Rhodesian Ridgeback

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 80-90 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Dark Brown / Chocolate, Light Brown / Golden


Life Expectancy: 10-12 years    Rarity: Very Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated from Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe ) Africa. They are also called the African Lion hound and as the name suggests, were bred to hunt lions but could also hunt and retrieve game for the family. They are a cross between the Deerhound, Mastiff, and other African dogs that have the fur on their back ridged. The Ridgeback was designed to be a hunter and also a family companion as mothers would entrust this dog to watch over her children when she was not present.

The Ridgeback is an athletic dog that has a toned body. Their skull is large and they have a long muzzle with floppy triangular ears. What makes this dog unique is its line of backward fur called the 'ridge' that runs down the spine. Their jaws are extremely powerful, which is needed for the prey they hunt. These dogs are known for being able to live in hot temperatures and can live without water and food for more then one day.

This breed is a very affectionate companion as they love to be part of the family pack and will not do well if left alone often. They are reserved around strangers but will warm up once they are introduced a few times.


The Ridgeback comes in one colour type which is a light red with white markings on their toes and chest. This red can vary from light to dark shading.


This breed has a very short hard coat that offers little protection from colder weather. They are used to living in hot climates but have no tolerance for bug bites. When winter comes around, extra layers will be needed as they have nothing to protect them from the cold. Due to their short coat, the Ridgeback will only need to be brushed about once every two weeks just to remove dead fur. A hound brush is suggested as this will give the coat a shine.


The Ridgeback is one of the most loyal and affectionate dogs. They are sweet, well behaved and have an excellent demeanor. They are great pets but should not be around young children as they don't like to roughhouse. On the whole this dog will be okay with other family pets as long as they are introduced to them as pups. Socialization with other dogs, especially those of the same sex is very necessary because this dog can become aggressive towards them as adults. The Ridgeback is a loving companion and will defend his owner at will! This trait as brave as it is, will need training because this could turn into a problem later on. This dog can be hard headed and stubborn when it comes to training. They will need an owner who can show them they are not the top dog of the household. If left alone often, this breed will find things to occupy their time, whether that is their toys or your furniture, so making sure they are getting their daily exercise and are supplied with toys is a must.


The Ridgeback has a very short coat that will only need to be brushed once every couple of weeks. A hound brush will be of great use to remove dead fur quickly. Bathing is up to how often the owner would like this done but not more then once every 2 months. This breed is prone to cysts, hip dysplasia, cancer, and cataracts. Dermoid sinus is a common ailment among Rhodesian Ridgebacks as well as hypothyroidism.


This breed is notoriously stubborn and has a 'my way or the highway' attitude. They are sensitive and will need to be trained in a positive manner as they can have hurt feelings if they are trained negatively. Consistency is the key as these are smart dogs that shouldn't be too difficult to teach, but starting out basic obedience as young as possible is the best idea.


The Ridgeback is an energetic breed that will need to be exercised for at least one hour per day. Either time spent at an off-leash dog park or a long walk will be sufficient. They can live in apartments and be quite comfortable as long as they have their daily exercise. A backyard would be preferable so they can run around outside at home.

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