I was hoping to hear some viewpoints from people who have experience with both these breeds. But some background info first...
I have a three year old male lab, and I want to get a female dog soon. I have decided that I would like to get either a Cane Corso or a GSD. I am in Australia, so if anyone would like to share their experiences with Cane Corso breeders down here, that would be appreciated. I would most likely adopt a young adult GSD, since they are so readily available on dogzonline.com.au.
With my new dog, I plan on competing in obedience as well as Schutzhund. I am well aware of the differences between Schutzhund 'protection' and actual personal protection. I think it would be a fun sport and a good bonding opportunity for dog and handler. I do not need her to be a PPD.
Do you think that the average GSD or Cane Corso would have the temperament for Schutzhund? I have not been involved in this training before, but I am of the opinion that for SchI, most of the work can be done in prey drive, without really stressing the dog. It just plays tug with the bite sleeve.
Now for the important questions...
1. Dog aggression. Some people on internet forums are of the opinion that Corsos are quite likely to exhibit dog aggression. Is this just a socialization issue, or are they commonly genetically predisposed to this behaviour? Are they more likely to be dog aggressive compared to GSD, ceteris paribus? Dog aggression is not really acceptable to me, as it would be highly inconvenient for a dog which is first and foremost a family pet.
2. Health. In your opinion, when dogs are bred responsibly with appropriate health checks of parents, which breed tends to have more health issues? Perhaps it depends mainly on the individual line...
3. Accepting strangers/guests. In my experience, most GSD do not have a problem with this. What about Cane Corsos? My dog does not have to love everyone she meets, but at least tolerate a pat on the side etc. when I have visitors. The inconsistency in the Cane Corso breed is often mentioned.
4. Trainability. I have read from multiple sources that the Cane Corso is a very intelligent and highly trainable breed, with a high willingness to please. But I know for a fact that GSDs are extremely intelligent dogs. Are Cane Corsos even in the same ball park as GSDs, specifically regarding trainability for the three Schutzhund phases? (In general, of course).
Ok, I think that covers all of what I wanted to ask. I can deal with the shedding or slobbering of these dogs, so that isn't much of a factor. And I don't really appreciate how some CC have a very Boxer-like head. I don't think it looks good at all.
Anyway, your input/advice on any or all of these questions would be greatly appreciated.