The Rhodesian Ridgeback is courageous, intelligent, active and determined. Rhodesian Ridgebacks make loyal and protective dogs. They are good guard dogs and tend to be cautious with strangers. They are generally kind with children, provided they are not pestered by them. Rhodesian Ridgebacks need to have positive experiences when young with other household pets to prevent difficulties once they are fully grown. Mixing with other dogs doesn't usually present any problems. Owners need to appear confident and show natural authority when training Rhodesian Ridgebacks, as they can have a mind of their own. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is highly adaptable and can easily fit into different homes and environments.
Click here on how to stop your Rhodesian Ridgeback's behavior problems
Grooming is easy with Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Simply use a rubber brush when the coat is moulting to remove the loose hairs.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks need substantial exercise as they are natural hunting dogs and have considerable stamina. A good way for them to burn energy is running alongside a cycle once they are fully grown. If these dogs don't have their exercise needs met they can become bored, overly independent and stubborn.
It is believed that the ancestry of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is associated with a family of dogs that were bred by natives on an island (Phi Quoc) off Cambodia in south east Asia. Dogs from this island had the same characteristic ridge of hair along the back. Back when Phoenician traders were active in the 2nd and 1st century BC, many types of dogs found their way to different parts of the world. Credit must be given to those traders for the arrival of Rhodesian Ridgebacks in Africa. After the invasions of the Dutch and other European races in the 16th and 17th century, these dogs were crossed with breeds like the Great Dane and Bloodhounds. The Dutch Boers valued them as guard dogs, hunters of small game and alerting their handlers to the whereabouts of large game.
General Appearance: Solid, handsome and muscular.
Color: Light wheaten to red wheaten, with or without a dark mask.
Coat: Sleek, short, dense and glossy. A unique ridge of hair extends along the back.
Tail: Strong, tapering and carried in a slight upward curve when in action.
Ears: Set high, dropped and carried close to the head.
Body: The body is muscular with a deep chest and level topline. The shoulders are sloping and the back is muscular.
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks have gained their name due to their characteristic dagger-shaped ridge of hair that runs along the back from the withers to just above the tail root. The hair formed by the ridge grows in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat and can be up to 5cm (2 in) wide.
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks are ideal for those who want an impressive guard dog that is easy to maintain and keep clean.