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Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong, docile hound breed.This native of Africa is a good watch dog and jogging partner.

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Physical Characteristics
  • Large, muscular build with strong body, deep chest and solid neck
  • Wide head with medium-sized drop ears, large eyes and black nose
  • Long muzzle and creased forehead
  • Coat: Short, silky hair in light to dark shades of wheaten; may have white markings on feet or chest
  • Hair on spine grows forward, creating a distinguishing ridge
  • Height: 24-27 inches
  • Weight: 70-85 pounds
  • Average lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Clever, intelligent, good-natured, gentle, obedient, loyal and protective
  • Interaction with people: Best with mature children; reserved with strangers
  • Interaction with animals: Strong hunting instinct; take caution with cats and small pets. Males may show aggression toward other dogs
  • Level of attention needed: Gets bored easily
  • Training: Can be stubborn; needs firm leadership
  • Protection: Good watchdog; not a guard dog
Medical Conditions
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • Best in rural area
  • Needs large yard and/or long walks or runs
  • Relatively inactive indoors
  • Excellent stamina
  • Easy to groom
  • Average shedder
  • Shampoo when necessary
Other Facts
  • Also known as the African lion hound
  • Used in packs, they are very effective lion trackers
  • Excellent jogging companion
  • Distinctive reverse-hair coat marking comes from the Khoikhoi breed
Breed History
  • Originated in 1922 Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Developed to accompany big-game hunters to trail lions
  • Ancestors were kept by the Hottentots of South Africa as hunters, companions and general work dogs
  • First brought to the U.S. in 1950
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of United States For breed rescue opportunities, visit Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue
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