The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a very strong, muscular dog, very active and capable of enduring extreme temperatures. This breed is a hunter, not a barker and was bred for hunting in the African brush. The dog would track and hold a lion at bay until the master could move in for the kill.
The particular feature of this dog, as it's name suggests is the ridge of hair on it's back that runs the opposite way when compared to the rest of it's coat. The broader the ridge is, the more valuable the dog.
The breed comes in different colors, being, black, red, fawn, brindle and sometimes white.
This is an extremely protective dog with a very strong will. Early training is a must as young dogs can be very robust and easily knock over a small child.
Although one of the most intelligent of dogs, they are not the easiest dogs to train. They soon become bored and can be quite stubborn and destructive if not involved in a good training program from an early age. A gentle but firm approach is best when training your Rhodesian Ridgeback or you risk destroying the dog's confidence.
This dog is quite a healthy breed but one of the major health problems is dermoid sinus.This is similar to Spina Bifida in humans. Newborn Rhodesian Ridgebacks should be tested immediately to ensure they are dermoid free.
Some pups are put to sleep by breeders if they are born with this genetic disease but it is not usually fatal except in extreme cases.
They can also suffer from hip dysplasia
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has short hair and is not difficult to groom. A good grooming program should be applied around every month, with a general brushing weekly. Make sure the nails are trimmed if necessary and pay attention to ears and eyes. This is an ideal time to check the condition of the coat and skin and make sure there are no unusual lumps that may need treatment.
As you might imagine this breed needs plenty of regular exercise from an owner who must be completely dedicated to his dog. Not for an appartment this breed. It needs a large yard and a lot of physical and mental stimulation.
This dog is a wonderful, friendly companion and family dog but it does demand quite a lot of attention from a committed owner