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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A muscular and athletic dog breed with a distinctive ridge of hair along its back.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are considered a Large Dog breed. read more >>
Weight:34-41 kg (75-90 lbs).
Height:61-69 cm (24-27 inches).
Length:68-71 cm (27-28 inches).

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of a Rhodesian Ridgeback is 10-12 years. read more >>

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal, intelligent and independent dogs with a strong will and a strong sense of self-preservation. They are protective of their family and can be territorial and wary of strangers. They are usually aloof and reserved with strangers, but can be friendly and affectionate with those they know. They are very active and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are also very intelligent and can be trained to do a variety of tasks. They are generally good with children, but can be dominant with other dogs. They are also very protective of their family and home and make excellent watchdogs. They may bark excessively if not trained properly. They can be stubborn and independent, so they need an experienced owner who is willing to provide consistent training and leadership.

Intelligence

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very intelligent dogs. They are loyal, obedient and trainable They are also known for their strong hunting and guarding instincts. With proper training, they can be very obedient and loyal companions.

Trainability

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and consistency. It is important to start training early and to be consistent with commands and rewards. Socialization is also important, as Ridgebacks can be wary of strangers.

Sleep

Rhodesian Ridgebacks typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may sleep more, while younger, more active dogs may sleep less. It’s important to provide your Rhodesian Ridgeback with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep and to ensure they are getting enough exercise and mental stimulation during their waking hours.

Bark

Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren’t particularly vocal dogs. They may bark occasionally, but they are not generally excessive barkers. read more >>

Drool

Rhodesian Ridgebacks do not typically drool, but they may drool in certain situations, such as when they are excited or stressed. read more >>

Lick

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not excessive lickers compared to some other breeds. However, like all dogs, they may lick their owners or themselves occasionally. If a Rhodesian Ridgeback is licking excessively, it could be a sign of anxiety, boredom or a medical issue and it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

Jump

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very athletic and capable of jumping up to 6 feet high, although this can vary depending on the individual dog’s size and physical abilities. However, it is important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints and should be avoided. Proper training and exercise can help maintain their physical health and prevent injuries.

Dig

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are renowned for their digging habits and they can be quite persistent. They may dig to find cooler ground, to bury bones or toys or to escape confinement. It is important to provide plenty of outlets for their digging behavior, such as providing a sandbox or digging area.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Rhodesian Ridgeback the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Exercise

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a medium-to-high energy breed and need daily exercise. They should have at least an hour of physical activity each day, including a combination of walks, runs and playtime. They can also benefit from activities such as agility, tracking and lure coursing. read more >>

Space

Rhodesian Ridgebacks need plenty of space to run and play. They should have access to a securely fenced yard or other safe outdoor area where they can get plenty of exercise. They also need plenty of mental stimulation, so regular walks and playtime are essential.

Apartment

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not ideal for apartment living. They are a large breed and require a lot of exercise and space to run. They are also very active and can be quite vocal. If you live in an apartment, it is best to choose a smaller, quieter breed. read more >>

Left Alone

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time, but they do best when they have companionship and attention. They are very social dogs and can become destructive if left alone for too long. It is important to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and content when they are left alone.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally good with kids and families. They are loyal and affectionate, but can be strong-willed and independent. They need early socialization and training to ensure they are well-mannered and obedient. They can be protective of their family and territory, so it is important to teach them proper boundaries. read more >>

Perfect Fit

A Rhodesian Ridgeback would be a perfect fit for an active household that is able to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are loyal and protective, making them great family dogs, but they need plenty of space to run and play. They would also do well in a home with an experienced dog owner who can provide consistent training and socialization.

Pros and Cons:

Like any breed, there are both pros and cons to owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Here are five of each:

ProsCons
1. Loyal and protective1. Can be stubborn and independent
2. Athletic and energetic2. Require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation
3. Good with children and families3. Can be aggressive towards other dogs or animals
4. Low maintenance grooming4. Prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and dermoid sinus
5. Intelligent and trainable5. May not be suitable for first-time dog owners or those without experience with large breeds

Overall, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can make great pets for the right owner who is willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and care for them. However, they may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those who are not prepared for the breed’s high energy levels and potential health issues.

Cost:

The cost of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy in Australia can vary greatly depending on the breeder, the pedigree of the puppy and other factors. Generally, the cost of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy in Australia can range from $1,500 to $3,500. read more >>

Breed History:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred in South Africa in the late 19th century to hunt lions. They were bred for their strength, speed and courage, as well as their ability to withstand the harsh African climate. The ridge of fur along their spine was bred to help protect them from lion claws and teeth. They were also used to track and corner game and to guard homesteads.

Current Usage

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are currently being used as both pets and working dogs. They are often used as guard dogs, as their size and strength make them well-suited for the job. They are also used as hunting dogs, as their strong sense of smell and tracking ability make them excellent at locating prey. They are also used as therapy dogs, as their calm and gentle nature make them great companions for those in need of emotional support. Finally, they are also used in sports such as agility and obedience competitions, as their intelligence and athleticism make them well-suited for these activities.

Guard Dogs

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred as hunting dogs in Zimbabwe and were also used as guard dogs. They are known for their loyalty, courage and protective nature, which makes them good guard dogs. They are also highly intelligent and trainable, which makes them easy to teach and control. However, it’s important to note that proper socialization and training are necessary to ensure that they don’t become overly aggressive or territorial. Additionally, they require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Overall, with proper training and socialization, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can make excellent guard dogs. read more >>

Where Are They Found?

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are most popular in the United States, South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom. However, they are also gaining popularity in other countries such as Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.

Climate

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are best suited to a warm and dry climate. They originated in southern Africa, where the climate is hot and arid. They have a short, sleek coat that provides little insulation, so they may struggle in colder climates. Additionally, they are prone to heat exhaustion and should not be exercised in extreme heat or humidity. If you live in a cooler climate, it is important to provide your Rhodesian Ridgeback with adequate shelter and warmth during the winter months. read more >>

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Rhodesian Ridgebacks in the world as there is no centralized database or registry. However, according to the American Kennel Club, the breed ranks 42nd in popularity out of 195 recognized breeds, indicating that there are likely thousands of Rhodesian Ridgebacks worldwide. Additionally, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States has over 1,500 members, suggesting a significant number of enthusiasts and owners of the breed.

Physical Appearance:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a large and muscular breed of dog with a distinctive ridge of hair running down their back. They have a short, shiny coat that can be any shade of wheaten, ranging from light to dark. Their head is broad and flat with a strong jaw and dark, expressive eyes. They have long, floppy ears that hang close to their head and a long, tapered tail. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a sleek and athletic build with a deep chest and powerful legs. They are renowned for their graceful and elegant movement and their overall appearance exudes strength and athleticism.

Coat:

Colours:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be a variety of colors, including wheaten, red wheaten, light wheaten and silver wheaten.

Hair/Fur Length:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have short, dense and glossy coats that are usually about 1-2 inches in length.

Shedding:

Yes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks do shed. They are a medium-shedding breed and will shed year-round, with heavier shedding during the spring and fall. Regular brushing can help to reduce the amount of shedding. read more >>

Grooming:

The Rhodesian Ridgeback does not require a lot of grooming. Brushing the coat once a week is recommended to remove dead hair and keep the coat looking healthy. The hair does not need to be cut, but it can be trimmed around the feet and face to keep the dog looking neat.

Hypoallergenic:

No, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not hypoallergenic. They are a medium-sized breed of dog with a thick, wiry coat that sheds regularly and can cause allergies in people who are sensitive to pet dander. read more >>

Speed:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can run up to 47 km/h (29 mph). read more >>

Health:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to some health issues such as:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A condition where the hip joint does not form properly, leading to pain and lameness.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: A condition where the elbow joint does not form properly, leading to pain and lameness.
  • Allergies: An abnormal immune response to a foreign substance, leading to skin and digestive issues.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain and lethargy.
  • Bloat: A condition where the stomach fills with gas and can twist, leading to pain and shock.

read more >>

Teeth:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have 42 teeth. read more >>

Eyesight:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have excellent eyesight, which is one of their many strengths. Their eyes are set wide apart and are almond-shaped, which allows them to have a wide field of vision and excellent depth perception. They also have a keen sense of sight in low light conditions, making them effective hunters and trackers.

Nipples:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks usually have six to eight nipples. The exact number can vary within this range, but six to eight is the general count for this breed.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The average litter size for Rhodesian Ridgebacks is between 6 and 8 puppies.

Gestation Period:

The average gestation period for a Rhodesian Ridgeback is 63 days. read more >>

Heat:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks typically go into heat twice a year, but this can vary depending on the individual dog.

Male vs Female:

Male Rhodesian Ridgebacks are typically larger than females, with males weighing between 80 and 85 pounds and females weighing between 70 and 75 pounds. Males also tend to have a more muscular build and a thicker ridge of fur along their spine. Males are also more independent and protective, while females are more affectionate and loyal. read more >>

Tips and Advice:

Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Rhodesian Ridgeback:

  • Exercise: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a high-energy breed and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are great running partners and enjoy long walks, hikes and other outdoor activities.
  • Training: Ridgebacks are intelligent dogs, but can be stubborn and independent. Consistent and positive training is important to help them learn obedience and good behavior.
  • Socialization: Ridgebacks can be protective of their family and territory, so early socialization is important to help them feel comfortable around other people and animals.
  • Grooming: Ridgebacks have a short, dense coat that requires minimal grooming. However, they do shed and may need occasional brushing to remove loose hair.
  • Health: Ridgebacks are generally healthy dogs, but can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and skin allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care are important to keep them healthy.
  • Diet: Ridgebacks have a high metabolism and require a balanced diet with plenty of protein and nutrients. It is important to feed them high-quality dog food and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity.
  • Environment: Ridgebacks are adaptable dogs, but do best in a home with a yard or access to outdoor space. They also thrive on human companionship and should not be left alone for long periods of time.

By following these tips and providing proper care and attention, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can make wonderful and loyal companions.

Food:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not particularly food-orientated dogs, but they do need to be fed a high-quality diet that is tailored to their age, size and activity level. Generally, an adult Rhodesian Ridgeback should be fed 2-3 cups of high-quality dry food per day, split into two meals. read more >>

Facts:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a unique breed of dog with a distinctive ridge of hair on their backs. Here are three interesting facts about them:

  1. They were originally bred to hunt lions: Rhodesian Ridgebacks were developed in southern Africa in the 19th century to help big game hunters track and capture lions. They were also used for other hunting purposes, such as tracking and holding down other large game like wild boar.
  2. They have a strong prey drive: Due to their hunting background, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a strong instinct to chase and capture prey. This means they may not be the best fit for households with small pets like cats or rabbits.
  3. They are known for their loyalty: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fiercely loyal to their families and are known for being protective of their homes and loved ones. They are also highly intelligent and trainable, making them great companions for active and experienced dog owners.

read more >>

Names:

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are majestic and courageous dogs with a strong and protective nature. When selecting names for Rhodesian Ridgebacks, it is often suitable to consider names that reflect their regal appearance, their African heritage or their brave and loyal character. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Rhodesian Ridgeback:

  1. King: A name that signifies power and leadership, fitting for the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s majestic and regal presence.
  2. Nala: This name represents the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s African heritage, signifying beauty and grace.
  3. Titan: A name that conveys strength and power, matching the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s muscular and robust build.
  4. Zara: Signifying “princess” in Swahili, this name reflects the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s elegant and royal demeanor.
  5. Simba: Inspired by the Swahili word for “lion,” this name symbolizes the Ridgeback’s courage and noble spirit.
  6. Cleo: A name that embodies the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s regal and majestic nature, signifying their grace and beauty.
  7. Jengo: This name represents the Ridgeback’s African heritage, signifying their unique and exotic presence.
  8. Athena: Signifying wisdom and strength, this name matches the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s intelligent and courageous personality.
  9. Kali: This name conveys fierceness and bravery, reflecting the Ridgeback’s protective and loyal nature.
  10. Zeus: A name that represents power and authority, fitting for the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s confident and commanding presence.
  11. Sahara: Inspired by the vast African desert, this name reflects the Ridgeback’s endurance and resilience.
  12. Aslan: Signifying “lion” in Turkish, this name captures the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s noble and fearless character.
  13. Bella: A name that signifies beauty and grace, fitting for the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s elegant and captivating appearance.
  14. Jengo: This name represents the Ridgeback’s African heritage, signifying their unique and exotic presence.
  15. Maya: A name that conveys strength and determination, matching the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s independent and tenacious spirit.

These names capture the essence of Rhodesian Ridgebacks, highlighting their regal presence, African heritage and loyal nature. They provide a fitting identity for these majestic and protective companions.

Famous:

Over the years, several Rhodesian Ridgebacks have gained fame for their appearances in movies, their incredible feats or for being owned by famous people. Some of the most famous Rhodesian Ridgebacks of all time include:

  1. Tamba: Tamba was a Rhodesian Ridgeback owned by the famous actor and director Clint Eastwood. Tamba appeared in several of Eastwood’s films, including “White Hunter Black Heart” and “Firefox.”
  2. Biko: Biko was a Rhodesian Ridgeback who gained fame for his incredible endurance. In 1987, Biko ran alongside his owner, Dion Leonard, in the 250-kilometer Gobi Desert March in China, becoming the first dog to complete the race.
  3. Ridge: Ridge was a Rhodesian Ridgeback who appeared in the 1992 film “Beethoven.” In the movie, Ridge played the role of Beethoven’s girlfriend, Missy.
  4. Rufus: Rufus was a Rhodesian Ridgeback who won the title of Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2006. Rufus was the first Rhodesian Ridgeback to win the prestigious award.
  5. Lion: Lion was a Rhodesian Ridgeback who gained fame for his role in the 1955 film “The African Queen.” In the movie, Lion played the role of the dog belonging to Humphrey Bogart’s character, Charlie Allnut.

These famous Rhodesian Ridgebacks have left their mark on history, whether through their appearances in movies, their incredible feats or their ownership by famous people.

Summary:

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, muscular breed of dog that originated in South Africa. It is a loyal and protective breed, known for its intelligence and strength. The breed is renowned for its distinctive ridge of hair along its back, which is the result of a genetic mutation.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal and protective. They are intelligent, alert and independent dogs that are devoted to their families. They are also known for their strong prey drive and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

The breed was developed in the late 19th century by European settlers in South Africa. They were bred to hunt lions and their strength and courage made them ideal for the task.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks make excellent family pets. They are loyal and protective and they bond closely with their families. They are also good with children and other pets, as long as they are socialized properly. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and they do best in a home with a large yard.

Overall, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong, loyal and protective breed that makes an excellent family pet. They are intelligent, alert and independent and they bond closely with their families. They need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and they do best in a home with a large yard. With proper training and socialization, they can be a wonderful addition to any family.