Rhodesian Ridgeback

The fascinating ridge of hair that runs along the spine of a Rhodesian Ridgeback is the breed's trademark. Besides the large dog's athletic and dignified looks, the Rhodesian ridgeback is a dedicated protector and a loyal companion. The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated during the 1800s in Rhodesia, which is now called Zimbabwe and is located in South Africa. The dogs were developed by the Boer farmers to tolerate the African climate as they served as protectors of family and property and as hunters. Reverend Helm introduced the dogs to big game hunters, who utilized them on horseback lion hunting expeditions. The Rhodesian Ridgeback came to the United States in 1950. In 1955, the American Kennel Club recognized the Rhodesian Ridgeback as a member of the hound group.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is famous for the dark line, or ridge, that runs along its spine. It is an athletic, muscular dog that can run at great speed with great agility. It is strong and powerful, bred to hunt in the African Savannah. It has a short, glossy coat that needs minimal attention. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is large in stature, growing to a height of 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 70 and 85 pounds. The deep-chested breed is muscular. The ears hang downward, and the long, tapered tail also hangs downward. The coat is short with a glossy appearance. A characteristic ridge of hair grows in the opposite direction of the coat and runs along the spine. The color ranges from light wheaten to red wheaten, often with a small white patch on the chest. Personality: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a natural hunter and likes to trail and run outdoors. It needs daily mental and physical exercise in the form of long walks and vigorous play. It also makes a good jogging companion. This dog breed is very protective and makes a great guardian. It is good with children but may be too boisterous for small children. They are strong-willed and can be domineering. They are reserved with strangers and can get aggressive towards other dogs. A Rhodesian ridgeback is a dignified, gentle and loving companion. The dog barks minimally, but it is reserved toward strangers and fiercely protective of its family. The Rhodesian ridgeback can get along with feline housemates if the dog is raised with the cats from puppyhood. Stray cats are perceived as intruding prey. Most Rhodesian ridgebacks get along with other dogs, but they do best with dogs of the opposite sex. Rhodesian ridgebacks are independent thinkers, and they are confident and intelligent. This breed must receive early socialization and obedience training from an experienced and assertive dog owner. Most Rhodesian ridgebacks get along with children, but some children are intimidated by the dog's size, power and exuberance at playtime. Rhodesian ridgebacks are athletic dogs that thrive on playing and frolicking the backyard, and they make good hiking companions.

Rhodesian Ridgeback image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Africa
Function
Life Span
10-12 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
African lion hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Build Information

Size
Large
Length (Male)
22-27 in.
Length (Female)
22-24 in.
Weight
> 65 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is famous for the dark line, or ridge, that runs along his spine. He is an athletic, muscular dog that can run at great speed with great agility. He is strong and powerful, bred to hunt in the African Savannah. He has a short, glossy coat that needs minimal attention. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is large in stature, growing to a height of 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 70 and 85 pounds.

The deep-chested breed is muscular.

The ears hang downward, and the long, tapered tail also hangs downward. The coat is short with a glossy appearance. A characteristic ridge of hair grows in the opposite direction of the coat and runs along the spine. The color ranges from light wheaten to red wheaten, often with a small white patch on the chest.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a natural hunter and likes to trail and run outdoors. He needs daily mental and physical exercise in the form of long walks and vigorous play. He also makes a good jogging companion. This dog breed is very protective and makes a great guardian. He is good with children but may be too boisterous for small children. They are strong-willed and can be domineering. They are reserved with strangers and can get aggressive towards other dogs. A Rhodesian ridgeback is a dignified, gentle and loving companion.

The dog barks minimally, but he is reserved toward strangers and fiercely protective of his family.

The Rhodesian ridgeback can get along with feline housemates if the dog is raised with the cats from puppyhood. Stray cats are perceived as intruding prey. Most Rhodesian ridgebacks get along with other dogs, but they do best with dogs of the opposite sex. Rhodesian ridgebacks are independent thinkers, and they are confident and intelligent. This breed must receive early socialization and obedience training from an experienced and assertive dog owner. Most Rhodesian ridgebacks get along with children, but some children are intimidated by the dog's size, power and exuberance at playtime. Rhodesian ridgebacks are athletic dogs that thrive on playing and frolicking the backyard, and they make good hiking companions.

Appearance

Colors
Red Wheaten
Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Low Maintenance
Coat Type
Dense

The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires minimal grooming. Using a grooming mitt once a week will remove dead hair and maintain the coat's healthy sheen. Inspecting the ears should be a part of this weekly grooming ritual, and the ears should be kept clean and dry to prevent ear infections. Brushing the teeth three times a week will help to maintain optimal oral health and overall well-being.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Moderately easy to train
Hunting Companion
Yes
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
No
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
No
Fun with Lure Coursing
Yes
Obedient
No
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • This breed originated ridgeback originated in Rhodesia, Africa
  • The Rhodesian ridgeback is also called an African lion hound
  • It is a gentle and obedient companion and a devoted protector
  • The Rhodesian ridgeback stands 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 70 to 85 pounds
  • These dogs have moderate energy levels
  • The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires minimal grooming
  • The average lifespan for a Rhodesian Ridgeback is 10 to 12 years

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Rhodesian Ridgeback Training

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known as a highly trainable breed. The key in ensuring successful training with this breed is to attempt to get in all of their training by the time they are six months of age. If you accomplish all of your training goals prior to six months of age, this dog will be effectively trained and will likely not develop any future behavioral problems.

Common Health Conditions in Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Rhodesian Ridgebacks live an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. Some health conditions that are seen in Rhodesian ridgebacks include hypothyroidism, dermoid sinus, degenerative myelopathy, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, mast cell tumors, cataracts, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy and gastric torsion, or bloat.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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