Rhodesian ridgeback




Rhodesian ridgeback

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Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. 


Corey Ford




Rhodesian Ridgeback is at the present the only recognized breed originated from the South Africa. It is possible to track its predecessors back to the Cape Colony where it was crossbreeded with dogs of pioneers as well as with semi-domestic dogs of Hotentots which had a backward stripe on their backs. It hunted usually in a group of two or three dogs and its original task was to track down lions and by its own skilfulness to keep them on the spot until hunters would come. In case that a lion was intruding grazing cattle, an excellent agility and unscaredness of a Rhodesian Ridgeback was used to track down a lion and hold him there. After hunters came it was often a task of dogs to turn the lion in such a way that a shot would be definite.


Rhodesian Ridgeback got its name thanks to its stripe of hair on the back (ridge) which emerges from the fact that hair is growing opposite way there in comparison with the rest of its body. The ridge is a characteristic of this breed. That stripe of hair should be clearly localised, symmetric and should be narrowing toward backside. The ridge can have only two crowns (swirls in hair) with the same shape and must be lying opposite each other. A good average of stripe is 5 centimeters. The color of hair is light wheat to red wheat. It is tolerable to have a little of white color on breast and on the fingers. To have more of it, as well as to have too much of black hair is undesirable.

A height in shoulder is 63 to 69 centimeters in male dogs, 61 to 66 centimeters in female dogs. A recommended weight is 36,5 kilograms in male dogs, 32 kilograms in female dogs.


It is a worthy and an inteligent dog that is reserved towards others but without signs of agresivity or fear. Its nature is to be a guarding dog and if it is not seriously threatened it stays tolerant and keen. In the area of its defensive instinct there are great differences between it and „battle dogs“ because Ridgeback does not use so much power and force but more uncompromising and inteligent attitude. It is patient and has strong sense of humor that means that it is a wonderful companion with perfect equipment for life of a pet, a family member and a weekend hunter dog. Only active and physically capable people should be having this breed and they should live at places where a dog can have lots of free motions. It does not have to be necessarily a village seclusion; it is possible to raise it also at the outskirts of big cities where it is possible to do daily explorations of nature. Ridgeback usually gets on well with other dogs and does not attack anybody but walks in constricted areas of small city parks are not suitable.

We also want to warn you against the other extreme: Ridgeback is not a dog for a pen – not only because its short hair and origin practically contradict its all-year around stay outside. It requires a very intensive contact with a family so that it will not be timid and closed. It has developed a very good social emotions and usually there are not any problems with keeping it inside of an apartment. It does not have a need to prove to somebody its own superiority, it has excellent relationship with children and with other pets and if has an opportunity to live life to the full it is a very pleasant, quiet and peaceful companion.

Rhodesian Ridgeback is in its nature a very universal breed. It is able to manage hunting and also a service training, it can be a good guarding dog as well as an excellent exhibition dog. Some countries use its natural speed and agility at terrain races with an artificial decoy, so called Lure Coursing. Similar events bring joy for people and animals.