Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- One of the most distinguishing features of a Rhodesian Ridgeback is, of course, the ridge down its back. This is formed by two whorls behind the shoulder with the marking reducing to nothing by the time it is level with the hips. Besides this, Ridgebacks are muscular, strong and active with a handsome appearance and short sleek coats.Coat is short, dense, and should remain glossy and sleek. Silky coat not desired.
- Other Names:Ridgeback, Lion Dog, African Lion Hound
- Country Of Origin:Spain
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Hound
- Light wheaten to red wheaten.
- Ridgebacks are intelligent, strong willed and gentle but can be wary of strangers although this should not translate in to aggression. 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. This hunting breed does well in home life, and is very loyal. An overall good companion and is very straightforward. The Rhodesian Ridgeback can be shy and reserved around strangers, and needs extensive obedience training.
- Straight and active.
- Care and training:
- Average shedding, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is easy to groom. A wipe down with a washcloth or dry towel will suffice and remove some loose hair. Bathing only when necessary, this breed's coat does not trap dirt well and is generally clean.
Training must be gentle with this breed and start at an early age to avoid any further difficulties. The Rhodesian Ridgeback should have a firm handler, yet gentle training. Training must be consistent and straightforward if this breed is to excel. Good for watch dogging and hunting purposes. Hunting suits this breed very well.It is essential that this dog is socialised and introduced to some basic training as young as possible
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day.
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.
- Feeding Requirements:
- The Ridgeback is an undemanding dog to feed with no special dietary requirements; they generally have a good appetite
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:High
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:High
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:5
- Life Expectancy (yrs):8-13
- Health issues:
- Hip dysplasia, dermoid sinus, and osteochondrosis.
- Named after the country of Rhodesia which is now Zimbabwe, they were once called the African Lion Dog as they would, according to myth, hunt lions and other big game in packs. The use of hunting lions is a myth, but the breed was used most often to hunt large game, and to keep lions at bay until a hunter could get close enough to shoot it. They would distract the prey, keep it at bay and bark until their owner arrived. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are thought to have come with the Khoikoi, or Hottentot tribe, from Northern Africa into Southern Africa. They were the dog kept by these people to bring down large game. Rhodesian Ridgebacks were developed from crossing the local dog (the African Hottentot Hunting Dog, owned by the Hottentot people) who had a distinctive ridge of hair growing in the reverse direction along their back ,to the Pointer, Mastiff, Greyhound and Bulldog that were brought over by Dutch and German settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries. Anthropologists believe that a dog existed as far back as 1505 that had a ridge growing along its back, and that was of extreme loyalty. After the eventual new breed that formed from the Hottentot dogs and the Bulldog, Pointer, Mastiff, and Greyhound, the Reverend Helm brought some of these mixes to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), which was a popular big game hunting site in the 1870s.