7 Facts About Rhodesian Ridgebacks

two rhodesian ridgeback puppies in the grass

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hunting dog that originated in South Africa. They were valued both as family companions and hunting companions. Ridgebacks were highly prized for their ability to track large game during a hunt and to keep them at bay as a protector and guardian. In addition to this working background, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is also an affectionate dog breed that loves their families. Here are a few more facts about Rhodesian Ridgebacks:

1. Their Name is Literal

The Rhodesian Ridgeback’s name is relatively literal. The first part comes from Rhodesia, South Africa where they originated, which is now part of Zimbabwe. The second part comes from the “ridge” that their fur forms along their back.

These dogs have a narrow strip of fur down their back that grows towards their neck instead of away from it like the rest of their coat. This is what causes the stripe or ridge of fur that is so characteristic of this breed.

2. Rhodesian Ridgebacks Are Talented Trackers

You may be able to run, but you cannot hide from the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s talented nose. Historically, these dogs were prized for their ability to track down game like lions, baboons, leopards, and more.

Although these dogs were used as hunting companions, they were not used for killing – their abilities excelled in tracking and baying. Today, these dogs are still highly prized for these abilities and can often be found competing in tracking competitions.

3. They Are Natural Protectors

This dog breed may have an independent personality, but they are also even-tempered, fiercely loyal, and so affectionate when it comes to their families. They also have a protective nature. They love children and anyone else who is within their “pack” and their role of the protector will extend to surround their family.

Because of their natural role as a protector and guardian, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be suspicious of strangers, whether it be strange people or other animals that enter their territory.

4. Ridgebacks are Intelligent and Independent

These dogs are highly intelligent, naturally independent, and can be strong-willed. This does make them a better fit for dog owners with some experience as they require consistent, ongoing training that starts early and remains firm, fair, and focused on positive reinforcement. Without the right training, a Rhodesian Ridgeback can easily go from independent to domineering.

5. They are Unique to South Africa

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed that is unique to South Africa. They are also a mix of a few different breeds. They are the results of crossing the native ridged Khoikhoi dog With other breeds such as Mastiffs, Greyhounds, Bloodhounds, and Great Danes. These particular breeds were brought to Africa by European settlers.

6. Rhodesian Ridgebacks Only Come in One Color

One of the interesting facts about Rhodesian Ridgebacks is that their coat is really just one color. While many breeds have a variety of colors that are typical to that breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback only has one color, Wheaten. This color does have a variety of shades, however. The shades can range from a pale flax color to a dark auburn.

7. They Are Natural Competitors

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hard-working breed. This trait makes them natural competitors in dog sports. They are a versatile athlete, excelling at certain sports such as agility, tracking, and obedience. Some of these sports also include jobs your dog can do at home.

Getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback involved in sports is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated. They are also one of the sturdy dog breeds for outdoor adventures, so there are a lot of things you can do with them once they finish growing. This type of mental stimulation is important because this breed can become destructive when left to their own devices.

Is a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Right For You?

These are just a few facts about Rhodesian Ridgebacks. A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy can be the perfect addition to an active family who can spend time being active with them and make them an involved member of the family. If you think this dog breed could be the one for you, learn more about them and check out the available Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies!