General Information

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a handsome medium-large dog originally bred in Africa to hunt large game, including lions. It was previously known as the African Lion Hound.  They can readily be identified by their trademark and namesake ridge of forward-growing hair on their back and is what gave them their name.  They are noted for their strong athleticism, dignified manner, noble carriage, intelligence in their eyes, loyalty, great with families and other dogs and home guardians who will be protective of their owners and are reserved toward strangers. While they are able and willing to defend their family, if raised properly they are not aggressive and generally quiet dogs only barking when they feel the need to notify their owners of potential danger.  They are very smart and can sometimes be stubborn.  What attracted me to the breed was their seemingly effortless gait at a trot.  They were bred to cover many miles across the African savannas while hunting making them great companions for long and short distance joggers, runners, or hikers.  They have moderate energy and as long as they get some regular exercise are more likely to enjoy snuggling on the couch then insist on going for a walk. Their coat is easy-care, and while they do shed, they tend to keep themselves very clean.  They tend to live an average of 10 – 13 years, but some live longer. They are generally healthy and are not known for problems such as hip dysplasia or other health issues.  They are not known for drooling. While bred to track and hold big game, such as lions, bears, and boar, at bay they are not used for this today, but they have been used for hunting birds and other prey, search and rescue and as service animals.  If you are looking for an athletic, powerful, agile, confident, short haired dog with a touch of hardheadedness that is playful with a sense of humor the Rhodesian Ridgeback may be your perfect match, but they are not for everyone! First time or less confident owners may find them a handful. If you are not willing to spend significant amounts of time socializing and training you could find yourself with 90 pounds of trouble. Please learn and understand what these dogs are all about before considering adding one to your family!