Ridgeback x Rottweiler (The Differences)

If you know about Africa in the 1800s – 1900s, you know that Zimbabwe was known as Southern Rhodesia. Therefore, the Rhodesian Ridgeback comes from Zimbabwe. On the flip side, the Rottweiler is a dog breed made in Germany. The two dogs share height details, but you will find some differences between them.

In terms of lifespan, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has three more years to its life than the Rottweiler. But the Rottweiler is heavy, bearing more than 41 pounds (19 kg) more weight than a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Moreover, the females of the two breeds deliver almost the same number of puppies. Also, both dogs do not need a lot of maintenance, mainly because their coats are significantly short.

This read presents you with the differences between the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Rottweiler. This will be done against the following variables: history, physical description, temperament, and health issues.

Now, let me see you to and in the last period.

The Nitty-Gritty Details

A Boiled-Down Contrast, Table Style

VariableRhodesian RidgebackRottweiler
GroupHound DogWorking Dog
Male HeightBetween 24 and 28 inchesBetween 24 and 28 inches
Female HeightBetween 24 and 28 inchesBetween 22 and 25 inches
Male WeightBetween 59 and 91 poundsBetween 110 and 113 pounds
Female WeightBetween 59 and 91 poundsBetween 77 and 106 pounds
LifespanBetween 10 and 14 yearsBetween 8 and 11 years

History Of The Breeds

1. The Rhodesian Ridgeback

As captured, this dog comes from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). Essentially, it was bred as a hunting dog, but it also doubles up as a home guard dog. One F. R. Barnes is credited for organizing and drafting the breed standard after crossing with other European dogs. Since Europe had acquired African territories, the settlers came in with their dog breeds (Terriers, Greyhounds, Bloodhounds). These exotic European breeds mixed with the African ones.

In the United States, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club was founded in 1957. This should tell you that the dog had already made its way across oceans and into the Americas.

2. The Rottweiler

This dog breed has a more sophisticated story of origin. A belief is held that the dog was a breed of the Roman cattle dogs. In 74 AD, the Roman Empire (which had span across Europe) placed a camp in Germany, and the area where the camp stood was called das Rote Wil.

Moving into the Middle Ages, the Rottie (as it is informally known) was used as a hunting and herder dog – much like the Australian Shepherd.

Rottweilers’ story developed in 1899 when a club was formed to create the breeding standards for Rotties and Leonbergers. Getting into the 20th Century, the Rottweilers played vital roles in both World Wars.

By the 1920s, many local Rottweiler clubs had been formed in Germany. Those clubs joined to form a bigger club, the ADRK – Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub. Moving into 1931, the dog got recognized by the AKC, and in 2013, it got into the top-10 most popular dog breeds in America.

Dog Breeds Description

1. The Rhodesian Ridgeback

The second part of this dog’s name – Ridgeback – points out the most noticeable feature of this dog. It has a ridge of hairs that make their way along the dog’s back. The dog’s coat is anything between brown and reddish tan and is smoothly short.

The dog’s face bears an intelligently alert look, and it has an athletic build and a slender shape. It has a long broad tail that matches its floppy ears. As a large dog, expect it to stand up to 69 cm tall and weigh up to 41 kg.

But does the athletic build of this dog match its activity levels? Well, no, since the dog is not very active. In terms of exercise, it will only require a simple walk each day coupled up with ball-rope games.

The dog is confident, strong, and quietly gentle. It has a strong will and has inclinations to operate independently, much like the Shiba Inu and the Maltese

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is easy to train and is relaxed around children. However, you shouldn’t allow toddlers to climb over it; it can snap.

2. The Rottweiler

These are big dogs that are willing to obey and have a particular eagerness to work. But they can be intimidating to people who are not used to big dogs.

For the dog to be obedient and calm around people, it will need proper socialization. The dog has a lot of energy and is very curious about its environment. If the doorbell rings, a Rottweiler will start pacing and wagging its tail. As it is a watchdog, it can even bite or nibble a stranger. So, always put it on a leash and keep its movements in check.

Like the Australian Shepherds, these German machines are perfect herders. Depending on the situation, a Rottweiler will adjust its bark and help the herder do its business.

Unlike the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Rottweiler has a ton of energy to dispense.

Health Issues Affecting The Breeds

1. The Rhodesian Ridgeback

Generally speaking, this breed consists of robustly healthy dogs. However, they have their share of some dog illnesses. To avoid a ‘defective’ Rhodesian Ridgeback, be advised to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Here are some of the issues:

Hip Dysplasia

This condition involves the thighbone and the hip joint, where the latter fails to fit correctly into the former. The disease is hereditary, meaning that you need to know the condition of the puppy’s parents.


Bloating involves the accumulation of gases. The stomach becomes inflated and painful enough to even explored. The condition is life-threatening, meaning that you need to have a vet on speed dial.

To prevent bloating, feed the dog in smaller portions rather than in large chunks.

When the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s stomach starts to swell, you will see it becoming hard. The dog will also try to vomit and act restlessly.

Conditions like volvulus and canine bloat are killers since the gas accumulation gets the stomach twisted. Not a good thing – at all!

2. The Rottweiler

For the Rottweiler, some of the ailments likely to affect its eyes are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and Cataracts. Both dogs can develop joint issues like Panosteitis, Elbow Dysplasia, and Hip Dysplasia.

Also, the Rottie is susceptible to developing Von Willebrand’s Diseases, Aortic Stenosis, and other problems of the circulatory system.

An Issue Worth Noting: Hair Fall

The Rottweiler is a short-haired dog, and so, many people do not think that it sheds. But note that the dog has a double coat – a top coat and an undercoat. The topcoat is the rougher, more visible one, and the undercoat is not seen at first glance. The undercoat helps keep the dog warm during winter and sheds, mainly during the winter and spring seasons.

But not to worry – regularly brushing the dog’s coat should take care of everything.

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