Dog Training

Rhodesian Ridgeback


Learned, Sensitive, Eager to work
Size: Large
Height: 60-68 cm
Weight: 28-42 kg
Lifespan: 12 years
Coat: Shorthair
Colors: Red-wheat color, Light-wheat color, Wheat color
FCI Group: Scent hounds and related breeds

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a simple dog. In the past, the animals helped with big game hunting. The intelligence and courage of their ancestors are still evident in their temperament today. Educationally, the Rhodesian Ridgeback demands know-how. He needs a consistent handler. In the right hands, he will develop his loyal and gentle character. The breed is suitable for a life in the family with children with a few deductions.

Rhodesian Ridgeback
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The Rhodesian Ridgeback (back comb) owes its name to the typical hair comb of the breed. This grows on the back against the direction of the coat. The breed standards of the FCI divide the Rhodesian Ridgeback into group 6. The coat of the elegant and powerful animals ranges from light wheat to red beech. It is smooth (without undercoat) and appears short and dense.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog that loves to move and learn. He needs a lot of exercise and wants to be kept busy. Too little of either will cause the Ridgeback to become stunted and exhibit conspicuous behavior. Ridgebacks are relatively impervious to heat and weather. Rugged and alert, they are best suited to being kept on the property. The Ridgeback will not be happy in kennels or hutches.

Lack of connection he bears badly! The breed is also not so good in the apartment. A Ridgeback needs plenty of space and lots of exercise. With their size, the animals are prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis. Daily stair climbing is poison for the Ridgeback's joints. If the dog gets sick, its owner has to lift up to 40 kilos. The car or a trailer for the bicycle is recommended.

The Ridgeback is loyal and bonds closely to his pack members. This makes him an excellent companion and family dog. The Ridgeback can also flourish in the role of assistance dog. His fearless and peaceable nature proves calm blood in exceptional situations. Provided the owner directs his impetuous temperament into the right channels.

A sensitive and consistent hand is needed. Aggression and rough punishments overtax the Ridgeback. He reacts defiantly and with stubbornness to bad temper or anger. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dominant dog. He will subordinate himself out of sincere respect. His high social intelligence allows him to perceive many things. This includes that he recognizes children in the family group as kittens. He will yield to them rather playfully. He will not accept strict obedience from everyone.

The Ridgeback in a family with children needs clear rankings. When in doubt, the dog takes over the educational duties. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are considered late developers. They are not physically and characteristically mature until they are two to three years old. The animals are suspicious of strangers. On the other hand, they are not afraid to defend their pack members.

In play with conspecifics, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is boisterous and rough-around-the-edges. Males play macho during puberty and need a strong hand on the other end of the leash. Females like to be a bitch to other females. With age, the animals become calmer and more balanced.

Who gets a Rhodesian Ridgeback into the house, must not make a careless choice. Dog fans with expertise and enough time get a great companion. With a Rhodesian Ridgeback, you can literally go through thick and thin.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

The diet of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is based on the individual energy requirements. A high quality of food keeps the dog fit and healthy until senior age. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a predisposition to disorders of the joint and bone apparatus.

Too many carbohydrates during the puppy period promotes deformation of the skeleton. Excessive rapid growth puts pressure on the bones. Young animals of this breed have an increased need for calcium and phosphorus. They require an age-appropriate supply of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. The adult Ridgeback does not tend to become fat. Its daily caloric intake is based on its exercise metabolic rate. A dog that is active in sports needs more calories.

Large dogs better feed grain-free. This will help prevent the joint problems.

The food is best given to the Ridgeback after work. Jogging, training or running on the bike. The main thing is that he is allowed to earn his meal. Then the temperamental Hans Dampf will retire to rest. The Ridgeback is also at risk of stomach turning. Rather feed several times a day in small portions.

After eating, please observe a strict rest period! Reward snacks are a welcome addition. They play a big role in the training of the Ridgeback. He reacts stubbornly to punishments. Subtract the calorie intake via snacks and co from the basal metabolic rate. Overweight is a risk for musculoskeletal disorders.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Care

The agile Rhodesian Ridgeback is uncomplicated in its daily care. Claw trimming is not an issue if the dog walks regularly on asphalt. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are hardy and hardened from their original habitat. In this country, only a continuous rain can spoil their mood.

The coat of the Ridgeback looks healthy and shiny even without great care. Brushing once or twice a week (against the grain) is sufficient. This works best with a rubber bar. The care removes excess hair and serves the acceptance. The dog should later allow itself to be touched on all parts of the body without resistance.

Constant hair loss cannot be avoided in the short-haired Ridgeback. Regular brushing will reduce hair finding its way back into the home. What the Ridgeback does not like is water (former savannah habitat). Please bathe only if it cannot be avoided. Because of this water-shyness, the Ridgeback is rarely seen in police work. Although his clever and courageous nature make him an excellent service dog.

To prevent dental problems, buffalo skin bones are recommended. They naturally promote tartar abrasion. For older animals the owner must regularly check the teeth. A visit to the vet may be due. The vet can also trim the claws. If the dog is used to it from an early age, the owner is best to use his own scissors.

In winter, a blob of milking grease protects the animals' sensitive pads from cold and cracking. It is better to avoid gritted paths. After the walk, clean the paws of any remains. The Ridgeback cools down faster if it does not keep moving.

Suitable accessories

The large, powerfully built body of a Ridgeback is equipped with a Dishes better served. It also helps to counteract the tendency to hip and elbow problems. The harness distributes the line pressure better over the body. The collar and harness should not be too tight. If pressure points and cuts appear, please choose one size larger.

A warming coat replaces the missing undercoat in the coat of the Ridgeback. It protects him from chilling on wet and cold winter days.

The mentally active Rhodesian Ridgebacks are happy about pedagogically valuable toy. Items like the Kong or a feeding station hone intelligence and sensory skills.

Rhodesian Ridgeback history picture

Origin & History

Lion hunters, that's the name of the powerful Ridgebacks in the second. The breed originates from the south of Africa. The origin of the Rhodesian Ridgeback goes back many centuries. The first white settlers reported dogs with the typical back crest. They were rather small and hyena-like. Their courage and endurance were impressive. The settlers crossed these so-called "Hottentot dogs" with their own animals.

In the middle of the 19th century, a new breed was born. It was in no way inferior to the dogs of the natives, but larger and stronger. The animals supported the settlers in hunting big game and protected the farms. The name lion hunter or lion dog derives from the fact that the dogs assisted in big game hunting. When the pack tracked down a lion, they kept it at bay with mock attacks. The hunter only had to put on the rifle.

In such a hunt, only the most skillful and fearless representatives survived. This natural selection can still be seen today in the nature of the Ridgeback. In 1879 a missionary crossed the South African dog with Great Danes and European hunting dogs. Today's Rhodesian Ridgeback has been officially recognized as a breed since 1924. His standard was based on the Dalmatian. He is the only South African breed that was included in the standard lists.