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Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix: Pictures, Info, Care, and More!


Mar 17, 2023
close up of a Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed breed dog


close up of a Rhodesian Ridgeback mixed breed dog

In recent years, cross breeding has increased in popularity in the hopes of getting the best of both worlds from two entirely different breeds of dog. A cross between two intimidating and strong breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is a loyal and energetic dog with unwavering love and devotion for their families.

Breed Overview


White, black, brown, red gold

Suitable for:

Active families with experience in handling large dogs


Loving, affectionate, protective, independent, loyal

Like most hybrid breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix inherits properties from both of their purebred parents.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as the African Lion Hound, is a large dog with great strength that is native to Southern Africa and has made its way to other parts of the world. Because of their size and strength, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have historically been used as guard dogs and for hunting large prey, such as lions, boars, and bears.

Similarly, the Pitbull is also a large and muscular dog with an aggressive history. For centuries, the Pitbulls’ ancestors were used for bull and bear baiting in England. After the baiting games were banned in 1835, another one was born. Dogs were placed in a pit with rats, with the sport involving dogs killing the most rats to win. This gave birth to the quick and agile Pitbull we know today, the product of a cross between bulldogs and terriers. When the Pitbull eventually made its way to the United States, they were mostly used as farm dogs and hunting dogs.

Because of the reputation of both the Ridgeback Pitbull’s parents, this mixed breed dog is also shown in a negative light. In reality, just like their parents, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is a loving, affectionate, and gentle dog that is simply misunderstood.

Read on to learn more about this loyal and protective dog!

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Characteristics



High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.



Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.



Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.



Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.



Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Puppies

As this hybrid breed is a cross between a Pitbull and a Rhodesian Ridgeback, they tend to be very energetic and need lots of exercise—especially as puppies. They have many desirable traits, but proper training and socialization from a young age is especially important to develop equally desirable temperament and personalities for these pups.

Finding breeders of this hybrid breed can be difficult on account of its rarity. Pitbulls are fairly common, while the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a rare breed of dog—with only a few Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders available. While Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders are scarce to begin with, breeders of Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix are even scarcer.

Parent breeds of the Ridgeback Pitbull
The parent breeds of Ridgeback Pitbull: Left – Rhodesian Ridgeback (Marry Kolesnik, Shutterstock) | Right – Pitbull (Lunja, Shutterstock)


Temperament & Intelligence of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix makes a great family dog. Although their temperament highly depends on the training they go through at a young age, this dog has many desirable traits that make them excellent pets.

The American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) has reported the temperament scores of both parent breeds, with the Rhodesian Ridgeback scoring 84.2% and the Pitbull scoring 85.5%. These high percentages report that the two breeds have a sound and family-friendly temperament, which is likely carried over to the Ridgeback Pitbull mix.

The Ridgeback Pitbull mix is a loyal and protective breed that is cautious around strangers and other pets. They make great and reliable watch dogs that are also calm, gentle, and friendly to their loved ones. They are affectionate and can even work well with children. Despite their playfulness, this breed may not be recommended for smaller children because of their size. They may be tolerable of children’s roughhousing and curiosity, but they may accidentally knock them over.

Overall, the Ridgeback Pitbull makes an excellent family dog but may be cautious around strangers due to their protectiveness and guard-like behavior. Proper training, socialization, and exposure is necessary to properly manage this behavior.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

It is important to note that the Ridgeback Pitbull mix has a higher prey drive, thanks to standard traits of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. This may be a problem for households with other smaller pets, such as cats, rodents, and even smaller dogs. However, if introduced and properly socialized at a young age, they can learn to live in multi-pet households.

Ridgeback Pitbulls can learn to be tolerable with other pets at home, but they may greet other dogs with aggression if not properly socialized. This dog is recommended for single pet households, especially if its owners are inexperienced in training.

divider-dog paw

Things to Know When Owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix has a similar diet as other large purebred dogs. When in doubt, it is always best to consult and receive dietary and nutritional advice from your veterinarian.

From the beginning, at puppy age, Ridgeback Pitbull pups should be fed high quality dog food three times a day, before switching to twice a day when they reach 12 months old.

In adulthood, their metabolism starts to slow down and activity decreases, so free feeding is not recommended for this dog. A routine feeding schedule is best to control your Ridgeback Pitbull’s weight gain.

This mixed breed dog may have a large appetite, but they are not known to be picky eaters. A healthy diet that is rich in protein and low on fats and carbohydrates is ideal for this hybrid breed.

Exercise 🐕

Both the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Pitbull are energetic and athletic dogs that require lots of exercise. Like its parent breeds, the Ridgeback Pitbull is also a strong, athletic breed.

The Ridgeback Pitbull is an intelligent breed that requires stimulation through exercise. Ridgeback Pitbull Mixes can do with one to two hours of exercise a day, which can be split up to two to three activities per day. If they don’t receive the exercise requirements, they may show restless behavior. A well-exercised Ridgeback Pitbull is most likely to be calm and relaxed throughout the day.

Exercise and a healthy diet are important for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix. They are easily prone to weight gain especially if used to a sedentary lifestyle. This hybrid breed is recommended for active families that can take the time to exercise their dog!

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix puppy
Image Credit: KimberlyPT07, Pixabay

Training 🎾

Early training and socialization is incredibly important for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix to ensure they have a sound and family-friendly temperament in adulthood.

The Ridgeback Pitbull is a highly intelligent dog but can have a bit of a stubborn streak. Positive reinforcement and rewards can easily facilitate the training process, but a firm and strong hand is necessary to establish that you are in charge.

Training a Ridgeback Pitbull mix can be tricky and is recommended for more experienced dog owners. When in doubt, professional training services can be employed to ensure proper training.

Housebreaking, leash training, and exposure to other animals, strangers, and children are necessary during the training process. When properly trained, Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbulls are excellent family dogs that are protective, loyal, and affectionate!

Grooming ✂️

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix sports a short, beautiful coat with a shiny finish that requires minimal grooming. They are minimal shedders that shed year-round, but can be easily managed with a weekly brushing schedule. Although minimal, you may find yourself sweeping up fur around your house once in a while.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix may be minimal shedders with short hair, but they are not considered hypoallergenic. They may not have as much fur or dander compared to other dogs, but they can still potentially trigger allergies for individuals who are sensitive.

They also need baths every two to four weeks. Some Ridgeback Pitbull mixes may have sensitive skin, so be sure to use high-quality bath products to prevent any skin irritation.

Their floppy ears can easily build up dirt, so regular ear cleaning is recommended to prevent discomfort and ear infections. Teeth cleaning is recommended two to three times a week. As active dogs, proper nail monitoring and maintenance is recommended to prevent discomfort.

Health and Conditions 🏥

There is a popular notion that mixed breeds are considered healthier than purebreds. While this may be true, it is important to consider their diet, exercise, and the general health of their parent breeds as well.

The Ridgeback Pitbull is generally considered a healthy breed with a lifespan of 10 to 16 years. However, as a mixed breed, they can be susceptible to diseases that are common to both parent breeds.

To prevent any diseases, a healthy diet, proper exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups are recommended. The best way to treat a disease is by preventing it in the first place—so it is best to properly monitor your dog through routine consults!

Minor Conditions

  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Dental issues

divider-pawMale vs Female

In terms of temperament, there is little difference between the male and female Ridgeback Pitbull mix. Depending on their training and socialization, they both can be calm and affectionate dogs, while still remaining cautious and protective with a high prey drive.

The biggest difference would be their size. Male Ridgeback Pitbulls can reach a height of 25 to 27 inches tall, weighing up to 85 pounds, while females can reach up to 24 to 26 inches tall, and weigh around 70 pounds.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix

1. They Are Not Inherently Aggressive Dogs

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix may be intimidating due to their appearance and their background. Being a mix between two strong breeds, along with the negative stigma toward Pitbulls’ aggression, many people may be wary of the Ridgeback Pitbull’s temperament.

Despite the Ridgeback Pitbull’s menacing and intimidating appearance, this towering dog is actually incredibly loving and affectionate. They are calm, gentle, and make great family dogs.

Ridgeback Pitbulls are protective and vigilant dogs and may be cautious toward strangers and other pets, so early socialization and training is key to ensuring a good temperament as they get older.

2. They Have a Stronger Prey Drive

Influenced by traits of their Rhodesian Ridgeback parent, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix has a higher prey drive compared to other dogs. They make excellent guard dogs, but may have an increased tendency to lunge or chase anything that moves. This may include cars, squirrels, rabbits, and even small children.

Poorly trained Ridgeback Pitbulls may impulsively chase anything that catches their eye, but proper training at a young age can help significantly manage this innate behavior. It is also recommended that they remain supervised at all times. Generally, proper leash training is also a must for the Ridgeback Pitbull.

3. The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix Is an Uncommon Breed

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull Mix is an uncommon dog mainly due to the rarity of its parents. Pitbulls are fairly common, while the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a rare breed of dog—with only a few Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders available. No one knows when exactly breeders began crossing the Rhodesian Ridgeback with Pitbulls, but they are a fairly new designer breed.


Final Thoughts

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is an excellent cross between two beautiful and strong breeds. This dog has admirable traits from both the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Pitbull. They are large and muscular with incredible strength, but are also calm and gentle. They are protective of their owners and can be cautious around strangers, while also being loving and affectionate.

Often misunderstood due to the stigma that people have toward their parent breeds, as well as their menacing appearance, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pitbull mix is an incredibly loyal hybrid breed that makes an excellent family dog.

Featured Image Credit: Denitsa Kireva, Pexels

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