Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix: Full Profile, History, and Care

Categorized as German Shepherd Types and Mixes
Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix

The Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix is a new breed developed to create a dog that combines all of the best qualities from both breeds. The result is an animal that is loyal but also fierce and independent. This article will explore more about this mixed breed and what it entails for those looking to adopt one!

What is a Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix is a mixed breed dog resulting from breeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback with a German Shepherd. The German Shepherd is known for its protective and loyal qualities, as well as high intelligence. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known for being a good hunting dog. Crossing the two breeds can create a dog that has qualities that are both loyal and independent, a good guard animal but also an excellent hunting companion.

The best thing about owning one of these dogs is their ability to go on outdoor adventures with you! They love to explore new territory, and they will never turn down the opportunity to spend time in nature, so if you have been looking for your next adventure buddy, then this is the dog for you.

Basic Facts About German Shepherds and Rhodesian Ridgebacks

To understand where this breed comes from, we need to look at their parents’ history first.

History of German Shepherd Dog Breed

The German Shepherd originated in Germany during the late 1800s. At this point, Germans were starting to get really into dog breeding. Many people wanted dogs that would make excellent companions and be able to perform important jobs. One of the most famous shepherds was Rin Tin Tin, who starred in many films and helped to influence many more who wanted their own dogs.

It is believed that one breeder started the German Shepherd breed in 1899. Max von Stephanitz is credited with creating this magnificent animal, which has contributed much to society over time.

German Shepherds are usually black and tan or black and gray in color, although they can have a sable or blue coat too. They share a lot of characteristics with wolves or foxes in terms of their appearance. Male German shepherds typically weigh around 75 to 90 pounds when fully grown, while females are usually around 55 to 70 pounds).

History of Rhodesian Ridgeback

The history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs is a little bit different than the German Shepherd. This dog breed developed in Africa, where it was used as a hunting companion. The dogs were traditionally used for hunting lions and other wild game. The ancestor of these dogs is believed to be the ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi.

The breed was originally called the African Lion Hound because of their ability to hunt lions, but when European settlers came to Africa, they found this breed and began breeding it with other common breeds in Europe at the time, such as Great Danes and Bloodhound. This led to crossbreeding between two dog breeds, which resulted in the name being changed to Rhodesian Ridgeback.

A Rhodesian ridgeback is a dog with an unusual appearance. It has long hair on its back that grows in the opposite direction from the rest of its fur, hence the name “ridge.” The result is a ridge of hair running down their spine and along their backbone with a color that ranges from light wheaten to red wheaten. The ridge can be straight or wavy, depending on how tightly curled each individual hair is.

They are typically muscular, around 70 to 85 pounds, with long legs and a decent-sized head. They are highly intelligent, alert, and independent. This dog was bred for hunting, so it does have a tendency to roam.

Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix Puppy

Key Characteristics of Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix


Because of their unique breeding, the Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix is typically a very large dog. It can grow to be around 65 to 95 pounds. The coat color of this dog is inherited from their GSDs and Rhodesian Ridgeback parents. It is common for these dogs to have a Fawn, sable, black, and tan coat.


Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix is very independent and quiet with a gentle temperament. However, it does tend to have quite a bit of dominance, which can be good and bad depending on the situation, so you do need to be assertive when training it, or else it will not listen.

Food and Diet Requirements

Like most big dogs, Ridgeback Shepherd needs a high-quality kibble. Since it is a large dog, you might want to choose a food with at least 23% protein content and fat content of at least 14%. They can also benefit from the diet by having some supplements like fish oil. In addition, don’t forget to provide enough water for your pet every day.

You can either pick a dry food or wet food or a blend of both. In my opinion, a blend of both is best.

Dry food is usually a better option than wet food. But, if you’re looking for more variety and don’t want to give up on the benefits of both dry and wet foods, then there’s always the blend of dry with wet dog food.

If you’re giving your dog wet and dry treats together, I recommend that these two be mixed in a 50/50 ratio. That is, for every 1 cup of dry food that you give the pet daily, you can also add 12 oz of wet food to it.

How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix?

Your Ridgeback Shepherd puppy will need to eat an average of 2-6 cups of dry food per day while it’s growing. But as it gets older and begins to get bigger, that amount should gradually increase until the dog can finish about 11 cups of kibble every day.

As for the feeding frequency, puppies can eat three times a day, but as they get older, you can reduce the feeding frequency to twice a day. It is best to feed dogs at the same time every day. So, for example, if you want to feed your dog in the morning at 7 AM, then do so and repeat the same schedule every day.

Grooming Needs

The care of a Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix will include brushing its coat. You’ll want to brush this dog’s coat every day, or at least twice every week. If your dog has long fur, then trimming might be necessary to prevent the hair from matting together and causing discomfort to your dog.

As for bathing, you’ll only need to bathe your dog at least once every two to three months. When giving it a bath, you may want to use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo and conditioner.

Hypoallergenic shampoos are specially designed for pets that might have allergies to certain types of products. They have no harsh chemicals or perfumes in them, which can irritate your pet. They are also very gentle and will not cause the dog’s skin or coat to dry out. This makes hypoallergenic dog shampoo perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, like Ridgeback Shepherd Mixes.

Exercise Needs

As highly energetic and athletic dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix will benefit from a regular 30 – 90 minutes daily exercise. A good walk around the neighborhood on a leash is sufficient for this breed. You can also include more outdoor activities like running, swimming, hiking, and such.

It’s important to note that without enough exercise, the dog can become bad-tempered, and their health may deteriorate. So once again, make sure to give them the amount of exercise that they need.

Common Health Problems

One health concern that Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix faces is dysplasia. This is the condition where the joints deteriorate and may result in pain for your dog. Since, in most cases, this disease is passed along from the parents, it would be best to get your dog tested before getting it.

Deafness and dermoid sinus are also occasionally seen in Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix. Dermoid sinus can be treated through surgery and are not usually fatal. For deafness, while there is no definite cure for deafness, you can treat the underlying health issues that cause it.

Training Requirements and Tips

Dog lovers should note that this breed is very intelligent. So, all it takes is a bit of hard work and patience to train it. Just remember that you should be firm during training sessions, so the dog will know what you want from them.

It’s also best if your young puppy undergoes socialization training at an early age to help understand how dogs relate to other dogs and humans. Socialization, obedience training, crate training, and housebreaking are all part of the standard home-training requirements for this breed.

Male vs. Female

Male and female dogs have their own unique advantages. Male dogs tend to have greater territorial instincts, so they are considered better for guarding property. On the other hand, females are more protective of their families, so they are better for personal guardians.

Males also need more robust, assertive training than females, but once trained though, they tend to be more stable and steady family dogs. Compared to female dogs, males don’t have much parental instincts; this means that they tend to view children as their playmates than puppies. This can make males dogs more intimidating for young kids as they may think of themselves as the pack leader instead of “nanny.”

Conversely, most often, female dogs are easier to train and more connected with their human family. They also naturally more protective of young kids and tend to treat kids as oversized puppies.

If you’re busy, female dogs tend to be more independent than males. They love to cuddle as much as males do but are usually okay to stay by themselves in a separate room. This makes them great for single owners or families with active work schedules.

So for those who are considering a Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix, they should consider which one of these characteristics appeals to their needs and lifestyle the most. But remember that both male and female dogs are great companions, so it’s really just about preference.

Is Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix The Right Dog For Me?

Before you decide to get a Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix, make sure that there is enough time in your schedule to take care of a dog. As mentioned earlier, these dogs need plenty of exercise and attention from their owners.

They are also known to be very protective when it comes to their family members, so constant obedience training is a must. You’ll want to remember that this dog is not the type of breed you’d want if you’re living in an apartment. The best home for these dogs would be in a house with a large, fenced-in yard space where they can run and play freely.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful and useful as you raise and train your German Shepherd.

Here are some of my favorite reviews for German Shepherd supplies that I personally use and recommend. If you do decide to purchase them, please remember that I’ll earn a small commission which helps me maintain this website.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.