Rhodesian Ridgeback Alternate Names
African Lion Dog
Rhodesian Ridgeback Appearance
Body: Strong, well-balanced and well-muscled with a strong back, deep chest and sloping shoulders.
Coat: Short, dense, sleek, and glossy with a characteristic ridge of hair that grows along his back in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat.
Color: Various shades of red wheaten, occasionally brindle, black wheaten or silver.
Ears: High set, wide at the base tapered to a rounded tip, hung close to the head.
Eyes: Round, wide set, dark or amber, and bright.
Feet: Round and compact with tough elastic pads and well-arched toes.
Head: Long with a broad, flat skull, well-spaced between the ears, well-defined stop, long, powerful, deep muzzle, and black, liver or brown nose.
Legs: Forelegs are long, straight, and well-boned. Hindquarters are muscular and hocks are well let down.
Neck: Long and powerful.
Weight: 70 – 85 pounds
Height: 24 – 27 inches
Tail: Strong, tapers to the tip, carried with a slight upward curve.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Behavior
Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Not good with other dogs of the same sexual gender
Good with children; should be supervised with small children
The Rhodesian Ridgeback, also called The African Lion, was used to track lions and then distract the lions attention by aggressively teasing him until the hunter arrived for the kill. He is capable of hunting by both scent and sight. His name refers to the unusual ridge, or crest, of hair growing along the back of his spine in the opposite direction of the other hair.
He is a loyal, gentle, affectionate, and attractive dog with a strong, athletic body and quiet disposition. He makes a good guard dog and only barks when warranted. He’s an active dog not suited for being alone for extended periods of time. He needs both physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis.
AKC Standard says, “The Ridgeback is strong willed and powerful; some can become domineering. Reserved with strangers, the Ridgeback can, if not properly socialized, be aggressive towards strange dogs and animals.”
He’s an independently-minded dog with a determination to be in charge of his family and other animals. An experienced dog handler with strong leadership and a respectful approach to training is recommended. Obedience training and socialization should begin at an early age and continued to ensure he knows who the boss is and to control his guard dog instincts.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Type
AKC Group: Hound Group
Used to track and hold lions at bay by taunting and distracting them until the hunter arrived for the kill. Also used to herd and protect sheep and cattle.
The Ridgeback hunts by sight but is capable of tracking his prey by scent if he looses sight of him.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Care and Grooming
Exercise: He’s an athletic dog in need of vigorous daily runs and other activities that will challenge him both mentally and physically.
Grooming: Brush one to two times weekly. Bath every four to five months.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Health
Life Expectancy: 11 – 12 Years
Hip or Elbow Dysplasia
CERF – for the eyes
OFA – for the hips and elbows
Rhodesian Ridgeback Country of Origin
South Africa – 1800s