Rhodesian Ridgeback


Developed in South Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the result of crossings between European hunting dogs and a native dog who had a ridge of hair growing down its back. European settlers developed the breed to hunt in the African wild and guard the farm and family. Originally bred to hunt lions earning its earlier name of African Lion Hound the Rhodesian Ridgeback is still a formidable hunter and competitor. Its good looks and protective nature have made it a popular pet.


Large; females 24 to 26 inches, 70 pounds; males 25 to 27 inches, 85 pounds.


Light wheaten to red wheaten.


Dignified, even tempered, loyal. Good with children, reserved with strangers.

Strong willed; some domineering. Bored if not properly exercised.

Energy level:

High as youngsters.

Best owner:

Active owner with previous dog experience.


Daily mental and physical exercise (jogging, hiking, agility), leash, fenced yard, consistent obedience training, weekly brushing and occasional baths.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.