Rhodesian Bernard

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90-105 lbs
25-27"
Unknown
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Saint Bernard

A large dog with an average weight of 90 to 130 pounds, the Rhodesian Bernard is a cross between a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Saint Bernard. Both parent breeds are intelligent, loyal, sweet and gentle, though since both breeds can on occasion be stubborn, training should begin very early. Fortunately, both breeds desire to please their humans, which will be helpful when training is taking place. Regardless of the coat that the Rhodesian Bernard inherits, maintenance will not be difficult. As both parent breeds do well with children, the hybrid likely will as well, though due to the likely size of the dog, supervision while around small children is important.

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Rhodesian Ridgeback and Saint Bernard

Rhodesian Bernard Health

Average Size
Height: 26-29 inches Weight: 110-130 lbs
Height: 25-27 inches Weight: 90-105 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Distichiasis
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Dermoid Sinus
  • Heart Conditions
  • Wobbler's Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Deafness
  • Cataracts
  • Pyotraumatic Dermatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Hearing
  • Heart
  • Thyroid Tests
  • Blood And Urine Analysis

Rhodesian Bernard Breed History

The Rhodesia Bernard is a relatively new hybrid, though the two breeds that make the hybrid have long histories. European dogs like the Great Danes, Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Pointers, Greyhounds, Terriers, and more were brought with the Dutch Boers when they settled in South Africa in the 16th to 18th centuries. During the 18th century, the Boers figured out that the dogs that they used for hunting and guarding were not well suited for the extremes of temperatures that occurred. Seeking a dog that would do well in such conditions, they bred the European dogs that they brought with a dog that was common among the Hottentots or Khoikhoi tribes that were close by and who had a particular ridge of fur along his spine. The dogs that were developed had short hair and the ridge of the tribal dog. These dogs were good at hunting by sign and scent and worked as protectors and hunters. These dogs were brought with the Dutch in the 1800’s when they moved north to escape the rules of the British, settling in Zimbabwe, which was they called Rhodesia. When there, the dogs were used to hunt lions. The breed was brought to London in the 1930’s and then to America, where it was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1955. The Saint Bernard is believed to be the result of dogs native to the Alps being crossed with Mastiff like dogs that were brought by the Roman army during Emperor Augustus’ rule. “Saint Bernard” comes from the breeds founder, St. Bernard de Menthon as well as the monks that were part of its establishment. Dogs of the breed were used by the Switzerland Hospice St. Bernard to help travellers who were going through the treacherous Alpine pass between Switzerland and Italy. The initial Saint Bernard dogs had short hair and in the mid 1600’s dogs of the breed were the top choice for rescue work, as a result of being able to smell a person that has been buried by snow from an avalanche. It has been said that the Saint Bernard can predict storms and avalanches as a result of being able to hear sounds of very low frequency.

Rhodesian Bernard Breed Appearance

The Rhodesian Bernard will inherit traits from both of his parent breeds; as with all mixed breeds, you can anticipate that he may inherit more physical characteristics from one or the other parent breeds, or a relatively equal combination of traits from each breed. Based on the size of his parent breeds, the Rhodesian Bernard will be a large dog with strong legs. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a ridge of hair along the spine in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat, which may be inherited by the hybrid. The coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is short and dense, while the Saint Bernard can have a rough or smooth coat, either of which are dense, traits that can be passed on to the hybrid. Should the rough coat be passed on, the hair will be longer than in the case of the smooth coat. The Rhodesian Ridgeback as a head of medium length, a flat skull and long muzzle. The Saint Bernard has a very large head and a short muzzle; the Rhodesian Bernard can inherit any or a combination of these traits from the parent breeds.
Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
Red
Fawn
Black
Brindle
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Rhodesian Bernard Breed Maintenance

Maintenance of your Rhodesian Bernard will depend upon the coat that he inherits. Little grooming will be required should your dog inherit a coat similar to that of the Rhodesian Ridgeback; brushing his fur once or twice a week will be sufficient. A shedding tool will be helpful, particularly during times of excessive shedding. If your dog inherits the smooth or rough coat of the Saint Bernard, grooming will be easy as well, requiring regular brushing with a firm bristle brush. Regardless of the coat that your dog inherits, bathing should occur on occasion. The ears of your Rhodesian Bernard should be cleaned and dried regularly to avoid infection and catch it early should one occur. The nails of your dog should be trimmed as needed and his teeth should be brushed two to three times per week in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Brushes for Rhodesian Bernard
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Rhodesian Bernard Temperament

The Rhodesian Bernard will inherit his behavioral traits from his parent breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Saint Bernard. Both breeds are intelligent, loyal, sweet and gentle, despite their large size.  Each of the parent breeds can be stubborn, therefore training of the hybrid should begin when he is young; without it some Rhodesian Ridgebacks may cause trouble and the size of the Saint Bernard means he could unintentionally cause harm without training. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is described as even-tempered and while he will be suspicious of strangers, he will be affectionate with his humans. The Rhodesian Bernard will likely do well with children, though small children should be supervised due to the size of the breed. As both parent breeds seek to please their humans, the hybrid likely will as well.

Rhodesian Bernard Activity Requirements

The activity requirements of the Rhodesian Bernard will vary by the particular dog. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an athletic and strong breed that will require a large amount of exercise. He will benefit from daily walks or runs and enjoy playing games with his humans. A dog of the breed can be a successful hunter, show dog and competitor in dog sports and trials. The Saint Bernard does not require a large amount of activity and should your dog inherit the coat of his Saint Bernard parent he could easily overheat, so it is important that he not exert a lot of energy in particularly hot weather. He will however, enjoy spending time in the snow. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Rhodesian Bernard Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.5 cups
Daily Cost
$2.8 - $3
Monthly Cost
$80 - $90

Rhodesian Bernard Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 60 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 48 lbs
12 Months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 115 lbs
Height: 25 inches Weight: 92 lbs
18 Months
Height: 27 inches Weight: 120 lbs
Height: 26 inches Weight: 97 lbs

Rhodesian Bernard Owner Experiences

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