The origin of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is not, as the name suggests, in Rhodesia (today’s Zimbabwe), but in South Africa. The term “Ridgeback” roughly translates to “stripes on the back” and refers to the most distinctive feature of this breed, the lance-shaped hairline, which runs in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat and is also known as the “eel line”.
Wanted Rhodesian Ridgeback
It begins about mid-back and runs with two vertebrae, also called crowns, on each side almost to its beginning just between the shoulder blades. The breed standard provides for an ideal height of 63 to 67 cm for males, for bitches the desired shoulder height is between 61 and 66 cm. The weight should be between 29 and 34 kg.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a short and dense coat with smooth and shiny hair. The permitted colors are light red to wheat red, small white markings on the chest and toes as well as a black muzzle and black ears are permitted.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is currently the only breed from South Africa that is recognized at all. This dog has its roots in the Cape Colony. Here there was a strong mixture of the dogs of the pioneers and the so-called Hottentot dogs.
Origin of the Breed
Even before the beginning of the 16th century, there were dogs in South Africa that were similar to today’s Rhodesian Ridgeback and, like them, wore the typical back crest. These dogs are said to have been very impetuous but still devoted to humans.
Since the now-extinct “Phu Quoc Dog,” which takes its name from the island belonging to Thailand, was the only other pure breed of dog that sported a dorsal crest, it’s quite possible that these dogs arrived in Africa on Phoenician merchant ships and transferred the dorsal crest to the native breeds by crossing.
What is certain is that as early as the 6th and 7th centuries AD, Hottentot tribes migrated from North Africa to South Africa and brought with them a type of greyhound that wore the typical crest on the back and was mainly used to help with hunting.
Around a thousand years later, Dutch, German and Huguenot emigrants came to South Africa, bringing with them European breeds such as the bloodhound, mastiffs such as the Great Dane, and various terriers.
The immigrants, commonly known as “Boers”, mostly worked as farmers and needed large and courageous dogs to protect both their families and their herds of cattle against thieves and wild animals. In addition, these dogs also had to be useful in hunting deer and game birds, which can endure harsh climates and withstand the parasites and deadly tropical diseases of the African grasslands.
When the immigration to South Africa was completed in 1800 and no more dogs came into the country, today’s Rhodesian Ridgeback was created by crossing the European dogs that had been brought with them with the African hunting dogs with their back crests over time.
From his European hound and mastiff ancestors, he inherited the strong physique, courage, and excellent nose, from the African Hottentot dogs he received the crest of the back, the speed, and the ability to adapt to the climate.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback can go up to twenty-four hours without water and the enormous temperature fluctuations of the African bush do not bother it very much. Many African mixed breeds, which resemble German Shepherds, Boxers, and Great Danes, for example, carry the dorsal crest because its heredity is very dominant.
Today the Rhodesian Ridgeback is used less as a hunting dog. Rather, he has found his way into European homes as an elegant family dog. He now finds his task as a companion or guard dog.
In the meantime, however, it has also been established that the Ridgebacks can also be trained very well as guide dogs due to their angelic patience. Even with the authorities, such as B. police or customs, these impressive dogs are now used with pleasure.
The well-balanced physique is impressive, showing us a strong dog with a muscular physique that still appears agile, agile, and elegant. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is undoubtedly an extremely attractive breed of dog. The coat is short, dark wheaten in color (slightly darker on the ridge), small black spots on the ears or muzzle, and white patches on the chest or toes are permitted.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Beings
If you choose a Rhodesian Ridgeback, you will get a patient, downright gentle dog that is incredibly obedient and very calm.
The Ridgeback is very reliable and absolutely devoted to his master, although he can sometimes show a certain stubbornness, even stubbornness. Patience is key when training a Rhodesian Ridgeback. The dogs can definitely be regarded as late developers because they are only fully grown at the age of 3 years. In this respect, one must be aware that it requires a great deal of discipline and perseverance to raise a Ridgeback.
He is very active and appreciates generous exercise. You can hike, bike or horseback ride it for hours, so it’s not very suitable for lazy people. Even without special training, he is an excellent guard and protection dog but is also obedient enough to be recalled by a trail he picks up. He’s excellent at fighting but is basically a quiet dog who rarely barks.