|Colour||Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and toes is permissible. A dark muzzle and ears permissible. Excessive black hair throughout the coat is undesirable. Two nose colors are permissible, black and liver.|
 Its forebears can be traced to the semi-domesticated ridged hunting and guarding dogs of the Khoikhoi , which were renowned for their heightened ferocity in both of their roles as hunters and guardians. The ears have been described both as erect but later described as hanging due to interbreeding with European dogs, but the most distinctive feature was the length of hair often growing in the reverse direction along its back.
The Dogo Cubano (Cuban Mastiff), an extinct breed used for dogfighting and guarding was also highly emphasised in to the composition of the early Ridgeback. The sequencing of ancient dog genomes indicates that the southern African Rhodesian Ridgeback retains 4% pre-colonial ancestry. Reverend Charles Helm (18441915), son of Reverend Daniel Helm of the London Missionary Society , was born in the Cape Colony, joined the London Missionary Society himself, and moved from the Zuurbraak (now Suurbraak ) mission station just east of Swellendam (modern Western Cape Province , South Africa) to the Hope Fountain Mission in Matabeleland , Southern Rhodesia, travelling from October 1874 to December 1875, then bringing two ridged dog bitches from somewhere between Kimberley (modern Northern Cape Province , South Africa) and Swellendam with him to Hope Fountain in 1879 en route to becoming, as it would turn out, a political advisor to King Lobengula , house-host to hunter-explorer Frederick Courteney Selous , postmaster of Bulawayo and well-appreciated tooth-extractor.
 At Hope Fountain, now part of the city of Bulawayo, fellow South African transplant Cornelis van Rooyen (b. Van Rooyen saw Helm’s pair of bitches and decided to breed his own dogs with them to incorporate their guarding abilities.  They became the foundation stock of a kennel which developed dogs over the next 35 years with the ability to bay a lion, to not attack it outright but to harass it by darting in and out with quick snaps and confusing the animal until the hunter shot it.
He and his wife and Margaret Lowthian of California began the process of getting the breed accepted by the American Kennel Club. In 1954 the first Challenge Certificates were awarded to dogs shown as Rhodesian Ridgebacks at United Kingdom competitions, toward their subsequent recognition by The Kennel Club of Great Britain , and in 1955 the American Kennel Club recognised the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed  as a member of the hound group.  The Rhodesian Ridgeback‘s distinguishing feature is the ridge of hair running along its back in the opposite direction from the rest of its coat.
It consists of a fan-like area formed by two whorls of hair (called “crowns”) and tapers from immediately behind the shoulders down to the level of the hips. Well under 25% of puppies lack a ridge, indicating a significant proportion of the breed are homozygous for the mutation [ citation needed ] . Contemporary breeders are increasingly opting for surgical sterilisation of these offspring to ensure they will not be bred but can live into maturity as non-showing, non-breeding pets.
Some breed parent clubs and canine registries in Europe have even made the culling of ridgeless whelps a requirement. It was pointed out on the BBC One investigative documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed that the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain’s “code of ethics”, which is ratified annually by the kennel club states that “Ridgeless puppies shall be culled”, and that “mismarked” puppies will only ever be sold on condition that they are never shown, and are neutered. The ridgeback ranks number six in terms of most affected breeds for thyroid problems recorded by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
However, it has been shown that supplementation of folic acid to the diet of the brood bitch before mating and during pregnancy reduces the incidence of dermoid sinus. Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a neurological disease of the spinal cord causing progressive paraparesis, most commonly in the German shepherd dog breed. Hypothyroidism is a growing problem in the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and this condition causes a multitude of symptoms, including weight gain and hair loss.
Dr. Lorna Kennedy at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research in England has found the haplotype (group of genes), which, when present, double the chances of a Ridgeback becoming hypothyroid due to lymphocytic thyroiditis.  This group recommends that breeders perform at least four health screenings: hips, elbows, thyroid and eyes, with cardiac and hearing tests optional. ^ a b Fox (2003) : p. 6 ^ Parker, Heidi G., et al. “Genomic Analyses Reveal the Influence of Geographic Origin, Migration, and Hybridization on Modern Dog Breed Development.”
Bergstrm, Anders; Frantz, Laurent; Schmidt, Ryan; Ersmark, Erik; Lebrasseur, Ophelie; Girdland-Flink, Linus; Lin, Audrey T.; Stor, Jan; Sjgren, Karl-Gran; Anthony, David; Antipina, Ekaterina; Amiri, Sarieh; Bar-Oz, Guy; Bazaliiskii, Vladimir I.; Bulatovi, Jelena; Brown, Dorcas; Carmagnini, Alberto; Davy, Tom; Fedorov, Sergey; Fiore, Ivana; Fulton, Deirdre; Germonpr, Mietje; Haile, James; Irving-Pease, Evan K.; Jamieson, Alexandra; Janssens, Luc; Kirillova, Irina; Horwitz, Liora Kolska; Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovi, Julka; Kuzmin, Yaroslav; Losey, Robert J.; Dizdar, Daria Lonjak; Mashkour, Marjan; Novak, Mario; Onar, Vedat; Orton, David; Pasaric, Maja; Radivojevic, Miljana; Rajkovic, Dragana; Roberts, Benjamin; Ryan, Hannah; Sablin, Mikhail (2020). ^ RESPONSE TO BBC PROGRAMME “PEDIGREE DOGS EXPOSED” Archived 2008-12-24 at the Wayback Machine The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain ^ General Code of Ethics Archived 2011-10-20 at the Wayback Machine The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain ^ “OFA Thyroid Statistics” . ^ Holder, Angela L; Price, James A; Adams, Jamie P; Volk, Holger A; Catchpole, Brian (25 September 2014).
Can a Rhodesian Ridgeback hunt a lion?
The answer is yes, the Ridgeback was developed in Africa to corner and hold big game prey, such as lions, bears, and boar. Today, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used for hunting, and some members of the breed have even adapted to pointing and retrieving.
What kind of dog hunts lions?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback sounds just as ferocious as it was bred to be, as these dogs were originally bred to hunt lions and other large animals in South Africa. Today’s Rhodesian Ridgebacks continue to have a strong desire to chase prey and can show more independence than other dogs.
Can you use a Rhodesian Ridgeback for hunting?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also still built to be great hunters. This is due to them being strong, muscular, and large. They are also exceptional at locating a scent and tracking it due to their heightened senses and athletic prowess. Rhodesian Ridgebacks do not give up when on a scent and will often follow it for miles.
But can Rhodesian Ridgeback actually capture, take down, and kill the king of the African jungle, the mighty, ferocious lion? The answer may surprise you.
The Boers had brought their own breeds of dog with them including the Mastiff, Great Dane, Bloodhound, Pointer, Staghound, and Greyhound. This new breed was able to hunt by sight and sound, were devoted protectors, and could withstand the hot and cold temperatures that Africa had to offer.
Nowadays, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is to be found in the hound group of the American Kennel Club, and in the top forty most popular breeds of the year, repeatedly, according to them. Since the Rhodesian Ridgeback has now been kept as a pet, rather than a working dog, for approximately a hundred years it would be understandable to think that the hunting instinct would have become extinct in this breed. The hunting gene or prey drive as it is commonly known, in the Rhodesian Ridgeback may cause them to chase other animals such as squirrels, rabbits, birds, mice, and even other domesticated pets such as dogs and cats.
I challenge you to find any list on the internet which discusses good guard dogs and does not include the fantastic Rhodesian Ridgeback. Basic training should be offered to your Rhodesian Ridgeback which includes things like safety commands, walking on a lead, and any rules you may wish to impose.
The handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed was created in Africa to be a versatile hunter and home guardian. These days, Theyre less likely to hunt lions and more likely to hunt a soft spot on the sofa after going jogging with you.
Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily. Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people.
Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
Hound Dogs24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder The first thing people notice about the Rhodesian Ridgeback is usually the characteristic ridge that runs down his spine and gives him his name. The Rhodesian Ridgeback can also be found competing in various dog sports, including agility , lure coursing, obedience, and tracking, and he’s a good hiking or jogging companion. The farmers needed a versatile hunting dog who could withstand the extreme temperatures and terrain of the bush, survive when water rations were low, protect property, and be a companion to the entire family.
Some Rhodesian Ridgebacks may have made it to the United States as early as 1911, but it wasn’t until after World War II that large numbers were imported to the U.S., Britain, and Canada. The Ridgeback is quite popular in South Africa, where this breed first began his journey and his webbed feet help them when walking across sandy surfaces like snowshoes made for sand. Like every dog, Rhodesian Ridgebacks need early socialization exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they’re young.
Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can be worsened by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injuries incurred from jumping or falling on slick floors. They’ll try to escape if bored, so in addition to ensuring that your fence can’t be jumped or climbed over or dug under, keep your Ridgeback busy with training , play , or dog sports. The distinct, tapering ridge of hair on his back grows in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat, and starts just behind the shoulder and runs to a point between the rise of the hips.
Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are sometimes bought without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one, and these dogs often end up in the care of rescue groups, in need of adoption or fostering.
The Khoikhoi people who lived the Cape Peninsula when the Dutch began trading with the area during the mid 17th century, had a semi-wild hunting dog which was described by Europeans as absolutely fearless and ferocious when acting as a guard dog. This dog measured approximately 18 inches (46 cm) at the withers, with a lean but muscular frame. The ears have been described both as erect but later described as hanging due to interbreeding with European dogs, but the most distinctive feature was the length of hair often growing in the reverse direction along its back. Within 53 years of the first Dutch settlements in Southern Africa, the Europeans were using these local dogs themselves.By the 1860s, European colonists had also imported a variety of mainly European dog breeds to this area of Africa, including such dedicated hunting dogs as Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, and Terriers. The Dogo Cubano(Cuban Mastiff), an extinct breed used for dogfighting and guarding was also highly emphasised in to the composition of the early Ridgeback. Genetic analysis indicates that the Ridgeback and the Great Dane fall within the same genetic clade (group),Reverend Charles Helm (1844–1915), son of Reverend Daniel Helm of the London Missionary Society, was born in the Cape Colony, joined the London Missionary Society himself, and moved from the Zuurbraak (now Suurbraak) mission station just east of Swellendam (modern Western Cape Province, South Africa) to the Hope Fountain Mission in Matabeleland, Southern Rhodesia, travelling from October 1874 to December 1875, then bringing two ridged dog bitches from somewhere between Kimberley (modern Northern Cape Province, South Africa) and Swellendam with him to Hope Fountain in 1879 en route to becoming, as it would turn out, a political advisor to King Lobengula, house-host to hunter-explorer Frederick Courteney Selous, postmaster of Bulawayo and well-appreciated tooth-extractor.After initially greyer, rough-coated litters originating from Helm’s dogs, van Rooyen’s subsequently crossed offspring turned to redder coats, incorporating the Khoikhoi landrace dog’s ridges already carried in Boer dogs within his genomes.The original breed standard was drafted in 1922 by F. R. Barnes on founding the first Ridgeback Club at a Bulawayo Kennel Club show, then in Southern Rhodesia (now in Zimbabwe), and based on that of the Dalmatian. In 1927, Barnes’ standard was approved by the South African Kennel Union.The Rhodesian ridgeback is the mascot and the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
The appearance standard of the Ridgeback originated in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and goes back to the year 1922, and by 2019 this standard had remained virtually unchanged.Male ridgebacks usually stand 25–27 in (64–69 cm) at the withers and weigh about 40 kg (88 lb) (FCI standard); females are typically 24–26 inches (61–66 cm) tall and about 32 kg (71 lb) in weight. Ridgebacks are typically very muscular and have a light wheaten to red wheaten coat, which should be short, dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, and neither woolly nor silky.White is acceptable on the chest and toes. The presence of black guard hairs or ticking is not addressed in the AKC standard, although the elaboration of the AKC standard notes the amount of black or dark brown in the coat should not be excessive.Other dog breeds also have a reverse line of fur along the spine, including the Phu Quoc ridgeback dog and Thai ridgeback. The Thai ridgeback is a crossbreed of the Phu Quoc; historians have speculated the relationship between the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Phu Quoc with suggestions that historically one breed may have been imported to the other’s location.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known to be loyal and intelligent. They are typically somewhat aloof to strangers; this is not to be confused with aggression, a Rhodesian Ridgeback with a good temperament will not attack a stranger for no reason. They require consistent training and correct socialization; they are often not the best choice for inexperienced dog owners.Despite Rhodesian Ridgebacks being extremely athletic and sometimes imposing, they do have a sensitive side. Francis R. Barnes, who wrote the first standard in 1922, acknowledged that, “rough treatment … should never be administered to these dogs, especially when they are young. They go to pieces with handling of that kind.”
Genetics of the ridge
The genotype responsible for the ridge was recently found by a consortium of researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Nicolette Salmon Hillbertz, Göran Andersson, et al.), Uppsala University (Leif Andersson, Mats Nilsson, et al.) and the Broad Institute (Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, et al.).The only disqualification in the AKC standard for this breed is “ridgelessness”. This term refers to the purebred offspring of heterozygous parental animals that do not inherit a copy of the ridge mutation from either parent and thus lack the classic ridged back. The most current research suggests that the ridge mutation is autosomal dominant with near-complete penetrance: 95% of heterozygous dogs have a ridged back. Well under 25% of puppies lack a ridge, indicating a significant proportion of the breed are homozygous for the mutation .The genetic test which distinguishes dominant homozygotes (R/R – two ridge genes) from heterozygotes (R/r – one ridge gene) is available (www.genocan.eu/en). Using the genetic test, a breeder may accurately predict birth of ridgeless puppies.Traditionally, many ridgeback puppies were culled at birth for numerous reasons, including ridgelessness. Contemporary breeders are increasingly opting for surgical sterilisation of these offspring to ensure they will not be bred but can live into maturity as non-showing, non-breeding pets. Some breed parent clubs and canine registries in Europe have even made the culling of ridgeless whelps a requirement. It was pointed out on the BBC One investigative documentary
Health conditions that are known to affect this breed are hip dysplasia and dermoid sinus. The ridgeback ranks number six in terms of most affected breeds for thyroid problems recorded by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Dermoid sinus is a congenital neural-tube defect that is known to affect this breed. The dermoid is often likened to a thin “spaghetti strand” beneath the skin. Puppies should always be screened at birth by the breeder and veterinarian, and the examination repeated as the puppies grow before they go to their new homes. This is done by palpation of the subcutaneous dorsal midline from the base of the skull to the insertion of the tail. Surgical removal is an option for affected neonates, puppies and adult dogs. All affected dogs, even those surgically corrected, should be spayed or neutered and never be bred, since surgical dermoid sinus removal can be extremely cost prohibitive, and because many unremoved dermoid sinuses will eventually abscess. Abscessed dermoid sinuses will be at best a recurrent, painful problem, and if the sinus communicates with the tissues around the spinal cord, cause meningitis and often death. However, it has been shown that supplementation of folic acid to the diet of the brood bitch before mating and during pregnancy reduces the incidence of dermoid sinus.
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a neurological disease of the spinal cord causing progressive paraparesis, most commonly in the German shepherd dog breed. It affects Rhodesian Ridgebacks at a rate of only 0.75%. Signs of degenerative myelopathy are characterised at the beginning with foot dragging, and slipping of the rear limbs. The disease progresses to the point where the animal can no longer stand or walk on its own. Progression has been known to take as little as six months, or several years. There is a DNA test available to test for the gene. Animals who are at risk for the disease should not be bred to other animals at risk, as this creates future generations of this debilitating disease.
Hypothyroidism is a growing problem in the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and this condition causes a multitude of symptoms, including weight gain and hair loss. Treatment for hypothyroidism in dogs consists of an inexpensive once-daily oral medication. Dr. Lorna Kennedy at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research in England has found the haplotype (group of genes), which, when present, double the chances of a Ridgeback becoming hypothyroid due to lymphocytic thyroiditis. This is important to the breed because lymphocytic thyroiditis is the overwhelming cause of hypothyroidism in ridgebacks.
Gastric dilatation volvulus
Like many other deep-chested breeds, ridgebacks are prone to gastric dilatation volvulus, commonly known as bloat. This is a potentially fatal condition that requires immediate treatment.
The handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed was created in Africa to be a versatile hunter and home guardian. These days, They’re less likely to hunt lions and more likely to hunt a soft spot on the sofa after going jogging with you.Even though these are purebred dogs, some may still end up in the care of shelters or rescues. ConsiderRhodesian Ridgebacks are smart but sometimes stubborn, with a moderate energy level and an easy-care coat. These pups need plenty of activity and exercise, though, and would not fair as well in an apartment living situation. They’d also probably fit in better with an experienced pet parent who can stay consistent with training. Meet the breed’s needs and you’ll be rewarded with a loyal, lifelong companion.DogTime recommendsSee below for complete list of Rhodesian Ridgeback characteristics!