Rhodesian Ridgeback Information & Dog Breed Facts
Collection of all the general dog breed info about Rhodesian Ridgeback so you can get to know the breed more.
Other Names |
What other names does the Rhodesian Ridgeback have? The dog breed also known as...
|African Lion Dog, African Lion Hound|
Breed Type |
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group |
Is Rhodesian Ridgeback recognized by the American Kennel Club?
|Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955 as a Hound breed.|
FCI Group |
Is Rhodesian Ridgeback recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
|Recognized by FCI in the Scent hounds and related breeds group, in the Related breeds section.|
Breed Recognition |
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed?
|American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubRhodesian Ridgeback Club Of The US|
How much does the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Rhodesian Ridgeback price:
If you choose to purchase the Rhodesian Ridgeback, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Rhodesian Ridgeback for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Rhodesian Ridgeback gets to a happy place.
Rhodesian Ridgeback History
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was once known as the African Lion dog, a hunting dog that was used to track big game animals such as Lions and Cheetahs, hence the name. The breed was developed in South Africa by farmers who needed a versatile hunting dog who could withstand the extreme temperatures and terrain of the bush, survive when water rations were low, protect the property and be a companion to the family. From early in its origins the Ridgeback has been loved for its loyalty, mild temperament, and braveness.
According to historians, the origins of the foundation dogs can be traced back to Ethiopia or Southern Sudan. A drawing had been found in an Egyptian tomb, from 4000 BC, that shows a hound with dropped ears and what appears to be a ridge on its back. Many believe that this was most likely the ancestor of the breed that was domesticated by the indigenous tribes of Africa. Another evidence of the Rhodesian Ridgeback which was found is a rock painting near Rasape in Zimbabwe, that was used for the preparation of the burial of a chief.
Moreover, there are ridged dog breeds that were found in Thailand, Cambodia, and other Asian areas so some people believe that it is impossible to tell if the ridged breeds moved from the East to Africa or the other way around, perhaps they developed totally independently.
Later on, when European Boer settlers arrived in South Africa in the 16-17th centuries, they brought with them such breeds as the Great Danes, Mastiffs, Greyhounds, Pointer, and Bloodhounds among others. They started by crossing the dogs they brought with a half-wild native dog kept by the Khoikhoi (pastoral people) which were the ancestors of the Ridgebacks. These dogs hunted by both sight and scent and were devoted protectors of the entire family. However, at first, the Boers used the dogs to flush partridge or bring down a wounded buck. When big-game hunting became popular, they found that the dogs were well suited for accompanying them when they hunted lions.
Although for more than a hundred years, after 1707, European immigration was closed and the importation of these dogs and also other breeds became hard to come by so their value went up.
Furthermore, when people heard how useful they were for hunting lions, several dogs in the 19th century were taken to Rhodesia. They were so successful, they became popular and their distinctive ridge becoming a trademark of quality. A hunter called Cornelius von Rooyen started a breeding program in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Soon a breed standard was set down at the beginning of the 20th century and in 1924 the Rhodesian Ridgeback was officially accepted by the South African Kennel Union. Some Rhodesian Ridgebacks may have made it to the USA as early as 1911, but it wasn’t until after World War II that large numbers of the breed were imported to the USA, Britain, and Canada. The first one of its type registered by the American Kennel Club was Tchaika of Redhouse, in 1955, the same year the breed was recognized by the club.
Today, the Rhodesian Ridgeback ranks 54th in popularity among the 155 breeds recognized by the AKC. It is quite popular in South Africa where the breed first began its journey.
What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Rhodesian Ridgeback size:
How much does the Rhodesian Ridgeback weigh? Rhodesian Ridgeback weight:
|Male: 80-90 pounds (36-41 kg), Female: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)|
Avg. Weight |
What is the average weight of the Rhodesian Ridgeback? Rhodesian Ridgeback average weight:
|Male: 85 pounds (38.5 kg), Female: 70 pounds (31.5 kg)|
How tall is the Rhodesian Ridgeback? Rhodesian Ridgeback height:
|Male: 25-27 inches (63-69 cm), Female: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)|
Avg. Height |
What is the average height of this fido? Rhodesian Ridgeback average height:
|Male: 26 inches (66 cm), Female: 25 inches (63.5 cm)|
What type of coat does the Rhodesian Ridgeback have? What does this canine coat look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Rhodesian Ridgeback's coat?
How to groom the Rhodesian Ridgeback and how often?
Effortless: The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires minimal grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary. Ears and eyes should be cleaned sometimes to avoid infections. Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the best choices if you don't have the time, skill or money to take care of a high maintenance dog. Highly recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level |
How much do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the African Lion Dog? Rhodesian Ridgeback shedding level:
Rhodesian Ridgebacks shed none to minimal. Having a puppy from this breed you don't have to be afraid of your couch or car covered by dog hair. Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs could be the best choice if you don't tolerate dog hair.
What kind of personality does the Rhodesian Ridgeback have? What characteristics does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank |
How smart is the Rhodesian Ridgeback? Are they intelligent?
Average: Rhodesian Ridgeback's has average obedience intelligence. Patience is needed for teaching this breed to any tricks and commands though, but it's worth the effort. They understand and memorize new commands in 25-40 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 50% of the time or better.
Are Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level |
How sensitive are they? Rhodesian Ridgeback sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Rhodesian Ridgebacks don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits really well. They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.
Affection Level |
How affectionate are they?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and considered as a great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs |
How much social interaction does the African Lion Dog need? Rhodesian Ridgeback social needs:
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs bark a lot? Why does my African Lion Hound bark?
Low to Average: The Rhodesian Ridgeback rarely barks. This breed could be a good choice if you're looking for a quiet breed. They don't bark unless there is a good reason. Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.
Watchdog Ability |
Is Rhodesian Ridgeback good as a watchdog?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered as their main job.
Do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their territory?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks strongly protect their territory. This breed is a complete security guard, so you don't have to be afraid in case of danger.
Biting Potential |
Do Rhodesian Ridgeback bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the African Lion Dog? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Rhodesian Ridgeback? Why do dog bites happen?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Rhodesian Ridgeback do?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Rhodesian Ridgebacks need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam |
How likely is the Rhodesian Ridgeback to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Rhodesian Ridgeback roam?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command. This breed is also able to cause damage to your fence.
Prey Drive |
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Rhodesian Ridgeback have high prey drive?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a high impulse to chase and catch something. Cats or any other small animals are in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly |
Is Rhodesian Ridgeback good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone |
Can you leave this breed home alone?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
Fighting Dog |
Where Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.
Stranger Friendly |
Are they friendly with strangers?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly |
Are Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Rhodesian Ridgeback and children:
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very kid-friendly dogs. This breed enjoys being surrounded by children.
Cat Friendly |
How well do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly |
Is Rhodesian Ridgeback good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the most dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a good choice.
Office Friendly |
Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks good office dogs? Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks make good office friendly dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgebacks be office dogs?
Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly |
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the African Lion Dog temperament with senior people? Are Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs good for elderly owners?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly |
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs get along with other pets? Are Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks usually don’t get on well with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners |
Is Rhodesian Ridgeback breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog |
Are they good as service dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgeback be a service dog?
|Not really |
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog |
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgeback be a therapy dog?
|Not really |
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog |
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgeback be a sniffer dog?
|Not really |
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) |
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgeback be a search and rescue dog?
|Not really |
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Boat Dog |
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgeback be a boat dog?
|Not really |
Rhodesian Ridgeback breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog |
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Rhodesian Ridgeback be a drafting dog?
|Not really |
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Health Issues |
Is it a healthy breed? Do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs have health problems?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems |
What health problems does the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed? Health risks of Rhodesian Ridgeback:
|Dermoid SinusElbow DysplasiaHip Dysplasia|
Life Expectancy |
How long do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Rhodesian Ridgeback be?
Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed hypoallergenic?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level |
How much energy does the Rhodesian Ridgeback have?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Exercise Need |
How much exercise does this dog need? How much exercise do Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs require per day?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Sleeping Need |
How much sleep does this fido need?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption |
How much food does the Rhodesian Ridgeback need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
|Recommended daily amount: 2 3/4 to 4 3/8 cups of a high-quality daily, divided into two meals.|
Weight Gain Potential |
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Rhodesian Ridgeback risk for obesity:
Average. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Rhodesian Ridgeback's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate |
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold weather & climate?
|Tolerates warm and cold weather.|
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency |
Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback drool?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Rhodesian Ridgeback could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimal compared to others, just like the Rhodesian Ridgeback. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.
Gestation Length |
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
Reproductive cycle of the female Rhodesian Ridgeback: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
|How often can the Rhodesian Ridgeback have a litter?||Once a year.|
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size |
How many puppies can the Rhodesian Ridgeback have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
Rhodesian Ridgeback Pros & Cons
- Grooming: Effortless: The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires minimal grooming.
- Shedding Level: Rhodesian Ridgebacks shed none to minimal.
- Drooling tendency: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
- Adaptability: Rhodesian Ridgebacks adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
- Child Friendly: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very kid-friendly dogs.
- Senior Citizens Friendly: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
- Hypoallergenic: Rhodesian Ridgebacks don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
- Impulse to Wander or Roam: Rhodesian Ridgebacks have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world.
- Tolerates Being Left Alone: Rhodesian Ridgebacks do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
- Cat Friendly: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the most cat-friendly dogs.
- Dog Friendly: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
- Office Friendly: Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the best dog breed for office environment.
- Good For First Time Owners: Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Latest Rhodesian Ridgeback Compares
Rate The Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed
Rhodesian Ridgeback Comments, Reviews & Questions
May 20, 2021, 12:34:59 AM:
- Helga K
Nov 17, 2020, 1:35:29 AM:
Intelligent, loyal, clean, quiet, confident, easy going. Trainable, especially with a purpose. Protective of home and occupants, but not aggressive. All of my RR's had their own personality traits. Consistency and leadership will pay off.
Oct 26, 2020, 5:28:27 PM:
Great guard dogs but extremely social away from home. Never bark, great hunting dogs. Pack oriented, don't just get one. You must prove yourself a worthy leader to these dogs. Best and most loyal dogs I've ever had.
- Boer bull * Rhodesian ridge back
May 4, 2020, 5:47:38 AM:
Curious,sensitive,playful and a compassionate dog.Black in color.Aggressive.
Mar 7, 2020, 3:42:19 PM:
Best dog! Smart, affectionate, sweet, beautiful, loves to snuggle for a lazy night in, but she’s always up for a nice long run. Patient with young kids. Trained a lot: coach able, stubborn, but very well behaved Gets along well with other dogs
Feb 23, 2020, 8:30:01 PM:
Not for rookie dog owners. Best breed I've ever had. A bit arrogant, smarter than your honor student and are almost regal in a way.