“African Lion Hound”
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, very strong and muscular hound. RR is extremely savage in the hunt, but at home it is a gentle, calm, obedient, no barker dog. The RR was developed in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and worked as a hunter, retriever but also took care of children and guarded property. The dog was used for lion hunting. They were working in a pack by surrounding and holding lion at bay until the master could move in for the kill.
The particular aspect of this dog, is a symmetrical ridge of hairs growing down the middle of the back in the opposite direction than the rest of it’s coat.
This is an intelligent, loyal and extremely protective dog with a very strong will. Early training is a must as young dogs may play too roughly and knock down small children. They are not the easiest dogs to train. RR gets bored very fast and can be quite stubborn and destructive if not involved in a good training program from an early age. It requires positive, reward-based training, good socialization and consistency. A gentle but resolute approach is best when training your Rhodesian Ridgeback or you risk destroying the dog’s confidence.
The major health problems of the Rhodesian Ridgeback are dermoid sinus and hip displasia. Newborn Rhodesian Ridgebacks has to be tested immediately to ensure they are dermoid free.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has smooth, short hair and is easy to groom. A general weakly brushing with nails trimming once a month should be enough. Do not forget about regular ears and eyes cleaning
This breed needs plenty of regular exercise. The owner must be completely dedicated to his dog. RR will be OK in an apartment as long as they get enough physical and mental stimulation. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with a large yard.
Ridgebacks make excellent jogging companions.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a wonderful, friendly companion and family dog but it does demand quite a lot of attention from a committed owner.