Rhodesian Ridgeback Hybrids - Say Hello To The New Designer Dogs - The Pets and Love

Less common, than those mentioned above, but increasing in popularity is the breeding of the Rhodesian Ridgeback with other pedigrees to produce new hybrids. These include the newly created Rhodesian Boerboel, Pitbull Ridgeback, Rhodesian Labrador, and Saint Labrador.

The cross-bred dog has been around for a long, long time with many homes having one of these faithful, loyal, and loving companions. However, in recent years a new trend has arisen, and that is for the designer dog, the hybrid mix of two pedigrees.

To create a hybrid mix, you need two dogs, male and female, of pedigree breeding. These are then bred to create a mix of the two. Hybrid breeds you may have heard of include the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and poodle mix) and the Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle).

Less common, than those mentioned above, but increasing in popularity is the breeding of the Rhodesian Ridgeback with other pedigrees to produce new hybrids. These include the newly created Rhodesian Boerboel, Pitbull Ridgeback, Rhodesian Labrador, and Saint Labrador.

We’ll take a closer look at these hybrids and the second pedigree used to create them shortly, but first let’s take a peek at the breed they all have in common, the gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Rhodesian Ridgeback – The Lion Dog Of Africa

Hailing from the former African country Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a handsome, strong and muscular dog with a magnificent personality. They are listed as the 42nd most popular dog on the American Kennel Club’s list of 193 breeds.

Originally known as the African Lion Dog or Van Rooyen’s Lion Dog, after the man who originally bred them, this breed was used for hunting and protection of the homestead. Nowadays, however, although they are still occasionally used for hunting they have become more of a family pet.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is most commonly known for the distinctive ridge that follows the length of its spine, and that it is now named for. However, they are much more than this. This breed has courage and valor to spare, is loving and affectionate, and an all-round huge bundle of joy. They stand at a large 24 to 27 inches and weigh in at 70 to 85 lbs.

Pitbull Ridgeback (American Pit Bull Terrier)

Originally bred to bait bulls the American Pit Bull Terrier was later developed into a fabulous ‘nanny dog’ due to its gentleness with children. They are well built, muscular, love people, exude confidence, bravery, and love. In fact, they are the ideal companion and family dog.

The Pitbull Ridgeback has a strong guarding and protection instinct mixed with an equally strong bond with their family. They are large in size with a well muscled and athletic appearance. Most are the color of a Rhodesian Ridgeback (wheaten) but other colors and patterns are possible.

Weight: 30 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 8 to 15 years

AmStaff Ridgeback (American Staffordshire Terrier)

The American Staffordshire Terrier is one of America’s best-loved breeds. They are confident, loyal, trustworthy, good-natured, and a true friend forever. Standing at around 19 inches they are a stocky and muscular dog with a well-defined jaw and dark round wide-set eyes.

The AmStaff and Rhodesian Ridgeback are surprisingly not a common combination. They do, however, create an excellent family dog well suited to family life. They are a natural athlete and look much like an AmStaff, but with a ridge down the back. Coloration varies with AmStaff markings and colors being common. They are loyal and devoted but need proper socialization.

Weight: 40 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 16 years

Rhodesian Basenji (Basenji)

The Basenji is a true contender for the American Kennel Club’s oldest breed. They are compact and sweet-faced with great intelligence and poise. A challenge to train they may not be the breed for a first-time owner. Believe it or not, the Basenji does not bark.

The Rhodesian Basenji seamlessly brings together two ancient and primitive breeds. They may or may not vocalize due to the Basenji being mute. If they do bark, it will be the hound-like baying of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. They display intelligence and poise and will definitely need a lot of exercise.

Weight: 22 to 85lbs Lifespan: 10 to 14 years

Rhodesian Boxer (Boxer)

Bred down from a larger heavy breed the Bullenbeisser (bull biter), the Boxer has been used for many athletic jobs. They are loyal, affectionate, energetic, in fact, the whole doggy package. Their muscles ripple, they have a tight-fitting coat, and continually look at you with a curious gaze.

This hybrid mix usually inherits more of the Boxers temperament than the Rhodesian Ridgebacks. They are intelligent and like to be busy. This hybrid responds well to training and although they are a little on the stubborn side, are also obedient, loving, and gentle.

Weight: 50 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Doberman Ridgeback (Doberman Pinscher)

Originally the ‘tax collectors dog’ due to its imposing and dependable protector qualities the Doberman Pinscher is the ultimate working dog. They are sleek and powerful, have a keen intelligence, are fearless, vigilant, a fine protection dog.

A sight to behold, the Doberman Ridgeback is a purely sleek and rippling with muscle hybrid. They are an impressive guard dog and loyal family member with the right training and socialization. They can be somewhat independent and may choose alone time when the house is noisy and busy.

Weight: 60 to 100 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

German Ridgeback (German Shepherd)

The German Shepherd began its rise to popularity in the early 1900s thanks to movie stars such as Rin-Tin-Tin. They are smooth, have graceful curves and a courageous, loyal, and confident personality. This breed is also commonly known as the Alsatian.

The German Ridgeback is a highly intelligent companion that has impressive protective and guarding instincts. They are well muscled and athletic but not very good at being alone. They still to this day make a great hunting companion.

Weight: 50 to 90 lbs Lifespan: 7 to 12 years

Golden Ridgeback (Golden Retriever)

Developed in the Scottish Highlands during the reign of Queen Victoria, the Golden Retriever has become the ultimate gun dog. They are sturdy, muscular and of medium size. Famous for their outgoing and friendly personalities they also are the most eager of any dog breed to please their owners.

This hybrid is an intriguing mix of the Golden Retrievers notable friendliness with the Rhodesian Ridgebacks natural reserve. They are large and friendly and make excellent watchdogs. Intelligent, loyal, and devoted they make excellent family members and are good with other animals. They love to have fun and play and show good manners.

Weight: 55 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Rhodesian Dane (Great Dane)

Surprisingly, despite its name the Great Dane is a German breed that was used by nobles to hunt. They are easy going, known as the ‘Apollo of dogs’ and a total joy to live with. They are, however, an imposing dog that can stand at up to 32 inches in height. Not for the faint-hearted or those who do not want to spend an inordinate amount of time training.

With a patient and friendly demeanor the Rhodesian Dane makes an excellent choice of hybrid. They have an even temperament, make good watchdogs but do need an experienced dog owner. This is partly due to their large size and a tendency to dominate when not kept in hand.

Weight: 70 to 175 lbs Lifespan: 7 to 12 years

Greyhound Ridgeback (Greyhound)

The Greyhound dates back to the time of Pharaohs and is the champion sprinter of the dog kingdom. Personality wise, they are gentle, noble, sweet-tempered, independent, and a little bit noble. They stand at an impressive 28 to 30 inches and weigh in at around 70 lbs.

Slim and sleek with an unstoppable desire to run the Greyhound Ridgeback is an energetic handful. Both breeds contribute strongly to this hybrids temperament making them challenging to train. They are overall large, powerful, and have a strong personality.

Weight: 60 to 85 lbs Lifespan:

Irish Ridgeback (Irish Terrier)

A high spirited gundog that is known for its grace, swiftness, and a flashy red coat, the Irish Terrier is a great family addition. They are sweet-tempered, a great playmate for kids, and famed for their speed. They have a substantial but elegant build with long sinewy legs.

Loyal and protective of their people the Irish Ridgeback can range from fiery terrier to independent hound. They can also be wary of strangers and may require some regular grooming if they inherit the terrier coat type.

Weight: 25 to 180 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Rhodesian Wolfhound (Irish Wolfhound)

Very little is known about the history of the immense muscular hound that is the Irish Wolfhound other than that it nearly pushed itself into extinction. This was due to it being way too good at its job of hunting wolves and clearing Ireland of them completely. Without a job, people didn’t need them anymore and very few were bred. Luckily, however, this fantastic breed has survived and we know the joys of this calm and dignified hound.

This is one big dog full of affectionate companionship when socialized well. They are calm and dignified but can have an independent streak. This makes them a bit of a handful in puppyhood.

Weight: 70 to 120 lbs Lifespan: 6 to 12 years

Rhodesian Labrador (Labrador Retriever)

This traditional waterdog of Newfoundland gained its popularity right back in the 1800s. They are sweet-faced, lovable, and one of America’s favorite breeds. Sturdy and well balanced they have a dense hard coat of a glorious yellow, black, or chocolate.

The Rhodesian Labrador makes for an interesting mix of personality where friendliness and aloofness meet. They are calm and confident and always happy but do have a stubborn streak. They need a strong owner who will train them fully in a firm but fair way. They do not make a lot of noise but will warn you should strangers approach.

Weight: 55 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Mastiff Ridgeback (Mastiff)

The Mastiff is a huge heavy boned dog of immense courage and prodigious strength. They are docile and dignified but also a formidable protector of those they love. At 30 inches tall and weighing in at up to 230 lbs they can outweigh and outsize many a full grown man.

By far the weightiest Rhodesian Ridgeback hybrid on the list the Mastiff Ridgeback will inherit courage in spades from both breeds. They are strong with a guarding and protective instinct. Warning: This hybrid breed produces a lot of drool.

Weight: 70 to 230 lbs Lifespan: 6 to 12 years

Pharaoh Ridgeback (Pharaoh Hound)

The national dog of Malta is an elegant but rugged sprinting hound. It is quick and tenacious on the scent, and also friendly and affectionate. They are sleek and aerodynamic, built for high-speed pursuit. Cutely, they have the ability to smile and a unique way of blushing when happy or excited.

The personality of the Pharaoh Ridgeback will very much depend on which of the parent dogs has the most dominant genes. They will definitely, however, have a high sprinting drive which will need really good recall training skills. They have a short smooth coat and won’t shed very much.

Weight: 45 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 14 years

Redbone Rhodesian (Redbone Coonhound)

Typically thought of as a lazy ol dawg that snoozes its life away on the porch the Redbone Coonhound is mellow, kindly, and actually loves vigorous activities. They are medium in size with muscles that undulate beneath their sleek and stunning red coat.

The Redbone Coonhound contributes a distinctive and vibrant fire red coat to this hybrid mix along with a calm temperament. The Rhodesian Ridgeback, on the other hand, gives stubbornness and independence. Surprisingly, these qualities mix well and make for a well-balanced dog that is laid back except for when hunting.

Weight: 45 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Rottweiler Ridgeback (Rottweiler)

Despite their intimidating looks, the Rottweiler is nothing more than a great big gentle playmate and protector. They have a glistening short black coat with smart rust markings and are thickly muscled especially at the hindquarters. They do, however, need to be well raised to fill their full calm, confident, and courageous potential.

With the Rottweilers penchant for being a guardian and the Rhodesian Ridgebacks for hunting this hybrid makes for a strong protective dog. They need early socialization and training is absolutely key. They’re an excellent companion canine if trained right.

Weight: 70 to 135 lbs Lifespan: 7 to 12 years

Saint Ridgeback (Saint Bernard)

A powerful working dog that has been used for location and rescue of lost travelers the Saint Bernard is one of the world’s most famous breeds. They are watchful, patient, make a great ‘nanny dog’ and are rather on the large side. They stand at up to 30 inches in height and weigh 140 to 180 lbs.

Loyal, loving, gentle, dedicated, and independent all describe this Saint Bernard and Rhodesian Ridgeback hybrid. They are a heavy shedder due to the Saint Bernard influence so need regular grooming.

Weight: 70 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 8 to 12 years

Rhodesian Deerhound (Scottish Deerhound)

So old a breed that they were living in Scotland before the Scots the Scottish Deerhound is unsurprisingly the ‘Royal dog of Scotland.’ They are a majestically large coursing hound from the same pattern as the Greyhound, and one of the tallest of all dog breeds. They have a tapered head and a long neck that adds lift to this stately hound.

With the racing instincts of the Scottish Deerhound and the incredibly strong prey drive of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, this hybrid is one big handful. They need to be really well trained and socialized especially in recall if you plan on allowing them off leash.

Weight: 70 to 110 lbs Lifespan: 8 to 12 years

Rhodesian Collie (Border Collie)

A cross between old Roman and Viking herding dogs the Border Collie is a well equipped and remarkably bright workaholic. They are of a medium size, muscular and nimble with almond eyes full of intelligent expression. They do, however, need someone with the time and energy to spend upon them as they need to be kept occupied.

With both breeds naturally high energy levels and a strong desire to chase, herd, and guard, the Rhodesian Collie is one energetic hybrid. They are also intelligent, in general friendly, and great companions.

Weight: 30 to 85 lbs Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Rhodesian Boerboel (Boerboel)

The Boerboel is a fearless breed that will protect both hearth and home. They are intimidating looking, dominant, confident, bright, and eager to learn. No frills, no nonsense is what you get with this breed who is a sleek coated avenger. They stand at 24 to 27 inches and weigh between 150 and 200 lbs.

Combining the large Mastiff-type Boerboel and the Rhodesian Ridgeback makes for one large hybrid. They will be strong, protective, confident, independent, and dominant. They will shed moderately and require light brushing on a regular basis.

Weight: 70 to 200 lbs Lifespan: 9 to 12 years

A Few Words On Designer Dogs

Though the above descriptions of Rhodesian Ridgeback hybrids are as accurate as possible, there are no guarantees when it comes to the personalities or appearance of these dogs. This is because one or other of the parents (breeds) may be more dominant genetically. If this is the case the dominant genes will win out and the personality or appearance will reflect that.

Buying A Designer Rhodesian Ridgeback Crossbreed

You should always find a reputable breeder when you are considering purchasing a puppy. However, unlike purebreds where breeders are fairly easy to find the rareness of designer dogs can make this difficult.

Do not, due to difficulty in locating breeders, fall prey to online scams. Scam breeders may ask you for deposits or full payments for puppies before you have even seen them. This, of course, probably means there are no puppies, and the unscrupulous advertizer is just trying to steal your money.

When you do find a breeder visit the pups as many times as you can before bringing your puppy home. You should also always see the mother of pups. Carefully watch how the pups interact with their mother, breeder, and yourself to check they are of a good temperament.

Look out for a dam, mother, that is being bred too frequently. Due to the rarity of these designer dog breeders, many are choosing to breed their dams more than they should. Ask questions about the breeding of the pups and ensure that though they will not be able to be part of the American Kennel Club, they are following their guidelines for breeding.

Pros And Cons Of Designer Dogs

Although the breeders of designer dogs feel that they are meeting the needs of a certain sect of people, many purebred breeders and purebred dog clubs such as the American Kennel Club think that this trend is dangerous to all dogs.

The following is a description of the pros and cons that we have put together so you can decide this issue for yourselves.


It would seem that one of the largest concerns regarding designer dogs is the purchase price of puppies. Many purebred breeds start at a price tag of around $250 whereas designer dogs start at around $700.

This it would seem is a rather strange turn of affairs since mixed breeds dogs, in general, are valued at far less than purebred and can be purchased for far less than pedigrees.

Secondly, as we have already stated there are no guarantees of the traits and appearances that designer dogs will develop. There is a very high chance, in fact, that the traits breeds involved in designer breeding that they were picked may not develop at all.

Then, and far more concerning, it has to be said, there is the issue of designer dogs being bred to improve overall health. The idea that breeding two different breeds together will eliminate any potential health issues is perhaps a little naive.

Although many of the puppies that are bred as designer dogs do not show symptoms of recessive genetic dysfunctions, it is also possible that they could. In fact, a hybrid puppy could have the worst luck in the world and inherit dysfunctions from both parents (breeds).


Designer dogs have been created to fit the specific wants and needs of potential owners. From pocket size dogs to large lovable rogues and everything in between. Many of these breeds are free of the less desirable traits of their purebred parents making life with them easier.

For example, some purebreds, such as the Pug, have difficulty breathing because of their short snouts. However, the more popular breed, the designer Puggle doesn’t. This is because they have the longer nose of the second breed the Beagle whilst still maintaining the wrinkled forehead and loopy gait of the Pug.

It is also believed that many hybrid dogs gain a vigor, a strength from their dual breed parentage. They rarely inherit genetic defects because the bloodlines are not as closely related as that of purebreds.

For example, many Retriever breeds tend to have cataracts or epilepsy, and oft hip dysplasia. Mixed breeds very rarely inherit these genetic conditions due to their mixed heritage. Incidentally, mixed breeds, Heinz 57s also have this pro of not picking up genetic conditions.

Other Designer Dog Breeds To Consider

  • Labradoodle – Labrador Retriever/Poodle
  • Cockapoo – Cocker Spaniel/ Poodle
  • Aussiedoodle – Australian shepherd/Poodle
  • Basador – Basset Hound/Labrador Retriever
  • Cavapom – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Pomeranian
  • Chug – Chihuahua/Pug
  • Doxiepoo – Daschund/Poodle
  • Golden Doodle – Golden Retriever/ Poodle
  • Lhasapoo – Lhasa Apso/Poodle
  • Maltipoo – Maltese/Poodle
  • Pekeapoo – Pekingese/Poodle
  • Pugapoo – Pug/ Poodle
  • Alusky – Husky/Alaskan Malamute
  • Labsky – Labrador Retriever/ Husky
  • Rotterman – Rottweiler/ Doberman Pinscher
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