Rhodesian Ridgeback


The Ridgeback originated in South Africa in the early 18th century. Boer settlers bred their Great Danes, Mastiffs and other hounds to the dogs of the Khoikhoi people. The African dogs were known for their distinctive ridge of hair along the back. Big game hunters in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, used the crossbred dogs to distract lions they were hunting.This is why they were originally called African Lion Hounds. By the time they were introduced into the United States in 1950, the dogs were called Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Physical Traits
The ridge of hair along the back of the dog is noticeable because it grows in the opposite direction than the hairs on the rest of the body. This short-haired dog typically has a reddish coat. This muscular dog averages 24″ to 27″ in height and 80 to 90 pounds in weight. It has a long muzzle capped by a black or brown nose. Framed by floppy ears, the head is flat. The lifespan of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is ten to twenty years. Like any dog breed, they have a higher risk of developing certain medical conditions. These relatively uncommon disorders include hypothyroidism, dermoid sinus, degenerative myelopathy, bloat and hip dysplasia.
Puppies are rambunctious and curious. Their love of chewing can cause a lot of destruction. They are not recommended for small children simply because of their size and enthusiastic nature. They are a dog that needs training and socialization from an early age. Despite their willful nature, they are overly sensitive to harsh training and discipline. They are tolerant of cats they are raised with. As adults, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are have a quiet temperament. They are cool toward strangers and protective of their owners. The dogs have a voracious appetite.They are susceptible to obesity without proper diet control. An intelligent breed, they need exercise daily to prevent bad behaviors stemming from boredom. Overall, the Rhodesian Ridgeback will offer many years of love and devotion.

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