The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large breed of dog with roots in Southern Africa in the middle of the 17th century. It is known for the strip of hair growing in the opposite direction on its back, giving it the name “Ridgeback”.
Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are tall and muscular, with a broad, flat head and triangular ears. They have deep chests, a black or brown nose, and occasionally a black tongue. Their front legs are muscular and straight, and they have quite a long tail which tapers to a point and curves slightly. The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog has a short, dense coat which is usually light wheaten to red in colour. It is an average shedder and its smooth, short coat is very easy to groom; the dog only needs a bath when necessary.
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Rhodesian Ridgebacks dogs are known for being ferocious hunters but also calm, gentle and loving at home. Their temperament is smart, obedient, brave and alert, but do not mix well with children as they often play rough and can knock them down. To prevent the dog from being too reserved, it should be socialised and trained from a young age. If the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy meets other pets while it is still young, it is unlikely that there will be temperament issues with other animals in the future.
If their needs are satisfied, Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs can make great companions. However, they are not recommended for people who do not have enough time or are not willing to put in the effort with their dog. An inactive Rhodesian Ridgeback dog can become destructive or develop behavioural problems, so regular and extensive physical activity and mental stimulation are needed to keep it occupied.
Due to their history as hunting dogs, the watchful temperament of the Rhodesian Ridgeback makes them great watchdogs, but as they can be overprotective of their owners, they are not recommended as guard dogs.
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It is believed that the modern Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed came out of breeding a Cape Peninsula hunting dog with Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds and terriers in the 19th century. The resulting dog was the Boer hunting dog, which was in turn the foundation of the modern Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.
In the 1870s, a hunter named Cornelius van Rooyen saw these dogs and decided to breed his own in order to combine their guarding abilities. The result was a lion hunting dog breed, which was used to hold lions, wild pigs and baboons while the hunter kills it.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks were first shown in the UK in 1928 and brought to the USA in 1950. It was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1955.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club NSW: http://www.therhodesianridgebackclubinc.com/
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Victoria: http://oz.dogs.net.au/rrcv/
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Queensland: http://www.rrcq.org/
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of WA: http://rrcwa.com.au/
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of SA: http://www.rrclubsa.com/