Cane Corso Boerboel Mix – Complete Guide with 24 Questions Answered

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix

Physical Attributes

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - Height
Height: Large
Male: 24-28 inches (61cm-71cm )
Female: 23-26 inches (58-66cm)

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix- Weight
110 to 160 lb (50-73kg)

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - Colors

In general the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix can be a variety of solid or partial colors but the following will be common: fawn, brindle, brown, red, grey
Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - Groups
Parent Breed Groups:

Working Group

Cane Corso:
Working Group

Lifestyle Guidance:




Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - first dog

Below Average


Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - apartment
Apartment Living

Not suitable

What are the reasons to get a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

  • A very confident and balanced temperament (click here for details)
  • A good family dog devoted to the whole family (click here for details)
  • Minimal grooming requirements (click here for details)
  • Can be trained to a good standard (click here for details)
  • A superb guard dog (click here for details)
  • An energetic dog who will suit owners with an active lifestyle (click here for details)
  • A relatively long lifespan for a large dog (click here for details)

What are the reasons not to get a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

  • Not a dog for a novice owner
  • Needs a strong and confident owner
  • Will not suit an elderly or frail owner
  • Some potential health problems associated with a big dog
  • Ideally needs a large living space indoors
  • Need a secure outdoor area
  • Will need consistent training and obedience exercises to be kept stimulated

What is a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?


The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix offers a blending of two very powerful Mastiff breeds, both designed both for hunting and for guarding. Both the Cane Corso and the Boerboel are very confident breeds who are incredibly loyal and affectionate towards their human families

These guardian breeds have a long history of working alongside humans in rural settings. Interestingly both the Boerboel and the Cane Corso have served protecting livestock and property from both human and wild animal incursions, as well as herding and controlling cattle. This means you can expect this exciting cross breed to be agile, versatile and intelligent.

The main difference between these parent breeds is actually geographical: while the Cane Corso chased across the vine-rich fields of Italy, the Boerboel roamed the plains of South Africa.

With this mixed breed you are effectively inheriting an impressive canine legacy which extends right back to 16th Century Africa in the case of the Boerboel, and even back to Roman times in respect of the Cane Corso.

What are the history and origins of the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

In order to truly understand the qualities and character of a classic or hybrid breed it is essential to have an idea of their original purpose and development.

Here follows an account of the fascinating history surrounding both the Boerboel and the Cane Corso.

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - Cane Corso Parent Breed
The Cane Corso has been prized as a hunting and protection dog since Roman times

The Cane Corso – Origins and History

The Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff, like the Rottweiler has roots extending back to the ancient Molossian war dogs from Ancient Greece.

These huge and powerful hounds where then employed as the Roman empire expanded. The forebear of the Cane Corso, known generically as the Italian Mastiff, was used as a war dog, and to grace the amphitheatres in battles with a range of other creatures including bears and lions.

As the Roman Empire declined these dogs were highly prized for both guarding and protecting houses and farms, but also in the hunting of large game such as boars and bears.

In fact the word ‘Cane’ means ‘dog’ and ‘Corso’ means to catch hence the English translation of this dog’s title is ‘catch-dog’. In this capacity this Italian Mastiff proved its bravery and formidable strength widely across the hunting fields of Italy, while the English Mastiff and even larger breeds such as the Great Dane performed the same function in Northern Europe.

These breeds were designed to follow the lead of the speedier Sight-Hounds, then to employ their bulk and power in holding down and restraining large prey until the hunters could arrive.

As the popularity of course hunting declined, this courage in tackling larger animals was later employed on farms as Cane Corsos became a cattle driving and herding dogs.

This ancient breed did not achieve recognition from the AKC until 2010. But the Cane Corso has since left the other Mastiff breeds snapping at their heels in the popularity stakes and are currently the 25th most popular breed in the United States according to 2020 registration data [1].


Cane Corso Boerboel Mix - Boerboel Parent Breed
The Boerboel brings determined confidence, and additional bulk and power to the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix.

The Boerboel – Origins and History

This magnificent Mastiff represents a culmination of centuries of intermingling large and healthy Bulldog and Mastiff breeds to guard the farms and homes of colonizers in South Africa.

Indeed in the Afrikaans language ‘Boer’ means farmer and ‘Boer’ translates to dog. So the Boerboel is a dog bred to roam large areas protecting territory and livestock from incursions by both wild animals and human intruders.

A Dutch colonist named Jan van Riebeeck is named as a founding figure for this breed in bringing over a large number of the big dogs from Holland in 1652 as a means of protecting trading posts from the wild animals. These Bullenbijiters (or Bulldogs) also had the added benefit that they could herd cattle, and it is thought that this function was further enhanced through breeding with indigenous African herding dogs.

Over the next couple of years it is thought that further interbreeding with English Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs brought over by British colonists also contributed to the gene pool. Some sources also cite the lion-hunting Rhodesian Ridgeback may also have been an influence.

This combination of Mastiff and herding dogs has produced a breed with brains as well as brawn lending the Boerboel the versatility and intelligence to both protect and herd cattle on the sprawling ranches being established.

Sadly, the historic role of the Mastiff, as exemplified in the history of both the English Mastiff and the Cane Corso, as a hunter of large beasts of prey was also taken up by the South African Mastiff.

The Boerboel was also put to this purpose in the veldts of South Africa hunting large game including big cats such as lions and leopards. There are even reports of a pack of Boerboels taking down elephants. Other unfortunate quarry included hyenas and baboons.

Indeed one story reports that the tails of this breed were initially docked to avoid being pulled upon by the latter. But it is more likely that the main reason was their function as cattle herding dogs that led to the removal of their tails.

This is in keeping with the traditional docking of other cattle driving breeds such as the Rottweiler in German and the Old English Sheepdog in England, to avoid painful injury should their tails be trampled upon.

This very regrettable and bloody chapter of the Boerboels history came to an end when the large and magnificent beasts were hunted into local extinction in large areas of South Africa near the newly established colonies.

In modern times the Boerboel has become largely used to fend off human threats such as rustlers and cattle thieves. Indeed their role as effective guard and protection dogs, alongside being doting and gentle canine family members, is very reminiscent of the traditional role of the Bullmastiff in England.

As a breed the Boerboel is not currently recognised by the FCI. But in 1983 the Kennel Union of South Africa was the first to officially recognise the breed and since then they have been a centrepiece at shows in South Africa ever since.

As this breed became increasingly valued in the United States the AKC followed suit in 2015, placing these dogs alongside other Mastiff breeds in the Working Group.

Linked Hybrid Breeds:

Cane Corso Great Dane Mix, Cane Corso German Shepherd Mix, Cane Corso Boxer Mix, Cane Corso Rottweiler Mix

Cane Corso English Bulldog Mix, Cane Corso Neapolitan Mastiff Mix, Cane Corso Dogue de Bordeaux Mix.

Boerboel Rottweiler Mix.

What is an interesting fact about the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

There are many breeds in the Working Group, but not all of them have names or nick-names that tell us exactly what job these dogs actually did. In this case both parent breeds, the Cane Corso and the Boerboel are labelled very clearly and the histories of their names may be closely intertwined.

The Boerboel translates as ‘Farmer’s dog’ from Afrikaans. Meanwhile the ‘Cane Corso’ translates as either ‘catcher dog’ or possibly ‘farmyard dog’ from the Latin word cohors.

In theory both these parent breeds could therefore be ‘farm dogs’ giving us a sense of their important guarding and herding roles.

But if so farmers across different continents, separated also by many centuries, clearly knew how to breed very impressive dogs.

What is the temperament and personality of the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix is an exciting mixed breed which combines a powerful and agile physique with a balanced and even temperament, making this a protective and affectionate addition to any family.

This huge dog will have an even larger personality and promises to be fun-loving and playful when relaxed at home. But it should be remembered that both parent breeds have the hunting instinct hard-wired into their DNA. This means that the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix is likely to be adventurous with a degree of independence.

In a family setting this dog, is unlikely to be a ‘one-person dog’ and will distribute its albeit slightly slobbery affections to every member of the human pack. This can be linked to the herding background of both parent breeds meaning the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will be happiest when the family is together.

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will adore children, but must be trained to be careful due to their size and bulk and for this reason any play must be very closely supervised. But as with any breed of dog, any interaction with children must be closely supervised at all times.

It is also highly advised to continue to encourage ‘soft-mouth’ during socialization from the transition of puppyhood to avoid any unintended injury to small children or any other dogs in the household.

The guarding instinct will mean that this mixed breed will be suspicious of strangers, but good socialization will ensure that this dog will quickly recognize and welcome invited guests.

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix, like both the Cane Corso and the Boerboel, will be a people-oriented dog, although they can be gregarious with other dogs. But be aware that males may exhibit dominant behaviors towards other male dogs. Again, early and consistent socialization will be essential to restrict any aggression towards unfamiliar dogs on walks.

The Cane Corso is at the intelligent end of the Mastiff spectrum and will need a good measure of physical and mental stimulation. Add to this the fact that the Boerboel is no dullard, and is celebrated also for its intelligence and versatility in its native South Africa. This promises that the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will be a clever, indomitable and courageous companion who will enjoy a medley of games based around tugging, finding and trailing.

Both the Cane Corso and the Boerboel are members of the Working Group are at their best when they are given a job to do and must be kept active and stimulated. Much of this will be satisfied by the opportunity to patrol and explore in a secure, outdoor area.

Both the Boerboel and the Cane Corso can be sensitive so training must be based around positive reinforcement This should include extensive socialization at puppy classes and generally around other dogs and people in range of different contexts and situations.

This mixed breed dog can usually live with other dogs, but if you are bringing a puppy home to an established dog this should be done in a carefully structured way as outlined in introducing a puppy to an older dog.

For the different stages in a puppy and adult dog’s development please click here.

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix
The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix – this handsome mixed breed dog is very active and demands plenty of exercise and mental stimulation

What does the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix look like?

It is always important to remember that there is no exact science to predict how a specific mixed breed dog will favor one of the parent breeds in either physical appearance or temperament.

But the appearance of the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will be a little more predictable owing to the common Mastiff heritage of the parent breeds).

This will include a large, broad head with a muzzle that should be around a third of total head length. The flat head will be framed by medium-sized ears that are likely triangular. The eyes will be almond-shaped with tight eyelids with a gentle but alert expression.

The powerfully muscled body will be characterized with a straight, wide back leading to a thick tail carried no higher than slightly above horizontal to the body. The legs powerful with well-muscled hindquarters. The feet are likely to be large and round.

The whole frame of this dog will give an impression of muscularity, although those favoring the build of the Cane Corso will be more streamlined than bulky.

To see a very handsome example of this mixed breed dog called Champ please click here.

What exercise is required for the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

The history of both parent breeds relates to ranging across farms, driving cattle and hunting large prey also over long distances.

This means that the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix should receive around 2 hours of walking each day in order to maintain a healthy weight.

This can include games such as tugging and chasing games such as Frisbee or ball games. This dog will also enjoy mantrailing for further mental and physical stimulation.

On a walk ‘find it’ games could be introduced along with scatter-feeding for stimulating meal times.

Ideally an owner of this mixed breed should provide brief and focused obedience drills routinely as this working dog will enjoy learning a range of commands.

Is the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix a good family dog?

A Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will offer an excellent family dog, loving and affectionate with all members of the human family. In keeping with the Mastiff background of both the Cane Corso and the Borboel these dogs will never want to be far apart from their human pack.

Both parent breeds have the reputation for being tolerant and patient towards children. But, as with all dogs, they should never be left unsupervised. This is particularly true of very small children who might be vulnerable to unintended harm due to the sheer bulk of this dog.

This mixed breed dog is going to at the athletic and active end of the Mastiff spectrum. So a family with an active lifestyle and plenty of time to devote to exercise will provide an ideal setting for the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix.

This hybrid breed is also very likely to be the confident and alert in guarding the family. They are only likely to bark when something unusual happens or strangers approach the home. This means that this dog will not interfere too much with a nice, quiet ambience at home.

Outside and inside these dogs are generally clean, but there is very likely be slobber. With this large and powerful dog there is also the possibility of the odd accident if valuables and expensive items are not placed out of reach.

Who is the ideal owner of a Boerboel Cane Corso Mix?

The Boerboel Cane Corso Mix is a trainable and biddable dog but will need strong canine leadership to ensure they are confident and entirely manageable.

Experience with large and powerful breeds would be hugely beneficial. An owner will also need the physical strength and confidence to manage this Mastiff-based mixed breed both inside and outside the home.

This dog will also need a good-sized and secure outdoor area. This will offer the opportunity of both physical and mental stimulation as the Boerboel Cane Corso Mix will enjoy independently patrolling.

This mixed breed dog will be best behaved if given jobs to do alongside training drills. So an owner who can provide the stimulation if regular and consistent obedience training would be optimal. This mixed breed dog will also relish an owner who can provide man-trailing or scent work.

Due to the protection and guarding role being ingrained heavily in the temperament of this dog, they will want to be very close to their humans as much as possible. This means the ideal owner will be able to provide human companionship most of the time.

If it is essential to leave the Boerboel Cane Corso Mix for any period of time regularly then it is absolutely imperative to offer training for separation anxiety at an early stage to prevent destructive behaviors in the house which will be the reflection of the dog’s stress.

Cane Corso Boerboel Mix
A Cane Corso Boerboel Mix gains mental and physical stimulation through the opportunity to patrol a secure outside area

What are the grooming requirements of the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will have a lovely short, sleek coat that only requires very moderate maintenance. A couple of brushings a week to remove dead hair and circulate natural oils around the skin will suffice.

The Cane Corso Boerbel Mix should be well-adapted to all temperate climates, but still ensure that brushing should be undertaken daily during periods of hot weather as well as other measures to ensure that this dog is kept cool.

How much space is required for a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix is going to be not only a large dog, but also relatively active for a colossal canine. This means that this mixed breed will need plenty of room inside.

A prospective home for the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will also need a large, secure outdoor area in which this dog can engage in interactive play as well as independently patrolling to gain further mental and physical stimulation.

Indoors this active dog will ideally have space in which to roam as well as a good area in which to stretch out and lay down.

This mixed breed should certainly not be considered for apartment living.

What is the lifespan of the Boerboel Cane Corso Mix?

The lifespan of the Boerboel is relatively long for a Mastiff breed at around 12 years. The Cane Corso’s typical lifespan is between 10 and 12 years

This means that the probable lifespan for a Boerboel Cane Corso Mix is between 11-12 years. But be aware that the larger examples of the breed will tend towards the lower end of this lifespan.

What are the potential health issues for a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

Mixed breed dogs are potentially healthier than classic breeds of dogs, but it is still important to be aware of some of the health complications that can afflict the parent breeds. This will heighten awareness of how best to care for your dog in consultation with a vet.

Potential health problems for the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix include:

  • Coronary Heart Disease and other related heart conditions
  • Gastric Torsion (bloating)
  • Cherry eye, Ectropion and Entropion
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • osteosarcoma
  • Bone cancer
  • Brain tumors
  • Seizures

What kind of training is required for a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

Both the Boerboel and the Cane Corso are at the trainable end of the spectrum of Mastiff breeds and are an intelligent and versatile breed in keeping with their combined herding and training background.

Both parent breeds have an innate sense of independence and autonomy based on their original roles as hunting and herding dogs.

This means that there may be a natural tendency for this large dog to pull on the leash. This means loose leash walking and heel work should be prioritzed.

Alongside this owners will need to ensure that safety behaviors such as ‘stay’ and ‘wait’ are embedded to ensure that the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix is biddable and manageable on a walk.

Ideally this dog will develop really good recall, as this inquisitive dog will enjoy exploring off-leash on a walk in a safe area.

A conscientious owner will also ensure early socialization and training is consistent. This will ensure that this large, powerful dog is both confident and secure in a range of situations including interactions with unfamiliar dogs and people.

Training for separation anxiety should also be introduced at as early as stage as possible for the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix to avoid genuine distress for your dog and any destructive behaviors in the house.

Click here for an outline of the benefits of training. Click here for information on socializing a puppy and here for socializing an adult dog.

How big will a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix get?

The Boerboel has very heavy musculature and all the broad and robust features typical of a Mastiff breed. The male Boerboel stands at least around 25-26 inches (64-66cm) from feet to withers with the female slightly shorter at 23-24 inches (61-63cm).

The Cane Corso male stands generally between 24-27.5 inches (60-69cm). The female is slightly shorter characteristically between 23-26 inches (58-66 cm) tall

A Cane Corso Boerboel Mix is likely to reach the following sizes:

Male – 24-28 inches (61cm-71cm )
Female – 23-26 inches (58-66cm)

How much is a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix likely to weigh?

The lithe and athletic Cane Corso weighs in at 88-110 lb (40-50kg) .

The weight of the bulky Boerboel is approximately 130-180 lb (59-82 kg).

This means that an adult Cane Corso Boerboel Mix is likely to weigh 110 to 160 lb (50-73kg).

Where should I get a Boerboel Cane Corso Mix from?

If you are looking for a Boerboel Cane Corso Mix puppy then always contact a reputable breeder. You should always have the opportunity to see the puppies interacting with the mother.

If there is little interaction with the ‘mother’ be cautious as occasionally unscrupulous breeders can bring in another female dog for appearances. A breeder should also have details of the father available on request.

In addition you should have access to the medical records of both parents and any kennel club certificates.

If possible, adoption is a kind and rewarding option. But ensure that you thoughtfully discuss the details of a rescue dog with the charity or rehoming organization in order to offer a dog an appropriate forever home.

If you already have a dog , then please feel free to browse these tips on how to introduce a puppy to an older dog.

What are the feeding requirements of a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

It is always a good idea to consult with a vet or animal dietician regarding feeding requirements in the early days of ownership, as each dog will be unique. This will ensure that your Cane Corso Mix will receive a balanced diet in the correct portions. It is also important to balance feeding against exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

The Cane Corso can suffer from gastric torsion. This means exercise for this mixed breed should be carefully planned not to coincide within an hour either before or after eating to fully protect your dog from this potentially life-threatening condition. If you have any concerns or want extra information on this then consult a vet for advice at the earliest opportunity.

Should I get a male or female Cane Corso Boerboel Mix?

Each dog is unique, so the following only offers a general guide rather than a rule but male and female dogs can have different dispositions.

In general the female Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will tend to be slightly more independent and mature more quickly than the male.

The male dog will tend to be a little more boisterous in play and can be aggressive towards other males.

Both genders, however, with consistent training and socialization in place, offer a well-balanced and biddable dog who will make a splendid addition to any family.

What colors are common for a Boerboel Cane Corso Mix?

In general the Boerboel Cane Corso Mix can be a variety of solid or partial colors if they favor the Boerboel parent breed but the following will be common:

  • fawn
  • brindle
  • brown
  • red
  • grey

(White patching on the legs and fore chest can occur with the Boerboel)

Does a Boerboel Cane Corso Mix get on with other dogs?

This large mixed breed will get along with other dogs in the household, but ensure you follow clear steps in introducing established dogs to a puppy or another dog.

If that there is an established dog in the house who is small, however, ensure that socialization is put in place with the puppy so it continues to be sensitive and careful in play when it reaches more gargantuan proportions.

Does a Cane Corso Boerboel Mix get on with cats?

If sensitively introduced to cats as a puppy then it is often the case that that they can successfully live with these smaller pets. But the Cane Corso does have a high prey drive, so this mixed breed dog may inherit an innate tendency to chase.

But careful and structured introductions can be put in place to ensure canine-feline harmony in the house. To summarize ensure you take the following steps:

Step 1

This introduction should start with putting down items that belong to the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix puppy before the arrival to accustom the cats to the scent.

Step 2

Confine the puppy to a specific area in the house using a baby gate or other suitable barrier. This should certainly include at feeding times. This could be a room with a baby-gate. The area of confinement should be swapped around the house as well as a safely enclosed outside area.

Step 3

When ready allow the puppy out on an appropriate leash or harness and proactively praise positive interactions and correct any chasing.

Step 4

Ensure the cats always have escape areas including high places to promote their sense of confidence and safety.

Does the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix make a good guard dog for the home?

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will prove to be a a formidable guard dog with the perfect blend of power, athleticism and control. .

This dog is also highly trainable and biddable offering the owner the necessary control over this magnificent canine protector.

The Cane Corso Boerboel Mix will naturally patrol the outside area and bark an alarm should they sense that anything is amiss.

Where can I found out more?

If you are considering a hybrid breed such as the Cane Corso Boerboel Mix always research both founding breeds to ensure that you are fully prepared for the arrival of your dog and nuance your training and lifestyle provision for your exciting new canine family member accordingly.

Please feel free to browse our breed guide for more information on the Boerboel, Cane Corso and other breeds. Also a good breeder should be willing to offer you advice and guidance when you take your puppy home.

As noted above if you have any queries or doubts regarding the health or feeding of your Cane Corso Boerboel Mix puppy consult a professional vet or animal dietician at the earliest opportunity.

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