Dog Breed

Rhodesian Ridgeback

RareSpeedsterGuard Dog
Primary image of Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed
Full Name
Rhodesian Ridgeback
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Life Span
10 - 12 years
Weight
75 - 80 pounds
Description

An ancient breed from South Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has a rich history... they were bred for hunting, and protection. However, because of their origin in South Africa, much of the hunting and protection came in the form of big game- they were even expected to protect from Lions!

Despite their large and athletic stance, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is actually very sensitive. They almost have a sixth sense when it comes to feeling emotions of their owners, or perceiving when other people are arriving to their property.

They truly are a special dog- but they demand a lot from their owner. They are not the best when left alone for long periods of time, and they need an owner who is strong willed, and ready to challenge them both physically and mentally. They can make excellent guard dogs, but need to be socialized with other dogs and people as puppies. s

Origin
South Africa
Zimbabwe
Bred For
Big game hunting, guarding
Attachments
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback good with children?

    Yes, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the Rhodesian Ridgeback naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback friendly with strangers?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is about average in how friendly they are with strangers. They can be timid or protective, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for any household.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback friendly with other dogs?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is about average in how friendly they are with other dogs. They can be timid or defensive, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for dog parks and living with other dogs at home.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback like to cuddle?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback likes to cuddle up every once in a while. They appreciate physical affection, but probably won't stay in your lap for extended amounts of time.
    Playfulness

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback like to play?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback will almost always be ready for play! The Rhodesian Ridgeback is great for a family with children, or otherwise, an environment that is always ready for play.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback make a good service dog?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not typically used as a service dog. There are always exceptions to the rule, but a service dog has to have many natural traits in addition to the proper training- smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback good for first-time owners?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback would not be the best fit for first-time owners. A breed is only good for first-time owners if it is raised for home companionship, and is open to training and is motivated to please its owner.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Rhodesian Ridgeback be trained?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is about average when it comes to training potential. The Rhodesian Ridgeback can be seen in competitions and can have advanced training, but it would require much dedication and oftentimes professional training.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback shed a lot?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback does shed, but less than average.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback easy to groom?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires very little grooming relative to other dog breeds, their coat is very low maintenance.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback need a lot of exercise?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback needs a daily exercise partner! The Rhodesian Ridgeback is best suited for a family where it will get plenty of daily exercise; it has so much energy that exercise is mandatory to avoid destructive behaviors.
    Personality
    Intelligence

    How smart is the Rhodesian Ridgeback?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is very smart. Above-average intelligence means they can pick up on cues and signals quickly when it comes to training. But it also means that they need to be challenged mentally, in addition to their standard exercise needs.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Rhodesian Ridgeback bark? Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback bark too much?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback barks very little compared to other dog breeds. This is excellent for apartment living and is very convenient for travel and otherwise when you are out in public.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback a good guard dog?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a dog breed necessarily known as a guard dog, but they are alert. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is protective of its family, and has above average tendencies when it comes to guarding property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback good at staying alone? Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback independent?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not very independent and does not do great when left behind for longer than a couple of hours. This is one of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback a good apartment dog?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.
    Size

    How big is the Rhodesian Ridgeback?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large dog breed. A dog's size is important to consider when it comes to travel arrangements, budgeting for food, and how big of a living space you have.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Rhodesian Ridgeback tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback can do very well in hot weather. Owners should still be aware of over-heating as this is one of the most common reasons for dogs going into the emergency room, but overall the Rhodesian Ridgeback can do well in hot climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Rhodesian Ridgeback tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback can tolerate some cold, but should not be over-exposed to cold weather. In general, they can live in cold weather climates, but may need clothing on particularly cold evenings or in snow.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback try to run away?

    It is natural for the Rhodesian Ridgeback to run away. They are easily distracted and excited, so the urge to run away should be expected and prepared for- a fenced yard is important.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback a healthy dog? The health of a Rhodesian Ridgeback should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the healthiest breeds. Exercise and a high-quality diet are still high priorities, but overall the Rhodesian Ridgeback has excellent health.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Rhodesian Ridgeback?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Rhodesian Ridgeback into your home. Can you give your Rhodesian Ridgeback enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Rhodesian Ridgeback drool?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback have a large prey drive? Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a very high prey drive and will naturally chase after any small animals it sees. They can co-exist with cats or other animals at the home, but we would not recommend it without supervision.
    Athleticism

    Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback atheltic?

    The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a true athlete. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is both fast, strong, and has a ton of endurance that suits it well for runs, hikes, and even marathons!
  1. Hound
  2. Scenthound
  3. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a purebred dog that belongs to the Scenthound sub group, which falls under the larger Hound dog breed group.
Hound group: The hound has traditionally been used alongside hunters to track or chase prey. Unlike retrievers who are bred primarily to retrieve and bring back the prey, hounds were typically bred to have excellent vision, scent, or speed to pursue the prey. Because of the Hound's excellent vision, scent, and focus, they are a common police and secret services dog. Hounds are typically categorized into either "scent hounds" or "sight hounds". Both exercise and mental stimulation is important for hounds because of their history. They want to feel they have a "job" and want to go to bed feeling they have done their day's duty.
Scenthound sub-group: The scenthounds were the original hunting dogs. Many go back thousands of years, and their exceptional scent is something that has been passed down through the generations. Typically people think about dogs using their amazing smell for hunting, but it is also used for drug detection, and even finding people lost in the woods. Certain scenthounds have such amazing scent, that they can distinguish an injured person or animal from a non-injured one. Scenthounds can be trained very well, but may need a firm leader. They are used to working a job outside, so are not the ideal apartment dog.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks for sale or adoption

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