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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Other Names:
Ridgeback, Lion Dog, African Lion Hound
Country of Origin:
South Africa
Dog Group:
  • Origin

    Records show that the Hottentots of South Africa used ridge-backed dogs as hunters and companions from at least the 15th century. They were bred as big game hunters, to track and trap the prey but not to attack. Once they had cornered their prey they would bark to alert the hunter. In the 1800’s European settlers bred these dogs to their own mastiffs and scent hounds thus producing the Ridgeback we know today. Nowadays few of these dogs are used for their original purpose of hunting; instead they are guard dogs and companions.

  • Description

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a medium sized, solid coloured, active dog with a short coat. These powerful, agile dogs have a distinctive ridge of hair along their backs. This ridge runs along the spine as a tapering line.

    They can be any self-colour from light wheaten to red wheaten.
    Coat Length
    Short Smooth
    Age Expectancy
    The average lifespan is 12 years.
    Weight/Height Range
    Dogs should measure between 63-67cms at the withers and weigh between 30-39kgs. Bitches should ideally measure between 61-66cms and weigh 30-39kgs.
    There are a few breed-specific problems and choosing a pup from healthy stock will reduce the possibility of these arising. These problems include hip dysplasia, OCD and sinus problems.
    Common Ailments
    Bones (Developmental) - Hip dysplasia, Bones (Developmental) - OCD, Dermoid Sinus
    Breed Classification
    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a member of the hound group. They were originally bred for hunting big game; today they are guard dogs and companions.
  • Feeding & Ownership

    The Ridgeback is an undemanding dog to feed with no special dietary requirements; they generally have a good appetite.

    Food Cost
    $15 to $20
  • Personality

    The Ridgeback is a strong, powerful, large and bold dog. They make an excellent family dog, with their dignified and gentlemanly character. They have to know from an early age who the leader of the pack is, because they can be quite determined and stubborn. Although quite placid and confident at home, they are very wary of strangers. Not the ideal breed for the novice owner.

    They have been said to be a difficult breed to train, however with plenty of time and effort put into the training then the rewards will be seen. It is essential that this dog is socialised and introduced to some basic training as young as possible
    Suitability for Children
    Tendency to Bark
    Overall Exercise Requirement
    As a breed the Ridgeback does not require a great deal of exercise, an hour a day will suffice, however they are always ready for more if given the opportunity.
    Suitability as a Guard Dog
    Ease of Transportation
    Level of Aggression
    Other Animal Compatibility
  • Grooming

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an easy breed to groom. Their shorthaired coats can be groomed using a rubber-grooming mitt once or twice a week.

    Grooming Requirements
    Once a week
    Trimming Required
    Amount of hair shed
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