Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Guide With Pictures

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is a cross between the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the American Pit Bull Terrier, two powerful breeds in their own right.

While not as rare as some other designer breeds, this Rhodesian Pit mix is controversial.

Both parents are known to be strong, and the Pitbull, in particular, has a history of violence.

One may wonder why breeders choose to combine these breeds.

Whatever the reasons might have been, this mix is undoubtedly not for everyone.

It requires a particular set of owners who are capable of handling it.

Though as intelligent as its parents, it has other troubling traits like stubbornness and an independent streak.

Add its intimidating looks and size, and you have work to do once you get this mix. 

Here’s a guide that will show you all you should know about the Rhodesian Pitbull mixed breed, from temperament, behavior, appearance, grooming, and other essential facts.

Rhodesian Pitbull Mixed Breed Information

Height24 to 27 inches
Weight70 to 85 pounds
Lifespan10 to 16 years
CoatShort, Smooth
Colorsred gold, White, Black, Brown
TemperamentIndependent, Loving, Protective
Ideal ForActive and experienced owners
Puppy Price$1000–$2500

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Puppy Characteristics

Rhodeshian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Puppy Sitting on Floor

The Parent Breeds

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Sturdy Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog on Grass

Also known as the African Lion Hound (for a good reason), the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a native of the Southern part of Africa, where it was used as a hunting dog for large prey.

These included lions, boars, and bears. 

Some of the ancestors of the Rhodesian Ridgeback were dog breeds imported from Europe like the Great Dane, the Greyhound, and the Bloodhound.

These foreign dogs were crossed with a local breed named the Khoikhoi. It was from the latter that the Rhodesian Ridgeback got its ridge.

In 1911, the first Ridgebacks got to the United States. In 1955, this breed got recognized by the American Kennel Club. [1]

It weighs between 70 and 85 pounds with a height range of 24 to 27 inches, making it a medium to large-sized breed.

Its coat is short, smooth, and easy to groom with a wheaten color that ranges from gold to red gold. 

Ridgebacks are loved for their intelligence, calmness, and protectiveness. They make excellent guard dogs who take their jobs seriously.

Though wary with strangers, they love their families and show compassion to them.

10 Popular Rhodesian Ridgeback Mixes (w/ Pictures)

American Pit Bull Terrier

Brindle and White American Pitbull Terrier Dog Smiling

The Pitbull has a long history of blood and gore. Developed in England as the Bull and Terrier breed, it was bred to engage in the violent sports of bull and bear-baiting.

Even after that got outlawed, the Bull and Terrier weren’t allowed to raise a white flag. Rather, it continued its fighting career in dogfighting.

Fortunately, it got a more decent job when it came to America.

Employed as a farm dog, it played multiple roles of hunting, guarding properties against wild animals, and companionship.

It even got a reputation as a nanny dog during this period.

The United Kennel Club gave it the name American Pit Bull Terrier, though the American Kennel Club named it the American Staffordshire Terrier. [2]

This act created some confusion as the American Staffordshire Terrier became distinct from the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The Pitbull is either smaller or similar in size to the Ridgeback. It weighs between 30 and 85 pounds and grows as tall as 19 inches.

The coat type is similar as well, though. Aside from the Black Pitbull, it comes in more colors like red, fawn, brown, brindle, etc. 

Despite its reputation, it is gentle and loving, even towards strangers.

How Strong Is A Pitbull? Pitbull Bite Force, Facts

Facts About the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix You Should Know

Pitbull Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix Dog at Park

1. They are more suitable for an experienced owner

The Rhodesian Pitbull mix is not the best option for a first-time dog owner as its hardheaded attitude, size and energy might be too much for a novice to handle.

While it has traits every pet owner would love to benefit from, only someone with experience in handling stubborn dogs will get the job done.

The first-timer may decide to hire a professional trainer, but he/she would lose out on the opportunity to bond with the dog. 

2. Grooming is easy, but they’re not hypoallergenic

The short coat of this mix is good news for owners who don’t want to spend too much time or money grooming their dogs.

However, they are not hypoallergenic, since they shed sometimes and drools. Both of these are allergens.

14 Best Large Hypoallergenic Dogs That Don’t Shed 

3. The Rhodesian Pit mix isn’t designed to be aggressive

We’ve pointed out that the biggest concern about this mix is an assumed aggressive tendency.

However, aggression towards humans is a behavioral problem in this mix as well as the parents.

With proper training and socialization, it won’t feel the need to attack anyone, except it was trained as a guard dog and is doing its job.

4. It has a high prey drive

Both the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Pit Bull Terrier have high prey drives. Not surprisingly, this drive exists in the mix.

It can run after anything, from a driving car to a squirrel.

Dogs With High Prey Drive (15 Top Breeds)

5. These hybrids are highly intelligent

This mix gets the best from parents regarding intelligence and the ability to learn with ease.

This is an asset in training, but you’d have to deal with boredom. 

Rhodesian Pitbull Mix Appearance

What Does a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Pitbull Mix Look Like?

Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Dog Standing Sideways on Snow Looking Up

The Rhodesian Ridgeback and Pitbull have some common physical traits, but there are some distinctions too.

With the Rhodesian Pit mix, you should expect a muscular, athletic dog breed with a frightening look.

Eye color varies, as well as that of the nose. The ears will droop, and some will get the ridge of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. 

There’s more uniformity with this mix than many others, but do not expect a standard appearance.

It is not odd to see two members of this mix looking sightly different. 

Size: How Big Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mixes Get?

As both parents are medium to large breeds, the offspring will look the same.

The Rhodesian Pit mix weighs between 70 to 85 pounds and grows up to 24 to 27 inches.

Colors and Coat Type

The short and smooth coat of this mix is gotten from both parents, so there is uniformity here as well.

The coat colors vary, depending on which parent is dominant.

The mix could have a wheaten color like the Rhodesian Ridgeback or get a bigger pool to choose from like the American Pit Bull Terrier. 

Rhodesian Pitbull Mix Temperament & Behavior

Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Dog Sitting Outside

The Pitbull Rhodesian Ridgeback’s temperament depends largely on the efforts (or lack of) put in by the pet parents.

If the owner trains it to be aggressive or neglects it, it will turn out to fit the negative stereotype and justify the concerns the public has.

Thus, the owner must devote time to proper training and socialization.

When this is well done, this mix has admirable traits.

Recent tests done by the American Temperament Test Society have confirmed that both the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the American Pit Bull are not canine demons. [3]

The former passed with 84.2% while the latter passed with 87.4%.

A loyal and protective breed, count on the Rhodesian Pit mix to guard your property against intruders.

It is a good watchdog and can be trained to be a guard dog because of its Ridgeback side.

It is affectionate towards family but one can’t predict how it’ll act towards strangers.

The Pitbull is known to be friendly to everyone, but the Rhodesian Ridgeback doesn’t show such courtesy. Socialize the offspring in any case. 

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known to be quiet and of moderate energy, but don’t count on the mix to be that mellow.

Often, it is energetic and needs enough exercise. Its intelligence and boredom tendencies also mean you should stimulate it mentally.

Additionally, the mix should stay close to its family, especially if it has dominant Pit Bull traits. It may not appreciate being left alone for long.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mixes Good Family Dogs?

The Rhodesian Pitbull is friendly and loving towards its family members.

It is loyal to adults and playful with kids. It is a good pet for a family in need of one. 

However, it is not advisable for a family with toddlers as its size is too much for little kids.

It should also be in a family with an active lifestyle and experience in handling dogs. This would make it less likely to develop behavioral problems. 

Are Rhodesian Pitbull Mixes Good With Other Dogs & Pets?

This mix could have issues with other dogs, and only proper socialization would make it tolerate the pups it grew up with.

Outside dogs may be greeted with aggression. Overall, it is more advisable for a house that needs one dog.

Its high prey drive might also prove problematic for cats and rodents.

How Much Does Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Puppies Cost?

Ridgeback Pit Mix Puppy Sitting Beside Door

The cost for this mix is hard to determine as it is influenced by many factors.

What one breeder might give as the price could differ from another. Unlike purebreds that tend to have a fixed price range, designer breeds are unpredictable.

That said, we could reach an estimate from its parents.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback costs between $1,700 and $2,500 while the Pit Bull costs between $1,000 and $2,000 (though you can get one at a cheaper amount).

The price of a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Pitbull mix pup would be anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500.

Be sure there are no legal restrictions to owning a Pitbull mix where you live. 

Finding a Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed with Pitbull for sale could be difficult as many breeders don’t specialize in designer breeds.

Those who specialize in Rhodesian Ridgebacks or Pit Bulls might have some mixed breeds in stock, so those are your best options.

Beware of backyard breeders, especially when they offer the puppy at a low price.

Cheaper dogs might have some underlying health conditions or be poorly bred.

Find a breeder with a good credibility to avoid future frustrations and vet payments.

When you find a breeder, ask him/her important questions related to experience, health tests, vaccinations, socialization, etc.

A good breeder should be willing to answer these questions properly. You should also meet the parents. 

If you are pro-adoption or just think it is a more viable option, you can tow that path.

You might find a Rhodesian Pit mix in some rescue shelters.

Again, don’t forget to ask the rescue shelter some specific questions about the pup you want to adopt. [4]

Rhodesian Ridgeback and Pitbull Mix Food & Diet

It isn’t hard to establish a feeding schedule for this mix as it shares similar requirements with many other breeds of the same size, including purebred ones.

That being said, getting advice from a veterinarian or nutritionist would help curtail some errors in dieting.

An expert can also look into the specific needs of your dog and suggest a diet to meet its needs. 

In general, the Rhodesian Pitbull Mixes need protein like other dog breeds.

This nutrient is best gotten from animal sources, the most common being chicken and beef.

Can Dogs Eat Roast Beef? What Experts Say

For its energy, it also needs a low amount of fats and carbs. 

Both the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Pitbull have large appetites. They are hardly picky and would gobble up any meal.

This has its disadvantages as it makes the hybrid prone to obesity.

Do not free-feed your Rhode Pit dog to prevent it from adding weight. Instead, let feeding be a routine.

The Rhodesian Pit mix should be fed 3 times a day as a puppy and should be placed on a strict puppy diet.

Once it becomes an adult, its meal should be lessened to twice a day.

Give it enough water to keep it hydrated and minimize giving treats. Human food is not encouraged too.

10 Best Dog Food For Pitbulls (Reviews & Guide)
10 Best Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgebacks (Reviews & Guide)

Exercise Requirements for Rhodesian Ridgeback Mixed With Pitbull

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Pup Dog at Park

The rambunctious Rhodesian Pitbull should be exercised regularly, especially if it is a household pet and not a worker.

Exercise helps control its energy level and keeps it healthy. It is also a good bonding moment for the pooch and its owner.

Like its parents, the mix needs at least 1 hour of exercise per day, which can be spread throughout the day to make it easier.

The physical and mental activities must be challenging and fun enough to keep your pet interested.

Once its exercise need has been met, this mix can remain calm for the rest of the day. 

You can partake in some physical activities with your dog. Walking, hiking and running are some examples of exercises that can be done side by side.

Keep your dog on a leash when you take it outdoors to stop it from bolting after perceived prey.

It does need some off-leash activities, so have those included in its exercise schedule.

Swimming, fetch, soccer, and playtime in a yard are some good off-leash activities. Supplement these with some mind games and you should be good to go. 

Remember that exercise goes with age, so let the exercise schedule and activities reflect the age of your pooch.

Training & Socializing a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Pitbull Mix Dog

Ridgeback Pit Mix Sitting on Ground Looking Up

The most challenging need to meet with this breed is training it. Though it is trainable because of its intelligence, you know the challenges you might face as the owner.

You must take steps to make the job easier for you by commencing training from puppyhood.

Start handling it from a manageable size and teach it that you’re the leader.

If you adopted a dog with behavioral problems, you might need the services of a professional trainer. 

Introduce it to kids, strangers, and other animals at that young age. This is important in socialization as it helps it be less suspicious of strangers and less aggressive towards other dogs.

Socialization can also teach it to differentiate between your pet cat and a stray.

Obedience training will curb the stubbornness streak, but you must be patient and consistent with this.

Use simple commands for efficient response and be firm while training.

Firmness shouldn’t make you employ harsh methods. Positive reinforcement remains the most appropriate and less abusive method in training.

Motivate your dog to do better with treats, praises, and gentleness.

Complete Guide To Training Your Puppy

Pitbull Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix Grooming Requirements

Grooming is possibly the easiest aspect in caring for this mix, and you can do it without the help of a groomer.

Coat care involves a simple brush done once a week. It sheds a little and would need some extra care during those periods, but that is it.

It doesn’t take much to make the coat shine, and you don’t need to bathe it unless it gets very dirty. 

One challenge you will face is drooling. This mix tends to drool, so you should be comfortable with cleaning up slobber. 

The drooping ears of this mix offer another slight challenge as it is more prone to infection.

Clean it regularly and be observant for any abnormal symptoms like odor or red patches.

Other hygiene rules apply. Cut its nails before they get long, clean the areas around the eyes and remove dirt from them. Brush its teeth too. 

Rhodesian Pit Mix Health & Conditions 

This mix has a surprisingly long life span, one that draws from both parents.

While the Rhodesian Ridgeback is expected to live till 12 years, the Pit Bull gets to 16. The Ridgeback Pit mix also reaches 16 years and is considered healthier than both parents.

With proper care and regular checkups, emergency visits to the vet should be minimal. 

Nonetheless, it can inherit some conditions from its parents. Some of these health problems are:

  • Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an inherited joint disease that often leads to arthritis and lameness. [5]
  • Allergies: Like many other dog breeds, this mix is susceptible to some allergies, which can be triggered by plants, insects, food, and other animals.
  • Hypothyroidism: This condition is caused by a low level of thyroid hormone in the dog’s body. [6
  • Cancer: Humans are not the only living beings susceptible to cancer cells. Dogs too can suffer from this condition. 
  • Dermoid Sinus: This is a skin issue that occurs when the skin and the nervous system don’t separate well when the dog is still in the womb. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are especially prone to this. [7]

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the best Pitbull Mix? 

Irrespective of the stereotype, there are many other Pitbull mixes besides the Rhode Pit.

The Doberman Pit is one of the most popular out there, and it is a cross between the Doberman Pinscher and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Is the Rhodesian Pitbull aggressive?

Because of the reputation of both parents, some consider the mix to be inherently aggressive.

This isn’t true. Only bad pet parenting will make this mix dangerous.

20 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds You Mustn’t Mess With

Closing Thoughts

If you’re interested in the Pitbull Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, don’t let the stereotype deter you. It is up to you to train it into a lovable and devoted pooch it has the potential for.

As long as you have the experience, the willingness, and the resources to take care of it, you shouldn’t have any issues.

In the right hands, this mix turns out to be a formidable household pet dog owners would love to have.

You May Also Like:
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References & Notes:

  1. AKC: “Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Information”
  2. UKC: “Breed Standards : American Pit Bull Terrier.”
  3. American Temperament Test Society (December 2017): “ATTS Breed Statistics.”
  4. AKC (Jan 1, 2009): “10 Questions to Ask When Getting a Dog from a Shelter.”
  5. PetMD: “Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: All-in-One Guide.”
  6. Fetch by WebMD: “Hypothyroidism in Dogs.”
  7. Wikipedia: Dermoid sinus

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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