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Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback

Country of Origin: South Africa

Group: Scenthounds and Related Breeds

Section: Related breeds

Original Function: large game (including lion) hunting, guardian

Todays Function: lure coursing

Dimension Male: 63-69 cm

Dimension Female: 61-66 cm

Weight Male: 36-41 kg

Weight Female: 29-34 kg

Litter Size: 7-8 puppies

Life span: 10-13 years

Other Names: African Lion Hound

Colors: Solid colors of blue, black, red/fawn, or beige for show. also brindle and white for non-show.

Living: The two main conditions for the rhodesian ridgeback refer to their need for an active life instead o



The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, handsome, muscular hound. Its name describes its most unique characteristic, a clearly defined symmetrical ridge running the length of its back, formed by hair that grows in the opposite direction from the rest of its coat. The short, sleek coat comes in light to dark wheaten, sometimes with small white markings on the chest and feet. The head is long, the skull is flat and broad with extremely powerful muzzle and jaw. Ridgebacks have well developed teeth, and a marked stop. The bright, sparkling eyes are round with an intelligent expression. The nose color should be either black or brown, depending on the color of the coat. The front legs should be very straight and strong, with heavy bone. The strong tapered tail is fairly long and curves slightly upward.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the hound group"s answer to a somewhat protective dog. Not only is it a keen and versatile hunter, but it is a loyal guardian. It is good with children, especially protective of those in its family, but it is sometimes overly boisterous in play for small children. It is strong-willed and powerful; some can become domineering. It is reserved with strangers and can be aggressive toward strange dogs and animals.


The Ridgeback loves to run, and it needs daily mental and physical exercise to keep it from becoming frustrated. It can be a good jogging or hiking companion. The Ridgeback can live outdoors in temperate or warm climates, but it is usually much happier sleeping indoors and dividing its time between the house and yard during the day. Coat care is minimal, consisting only of occasional brushing to remove dead hair.


The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush and shampoo only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.


Major concerns: dermoid sinus

Minor concerns: CHD

Occasionally seen: deafness, elbow dysplasia

Suggested tests: breeder check for dermoid sinus, (hip)