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Rhodesian Ridgeback


Breed Description

A large breed with a strong body, short coat and muscular, athletic build. With a life span of 10-13 years and an average weight of 35kg – 45kg. Known for the distinctive ridge of hair on their back and loving personalities, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are affectionate, loyal and very family orientated. An active breed who loves to play and needs a moderate amount of exercise. A loyal and affectionate companion.

Additional Information


Rhodesian Ridgeback

Life Expectancy

10 – 13 Years




Southern Africa – Zimbabwe
















Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a large breed dog with a muscular and athletic body. Known for the distinctive ridge of hair along their back. They have broad head with a black nose and a longer muzzle with a strong neck. They have long tapered tail with a short, dense coat.


A short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colours from light wheaten to dark red wheaten. They need a weekly brushing to help get rid of dirt and an occasional bath. Nails need to be clipped regularly, ears and teeth cleaned often.


Ridgebacks are a large, active breed and require a high quality, high protein diet. A breed appropriate or size – activity specific kibble would be great, although it can be supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein-rich meat along with additional supplements such as omega 3 oils and joint supplements.


Ridgebacks needs a good amount of exercise daily, that includes both physical and mental stimulation. They need long walks with lots of sniffing and a lot of play time to stimulate them. With adequate exercise they can be very well-mannered house dogs. They can benefit greatly from obedience training. Repetitive rewards-based training is required with lots of early socialization.


Although overall healthy dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be prone to certain health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, dermoid cists and skin allergies. With a proper diet, adequate exercise and regular vet check-ups and vaccinations, Ridgebacks can live a long and healthy, happy life.


For such an active and large breed, they require a big yard with lots of space to run and play. They adapt easily although they don't do well in too cold weather. Daily playtime and affection are needed as they are a very family orientated dog and love attention.


A low maintenance dog although they require a moderate amount of exercise and loads of attention. They require a high quality, breed appropriate diet along with regular vet check-ups.


Rhodesian Ridgebacks are gentle giants with a quiet and affectionate personality. Naturally protective with a hunting instinct. They are very much family orientated and love attention from their humans! Due to their hunting history, Ridgebacks should not be trained as protection dogs, but rather trained in obedience. A loving and extremely loyal companion!

Family Life

Due to their gentle and loving nature, Ridgebacks make great family dogs and are great with kids! They want nothing more than to play with their humans. An active breed who loves play time. They do well with other pets if well socialized.

Fun Facts

-Originally bred to hunt lions <br />
-Ridgebacks rarely ever bark <br />
-There is only one official colour for Ridgebacks which is "wheaten", although it <br />
comes in many shades of wheaten.

Breed History

A dog native to Southern Africa, Zimbabwe – previously Rhodesia, Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred after crossing other African breeds like the Africanis and European breeds like Greyhounds and various Terriers. They bred a versatile breed with strong characteristics. Known then as Lion dogs, in the late 19th century a big-game hunter Cornelius van Rooyen- a native Rhodesian, bred again with his ridged Greyhound females to produced ridged offspring with even stronger characteristics and unmatched courage and strength to take down lions. Not only could they hunt and kill lions, but they were successful in protecting their humans and properties against animals such as leopards and baboons all while being able to keep up with horses. Merciless hunters, yet loving and affectionate companions. In 1922 the breed was on the brink of extinction due to big-game hunting not being as popular anymore, but luckily Ridgebacks grew in popularity as family dogs.


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