Rhodesia beginning in the late 1870s. The breed is dubbed “Ridgeback” because the hair along their spine grows in the opposite disobedient dog breeds from the rest of the coat in a ridge-like appearance. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are an intelligent, sensitive, protective and affectionatenot to mention good-natured.
They excel in nearly all athletic events and likely have the highest endurance of any dog breed making them a runner’s dream dog as the breed can run a distance of 30 miles in 60-90 minutes. This low maintenance dog is easily trained and an excellent choice for families with children and other pets. The more green the stronger the trait. Can be very mischievous and destructive if bored, i. Ridgebacks commonly weigh in excess of 80 pounds, but should always look lean and athletic in appearance.
Rhodesian ridgebacks are a very intelligent dog breed making them an easy for obedience training. However, the breed can be strong willed at times so training should be done at an early age for best results. The breed has a high prey drive and will chase anything that runs away from it, because of this they may not make the best companion dog for cats although they do get along well with other dogs. The ridgeback’s coat requires little care to upkeep. They shed little, but will blow their coat twice a year.
Brushing the coat weekly and bathing them when needed will keep their coat odor free and free of loose hair. The breed does require moderate exercise daily. Two short walks or one large walk per day is generally enough to satisfy the exercise requirements of ridgeback. In addition to their “Lion Dog” reputation these skilled canines have also had many other purposes and jobs throughout history. For instance they are actually good bird hunting dogs as well as protectors of home and property. In the mid 1600’s when Dutch Settlers began trading in the region that is South Africa, they brought with them breeds such as Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Staghounds and various Terriers.
The new “Rhodesian Ridgeback” breed did not actually make its way into Rhodesia until Reverend Helm introduced a few there in 1877. Big game hunting was popular in this area and where men found thrill in lion hunting and the infallible Ridgebacks were key to the take-down of these creatures. Large, proud, sturdy and athletic, she appears capable of great endurance without being grossly muscled. The coat is very functional for the hot weather the breed is accustomed to and the color allows them to blend in with grasses and brush. For instance, you can have a Red Wheaten Black Nose Ridgeback or a Red Wheaten Brown Nose Ridgeback. Occasionally, these dogs are seen with a black mask. More commonly, they display white markings on their toes and chest, however, the less white– the more desirable.
Height usually at 24-26 inches at the shoulder. Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs. Their natural size is a necessity and is perfectly suited for their initial purposes for farm work, hunting and protection. This breed is extremely intelligent too and they will excel at obedience training, housebreaking, etc. The personality of the Rhodesian Ridgeback makes him naturally protective of his family and he will often disregard strangers.
If necessary, Ridgebacks will bark to alert you to the approach of a stranger or strange animal, however, this is usually of short duration because they aren’t typically barkers otherwise. These affectionate dogs, known for their characteristic tolerance, do great with children and other pets providing they are well trained and socialized. Contrary to his utilitarian looks he is not a dog suited to living in the yard or spending most of his time alone. Ideally, you will have a large yard but also plenty of indoor space to keep him.
If he can he will spend all of his time with you, whether curled up on the couch or out in the garden. Rhodesian Ridgeback and Other PetsA well socialized Rhodesian Ridgeback does very well as part of a multi-pet household, even those that include cats! They are even tempered, however, having a surplus of male dogs all living in one area is hardly ever a good idea. Since these guys may suffer separation anxiety or destructive behaviors from boredom when left alone, having another friend for them to play with while you’re at work is a great idea. They abhor the rain and are sensitive to cold weather.
A fenced yard is idea but not necessary and, while they aren’t recommended for small living spaces like apartments, will do just fine in an average sized home. Note that a fully grown RR can jump your outdoor fence if left bored and under stimulated. Ridgebacks are natural protectors of the home and will bark to alert you of a strangers approach– otherwise they are quiet dogs. When in the proximity of guests, expect them to be aloof but not aggressive.
Note that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not hypoallergenic and are not a top choice for those with allergies. Although no dog is truly “hypoallergenic” some produce less allergy inducing dander than others, however, this is not one of them. A natural, high quality diet and plenty of exercise should allow them to live their full, healthy lifespan of 10-13 years. Dermoid Sinus- Rare infiltration of the neural tube by dirt, debris and infectious material that travels to the spinal cord and causes great damage such as meningitis.
Costly to surgically remove and may be deadly. What would you like to know? Jana Randall is a busy mother, loving wife, and active career woman from Arizona. In her free time, Jana writes to cover topics on home, living, and pets, while also working full time and blogging. We’d all love to adopt a puppy who comes automatically potty trained and is perfectly obedient from the get-go. A super-cute dog that sits, stays and doesn’t pee all over the floor sounds like a dream come true, right?