Rhodesian Ridgeback Overview
The Rhodesian Ridgeback got his name from the ridge of hair that grows along his spine in the opposite direction of all other hair. This trait comes from one of the Ridgeback’s breed cousins, the Khoikhoi dog, a sighthound that was popular in South Africa. The breed was then crossed with several others including Bloodhounds, Pointers, Greyhounds and Mastiffs by Boer settlers. The result was the Ridgeback, a powerful breed that could hunt prey and protect the family.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Characteristics
The most well-known characteristic of the Ridgeback is its tall ridge of fur between the shoulder blades. This can give the dog a permanent “raised hackles” look. This trait has helped the Ridgeback remain a popular breed both in Africa and outside the US. The Ridgeback also features a powerful body that helps aid in hunting.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament
The breed is independent and needs a strong leader to earn its respect. They are brave hunters and excel in both strength and stamina. Even with their abilities, the dogs are calm and good with children when socialized, however, rough play may agitate him. The Ridgeback is also extremely loyal to those who he trusts and respects.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Care
Ridgebacks live on average 10 to 12 years, slightly less than other dogs their size. Health concerns include cataracts, deafness, hip and elbow dysplasia, dermoid sinuses and hypothyroidism. Careful breeding and proper veterinary care can help reduce the incidence and severity of these diseases.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Coat
The coat of the Ridgeback is very easy to care for, including the ridge of fur. The short, smooth coat needs only an occasional brushing or combing over with a hound glove. This will help keep the coat glossy and remove any dead or loose hairs.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Training
Training the Ridgeback involves getting him motivated to do what is asked. If the Ridgeback can be convinced that the training is also in his best interest, he will be more likely to listen. Short, reward-based training will help with his boredom, and socialization is critical to keep him minding around others.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Activity
Ridgebacks are natural hunters and require a lot of activity to stay in shape. Hunting and tracking trials, outdoor activities or other activities that help tire out the Ridgeback will keep him healthy in mind and body. These dogs do best when they are kept active and in shape.