Rhodesian Ridgeback Information

use keyboard arrows for additional information about this breed

(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.

add info


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.

add info


24 – 27 inches
add info


65 – 90 pounds
add info

General Health

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.

add info


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.

add info


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.

add info

Ideal Environment

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.

add info

Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

Find your new Pooch

Puppies For Sale Find a Breeder Rescue a Dog
Be the First to take out an Ad! Affenpinscher
Berlin, DE
Die Hobbyzucht im „Butzemannhaus“ ist geprägt von Liebe und Respekt gegenüber den Tieren. Ich sehe meine Tiere nicht...
Be the First to take out an Ad!

Rhodesian Ridgeback Q&A

Ask a Question

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?

look into a product called bitter apple, you get it, soak a cotton ball in it, put it in the dogs mouth and hold it shut for a few seconds.Then you can take a watered down solution of it, put it in a spray bottle and spray it on whatever you do not want the dog to chew on.


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?

The ridge is present at birth and will not come in later. Some Ridgbacks are born ridgeless.


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. During the day he has a huge yard; dog door, recreation room and sun room. He is good all day while I am at work and he plays well with the other dogs. When I get home and while I am changing he pees right beside me. This has been the last two days and I am so confused. I am not working more his routine has not changed and we walk at least four miles a day soon as I return home. I am an experienced do owner who has had shepherds all my life and they too can be a challenge but this one has me totally stumped.

There's a cleaning product specially made to get rid of pee stains and the odor so the dog won't go back to the same spot. Go to your local pet store or store and look for some cleaning products. I can't recall the name of it, but anyway afterwards that should help. Usually a dog that pees in your space is not respectful of you and you probably have not established yourself as his dominant master yet or he is showing resistance. He's young but he shouldn't be doing that unless it was intentional. YOu have to be more stricter on him by scheduling his feeding and weeing. This way he has no chance of doing the little no-nos. Also, do not feed or give water to the dog during the night.


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?

I think any exercise where you are *forcing* them to push past their limits, like leashed to a bike, or along on a jog (for a fit runner) is potentially damaging to a puppy. If they are able to stop when they're tired, like playing with other dogs, then they won't hurt themselves. -How far is too far, is hard to say, but if you're aware and watching closely and not pushing limits you'll be fine I think.


how much do these dogs normally cost?

In the Netherlands, IF you're accepted by the breeder after a rough scanning as a owner, at least 1300 euro's, or approx. 2000 usd.


my 4 month old rr appears to have uneven growth , ie the back legs look longer than the front ones is this normal? He is on a large breed puupy food.

I am the original person who posted the question. Ny beautiful 4 month old puppy has just been diagnosed with Syringomylia - a horrilble condition. Has anyone outthere heard of this in this breed (common in kink charles spanials). Please advise


I'm considering a RR, but have two dachsunds and two tortoises. The tortoises are in a pen but, it's accessable to a dog the size of the RR. Would this be problem, in other words would I be able to train the RR to stay away from the tortoises and get along with the doxis if I get him at 8 weeks? Also, are RR's off leash reliable?

It is possible to train your RR to stay away from your tortoises, however it would have to be patience, persistence and a watchful eye. RR are probably not best off leash unless they are well trained and acknowledges you as their leader/aplha.


Can a Rhodesian Ridgeback get taller than the 25" to 27"? The reason I ask is that I had someone run across one today (9/14/09), he said that at it's shoulders it was to his waist line and the top of his head was at the middle of his chest. Just to put into perspective this guy stands a good 6'7", 6'9".

I have seen a purebred Ridgie that was quite big and it was a female!!! My baby is only 25" at the withers and an absolutely doll!!!! She is very protective and doesn't let me out of her site.


How long is an 'extended period of time' ? Because I've often read how Labs or RR are not well if left unattended for an 'extended period of time' however no specific time limit is mentioned.

View all Q&A

Rhodesian Ridgeback Photos

Upload a Photo

Recent Products

Relevant Blogs