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Rottweiler vs. Rhodesian Ridgeback: Differences Explained (With Pictures)

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Rottweiler vs. Rhodesian Ridgeback: Differences Explained (With Pictures)

The Rottweiler and the Rhodesian Ridgeback are two majestic dog breeds that make wonderful pets, and each possesses unique characteristics that make them highly sought after by dog lovers worldwide. If you are on the fence about which breed is right for you, keep reading as we dig in and compare their physical and mental attributes so you can make an informed decision.

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Visual Differences

Rottweiler vs Rhodesian Ridgeback - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – NioleNina, Pixabay | Right – Osetrik, Shutterstock

At a Glance

Rottweiler
  • Average height (adult): 22–27 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 80–135 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8–12 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: Intelligent, eager to please
Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Average height (adult): 24–27 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 70–85 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–13 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: Intelligent but stubborn

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Rottweiler Overview

black and brown rottweiler puppy outdoors
Image Credit: Tommes Frites, Pexels

Personality / Character

Rottweilers are extremely loyal to their family and form strong bonds with their caretakers. Most owners describe them as confident and self-assured, which means they remain calm even in challenging situations. They are also natural guardians that will fiercely protect you and your home. However, they are also gentle, loving, and eager to please, so they are easy to train.

Appearance

The Rottweiler is a large breed of dog that often stands 22–27 inches at the shoulder. They have a strong, well-developed frame with a broad chest, a powerful body, and a well-defined, moderately rounded head. The ears of a Rottweiler are medium-sized and pendant shaped, and the eyes are medium-sized and dark. The short and straight black coat has well-defined tan markings. These dogs may have their tails docked (partially removed) when they are puppies, though that practice is now banned or frowned upon in many countries.

rottweiler dog sitting on the grass outdoors
Image Credit: KevinSeibel, Unsplash

Grooming

Rottweilers are easy to groom and have a short, dense coat that sheds moderately year-round. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and distribute natural oils. Once or twice per week is usually enough, but you may need to do it more frequently during the shedding seasons in fall and spring. They rarely need a bath and should be good for 2–3 months unless they get into something dirty. You will also need to trim their nails every 4–6 weeks and clean their ears regularly using a dog-specific ear cleaner to reduce the risk of infections. Another important part of grooming your Rottweiler is brushing their teeth with pet-safe toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease.

Suitable For:

The Rottweiler is an active breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation, so they are ideal for active families and those with several members who can help them get enough exercise to stay healthy. They can also have a strong personality and may be best suited to experienced dog owners.

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Rhodesian Ridgeback Overview

close up of two rhodesian ridgeback puppies licking each other
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

The Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal and affectionate dogs that make great pets. They are protective of their owners and patient with children. However, they can be independent, which can cause them to spend a great deal of time off on an adventure and make it more difficult to keep focused during a training session. They can also be wary of strangers if you don’t socialize them with as many people as possible when they are still puppies.

Appearance

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large and muscular, usually standing 24–27 inches tall. The most distinctive feature of this breed is the ridge of hair that runs along their back in the opposite direction of the rest of the hair. Overall, they have a short, dense, and sleek coat that protects against the elements. The color may vary slightly, but the fur is usually a rich shade of reddish-brown. This dog has an expressive face, medium-sized dark eyes, and medium-sized ears that sit high on the head.

Rhodesian Ridgeback dog outdoors
Image By: Marry Kolesnik, Shutterstock

Grooming

Like the Rottweiler, grooming the Rhodesian Ridgeback is quite easy due to their short coat that only requires weekly brushing. You must be careful when brushing the distinctive ridge on their back to avoid damaging or altering it, though. Frequent nail trimmings, ear cleanings, and dental brushings are also important with this breed to help keep them healthy and happy.

Suitable For:

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a high-energy breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation, which makes them good for active families. They are also independent, which makes them best suited to experienced owners. However, when raised properly, they are excellent family pets and can adapt to various living environments. They are also smaller than Rottweilers, so they don’t need quite as much space.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a bit more active than Rottweilers. They are also more stubborn and independent, so they are likely better for experienced owners. Rottweilers also need plenty of exercise but are more eager to please, so they are easier to train, making them better for new pet owners as long as they can keep up with them. Both are affectionate, loyal, and protective and make great companions.

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Featured Image Credit: Top – RebeccasPictures, Pixabay | Bottom – Nina Quka, Pexels

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