Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix guide- (8 Facts & care tips)

The Rhodesian Labrador is a mix between a purebred Labrador Retriever and Rhodesian Ridgeback. This labrador mix is large-sized weighing 70-76 lbs and standing at 23-23 inches.

These dogs are loving, energetic, affectionate, intelligent, patient, gentle, and perfect playmates for children. Thus, this Rhodesian mix is a great family dog.

However, they can be stubborn, independent, and aloof to strangers when not well-socialized. They are also highly active and are best suited for active owners that match their energy and exercise needs.

For more information about this crossbreed dog, Read on

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Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix at a Glance

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

However, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix is a known loyal and affectionate family dog that is playful and adventurous. 

Their protective tendencies warrant proper training and socializing from an early age. However, their stubborn nature can make them difficult to train especially as they get older.

It’s also important to meet this dog’s exercise needs to prevent obesity and to keep him active. As this is a large-sized dog, he should not be free-fed as he may over-eat and easily gain weight.

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback vs Labrador

Labrador RetrieverRhodesian Ridgeback
The Labrador Retriever is a popular gun dog that is exceptionally good with children and gets along with other pets.

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

They need 60-90 mins of daily exercise.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a low-maintenance, moderately active dog that can sometimes be stubborn.
He is a good family dog but suited for active and experienced owners that can consistently train him.
They need about 60 mins of daily exercise
Labs are excellent work dogs and therapy dogs for seniors, and individuals that are unwell or disabled. This is a great hunting dog that gets along with children and other pets.
Originated from Newfoundland on Canada’s Northeastern as fish retrievers and fishermen companions. Was originally known as the St John Dog. St John is Newfoundland’s capital. Originated from South Africa from what is believed to be a result of mixing European and local Khoikhoi breeds for hunting and as guard dogs. Was originally known as the African Lion Hound.  
Rhodesian Ridgeback Vs Lab comparison table

rhodesian-ridgeback-and-black-lab

Rhodesian Labrador pros and cons

Pros:

✓ loving and affectionate.

✔ Get along with both children and other pets.

✓ Intelligent and high trainable.

✔ Protective and makes for a great guard dog.

Cons:

✗ Can be stubborn and difficult to train.

✘ Is prone to bloat (Gastric volvulus)

✗ Not suited for apartment dwellers.

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

✗ Can have a high prey drive.

8 Labrador Rhodesian Ridgeback mix fun facts

  1. They are loyal, playful, and devoted family companions.
  2. These dogs are intelligent, and strong-willed, but are independent thinkers thus requiring patient and firm training.
  3. Rhodesian Labradors are strong and protective guard dogs.
  4. They are fast dogs and can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour and have a high prey drive.
  5. These mixed dogs are athletic and easily jump over low fences.
  6. Some have ridges on their backs. This is raised section of their coat that runs along the spine forming a ridge.
  7. Others have webbed feet for exceptional swimming.
  8. They love food and are not picky eaters. As such, they easily gain weight when free-fed.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix summary table

Height23-24 inches
Weight70-76 pounds
Lifespan10-13 years 
Breed TypeCrossbreed
PurposeWorking and family dog
TemperamentIntelligent, loyal, energetic, affectionate, alert, strong-willed, and independent
Suitable ForActive individuals and families
Grooming requirementsModerate
ColorsWheaten, Brown, Sable, Red, Black, Cream, Red
Health concernsHip Dysplasia, Bloat, Hypothyroidism, and Ear Infections
Other namesRhodesian Labrador
Rhodesian Lab mix table

Height and weight:

The Rhodesian Lab mix is a large-sized crossbreed that weighs 70 to 76 pounds and stands at a height of between 23 and 24 inches.

Appearance:

Rhodesian Labs are long-legged, muscular, and athletic dogs. Their chests are deep and their necks are strong to support their slightly rounded and indented heads. They have medium-sized muzzles with black noses and mouths.

Conversely, their eyes are alert and attractive and can either be brown or amber.

rhodesian-labrador crossbreed

Coat appearance and shedding:

Rhodesian Lab crossbreeds have smooth, medium-length, and weather-resistant double coats. These coats shed moderately through the year with blowout seasons in Spring and Autumn when they shed heavily and require increased brushing.

Colors:

CreamRedBlack
WheatenBrownRed Wheaten
Light WheatenSableYellow

Rhodesian Labrador personality and temperament

The Rhodesian Labrador mix temperament and personality traits vary from dog to dog depending on;

  • Genetics
  • The environment
  • Socialization and daily interactions
  • Level of training and care

Expect this mixed dog to be loyal, affectionate, calm, loving, and adaptable. They are protective but non-aggressive despite having a dominating appearance and don’t bark as much.

Additionally, this dog can be independent and stubborn which makes training a challenge. He can also be aloof to strange if not well-socialized.

These crossbreeds can exhibit a high prey drive as the Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred as a hunting dog and is prone to chasing smaller animals such as those adorable farm ducks.

Is the Rhodesian Lab mix a good family dog?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback mix is a playful family dog that gets along with children and other pets. However, keep an eye on untrained pups around smaller animals due to their prey drive.

Rhodesian Lab mix Puppies

Litter size:

On average, the Rhodesian Lab mix litter has 7 to 10 puppies. These puppies grow fast weighing over 10 pounds at 2 months of age and around 40 pounds by 6 months. They take 14-18 months to reach full maturity and stop growing.

Either the Labrador or Rhodesian Ridgeback can be used as the mother (dam) or the father (sire) as they only have slight height and weight differences.

Rhodesian Labrador cost:

A Rhodesian Labrador mix puppy costs about $600 to as high as $2000 depending on the breeder, location, and time of year. For adoption, expect to cough out about $200 in fees. Each shelter is different and will charge different fees.

In addition to the initial cost of acquiring the dog, the care cost for this dog will add up to around $1000 annually. This will include costs for feeding, grooming, training, feeding, medical charges, and additional supplies.

Always get your pup from a reputable breeder.

rhodesian-labrador mix

Rhodesian Lab mix care guide

1. Grooming

Although the Rhodesian Labrador has a short coat, it does shed and needs moderate grooming.

The coat should be brushed about 3 times a week with a gentle slicker brush or hand mint brush to distribute the coat oils and keep the coat clean and shiny by removing dead fur and dirt. A shedding block should reduce shedding in the Spring and Autumn blowout seasons.

Long brushing sessions will also help you bond with the dog better.

Since these dogs are a fairly low odor, they should only be bathed once a month at most or when it is necessary such as after a muddy outdoor expedition. Never use human shampoo on the dog but instead use a doggie shampoo and conditioning spritz.

Too much bathing will dry out the coat and make the skin itchy. Running a clean damp towel on the coat in between baths should remove dust and dead hair to reduce shedding.

The nails should be kept short to keep the dog comfortable and prevent injuries. Also, keep the eyes clean and observe proper ear hygiene using a cleaning solution and cotton buds to remove wax and dirt.

Dental care is equally important to prevent periodontal diseases and bad breath. This is done using a doggie toothbrush or dental chews that clean and strengthen teeth.

Visit our Labrador grooming guide for how to groom Lab mixes. 

2. Feeding and dietary requirements

This dog will require a diet that meets his nutritional needs. This should be a well-balanced diet of 1400 to 1800 daily calories to meet his energy needs.

On average, your dog will require about 30 calories for every pound he weighs. As such, the calorie count will depend on the dog’s weight, metabolism, and level of activity.

Feeding frequency;

  • Puppies between 8 and 12 weeks- 4 meals a day.
  • Older puppies between 3 and 6 months – 3 meals a day.
  • Rhodesian Labradors 6 months or older- 2 Daily meals
Rhodesian Labrador Daily Food Consumption
Guide1400 to 1800 calories
Cups of Kibble3 to 4

Nutritional requirements

A low-carb diet is crucial. Any carbs in the diet should not be from grains as they can upset the dog’s stomach.

Animal-based proteins should make up the bulk of this dog’s diet. It should comprise at least 22% proteins for body-building, energy, and tissue repair.

Fats should make up about 7% of the diet and should include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep the paws, skin, and muzzle supple.

Vitamins and minerals should balance the diet. Vitamin sources for dogs include peas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and watermelons while minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, and chondroitin can be found in dry and homemade foods to strengthen the bones and teeth.

rhodesian ridgeback-labrador mix

3. Exercising a Rhodesian Lab mix

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

Daily exercise quotas can be met by daily walks, hiking, jogging, agility training, hunting, water sports, and mind games such as puzzles, shell games, stuffed kong e.t.c.

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

Number of walks2 (30 minutes each)
Exercise needsupwards of 60 minutes

4. How to train a Rhodesian Labrador

As an intelligent and eager-to-please dog, this mix enjoys short, fun training sessions. A training session should take a maximum of 10 minutes with breaks in between. High-value treats such as liver cubes should keep this dog’s enthusiasm high during training.

During training, keep this dog’s stubborn nature at bay being firm and using positive reinforcement training.

Don’t punish or use any aversive training methods that may do more harm than good.

Health concerns

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

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ear Infections

He may also be prone to minor scratches and wounds during outdoor hunting sessions and on hiking trails.

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

Final take

As you can deduce by now, the Rhodesian Lab mix is a high-energy and loving family dog that is best suited for active individuals.

He is also adaptable and may have a high prey drive.

Do you think that the Rhodesian Labrador is the dog for you? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!