Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix- 8 Rhodesian Lab facts & care tips

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix is a cross between a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback. This Lab mix is also known as the Rhodesian Labrador. Rhodesian Lab mixes are large-sized dogs that weigh 70 to 76 pounds and stand at 23 to 24 inches. 

These dogs are loving, gentle, energetic, affectionate, intelligent but can also be stubborn from time to time.

They are also known for being extremely good and patient with young children making perfect playmates for them.

This Labrador crossbreed dog is, therefore, a great family addition.

However, before deciding whether this is the right mixed dog for you, you should learn a thing or two about him. In this article, am going to help with that.

So, let us get right into it.

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About the Rhodesian Ridgeback mix

Rhodesian Labradors are known for being affectionate and loyal family dogs that love to play, go for adventures, and spent time with family.

However, they are also known for having stubborn streaks from time to time, especially during training sessions.

They also have protective tendencies and need to be correctly trained and socialized continuously from an early age.

As I pointed out in the introduction, this mixed dog is also energetic and is best suited for active families and individual that can meet his daily exercise needs.

This crossbreed loves to eat and can pull out some tricks or use his cute puppy eyes to get some extra tasty treats which can cause him to get overweight something that is common in large-mixed dogs.

It is important to watch this dog’s diet and also meet his exercise needs to prevent him from getting obese. 

Not much is known about the Rhodesian Labrador’s origin but he is believed to have been intentionally bred in the early 2000s which was the beginning of the designer dog craze.

This mix is also not recognized by any of the major kennel clubs.

Labrador Retriever vs Rhodesian Ridgeback: Breed comparison

Lab Retriever vs Rhodesian Ridgeback
Labrador Retriever Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Labrador Retriever is a popular gun dog that is known for being exceptionally good with children and also gets along with other household pets.

This dog is also active and energetic and is best suited for an active lifestyle.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a low-maintenance, moderately active dog that can sometimes be stubborn.

This is a good family dog but he is better suited for firm and experienced owners that will provide him with early and consistent training due to his independent and stubborn nature.

Labs are excellent work dogs and therapy dogs.

They excel in comforting and assisting individuals in hospitals, senior homes, and even those with disabilities.

Labradors need about 60 to 90 minutes of daily exercise.

This is a great hunting dog that can also serve in other tasks which include being a family dog.

He is great with kids and gets along with other pets that he has been brought up with.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have moderate exercise needs about 60 minutes of daily exercise.

Originated from Newfoundland on the northeastern coast of Canada and was originally known as the St. John’s Dog.

St John is Newfoundland’s capital. These dogs were mainly used by fishermen and they would retrieve fish that came off the hooks and nets but they also doubled as companions for the fishermen.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks originated from South Africa and is believed to have been a result of mixing local dogs with European dogs.

These dogs were originally known as African Lion Hounds.

They were used to hunt and also guard their owners’ homes.


Rhodesian Labrador pros and cons


✓ Loving and affectionate.

✔ Get along with both children and other household pets.

✓ Is intelligent and high trainable.

✔ Protective and makes for a great guard dog.


✗ Can be stubborn which makes training challenging.

✘ Is prone to bloat which is also known as gastric volvulus.

✗ May not be the best choice for apartment dwellers.

✘ Prone to separation anxiety and can get destructive when left alone for extended periods.

✗ Can have a high prey drive.

8 Fun facts about the Labrador Rhodesian Ridgeback mix

  1. They are loyal and devoted family companions that love everyone including children.
  2. These dogs are intelligent, strong-willed, but are independent thinkers meaning that they require patient and firm training.
  3. Rhodesian Labradors are strong and protective dogs that will make any intruder think twice with their presence.
  4. They are fast dogs that can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and are known to have a high drive to chase.
  5. These mixed are athletic and are known to easily jump over low fences.
  6. Some have a ridge on their backs which is a section of their coat that runs in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat along their spines to form a ridge.
  7. Others have webbed feet that make them exceptionally good swimmers.
  8. They love to eat and are not picky eater, eating anything that is thrown at them and is thus prone to getting overweight.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix breed profile

Rhodesian Lab mix summary table
Height 23 to 24 inches
Weight 70 to 76 pounds
Lifespan 10-13 years 
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Working and family dog
Suitable For Active individual and families
Grooming requirements Moderate
Color Variations Wheaten, Brown, Sable, Red, Black, Cream, Red
Health concerns Hip Dysplasia, Bloat, Hypothyroidism, and Ear Infections
Temperament Intelligent, loyal, energetic, affectionate, alert, strong-willed, and independent
Other names Rhodesian Labrador

Height and weight

This is a large-sized mixed that can weigh between 70 and 76 pounds and stand at a height of between 23 and 24 inches.

Physical appearance

Rhodesian Labrador mixes are strong, muscular, and athletic dogs that have long legs.

They have deep chests and strong necks that support their slightly rounded heads that are also indented in between.

These dogs also have attractive and alert eyes that can either be amber or brown. Their muzzles are medium-sized with a black nose and a mouth that is surrounded by a dark-colored section.

rhodesian-labrador crossbreed

Coat appearance and shedding

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix had a medium-length, smooth, and weather-resistant double coats.

Unfortunately, these dogs will shed moderately throughout the year with two heavy shedding seasons in spring and autumn where they blow out their coats.

Coat colors:

Cream Red Black
Wheaten Brown Red Wheaten
Light Wheaten Sable Yellow

Temperament and personality traits of the Rhodesian Labrador

The Rhodesian Labrador mix temperament and personality traits can vary from one dog to the other.

This will depend on genetics, the environment he is brought up in, how he is socialized, who he interacts with every day, and how you take care of him.

How we can look at the traits of most Rhodesian Labradors to know what you can expect from this crossbreed dog.

These are loyal, affectionate, loving, calm, and very adaptable dogs.

They are also protective but not aggressive and also do not bark much unless they hear weird noises or when they spot an intruder.

Some may mistake this dog for being aggressive due to his dominating appearance.

However, this is an independent dog that can sometimes be stubborn which can make training difficult. This dog is also known to be aloof to strangers but with proper socialization, you should be able to do away with this trait.

They also have a high prey drive as one of the parent breeds is a known hunter and they will often chase smaller animals.

You can easily manage this trait by using some of the prey drive management tips that we have laid out for you in this guide. 

Is the Rhodesian Lab mix a good family dog?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback mix is a great family dog that is playful and gets along with every family member including young children.

He will also get along with other household pets that he has been brought up with but he should be carefully watched and trained as he can develop a tendency to chase after smaller animals.


Litter size:

This mix has a litter size of between 7 and 10 puppies per litter.

Rhodesian Labradors puppies have a rapid growth rate and will weigh over 10 pounds in a span of 2 months after birth.

Some also reach a weight of up to 40 pounds after 3 months and continue to grow in the months that follow.

These puppies will take between 14 and 18 months to reach full maturity and stop growing.

Any of the parent breeds can be used as the mother (dam) or the father (sire) as they only have slight differences in their height and weight.

How much does a Rhodesian Labrador cost?

A Rhodesian Labrador puppy from a reputable breeder will cost you about $600 but the price for a single puppy can get as high as $2000. The cost will depend on your location and the breeder you get the puppy from.

Adoption can cost you about $150 if you are lucky enough to find one that is out for adoption.

However, this only covers the initial cost of getting the puppy as they are other costs and expenses such as vaccination and other recurring costs such as feeding, training, grooming that can add up to an average of $1000 annually.

With all that in mind, it is important that you get this crossbreed puppy from a good and reputable breeder that will ensure that the puppy you get is of the best health.

rhodesian-labrador mix

How to take care of Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix

1. Grooming needs

This dog has moderate grooming needs.

You should brush this mixed dog’s coat at least 2 times a week by either using a hand mint brush or with a slicker brush.

This crossbreed will only need to be bathed when it is necessary using proper doggie shampoo and condition. But as a general rule of thumb, he should only be bathed once a month at most.

The nails should be kept short to prevent them from making this dog uncomfortable and to prevent injuries.

You will also need to keep the eyes clear and clean and maintain proper ear hygiene by cleaning them using cotton balls and an ear cleaning solution to get rid of wax and any other dirt.

Dental care is equally as important and should be done by brushing the teeth regularly and by giving this dog dental chews to strengthen and clean them.

This will help to prevent periodontal disease and get rid of bad breath.

You can also visit our Labrador grooming guide to learn how you can groom this Lab mix. 

2. Feeding and dietary requirements

This is a large and energetic and will need a diet that can meet all his energy levels. It is also important to ensure that the diet is well-balanced and contains the most important nutrients.

For his daily calorie requirements, you can give this dog 30 calories for every pound that he weighs.

Rhodesian Labrador Daily Food Consumption
Guide 1400 to 1800 calories
Cups of Kibble 3 to 4
  • Puppies that are between 8 and 12 weeks will need 4 meals a day.
  • Older puppies that are between 3 and 6 months old will need 3 meals a day.
  • Rhodesian Labradors that are 6 months to one-year-old need 2 meals per day. This will extend even as the dog gets older.

Nutritional requirements

This diet should mainly comprise of about 22% proteins from high-quality sources for body-building, repair, and provision of energy.

The diet should also be made up of fats that should make up about 7% of the diet. These fats should have omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that help to keep the skin, paws, and noses supple.

A low carb diet will be crucial and the carbohydrates should not be from grains as they can easily upset the dog’s stomach.

To complete the diet, you should provide the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix with vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins can be found in fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs such as peas, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelons, and many more and they will be helpful in keeping this mixed dog healthy and strong.

Minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, and chondroitin can be found in dry foods and even other homemade foods.

They will be helpful in strengthening the bones and teeth and prevent some of the joint and bone-related conditions that large dogs are prone to developing.

rhodesian ridgeback-labrador mix

3. Exercising a Rhodesian Lab mix

This is an active and high energy dog that will need about 60 minutes of daily mental and physical stimulation.

The daily exercise quotas can be met by going for daily walks, hiking, jogging, agility training, hunting, dock diving, and even through mind games such as puzzles, shell games, stuffed kong e.t.c.

Number of walks 2 (30 minutes each)
Exercise needs upwards of 60 minutes

This mixed dog will easily get bored and destructive if his exercise requirements are not met.

4. How to train a Rhodesian Labrador

This is an intelligent and eager to please dog that will enjoy a fun training session.

However, it is important to keep in mind that this dog can be stubborn which can make training a challenge but you can deal with this by being firm and using positive reinforcement training.

You can use high-value treats such as pieces of liver to keep this dog’s enthusiasm high during training.

Keep the training session short to a maximum of 10 minutes per session after which you can take a 30-minute break before embarking.

Never use any aversive training methods such as punishment or shouting at this dog as he is very sensitive and can be affected by this immensely.

Health concerns

This is a fairly healthy crossbreed but is also susceptible to some health conditions such as;

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ear Infections

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix has a life expectancy of between 10 and 13 years.

Final take

As you can this from this mixed dog breed guide, this is a high energy and loving dog that is good for families.

He is better suited for an active lifestyle but may not be the best choice for you if you are a city dweller mainly due to his exercise needs.

This dog is also adaptable but can have a high prey drive.

So, do you think that the Rhodesian Labrador is the perfect dog for you? You can share your thoughts and feedback with us in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!