what Is my puppy lab mix or a Rhodesian Ridgeback? Help!

We just rescued a puppy from a lady who's said she was told that the puppy is mixed with lab and possibly shepherd, but I showed her picture to my buddy who's been around labs his whole life and said she's wasn't even a little bit lab that she was definitely a Rhodesian ridgeback. I have never heard of this breed so I looked them up and sure enough she looks just like the puppies. I'm just so confused. Please help!

Asked by Sasha on Aug 5th 2012 in Breeds
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Bruno CGC

Hey Sasha!

Since you're located in VA, I think a strong possibility here is one of the "cur" breeds, or a mix of such. These are primitive, natural-looking hunting dogs that have been used to hunt all kinds of game in the SE USA for a very long time. They tend to be shades of brown or tan, often with a black muzzle, and can be mistaken for Lab or Ridgeback mixes, because of their short hair, lean, athletic build and floppy ears. Look up Mountain Cur, Blackmouth Cur, etc. This site has some good info- The original "Old Yeller" was meant to be a cur, not a Lab.

Ridgebacks are kinda rare so I figure most "Ridgeback mixes" actually aren't. When you subtract the ridge, that breed is actually a pretty generic looking dog, similar to many mutts.

Bruno CGC answered on 8/5/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Sasha, nice pic! :)
I would agree on the black mouth cur, or a mix with it. She is very adorable! ^^

Member 988343 answered on 8/5/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have to agree with previous postings.

I suggest you wait and see how the little lady grows up. Puppies are much harder to figure out than a teen age or adult dog. In another 6 months her size, shape and behavior will become defined enough to get a better idea if she is a Cur, Rhodesian, scent hound, or whatever.

What I do NOT see at all is Labrador. She is too fine boned, the feet are wrong shape and she looks like she has brindled markings in a reddish coat (may be a trick on my monitor).

Because she looks like a thinner boned dog, Coonhounds, Curs are possible (black mouth cur), Treeing Tennesee Brindle or Lacy dogs.
Labs and Rhodisian Ridgebacks are more sturdy dogs.

Google pictures of the breeds mentioned to see how they look.

Snickers answered on 8/5/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I would suggest paying for a genetic test, which can be done by a simple blood draw at your veterinary clinic. They run about $170 but the info you receive is invaluable. We've had our two mixed breeds tested. The test not only reveals what breed(s) your dog is (and the percentage of each breed), it also shows any possible medical predispositions. Knowing the breed(s) can also help you understand your dog's personality traits..

Member 1122677 answered on 8/7/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If your puppy has a line a fur on his back that sticks straight up then he is a Rhodesian Ridgeback otherwise he looks like a Blackmouth Cur.

Charlie answered on 8/14/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


hi, i have a black lab rhodesian mix.

as i look at your picture of sasha i do not see: any white toes, nor any white star on the chest. this is a very common sign of a rhodesians and mixes.
also my mix is black (probably a more dominant genetic color than a tan). in the sun i can see an obvious tan/brown hint to her black coloring.

both labs and rhodesians love to run and play. and both are very attached to their owners. each breed would rather lie on at or on your feet in the evening rather than go outside to do their own thing. (my other dog will come in to say hello but then is off again to be outside). this makes them a very good match for mixing as their personality traits are similar.

don't be fooled if you have a rhodesian and she has no ridge. only about a third of rhodesians have those ridges all the time. my dog's ridge is usually only apparent when it is excited or being protective.

good luck. whatever your dog is she looks sweet. scott

Member 1152521 answered on 1/29/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer