The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix has one Rhodesian Ridgeback parent and another parent from one of the Pitbull type breeds. They can make an excellent family pet for the right owners, but this mix is not for everyone. Active adults and families with older children are a better match for this strong, large mix than seniors or families with small children. Experience owning and training dogs with independent and strong-willed personalities is also a plus. The Ridgeback Pitbull mix may be more than a novice dog owner can handle.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix characteristics.
- Temperament traits and potential for aggression?
- Rhodesian Ridgeback and Pitbull health.
- Puppies and shelter dogs.
Mixed breed dogs are very popular among dog lovers. For those looking for a brave, powerful, and devoted canine companion, it’s hard to imagine a better choice than the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix. In this article, we’ll look at the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Pitbull, and the mix. We’ll answer frequently asked questions about appearance, temperament and training, health, and how to find a puppy.
Where Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Come From?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a fascinating history as a courageous hunting and guardian dog from southern Africa. Dogs brought to South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) by European settlers were crossed with a native dog called the Khoikhoi to create the breed we know today. The breed gets its name from the distinctive ridge of backward growing hair that runs down the dog’s back, a trait of the Khoikhoi.
The Pitbull is descended from strong muscular dogs used in the old blood sports of bull and bear baiting.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Appearance
Expect your Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix to be a medium to large sized dog with a well-muscled and athletic appearance. As with any mixed breed dog, height and weight can fall anywhere on the range between both parent breeds.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a medium to large sized athletic dog that’s a member of the hound group. Males stand 25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh around 85 pounds. Females stand 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh around 70 pounds.
The breed standard for the American Staffordshire Terrier calls for a strong muscular dog that stands 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder. A 60 to 80-pound range is common for the breed.
Your dog’s coat will be short and glossy. Many Ridgeback Pitbull mixes will inherit the solid wheaten Ridgeback coloring, but other coat colors and patterns are certainly possible as well.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Temperament
Temperament is an important consideration when deciding on any dog, but especially a large powerful one like the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an independent dog, loving and protective towards family but somewhat reserved with strangers.
Pitbulls bred by responsible breeders and raised as family pets are famously smart, calm, and devoted. Unfortunately, some irresponsible owners and breeders did cultivate aggression in certain dogs used for fighting and protection.
What About Aggression?
Dog breed temperament testing data compiled by the American Temperament Test Society shows that 84.2% of tested Ridgebacks passed, while a higher number–85.5%–of American Staffordshire Terriers passed their tests.
There’s no biological reason for a Ridgeback Pitbull mix to be aggressive. Proper training and socialization are the key to good temperament in any breed of dog.
Training Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix
All breeds benefit from good training using positive reinforcement techniques (never punishment) and socialization with other dogs and people, beginning in early puppyhood and continuing into adulthood.
There are a few special training concerns for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix.
The Ridgeback has a strong prey drive, which means that your mix may be prone to chasing small kids and animals. They can also be strong-willed and generally do best with firm and confident owners.
The Pitbull is known as a smart and eager to please dog, which can make training easier, but the breed’s strength and tendency to chew and dig also require a confident owner with a firm but gentle hand.
What About Exercise?
Both parent breeds are active and athletic dogs that need plenty of exercise. Ridgebacks are especially fond of running and can make excellent companions for owners who enjoy hiking, jogging, and biking.
Pitbulls enjoy participating in play and exercise sessions with their owners. They do not do well left alone in the yard with no human interaction.
Expect your mix to be an energetic dog that enjoys regular play and exercise sessions. Active, involved owners are a great match for the Ridgeback Pitbull mix.
You can also enroll your dog in organized canine sports activities like agility and obedience trials.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Health
Both parent breeds can suffer from some inherited health conditions. Like other medium to large sized dogs, both can be prone to the joint conditions called hip and elbow dysplasia.
Dogs with Ridgeback ancestry can inherit a condition called dermoid sinus, which causes tunnels to form in the skin and connect to deeper tissues (including the spine in serious cases).
The AmStaff can be prone to a serious degenerative neurological disorder called cerebellar ataxia.
Since your mix can inherit some potentially serious health issues from both sides, it’s
important to work with only responsible breeders who health test their dogs for genetic health disorders.
Rescuing a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix
Can you rescue a Ridgeback Pitbull mix? It is possible to find an adoptable Ridgeback Pitbull mix, especially if you are interested in rehoming an adult dog.
Many potential owners will seek out puppies from breeders. Here are some tips on how to find a healthy puppy.
Finding a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Puppy
Avoid getting your puppy from an online advertisement or a retail pet store. Many dogs from these sources come from for profit breeding operations known as puppy mills.
The best way to find a healthy puppy is to work with a responsible breeder who health tests all breeding stock for inherited health conditions.
Health testing can take the form of either DNA tests or physical exams performed by veterinary specialists.
All test results should be shared with clients and filed with a canine health registry like the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Raising a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Puppy
Your puppy will require good training and socialization to ensure that she grows up to be a well behaved full-sized Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix.
Consider taking your dog to formal puppy training classes, especially if you lack experience with larger dogs that can have an independent streak.
Routine care of your new puppy will also require feeding your dog a quality diet and getting her used to regular grooming, including baths, ear and tooth cleanings, and nail trimmings.