The Dog Care

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback 1

Rhodesian Ridgeback

About Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a popular dog breed in South Africa that gets its name from the ridge that runs down his spine. The hair runs in the opposite direction to the coat giving an appearance of a ridge and grants him the name Ridgeback. The ridge reveals part of the heritage, a mix of European hunting dogs and African dogs. 

The breed’s huge size can make it challenging for beginners, but if you’re looking for an energetic companion on your walks or during your runs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are perfect. These dogs are reserved and protective of their owners and can go miles to protect them.

 Although he is large, he tends to modulate his powers in the company of little children. One of their favorite things is to eat. They are never satisfied. Therefore, proper exercise is crucial for preventing obesity.

More About This Breed​



Rhodesian Ridgeback marks their background in South Africa. It is generally believed that Rhodesian Ridgeback arose from the mating of European Colonist’s dogs with the semi-wild “Khoikhoi” owned by South Africans in the 17th century. The selective breeding resulted in a breed that was more loyal and tamer than the original ones. Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally used to tackle wounded prey, flush off birds, and for hunting as well.

Large-scale selective breeding was practiced in Zimbabwe, South Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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  • Rarely barks
  • Can be a threatening presence among the guests
  • Family protector
  • Good with children 
  • Curious 
  • Easy-keeper
  • Enjoy learning behavior and tricks 
  • Sensitive to reprimand
  • Loyal to owner

It is imperative to begin training from the very first day. The dog is capable of inculcating everything you teach them even when he is 7 or 8 months old. Do not wait for him to grow up or you will have more of a headstrong dog to deal with. 

Before buying one, talk to the breeders, tell them what exactly you are looking for. Rhodesian Ridgeback is a product of his background and hence choose ONLY the one whose parents have a nice personality and have been socialized well.

Common Health Problems

Like all other dogs, Ridgebacks can too develop certain health problems. They can develop serious hyperthyroid issues. In such a situation, testing is required and the affected dogs shouldn’t be bred as it is a genetic disease. Apart from that, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can develop other problems like sinus, degenerative myelopathy (a degenerative spinal cord disease). Though rare, it is incurable as of now.

The most common disease among Ridgebacks is cell tumour. Furthermore, diseases like elbow and hip dysplasia generally can’t be detected at an early age, and it is, therefore, hard to predict whether the animal is free from such diseases or not.

Ask for the CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) certification before adopting the pet from the breeder. Sometimes, even CHIC can’t help. In such a situation, you can enquire about the origins and ancestors of the dog and what they died of. 

Once you bring a Ridgeback home, it lies in your duty to prevent him from the deadliest disease: OBESITY.

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Coat Color and Grooming ​

Rhodesian Ridgeback flaunts a single color- Wheaten. You might encounter the breed in a different color of wheat like – Red, Wheaten, Light Wheaten, Wheaten.

To talk about grooming needs, fortunately, you don’t have to worry much. As Rhodesian Ridgebacks have little natural odor and are clean dogs. Owing to this, bathing your dog once a month is sufficient.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are flat-coated beings that shed throughout the year. Grooming is suggested every 4-8 weeks for your dog to have clean nails, ears, and anal glands. Ensure your pooch’s fur is healthy and silky. Use Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo couple it with a medicated shampoo as suggested by the experts.

Exercise Needs

Owing to the eatery habits of the breed, it needs to have a proper exercise schedule. In the absence of which, the breed may develop digestive problems, excessive weight (they gain weight quickly). Thus, your Ridgeback requires a minimum of 2 hours of exercise routinely.

As I told you, they are sporty beings. It is imperative to encourage them to walk several long walks. The Ridgeback loves to get involved in interactive and entertaining sporty activities. Ensure your Ridge does the same.

Remember to have fun, and refrain from putting too much pressure on the dog.