The German Shepherd Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix is a mixed Dog Breed between the German Shepherd and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. These are two very strong and powerful breeds. The Rhodesian ridgeback is a dog breed developed in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. The Shepherd hails from Germany in Europe.
While we really recommend that you acquire one through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder to get their German Shepherd mixed with Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. That is, if they have any for sale. Always screen your breeders as much as possible to ensure that you are getting as high a quality dog as is possible.
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Here is a brief history of both the Shepherd and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Being that this is a mixed breed dog, there isn’t a lot of history to it. However, we go more in depth to the history of all of the breeds.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work. The result was a dog that encompassed striking good looks, intelligence and versatility. World War I put a dent in the breed’s burgeoning popularity because the dogs were associated with the enemy. German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. After the war, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart brought the breed back into favor. American audiences loved them. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States.
The Rhodesian ridgeback is often referred to as the African Lion Hound. It is a native of South Africa. It’s history goes all the way back to the 16th century when the first Europeans explored the interior on the Cape of Good Hope. They stumbled upon the Hottentot tribes living with a semi-domesticated dog that had hair along his spine — growing backwards. That famous hairline is what we now refer to as the “Ridge” in the Ridgeback.
The Rhodesian ridgeback was bred by the Boer farmers to meet their needs for a hunting dog in the wilds of Africa. They needed a versatile dog that could flush game, pull down larger wounded game and guard their farms from prowlers and wild animals at night. They also needed this dog to be tough and hardy and to be able to withstand the rigors of the African bush, handle the drastic changes in temperature from the heat of the day to the freezing night temperatures, be short-coated to avoid ticks in the brush, and that could go 24 hours without water. This super tough and durable dog also needed to be a good companion and protector to their wives and children.
Height: 24-27 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 64 - 90 lb.
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Height: 22 - 26 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 75 - 95 lb.
Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
The best way to really understand a mixed breed personality is to observe them. Sometimes it is not a 50/50 split as they can get more of their personality from others. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is gregarious with a quiet, gentle temperament and is an excellent companion. As described above, they are versatile and can be good protectors if the need arises. It is important that you are persistent and consistent and that you reward with positive reinforcement. The shepherd is known for being stoic and loyal.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed with German Shepherd might be prone to the following: Joint dysplasia and allergies.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A careful breeder and one who truly cares about the breed itself, screens their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens. One of the most common health problems with dogs is obesity. Keeping this under control is your responsibility.
It is hard to tell whether a mixed breed dog like this will shed or not. The Rhodesian Ridgeback doesn’t really shed all that much if it spends most of it’s time indoors. Those that spend more time outside will be heavier shedders. The Shepherd sheds like crazy so be ready for at least some moderate shedding. This won’t be a good dog for a couch potato as the Ridgeback was bred to be a long distance working dog and the Shepherd a herding and protection dog. This guy might have some energy. Be prepared to brush them a couple of times a week and have a good vacuum at your disposal to clean up the floors. Give them baths as needed, but not so much that you dry out their skin.
A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible. Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.
A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet.
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