The Rhodesian Ridgeback is presently the only registered breed indigenous to Southern Africa. The original function of the RR or Lion Dog was to track game, especially Lions and with great agility, keep it at bay until the arrival of the hunter. They were crossed with the early pioneer dogs and the semi-domesticated, ridged Hottentot hunting dogs. The Hottentot Hunting Dog had a ridge of hair along its spine running in a reverse direction to the rest of the coat.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback should represent a well balanced, deep chested strong muscular, agile and active dog capable of endurance and a fair amount of speed.
Grooming and Physical Needs
- Grooming Needs: RR is a short coated dog that requires little grooming, a regular brush is all that is required.
- Coat Type: Short coat.
- Moulting: RR shed little hair if they are brushed regularly. They have a slight seasonal moult.
- Exercise Needs: Running and long walks should be limited until they are 12 months of age. They are active and will require activity to burn energy.
- Average Life Span: 10 - 12 years.
- Family: An active family that will be firm and consistent in all aspects of the RR’s life.
- Temperament: Intelligent, aloof with strangers, but never shy or aggressive.
- Trainability: Initial and consistent training is required. They do not respond well to harsh methods. They will learn well if treated with respect.
- Sociability (Other Pets): As they are an aloof breed, exposing them to all types of situations at an early age will make the transition to having a great, well rounded dog much easier.
- Barking: Low tendency – RR’s only bark when it is necessary.
To stare at you with their big brown eyes, guaranteed to get what they want. Run all day or sleep all day.
First and foremost they are a family companion dog, they do not fare well being left outside and not being part of the pack. Any dog will become destructive if they are bored.