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Does a Cane Corso Belgian Malinois Exist? History & Temperament

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on May 28, 2024 by Dogster Team

Red Malinois Dog And Black Cane Corso Dog Sitting Together In Grass

Does a Cane Corso Belgian Malinois Exist? History & Temperament

When deciding between two dogs, you have to look at each minute detail. However, when you can’t choose between them, searching for a mixed breed can be an appealing alternative! If you’re interested in adopting a large, powerful canine, you may have considered the Cane Corso or the Belgian Malinois.

Both breeds have similarities and differences, but have you ever seen a cross between the two? The Cane Corso Belgian Malinois mix does exist, but they are fairly rare. In this article, we’ll discuss what you can expect from a Cane Corso Belgian Malinois mix.


A Little History Lesson

Because the Belgian Malinois and Cane Corso (pronounced Kah-nay Kor-so) have similarities and differences, we will take a look at both breeds separately. Then, we’ll discuss what you might expect from a mixed breed between the two.

We’re starting with a brief history of each breed because knowing what they were initially bred for provides clues about their temperament and energy level.

Cane Corso History

Cane Corsi (plural) hail from Italy, but their early ancestors, Molossus dogs, were from Greece. The Roman Empire fell in love with these giant dogs during the occupation of the Greek Islands and brought some back with them to Italy. They were bred with Italian breeds, which brings us closer to the Cane Corso we’re familiar with.

They were initially used as war dogs, but by the 5th century, they were used for driving livestock, hunting wild boar, and guarding farms and hen houses. By the 20th century, the Corso was an endangered breed, but Italian fanciers brought them back from extinction, and the dogs made their way to North American shores by 1988.

Italian Cane Corso dog
Image By: Svolotova, Shutterstock

Belgian Malinois History

The Belgian Malinois comes from Malines in Belgium and was bred to be a herding dog. The focus was more on making them the best herders without worrying too much about their appearance (and yet, they are very handsome dogs).

The Mal became very popular with cattlemen and shepherds for their excellent herding skills. They were eventually brought to North America in 1911, but during World War II, their numbers decreased (like the Corso) and stayed that way until the early 1960s.

However, lovers of the Mal managed to bring their numbers back up, and while they are still used for herding, they are popular dogs for working with the police and the military.



The temperament of any mixed breed can depend on the parent they take after the most. So, understanding the temperament of the purebred parents provides insight into what you can expect with a crossbreed.

Cane Corso Temperament

The owner of a Cane Corso must be someone with experience who can handle a strong dog. Socialization is essential for all dogs, but particularly so for the Corso. They are very intelligent and form powerful bonds with their owners.

Without the all-important socialization and training, they can quickly become aggressive. They need an owner who can be gentle yet firm while training. Corsi view everyone outside of heir family as a threat, so this stresses the importance of socialization.

They are eager to please but sometimes tend to be a little stubborn and bossy. They can think independently and decide when to do things your way or their way.

Belgian Malinois Temperament

Belgian Malinois are friendly dogs but are also wary of strangers and need plenty of socialization and training, like the Corso. Mals can become destructive if they don’t get the right amount of exercise or your attention.

They can be pretty easy to train because they are eager to please, but there needs to be supervision around young children and other dogs. They are confident and intelligent and require at least two hours of daily exercise.

belgian malinois standing outdoor
Image By: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

Cane Corso Belgian Malinois Mix Temperament

The similarities in the temperament of both parents are apparent in many ways. Both breeds are wary of strangers and are quite protective of their families and properties, but the Malinois is more energetic than the Corso.

The crossbreed will likely be independent but will form strong bonds with their owners and be affectionate and loving with everyone in their family.


Physical Description

Cane Corso Physical Description

Cane Corsi stand at 23.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh as much as 88 to 120 pounds. They have a lifespan of 9 to 12 years. The Cane Corso has a very stocky, muscular build with a massive square head and powerful jaws. They have smooth, short coats that come in various colors, such as fawn, black, brindle, gray, red, and chestnut.

Belgian Malinois Physical Description

The Belgian Malinois looks similar to the German Shepherd, but they have slimmer heads and builds. They stand 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh around 40 to 80 pounds. Their lifespan is typically 14 to 16 years.

Mals also have smooth, short coats but shed more than Corsi. They come in mahogany, red sable, fawn sable, red, and fawn.

Cane Corso Belgian Malinois Mix

The offspring of the Corso and Mal will be large dogs. Depending on their genetics, they might be stocky, slimmer, or somewhere in between. The coloring will also vary depending on the parent they take after.

Malinois and Cane Corso
Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock



Cane Corso Care

The Cane Corso needs a lot of exercise, but grooming is a piece of cake thanks to their short, smooth coats, so they only require the occasional bath and weekly brushing. Luckily, they aren’t known to be serious shedders. However, their food bills will be high since they’re large dogs who love to eat!

Belgian Malinois Care

Mals also need a lot of exercise but are more energetic than Corsi. They shed a lot more, so they need more frequent brushing, which is still easy, thanks to their short coats. They might not eat quite as much as the Corso, but they are large dogs.

Cane Corso Belgian Malinois Mix

As a large breed, they will have a large appetite and need around 1½ hours of daily exercise, as well as weekly brushing and occasional baths. The mixed breed might end up suffering from separation anxiety if they are left alone too often and require enough mental and physical exercise to keep them happy and healthy.


More on the Cane Corso Belgian Malinois Mix

Why are these mixed breeds hard to find? According to the AKC, the Cane Corso is the 18th most popular dog, and the Belgian Malinois is the 32nd. It’s less likely to find a mixed breed from two purebreds that aren’t as commonly bred. If you find one, they will have the same confident, courageous, intelligent, loyal, protective, and loving qualities as their parents.

They will need an experienced owner who will socialize and train them with love and loads of patience. They might be slightly laid-back if they take after their Corso parent more. You’ll need a home with a backyard for their exercise and size requirements, and they won’t be the best choice for apartment living.

You’ll need to plan to give them an intense workout at least three days a week and long walks on the other days.

malinois and cane corso dog sitting together in grass
Image By: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock



It’s not entirely impossible to find a Cane Corso Belgian Malinois mix. You can start by speaking to Cane Corso and Belgian Malinois breeders. Although the two breeds don’t look much alike, they share similarities in their care and temperaments.

Either way, if you feel you have the right experience to handle a large dog with a sometimes stubborn temperament, you can’t go wrong with the Mal or the Corso or a crossbreed between the two.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shuttestock

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