The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a very unique hound breed. They were originally bred in South Africa to assist lion hunters, so they are very muscular and strong, weighing in between 60 and 90 pounds. The defining feature of this breed is their ridge, which can be found on their backs, from the shoulder blades down the spine. The ridge is actually a strip of hair that grows upwards, in the opposite direct of the rest of their coat.
Ridgebacks provide the best of both worlds when it comes to their activity levels. They are typically calm and quiet when they are relaxing at home, but can be quite active when they are out and about and require both physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and balanced. While they are an intelligent and even-tempered breed, they can also be very stubborn and strong-willed. It takes a skilled owner to control this breed as they require a gentle yet firm and consistent approach to training. For this reason, they are not necessarily a breed for everyone. They can also be very protective of their owners, which is an issue that should be addressed early on in their training. It is also recommended that they are supervised around children as they can be a little rough when they play, only because they are so large and goofy.
A Ridgeback’s colour can range from a light tan to a deep red, with a darkened muzzle. Their noses are either black or liver. It is not uncommon for them to also have some white on their chest or toes. The coat is short and fairly easy to care for. They require weekly brushing with a stiff bristled brush or a shedding blade, and only the occasional bath on an as-needed basis beyond that.
Because of their deep, barrel chests, one of the main health concerns with the Rhodesian Ridgeback is bloat. They can also develop mast cell tumors, and can also be affected by hip dysplasia. Due to these concerns, it is recommended that they get on a glucosamine supplement early in their lives, or are fed a mobility diet to help support their joints, and that exercise is restricted right after a meal.
We adopted our boy, Troy, from the Brampton Animal Shelter in December of 2014. I have to say, he is an extremely affectionate dog and it breaks my heart to think that he was so mistreated before he was rescued by the shelter and came into our lives. He is also extremely strong-willed, and is constantly testing his boundaries with us. We have to make sure we are consistent with his training, if we give him an inch, he will take full advantage. We adopted a Ridgeback because we have always been fans of the breed. To me, they are so majestic and Troy is most definitely a sweet heart. He has enriched our lives and has made a great addition to our family.
Thanks for reading, Kait