it’s hardly surprising that any cross between these two breeds should result in a dog that’s every bit as intelligent as both of its parents.
(As with any new dog breed, potential owners should be aware of the Labrador Corso’s risk of combining all of the worst traits of both parents.
It is not unusual to see a dog that combines the destructive tendencies and easily bored nature of the Labrador Retriever with the suspicious and attention-seeking tendencies of the Cane Corso.)
Cane Corso Lab Mix Lifespan
Like most large dogs, Labrador Corsi has a slightly shorter lifespan than most small dog breeds.
However, the average Labrador Corso should still be able to enjoy anywhere from ten to fifteen years of a happy, healthy life.
If you’re planning on getting a Labrador Corso puppy, it is absolutely in your best interest to look into the bloodline of the dog. Stay away from puppy mills at all costs.
While a puppy mill dog may be cheaper or more easily accessible, buying a dog from an unregistered breeder will only help contribute to the rampant inbreeding and increased health problems that often plague popular new breeds.
Look for a “reputable” breeder in your area. Watch out for breeders who:
- refuse to share the medical history of either of the dog’s parents
- don’t offer veterinary information or provide their vet’s contact info
- don’t want you to visit the puppies or see their living conditions
- don’t allow you to meet either parent dog
- don’t ask any questions about your experience with dogs or your plans for your puppy
While none of these are conclusive pieces of evidence, they may be very strong indicators that you are dealing with a puppy mill or backyard breeder.
In order to make sure that you’re getting the healthiest dog with the best shot at happy home life, buy from a breeder who is open, honest, and willing to take an interest in your puppy’s health and wellness going forward.
Do a little bit of research before you consider any puppy breeder to ensure that your Labrador Corso is the best fit for you and your family!
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
As with any breed of dog, the Labrador Corso comes with its own collection of pros and cons.
While there’s no such thing as an inherently “bad” dog, the “wrong” dog is any dog whose needs and preferences don’t line up with your family and your lifestyle.
Reasons Why You Should Get a Cane Corso Lab Mix
Labrador Corsi is a wonderful guard dog who, with a little bit of socialization, can be lasting and valued members of any family.
Some of the major reasons to adopt this dog include:
Loyal Personality. The Labrador Retriever and the Cane Corso are both incredibly loyal breeds, so it’s hardly surprising that a cross between the two should be the same.
Protective Nature. The Cane Corso was originally bred as a guard dog, and the Labrador Corso inherits the same instincts to patrol its territory and protect its family.
Well-Socialized Behavior. Thanks to the friendly nature of the Labrador Retriever, a well-socialized Labrador Corso should get along well with other dogs and humans outside of its immediate family.
Quiet Nature. If you don’t like dogs that bark all the time, the Labrador Corso is usually a quiet dog, thanks to the almost silent nature of its Cane Corso parent.
Intelligence. Labrador Retrievers and Cane Corso mastiffs are both intelligent and hardworking breeds. The Labrador Corso displays the same level of intelligence and quickness to learn new commands.
Overall, if you have the time, patience, and energy to take care of one of these loyal and devoted dogs, then a Labrador Corso may be a great fit for you and your loved ones.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Cane Corso Lab Mix
Unfortunately, every dog breed has its own drawbacks and complications. The Labrador Corso is no exception to this rule, and each dog in this breed poses its own unique set of challenges that may give first-time dog owners reason to reconsider.
Some of the reasons not to get a Labrador Corso to include:
Separation Anxiety. This is pretty common with Labradors, and it often shows up in the Labrador Corso as well. Work with your dog to make sure that they’re okay being left home alone.
Destructive Tendencies. If left unattended or allowed to get bored, the Labrador Corso may resort to shredding or digging inside the house.
Need for Attention/High Energy Behavior. Labrador Retrievers and Cane Corsi are both hardworking, high-energy dogs. As a result, the Labrador Corso needs a lot of attention and socialization to become a well-adjusted dog.
Exercise Requirements. You will need to spend at least one hour engaging in some high-intensity exercise with your dog. One hour is the absolute minimum to prevent your Labrador Corso from becoming bored or frustrated.
Shedding. Both Labrador Retrievers and Cane Corsi have thick coats, and the Labrador’s double coat means that the Labrador Corso is prone to heavy shedding during the warm months.
Health Issues. We’ll get into this in more depth below, but the Labrador Corso is a relatively high-risk breed that suffers from a wide range of health issues, so make sure you have a good, dependable veterinary service to rely on.
Lack of Standardization. The Labrador Corso is essentially a grab bag of personality traits and appearances. You won’t know what your dog is going to act like or look like ahead of time, which means that buying a Labrador Corso puppy can be a bit of a gamble.
While none of these drawbacks are automatic deal-breakers, they’re definitely factors that you’ll want to take into consideration before you get a puppy.
You know your own schedule and your own lifestyle better than anyone else, so make sure you’re prepared before you bring a new dog into your home.
Cane Corso Lab Mix Health Problems
As mentioned above, the Labrador Corso, like any other breed, is susceptible to specific health issues.
While many of these issues can be treated or managed, they can also be very scary for pet owners to deal with, and they may impact your dog’s quality of life.
Unfortunately, because Labrador Retrievers are one of the more over-bred dog breeds, the breed suffers from a relatively high number of health issues, many of which are passed on to Labrador Corsi. These potential risks include:
Entropion. Entropion is a medical condition in which the eyelid folds in on itself. As a result, the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea, causing severe irritation and dramatically increasing the risk of infection.
If left untreated, entropion can result in severe damage, and the dog’s eye will have to be removed.
Ectropion. Ectropion is pretty much the opposite of entropion in that the eyelids turn outwards, exposing the lining of the eyelid. This often results in tearing to the eyelid, exposed corneas, and risk of infection.
Hip Dysplasia. Hip and elbow dysplasia are both extremely common among Labrador Retrievers. Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that essentially results in the ball of the dog’s femur fitting incorrectly into the socket in the hip. As the dog grows, it tends to develop painful bone growths in the hip region as the body attempts to stabilize the joint. In order to avoid pain, the dog will often avoid using the back legs, which in turn can lead to spinal injuries and bone destabilization.
Elbow Dysplasia. Similar to the above, elbow dysplasia is a genetic condition that results in an improper fit between the joints of a dog’s elbow. Both hip and elbow dysplasia are extremely painful conditions with no real cure. The best that a veterinarian can do is try to reduce the pain and manage the symptoms, but both conditions will dramatically impact a dog’s quality of life.
Epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of the most common canine brain disorders, and it’s especially prevalent among over-bred breeds like the Labrador Retriever. While canine epilepsy can be treated and the likelihood of seizures reduced, it cannot be cured.
Allergies. Labrador Corso dogs are particularly susceptible to allergies, which can increase their risk for ear infections. Even in their mildest form, allergies can lead to constant scratching and biting that may lead to more serious health issues.
Gastric Dilation Volvulus. Gastric Dilation Volvulus is a serious medical condition in which the dog’s internal organs (particularly the stomach) become twisted and stretched. Even if properly treated, a dog with GDV has a high risk of recurrence. A dog diagnosed with GDV has less than a 40% chance of survival, even with surgery. GDV is an extremely painful condition with often tragic results, and it is, unfortunately, very common among several breeds like the Labrador Corso.
Cataracts. In humans, cataracts are often the result of aging, but for certain dog breeds, they can occur at nearly any age. While blind dogs can still live full and happy lives, it may be more of a challenge for pet owners to accommodate a blind animal. In order to help reduce your Labrador Corso’s risk of cataracts, feed them a healthy, balanced diet and have a vet check their eyes on a regular basis.
With proper veterinary supervision, many of these health issues can be caught in their early stages and treated properly.
However, the vast number of health problems may be off-putting for dog owners who don’t want to spend a lot of time and money at their local veterinarian’s office.
Starting at Square One
Taking care of a dog can be a huge responsibility, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you put in the time and effort to raise your dog the right way, you’ll have a lifelong friend and companion who will be able to help explore the world around you.
Where to get a Cane Corso Lab Mix
We’ve mentioned this already, but perhaps the most important aspect of buying a Labrador Corso puppy is to avoid puppy mills.
Puppies born in puppy mills are more likely to have serious genetic defects, improper socialization, and severe mental conditions that will haunt them throughout their lives.
The Labrador Corso, like any other dog, is a social animal, which means that it needs to be raised in a loving and caring home, allowed to wean off its mother in a natural time frame, and properly socialized before moving to its forever home.
Puppy mills and backyard breeders fail to adequately provide for their dogs’ needs, and your own puppy will have a harder time adjusting to a good life.
The American Kennel Club offers a list of registered breeders in your area, and that can be a good starting point for finding a trustworthy breeder.
In addition, look for a breeder that encourages questions, is open with the dog’s medical history, encourages you to meet the parent dogs, doesn’t breed any dogs younger than two years old, and willingly provides health tests and screening information.
It may seem easier to go with a breeder who offers lower prices, no wait time, and no real questions.
However, if you’re willing to pay more and wait a little bit longer, you’ll end up with a healthier dog who won’t show the aggressive, paranoid, and socially maladjusted behavior that is common in puppy mill dogs.
What kind of training will a Cane Corso Lab Mix need?
Once you’ve found your perfect Labrador Corso puppy, consider enrolling them in a puppy training class.
This will help them feel more relaxed around other dogs, and it will also give you the tools you need to take care of your four-legged friend.
Because Cane Corso Lab Mix dogs are intelligent and easily bored, a puppy training class will also help you identify any problem behaviors and learn healthy and effective ways of managing them.
Talk to your veterinarian to get their recommendation on a good training program or socialization program in your area.
The Cane Corso Lab Mix is particularly susceptible to separation anxiety, so make sure your puppy is crate trained before leaving them alone for any period of time.
Crate training will help them feel safe and confident at home by themselves.
Building the Perfect Home
If you’re adopting an older dog or if your own Labrador Corso has started to grow out of the puppy phase, there’s still plenty of work to be done!
In particular, pay careful attention to your Labrador Corso’s diet, exercise, and relationship with other animals and humans.
Cane Corso Lab Mix Exercise Requirements
As mentioned previously, the average Labrador Corso will need at least one hour of vigorous exercise. This makes them a great fit for families with a large backyard that they can explore and patrol on their own time.
If you live in an apartment or an area where there’s not a lot of outdoor space, be prepared to go walking or running with your dog every day.
If the Labrador Corso doesn’t get enough exercise, they’re likely to become bored and destructive while cooped up at home, which can be costly and frustrating for the owner.
Labrador Corso dogs enjoy most outdoor activities, and their Labrador Retriever heritage means that they’re not afraid of water and usually enjoy swimming!
Cane Corso Lab Mix Food Requirements
The Labrador Corso is a relatively large dog that eats about three cups of food daily. Because of their sensitive stomachs, most veterinarians recommend that you feed them a meat-based or raw diet, if possible.
If you decide to feed your dog kibble, look for high-quality feeds that are high in lean protein and low in grains or carbs that could lead to bloat.
Cane Corso Lab Mix and Families
The average Labrador Corso is very protective of their family and is great with small children.
However, make sure your dog is properly socialized with as many people as possible outside of the family to prevent unnecessary aggression or antisocial behavior.
Cane Corso Lab Mix and Other Pets
Again, a dog’s interaction with other breeds or even other animals is simply a matter of socialization.
A Labrador Corso who has been exposed to many other dog breeds as a puppy should be as friendly and sociable as a grown dog!
Ultimately, you are the only person who can decide if a Labrador Corso is the right dog for you. If you have the time, patience, and space required to take care of a Labrador Corso puppy or dog, then you’ll probably enjoy getting to know your four-legged friend as they grow, but first-time dog owners may want to look elsewhere.
Regardless of what you ultimately decide, the Labrador Corso mix is an increasingly popular strain of dogs.
Its solid presence, intelligent nature, and fiercely protective loyalty combine to make it a great fit for experienced dog owners around the world.