Rhodesian Ridgeback

Description Rhodesian Ridgeback

Educable, sensitive, willing to work
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not an easy dog. The animals used to help with big game hunting. The intelligence and courage of their ancestors can still be seen in their nature today. In terms of education, the Rhodesian Ridgeback requires know-how. He needs a consistent handler. In the right hands, he develops his loyal and gentle character. With a few exceptions, the breed is suitable for family life with children.FCI Group: Hounds – Scenthounds – Related Breeds

  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 28-42kg
  • Life expectancy: 12 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colors: Red Wheat, Light Wheat, Wheat

Character Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback (back crest) owes its name to the breed-typical hair crest. This grows on the back against the direction of the fur. The FCI breed standards place the Rhodesian Ridgeback in Group 6. The fur of the elegant and powerful animals ranges from light wheat to red beech. It is smooth (no undercoat) and appears short and dense.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog that loves to exercise and learn. He needs a lot of exercise and wants to be busy. Too little of either will cause the Ridgeback to wither away and show erratic behavior. Ridgebacks are relatively insensitive to heat and weather. Robust and alert, they are ideal for keeping on the property.

The Ridgeback will not be happy in a kennel or cabin.
He doesn’t tolerate a missing connection badly! The breed is also not so well cared for in the home. A Ridgeback needs a lot of space and lots of exercise. Because of their size, the animals are prone to hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. Climbing stairs every day is poison for the Ridgeback’s joints.

If the dog falls ill, its owner has to lift up to 40 kilos. The car or a trailer for the bike are recommended.
The Ridgeback is loyal and bonds closely with its pack members. This makes him an excellent companion and family dog. The Ridgeback can also thrive in the role of an assistance dog.

His fearless and peaceful nature shows calm blood in exceptional situations. Provided the owner steers his stormy temperament in the right direction.
A sensitive and consistent hand is needed. Aggression and harsh punishments overwhelm the Ridgeback. If he is in a bad mood or angry, he reacts defiantly and with stubbornness.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dominant dog. He will submit out of genuine respect. His high social intelligence allows him to perceive a lot. This includes recognizing children in the family group as young animals. He will give in to them more playfully.

He does not take strict obedience from everyone.
The Ridgeback in a family with children needs clear hierarchy. In case of doubt, the dog takes over the educational tasks. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are considered late developers. From the age of two to three, they are physically and mentally mature.

The animals are suspicious of strangers. On the other hand, they are not afraid to defend their pack members.
When playing with other dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is exuberant and rough. The males play macho during puberty and need a strong hand on the other end of the leash. Females like to let the bitch hang out with other females.

With age, the animals become calmer and more balanced.
Anyone who brings a Rhodesian Ridgeback into their home should not make a light-hearted choice. Dog fans with expertise and enough time get a great companion. With a Rhodesian Ridgeback you can literally go through thick and thin.

Diet Rhodesian Ridgeback

The nutrition of the Rhodesian Ridgeback depends on the individual energy requirements. A high-quality feed keeps the dog fit and healthy into old age. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a predisposition to disorders of the joint and bone apparatus.
Too many carbohydrates during puppyhood promote skeletal deformation. Excessively rapid growth puts pressure on the bones.

Young animals of this breed have an increased need for calcium and phosphorus. You need an age-appropriate supply of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. The adult Ridgeback does not tend to get fat. His daily calorie intake depends on the movement turnover. An active dog needs more calories.

It is better to feed larger dogs grain-free. This can prevent joint problems.
The best food for the Ridgeback is after the work is done. Jogging, training or cycling. The main thing is that he can earn his meal.

Then the temperamental Hans Dampf will retire to rest. Ridgebacks are also at risk of stomach twisting. It is better to feed in small portions several times a day.
After eating, please observe a strict rest period! Reward bites are a welcome addition. They play an important role in the training of the Ridgeback.

He reacts stubbornly to penalties. Subtract the calorie intake from snacks and the like from the basal metabolic rate. Obesity is a risk for disorders of the musculoskeletal system.


The active Rhodesian Ridgeback is easy to care for on a daily basis. Cutting claws is not an issue if the dog regularly walks on asphalt. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are hardy and hardy from their original habitat. In this country, only constant rain can spoil their mood.
The Ridgeback’s coat looks healthy and shiny without a lot of grooming.

Brushing (against the grain) once or twice a week is sufficient. This works best with a rubber harrow. The grooming removes excess hair and is for acceptance. The dog should later allow itself to be touched on all parts of its body without resistance.
Constant hair loss is unavoidable in short-haired Ridgebacks.

Regular brushing reduces hair finding itself in the home. What the Ridgeback doesn’t like is water (former savannah habitat). Please only swim if you cannot avoid it. Because of this fear of water, the Ridgeback is rarely seen in police work. Although his smart and courageous nature make him an excellent service dog.

To prevent dental problems, buffalo skin bones are recommended. They promote tartar abrasion in a natural way. In the case of older animals, the owner must regularly check the teeth . A visit to the vet may be necessary. The vet can also trim the claws.

If the dog is used to it from an early age, it is best for the owner to use their own scissors.
In winter, a dab of milking grease protects the animal’s sensitive pads from the cold and cracks. It is better to avoid scattered paths. After the walk, clean the paws of any leftovers. The Ridgeback will cool down more quickly if it doesn’t keep moving.


Löwenjäger, that’s the second name for the powerful Ridgebacks. The breed comes from southern Africa. The origin of the Rhodesian Ridgeback goes back many centuries. The first white settlers reported dogs with the typical back crest. They were rather small and hyena-like.

Her courage and perseverance are impressive. The settlers crossed these so-called “Hottentot dogs” with their own animals.
A new breed emerged from this in the mid-19th century. She was in no way inferior to the dogs of the indigenous people, but she was larger and stronger. The animals assist the settlers in hunting big game and protect the farms.

The name lion hunter or lion dog derives from the fact that the dogs assisted in hunting big game. When the pack had spotted a lion, they kept it at bay with mock attacks. The hunter only had to aim the rifle.
In such a hunt only the most skilled and fearless representatives survived. This natural selection is still reflected in the Ridgeback’s character today.

In 1879, a missionary crossed the South African dog with Great Danes and European hounds. Today’s Rhodesian Ridgeback has been officially recognized as a breed since 1924. Its standard was modeled after the Dalmatian. It is the only South African breed to be included in the standard lists.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Accessories

A Ridgeback’s large, powerfully built body is better served with a harness. The tendency to suffer from hip and elbow problems can also be counteracted in this way. The harness distributes the line pressure better over the body. Do not measure the collar and harness too tightly. If there are pressure points and cuts, please choose one size larger.

A warm coat replaces the missing undercoat in the Ridgeback’s coat. It protects him from cooling down on cold, wet winter days.
The mentally active Rhodesian Ridgebacks are happy about pedagogically valuable toys . Items like the Kong or a feeding station sharpen intelligence and sensory strength.

5.1Expert Score
Breed characteristics

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