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Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are ancient breeds that originated from South Africa years ago. When first discovered by the Hottentots and the South African Bushman they had medium sized reddish coats with a distinctive ridge of hair going down the center of their backs. Not to mention the fact that they were used for hunting, herding, and guarding. During this time they were also discovered to be great when it came to keeping lions and leopards away.

In 1652, Jan van Rieback came over to South Africa and started trading cattle for the native dogs. As time went on other immigrants came over and started to proceed doing the same thing as Jan. As a result they were able to cross breed their dogs with a variety of high standard dogs to create the perfect dog who could maintain in Africa while also being great at hunting. These dogs were created to be loyal to their families but they also should be great at avoiding diseases, being able to survive on little water in hot temperatures, and be great hunters…read  more about the history here.


Many people see a breed that they love and they think that they have to have it simply because it looks good. However, the main things that they are overlooking is whether or not the dog is a good fit for their lifestyle and if they will be able to train it and keep it under control. It is never a good idea to buy a dog on impulse. Making the decision to become a dog owner is something that is going to require you to do some research first. You will want to make sure you find a breed that you like as well as find out the problems that previously owners have experienced with them. Also, you will want to make sure that you ask questions that cover both the pros and the cons of having the breed.

Ridgebacks are often said to be Labradors or Golden Retrievers in short coats however this is not the case at all. Instead they are hunting dogs they do not have a high prey drive. More specifically, they are independent and they do require training to be obedient and motivated. Furthermore, they are considered to be very hard headed and stubborn.

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As with any other dog you are going to be taking on responsibility when it comes to keeping up with a Ridgeback. These dogs are not a decoration for your yard or home instead they are an addition to your family. They long to feel as though they are part of the pack or they will lash out. So, when thinking of getting one, you should plan for them as you would a newborn child.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies

Puppies and any dog are going to need your attention. They require feeding, training, and playing with. Similarly, to babies puppies will have to be taken to the bathroom in the middle of the nigh as they may not be able to hold their bladder. Additionally, you may have to hire someone to be around to tend to them when you are working.

Ridgebacks also require a ton of exercise so they can be healthy and happy. You will need to make it a priority to insure that they have time for both playing as well as training. It is also important for the younger puppies to be very sociable. Weekly obedience training classes do not hurt to have in place for puppies either. However, if this seems like something that you will not be able to fit into your schedule you will definitely want to consider a different dog breed.

How Much They Cost

Some owners are concerned about the initial price to purchase a Ridgeback however what they are not focusing on is the amount of money that they are going to have to spend over the dog’s lifetime. Not to mention the fact that some places require the dog to be licensed. If this is not one you will have to pay additional fees and you may even lose your dog in general.

After purchasing the dog you also must keep in mind that you are the one who is going to be responsible for food, grooming, collars, leashes, toys, beds, vet care, and training lessons. Not to mention the fact that as with any other dog they are going to need to be vaccinated yearly, take heart worm medication and keep up with their regular healthcare checkups. Sometimes they may even need special treatments if they become sick. So, one really has to factor in whether or not a dog is something that can fit into their budget.

Companionship - Friendship is something that has to be given as well as received. Your dog is going to need a lot of attention so they will not destroy your home or even attempt to run away from you. Ridgebacks are very emotional just like any other dog. They do not deserve to be neglected or abused. You must think of them as your child and provide them with lots of love and guide them as to how they should behave.

How Long Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Live

Ridgebacks usually live from about ten to twelve years. However, there have been some who have survived for as long as sixteen years. If they are loved and cared for as they are supposed to be you can expect them to be around for a very long time. So, in order to do this you must be a responsible owner and know what they are going to need throughout their entire life.

rhodesian ridgeback life span

  1. Bring out their good points
  2. They have short coats so they do not shed and they also do not generally carry an odor.
  3. When they bark they have a good explanation for barking.
  4. They have a great appetite
  5. They are quiet and they love being around humans
  6. Ridgebacks are smart dogs and their ultimate goal is to keep their owners happy
  7. They are easy when it comes to house training them.
  8. They are gorgeous dogs

Protection for Ridgebacks - Ridgebacks are breeds that naturally have a hunting nature running through their veins. So, when they are running after prey they have cars as the last things on their minds. Having a fenced in yard is something that is a must to insure that your pet stays safe. Once they have their mind set up to get prey nothing is going to stop them. You should never allow your puppy to roam because they may get loss, be injured by an automobile, or even be poisoned. It would be very hard dealing with the situation if your dog was to get lost or killed so you should also insure that your Ridgeback wears an identification tag or is micro chipped. Obviously, you will also want to make sure that whenever your dog is leaving the yard he is on a leash. Furthermore, if you plan on going away for a few moments in the summertime while leaving your dog alone you will want to make sure that you have a properly sheltered place for him or her to be outside.

rhodesian ridgebackGrown Ups Are Big - That little puppy that you have just purchased is not going to be little for long. This is why it is very important for all potential dog owners to do research on the breed that they are interested in getting to make sure that their environment as well as their lifestyle is something that is going to be suitable for the dog. Ridgebacks are very appealing when it comes to their appearance yet what many people fail to realize is they do not have the lifestyles available that they need. For example, this dog breed has a lot of energy and since they are larger than the average dog they require a lot of space due to the fact that when they are simply having a good time around the house they cannot only knock over things but they can knock over children as well as adults. So, it is a good idea to make sure that there is a dog park nearby so they can get rid of all of their energy.

Many people who buy a Ridgeback as a result of buying on impulse usually find that they are too much to live with and get rid of them which are totally unfair to the dog. So, before you think about purchasing a Ridgeback you will want to make sure that you have talked with at least seven owners of Ridgebacks, found credible information on the internet, and even visit with some of the breeders. Additionally, it also would not hurt to go to some of the shows and converse with the exhibitors.

Cons of Having a Ridgeback

  1. When they are puppies they have very sharp teeth and strong dogs so you do not want to let them get into the habit of playing rough. They are known to severely damage any furniture or other items that they may chew on around the home. This is why crate training is something that is highly recommended when you are not able to be at home to keep an eye on them.
  2. Ridgebacks have the ability to dig very large holes. So, if you like to garden you may want to consider switching to a new hobby if Ridgeback is the dog breed that you have decided to go with.
  3. Even though they have good appetites this is not a good thing. This is because they will try to eat anything that is not trying to harm them. Not to mention the fact that they can have very pleading and convincing faces to make owners think that they are hungry when in all reality they have had enough to eat. Additionally, they have taught themselves to be able to counter surf really quickly. The best way to keep them from overeating is to make sure food is never left unattended, their food is locked up, and you stick to their feeding schedules.
  4. They have to be treated as part of the family as they are people dogs. This means that they are not supposed to be living in the yard alone in the yard. Also, they are great jumpers and very athletic and can easy get over a five foot fence with no problem at all. So, you never want them to get bored because when they become bored they do wonder off. Additionally, them roaming outside of the yard is something that will frighten other neighbors pets and innocent bystanders because of their size.
  5. Ridgebacks are indeed big dogs and it is mandatory for them to go to obedience classes so they will not make a bad name for the breed. Also, from the time that they are a puppy they should learn how to be able to walk while being loosely lead. It is not fun at all if you are being drug around by them once they reach their adult size.
  6. Ridgebacks are very smart dogs which mean that they can be trained before you have trained them. Furthermore, they are clever dogs and they can also be very stubborn as well. It is best to have them in obedience classes as soon as you possibly can. To reintegrate again, a bored dog can be very destructive especially when they are a Ridgeback. This can lead to them chewing, escaping, and being quite pesky. So, it is always good to make sure that they have a lot of attention every day and are taken to exercise as well.
  7. Ridgebacks also must be introduced to cats so they will not be as aggressive to them.

Lastly, if you are considering a Rhodesian Ridgeback you will want to make sure that you keep in mind the fact that their adult sizes are very large. You must be positive that you will be able to train them and keep up with them. Make sure to read our FAQ page


• Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large dogs that originate from South Africa with the main function of hunting lions. Some people often call them African Lion Hounds as well.
• The Rhodesian Ridgebacks can easily be distinguished from other dog breeds because of the ridge hairs that grow forward on their backs.
• The Rhodesian Ridgebacks have been bred under certain standards since 1922 and it does not appear as their standards will be changing anytime soon.
• Rhodesian Ridgebacks have been registered with the AKC since 1955.
• Rhodesian Ridgebacks were created by Hottentots – one of the native groups of South Arica – , Dutch, German, and Huguenot settlers.
• The Rhodesian Ridgebacks are mixed with Great Danes, Greyhounds, Terriers, Bloodhounds and Mastiffs.

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