The Rhodesian Ridgeback is both a beautiful and easily identifiable breed thanks to the backwards growing strip of hair along the spine. Originally bred to work in packs, the Ridgebacks are fierce enough to keep a lion at bay, and gentle enough to snuggle with children on the couch. Ridgebacks are known to be dignified, yet friendly. They have a tendency to be reserved with strangers and must be socialized well from a young age because of this. Extremely loyal, most ridgebacks do well with children, although they do have boisterous and bouncy tendencies.
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Top 10 Facts:
1. Ridgebacks do not make a good dog for a first time pet owner. Stubborn and strong-willed, they require an owner with dog-handling experience.
2. The breed has an average lifespan of 10-13 years which is quite long considering their large size.
3. Ridgebacks were bred in current day Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) as hunters and guard dogs making them a versatile modern-day companion.
4. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is part of the hound group & were recognized by the AKC in 1955.
5. The ridgebacks’ short coats mean minimal grooming, a simple bi-weekly brushing will do.
6. Full grown Ridgebacks weigh in at 70-80 pounds, a solid long legged dog.
7. Often called ‘the lion dog’ because of their excellent and fearless hunting skills, Rhodesians didn’t actually bring down lions, but rather chased them off and cornered them for a hunter.
8. Ridgebacks are often noted for their stamina, and make wonderful running partners for those running long distances or over rocky terrain.
9. Even as young puppies, the ridge along their backs is clearly defined, the hair actually growing in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat.
10. The ridgeback varies in color from a light wheat to dark rust but all color variations are accepted. Most ridgebacks have a bit of a black liner around the mouth and eyes.