General description of the Rhodesian ridgeback
Rhodesian ridgeback or African lion dog is a dog breed originating from Africa and named for the distinctive ridge on its back.
Rhodesian ridgeback is a well balanced, strong and active dog, capable of great endurance with a fair amount of speed. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and soundness with no tendency towards massiveness. The peculiarity of the breed is the ridge on the back, which is formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The limbs are long with powerful bone structure. The tail is long with a slight curve. The coat is slick and very fine, lying flat against the body with the exception of the ridge which grows opposite direction. Colouring ranges from red wheaten to light wheaten; white on the chest and toes white is permissible.
Rhodesian ridgeback temperament
Ridgebacks are loyal and intelligent. They are, however, aloof to strangers - this is not to be confused with aggression: a ridgeback of a proper temperament will be more inclined to ignore a stranger than to challenge them. This breed requires positive, reward-based training, good socialization and consistency. Ridgebacks are strong-willed, intelligent and generally they are not suitable for inexperienced owners. They are excellent companion dogs, yet they are protective over their owners and families. In the same time the Rhodesian ridgeback is very good with children and other pets, especially if raised with them from a young age.
Ridgebacks love active walks and require regular activities, but usually they are calm and quiet at home and can easily live in an apartment.Rhodesian ridgebacks can be dominant with other animals, especially with other dogs of the same sex. If raised together, ridgebacks are fine with the family cat, while others might be willing to chase anything that runs. The breed is also highly intelligent and strong-willed; reports of ridgebacks opening gates and cabinets to fetch a snack are common and often frustrating for owners.
Caring for a Rhodesian ridgeback
The Rhodesian ridgeback requires minimal grooming; it has a short easy to care coat. Ridgebacks does not droll and does not have strong smell. Like any large and athletic breed, the Rhodesian ridgeback needs to exercise: a brisk walk every day and a chance to run. The ridgeback loves to run and can go great distances without tiring. Ridgebacks can tolerate different weather and scale of temperatures, but they do not like rain or humid-cold weather.
Dermoid sinus and hypothyroidism are among the most serious health problems; canine hip and elbow dysplasia are also seen in this breed.
Very useful and educating information about Rhodesian ridgebacks: Kalahari Rhodesian Ridgebacks (US) and The South African Rhodesian Ridgeback Club
Acceptable RR colours
Non-traditional RR colours (not acceptable in the standart)