Everything about Rhodesian Collie – a Border Collie Ridgeback Mix Guide

The Rhodesian Collie mix is a captivating blend of the Rhodesian Ridgeback and Border Collie breeds. It inherits intelligence, athleticism, loyalty, and versatility from its parent breeds. The Rhodesian Ridgeback contributes strength and a distinctive ridge of hair, while the Border Collie brings herding instincts and a strong desire to please.

This mix excels as a family pet, working dog, or outdoor companion, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an intelligent, devoted, and active companion.

Characteristics of Rhodesian Collie

The extraordinary Rhodesian Collie is the result of blending the Rhodesian Ridgeback with Border Collie. This crossbreed possesses an abundance of vitality and zest, necessitating ample daily exercise to satisfy its energetic nature. The Rhodesian Collie showcases a remarkable blend of loyalty, intelligence, and playfulness, making it an exceptional companion for active individuals or families seeking a spirited and engaging four-legged friend.

These remarkable canines typically grow into medium to large-sized dogs, inheriting the protective and vigilant instincts of their Rhodesian Ridgeback parent. With an innate ability to guard and watch over their loved ones, these dogs instill a sense of security and reassurance in their human companions. Their keen senses, sharp intellect, and unwavering devotion create a steadfast and trustworthy companion for those fortunate enough to share their lives with these remarkable mixed breeds.

Breed TypeHybrid
SizeMedium to Large
Other NamesRhodesian Collie
Excellent GuardYes, particularly if they inherit their Ridgeback parent's protective instincts
Average WeightRanges from 30 to 85 Pounds
Average HeightStands at an average height of 18 to 27 Inches
LifespanApproximately 10 to 15 years
Apartment LivingNot recommended
Ideal forHomes with secure, fenced-in yards, households in search of a watchdog, individuals seeking an energetic companion, and active families with older children will find this breed well-suited to their needs
CoatMedium-length coat
ColorsComes in various hues including black, white, and brown

History of Rhodesian Collie

The origins of the Rhodesian Collie, the crossbreed of a Border Collie and a Rhodesian Ridgeback, are shrouded in mystery, as historical records regarding its development are scarce. However, delving into the histories of its parent breeds, the Border Collie and the Rhodesian Ridgeback, can offer valuable insights into the emergence of this unique hybrid.

The Border Collie, hailing from the English-Scottish border, was selectively bred for herding and managing sheep under challenging conditions. Renowned for their intense gaze and exceptional herding abilities, it continued to be relied upon by families worldwide for their remarkable skills.

In contrast, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, often referred to as the African Lion Dog, originated in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in Southern Africa. Originally bred as hunting dogs, they earned their reputation for fearlessly tracking and confronting lions. Alongside their hunting prowess, these dogs were also employed as formidable guard dogs, exhibiting unwavering courage and vigilance. Their distinct physical feature, a ridge along their spines, lent them their name.


brown Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are notable for their impressive stature and robust physique. Classified as a large and muscular breed, they possess a distinctive ridge of fur along their back, a distinguishing feature attributed to a genetic mutation. In contrast, Border Collies belong to the medium-sized category and are celebrated for their exceptional intelligence and innate herding instincts.

When these two breeds are crossbred, the resulting puppies may exhibit a range of sizes and appearances, showcasing the inherent diversity of hybrid offspring. However, it is common for them to inherit the athletic build and remarkable intelligence characteristic of both parent breeds.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback and Border Collie mix combines the strength and physical presence of the former with the intellectual prowess and natural herding abilities of the latter. This combination yields a unique blend of traits that can vary from one individual to another.

The resulting puppies may possess a mix of the defining features, including the muscular frame of the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the sharp intelligence and herding instincts of the Border Collie.

Size, Height & Weight

A mixed breed between a Border Collie and a Rhodesian Ridgeback can be expected to have a medium to large size. In terms of height, the offspring may range between 21 to 27 inches, depending on the genetic influence from each parent. The weight of the mixed breed can vary significantly, with males potentially weighing anywhere from 45 to 90 pounds and females ranging from 42 to 70 pounds.

Coats & Colors

A mixed breed between a Border Collie and a Rhodesian Ridgeback may display a variety of coat colors and patterns. The Border Collie parent contributes a wide range of color possibilities including solid colors, bicolor and merle patterns.


  • Black
  • Blue
  • Gold
  • Lilac
  • Red
  • Brindle
  • Sable


  • White and black
  • White and blue
  • White and red

Merle Pattern

  • White and red merle
  • Blue merle
  • Red merle
  • Sable merle
  • White and blue merle

On the other hand, the Rhodesian Ridgeback parent typically has a short and low-maintenance coat that comes in a single color known as wheaten.

The Rhodesian Collie may inherit a combination of these coat characteristics. They could exhibit a range of colors and patterns, including variations of wheaten, black, blue, brindle, and merle, potentially with white markings or other non-standard colors.

The specific appearance of the coat and eye color may vary among individual mixed breed dogs. It is important to note that coat color and pattern are determined by genetic inheritance and can be influenced by various factors. As a result, the actual appearance of the mixed breed’s coat may vary within the range of possibilities inherited from the Border Collie and Rhodesian Ridgeback parent breeds.

Personality & Temperament of Rhodesian Collie

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Border Collie Mix combines the traits of both parent breeds, resulting in a dog with a unique personality and temperament. As a hound and herding mix, this dog will have high energy levels and a natural inclination for activities such as hunting, herding, and guarding. They are courageous and confident, showcasing their innate instincts.

In terms of temperament, the mixed breed is known to be loyal, loving, and affectionate towards their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and can be highly devoted companions. However, it is important to note that they may exhibit a high prey drive inherited from the Rhodesian Ridgeback parent, which stems from their history of chasing lions. Additionally, the Ridgeback Collie mix may display tracking and baying behaviors similar to other hounds.


The Rhodesian Collie inherits intelligence from both parent breeds, making them highly intelligent dogs. The Border Collie is widely recognized as one of the smartest dog breeds. They are known for their remarkable ability to learn and retain a large number of words and commands. Similarly, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is also highly intelligent but possesses a strong-willed and independent streak. Training this breed requires patience, consistency, and positive motivation from a young age to prevent them from becoming domineering or troublesome.

As a result, the Rhodesian Collie is expected to exhibit exceptional intelligence. They are quick learners who excel in tasks that challenge their minds. Their intelligence allows them to understand and follow commands, making training them a rewarding experience. Mental stimulation through interactive toys, puzzles, and obedience training will help keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.


The Rhodesian Collie inherits a high energy level from both parent breeds. The Border Collie is renowned for its exceptional energy and athleticism. They require daily exercise beyond just a leisurely walk and thrive when given a job to do and space to run. Similarly, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also known for their high energy levels, which persist into adulthood. They require a significant amount of exercise to release their energy and stay mentally and physically stimulated.

Consequently, the Rhodesian Collie will require substantial exercise to meet their energy requirements. They will thrive in environments where they have ample opportunities for physical activities and mental stimulation. Regular walks, runs, interactive play sessions, and engaging in activities that tap into their natural instincts, such as agility or herding games, will help keep them physically fit and mentally satisfied.

Family & Kids

The Rhodesian Collie can be suitable for families with older children who understand how to interact with a high-energy and strong-willed dog. Considering the Border Collie parent’s excitable nature, it is generally advised that children in the household should be at least 6 years old.

Similarly, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally good with children, but it is important for both the child and the dog to learn how to behave around one another. Ridgebacks are naturally protective of children and other household members.

It is crucial to supervise interactions between the Rhodesian Collie and young children to ensure the safety and well-being of both. Proper training and socialization from an early age are important to establish appropriate behavior around children. Teaching children how to respect and interact with the dog in a gentle and responsible manner is also essential.

Other Animals

The Rhodesian Collie may exhibit a range of behaviors when it comes to interactions with other animals. The Border Collie parent breed may have a tendency to be reserved or cautious around other dogs initially. This is due to their strong herding instincts, which are deeply ingrained in their nature.

Meanwhile, the Rhodesian Ridgeback parent breed can be accepting of other pets if they are raised together. If the mixed breed is properly socialized and introduced to other animals from a young age, they are more likely to be tolerant and accepting.

Considering the potential traits inherited from both parent breeds, it is important to introduce the Rhodesian Collie to other animals gradually and under controlled circumstances. Early socialization and ongoing training are key to promoting positive interactions. It is crucial to monitor their behavior and ensure the safety of all animals involved.


The Rhodesian Collie may exhibit a range of behaviors when it comes to interactions with strangers. The Border Collie parent breed is generally good with strangers and can make a friendly family pet. Their high intelligence makes them easy to train, and with proper training, they are usually well-behaved. On the other hand, the Rhodesian Ridgeback parent breed tends to be more standoffish around strangers. Early socialization is crucial to prevent aggression and territorial behavior.

Given the potential combination of traits, the Rhodesian Collie may exhibit a variety of behaviors towards strangers. Proper socialization from an early age is important to ensure they are well-adjusted and comfortable in various social situations.

It is recommended to provide clear boundaries and consistent training to shape their behavior and promote positive interactions with strangers.

Do Rhodesian Collie Bark a Lot?

The Rhodesian Collie may exhibit varied barking tendencies, influenced by the parent breeds. Border Collies, known for being visually stimulated, are generally considered a barking breed. Conversely, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not known for excessive or unnecessary barking. Well-trained Ridgebacks are typically not nuisance barkers.

The Rhodesian Collie may have a moderate tendency to bark. However, the specific barking behavior can vary depending on individual traits and training. Early training and socialization can help establish appropriate barking habits and minimize excessive barking.

Are Rhodesian Collie good for Newbie Dog Owners?

Considering the characteristics of both parent breeds, the Rhodesian Collie is likely to be a high-energy, intelligent, and potentially strong-willed dog. They may require extensive training, mental stimulation, and physical exercise to keep them balanced and fulfilled. The mix is better suited for experienced dog owners who have the knowledge, time, and dedication to meet their needs.

They are not typically recommended for newbie dog owners due to the potential challenges associated with their parent breeds. It is important to assess your own experience, lifestyle, and commitment to training and exercise before considering this mixed breed.

Training & Exercise of Border Collie Ridgeback Mix

The mixed breed of Rhodesian Ridgeback and Border Collie is known for its high energy and intelligence, which requires a consistent training and exercise regimen. This breed is quick to learn, but they can also exhibit stubbornness and independence, necessitating patient and consistent training methods. It is recommended that an experienced dog owner take on the responsibility of training this breed, as they require a significant investment of time and effort.

When it comes to exercise, the Rhodesian Collie is an active dog that needs ample physical activity. Prospective owners should be prepared to provide dedicated attention and time to meet their exercise needs. A minimum of two hours of exercise per day is recommended, which can include activities such as:

  • Long walks
  • Runs
  • Playing fetch or frisbee
  • Swimming
  • Engaging in agility training

Regular visits to the dog park can also contribute to their exercise routine.

Taking Care & Maintenance

high energy Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Collie can be expected to have moderate grooming needs. Regular brushing and occasional baths are typically sufficient to keep their coats in good condition. When it comes to grooming practices, it is important to start early with regular handling and grooming to ensure the mixed breed is comfortable with the process.

Some individual dogs may be sensitive or resistant to specific grooming tasks, such as nail trimming. Patience and gradual introduction to grooming practices can help alleviate any resistance.

Health of Border Collie Ridgeback Mix

When considering the health of a Rhodesian Collie, it is important to be aware of the potential health issues that may arise from both parent breeds.

While the Border Collie is generally a healthy breed, they can be prone to conditions such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, deafness, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and trapped neutrophil syndrome. On the other hand, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is also generally healthy, but they may be susceptible to hip and elbow evaluations, thyroid conditions, heart conditions, and eye anomalies.

As a result, it is important to understand that the mixed breed offspring may inherit health issues from either parent breed.

Diet & Nutrition

When it comes to the diet and nutrition of a Rhodesian Collie, it is important to consider the specific dietary needs of both parent breeds.

The Border Collie benefits from a balanced diet that may include raw meat, raw vegetables, fish, muscle meats, and dairy products. Similarly, the Rhodesian Ridgeback requires a high-quality diet that includes adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids. Feeding them high-quality dog food rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contributes to their overall health and can enhance the shine of their coat.

For the mixed breed offspring, it is essential to provide a balanced and nutritious diet that meets their individual needs. Consulting with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist can help determine the appropriate dietary requirements based on their age, size, activity level, and overall health.

Life Span

Based on the average lifespans of the parent breeds, the estimated life span of a Rhodesian Collie may range from approximately 10 to 15 years. However, it’s important to remember that this is just an estimate, and individual dogs may vary. Factors such as genetics, health, diet, exercise, and overall care can influence the lifespan of any dog, including mixed breeds.

Health Issues

The Rhodesian Collie may inherit certain health issues that are commonly seen in both parent breeds. While responsible breeders aim to maintain breed standards and minimize health conditions, it is important to be aware of potential hereditary concerns. Some health issues that may affect the mixed breed include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal formation of the hip sockets.
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD): Abnormal development of cartilage on the ends of bones.
  • Epilepsy: Neurological disease characterized by seizures.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: Inherited disease that can impair vision but is usually mild in Border Collies. Screening by breeders can help detect this condition.

Grooming of Border Collie – Rhodesian Ridgeback Hybrid

Proper grooming is essential for maintaining the appearance and well-being of a Rhodesian Collie. Here are some grooming tips specific to this mix:

  • Bathing: A Rhodesian Collie generally requires a bath every three months, unless they frequently get dirty due to their active nature. When bathing, use a mild dog shampoo and ensure thorough rinsing to keep their coat clean and fresh.
  • Brushing: Regular brushing is important for this mix to prevent matting and tangles. Aim to brush their coat at least once a week, if not more frequently.
  • Ear Cleaning: Choose a suitable ear cleaner specifically formulated for dogs and carefully clean the visible parts of your dog’s ears.
  • Dental Care: Maintaining good oral hygiene is vital, so make sure to brush your Rhodesian Ridgeback Border Collie’s teeth regularly.

Do they Shed A Lot?

Rhodesian Collie can vary in their shedding tendencies depending on the individual dog and the characteristics inherited from their parent breeds. As the Border Collie parent breed has a long-haired double coat, it is likely that the hybrid may experience significant shedding.

Border Collies tend to shed a lot throughout the year, and shedding can increase during seasonal changes, particularly in the fall and spring. Rhodesian Ridgebacks, on the other hand, are not heavy shedders. They typically have a low amount of shedding, similar to most dogs.

Considering these factors, it is reasonable to expect that a Rhodesian Collie may exhibit a moderate amount of shedding. Regular brushing can help minimize loose hair and keep the coat in good condition. Additionally, providing proper nutrition and regular grooming practices can contribute to the overall health of the coat and potentially reduce shedding.

Male vs Female Rhodesian Collie

When it comes to Rhodesian Collie offspring, there may be some notable differences between males and females. Male mixes tend to display higher levels of energy and a task-oriented mindset, inherited from both the Border Collie and Rhodesian Ridgeback parent breeds. They may exhibit a strong drive for physical activities and tasks.

On the other hand, female mixes often demonstrate increased loyalty, attentiveness, and trainability. They may possess a heightened sense of loyalty towards their owners and a strong focus on human interaction.

It’s important to remember that individual characteristics can vary, and the upbringing and training of the mixed breed will also influence their behavior and personality. Spending time with both male and female offspring can help prospective owners determine which traits align better with their preferences and lifestyle.

Cost of Breeding a Rhodesian Collie

When considering the cost of owning a Rhodesian Collie, it’s important to factor in the expenses associated with both parent breeds.

A Border Collie puppy typically ranges from $300 to $1,000, while a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy can cost between $600 and $2,000. The average cost for a Rhodesian Collie is estimated to be around $750 to $1,500. First-year expenses for the mix breed are projected to be around $3,500, with annual costs averaging at $1,500 thereafter.

Over the dog’s lifetime, which is typically around 10 to 12 years, the average cost of owning a Rhodesian Collie can amount to approximately $15,000 to $18,000. These costs include essential items such as supplies, training, medical expenses, food, grooming, and licensing.

Optional expenses like pet insurance, additional services, and spaying/neutering may increase the overall cost.


When considering adopting a Rhodesian Collie puppy, the average price typically ranges between $800 and $1,500. However, the cost may vary depending on factors such as the puppy’s age, gender, quality, pedigree, and the breeder’s location.

Some top-quality mixed breed puppies can be priced higher, reaching $3,500 or more. On the other hand, lower-priced puppies can sometimes be found for around $600. It’s important to research and connect with reputable breeders to ensure you are getting a healthy and well-cared-for puppy.

Breeders & Shelters

When considering the adoption of a Rhodesian Collie puppy, it’s important to explore different avenues such as rescue organizations and shelters. The cost of adopting a mixed breed puppy can vary depending on factors such as location and the organization involved. On average, the adoption fee for a Rhodesian Collie puppy from a rescue or shelter ranges from $200 to $500.

It is crucial to note that the availability and pricing of mixed breed puppies may vary. Conducting thorough research and contacting reputable shelters or rescue groups can help in finding a suitable Rhodesian Collie puppy.

Conclusion: Is a Border Collie Ridgeback Mix Right For You?

Rhodesian Collie mix presents an exceptional blend of traits that make it an excellent choice for individuals or families seeking a canine companion. This mix combines intelligence, athleticism, loyalty, and versatility, making it well-suited for an active lifestyle that offers abundant opportunities for physical exercise and mental stimulation.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge the time commitment required from the owner when considering a Rhodesian Collie mix. Their high energy levels and intelligence necessitate consistent exercise, training, and mental enrichment to ensure their engagement and fulfillment. While prior experience with dogs can be advantageous, it is not a prerequisite for owning this mix. Individuals of various levels of expertise can successfully care for and cherish the companionship of a Rhodesian Collie mix with patience, dedication, and a willingness to provide the essential time and attention.

If you are prepared to embark on an exciting journey with a smart, active, and loyal companion, the Rhodesian Collie mix may be the ideal addition to your family.

Leave a Comment