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Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd Mix - The Ridgeback Shepherd

Updated on June 23, 2019
Harry Sheen profile image

I'm a lover of all things 'dog' (particularly the exploration of cross breeds - and just like to write about man's best friend.

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback | Source

Rhodesian Ridgeback x German Shepherd = Ridgeback Shepherd

Out of all the dog breeds in the world that you could look to buy, one of the most interesting is a Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix.

Though like all dog breeds, they are not for everyone, many people will find this particular kind of dog very easy to spend time around and enjoy seeing.

However, the problem with a dog like this is that you have to be ready for a dog that can be a huge amount of work – at least until you get to know each other.

What Exactly Are They?

A Ridgeback Shepherd mix is a dog that is a mix between a German Shepherd and a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Both are very impressive and powerful breeds of dog; the kind that can make a huge difference to the kind of life that you lead.

On their own, both parent breeds can be tough work.

If you have one in the house that is such a mix breed, though, you are sure to be in for a rather tough time!

These are dogs that have become very popular, with their rich European and African heritage making them very much among the most diverse dogs that you are likely to come across.

If your aim is to get a dog in the house who is friendly and cheery, then you should find that this the breed that you have been looking for.

Most of the time, though, these dogs are actually such a rare breed that you might find the hardest part of getting one is actually finding someone who is selling such a hybrid dog.

German Shepherd
German Shepherd | Source

Appearance - What Do They Look Like?

Typically, they tend to take a strange 50/50 mix from one parent to the other.

This creates a really interesting and diverse looking dog; the kind that is very easy to love.

They have very interesting physical features and tend to be the kind of dog that you are going to need to battle with at first.

This is because they get their power from the German Shepherd side of things as much as anything.

Powerful and direct, they tend to take on more of the look of the Shepherd, but you can see the obvious signs of a Ridgeback in just about every Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix you would meet.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback itself can grow to be anything from 24-27” in size, while the German Shepherd can be around 22-26”.

In terms of weight, both breeds are quite big dogs; ranging from 64-95lbs.

It depends on everything from lifestyle to the way that you spend time around the dog.

One of the main reasons why we recommend spending some time with a Ridgeback Shepherd mix at first is to get used to their size and growth.

When you get one from a young age, you should be able to notice the massive physical changes that take place with this kind of dog.

At first, it can be a bit off-putting: don’t let it be, though; such a dog is the kind of animal that, over time, will grow to be totally comfortable in your presence.

They are often dogs that don’t know their own power, though, so be prepared to spend a bit of time getting used to a dog that is big, powerful, and does not really hold back when it is doing anything.

It’s part of the reason why we love them: they act exactly how they want when they want!

Personality, Traits & Temperament

When you get a dog like these mix breeds, you will find that they tend to be quite hard to control and keep under your command.

However, over time that is likely to change a fair bit.

Follow their personality and you will soon to pick up on the little cues and clues that can make sure you can get a lot of help with raising the dog.

The Ridgeback side of this dog will make it quite a gentle dog, but the Shepherd side can make them a bit more energetic.

This can make it an odd dog, often jumping from one mood to the next.

Once it gets to know you and the family, though, you can expect such a mix to be a dog that learns quickly, mellows in its temperament, and becomes a major part of the family dynamic.

And that is something that many people love about these cross breed dogs.

They make brilliant family dogs, taking the loyal and robust nature of the German Shepherd and combining it with the quiet intellect of a Ridgeback.

This is why many people find that this crossbreed is a dog that they can have for more or less all of its lifespan.

They are very rarely going to behave out of turn or act in a way that would make you doubt if you could keep the dog around the family home.

For that reason, then, we recommend that you spend as much time as you can deciding if this is the kind of dog that you can handle.

If you can get over those early bumps in the road, though, these dogs are a brilliant companion to have around the place.

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback | Source

Exercising & Fitness

One very important thing to note about these hybrid dogs, though, is that you need to give them a fair amount of exercise.

Dogs like this tend to be quite hard to get used to, so we recommend spending a bit of time getting used to their more hyperactive, energetic nature at first.

We recommend that you get it outside a lot: the crossbreed is not a mix of dog that is known to enjoy spending time indoors for too long.

As such, if you are someone who works away from home a lot, you might wish to look at another breed of dog.

Another important thing to note about these dogs is that they tend to be the kind of dog that you can find hard to get used to spending time around.

At first, they can be quite hard to read; often they can be very energetic, other times they can seem quite grouchy and rebellious.

Then, you can expect exercise to be mild pain.

Over time, though, an animal like this is sure to calm down and become a bit easier to spend time around.

Will You Get a Ridgeback Shepherd?

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Feeding & Diet

Feeding these dogs are not as hard as some might make it sound.

We suggest that you look to get it on a raw food diet as soon as you can, though.

Just about every single one will enjoy a raw food diet overeating anything else.

However, the challenge with them is (as you will see below) they tend to carry a lot of allergies.

As such, you probably want to spend a fair amount of time going in and around the Ridgeback Shepherd dietary plans given to you by the owner or given to you by a vet.

They are not dogs which are easy to raise; far from it, in fact.

They tend to be the kind of dog that once you get to know them, though, they can be very easy to spend some time with and feed properly.

At first, though, expect them to be fussy eaters that will be a bit challenging.

If you want to try and make sure they get a good enough diet, try and make sure that you get it as much glucosamine and fish oil in the diet as you can: this will help with some of the health issues listed below.

Potential Health Issues

A Ridgeback Shepherd mix will always have problems, given the unique diversity in the breeding process.

While its parents are similar in cases, in other ways they really could not be any more different.

For that reason, it is common for a dog like this to have a lot of problems.

  • The most common problem that you will need to deal with is joint dysplasia. This kicks in a lot with them, so make sure you feed it a balanced diet to avoid this.
  • Also, make sure you keep a good eye on their weight. These dogs can end up overeating a lot, which can cause many health problems over the years.
  • Other common problems include a lot of allergies; few mixes are quite so allergic as this dog. This makes it important that you get them checked out.

As ever, make sure you are buying from a trusted source if you ever do choose to get one of these dogs.

They need to be cared for and looked after very seriously, so taking any kind of risks with their health could be damaging.

Therefore, make sure you are ready and prepared for the challenge ahead.

That said they are an incredibly rewarding dog and one that will sure to bring you many happy times ahead - just make sure that you're fully prepared to be a good owner of one.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2019 Harry Sheen

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