The Rhodesian ridgeback is a passionate and tenacious hunter. It is definitely not a breed to sit idle at home. It needs daily dose of vigorous exercise and opportunity to run as much as it could to maintain its happiness. This breed of dog gets bore easily, it constantly needs fun and thrill in life else it will find interesting things to do on its own which can be disastrous to your home. It is a great digger and could create hole in your sofa or floor. Therefore it is important to exhaust the dog fully with high intensity workout before taking it inside home. The dog tends to be dominant with other animals especially towards same sex dogs. It has insatiable desire to chase and hunt small and non-canine animals. Apart from hunting, this dog makes reliable guard dogs. They are the most territorial hound breeds. They hate sharing their people, food and toys with anyone. They are not the best option of dog for kids. With right socialization and guidance, they make splendid companions to assertive owners.
The breed belongs to South Africa- Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and was developed by Boer farmers. This breed has the bloodline of Great Danes, Mastiffs, Greyhounds, and Bloodhounds which Africans brought from European countries. The primary name of this breed was African Lion Hound because it was used in harassing or diverting mind of lion from hunters. The native people used the dogs to kill wounded buck. Later they used the dogs for hunting big games, guarding their property and as companion dogs to entire family. Eventually, the breed got its name- Rhodesian ridgeback because it has ridges of hair on its back.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Facts & Characteristics
- The breed belongs to Zimbabwe and is a hunting dog
- It has natural traits of protectiveness towards its loved ones. It makes reliable guard dog and vigilant watchdog
- The dog is strong willed, loyal, Intelligent and mischievous
- The lifespan of this breed is 10-12 years
- The average height of the dog is 63-69 cm
- The average weight of the dog is 36-41 kg
- The dog comes in golden, wheaten and red color
- The average price of this breed is 900-1200 USD.
- The dog tends to be active inside home. The house should be accompanied with large yard so that the dog can thrive happily
- It doesn’t bark unnecessary
- It is a suitable breed for kids who know how to behave with four legged animals
- The dogs have great stamina and require high intensity workout on daily basis
- It is not a hypoallergenic breed
- It is a low shedding dog and requires primitive care of its coat
- The dog tends to be stubborn consistent approach is required in training them.
The Rhodesian ridgeback is a large, powerful and muscular dog. It has ridge of hair over its back which grows in opposite direction of its coat. The dog has long head, wedged shaped forehead with deep and powerful muzzle. The eyes of the dog are set apart and are in contract to its coat color. The dog has pendant shaped ears which hangs beside its cheeks. The dog has long tail which is thick at the base and gets tapered towards the end.
Size and Weight
The male breed stands at a height of 25 to 27 inches and weighs around 85 pounds. The female breed stands at a height of 24 to 26 inches and weighs around 70 pounds.
Coat and Color
The dog has lustrous, short and smooth coat. The coat lies close to its body. It has ridges of hair at the middle of back which grows in opposite direction to the rest of the hair. The dog comes in golden, wheaten and red color.
- Personality – If you look at Rhodesian ridgeback, you will say that the dog is always lost in deep thoughts. They are dignified dogs with noble personality. Puppies tend to be rambunctious but they grow into mature dogs. The dogs should always with pre occupied with some sort of work so that they don’t get bored and destructive in nature. They can even escape your house by digging hole in search of fun and pleasure. The dog is immensely affectionate and protective towards its loved ones. Assertive and experienced owners who can commit to fulfill its exercise needs are suitable for the dog.
- Behavior – The dog is fearless and is courageous. It was bred to deal with lions and distract them till the master got ready to hunt it. It was used in hunting big animals. The dog can work and hunt in any kind of climate and terrain. “Dog aggression” is common in this breed. This breed is prone to destructive chewing; make sure you have provided it with ample amount of toys to chew upon. It is important to socialize your dog with myriads of good people so that it can differentiate between normal behavior and abnormal behavior.
- Activities Requirement – The dog is powerful with great level of stamina. As they were bred in Africa so their body as well as mind is accustomed to work hard in any extreme weather. They can be great jogging and running partner. Allow the dog to walk several times a day. You can also take the dog for swimming.
- Trainability – The dog is independent minded. Consistency and patience is required throughout the training session. Gently establish leadership in dog’s mind but not with harshness. The dog can be defensive in nature if you try to correct it physically. This dog will try to test your patience level so never bend rules for the dog else it will take it for granted.
As it is an active breed so its diet should be rich in protein and carbohydrates. Feed your dog chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, lamb, and fish. In order to provide it basic nutrition and minerals, you can also feed it raw vegetables and fruits. Occasionally you can give yoghurt to your dog.
The dog can live up to 10 – 12 years
It is not a hypoallergenic breed. Being a purebred dog it is a healthy and hearty dog with no major health problems. Minor health concerns common to all dogs’ are- hip dysplasia, skin infection, deafness etc.
The dog sheds negligibly. Their coat is odor less and requires primitive care only. Brush its coat weekly with rubber brush. Bathing is not required; if you want you can bath it twice a year. Clean its ears and trim its nails periodically. Maintain dental hygiene so that it has healthy teeth and gums.
The dog thrives in any kind of climate– warm, cold or wet. It is suitable for house accompanied with yard.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- It is a low maintenance dog that sheds lightly
- The dog is a fierce guard dog and excellent watch dog
- It has incredible hunting skills.
- Not suitable for timid owners
- Training the dog is difficult
- It will not always obey you and is stubborn minded.