The Rhodesian Ridgeback is famous for the line of hair going “against the grain” down its spine. It is this line, or ridge, of hair running down the spine that gives the breed its name. Not all Ridgies have a complete ridge and I have seen some that don’t even have a ridge at all. If you are buying a pedigree Ridgeback then dogs with a complete ridge are worth more than dogs without a complete ridge. If you want to breed your dog in the future it is important that you get one with a complete ridge.
It is widely accepted that the breed originated from a cross between the Cuban Bloodhound and the Hottentot Hunting Dog, however there is some debate over this. They were bred as a hunting dog in South Africa, specifically to hunt large game in the 1800’s. Ridgies still display many characteristics linked to this heritage; they are fast, strong, courageous, obedient and remarkably skillful at tackling wild animals. They are sometimes referred to as the “Lion Dog” and this is because as part of their hunting duties, packs of Ridgies would harass a lion until it was worn out and the armed hunters could have a clear shot at it.
I would recommend this breed for young adults that want a great companion, but I have also seen many of these dogs as family pets.
The average lifespan is around 11 years, but they can live for up to 13 years with the right diet, genetics and lifestyle.
They usually grow to about 61-70 cm in height and weigh between 32 and 40 kgs in peak condition.