Rhodesian Ridgebacks 2015 Wall Calendar
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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Breed Registries:

The all-breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.


South Africa


25 to 27 inches (64-69 cm)


75 lbs (34 kg)

Breed Profile:

The Rhodesian Ridgeback, sometimes referred to as the African Lion Hound, is the only recognized breed originating in South Africa. Unique in having a ridge of hair in the shape of a dagger on his back, he is said to have descended from native ridged dogs known in South Africa since the 16th century.

When the breed was imported to Rhodesia, big game hunters found the Ridgebacks to be excellent hunters and used them to hunt lions. In North America, the Ridgebacks' hunting talent of being able to corner their prey has been used to hunt bobcat, mountain lion, bear, coyote, deer, wild boar and raccoon.

The Ridgeback is a dignified and even-tempered dog, extremely tolerant and an excellent companion for children. Generally reserved with strangers, he is a strong protector of the home. He is muscular and active, capable of great endurance and a fair amount of speed.

In the United States, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is classified as a Sighthound and is eligible to compete in Lure Coursing Trials. He is also seen participating in Field Trials, Herding, Tracking, Agility, Obedience and Conformation.

This breed has a strong prey drive and is known to chase, and even kill, small animals — including the neighbourhood cat. Therefore, care should always be taken to ensure that he is kept leashed and/or in an enclosed area.

His coat is short, dense, sleek and glossy. Accepted colours include light wheaten to red wheaten and a small amount of white on the chest and toes is also sometimes found.

Health Issues

The Rhodesian Ridgeback, as will all breeds, is susceptible to certain genetic problems, including:

If you are considering the adoption of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Testing for the Rhodesian Ridgeback should include hips, elbows and thyroid as well as testing to ensure that eyes are normal. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known as an intelligent breed and a fast learner. However, he can be stubborn and independent with a typical hound dog temperament. Training should be consistent and fair. In addition, because of his strong protective instinct, early socialization and training is a must for this breed.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from Dogwise.com

Additional Information

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More