The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a medium sized hound breed characterized by a combination of stamina, speed and power. It is strong, muscular and very active, distinctly branded by a clearly defined ridge of fur along the back growing in opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The ridge is made up of fan-like area formed by two coils of hair called “crowns” opposite each other with an average width of 2 inches (5 cm) that tapers from behind the shoulders to the hips. The Ridgeback also features a fairly long, flat skull with well defined stop, a long and deep muzzle and a black or brown nose. The eyes are round, bright and can either be dark or amber, depending on the coat colour and offer an expression of intelligence. The highly set ears are wide at the base, gradually tapering to a rounded point and carried close to the head. It has strong jaws with regular and complete scissor bite while the fairly long neck compliments the long head. The body features a moderately wide and very deep chest with a powerful and muscular back supported by perfectly straight and heavy-boned front legs and well muscled back legs. The legs are supported and cushioned to the ground by compact, round and tough feet with elastic pads. Hair between the toes and pads provide additional protection for the breed in harsh terrains. The tail tapers towards an end and is carried slightly curved upwards but not curled. The short and dense coat is glossy but not woolly nor silky and comes in light wheaten to red wheaten in colour.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a native breed of South Africa where it has been known to exist since the 1500s. The native Hottentot tribe (known also as the “Quena” or “Khoikhoi” tribes) were the first known masters of this breed. The Ridgeback was discovered by early European explorers when they first explored the mainland on the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, describing a “domesticated dog living with the Hottentots having the notable peculiarity of hair on his spine being turned forward.” The development of the breed is credited to Cornelius Van Rooyen of Plumtree, Rhodesia, using two ridged, rough coated bitches given to him in 1879. Based on historical records, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is thought to be a result of crossing between the Khoi dog, the greyhound, the bulldog, the collie, the pointer, and Airedale and Irish terriers. It is also possible that the Great Dane, mastiff, bloodhound and deerhound played an important role in the development of the breed along the way. The Ridgeback was used to hunt down lions, often sent out in a pair or larger groups in a pack to wear down a lion by teasing and driving it into confusion for the hunter to shoot. The dogs worked in alternating shifts to keep the lion at bay until the hunter arrives for the kill, but they themselves did not typically kill lions. Today, the Ridgeback is seen as a beloved household pet, guardian and herder when it is not on the hunt.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an extremely loyal and obedient breed which makes it highly trainable. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also an extremely intelligent breed with a fondness for mischief, often escaping kennels, opening cabinets and doors, stealing food behind-your-back, etc. Although it is not recommended for a novice pet owner, the same mischievous traits make it appealing to experienced dog owners. It is also a very adaptable breed that can withstand a wide variety of environmental conditions due to its African heritage. However, it will do best with a human companion.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback, being an intelligent breed will not tolerate excessive harsh treatment but it will readily accept correction if it is fair and justified and as long as it comes from a trusted person.
Grooming requirement is very minimum and straightforward. Occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush and bathing only when necessary will do the trick.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hardy breed with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. However, such a hard breed is not free from health issues like most dogs are. It has been known to be affected with canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts and certain types of cancer. Dermoid sinus, a genetic, autosomal skin condition is also known to affect the breed. Bloat or gastric torsion or the buildup of gas in the stomach is also reported, which can be fatal.
Pork, chicken, lamb, wheat, and brown rice provided as a base diet will do best for the Ridgeback.
The Ridgeback possesses an unlimited amount of energy and may need to channel this energy into rigorous physical and mental activities, so that large amount of exercise is required. It makes an excellent jogging companion, but will also enjoy swimming if given the chance. It will do fine in an apartment dwelling as long as it is taken out on a daily basis for long runs or an hour of play in a secured, open area. Due to its African heritage, the Ridgeback will do best in warmer climates and with a house that has a yard to roam about.
It is very brave and protective of its human family, property and territory, considering that it is a hound breed and may be reserved with strangers; characters that makes is an excellent guard dog. If not properly trained and socialized at an early age, it can have the tendency to be wilful and strong-headed. However, early socialization is the key for this breed to be tolerant of other pets. It does well with older, more considerate children but can prove to be a little too much for young children.