Rhodesian Ridgeback Information, Guide to a Dog of Zimbabwe Why This Breed Is Ideal for Outdoor Sporting

Rhodesian Ridgebacks photo
Giant Breed Hip Dysplasia Dermoid Sinus Rhodesian Ridgeback

Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Right For You?

  • 1 Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred as hunting companions and many of the traits stuck.
  • 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks are athletic and require a great deal of exercise.
  • 3 The Ridgeback is a light shedder and loves to be around people.


Also known as the โ€œAfrican Lion Dogโ€ because of their exceptional big-game hunting skill, the Rhodesian Ridgeback first appeared in the 16th century in Zimbabwe. Thought to be a descendant of the Mastiff, Deerhound, Khoikhoidog, and the Great Dane, this breed was used to assist in safari hunts to help take down some very dangerous game. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was recognized by the AKC in 1955.

Quick Facts

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    Extra Large

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    9-15 years, with an average of 12 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    25 to 27 inches

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    Male Weight

    About 85 pounds, though some males reach up to 160

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    Female Height

    24 to 26 inches

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    Female Weight

    70 pounds

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    Litter Size

    7 to 8 puppies


While the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a formidable hunter, at home they are gentle, relaxed, and obedient dogs. They are generally well behaved, but are not great with young children, as they tend to play a little rough. They also tend to be a little wary around strangers, so socialize them well while they are young. If not given enough to do, they may become destructive, so make sure to get them out and moving. .


The Rhodesian Ridgeback can be blue, black, a reddish fawn, or beige. There are also brindled and white Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but they are not considered fit to compete in shows.

Health Concerns

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are resistant to most diseases; however, there are chances of:


Thought to be among the best hunting breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, athletically built dog. True to their name, they have a clearly visible ridge in their fur running the length of their spine. Their head is flat, with a long muzzle. They are barrel chested and have strong, straight front legs.

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