The Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix (Best Guide)

A German Shepherd is an excellent companion for people who love dogs. They are very friendly, obedient, and very protective of their owners and others around them.

They are great guard dogs as they are intelligent, agile, and fast.

Because of this, German Shepherds are commonly used as police or military dogs.

As a result of their strong characteristics, they are often bred with other dogs to create some wonderful mixed breeds.

This article will be discussing the characteristics of the Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for an interesting ridge that is along their spine. In this area, their fur grows in the opposite direction to the rest of their body.

This breed originated in Rhodesia, an area located in South Africa that is now split between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

They were used by hunters to hunt big game as they were very courageous, known for confronting lions!

Nowadays, as hunting big game isn’t as popular as it used to be, they are now commonly used as domestic pets.

They are friendly, loyal, and very protective. They love their families and are tolerant toward young children.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and protective dogs. They are great for people and families as they love to be around children and other pets.

German shepherds are very smart and need lots of exercise. They would do best in a home where there is plenty of room for them to run around and play.

They are globally acknowledged for their loyalty and easy-to-train nature, which is why they are a popular breed for police dogs and guide dogs.

As natural protectors, they would make great guard dogs for your home, and although they can be timid at first, they will soon become comfortable in their home environment, showering you with love and affection.

Why Cross Rhodesian Ridgebacks With German Shepherds?

These breeds have some tremendous characteristics, with both of them being very intelligent and loyal. They are also athletic and obedient, as well as very gracious looking.

As they were both used for hunting, this means they are easier to train than other breeds, with a natural protective nature.

All in all, crossing these two breeds will give you the best characteristics from each dog, resulting in a truly majestic dog.

In addition, crossing these two breeds may balance out some of their traits.

For example, your mixed breed may have less energy levels than a purebred German Shepherd, and it may have more of a tame prey drive from the Ridegback’s side.

General Characteristics Of Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mixes

The puppies that are born as a result of these two breeds can vary in their looks and personalities. All will depend on which parent the puppies take after.

Below are some of the key characteristics you can expect to see from your Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix


These two breeds are relatively similar in size, with Rhodesian Ridgebacks weighing around 10 pounds more, averaging around 75 pounds.

Due to the large size of each individual breed, relatively large dogs are produced when crossing the two.

Males are expected to grow to about 25.5 inches, and females are expected to grow to 24 inches.

Their weights should average out to about 60 pounds for females, and just under 80 pounds for males.

Therefore, if you are looking to welcome this mixed breed into your life, it would be best if you had a relatively large space for them to roam around.


The coats of these two breeds are quite different. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have quite short and smooth coats, whereas German Shepherds have a double coat that is medium to long in length.

The puppies of these breeds will likely inherit the coat of one of its parents more than the other. This also goes for the color of its coat.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks tend to have a beige, brown coat, and German Shepherds have a black, beige, or tan coat.

No matter which breed your puppy takes after, it is bound to be born with a wonderful colored coat.


When it comes to grooming, these two breeds are fairly similar. Both need daily brushing, but neither needs clipping.

The only difference between these two breeds is that German Shepherds require more frequent bathing and brushing due to their long hair.

Therefore, if your puppy takes after its German Shepherd parent, they are likely to need a little more hair care.

They are likely to shed a lot twice a year, so more frequent grooming will need to take place during that time.

Their ears should be regularly cleaned, as well as their teeth need to be brushed. This is the general care for all dogs, not just this particular mix.


As mentioned earlier, both of these breeds are very loyal and protective towards their families.

They are known to be extremely gentle towards children, and they do not like being left alone without supervision. However, they are still able to keep up with most adult activities.

If you plan to leave your dog home by itself for extended periods of time, make sure you provide him with plenty of toys and chew items.

Also, make sure he has access to a safe area where he can retreat if necessary. You may want to consider getting him a fence or gate to help protect his territory.

If you are planning to get a puppy, make sure you choose an appropriate age for him to start socializing with people.

It is important to introduce him to new situations gradually, so he does not become overwhelmed.


Both of these breeds are considered healthy. They are prone to some health problems such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and patellar luxation.

The main thing to watch for is eye infections. These breeds are prone to developing cataracts, and therefore regular eye exams are recommended.

If your pup develops any signs of eye infection, contact your veterinarian immediately.

You should also make sure that your puppy gets enough exercise. Dogs who are kept inside too much often develop obesity issues.

Make sure that your puppy gets at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This includes walking, playing fetch, and running through the park.

You should also make sure that you give your dog proper nutrition.

Puppies should be fed a high-quality diet that contains protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Your vet can advise you on what foods are best suited for your dog.

Bite Strength

Both these breeds have relatively strong bites, with a Ridegback’s bite measuring 224 psi, and a German Shepherd’s being 238!

Therefore, your puppy will develop a relatively strong bite, so appropriate training is required to avoid accidents when it is older and stronger.


Due to the incredible agility of its parent breeds, your puppy is likely to have a lot of stamina, being able to run rapidly.

German Shepherds are known for running up to 30 miles per hour, and Rhodesian Ridgeback’s can run up to 25 miles per hour.

Therefore, you can expect your mix to reach speeds of this rate when it is fully grown.


As we have mentioned already, your mix is likely to grow to a relatively large size. This means it is going to need quite a lot of exercise, as well as long walks.

This is to ensure that your dog uses up any pent-up energy, and will lead to them being healthy and happy.

If a dog of this size is not getting enough exercise, it can lead to bad habits and destructive behavior.

They also require mental stimulation. This mixed breed is likely to enjoy dog puzzles and canine sports, such as flyball.

Keeping their mind stimulated will also ensure they are kept happy and healthy.


German Shepherds are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, so your mix is likely to be very intelligent also. This means they will be easier to train than other breeds.

Although Rhodesian Ridgeback’s are not necessarily known for their intelligence, they are still easy to please their owners, so training their offspring will be an enjoyable activity you can bond over.


A cross between these two breeds is likely to have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years.

German Shepherds generally live till they are around 14 years old, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks tend to live till around 12 years of age.

Despite this, dogs can outlive their life expectancies as long as they have a high-quality diet, good exercise, and regular visits to the vet.

AKC Recognition

The AKC does not generally recognize crossbreeds, so because of that reason, this breed is not recognized by the AKC.

However, they can still take part in AKC events after they are enrolled in the Canine Partners Program.

This mix may do well in some of these events, so if that is something you are interested in, it is possible.

Who Should Get A Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix?

As this is likely to be a very large dog, it is generally not recommended for first-time dog owners as they do have a tremendous amount of strength.

This dog would be ideal for someone who is eager to take their dog out on hikes and jogs, and enjoys a lot of activity and would take their dog along with them on these adventures.

Due to the protective nature of its parents, this mix is likely to inherit this, making it a wonderful guard dog for your home.

They also have the ability to chill out and relax, and not be too hyperactive, making it perfect for a person or family who are looking for that in a dog.

Is Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix Popular?

While these two dogs produce a wonderful mix that has good health and an elegant structure, they are not commonly bred together.

Each breed is much more valuable on its own, so finding a mix between these two may not be easy. It is more likely to find one that has come as a result of an accidental mating.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, the Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix is a great mix of two popular, beautiful dog breeds. The German shepherd is a strong working dog, while the Ridgeback is a loyal companion.

These two breeds make a great combination and are both highly valued. If you want to get a dog that is smart, and likes a lot of activity, then this dog is for you.

If you are considering getting a mix like Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd, then we would recommend talking to a breeder about what you are looking for.

You could also speak to your local veterinarian, as they are well-versed in what breeds would suit different personalities.

Learn More about Different Dogs and Dog Breeders by check out our other articles.

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