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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Quick facts

Rhodesian Ridgeback AKC Group: Hound
Height: Male: 25-26 in., Female: 24-26 in.
Weight: Male: 85 lbs., Female: 70 lbs.
Colors: light to red wheaten, a patch of white on the chest on the toes is also possible
AKC recognized in: 1955

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed which hails from Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. This is a brave dog that was used to hunt lions in the plains of Africa. Not surprisingly, this breed is also known as the African Lion Dog and the African Lion Hound.

Besides hunting, it also proved its mettle in other roles as well. This breed was used as a guard dog often to protect children and property. It may hunt the big cat but it will never think twice when asked to do so.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are the results of cross breeding between native breeds such as the Khoikhoi, the Deerhound and the Mastiff. Some sources also report of possible Great Dane breeding. It was imported chiefly by Boer settlers during the 16th and 17th centuries.

This breed is one of the larger ones in the Hound group. It has a muscular body with a broad and flat head. Its legs are fairly long and strong which make it ideal for running. The coat is short but has a distinct row of hair which grows in opposite direction along the back. This feature gives the breed its name ridgeback.


Rhodesian Ridgeback Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance two paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Although a ferocious hunter, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are calm and quiet at home. It is a good family dog but parents should think twice before leaving them with their children. Different dogs may have varied reactions. Puppies should be socialized as soon as possible to prevent this from ever becoming a problem.

This breed can be loyal to its adoptive family given proper care and adequate attention. This is surely worth it since this breed of dog is excellent for guard duty. Its loyalty combined with courage should be enough to scare away potential threats to the family. These same qualities make a firm and steady hand necessary in dealing with these dogs.

Training a Rhodesian Ridgeback requires a similar approach. As a rule of thumb, dog owners should show a dominant position over the dog to keep it in its place. On the other hand, this may be a tall order for those lacking in experience.

Health and Exercise

A Rhodesian Ridgeback can be expected to live somewhere between 10 to 12 years. During this lifetime, the dog is susceptible to quite a number of health conditions. Hip dysplasia and dermoid sinus are among the common conditions that need to be checked. Otherwise, this is a tough breed able to endure sudden shifts in climate and its environment.

The short coat is easy to groom and maintain. There is no need to worry about excessive shedding and other problems normally associated with other grooming problems.

Its great stamina should be put to goo use through a series of exercises. Boredom will only put this dog in a destructive mood. To prevent this, it should be allowed to run in open spaces. Indoor confinement will only make this dog feel worse and remain largely inactive. A large suburban backyard may fulfill its needs.

Visitor Comments

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