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Rhodesian Great Dane Mix: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

Parent breeds of the Rhodesian Great Dane Mix

Rhodesian Great Dane Mix: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

The Rhodesian Ridgeback and Great Dane mix is a large dog with a heart that matches their size. With a combination of affection, loyalty, and courage, they make a spirited companion and guard dog. If a large-breed watchdog is what you have your heart set on, the Rhodesian Great Dane is a great option to consider. In this article, we go in-depth on what to expect and how to care for a Rhodesian Great Dane mix to help you decide if they are the companion you want by your side.

Breed Overview


27–30 inches


100–150 pounds


7–12 years


Brown, fawn, wheaten, black

Suitable for:

Active families, experienced owners, guard dog


Loving, confident, brave, intelligent, protective

The Rhodesian Great Dane Mix is a cross between the fearless Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Great Dane, widely known as a “gentle giant.” They may not be a completely even mix of their parent breeds, but they will carry excellent traits from each of them.

This hybrid almost guarantees a large dog with a muscular but slim body, alert but soft eyes, a sturdy and graceful stance, and a distinguishable ridge from the Ridgeback parent. Although their size may seem intimidating, they are gentle, loving, and a joy to live with. Thanks to their protective nature, they make wonderful companions and excellent guard dogs, but they need a training program that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

Rhodesian Great Dane Puppies

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are considered a rare breed; however, there are still a few breeders in and around the USA. The Great Dane is a popular breed in the USA, so finding a reputable Great Dane breeder is likely your best bet for sourcing a Rhodesian Great Dane mix. They are rare dogs, but with a bit of research and networking, you will likely track one down.

You may also find them in a shelter or rescue center; however, the wait may be longer than you anticipated, and there is a chance you may not know the exact history and health of the dog.

Going through a reputable breeder when looking for a Rhodesian Great Dane Mix puppy is critical. A reputable breeder will allow you to meet the parents and will have health checks performed on their litter. This will provide a clear impression of the pup’s personality and appearance.

Like most puppies, a Rhodesian Great Dane puppy will be energetic, curious, and very busy. They need constant care and attention for the first few weeks, which is the ideal stage to begin socialization and training.

Parent breeds of the Rhodesian Great Dane Mix
Image By: Left – Osetrik, Shutterstock | Right – Al_Er, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Rhodesian Great Dane Mix

The temperament of a Rhodesian Great Dane Mix can vary depending on the dominant genes of the parents, history, environment, and upbringing. It can be hard to be sure of their personality, but you can get a general idea by learning about their parent breeds.

Great Danes are known for their unassuming big hearts and gentle temperament, and there is a good chance this trait will be passed onto your hybrid puppy. The Rhodesian Great Dane Mix is a loyal, affectionate, confident, brave, and intelligent breed that can be calm and gentle as they mature. They are eager to please, moderately energetic, and can be mischievous.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Most dogs can suit many types of families with early socialization and consistent training. However, some breeds may have dominant traits that families should be aware of. The temperament of the Rhodesian Great Dane Mix makes them a wonderful fit for most families, but because of their size, they may not be the ideal pet for families with small children.

They are massive canines that can unintentionally knock a small child over. However, they can also be very protective of their families, especially children, which makes them excellent watchdogs.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

When puppies are brought up with other well-socialized pets, they will generally get along as they have grown up together and have been trained consistently. Every dog is also unique, and every pet owner is different, so you can best determine how well they will get along.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known to have a high prey drive due to its history of hunting, which may be a dominant trait in your Rhodesian Great Mix. If your pup tends to have a high prey drive, they may not be the most suitable companion for small dogs or cats. However, with early socialization and training, they can all grow up to live harmoniously together and possibly end up being best friends.

Things to Know When Owning a Rhodesian Great Dane Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements

Like all dogs, your Rhodesian Great Dane Mix will require high-quality dog food that is well-balanced and life-stage appropriate. Your veterinarian is the best source of information when selecting a diet for your dog since they can help you determine your dog’s daily caloric requirements, portion sizes, and supplements if needed.

Every dog has different needs depending on their age, breed, activity levels, growth rate, and health. The Rhodesian Great Dane is a large canine that will typically require more food than a smaller breed. Generally, they will eat around 3 to 4½ cups of dry food daily split into two meals.

You should also provide your Rhodesian Great Dane Mix with fresh, clean water daily, especially when temperatures are high and after a play session and exercise.


Rhodesian Ridgebacks are typically more active than Great Danes, so your hybrid’s exercise needs may vary. Typically, Rhodesian Great Danes will require 60–90 minutes of exercise daily. This can be a long walk, running, a game of fetch, or training.

They make excellent companions for running and hiking, but you should avoid strenuous and high-impact exercise until they’re two years old to avoid causing damage to their joints.


The Rhodesian Great Dane mix’s social, amiable, and eager-to-please nature makes them responsive to firm, consistent training techniques. They require human interaction, love, and socialization with humans and animals. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are independent, headstrong hunting dogs. These characteristics, along with the Great Dane’s stubbornness, can make training challenging at times. To properly communicate with your dog, if you are new to dog training, you might require professional assistance.

Like all dogs, your Rhodesian Great Dane will respond well to positive reinforcement, and dogs with a streak of stubbornness and independence will need a firm and consistent leader.

Grooming ✂️

Your Rhodesian Great Dane Mix will have a short coat that doesn’t require much maintenance. A weekly brushing will get rid of loose hair and will also maintain your dog’s skin and coat. Grooming is also another great opportunity for bonding. You can give your dog a bath when their coat is dirty using a pet-safe shampoo that doesn’t irritate or dry out their skin, and in between, you can use pet wet wipes to keep their fur looking and smelling fresh.

You should brush your dog’s teeth at least once a week and use dental chews to help prevent plaque buildup. Check your pup’s ears regularly for cleaning and ensure their nails don’t get too long since they can cause discomfort and pain if they are too long.

It would be best if you started a grooming routine as early as possible to get your dog comfortable with being handled.

Health and Conditions

The Rhodesian Great Dane has a lifespan of 7–12 years, but this can depend on the care they receive and their health. While they are relatively healthy dogs, they can be predisposed to health issues from both parents. Owners must be aware of these health issues to provide the best care for their companions.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is the number one fatal health issue for Great Danes, and it’s essential to recognize the signs so you are prepared and know what to do. A procedure called prophylactic gastropexy, which can help prevent some of the more severe characteristics of GDV, is one that many breeders and owners consider. Other serious and minor predisposed conditions to be aware of are:

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Eye anomalies
Serious Conditions
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Dilatative cardiomyopathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Wobblers syndrome

Male vs Female

Choosing a male or female Rhodesian Great Dane mix will ultimately depend on your preference. A dog’s genetics, history, and upbringing are significant factors in determining their temperament and behavior, and it’s helpful to get as much information from the breeder or shelter as possible. If you get your Rhodesian Great Dane from a reputable breeder, they can give you an idea of their litter’s general personality and help you decide if a female or male is best for you.

Neutering and spaying your dog can also affect your dog’s behavior. An intact female will go through two heat cycles in a year, so you will need to keep a close eye on her and keep her away from intact males. Males that haven’t been neutered can display behaviors such as mounting, humping, spraying to mark their territory, and sometimes a little territorial aggression.

Having your dog spayed or neutered can help prevent these behaviors, prevent unwanted litters, and reduce the chances of ovarian or testicular cancer. No matter which sex you choose, your Rhodesian Great Dane will still require early socialization and training and an equal amount of daily exercise.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Rhodesian Great Dane Mix

1. Great Danes Are One of the Tallest Working Breeds

Great Danes are known and loved for their immense size and equally large hearts. They are one of the tallest working breeds, so you should be prepared for your pup’s potential to grow rather tall.

2. The Rhodesian Great Dane Mix Has a Longer Lifespan Than Great Danes

The lifespan of a Great Dane is 8–10 years. The Rhodesian Great Dane Mix has a lifespan of 7–12 years or longer.

3. They Make Excellent Family Guardians

With the Ridgeback’s history of hunting lions and protecting farms and the Great Dane’s immense size, the Rhodesian Great Dane is protective and intimidating, making them excellent family guardians. Any intruder will feel reluctant to enter your property when they make eye contact with your pup.

Final Thoughts

The Rhodesian Great Dane mix is the ultimate companion and guard dog for active families experienced with large dogs that can exhibit a streak of independence. They will thrive in a family that loves to get outdoors and spend lots of time with their companion. Their intelligence and willingness to please make them highly trainable, but their slight stubbornness and high prey drive require an owner who is firm and takes on the role of the leader.

They provide unwavering loyalty and protection but are also lovable and goofy. Like all dogs, they require a high-quality diet to thrive, regular veterinary care, early socialization and training, regular grooming, and daily physical and mental stimulation. If you are experienced enough to provide the Rhodesian Great Dane with what they need to be happy and healthy, they’ll reward your efforts with love and companionship for many years.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Left – Nina Quka, Pexels | Right – Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock

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