Cane Corso Lab Mix: owner review and photos

Cane Corso Lab Mix: intimidating looks, sweet personality

I have had my Cane Corso Lab Mix (Leo) for over two years, so I feel qualified to write a review about this mix. Owning and taking care of a dog is a big responsibility that has to be taken seriously. Leaving a review about one is, too. I don’t want people who read my review to get the wrong impression about the breed and make the wrong decision.  Take it with a grain of salt and understand that this is my experience only: yours may differ. Sorry if this is a little long.

As I already said, I will be only reviewing my own dog. Every dog has its own personality and it’s not easy to get a grasp of the whole breed just from one dog. But I think you can probably make your own conclusions and if I help you even a little bit in terms of what to be ready for, then that’s great.

Cane Corso breed has originated from Italy. Those were originally guard dogs that could fight off large predators (even as large as bears and lions), and even took part in wars from what I have learnt. Not a lot of people know about this breed. When someone asks me what breed of dog my Leo is, they always ask about the Cane Corso part of the mix.

Everyone knows the Lab part. Some people think Leo is part pitbull and are afraid to come close. While Cane Corso may somewhat remind a pitbull, I don’t think either of these breeds looks intimidating.

Due to their Cane Corso genetics, Cane Corso Lab Mix is quite a large dog! An adult can weigh up to 100 lbs, Leo is just about that. Despite their size, they have very short coats and so there isn’t as much dog hair in the house as you could imagine, although it’s not a negligible amount. Leo sheds almost all year round, more some months and less others.  The color can be different, depending on their Cane Corso relative. Leo is dark grey (blue).

Cane Corso Lab Mix: feeding your dog

Nutrition is one of the most important factors of health for a Cane Corso Lab Mix. To be honest, it’s just like with humans the more you invest in good, healthy food, the healthier your dog will be. You decide if you want to feed natural food or commercial dog food. Regardless of what you decide, food will be one of your largest expenses when it comes to your dog.

If you feed them at home, that’s a lot of expenses on meat, eggs and vegetables. Commercial foods of higher quality (premium) will also cost quite a pretty penny. So you need to factor that into your decision of getting a Cane Corso Lab Mix.

Vitamins are also important. If you are feeding commercial, you can probably trust that they have the right balance of vitamins and minerals if you choose the food correctly. Like all large dogs, Cane Corso Lab Mix may have issues with their joints, especially as they age, and the correct balance of vitamins and minerals is crucial to avoid that.

Taking care of your Cane Corso Lab Mix

Shots and vaccines

Vaccines are very important and usually you will have to vaccinate twice in the first year of your dog’s life. Vaccines will help protect your Cane Corso Lab Mix from several dangerous diseases as well as are necessary if you ever decide to travel anywhere with your dog. You will also want to microchip your dog.

Deworming

If you have a dog at home, you know how important deworming is. If you don’t, you can be sure you will have some uninvited guests – both you and your dog!

Walking your Cane Corso Lab Mix

Cane Corso Lab Mixes tend to be friendly and very loving towards their owners (and affectionate enough to friends of the family), but they can still have quite strong protective instincts from their Cane Corso side. This is why they have to always be on the leash. Also, people are usually intimidated by the look of these dogs: large and somewhat frightening for those who don’t know them.

Don’t be surprised if people step you and your dog aside and try to keep away from you. As an owner, you have to always be aware of what your dog is doing (and feeling) to avoid unpleasant surprises. Of course, don’t let other people (and especially kids) approach your dog unexpectedly as you never know how it will react (even though your Cane Corso Lab Mix may be the biggest goof on the planet while surrounded by “his” people).

Cane Corso Lab Mix: maintaining a positive psychological environment in your home

A good, happy personality is what almost all dogs possess when they come into this world. But it can be influenced by their owner’s attitude and how the dog is treated. Cane Corso Lab Mix is likely prone to be a happy, outgoing, kind dog, if somewhat suspicious and protective around strangers. They are excellent family dogs. They love children and would never bite a child, not even when a kid gets overly rambunctious or annoying.

Like many other large breeds, Cane Corso Lab Mixes tend to be quite patient and slow to anger. However, it is important to treat the dog correctly. Raising your voice without a reason or (God forbid) hitting your dog is a very, very bad idea. These dogs can’t stand mistreatment, they won’t tolerate it for long. It is important to always have the dog understand who the leader is in the family (and this should be you!). But any bodily punishment is a recipe for disaster in the long term. You don’t want your dog to grow up with an unstable and possible aggressive temperament.

Separation anxiety: leaving your Cane Corso Lab Mix home alone

To be honest, with some dogs this can become a real problem. Even if your dog doesn’t actually have separation anxiety, Cane Corso Lab Mix is a dog that matures very slowly and is still a “child” up to about 3 years of age. And as ith all dog “children” (puppies), there is this problem of chewing up everything in sight. That includes your shoes, your furniture, the rug in the living room, anything that is left unattended. What to do about this?

Crating. Crating your dog while you are away may seem cruel but it actually isn’t. Dogs perceive the tight, small space of a crate as their own little den (put a cover on top to make it dark), and are actually quite happy and comfortable there. Of course, you shouldn’t crate your dog for too long. But this is a great way to keep your furniture and other belongings safe while you are away.

Cane Corso Lab Mix: a place to sleep

Like other dogs, your Cane Corso Lab Mix will likely be convinced that the best place for them to sleep is your bed. Don’t give in to that! Unless you don’t mind having 100lb of dog in your bed for the rest of their life, you will have to start training them to sleep in their own bed from day one! It may be difficult to convince them while they are still a puppy (you will likely have to crate them for the night), but as they mature, your dog will quickly understand where their bed is and any attempts to join you in yours will soon stop.

Remember, you are the owner

With a large and strong dog like Cane Corso Lab Mix, it is important to remember who the owner is, at all times. While they are small and cute as puppies, they grow into large animals with sharp teeth when they mature. You don’t want them to even get the slightest idea that they can in any way dominate you.

Cane Corso Lab Mix downsides

While Cane Corso Lab Mix can become a fantastic pet and the love of the whole family, there may be some downsides to owning one too. Here are some of the issues you may encounter with one (taken purely from our own experience).

Brittle bones

These dogs are large and require lots of vitamins and minerals (particularly calcium) when they are young. If some of the minerals are missing from the diet, the dog’s bones may become brittle and break often, which means trips to the vet and potentially heavy vet bills for you and your family. Make sure to speak to your vet about your dog’s nutrition and take them for regular checkups to nip the problem in the bud.

Aggression

Although Cane Corso Lab Mix, in general, is a very calm and friendly mix, they can be territorial and even aggressive during their growing years. This is particularly true for males, of course. This can be aggression towards other dogs, which is of course a problem and needs to be dealt with. It can also be something seemingly minor as reluctance to obey and being overly independent.

While this is normal for the young adult Cane Corso Lab Mix, you still need to work on it so that negative behavior does not become a pattern for later life. If you don’t deal with the problem early on, you will likely have to deal with much larger problems later as the dog matures and their habits become “set in stone”. At that point, you may even end up needing a professional dog trainer.

Paws

Dry paws are often a problem for our Cane Corso Lab Mix: they just seem to be extra dry almost throughout the whole year. The issue with that is that they tend to crack quite often, and it visibly hurts Le, as we see him starting to limp. We had to have a special cream prescribed to take care of that and we have to use it regularly.

Size

This is a large dog, with all the difficulties that come with large dogs. They take a lot of space. They can smell quite a bit. They need a lot of space in the car. They require proper training so that you can still control them even though they weigh twice as much as you do. You need to factor this in your decision of getting adopting this breed or perhaps choosing an easier, small one.

Snoring

They snore. If you live in an apartment and your Cane Corso Lab Mix sleeps anywhere near you, you’ll have to learn to sleep through loud snoring. Not so much of a problem if you have a big house.

Drooling

Leo drools quite a lot! We just got used to it and live with it, because what else would you do?