Best family
Best guard
Kid friendly
Best watch
Easy to train
Low shedding
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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback PictureRhodesian Ridgeback Picture
Breed Information
Popularity 2016: #422015: #402014: #39
Name Rhodesian Ridgeback
Other names African Lion Dog, African Lion Hound
Origin Zimbabwe
Breed Group Hound (AKC:1955)Sighthounds & pariahs (UKC)
Size Large
Type Purebred
Life span 10-12 years
Temperament DignifiedIntelligentLoyalMischievousSensitiveStrong Willed
Height Male: 25-27 inches (63-69 cm)Female: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)
Weight Male: 80-90 pounds (36-41 kg)Female: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg)
Colors GoldenGrayRedWheatenWhite
Litter Size 6-8 puppies
Puppy Price Average $900 - $1200 USD
Breed Characteristics
Adaptability 4 stars
Apartment Friendly 3 starsRhodesian Ridgebacks will do okay in an apartment as long as they get enough exercise. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with a large yard.
Barking Tendencies 2 starsOccassional
Cat Friendly 2 stars
Child Friendly 5 starsGood with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.
Dog Friendly 2 stars
Exercise Needs 4 starsThese dogs have great stamina and you will tire long before they do. They need to be taken on daily, long, brisk walks or jogs. In addition, they need plenty of opportunity to run, preferably off the leash in a safe area. If these dogs are allowed to get bored, and are not walked or jogged daily, they can become destructive and start to display a wide array of behavioral problems.
Grooming 1 starsLow Maintenance: Ridgebacks have an easy-care short coat. A Ridgie will shed a bit all year long, but it’s not bad. Run a brush over his coat once a week, and bathe him when you think he needs it. Brush his teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste, clean his ears, and trim his nails regularly, and that’s it.
Health Issues 3 starsHypoallergenic: No
Intelligence 4 starsRanking: #52. (See All Rankings)
Playfulness 4 stars
Shedding Level 1 starsMinimal Shedding: This dog will shed a negligible amount. Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with dog hair in their cars and homes.
Stranger Friendly 2 stars
Trainability 3 starsModerately Easy Training: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is somewhat stubborn, so a consistent approach to training is required. However, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a sensitive nature belied by their commanding appearance, so harsh training methods are not recommended and are likely to backfire.
Watchdog Ability 3 stars
Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy PictureRhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Picture
Puppy Names
Rank Male Female
01 Max Lucy
02 Charlie Callie
03 Joey Molly
04 Finn Scout
05 Bear Holly
06 Harley Chloe
07 Rocco Winnie
08 Ollie Phoebe
09 Toby Sophie
10 Jasper Dakota
See All Names ›

Slightly longer than tall, the Rhodesian Ridgeback combines speed, power and endurance. The Ridgeback must have an athletic build to enable it to catch up to a lion and then harass it without being hurt. Because the lion is not the only quarry of the Ridgeback, the dog must also be strong enough to bring down other large game. Its stride is efficient and long. The short glossy coat is adapted for working in hot climates. A distinctive feature is the clearly defined ridge, which should start with two identical whorls just behind the shoulders and taper to a point between the hipbones.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the hound group's answer to a somewhat protective dog. Not only is it a keen and versatile hunter, but it is a loyal guardian. It is good with children, especially protective of those in its family, but it is sometimes overly boisterous in play for small children. It is strong-willed and powerful; some can become domineering. It is reserved with strangers and can be aggressive toward strange dogs and animals.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback (also known as the ‘African Lion Dog’, ‘African Lion Hound’, and ‘Van Rooyen's Lion Dog’ for its capacity to harass lions) was bred in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and is named for the distinctive ‘ridge’ on its back, which is formed by hairs running in the opposite direction to the rest of its coat. European settlers of Rhodesia in the 1700’s found a domesticated dog with such a ridge among the native Khoisan tribe. They adapted the Rhodesian Ridgeback to the purpose of hunting lions and other large game, probably by crossing it with large breeds that came with them such as the Bloodhound, Greyhound, and Great Dane. The resulting breed could run at great speeds, withstand harsh weather conditions, and hunt by sight or scent. Groups of two Rhodesian Ridgebacks were sent out to corner, taunt, and confuse a lion while the hunter stepped in for the kill. The first breed standard for the Rhodesian Ridgeback, based on the Dalmatian, was drawn up in 1924, and American Kennel Club recognition followed in 1955. Today, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a popular show dog, companion, and hunter.
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