Rhodesian Ridgeback Resource

Rhodesian Ridgeback

This is truly a lion-hearted dog. The only breed originating in South Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed as a dual-purpose dog: to hunt the African lion and hold it at bay, and as a family protector and watchdog, gentle with small children. The breed is unique in that it has a ridge of hair that runs down the center of its back, in the opposite direction from the rest of its coat. Ridgebacks are said to have descended from native ridged dogs known in southern Africa since the 16th century. A short-coated, wheaten-colored dog (degrees of brown or tan ranging in shades from light fawn to mahogany red), males measure 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder and usually weigh upward of 80 pounds, with females 1 inch smaller and 10 to 20 pounds lighter. Weekly grooming keeps the coat sleek and shiny. The Ridgeback is a formidable protector of home and family, an excellent companion, and best suited to a large home where it can get regular exercise.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
South Africa
Large Dog Breed
Light to red wheaten.

Short and dense. Sleek and glossy in appearance but neither woolly nor silky.


Groom weekly to maintain sleek, shiny coat

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
AKC Group:
Hound Group
UKC Group:
24 to 27 inches at the shoulder
70 to 85 pounds
Use Today
Lure coursing, companion