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Rhodesian Doberman Mix: Care, Pictures, Info & More

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Rhodesian Doberman mix dog running at the beach

The Rhodesian Doberman mix is a large hybrid created by crossing the Rhodesian Ridgeback “lion hunter” and the Doberman Pinscher. Each parent breed has similar and unique traits that they pass onto their offspring, creating an athletic, brave, and confident dog that makes an excellent companion.

In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide on this brilliant hybrid, where we explore their personality and care needs to help you decide if the Rhodesian Doberman is the right companion for you and your family.

Breed Overview

Height: 24–28 inches
Weight: 60–85 pounds
Lifespan: 10–13 years
Colors: Black, dark brown, tan, wheaten
Suitable for: Active families, owners looking for a watchdog, experienced owners
Temperament: Athletic, energetic, confident, protective, intelligent, affectionate, alert, loyal

The Rhodesian Doberman mix is a large hybrid breed created by crossing the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Doberman Pinscher. The two magnificent breeds combine their best qualities to create a brave, energetic, and loving guard dog.

They may inherit characteristics from either parent, but you will only know when your pup grows up. This also allows you to provide and nurture the best parts of each breed to raise a well-rounded dog. Their appearance may vary depending on which genes are more dominant, and yours may include the unique ridge of the Rhodesian parent.

Either way, your Rhodesian Doberman will be a beautiful and sturdy dog with the confidence, loyalty, protectiveness, and affection that they are loved for.

Rhodesian Doberman Mix Characteristics


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Rhodesian Doberman Mix Puppies

With any breed of dog, doing your research as an owner is essential. The internet is a great place to find a reputable breeder, but it’s best to visit and interview the breeders you find. The breeder of the Rhodesian Doberman mix will know about their litter and can give you all the information you need on their health and personality. When looking for a puppy from a breeder, a low-price tag is often a sign of unethical breeding.

Rescue centers and shelters are another great place to find a Rhodesian Doberman puppy. However, you will need to be patient. While rescuing a puppy in need of a home is encouraged, it’s important to remember that there may not be much information about the dog’s history.

Rhodesian Doberman puppies, like all puppies, will be curious and busy as they discover their new surroundings. These small and vulnerable pups will need extra attention and care. Puppies are generally prone to chewing and other curious behaviors, so it is vital to begin training when you bring them home. Puppies require mental and physical stimulation and a lot of love while they settle in.

Parent Breeds of the Rhodesian Doberman Mix
Image Credit: (L) Ivanova N, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Rhodesian Doberman Mix

It can be hard to describe a mixed breed’s temperament as they can vary and take on different traits from each parent. However, the Doberman and Rhodesian Ridgeback have similar qualities that can give a good idea of the mix’s temperament.

The Rhodesian Doberman mix is typically a confident and brave dog because the “lion hunter” blood tends to remain. They are energetic and athletic and will require a firm and confident leader because of their high prey drive. They can also be strong-willed and independent. However, they are an intelligent and loyal breed, which makes them easy to train for an owner with some experience.

The Rhodesian Doberman will be protective, loyal, and eager to please. They are also loving and affectionate dogs, and although they may be stand-offish towards strangers, their love for their owners is unwavering.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Rhodesian Doberman is a great companion for families who are prepared for them. This means the family is willing to provide the necessary socialization and early training. However, families with kids will need to be careful because of their size, energy levels, and training requirements. Small kids should be supervised while playing with a Rhodesian Doberman mix and taught how to interact with big dogs. Since they’re athletic dogs, they’re more suitable for active families that enjoy outdoor activities. First-time owners don’t have the experience to train and care for them and are better off adopting another canine.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Most Rhodesian Doberman mixes will get along with other pets if they are brought up together, adequately socialized, and trained at an early age. Otherwise, they have the potential to become aggressive toward other animals. With their hunting heritage from both parents, they have a high prey drive that can be problematic for families with small dogs and cats. Getting a Rhodesian Doberman puppy used to other pets will be much easier than an adult.

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Things to Know When Owning a Rhodesian Doberman Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As with all dogs, a Rhodesian Doberman Mix requires a high-quality, well-balanced diet. Your veterinarian can help determine your dog’s caloric needs, portions, and supplements if needed. Generally, food approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) will ensure that your dog is getting the nutrients they need.

The Rhodesian Doberman Mix is a large, athletic breed that will require a quality source of protein to support their muscles and muscle growth. You can talk to your vet about glucosamine supplements for additional joint and bone support, but avoid adding supplements to your pet’s diet without your vet’s approval.

Furthermore, there have been links found between dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)  and grain-free diets, so it’s essential to speak to your vet about the benefits and risks of a grain-free diet since Rhodesian Dobermans are also predisposed to DCM.

Lastly, you should provide your Rhodesian Doberman access to clean, fresh water daily, especially after exercise, when temperatures are high, and if your dog is predominantly fed dry food.

Exercise 🐕

The Rhodesian Doberman Mix is an energetic breed that requires a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise daily. They also need adequate mental stimulation each day to avoid boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Rhodesian Doberman mixes thrive with an active owner willing to put in the time and provide interactive physical and mental stimulation. They are excellent running or riding partners and love joining their owners on long hikes.

Training 🎾

Training should start as soon as you bring your Rhodesian Doberman mix home, especially obedience training due to the dog’s large size. They’re intelligent and very willing to please, so training can be easy for an experienced owner.

However, they have a high prey drive that comes from both parents and a stubborn streak that will require a firm and consistent leader that trains with positive reinforcement. Early socialization is also critical as they can be wary of strangers and very protective.

The Rhodesian Doberman mix thrives in endurance activities, and they perform well in many canine sports and competitions, including agility, show rings, and field trial events.

Grooming ✂️

The Rhodesian Doberman Mix is typically a low-maintenance dog that doesn’t require much grooming. They have a short coat that sheds moderately all year round, so they will require weekly brushing to remove loose hair and maintain their coat’s health. During the shedding season, they require a little more regular brushing.

They will only need a bath once a month or when dirty, using a pet-friendly shampoo that won’t’ irritate or dry out their skin. You can keep your dog clean in between baths with pet wipes.

You should check their ears regularly for any wax, dirt, and debris buildup to prevent infection. Their nails will also need to be checked for trimming, and it’s important to note that Rhodesian Dobermans can be resistant to nail clippings, so getting them used to it from a young age is essential. Their teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent plaque buildup. Dental chews and chew toys can also assist with dental health.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Rhodesian Doberman Mix can live 10–13 years with the correct care. They are generally a healthy breed that typically benefits from “hybrid vigor.” However, like all dogs, they may be predisposed to health issues from both parents that any owner should be aware of. They can range from serious to minor, but you can provide your dog with the best preventative care by being aware of the health conditions that can develop.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions

Male vs Female

Generally, the Rhodesian Doberman Mix male is slightly bigger than the female, but when it comes to personalities and behavior, the differences are generalized and may vary. The best way to get an idea of your hybrid’s temperament is to speak to the breeder since they know the history and the general personality of their litter.

Hormonal differences are likely to contribute to the most significant differences between a male and a female. Spaying or neutering a dog has an impact on the development of sex-specific characteristics and behavior. These procedures not only prevent the dog from reproducing but can also reduce some of the behaviors associated with mating.

An intact female will experience a heat cycle twice a year, which means you will need to keep them away from other male dogs if you don’t want them to mate. When spayed, they won’t experience the heat cycles and will not be interested in reproducing.

An intact male often displays unwanted sexual behavior such as mounting, humping, and wandering off in search of a mate. They may also mark their territory, which can be a problem for dog owners. A neutered male will be much less likely to display these behaviors.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Rhodesian Doberman Mix

1. The Rhodesian Doberman Mix Has a High Prey Drive

Both parents have a high prey drive due to their history, and their offspring are more than likely to carry the trait.

2. The Rhodesian Doberman Mix Is Highly Athletic

Since they’re bred from two breeds born to hunt and protect, the Rhodesian Doberman has an innate athleticism that makes them a great companion for active dog owners.

3. The Rhodesian Doberman Mix Is a Devoted Companion

Despite how intimidating they may appear, they are devoted to their families.

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Final Thoughts

The Rhodesian Doberman Mix can be the ideal companion for active families and owners. They are loving, loyal, and protective and can coexist with other pets and children when properly trained and socialized. They are excellent guardians that have an intimidating presence, making them the ideal guard dog.

The Rhodesian Doberman requires a firm and confident owner that will take the role of the leader and will provide the correct socialization and training they need from a young age. They may be independent and stubborn at times, and because they are a large breed with high energy, they are not typically recommended for inexperienced owners.

Owning a Rhodesian Doberman Mix is both a privilege and a responsibility. They will provide many years of devotion, protection, and love with the proper training, care, and commitment.

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Featured Image Credit: Carolyn Vines, Shutterstock

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