The Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed developed in Southern Africa and is also called „African Lion Dog“and „African Lion Hound“. The breed was first found in 16th century on the Cape of Good Hope, in Africa. They were discovered by Europeans that were exploring that area and found the Hottentot tribes living with a semi-domesticated dog. That dog had hair along his spine growing backwards – today we call that “the ridge” the Rhodesian Ridgeback is famous for.
This breed was developed for hunting purposes and it needed to tolerate well the rigors of the African bush and drastic changes in temperature during the day and night. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was also meant to protect the villagers from wild animals.
The Rhodesian ridgeback is a strong, muscular and athletic dog. It is also confident and intelligent dog that weighs between 70 to 85 pounds (32-38 kilograms). Males are 25 to 27, and females are 24 to 26 inches tall. Ridgebacks are fast and powerful athletes. They come in only one color – wheaten - that ranges from light wheaten to red wheaten.
Because it takes a lot of devotion and energy to train this breed properly, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is not for everyone. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very trainable, but only in the right hands. This breed requires a lot of exercise. As they were developed in Africa, they can withstand a lot of activity in very high temperatures. The Rhodesian Ridgeback thrive on athletic activities, and can become anxious and destructive, if there is no proper exercise. Also, training a Rhodesian Ridgeback can be tricky. They need to be trained by firm hand, but never with harshness. Training must be constant because they love to test boundaries, and if the rules are bent once, your Rhodesian Ridgeback will take that as an invitation to rule the house. Also, consistent training is necessary if you want to be able to trust your Ridgeback off-leash. Their natural tendency to hunt makes them unreliable to unleash. Because Rhodesian Ridgeback are loyal, affectionate dogs, they are very popular as family dogs. It is known that their ideal living situation is indoors with family members and that they don’t do well being left alone for too long. They are great protectors of their families and get along with children. They get along with other animals as well, under condition they are raised together. They are the most territorial and protective of the hounds and are reserved towards strangers. Their natural instinct to protect may turn into aggression sometimes and that is why they should be socialized from an early age. Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be dominant with other animals and can be aggressive toward dogs of the same sex.
Ridgebacks are easy to maintain. Their smooth coat’s shedding is minimal. An occasional bath, brushing fur and trimming nails when necessary are everything this breed needs. They generally don’t bark a lot but will alert their family if something unusual is happening around them (some of them bark when they are bored). Their lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
If you have decided to buy yourself a Rhodesian Ridgeback prepare to cash out around $900 to $1200 USD. Puppies will cost even more if their parents are show quality. When buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback, make sure you are doing business with responsible breeder. A responsible, good breeder will welcome your questions about dog’s background, history, temperament, health clearances, etc. Avoid breeders that are only interested whether you’ll be paying with cash or credit card.
Here at World Dog Finder we work exclusively with breeders of the highest standards and require them to send us the neccesery documents that show us they are registered with the FCI and their countries cynology association.
But buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the only way you can get yourself a quality dog. There are many dogs in shelters, waiting to be loved as they deserve. Check out your local shelters, maybe there is a Rhodesian Ridgeback waiting for you.
FUN FACT: Ridgebacks have two nose colors - black and brown.
FUN FACT: Although the ridge is their hallmark, not all Rhodesian Ridgebacks have ridges on their back.
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