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Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix (AKA The Rhodesian Labrador)

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Mixed dog breeds are becoming increasingly popular. Which makes it no surprise that the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix is a newer designer breed making its way into homes.

This post covers everything you need to know about the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix. Including its history, what it was bred for, its traits, physical appearance, size, colors, temperament, and many other frequently asked questions about this dog breed.

So without further ado, let’s dive into everything you need to know about the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix

What Is A Rhodesian Labrador?

A Rhodesian Labrador is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. The result is a loyal, loving, and protective dog with a strong nose for hunting. They make great family dogs but also have the energy and enthusiasm to keep up with an active lifestyle.

What Was The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix Bred For?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes were not bred for any specific working purposes. Instead, they’re a designer breed that was bred to be a unique companion dog.

The rise of designer mix breeds brings many new variation of mixed dogs, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix is simply another.

People love the look and temperament of Rhodesian Ridgebacks as well as Labradors and wanted a dog that was the best of both. Which is why the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix came to be.

Where Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Come From?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a unique breed of dog that originated in Africa. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed for hunting.

The Ridgeback is a large and powerful dog with a muscular body and a distinctively shaped head. The most distinguishing feature of the breed is the ridge of hair running down its back, which is the result of a genetic mutation.

This mutation is thought to have occurred in Africa many centuries ago. It is believed that the Ridgebacks were brought to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) by Dutch settlers in the 1600s.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback quickly became prized by hunters for their courage, strength, and determination. They were also known for their ability to track and kill lions, which made them even more sought-after by big game hunters.

Today, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is still prized as a hunting dog, but they have also become popular as family pets.

Where Do Labradors Come From?

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States, and it’s not hard to see why. Labradors are intelligent, affectionate, and eager to please. They make excellent family pets and loyal companions for those who live alone. But where did this breed come from? The Labrador Retriever has a long and interesting history that can be traced back to the 1800s.

The Labrador Retriever first gained popularity in England, where they were initially bred as gun dogs. The Earl of Malmesbury is credited with being the first person to refer to them as “Labrador.” The Labrador quickly became a favorite among English sportsmen because of their skill in retrieving game birds that had been shot down.

In 1887, two Englishmen decided to bring a pair of Labs back to their homeland of Newfoundland, where they thought the breed would thrive in the cold weather and rugged terrain. They were right; the Labs took to the region like ducks to water. Before long, they had become an integral part of life in Newfoundland, helping fishermen haul in their nets and performing rescue missions during shipwrecks.

Over the next few decades, Labs became increasingly popular as pets and working dogs in America, and they are now one of the most popular breeds in the country. Thanks to their happy disposition and versatility, it’s easy to see why Labradors have been such a hit with American dog lovers for more than 100 years.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix Appearance & Traits

puppy on bed
PC: @ridgebackkute

Size (Weight & Height)

The Rhodesian Labrador is a large dog, with males typically weighing between 65 and 85 pounds and females usually weighing between 55 and 75 pounds.

They are also fairly tall dogs, with males standing at 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and females standing at 21 to 25 inches tall.

Coat Colors & Texture

Ridgeback Lab mixes can come in a variety of colors, including black, chocolate, brindle, yellow, and red.

The Rhodesian Labrador has a short, dense coat that is relatively easy to care for.

Some may inherit the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s signature ridge of hair running down their backs, while others may not.

Shedding & Grooming

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix is a pretty heavy shedding dog. They will shed a moderate amount year-round and go through a heavy shedding season twice a year.

Regular brushing will help to lessen the amount of hair that ends up around your home, but it won’t completely eliminate shedding.

A couple of ways you can help keep their shedding under control is to get a robot vacuum and/or a dog blow dryer.

robot vacuum helps keep the floors of your home looking half decent until you have time to do a more thorough cleaning.

Getting a dog blow dryer and blowing out their coat during the heavier shedding seasons helps get rid of any loose fur before it finds its way on your floors or furniture.

These dogs require the same amount of maintenance as other dogs when it comes to bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth cleaning.

A bath every 8-12 weeks is a good schedule. Nail trimming and ear cleaning should be done roughly once a month, and cleaning their teeth should happen a few times per week.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Hypoallergenic?

No, Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes are not hypoallergenic. They are considered rather heavy shedders, which means they are likely to cause some allergies in people sensitive to dog hair and dander.

Ears & Tail

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab has medium-sized floppy ears that hang down close to their head. Their tail is thick at the base and tapers to a point.

It is medium in length and usually hangs down when they are at rest and rises when something has their attention.

Eye Color

Their eyes are usually brown but can also be green, yellow, or hazel.


brindle Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix
PC: @dolcebay

The average lifespan of a Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is between 10 and 12 years.

They are medium to large-sized dogs, which means they will have a slightly shorter lifespan than small dogs but a slightly longer lifespan than giant breeds.

Of course, their lifespan also depends on their overall health, diet, and lifestyle.

Common Health Issues

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they are susceptible to certain health problems.

Some of the most common health issues affecting this breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies, eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and bloat.

Hip dysplasia is a condition that can affect dogs of all breeds, but it is especially common in large breeds. It occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain. Elbow dysplasia is a similar condition that affects the elbow joint. Both conditions can be painful and debilitating and often require surgery to correct.

Allergies are also common in dogs, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is no exception. They can be allergic to a variety of things, including certain foods, pollen, and other airborne allergens. Allergies can cause itching, excessive licking or chewing, hot spots, hair loss, and rashes.

Eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) are also relatively common in dogs. Cataracts cause the eyes’ lenses to become cloudy, making it difficult for your dog to see clearly. PRA is a degenerative disease that affects the retina, eventually leading to blindness.

Bloat is a condition that can affect dogs of all sizes, but it is especially common in large and giant breeds. It occurs when the stomach twists on itself, trapping gas and making it difficult for your dog to vomit or pass stool. Bloat can be very painful and can even be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

The best way to prevent health problems in a Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is to purchase them from a reputable breeder who does health testing on their dogs.

It’s also important to take them to the vet for regular check-ups and make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Trainability & Intelligence

Rhodesian Ridgeback x Lab

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is a smart breed, but they can sometimes be stubborn and independent. They are relatively easy to train, but it may take some patience and consistency on your part.

Like all dogs, they will need to be taught basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, down, and heel. They can also be trained to do tricks, and many are even able to learn how to retrieve objects.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is a versatile breed. They can be trained to do a variety of things, including being a loyal companion, hunting, tracking, agility, and even assistance work.

When it comes to training them to behave with other dogs and people, it’s important they get plenty of opportunities for socialization when young. If they’re too isolated, they may develop anxiety when around unfamiliar dogs and people and may even become overprotective.

Activity Level & Exercise Needs

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is a relatively active breed, but they can be content with a moderate amount of exercise.

They need at least 30-45 minutes of exercise per day, but they benefit from more if you can give it to them. A good way to get them the exercise they need is to take them on a daily walk or run and to let them play in a safe, fenced-in area.

This breed does best with an active owner who enjoys spending time outdoors. They make great hiking and camping companions and love to swim.

If you don’t have the time or energy to keep up with their exercise needs, they may not be the right breed for you.

It’s also important not to forget about their mental stimulation needs as well. The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab needs to have their minds challenged with puzzles, games, and other forms of mental stimulation like learning new tricks.

Temperament & Behavior

black Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix
PC: @loki_the_rilab

Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Bark A Lot?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is a relatively quiet breed, but they will bark when they feel the need to.

They may bark at the door when people knock or ring the doorbell, but that can be trained out of them if it becomes too much.

Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Like To Cuddle?

Some Rhodesian Ridgeback Labs enjoy cuddling, while others may not be as fond of it. So it really depends on the individual dog’s personality.

If you want them to be cuddly, they need to have plenty of positive cuddling experiences while they’re puppies.

If they learn from a young age that this type of closeness is something they enjoy, they’ll want to continue to do it as they get older.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Good With Kids?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab is a good breed for families with kids. They are patient, gentle, and protective of their family members.

However, because they can be independent and stubborn at times, they may not be the best breed for very young children who are still learning how to treat animals gently.

It’s important to socialize and train them from a young age, so they learn how to behave around kids.

As with all dogs, their initial interactions with kids should be supervised to ensure both are getting along and playing nice.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Good With Other Dogs?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes can get along with other dogs, but they may not be the best breed for a home with multiple dogs.

They can be independent and may want to be the alpha dog in the pack.

If you have other dogs in your home, it’s important to introduce them slowly and ensure they’re properly socialized, so they learn to get along.

If they meet other dogs when they’re young puppies, they should have no problems being around other dogs.

It’s when they have few interactions with other dogs and become an adult is when there’s the potential for problems.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Good With Strangers?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes can be good with strangers, but it really depends on how well they were socialized.

If they were properly socialized from a young age, they should have no problem being around strangers.

They may get excited and bark at strangers, but as long as they learn how to behave around new people from a young age, there shouldn’t be any problems with aggression.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mixes Good Apartment Dogs?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes can do well in apartments, but it’s not the best living environment for them.

They’re rather big dogs and take up quite a bit of space.

They also need a good amount of exercise, which means they need to be taken out for a couple of walks per day. Since they don’t have any space to run around in a backyard, they’re entirely reliant on you to take them out.

If you live in an apartment and are considering this breed, make sure you have a good plan for providing them with the exercise they need.

Food & Diet

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes need a high-quality diet that is rich in protein and fat.

They are an active breed and need the calories to fuel their bodies.

A good diet for them will also have omega-fatty acids, which are good for their skin and coat.

The amount of food you should feed your Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix depends on their age, activity level, and build.

A good rule of thumb is to feed them two to three cups of food per day, divided into two meals.

When they’re a puppy, they will need to eat more often since they’re growing so quickly.

You should avoid giving them table scraps as this can lead to obesity.

It’s important to note that due to the nature of cross-breeding, it’s unknown exactly what will meet their dietary needs.

For this reason, it’s best to ask a vet or dog nutritionist what they recommend.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix Price

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix puppy
PC: @juliane.loki

Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mixes are a relatively new designer breed, so they’re not as common as some of the other Lab mixes out there.

And while they can be a little more challenging to find, it’s less because they’re difficult to breed or rare and more so that not many people breed them.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $750 to $1250 for one of these dogs.

The price will depend on the breeder, the dog’s parentage, and whether or not the dog has any unusual markings or colors.

Before purchasing a less expensive puppy hoping to save a few dollars, keep in mind that a cheap puppy is more likely to have health problems and behavioral issues than a pricier one from a reputable breeder.

Purchasing a Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix from a responsible and reputable breeder is the best way to ensure you’re getting a healthy and well-adjusted dog.

Where Can You Find Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix Puppies For Sale?

puppy lab and ridgeback

Unfortunately, you may have some difficulty finding a Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix puppy. They’re not a highly sought-after breed right now, which means breeders aren’t prioritizing them.

However, there are a few breeder directory websites that list Labrador mixes and Ridgeback mixes. These breeders are your best chance at finding a Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix puppy.

Even if they don’t have a litter of these puppies available at the time you look, they are good people to contact to see if they plan on breeding them in the future.

The websites to look at are:

AKC ensures all breeders are reputable before allowing them to showcase their puppies.

The other two websites claim to delist breeders who have been proven to use illegal or inhumane breeding practices.

This means it’s still important for you to ask questions and ensure you’re dealing with a reputable breeder when interacting with these websites.

Similar Breeds To The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab Mix

Final Thoughts

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix is a beautiful, large, and powerful dog. They make great family pets but need an owner who can provide them with plenty of exercise and training.

If you’re looking for a loving and loyal companion, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Lab mix could be the perfect dog for you.

Do your research before purchasing one of these dogs to make sure they’re a good fit for your lifestyle and personality. And always purchase from a reputable breeder to ensure you’re getting a healthy puppy.

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