|Colors:||Fawn, sable, black and tan|
|Suitable for:||Active families, experienced dog handlers, canine sports enthusiasts|
|Temperament:||Intelligent, discerning, watchful, determined, alert, loyal, dignified|
Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix: Rhodesian Shepherds are a rare and unique cross in the world of design dog breeds, often sporting the same crest along their spines that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is famous for. The result of crossing a purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback and a purebred German Shepherd, Rhodesian Shepherds are highly intelligent and athletic canines. They are excellent companions for families and active individuals, especially those who enjoy walking and being outdoors. Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be a handful for inexperienced owners, but they are also quite loving and affectionate. Let’s take a look at this great hybrid to see what it takes to own one:
Rhodesian Shepherd Puppies – Before you buy…
What is the price of Ridgeback Shepherd puppies?
Rhodesian Shepherd puppies usually sell for around $500 to $1,000. Although they are not purebred dogs, their status as a design dog breed has created a small market for them. This alone can make them more expensive, as well as being crossed with a rare purebred dog.
Purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies sell for anywhere from $750 to over $3,000, especially for premium bloodlines. German Shepherds are most popular, with a price range from $500 to over $4,000.
3 Little Known Facts about Rhodesian Shepherds
1. Some Rhodesian Shepherds inherit the Ridgeback.
While not all Rhodesian shepherds do, some are lucky enough to inherit the classic Ridgeback track. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a strip of fur along their spine that runs in the opposite direction of their coat, which is not just a breed standard, but a requirement for purebreds.
2. Rhodesian shepherds can weigh over 75 pounds.
Rhodesian Shepherds are large dogs, with the average dog weighing around 75-80 pounds. This makes them unsuitable for most apartments and city life, especially with your exercise needs. While puppies can be adorable, it’s best to remember how big Rhodesian Shepherds can get
3. Rhodesian pastors are hard workers.
Like their purebred counterparts, Rhodesian Shepherds are natural working dogs that need some purpose. This can be a real challenge for inexperienced dog trainers, so this mix is definitely not for everyone. However, as long as their exercise needs are met, Rhodesian Shepherds will reciprocate with affection and loyalty.
The parents of the Rhodesian Shepherd. Left: Rhodesian Ridgeback. Right: German Shepherd
Temperament and Intelligence of Rhodesian Shepherds
Rhodesian Shepherds are not purebred dogs, so there is not much information about their temperaments. One way to understand what kind of temperament your Rhodesian Shepherd might have is to look at parent dogs, but this is not always a possibility. The next best way is to study the temperaments of German Shepherds and Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
German Shepherds are one of the most sought after working dog breeds, having been around for centuries. Originally developed for herding, German Shepherds are extremely versatile dogs due to their high levels of intelligence. It’s easy to mistake these dogs for beginner dogs, which couldn’t be further from the truth. These dogs don’t just need a purpose, but a calm and confident leader to follow, otherwise they will gladly assume the role of leader. They also require hours – no exaggeration – of exercise to keep them calm and well-mannered. However, if their needs are met on a daily basis, they will be fiercely loyal and affectionate to anyone they consider family.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are, on the other hand, calmer and more laid-back than German Shepherds, although they still have the instincts of a bloodhound. Originally bred for hunting and property protection, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can look quite intimidating. While not as demanding as German Shepherds, Ridgebacks are quite self-aware and can become stubborn. Often reserved and even aloof with strangers, these large hunting dogs need to be socialized early to establish proper social etiquette. Except for their early years as puppies and young adults, Rhodesian Ridgebacks tend to be calm and quiet indoors.
Are these dogs good for families?
Yes, but not for all families. Generally, Rhodesian Shepherds are great for active families, especially families that are out on a daily basis. Families with children who love to play and spend time with their dog are the ideal situation for Rhodesian shepherds. However, we do not recommend this mix for families with no previous dog experience. These dogs need a confident leader, or they will begin to exhibit behavioral problems that can be difficult to detect and correct without experience.
Does this breed get along well with other pets?
Rhodesian Shepherds can get along well with other dogs as long as they are introduced slowly. Most will enjoy having a mate, especially if they are raised together from an early age. As for cats and small animals, it depends on each dog individually. Some Rhodesian shepherds have little or no prey, while others chase their house cat every hour.
Things to know when owning a Ridgeback Shepherd:
Food and diet requirements 🦴
Working dogs, whether purebreds or hybrids, need specialized diets packed with protein and nutrients to support their energy levels throughout the day. We recommend a crispy dry croquette with at least 25% raw animal-based proteins, avoiding filling ingredients that do not provide nutritional value. For a more specialized diet, consult your veterinarian for a personalized diet plan.
When feeding any large dogs, especially German Shepherds and Shepherd mixes, it is extremely important to let them rest for 30 minutes after eating. Running and jumping after a meal can make their stomachs turn, which is extremely fatal and requires emergency surgery to correct. Talk to your veterinarian about the signs and symptoms of this phenomenon and ways to prevent it from happening
Exercising your Rhodesian Shepherd Dog is not just a requirement, it should be a great way to bond with your dog. At the very least, a few long walks a day plus a few hours of playtime can be enough, but every dog is different. Since Rhodesian Shepherds are athletic dogs, competitive canine sports are an excellent choice as a form of exercise and bonding. Agility, dock jumping and tracking are great activities that Rhodesian Shepherds excel at, especially with the German Shepherd’s natural competitive spirit.
With any type of herding, hunting or working dog, mental stimulation is equally important, but it can be difficult to provide this for highly intelligent dogs. Puzzle toys may work at first, but Rhodesian shepherds can usually figure this out after a few tries. Tracking is a great physical and mental exercise that can be done anywhere that relies on your senses to find the bait.
Training your Rhodesian Shepherd Dog needs to start from day one with a focus on a consistent training schedule. Since these dogs need a purpose, having a structured schedule is crucial to avoiding behavioral problems. Positive reinforcement training with a wide variety of rewards (food, toys, praise) is the best method for Rhodesian shepherds, who may be sensitive to harsh training methods. However, if you have never trained a dog before, we highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in working breeds.
As early socialization with humans and dogs is crucial, puppy group classes can be a great opportunity. Classes will also teach basic obedience, which your Rhodesian Shepherd is likely to excel. If puppy classes aren’t an option, competitive canine sports centers are a good alternative for socialization and exercise.
Caring for your Rhodesian Shepherd Dog will be quite easy, especially if your puppy inherits more of the Rhodesian Shorthair coat. Expect to brush the coat at least once a week, although it may be more frequent for thicker, fluffier coats. Bathing your Rhodesian Shepherd Dog is fine every now and then, but excessive bathing can lead to dry, irritated skin. In addition to grooming the coat, trimming the nails is equally important. Trim nails as needed, or at least every 4-6 weeks.
Health and Conditions
As there is no data on the health of Rhodesian shepherds, there is no way of knowing what health problems they may have. However, there are many health records of German Shepherds and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, which might narrow the possibilities down a bit. Here are the most common health conditions of the German Shepherd and Rhodesian Ridgeback:
Common German Shepherd Dog Health Problems
- canine hip dysplasia
- Bloat/GDV (Especially prominent in this breed)
- progressive retinal atrophy
Common Rhodesian Ridgeback Health Problems
- canine hip dysplasia
- elbow dysplasia
- Swell up
male x female
The only major difference between males and females is size, males being generally larger and heavier than females. Except for the size difference, the choice of female or male is purely a personal matter. When choosing a puppy, the male or female decision must be made by all individuals involved.
Rhodesian Shepherds are quite unique hybrids that are relatively new to the world of design dogs, especially with the rarity of purebred Rhodesian Ridgebacks. These active, athletic dogs are highly intelligent and motivated, but they require a lot of attention, time, and experience to handle properly. While they may be a handful, these dogs are extremely loyal to their families. If you’re looking for a working breed and have the time or space for them, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can make a great work dog and companion.