Rhodesian Ridgeback Overview- Owner Should Know

Rhodesian Ridgeback Overview

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Information

NameRhodesian Ridgeback
Other NameAfrican Lion Boy, African Lion
OriginZimbabwe, Rhodesia
Build TypeLarge
Life Cycle10-13 years
CharacterSensitive, Intelligent, Loyal, Strong willed, Dignified, Beautiful, Caring
HeightMale: 25-30 inches
Female: 25-28 inches
WeightMale: 70-100 pounds
Female: 60-90 pounds
ColorLight-Wheaten, Red Wheaten, Wheaten
Average price1100 US$


Good with Kids★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Child Friendly★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Cat Friendly★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Dog Friendly★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Trainability★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Shedding★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Watchdog★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Intelligence★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Grooming★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Popularity★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Adaptability★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

A versatile and comprehensive hunter, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is very alert, bold and aggressive hunter when on field. It is equally a perfect hunter and a guardian. They are possessive towards their families and have greater concern regarding their safety. The Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are very loyal and devoted with all members, they play and amuse the family, make them feel happy. The dog is high energetic, powerful and confident, capable of working for extended durations. The breed is said to be the self sufficient, high will-powered and sensible dog, quite aloof of unknown peoples and have violent attitude towards other dogs sometime. To keep other animals with Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, socialization is mandatory during puppyhood age.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are one compact breed having exceptional stamina, speed and strength. Quite athlete, this breed is courageous to chase the lions and horses without being tired. The dog appears to form a rectangle, slightly less in height than in length. They are the furious hunting dogs and are able to stand against the lions and other larger game. Its pace is effortless, easy with long stepping quite good terrain grasp and approach. The coat is cut down short and shiny suitable for working in hot summers as well. Most prominent visual distinction is a ridge with two clusters of hairs beginning just below the shoulders, which reduces gradually till a point exactly in the mid of hipbones. Combined appearance results in a study, alert and amiable dog.

Rhodesian Ridgeback had worked as a hunter, guardian of children, and retriever in Zimbabwe for several hundred years. The breed is said to be developed from cross fertilization of Ridgeback dogs with some Koikhoidog, Mastiff, Deerhound and Great Dane breeds. The Ridgebacked dogs were brought in Zimbabwe during 16th century by white South African nationals descended from Dutch settlers. The native tribes of the area used this breed extensively for hunting as well as for watchdog for their families, properties and crops. Two dogs of Ridgeback breed were brought to Rhodesia by Reverend Helm in 1877. This breed won the heart of native hunters, they thought an idea of hunting with this dog in pack form, idea proved accurate, the furious dog made lions and horses disable from escaping. The breed was named “African Lion Hound”. The dog was proved compatible with climate of Africa. The breed was standardized in Rhodesia during year 1922. Thereafter the breed was named Rhodesian Ridgeback hounds and were recognized by American Kennel Club during 1955. Some of the important applications of the dog are big game hunter, guardian and outdoor companion.


The breed is extremely brave, steadfast and vigilant. Rhodesian Ridgeback are hunting hounds without match. They have the freedom of stamina, courage and power, they can make horses and lions treed in corners. Weather borne these can survive in extremely hot and freezing cold climates. 

Indoors, the dog behaves well manned, quite bold, steady and serious. They stay harmless to other animals in house and cooperative in nature, extremely loyal to family and ensure their protection. They are aggressive to strangers and with other elements posing threat to their family. They bark to alarm the owner against culprits. They have distinguished feature of sensitivity in all three major sensors, sharp eyes, attentive ears and sniffy nose, they are able to detect odd smells, sounds and suspicious movements in their surroundings.

They are dominating natured, but can cooperatively work as hound, get along well with other animals, even with dogs and cats. However, socialization training is emphasized during their puppyhood. All animals should be introduced in the early age, training should be compact and firm, being high energetic breed, they need strong handler. They need new tasks and challenges during training, plan some more difficult activities for them. In obedience training, handler should bear tolerance in his mind and training should be conducted entirely committed.

Owner Should Know

  1. Gentle with children, however toddler should always be governed.
  2. The dog is not for first time dog owners.
  3. If you intend to keep other animals with Rhodesian Ridgeback, socialize them in early age and introduce all animals with them.
  4. They will get bored without work, keep them busy rather you would have aggressive dog.
  5. Natural hunter, this dog needs to be kept in high fenced area or at leash.
  6. The breed is low shedder, need a little grooming, keep them hygienically clean.
  7. Tough to train, but consistency, patience and variety in training would prove favorable.
  8. The breed is energy pack, need extensive exercise, wide area or time to jog is required.
  9. Apartment living is only suited when you have time to walk, jog or other suitable exercise.
  10. The breed is active, they will get bored when not on work and will be destructively dig a lot.
  11. Seek for reputed and trusted suppliers or breeders to get healthy puppies.


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