The Labrador Corso is the puppy product of his purebred parents, the Cane Corso and Labrador Retriever. Everyone knows which parent of his is the most popular, but they are both fantastic family dogs. Meaning that the Cane Corso Lab mix has everything he needs to also make an awesome family dog.
This guide is a must-read for all those who are thinking about welcoming this mixed breed into their life. This mix isn’t your average hybrid, but one that’s a notoriously challenging dog to handle. While their Labrador parent spawns other family-friendly mixes like the Sheprador or the Goldador, the Cane Corso isn’t quite as popular as a crossbred parent. To make sure you are a match made in hybrid heaven, you need to understand what you’ll be getting into before adopting a Labrador Corso.
Because the Labrador Corso isn’t a dog for everyone, it’s important to understand what you are getting into when you welcome one into your home. Let’s get stuck into all the doggy details as we find out if this mixed breed pup is right for you.
The Cane Corso and the Labrador Retriever are very different from one another. And because of this, the personality and characteristics of the Labrador Corso can vary quite a lot. If you’re going to take this guy on, you need to be sure that you love both of his parents just as much as each other. This starts with research, so let’s take a closer look.
The Cane Corso (pronounced kah-neh-kor-soh) is also known as the Italian Mastiff. His original purpose was to work on the farms in the Italian countryside. He was a jack of all trades on the farm, but his special skill was to protect his family and land. The Cane Corso is also a fantastic boar hunter. He is now more commonly found protecting his families from the comfort of the sofa.
The Cane Corso is a large dog breed, and he weighs between 88 and 110 pounds. From paw to shoulder, he measures between 23 to 27 inches tall. He is a beefy dog who holds a lot of power, and he also carries a few roly-poly rolls. The American Kennel Club (AKC) only recognized him in 2010, but since then, he has risen dramatically in popularity. Proving that he is a sweet pooch for the whole family. Corsos are well known as guardian dogs, and are often compared to Pitbulls, or even combined with them to create a more protective mix.
The Labrador Retriever is a family favorite. He has been ranked by the AKC as the number one dog for nearly three decades. It goes without saying that this boy has it all – the looks, the personality, the family friendliness, and the fun. Labs are a lot more energetic than some people believe, and he doesn’t stay a cute puppy forever. He soon grows into an energy-filled loving family companion.
He hails from Newfoundland, working the bays with his master retrieving his catch. His water and ice-resistant coat and otter-like tail make him a swimming machine. Labs are obedient, fun, friendly and loving. He is a fantastic all-round doggo, which is why he makes a great family pet. Most Labs measure between 55 and 80 pounds, and he measures between 21 ½ to 24 ½ inches tall. Due to their perfect family demeanor, Labs make an excellent parent to several different crossbreeds.
The Labrador Corso is a rare mixed breed, which means that he will be a first or second-generation pup. This means that nothing is guaranteed, from his personality to his looks, you need to expect the unexpected. But having researched his parents, you can prepare for certain eventualities. But thankfully, he usually inherits the best of his parent’s characteristics.
This guy has one sociable parent and one not so friendly parent. His Labrador influence should make him much more accepting of strangers compared to his Italian parent. However, he will probably be less friendly with strangers compared to the Lab. He’ll be suspicious initially, but once he realizes that visitors mean no harm, he will warm up to family friends and visitors.
His protectiveness makes him an excellent watchdog. But depending on which parent he takes after more will determine whether he makes a protective dog or not. If he takes after the Cane Corso, he will, and if he takes after the Lab, he probably won’t. If you are seeking a family guard dog, you’ll want to think about another breed who can guarantee this skill.
It’s a different story when it comes to his family. Oh boy, does this guy have a lot of love to give! He is obsessed with every single member of his family, and you best get ready for lots of slobbery doggy kisses. Thankfully, they are the best kind. He loves to be by your side, whatever the occasion. He hates to be left alone, and this can make him an intense pooch to have.
Thankfully, he will make up for his over neediness in lots of fun and playtime. He makes a brilliant canine sibling for the younger members of the family. He might accidentally bump young children over, but he doesn’t mean too. He’s an energetic and bouncy pooch who just wants to make his loved one laugh. He is a confident pooch, and he’ll bring joy to your day for sure.
Size & Appearance
The Labrador Corso is a large-sized dog that will measure between 22 and 25 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 70 to 95 pounds. Typically, he will look like a fitness-obsessed Lab. In that, he’s more muscular than a Lab but less beefy than his Corso parent. He has a more approachable demeanor, but you can tell he still means business.
The Cane Corso Lab mix is still square in shape with a big fleshy square nose. Labrador Corsos have large drop-down ears just like both parents. He will likely inherit the thick otter-like tail of the Lab too. He is unlikely to be as drooly as his Italian parent, but don’t count on it just in case he is. The Labrador Corso is super adorable, and the chances of people stopping you in the street for a selfie is high.
Coat & Colors
The Labrador Corso will inherit the double coat of both breeds. It is more than likely that he will inherit the thicker and denser coat of the Lab, at least more so than the Corso. His Lab parent is known for shedding moderately throughout the year and heavily during the shedding seasons. To be on the safe side, you should expect this of the Lab Corso too.
The Labrador Corso usually sports the black and chocolate colors that both of his parents have in common. It is less likely for this guy to inherit the lighter colors. His eyes will usually be brown in color, or maybe blue or gray. It’s also common for this mix to sport a Brindle coat as well. If you discover a brindle Lab Corso pup, snap him up quick before someone else does.
Exercise & Living Conditions
The Labrador Corso is a physically active dog who also has a lot of mental energy to burn. This means that you need to set aside at least one hour of exercise every day. To keep up with this guy, you will need to supply exercise that is both varied and intense. Especially if you want to wear him out. He’ll become very bored if not, and he’ll take it out on your furniture and lawn if you don’t.
Thankfully, because he is so confident, loyal, and eager to please, he will take up any new hobbies that allow him to spend more time with you. Just be sure not to exercise him too hard as a pup, to reduce the impact on his developing joints. He’ll also need regular playtime with his family in between exercise sessions to keep his mind stimulated.
As a Cane Corso mix, you should research your local Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) laws. This could impact whether you can take him to the local doggy park or let him off-leash in public. But if you can, he will be forever grateful. Especially if it includes a dip in the local lake because he’ll crave a dunk in the water.
Because of his large size, he would appreciate a larger home with access to a large yard. This guy is not going to be happy in an apartment, so city dwellers need not apply. The Lab Corso is a country bumpkin at heart, and he loves the feeling of fresh air flowing through his nostrils. Just remember that his yard needs to be secured just in case he turns out to be protective like his Corso parent.
If he is socialized well, he will probably coexist happily with other family pets. Particularly if he takes after his Lab parent more. If he is more like his Corso parent, especially if he has lacked socialization training as a pup, he might not welcome new family pets into the fold. This is something to consider, and all the more reason to put the hard work into his obedience training.
The Labrador Corso is half friendly and obedient, and half suspicious and slightly stubborn. This means that his trainability is all down to which parent he takes after more. If he is more like his Lab parent, he will do well at training sessions. If he is more like his Italian parent, you’ll need to take a firmer and stronger approach. Previous experience with independent dogs is ideal for Cane Corso mixes.
To overcome any eventuality, start his training as soon as you get him home with you. This includes socialization and obedience training. Expose him to other animals, humans, and environments as much as you can to increase his confidence and to prevent overprotective behaviors. Again, obedience training is vital so that he knows he doesn’t need to be the protective leader. Because you’ve already got that covered.
The Labrador Corso is likely to suffer from separation anxiety because he hates to be left alone. For this reason, not only does he need to be homed with a family that can spend most of their time with him, but he also needs to be crate trained. This is a simple process, but one that can save both you and your pup a lot of stress in later life, so be sure to invest in an indestructible crate.
The Labrador Corso is a healthy dog who enjoys an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Similar to both of his parents. Mixed breeds can inherit the conditions of either parent, so it’s essential to consider the health concerns of both. Here are the most common health concerns that face the Labrador Corso.
Hip and elbow dysplasia: both the Lab and the Cane Corso suffer from these joint dysplasias. When working with a breeder, ask to see his parent’s hip and elbow scores to determine how healthy his should be.
Eye conditions: both of his parents suffer from a variety of eye concerns. Progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, entropion, and ectropion are the most common.
Cardiac concerns: heart conditions run in the Cane Corso breed, so this is something to be aware of. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most significant cardiac risk to learn about.
Exercise-induced coma: this is a life-threatening condition that his Lab parent faces. If you notice that your Lab Corso experiences any weakness during exercise, calmly stop him and seek help immediately.
The Labrador Corso will eat approximately three cups of food a day. This will be dependent on his size, energy levels, and age. As he is a large-sized dog, you must feed him a high-quality kibble that is designed explicitly for the unique nutritional needs of large breeds. This will control his rapid bone growth as a pup, which could lower the chances of him developing joint dysplasias.
To improve the health of your Labrador Corso as much as you can, you should feed him the best quality kibble that you can afford. Look for kibbles that provide a well-balanced diet and plenty of omega fats to support a healthy and shiny coat. With his large muscle mass, high-quality protein from meats and meat meals should be the focus of his diet. Because they have sensitive stomachs, it’s possible they will do better on a chicken free dog food formula, or one that’s free of peas and lentils.
The Labrador Corso has a thick double coat that will need brushing once or twice a week to remove dirt, dead hair and keep him looking healthy. During shedding seasons, he will require brushing every other day to keep shedding to a minimum. Use a pin or slicker brush all year round, and use a deshedding tool during the shedding seasons.
Bathe him once every 8 to 12 weeks to keep him smelling fresh. If he has a thick and water-resistant coat like his Lab parent, you might need to invest in a concentrated doggy shampoo for a thorough wash. His large ears will need cleaning once a week to avoid a buildup of bacteria.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
The price of a Labrador Corso puppy from a reputable breeder starts from approximately $1,000. The Labrador Corso is a rare breed, which means you will have to search hard to find a reputable breeder. Look for a breeder that welcomes you to meet them, the pups, and their parents. If they can show you health clearances and their living conditions, they are likely to be a breeder you would want to work with.
Avoid puppy mills because they often sell puppies who have had no access to veterinary treatment. It is also unlikely that they have been raised without love or socialization. The extra effort and higher price will be worth it all when you meet your Lab Corso soulmate.
Rescue & Shelters
Just as the Labrador Corso is a rare puppy, he is also a rare dog to find in the shelters. Be sure to visit your local shelters, and if you cannot find one, speak to the staff who might be able to point you in the right direction of a nearby rescue center.
Another great place to start your search is to visit dedicated breed centers or their websites that rescue certain breeds and their mixed pups. The American Lab Rescue and the Cane Corso Rescue website list dedicated rescue centers and contact details.
As Family Pets
- The Labrador Corso is a sweet pup who is super loyal to his family.
- He is very affectionate and will be the first to jump on the sofa, ready for cuddles.
- He hates to be left alone and is likely to suffer from separation anxiety.
- The Labrador Corso loves children, just be sure to supervise because of their size.
- He would appreciate a larger home with access to a secure yard.
- The Lab Corso needs at least 45 minutes of exercise daily.
- He sheds moderately throughout the year, heavily during shedding seasons.
- Your Lab Corso will likely be a drooly pup unless they take after their Lab parent.
- The Labrador Corso makes a good watchdog and might be slightly protective.
- He will be aloof with strangers at first, but he will warm up to them eventually.
The Labrador Corso is the beautifully balanced pup of the family favorite Labrador Retriever and the protective Cane Corso. Both of his parents are very different from one another, which makes this pup very unique. He has both friendliness and protectiveness in him, and he is great fun but also knows how to be calm and sweet in the home.
Overall, you need to be able to be a firm but fair leader with this guy. Taking on a dog is no mean feat, but taking on a Cane Corso mix can be very challenging. If you could handle either breed, you can handle this guy. And he’ll make the long search worth every single minute.
May 19, 2022 at 3:51 am
Most of this prints directly on to my labrador corso. He's named Homie and was my first ever dog. Ofcourse i've had lots of different breeds as a child. But done of them was my own.
God dam it, I learned SO many things the first 1,5year but hey, he haven't eaten a couch since then. But i will say, he turned calmer when i threw out the crate. So for some pups it works, others hate it more than anything else. Just rember that, so you dont force your dog into something they hate. That will only make you life harder.
Buuuut all in all, he is THE BEST AND MOST LOVING guy you will ever meet. "Everybody is a new bestfriend" is his way of life. Both with humans and dogs.
April 2, 2022 at 10:00 am
Our daisy is 3 years old. She is a big loving lovable goof. Loyal to a fault. Hyper like crazy. And yes separation anxiety. Unfortunately we still have to crate her when we are gone and at night or she gets into things. And tears up books. I keep hoping she will eventually out grow this. Time to go use the furmanator and sweep up the extra “dog”. Lol.
February 18, 2022 at 6:17 pm
We had suspicions our lab wasn’t pure breed but hey, he’s perfect anyway, he’s a huge lab looking beastie with the most loving heart. His Corso genes just made him giant.
October 6, 2021 at 9:47 am
Thank you. I learned a lot here.