The distinctive crest on the back, the shiny brown coat, and the graceful nature make the Rhodesian Ridgeback a very special dog breed. It is the only recognized breed originating from southern Africa. You can find out what makes exotic dogs so special in the profile.
History of the Rhodesian Ridgeback
Originally from southern Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is descended from the domesticated dogs of the Hottentots. From these dogs, they also inherited their distinctive back crest, the so-called “ridge”. The Khoikhoi tribe attributed special qualities to this broad coat of hair, and they believed that was why their dogs were so fearless.
The Ridgebacks protected the settlements and livestock from wild animals and helped the indigenous people with hunting. When the first European settlers came to South Africa in the 16th century, they quickly recognized the advantages of the breed. They mainly use the Rhodesian Ridgeback to track down big game and keep it at bay until the hunters can arrive and kill the animals. The most popular prey at that time were lions, which required a strong and courageous dog. In 1922, the Briton Francis Richard set the first standard in Bulawayo in former Rhodesia and was based on the Dalmatian.
Due to the related characteristics of the two dog breeds, they are both classified in FCI Group 6, Section 3 by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. The Rhodesian Ridgeback quickly had many admirers and was popular far beyond the borders of Africa. The breed finally found its way to Germany in 1954 and has enjoyed growing popularity ever since.
Essence and Character
The Ridgeback is a brave and clever dog that needs plenty of exercises. Loyal and cuddly to his owner, he will never fully submit. He keeps his own head and likes to make decisions independently. The dog has a medium threshold but reacts quickly in threatening situations. Despite the strong guard instinct, he only barks a little and never without a reason. If you keep him busy, the four-legged friend is a friendly housemate who gets along well with children.
He is very sensitive and sensitive to pressure and violence. If he doesn’t understand a task, the Ridgeback will be stubborn and refuse to do it at all. The Rhodesian Ridgeback reacts very sensitively to changes and needs time to adapt. So you shouldn’t leave him alone for a long time and it’s best to take him with you when you go on vacation.
Purchase of a Rhodesian Ridgeback
What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?
As a future owner of the demanding dog breed, you should be aware of the responsibility and the effort involved. After all, the Ridge remains part of your family for 10 to 12 years and must be properly cared for and occupied during this period. The Ridgeback is by no means a dog for everyone and beginners can quickly become overwhelmed. With good training and species-appropriate husbandry, the breed can become a great family dog.
If you are looking to purchase a Rhodesian Ridgeback who is physically and mentally healthy, you should purchase your puppy from a registered breeder. You pay between €1,500 and €2,000 for a purebred puppy here. Alternatively, of course, there are always ridgebacks that are in need and are now looking for a new, loving home. If you adopt a dog from an animal shelter, you should have experience with dogs. The animal will be grateful to you for the rest of its life.
Puppy development and education
The Ridge is very boisterous and energetic, especially as a young dog. He needs a lot of affection and wants to play all day long. In general, the breed is rather late maturing, as it is only fully grown at the age of about 3 years. For the education of the dog, you should bring a lot of time and in the best case already dog experience.
The education of the sensitive Ridgeback is very labor-intensive and should not be neglected. The dog has a strong hunting and protective instinct, which you definitely have to get under control. Especially in a densely populated country like Germany, it is important that the otherwise independent dog obeys your every word.
In general, you shouldn’t show any inconsistency in training, but you shouldn’t put pressure on your four-legged friend either. Finding the right balance can sometimes be difficult. It is best to get support from a dog school where your four-legged friend can also get to know other puppies.