(Ridgeback, Lion Dog, African Lion Hound) The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a well-balanced dog with an overall appearance that denotes strength, agility, and athleticism. Adults of this breed are handsome, upstanding, and dignified. They have a strong neck and a moderately wide chest that is very deep. Their ribs are fairly well-sprung and their back is powerful and firm. The loins are muscular and slightly arched, and the tail is strong at its insertion and tapers gradually towards its end. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has clean-cut, sloping shoulders and elbows that are set close to the body. Their forelegs are straight, strong, and heavily boned, and their feet are compact and feature a set of well-arched toes. Hindquarters of this breed are clean and well-muscled, with the hocks well down. They have a fairly long head with a flat skull that is broad between the ears. Their stop is pronounced and their muzzle is long, powerful, and deep. They have far-set, round, sparkling eyes that vary in color. Their medium-sized ears are high-set, wide at their base, and taper to a rounded point. The nose of this breed is black, brown, or liver in color, depending on the dog’s coat. They have level jaws and strong, well-developed teeth that close in a scissors bite. The distinguishing characteristic of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the ridge that exists on the dog’s back. This ridge is formed by the hair that grows in the opposite direction of the dog’s coat. The short-haired coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is dense, glossy, and sleek. Coat colors for this breed include light wheaten to red wheaten. Small white markings on the chest and toes may be present.
While the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a fierce hunter, they are gentle, obedient, and good-natured at home. They get along well with older, considerate children. They are highly intelligent, cunning, and loyal. They sometimes have a mind of their own, and they are leery of strangers. This breed needs firm training and proper socialization from an early age. With proper obedience training, the Rhodesian Ridgeback makes an excellent companion. Some can be aggressive towards other dogs. They make good watch dogs, but they are not guard dogs. They are very protective of their owners and they can be destructive if left unattended for extended periods of time.
They are soft and gentle and very good with young children. In Africa, they were bred to protect young childern. Rhodesian Ridgebacks get on very well with other dogs if socialized from and early age. Their owner needs to be the pack leader as they will take over the pack without strong leadership. Never try to break your Ridgeback of a habit. This only leads to stubbornness and can have to opposite effect. They are not blind followers but will follow a dominate owner if he/she is accepted as their Alpha. They are a wonderful family dog, but not for beginning owners. A novice would find this dog overwhelming. The RR is a very proud dog with incredible strength and stamina. Exercise Rhodesian Ridgebacks as much as possible. They need to run at least once a day to remain clam and happy.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a highly adaptable, healthy breed that is able to withstand dramatic fluctuations in climate and temperature. Like many other large dog breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to hip dysplasia. Other health concerns include dermoid sinus and cysts. This breed typically lives for 10 to 12 years.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the product of crosses between the Khoikhoi dog, certain types of mastiff, deerhound, and a variety of ridge-backed dogs that were originally kept by native tribes of South Africa. Its country of origin is Zimbabwe. The native Khoikhoi dog gave the breed its distinctive, reverse-hair coat. These dogs were imported by Boer settlers throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The standard of the breed was created in Rhodesia in 1922. Throughout history, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has been used for a number of purposes including hunting, retrieving, guarding, and supervising children. South African hunters would keep packs of these dogs to ward off lions. This breed can withstand a variety of harsh weather conditions, and they are capable of going without food or water for a full 24 hours. The breed was officially recognized in 1959 by the AKC.
The smooth, short-haired coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is easy to groom and take care of. It should be brushed with a firm bristle brush and shampooed only as necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is content to live in a small household or apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are a comparatively inactive breed indoors, and they are happiest with at least a large-sized yard. These dogs have exceptionally high stamina, and they will greatly appreciate any exercise opportunities they are given.
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Rhodesian Ridgeback Q&AAsk a Question
- My puppy is just turned 1 year this week and chews up every toy that I give her and shreds ...
My puppy is just turned 1 year this week and chews up every toy that I give her and shreds her beds. She also digs holes and buries her toys. How can I get her to stop digging and only chew on her toys?Asked by Anonymous - 5 answers
- i have a 3 month old that resembles a lion hound, except for the ridge down the back.. ...
i have a 3 month old that resembles a lion hound, except for the ridge down the back.. does the reverse hair growth come in later in age or is it that i have a mix breed?Asked by Anonymous - 4 answers
- My Rhodesian Ridgeback is seven months old and a pleasure. He is housebroken and lately ...
My Rhodesian Ridgeback is seven months old and a pleasure. He is housebroken and lately has decided to sneak into my bedroom and pee in front of his crate. I keep the crate there beside me and it is only used when I am sleeping....Asked by Anonymous - 2 answers
- I have a male Ridgeback puppy who is somewhere between 7 to 9 months old. I have heard ...
I have a male Ridgeback puppy who is somewhere between 7 to 9 months old. I have heard that too much exercise is bad for his growing bones, but how much is too much?Asked by Anonymous - 1 answers