There are many purebred dogs around the world (more than 400…), but sometimes a mixed dog is so interesting, beautiful, and with such an amazing temperament that all it takes is one look and you’re in love with the breed. Well… crossbreed.
That is the case with Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix dogs. Have you ever seen one? Better be careful because once you see a Rhodesian Pittie, you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.
If you are a dog lover who doesn’t care about the Pedigree or “royal” gene pool of a dog, then this mixed breed will surely interest you.
Why? Because of its looks, temperament, and relation to its human family.
However, this doesn’t mean that this breed of dog is for everyone! Not at all. These dogs have their own unique traits that make them suitable for people with a certain lifestyle.
Whether you are one of those people or not is an answer you will find in the text below. From this dog’s parent breeds traits, looks, and temperament, to its health information — it’s all here.
What Is A Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix?
First and foremost, a Rhodesian Pitbull mix is a beautiful doggo. Now, we can say that it’s a hybrid or a designer dog. This means it has two dog parents that are purebred. It is a mixed dog, and as such, it will inherit traits from both parent dog breeds.
But, that is what makes this dog so interesting! Both the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the American Pitbull Terrier are beautiful dog breeds with temperamental and social traits that are well-known to dog owners and dog breeders worldwide.
That’s why some brilliant breeder decided to make Rhodesian Pitbull puppies and put all the wonderful traits from both dogs into one.
So, what do we actually get from crossbreeding an American Pitbull Terrier with a Rhodesian Ridgeback? We get a guard dog, a family dog, an energetic dog, and a loyal companion. Yes, this mixed breed dog has it all, but…
It can also show signs of stubbornness, it’s very active, and it needs a strong-willed owner who will know how to train and socialize this dog in an appropriate manner.
Where do these traits come from?
Let’s meet the parents and find out…
Who Are The Parents?
This amazing designer breed dog has two incredible purebred parents — the American Pitbull Terrier and the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
One thing is certain for both dog parent breeds — they are incredibly loyal dogs and excellent watchdogs. Both the Pittie and the Ridge are medium to large dogs that can look quite scary when you see them.
Both parent dogs are muscular and athletic-looking dogs that are truly agile and ready to protect and chase away intruders. Of course, this does not mean they are aggressive! A Toy Poodle can be aggressive if you teach it to be aggressive.
The point is that dogs are not born aggressive. It is the lack of socialization or bad socialization that makes them defensive and aggressive.
As for our Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix, it has well-tempered and trainable dog parents that are ready to please their owner.
The most fascinating and most recognizable physical trait of a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog is the hair on its back that grows in the opposite direction from the other hairs. That’s why it was given the name Ridgeback, and the first name (Rhodesian) comes from an old name for Zimbabwe.
This is a country in southern Africa where these dogs originated from. The people in these parts had their own native dogs, called Khoikhoi, that they used as all-around working dogs.
When the European settlers came to Zimbabwe and nearby countries (South Africa, Botswana, etc.), they brought the dogs with them, which were crossbred with Khoikhois to make a new breed of dog — the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
This dog is also called the African Lion Hound for a very brave reason — they were used as help during lion hunts. They did not fight the lions… they chased them and helped people catch them.
To be able to chase a lion, a dog needs to be quite big and agile at the same time. That’s what the Rhodesian Ridgeback is. They usually weigh around 85 pounds, and they can be more than 26 inches tall.
They come in one color — wheaten. But, this color can have many shades, from very dark to very pale wheaten. Also, they can have a black or brown-colored nose.
These dogs are good family pets, and they can do well in all kinds of environments, but as with all other dogs with high energy levels, they thrive and do best in places with enough space for them to run and explore.
American Pitbull Terrier
This is a dog that has a bad reputation. People still fear this dog, and think of it as a dangerous dog because of its bear-baiting history.
Unfortunately, it is true that people originally bred American Pitbull Terriers for dog fights and bull and bear-baiting. However, that is in this dog breed’s history, and today’s Pitbulls are great family pets and excellent companions.
These dogs are not aggressive. As a matter of fact, they are one of the most affectionate and loyal dogs of all purebred dogs. They are a powerful breed that look intimidating. But, so is the American Staffordshire Terrier, and Bulldogs are right there, too.
According to the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), more than 84% of Pitbulls pass the test, and are considered dogs with good temperaments. So, a Pitbull is a powerful dog, but it is, in essence, a wonderful pet.
The American Pitbull Terrier is not a big dog. It is more of a medium-sized dog that can weigh from 35 to 60 pounds, and be tall, up to 20 inches.
Unlike Rhodesians, Pitbulls come in all kinds of coat colors and patterns. Some of them can be completely black or tri-colored, but most of them are bi-colored (black and white, red and white, etc.) or brindle.
What Do They Look Like?
That was short info about the dog parents of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix puppy. We saw how big the Rhodesians and the Pitbulls can get, and what kind of coat colors they can have.
But, what does that mean for our Rhodesian Pitbull mix appearance? Are they going to have wide-set eyes and weigh more than 60 pounds, or are they going to have a broad skull?
All of these questions and more can be answered by looking at the dog’s parents and making a guess. Yes, a guess… not a fact because we can never truly know what a mixed dog will look like.
So, how large these dogs are is a question that cannot be answered precisely. The size difference can be noticed even among puppies in the same litter. This is because this is a mixed dog, and it is harder to predict how big a mixed puppy will get.
However, there are some traits that are easier to predict, and here is all about them — from tail to snout.
It is very important to know how big the puppy will grow up to be for more than one reason. We need to know how much space it will need, and how much food. Chihuahuas and Mastiffs do not eat the same amount of food…
So, let’s talk about the size right away.
An adult Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix dog will weigh from 60 to 80 pounds, and they can be more than 20 inches tall. Females are usually smaller than male dogs, but not necessarily. Because it is a mixed dog, all things are possible.
No matter if it’s a male or a female, if you have a Ridgeback Pitbull puppy, it will grow into a medium or a large dog. This is very important to know if you are thinking of getting yourself this mixed dog — they will need space.
Yes, you can have a Ridge Pittie in an apartment, but they will need at least a couple of hours of exercise. So, this is not just a walk to the park… they will need more than that to keep them healthy both physically and mentally.
The American Pitbull Terrier has a square-shaped head, with rose-shaped ears. They have a strong jaw, with a medium-long muzzle. On the other hand, a Rhodesian Ridgeback has a true hunting-dog physique.
They have a more narrow head, with a broad top of the skull, and big, floppy ears. Their muzzle is slightly longer than the Pitbull’s muzzle.
So, when you mix these two dogs, you get a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix that can have a bit of both dog parents. This means one puppy can have floppy ears while the other one can have rose ears.
One puppy can have a broad head typical of a Pitbull, while the rest of its littermates can have a muzzle that looks the same as a Ridgeback’s muzzle.
Most puppies will have the looks of both dog parents, and just a few will clearly look like they are either a Pitbull mix or a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.
The coat type of a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is predictable. They will have a single coat type. This is clear because both parent dog breeds have a single coat type.
They have short and smooth hair that stands close to their muscular body, showing all the strength of the dog. Although the ridge on the back can be inherited, not every Ridgeback mix puppy will have this trait.
Some will have a full ridge of hair growing in the opposite direction, some will have just a short ridge, and some won’t have this ridge at all. However, in most cases, the Rhodesian Ridgeback offspring, no matter if they are purebred or mixed, will inherit the ridge on the back.
Just like the other traits, this one depends on the mixed dog’s parents. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog can have three coat colors — light wheaten, red wheaten, and wheaten.
This means the Ridge Pit puppies can inherit only wheaten coat color from this parent. And, in most cases, this is the coat color of these mixed dogs.
American Pitbull Terriers can have many coat colors and coat patterns. They can be blue-fawn, brindle, bi-colored, black, etc. Pitbull Rhodesian-mixed puppies can inherit all of these coat colors as well.
So, to sum it up – a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix can be:
- Dark wheaten
The Ridge Pit dog has a muscular and athletic-looking body. Both parent breeds are very energetic and strong dog breeds that were bred to have incredible stamina.
Their muscles are even more expressed because of their short and smooth coat. But, it’s the stance and smart look in their eyes that makes them such powerful-looking dogs.
This dog does have a deep chest, with firm and strong front and back legs. Such a body gives them a free and non-restricted gait that shows intent and power.
They look alert and ready to run at full speed at any time if needed. This makes them excellent big guard dogs or watchdogs — whatever you need.
The tail of a Ridgeback and a Pitbull is similar. Both dog breeds have a thin, muscular tail that is set low when the dog is resting.
We are talking about the natural Pitbull tail… not the cropped version. The American Pitbull Terrier is born with a long tail and rose ears. But, people crop both the ears and the tail for cosmetic purposes.
They used to do it so that the dog wouldn’t get hurt easily during fights, but today, cropping is unnecessary, and it is done purely out of the mentioned reason — cosmetic.
If you leave your dog’s tail uncropped, it will grow into a medium-length tail with a strong and muscular base. The hair length is the same as on the rest of the body — short.
What Is Their Temperament?
The temperament of any designer dog breed depends on the dog’s parents and its temperamental traits. They will determine the basic traits, but each dog is different with its own set of traits.
This is because social traits, which are something that dogs learn during their puppyhood and adulthood, influence the temperament of the dog. And, this is especially common in mixed dogs that can inherit different types of traits from two different parent dog breeds.
If you are looking for a very affectionate family dog — the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is the dog for you. They got the affectionate trait from both sides. Pitties and Ridgebacks are both highly affectionate dog breeds that love to show love to their owner.
So, that is exactly what you’ll get from a Ridge Pit… lots of puppy love and doggy kisses.
This also goes with their relationship with children. They are extremely good with children of all ages. American Pitbull Terriers are well-known to follow, guard, and protect the youngest family members.
These traits are inheritable, and they will show up and shine bright in your Ridge Pitbull mix dog as well. They will be true doggy nannies.
Ridgebacks give their mixed offspring great family life traits as well. They are hunting dogs that do best in a pack, so they will look at your small children as little ones that need protection.
To sum it up… is the Rhodesian Pitbull mix a good family dog? Yes, it is!
We said what a wonderful family dog a Ridgeback Pitbull is. However… they are not very suitable for first-time dog owners. Why is that, you might wonder. Well, it all comes down to their stubborn streak and playtime.
What does this mean? It means that this dog needs a “firm hand” or a strong-willed owner who will know how to properly socialize and do proper training of this dog.
Early socialization is the key to your dog’s social development. Socialization means teaching your dog when it is still a puppy that other dogs, other animals, small children, strangers, and anything else that we think is important — are friends.
This doesn’t mean we want to make our dogs run to every stranger they see. We want to make them non-defensive. We want to get them used to all kinds of smells, sounds, and places so that they will grow into calm and confident dogs.
Socialization should be done from a young age so that a dog has enough time to naturally adopt good behavior until it grows into an adult dog.
If you get a Rhodesian Pitbull mix as an adult dog, don’t worry — all is not lost! You can socialize an aggressive adult dog, too. All it takes is more time, patience, and more positive reinforcement.
Their high activity levels is another reason why this dog might not be for everyone, especially not for first-time dog owners who don’t know how to properly physically and mentally stimulate their dog.
The Rhodesian Pitbull mix needs lots of exercise. This is a hybrid dog coming from two very active and playful dog breeds, which means that it will need proper daily exercise as well. You shouldn’t get yourself a Pitbull Rhodesian mix dog if you don’t have time to play with it.
This dog breed will need at least one hour of daily walks and playtime. And, we’re not talking about taking your dog out to do its business. No… we mean real playtime and runtime.
That’s why it would be best if these dogs have a yard to run and play on their own if the owner is not able to play with them. However, if you don’t have a yard, and it happens that you can’t play with your dog every day for more than one hour, then there are some solutions to try out.
For example, there are various interactive dog toys you can leave your dog with while you are away. They will keep your dog amused while you are at work or unable to play with it.
You can also give your dog a lot of different chew toys that they can chew, toss, and play around with.
The Rhodesian Pitbull mix can (and most likely will) inherit the high prey drive of their Rhodesian Ridgeback parent. While Pitbulls don’t have such a high prey drive, they are more reserved to strangers, which includes other animals, too.
So, besides socialization, your Ridge Pittie will also need lots of training. But, even with the training, some dogs just can’t shake off their hunting instincts that they were born with (e.g., bird hunting dogs, terriers, hound-group dogs, etc.). This means you will have to be extra careful when you go to the park with your dog.
Keep it on a leash if you don’t want your dog to run away chasing a squirrel or some other small animal.
What Are The Health Issues?
The mix between a Rhodesian Ridgeback and an American Pitbull Terrier is a generally healthy dog crossbreed. That’s because both parent dog breeds are generally healthy dogs.
As with any other large dog, they can also be prone to bloat, but if your dog leans more on the Pitbull side, and it turns out to be around 30 pounds, then it won’t be as prone to bloat as a dog that weighs more than 60 pounds.
Other health problems and health conditions common to this crossbreed are:
- Hip dysplasia (problems with the hip joint)
- Elbow dysplasia
- Dermoid sinus
Getting your dog from a responsible breeder will lower the chances that your dog will develop some of these health problems. This is especially true for joint problems (elbow and hip). Responsible breeders won’t breed a dog that has tested positive for any of these conditions.
You can always ask for a health certificate or some other proof that your dog’s parents are cleared of these health issues and conditions, and as such, cannot transfer them to your dog.
Finding out the correct life expectancy in Rhodesian Pitbull mix dogs can be a bit tricky. This is because the American Pitbull Terrier has a life expectancy from eight to fifteen years. And, the Rhodesian Ridgeback usually lives from ten to twelve years.
Although, for some reason, the American Kennel Club does not state the expected lifespan of a Rhodesian Ridgeback on their official page.
What does this mean regarding our mixed doggo? It means they can live anywhere from eight to fifteen years.
You can help prolong your furry friend’s life as much as possible by giving him high-quality dog food. This means that the food is low in carbohydrates and rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins. You can always add fresh veggies and fruits to your dog’s diet.
Also, keep your dog’s fur clean and groomed. They do have a short coat, but they also need to be groomed. Once a week should do the job.
Other than that, regular vet visits, vaccinations, deworming, and other treatments against external and internal parasites are a must if you plan on having any kind of dog.
Where Can You Find A Ridgeback Pitbull?
It can be more difficult to find a responsible breeder of hybrid dogs than it is to find a responsible breeder of a purebred dog. The reason is the fact that most hybrid dog breeders do not do it professionally, but either as a hobby or they happen to have such a crossbreed dog.
But, you can find some. It will take more time to find a good, responsible Ridgeback Pitbull breeder, but they are out there.
There is another option — local shelters. They have very low puppy prices, and lots of dogs are always in need of a new forever home.
You can check out these places, too:
In conclusion, we can say that this is an amazing crossbreed dog. However, they are not ideal for first-time dog owners. It will take a strong-minded owner to teach these dogs how to behave when they see a small animal or when they see a stranger approaching their home.
Once again, they are not aggressive, but rather reserved with strangers. But, on the other hand, this makes them excellent guard dogs and watchdogs.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix will also make a great “dog nanny”. They will follow and protect the youngest family members, and make sure they are safe at all times.
You’ll feel safe, too, not only because of this dog’s loyal and protective temperament, but because they truly look powerful and intimidating.
People will think twice before approaching you on the streets or before entering your yard. So, if you are looking for a medium to large dog to love and protect you and your family — then the Rhodesian Pitbull is an excellent choice!
Just remember that they need lots of exercise, proper training, and proper early socialization.