If there is a breed that can stare death in the eye and still gallantly stand up to give it a fight then it is the Rhodesian Ridgeback. This is an extraordinary breed that can pin down a lion as well if it wants. They are strong enough to run and fight a lion and there vast reserves of stamina ensure that they can accompany a running horse for about 30miles without taking a break.
The list does not end here; this dog is immune to insect bites as well. They have been described by many as the navy seals of the dog kingdom. They have been called the African Lion dog and African Lion Hound. These dogs are excellent for those who like to go for a long and vigorous walk for marathon runners. This breed will not like to sit ideal and just relax.
The grooming is a breeze with a Rhodesian Ridgeback and their adaptability to varied temperatures makes it easy to for them to adapt to almost any environment the only thing that has to be kept in mind is that this is not an apartment dog. If you are ready to give him at least three to four hours of regular run and exercise then only consider this breed otherwise it is not a viable option. In this small write up we will help you to understand the breed better and know a little more about that characteristic Ridge and explore the rich heritage of these majestic African breed.History
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred in Zimbabwe, Africa as a hunting dog and if you thing that catching a lion is a fable then you are in for a surprise. This gallant breed was developed to guard villages from predators such as lions and bears.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred by interbreeding various dogs such as the Mastiff, Greyhound, Terriers, Bloodhound with the Hot and Tod dog, which was an indigenous African dog. This dog was developed by the Boer farmers in Africa who could survive extreme temperatures and survive on low rations as well. They could protect the property as well as be a companion to the whole family.Unique Aspects
The first thing that you would notice about a Rhodesian Ridgeback is the ridge, which is one of the most prominent features of the breed. The ridge is created because the hair on the spine runs in the opposite direction as compared to the rest of the coat on this breed. The ridge gives the appearance that the breed is always in aggression or ready for combat.
The Rhodesian has large and compact feet when compared to other breeds and comes with arched toes. This allows them to run for long hours and prevents them from all kind of wear and tear that can be endured with regular runs and heavy physical work. The feet also helps to withstand adverse temperature of the African plains were they were developed.
This is a majestic breed but unfortunately we could not find any movies, which feature them or any celebrities that have these lion dogs as their companions. As soon as we find out we will update this section. Stay tuned to this space for any updates.
Grooming the Rhodesian is a breeze, the smooth and short hair coat is very easy to groom; it is short and shiny and is always odour free. The breed sheds all year round but regular brushing will ensure that you do not see hair everywhere. They will need to be brushed once a week with the help of a hound brush or mitt and they are good to go.
In addition to this you will need to follow a regular grooming regime with your pet that is brushing the teeth of your Rhodesian, this should be done at least once on a weekly basis as this will help to remove all tartar buildup and ensure a fresh breath at all times. This will also prevent various gum diseases.
The toe nails will require clipping on regular basis to prevent any problems further as dog nails have veins in them and if it gets chipped then it can be very painful for your pet. You should always start this grooming regime in your pet from an early age as this will ensure that he is not temperamental when someone touches his or her feet, mouth or ear at a later stage.
The Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally a healthy breed but you have to remember when getting a puppy home that almost all and every breed can at any time develop genetic disorder and they can also contract any of the common diseases. So this not a word of law these are some of the unfortunate cases that you can encounter with your dog at times.
One of the most common issues is of Dermoid Sinus, which is a congenital skin defect; this is a cyst like thing that mostly occurs on the spinal area. It can at times the reach the muscle tissue and can get attached to the spinal cord as well. This can be treated with the help of surgery.
The other issue of hip dysplasia; in this condition the thighbone does not fit well into the hip joint and there are times when the dog shows a lot of pain and lameness. This can be easily treated with medicines and in some cases with surgery effectively. Elbow dysplasia is caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog elbow, which causes joint laxity. This can at times lead to lameness and it can be corrected through medications or surgery.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong willed dog. So, if you are looking for a dog that will listen to always then you are in for a surprise. They will need regular training to ensure that they listen to you and see you as a pack leader. So, this is definitely not for the faint heart. This is one of the most independent and courageous dog that you can find and they can be an excellent protector for your family. Rhodesian is a great dog for families and individuals that like to run. They would love to be your allies in your expedition and running endeavors as they do not get tired easily.
Rhodesians are not friendly to strangers and remain mostly aloof towards them. They are primarily hunting dogs, so they have a high prey drive in them, which means that they can consider almost any other pet as their prey. This includes cats, small animals and even same sex dogs.
If you want a Rhodesian then be prepared to give them heavy exercise to channelize their vast reserves of energy as otherwise they might turn destructive and it can become difficult to contain this dog.Environment
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a fantastic dog that can adapt to almost any weather condition, whether it is the sweltering heat of the summer months or the dry and arid cold months, whichever the season they will thrive in it.
The Rhodesian is not a breed that can be easily accommodated in an apartment, they are best suited for a house with a fenced yard as they need to run leash free for some time. It is quintessential to have a fenced yard as they have a high prey drive and will push past everything if required to get to the prey.
The other thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the Rhodesian has a strong protective instinct and if it is not catered to it might become a problem.Training & Intelligence
Ridgeback has a stubborn streak that can make training a little difficult. You have to be persistence with this breed to ensure that it grows up to be a well-rounded dog. This does not mean that they are not trainable. The approach has to be different with your Ridgeback though; they need firm training and always require positive reinforcement. It is very important to establish who the leader of the pack with this breed is.
The Ridgeback will need regular exercise to ensure that its vast amount of energy is utilized well so going for a jog or run with this breed is perfect for its physical and mental stimulation. If this energy is not utilized well then he or she might turn destructive.
It is important to socialize the pet from the beginning as they were bred to be protect the village or the clan and they still retain that streak. So, this breed will not take to strangers coming into your house in good spirit if they are not socialized well.
Rhodesians are generally a healthy breed and even their breeding does not have many complications attached to it. An average male and female Rhodesian attains sexual maturity anywhere between six to nine months of age. Though your pet might still be very young to breed.
A dog takes around 18 months to reach his or her full height and structure. It is advisable to breed your dogs after at least two years of age. If you are a first timer at breeding then taking a vet’s help is advisable. You just sit back and enjoy the company of six to eight adorable little puppies. An average litter size of the breed. You have to keep in mind that there are some puppies that are born without a prominent ridge also.Puppies
The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is a super active and hyper dog but it mellows down as he or she grows older. If they are provided the right amount of exercise and training then they can grow to be an excellent companion for the experienced family. This is an active breed that will need regular mental stimulation to ensure appropriate growth.
Training should start as early as possible with this breed. Crate training is recommended though you have to remember that the puppy should see it as his or her home and not as a punishment. So ensure ample toys and treats in the crate to ensure comfort. Rhodesians needs to be taught right from the beginning to socialize with strangers and their protective instinct has to be curbed from the beginning only to ensure it grows well.
The first thing that anybody notices about a Rhodesian Ridgeback is the unmistakable ridge that is formed on the spine of this breed. This is caused because of the hair that grows in the opposite direction as compared to the rest of the body.
The Rhodesian is deep chested, powerful and muscular dog that has a short, dense and sleek coat. The colors can range from light wheaten to red wheaten, the head is long and has strong level jaws. Along with this it has flat skull.
The legs are strong and straight with very well defined muscles. The tail is long and tapering and is strong at the root. The feet are compact with well arched toes. The pads are thick and tough, which allows the breed to tread through the harsh weather in the African plains.
The eyes are round and set wide apart, it carries a bright and sparkling expression at all times. The ears are medium size and triangular in shape and is always carried close to the head.