Rhodesian Ridgeback vs German Shepherd

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are best for pet parents with large homes who love frequent outdoor adventuring. Rhodesians have very sweet and doting traits, making them the perfect four-legged addition for experienced pet parent families.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a gentle, affectionate, caring and dignified temperament. They are independent-minded, but are very loving and loyal toward their two-legged friends and family. Rhodesians rarely show any aggression toward humans. They are generally compatible with other dogs, too, especially if they’ve been in the same household fro...

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a gentle, affectionate, caring and dignified temperament. They are independent-minded, but are very loving and loyal toward their two-legged friends and family. Rhodesians rarely show any aggression toward humans. They are generally compatible with other dogs, too, especially if they’ve been in the same household from an early age. However, they have been known to rise to a challenge and stand their ground in a doggy disagreement, particularly with those of the same gender.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed has low biting tendencies as adults, although as a puppy, they can be quite nippy. Overall, they’re incredibly smart and intuitive. Ridgebacks assimilate information easily with a strong leader (that’s you!) and can be protective of children and other pack members (human or animal), making them ideal guard dogs with a strong bite force. They bark to alert people of danger and threatening situations, but they do not bite or attack unless provoked.

Because they were bred to hunt lions, they have a strong prey drive toward smaller animals that aren’t their own species. In other words: Cats aren’t going to be your Rhodesian’s BFF—rather, these dogs will likely chase them down.

Rhodesians are extremely friendly with people once they get to know them; they can be reserved with strangers. This dog breed is also highly perceptive and sensitive to peoples’ energies. They can be great with kids, but early interactions with them from puppyhood is important. As with most powerful breeds, and dogs in general, you should supervise playtime around toddlers and young children. Rhodesians will be more protective of softer personalities, particularly children and the elderly.

Since they require regular exercise and, because of their prey drive, can be overly curious at times, this breed may frustrate a first-time dog parent. They’re better suited for an active parent who has experience training dogs.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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