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The Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Facts and Interesting Information

Updated on May 20, 2011

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a dog breed that originated from the country of Rhodesia (which is now Zimbabwe) in southern Africa. Rhodesian ridgebacks were originally bred by European settlers to hunt for lions and other wild game, which is why this Sighthound was once referred to as the African Lion Dog. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are thought to have become the breed that they are today thanks to the selective mixing of Greyhounds, Bulldogs, Pointers, Mastiffs, and local African dogs. After well over a century of selctive dog breeding , the African Lion Dog was officially accepted as a distinct breed of its own back in 1922. It wasn't until the 1930s though, that rhodesian ridge backs were brought over to England, and shortly just a few years later to the United States.

Today, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are one of the most popular breeds of Sighthounds in America and are only continuing to rise in their numbers as family pets .

Rhodesian Ridgeback Appearance

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a large handsome, muscular breed of dogs . Ridgebacks have thick broad necks connected to a body with slightly larger chests when compared to their waist sizes. The height at withers on this African breed usually ranges between 25 to 27 inches for males and 24 to 26 inches for females. The normal healthy weight for Rhodesian Ridgebacks on average is within 70 to 85 pounds. Another consistent feature for their bodies include that they have fairly long tails.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Coats

Perhaps the most important (or at least well known) characteristic of Rhodesian Ridgebacks are in fact the ridges on their backs, which is the result of hair growing forward as the rest of the coat lays back. Rhodesian ridgebacks have sleek, shiny short fur that comes in colors ranging from wheat tans to more bronzed reds.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback Head

This breed of Sighthounds heads are flat and with large floppy ears spread far apart from one another. The rhodesian ridgeback has captivating round eyes that are often surrounded by blackish brown rims and have keen eyesight.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Health

There are surprisingly few potential health conditions within this breed. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are at a slightly higher risk for developing conditions such as dermoid sinus, Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), thyroid problems, and elbow dysplasia.

On average these sighthounds have life spans lasting for about 10 to 12 years of age.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament & Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Training

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are easy to train, highly intelligent dogs. Thanks to both powerful builds and love and devotion to their families, they make great watch and guard dogs when these dogs are approached with the proper dog training techniques. Some rhodesians can have personalities to where they may become suspicious of strangers, so it's good idea to let them meet new faces at least periodically while they're still Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies.

Although, the Rhodesian Ridgeback truly is an amazing breed of dog , they're definitely not for first time dog owners. Most Rhodesian Ridgebacks make wonderful family pets, but on occasion these Sighthounds can develop a slight aggression towards young children, so it's important to pay close attention to what your dog’s personality traits are from a young age.

Caring for a Rhodesian Ridgeback

This breed of dog carries specific characteristics of stamina, speed, and power so they demand pretty much almost daily exercise routines of a minimum or roughly 45 to 60 minutes. Exercise is a complete necessity to Rhodesian Ridgebacks in order to both physically and mentally healthy, making this breed well suitable to owners who are active and/or own large yards.

Besides working out these Sighthounds are easy dogs to care for, since they only require minimum to moderate amounts of grooming and bathing.

Your Rhodesian and You

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not only one of the most devoted dog breeds to their owners, but are just as equally great guard dogs that keep their families safe and out of danger. These African hounds are ever so loyal and affectionate towards people and are easy to become closely attached to. This is why Rhodesian Ridgebacks are so well loved throughout the dog community.


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    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi love your hubs especially this one . I had a Rhodesian Ridgeback and she lived to be 13 years old. I had to put her to sleep when she got cancer, I never had such a gentle dog. Love dogs and horses.