Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies

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An independent, playful, and loyal breed

The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed originated in Africa when Dutch immigrants needed a hunting dog that could handle the harsh climate. They bred their Greyhounds and Terriers with the native Khoikhoi dog to create a breed used to hunt big game, including lions. The result was a great hunting dog and evolved into an even-tempered family dog.

Rhodesian Ridgeback At a Glance

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Rhodesian Ridgeback At a Glance

  • Size: 24"-27", 65-90 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Energy Level: medium
  • Coat: Short and glossy
  • Shedding: moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Dog Group: Hound
  • Common Nicknames: African Lion Dog, African Lion Hound

Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Guide

Learn More About Rhodesian Ridgebacks

  • Temperament

    Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal family dogs that love to romp and play with children. Like almost any other dog, Ridgebacks need early socialization to avoid aggressive behavior as adults. By nature, these dogs are a little suspicious of strangers but will adjust with time. When it comes to other dogs and pets, Ridgebacks do best with other animals when they are raised with them during puppyhood. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very intelligent and respond well to positive training, but their strong-willed nature makes them a bit stubborn. That said, Ridgebacks do best with an owner who is comfortable asserting their dominance. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are independent dogs and, although they love companionship, are happy with a bit of alone time every once in a while.

  • Health

    Rhodesian Ridgebacks are healthy dogs but are prone to joint and eye issues. Keep an eye out for hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid function, and dermoid sinus at birth.

  • Activity Level

    Rhodesian Ridgebacks require a moderate amount of exercise to remain happy and healthy. They love running with their owners or playing games in a fenced-in yard. Canine sports that exercise their body and mind are also encouraged.

  • Grooming

    Although they shed, their grooming needs are fairly minimal. Brushing 1-2 times per week helps remove loose hair before it falls in your house, and occasional baths keep their coat shiny and smooth. Their nails should be clipped regularly, but they often have an aversion to nail clipping.

  • Shedding

    Rhodesian Ridgebacks shed year-round, more heavily during the fall and spring seasons. Regular brushing can help cut back on excess hair, and shedding tools are encouraged during the heavier shedding seasons.

  • Appearance

    They have an elegant, symmetrical appearance and feature a distinctive ridge of hair that grows along their spine. Their short and straight coat is either fawn or red, and can sometimes feature white spots around the chest. Their expressive eyes are found in either brown or amber colorings.

  • History

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as the African Lion Hound, has a noble history that originates in South Africa. This breed was originally developed to be a defender of livestock and hunting hounds that could also withstand extreme temperatures. The Rhodesian Ridgeback likely originated from crosses between the native dogs of South Africa and European dogs like Mastiffs, Great Danes, and Bloodhounds. During the 1870s, early forms of the Rhodesian Ridgeback were taken to Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe), where they were used to hunt lions. These dogs quickly became popular because of their excellent hunting skills. The Rhodesian Ridgeback arrived in the United States after World War II and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1995.