Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Info – Pictures, Facts, Traits, & More!

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Thinking of welcoming a Rhodesian Ridgeback into your home? You’re in for a treat! This beautiful dog breed is stunning and boasts an impressive list of admirable qualities. From their hunting origins to their current status as loyal and loving companions, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are truly one-of-a-kind dogs that will fill your life with love and adventure.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large-sized breed that takes its name from its origin country, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and its unique ridge of fur that runs in the opposite direction of the rest of its hair.

It’s not just their size that makes them so imposing. These dogs have a reputation for being fearless because of their history, in which they were used to track and take down lions back in the day, hence their nickname, the Lion Dog! This alone makes them excellent watchdogs and protectors. In fact, they will, without a doubt, go up against threats much larger and fiercer than themselves if they feel their family is in danger!

While Rhodesian Ridgebacks are undoubtedly capable of being formidable guardians, they are just as likely to show their softer side with those they love. These dogs are incredibly devoted to their families and make wonderful companions. They are also patient and gentle with children, making them an ideal breed for families with young kids.

Their even-tempered nature doesn’t mean they lack energy, though. Rhodesian Ridgebacks need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. So be sure to give them plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs. A good long walk or run is a great way to burn off some of their energy.

They are also intelligent and highly trainable, though some Ridgebacks can be stubborn and strong-willed. But with patience and consistency, you’ll be able to teach them all the tricks you want them to know!

Are you ready to add the Lion Dog to your family? Read on to learn everything you need to know about this strong, dignified breed, including their personality, health concerns, exercise needs, etc., to see if they are the right dog for you!

An Overview of Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Characteristics
Weight 70 - 85 pounds
Height 24 - 27 inches
Life Expectancy 10 - 12 years
Coat Type Short, dense coat
Colors Light wheaten to red wheaten
Breed Size Large-sized dogs
Breed Group Hound
Bred For Hunting & Guarding
Affectionate With Family 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Good With Children 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Good With Other Dogs 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Friendly Towards Strangers 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Breed Health 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Shedding Amount 2.0 out of 5.0 stars
Grooming Needs 1.0 out of 5.0 stars
Adaptability 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Trainability 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Prey Drive 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Playfulness 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Protective Nature 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Energy Level 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Apartment Living 1.0 out of 5.0 stars
Good for First-Time Dog Owners 1.0 out of 5.0 stars
Tolerate Being Left Alone 2.0 out of 5.0 stars
Cold Tolerance 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Hot Tolerance 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Tendency to Drool 2.0 out of 5.0 stars
Tendency to Bark 1.0 out of 5.0 stars
Tendency to Snore 2.0 out of 5.0 stars
Tendency to Dig 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Exercise Needs 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Mental Stimulation Needs 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Puppy Costs 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Breed History & Origin

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be traced back to the 16th and 17th centuries. At that time, the Dutch, Germans, and Huguenots migrated to South Africa, bringing a variety of dog breeds with them, including Greyhounds, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Salukis, and various Terriers. And it was during that time European immigration was closed, resulting in the transportation of their own hunting dogs to Rhodesia impossible.

The European settlers, also called the Boers, needed versatile, powerful hunting dogs that could flush game, pull down large wounded deer, and be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the African plains and hold up the drastic temperature changes. The Boer farmers also want fearless dogs that can guard their farm against marauding animals and prowlers at night and will devotedly protect their families and children. Out of this need and necessity, they decided to crossbreed their dogs brought from their home countries with the native semi-domesticated Khoikhoi dog they discovered on the interior of the Cape of Good Hope.

The result was the birth of the Rhodesian Ridgeback! An excellent hunter that not only possesses the strength of a Mastiff, speed of a Greyhound, scenting ability of a Bloodhound, and all other qualities the Boer farmers look for but also comes with a unique physical trait – a ridge of hair growing in the opposite direction along their back. What’s more impressive? They have resilience against local pests and diseases and have the innate knowledge of navigating the African terrain and handling dangerous predators of Africa thanks to the native Khoikhoi blood.

In the late 19th century, a big-game hunter, Cornelius van Rooyen borrowed two Ridgebacks from a missionary named Rev. Charles Helm for a lion hunt. After the successful hunting trip, he concluded that these dogs excel at confronting and holding the king of the jungle at bay long enough for the hunter to get in for a kill shot, which led to their nickname, the Lion Dog or the African Lion Dog. He also found that Ridgebacks excel at fending off baboons and leopards and have the stamina to hunt alongside horse-mounted riders all day long in harsh conditions. It was all these impressive abilities that the hunter decided to breed Ridgebacks for his own use and was later on bred on a larger scale by others when they realized the potential of the Lion Dog.

No one knows exactly when the first Ridgeback was brought to the United States. Some say it was in 1911, while others say it was during the early 1950s. But what we do know is it wasn’t until after World War II that large numbers of Ridgebacks were imported to the US, Canada, and England, and that this breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1955. Today, Rhodesian Ridgebacks find themselves in the top 50 most popular dog breeds in America and continue to grow in popularity worldwide!

Size & Appearance

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, symmetrical hound with males measuring 25-27 inches at the shoulder and weighing approximately 85 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, measuring 24-26 inches from paw to the withers and typically weighing around 70 pounds. But don’t let their size fool you! These dogs are agile, light on their feet, and have excellent coursing ability and endurance.

As per the breed standard, the Ridgeback’s skull is broad between ears and should be wrinkle-free when resting. They have round, sparkling eyes, and a long, deep muzzle, with clean lips that fit closely to their jaws, giving them an intelligent, regal appearance.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a strong, muscular, athletic build and a relatively long neck. Their chest is large and deep, with moderately well-sprung ribs but never rounded or barrel-shaped.

The Lion Dog’s back is firm and powerful, and the loins are muscular and slightly arched. Their tail is thick, strong at the root, typically tapers towards the end, and slightly curving upward. They have straight and strong forelegs, muscular and well-defined hindlegs, compact feet, and well-arched toes.

Color, Coats, & Markings

Ridgebacks have a short, dense coat that looks glossy and can come in colors ranging from light wheaten to red wheaten. Slight white markings on the chest and toes are allowed but not on the belly or above the toes. And while their coat looks smooth, it feels slightly rough when you touch it.

One thing you will always find in the Ridgeback breed standard is its distinctive strip of hair running along its back in the opposite direction to the rest of its coat, hence why they are called Ridgeback!

This ridge starts just behind their shoulders and extends to the point between the rise of their hips. You should also find two exact same whorls (hair growing in a spiral or concentric circle pattern), also called crowns, positioned directly opposite each other.

If you plan to get a Ridgeback to compete in the show ring, they need to carry the ridge, as “ridgelessness” will be disqualified by the AKC, though many purebred Ridgebacks don’t have one. Also, those with one crown or more than two crowns are considered a serious fault.


Remember, Ridgebacks were bred to hunt big game and protect their families. That means they are very smart and are independent thinkers since they have to be able to make decisions on their own as to what’s the best course of action while cornering lions or other big game in the field, as well as what is and isn’t a threat to their families. And when a threat does present, they’ll have to take the matter into their own hands and think on their feet to determine the best way to deal with it without having anyone telling them what to do.

That background also means they are instinctively programmed to be on the lookout for potential threats and can be very suspicious of strangers. So don’t be surprised if your Ridgie gives your visitors the once-over before giving them the green light to enter your home.

Also, having the courage to confront and chase down the king of the jungle takes a certain kind of dog, which is why Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not for everyone. They are not suitable for first-time dog owners or novice owners. Instead, they need an assertive, experienced owner who can provide strong leadership.

And while their large size, hunting origins, guarding instincts, and protective nature make them seem like tough and aloof dogs, well-trained and well-socialized Rhodesian Ridgebacks are incredibly loving companions. They have a heart of gold, gentle with those they know and trust, and are fiercely loyal to their families. They are also great with young children but should never be left unsupervised when around kids since these dogs can get too rambunctious and may accidentally knock younger kids over.

Without a doubt, Ridgebacks have a strong prey drive, meaning if they see something moving and perceive it as prey, whether it’s a squirrel, rabbit, or cat, their first instinct will be to give it a chase. So make sure you keep your dog on a leash and under close control when out on walks. It’s also a good idea to put up a fence in your yard to prevent them from darting out the door and going on their own hunting adventures!

Living Conditions

Being a big dog with lots of energy and stamina, the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs plenty of room to run, play, and stretch its legs. So we don’t recommend them for those who live in an apartment, though you’ll find some Ridgeback owners say that their lion dog adapts to apartment living just fine. However, that’ll probably only be the case if their exercise needs are met.

These dogs are a relatively hardy dog breed that can withstand extreme heat as they were bred to hunt in the harsh weather conditions of Africa. But that’s not to say they should be left outside in the blistering sun all day long, as they can still get heatstroke like any other dog.

And the fact that Ridgebacks don’t have an undercoat means they don’t tolerate cold weather as well as some other breeds. So if you live in cold climates, it’s best to get your Ridgeback a dog coat or snow jacket for those chilly walks. And ensure to provide them with a warm, cozy spot inside where they can curl up and stay warm on frigid days or nights!

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Exercise Needs

Are you an outdoor enthusiast and live an active lifestyle? If so, then a Rhodesian Ridgeback may just be the perfect dog for you, as they’ll need a good deal of exercise every day to wear out their abundant energy.

These lion dogs also love being outdoors and will surely be more than happy to join you on your outdoor adventures, whether it be a hike in the woods, a long bike ride, or a run in the countryside. In fact, they are one of the best running companions for joggers or marathon runners, though make sure you build up to it gradually and don’t go too far or too fast when you first bring them jogging with you.

Expect to spend at least an hour of vigorous exercise with your Rhodesian Ridgeback daily to keep them in shape. Without that, they’ll become bored and frustrated, and you’ll find them releasing their energy in ways you won’t like, such as tearing up your furniture and belongings or digging up your garden!

Ridgebacks are also very intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to prevent boredom. So, in addition to daily walks or runs, you would need to include some brain games in their daily routine to keep their minds active and engaged. And that could be anything from simple obedience training and heelwork to playing hide-and-seek and giving them a treat-filled Kong toy to work on!


Can quickly learn and perform tricks is one thing, but being able to discern between a real threat and someone who just happens to be walking by your property takes a special kind of intelligence, which Rhodesian Ridgebacks have in spades. And smart dogs who think independently also mean they can be stubborn and strong-willed.

In fact, Ridgebacks will not blindly follow commands from anyone who just tells them what to do. These dogs will think for themselves. They are opportunists. They’ll do things their way if you give them half a chance. They will test everyone in the family to see where the boundaries lie and where they stand in the pack hierarchy, and they’ll try to move up the ranks if you’re not careful!

So, leaving the training up to them is not an option! Otherwise, your once-friendly, affectionate dog may turn into a headstrong pooch that ignores your commands. And that’s the reason Ridgebacks need a firm, consistent, and experienced owner. If you have the right mindset and some good training techniques up your sleeve, you’ll be able to train your Rhodesian Ridgeback quite easily. But if not, then such independent thinkers can prove very challenging dogs to live with.

With that in mind, be sure to establish yourself as the alpha leader right from day one and maintain a consistent, firm hand in their training to avoid any behavioral issues down the road. Not only is it vital to establish who’s in charge through a firm, consistent guidance and being a confident, calm-assertive owner who is always fair, but also to use an abundance of positive reinforcement through treats and praise when training them. Positive reinforcement will go a long way in building trust, respect, and a strong bond with your Rhodesian Ridgeback. Additionally, make sure all family members are on board with the training methods and that everyone sticks to the same set-up rules.

Also, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are natural hunters and will chase prey obsessively if they come across something that catches their fancy, such as a squirrel or rabbit scurrying past them. And you certainly don’t want to find yourself chasing after your dog and a fleeing rabbit while out jogging or walking together! So make sure to teach your Ridgie impulse control. This will help them become less likely to chase down every animal that crosses their path! You would, of course, need to work on their recall as well to ensure they will come back when called.

Last but not least, socialization is key to raising a well-rounded, friendly Ridgeback. Early socialization will help your Rhodesian Ridgeback become used to different sights, sounds, and smells and can prevent them from becoming reserved and aloof to strangers and other dogs.


Rhodesian Ridgebacks have an average lifespan of 10-12 years and are generally considered a healthy breed. However, as is true for any dog breed, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are susceptible to certain health concerns and may require frequent veterinary attention throughout their lives. Some of the most common health issues seen in this breed include:

  • Bloat. Also known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), this is a severe condition deep-chested dog breeds are more prone to and can be fatal if not treated right away. Bloat occurs when your dog’s stomach fills with too much air, food, or water and twists, causing the blood flow to get cut off, resulting in shock and potentially death. Signs of bloat include restlessness, pacing, drooling, panting excessively, and retching (trying to vomit but nothing coming up at all). If you suspect your Rhodesian Ridgeback has bloat, get them to the vet immediately!
  • Dermoid Sinus. Most commonly found in Rhodesian Ridgebacks, this neural tube defect results from incomplete separation of the skin and spinal cord during embryonic development. It presents a small skin opening on the dog’s back with protruding hair in a swirl pattern, typically found on their neck or upper spine. If infected and left untreated, it can lead to swelling within an area of body tissue, also called an abscess, which can cause pain and discomfort. Also, an untreated infected sinus deep enough to connect to the spinal cord may lead to severe illness, complete paralysis, or death.
  • Eye Problems. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also susceptible to developing several eye problems, including cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, ectropion, and entropion. And unfortunately, many of these conditions are painful, and some may lead to blindness. If you suspect your dog is suffering from any of these or other eye issues, take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Hip & Elbow Dysplasia. Hip and elbow dysplasia are abnormal development of the joints, causing the bones to rub against each other. And if left untreated, it will eventually affect your dog’s ability to walk normally and do things like hop up on couches, play fetch with you, etc. Hip and elbow dysplasia are basically the same, except that they occur in different joints. The former occurs in the hip joints, while the latter occurs in the elbow joints. While both are typically hereditary (passed down from parents to their offspring), dogs may also develop these conditions due to other factors, such as rapid growth rate, overfeeding, improper nutrition, and improper amount or type of exercise. Treatment options include weight reduction, exercise restriction, anti-inflammatory drugs, joint supplements, and surgery in more severe cases.
  • Hypothyroidism. This condition is caused by an autoimmune disease called lymphocytic thyroiditis. Essentially, the immune system thinks the thyroid is a foreign object and attacks it, resulting in insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone being produced and slowing down the metabolism. It’s one of the most common health disorders in Ridgebacks, and symptoms include but are not limited to excessive shedding, dry coat, unexplained weight gain, lethargy, a slowed heart rate, and becoming extremely sensitive to cold. If left untreated, this autoimmune disorder will eventually destroy the thyroid. So don’t let your dog go without treatment, no matter how mild you think their symptoms are!

While these are some of the more common health issues that plague Rhodesian Ridgebacks, not all dogs of this breed will have these problems. And of course, there are many other medical issues affecting dogs in general that may also affect this breed. So it’s crucial to keep an eye out for any changes in your dog’s behavior and take them to the vet right away if you suspect anything is amiss with your dog’s health or if you notice anything concerning.

The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” definitely rings true! So the key here is to provide your Ridgeback with a healthy diet, an exercise routine appropriate for their age, size, and specific needs, and take them to the vet for regular check-ups so that any issues can be identified early on and treated accordingly.

It’s also better to get your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder who health tests their breeding stock to ensure the parents are healthy and genetically sound before breeding. This will give you the best chance of getting a healthy pup that will grow into a happy and healthy dog. Health tests that the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States (RRCUS) requires breeders to get done are hip and elbow evaluations. They also recommend additional testing for thyroid issues, eye diseases, cardiac problems, and hearing loss or deafness.

Nutrition & Diet

As with any dog breed, it’s essential to stick to a high-quality diet that will meet your Ridgeback’s specific nutritional needs. This means providing them with the appropriate amount of calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for their breed size and age.

Ridgeback puppies need a diet rich in proteins and calories to support their growth and development during this crucial stage of life. As per the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommendations, puppies need a minimum protein content of 22.5%. Once they reach adulthood, typically around 12 to 15 months of age, you can switch them over to an adult dog food diet with a minimum of 18% protein and 5.5% fat content.

There are a variety of brands and formulas out there to choose from. But as a general rule of thumb, you want to look for food tailored explicitly for large breeds. And, of course, you would need to feed your Ridgeback puppies puppy food and your adult Ridgeback adult food. This ensures they’re getting the correct ratios of calories and nutrients they need at each stage of their life.

One thing, though, proteins should always come from animal sources such as chicken, beef, fish, or lamb, and not plant-based proteins like soy or wheat. Look, I don’t want to get into the debate of whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores. But one thing that’s for sure is animal protein is much more beneficial for dogs than plant protein, as it contains all the essential amino acids that dogs need for their overall health and wellbeing.

So when choosing kibbles for your Rhodesian Ridgeback, make sure it has real meat as the main ingredient. Also, always steer clear of food that contains too much filler and those with artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. These ingredients are of no nutritional value to your Ridgeback and can be harmful to their health. Some of the best dog food brands suited for Ridgebacks we recommend include Nutro, SportDog, and Victor.

It’s also vital to note that not there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it comes to dog food, as every dog is different. So you may find some Ridgebacks may do well on certain brands or types of food, while others may not and may even have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.

As far as how much to feed your Rhodesian Ridgeback, this will depend on various factors such as age, weight, and activity level. Puppies need to be fed three to four times per day, while adult dogs only need two meals. And they will generally need around 3 to 5 cups of food per day. A good rule of thumb is to start with the recommended serving size on the back of the dog food bag.

Keep in mind that Ridgebacks can also be greedy eaters and may beg for food even when they’re not hungry. So it’s crucial to be mindful of how much your dog eats and not to overfeed them as this can lead to obesity, which can put them at risk for several health problems such as joint issues, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Grooming & Bathing

Ridgebacks have a short and dense coat that’s easy to groom. They don’t require a lot of upkeep, and a weekly brush with a soft-bristled brush is all that’s needed to remove dead hair and keep their coat shiny and healthy.

They only need to be bathed once every two to three months unless they get very dirty or smell. When washing your Ridgeback, ensure to use a dog-specific shampoo because human shampoo can be too harsh on their skin and coat. Also, be sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove all traces of soap, as residue can irritate their skin.

Trimming your Ridgeback’s nails should be done more frequently (every two to four weeks). But if you can hear their nails clicking on the floor when they walk, they definitely need a trim. Some may resist having their nails clipped, though, so it’s vital to get them used to it from a young age. Also, you can try using a nail grinder for dogs instead of nail clippers. It’s much less scary for pooches and does a great job of grinding down their nails without causing any discomfort.

Ridgebacks have long, floppy ears that are susceptible to infections, unfortunately. So make sure to check and clean their ears at least once every two weeks using a dog-ear cleaning solution or wipes. Never use cotton swabs or Q-tips as these can push the wax further down into their ear canal, not to mention you may potentially damage their ear canals and eardrum.

And lastly, don’t forget to brush your Ridgeback’s teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste! Dental care for dogs is often overlooked, but it’s just as important as it is for humans. If not taken care of, plaque and tartar can build up on and around their teeth, just like us, leading to gum disease, tooth loss, and other serious health problems. Of course, brushing their teeth every day is ideal, but if that’s not possible, then aim for two to three times a week at the very least. You can also give them dental chews or treats to help keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Are You the Right Owner for a Rhodesian Ridgeback? - A Brief Summary of the Lion Dog

While their large size, hunting origins, guarding instincts, and protective nature make them seem like tough and aloof dogs, under their rough exterior is a heart of gold!

Ridgebacks are incredibly devoted to their families and make loyal, loving companions. They have lots of love to give and will shower you with kisses and affection if you let them. They are also patient, gentle with children, and are one of the most loyal breeds that will do anything for those they love.

Ridgebacks are very intelligent, though they can be stubborn and require patience and consistency when training them. So if you’re a first-time dog owner, they are probably not ideal for you as they need a firm owner who can handle their strong personality.

The Lion Dog also isn’t the right breed to purchase if you’re looking for a lazy lapdog who will sit on your couch all day doing nothing. These dogs are not couch potatoes but rather an active, athletic breed that needs a minimum of an hour of exercise per day. And as long as their exercise needs are met, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are relatively calm indoors. Otherwise, they can become restless and destructive.

So, if you’re an active person, looking for a furry running buddy or a four-legged hiking partner that can keep up with your pace, and have what it takes to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback owner, then congratulations! You are in for one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!

Buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback From a Breeder

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Nursing

When buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, ensure to do your research and take your time to find a responsible breeder, as there are many unscrupulous ones out there.

A good breeder will raise the pups in a clean, healthy environment. They will also be able to provide you with health clearances for the puppy’s parents, which will help ensure that your pup is free of any genetic health conditions.

When meeting the breeder, you would want to pay attention to how they interact with the puppies and the parents and be sure to ask lots of questions. A good breeder will be happy to answer all of your questions confidently and seem genuinely interested in placing each pup in a loving home. Avoid breeders who seem more interested in selling you a pup than ensuring you are the right owner, as this is usually a red flag.

A responsible breeder will also be happy to show you around their facilities. So if the breeder you found seems evasive or refuses to let you see where the puppies are being raised, walk away and continue your search elsewhere. Also, be wary of any breeder who has multiple litters or selling puppies younger than eight weeks old. Puppies should always stay with their mother and littermates until at least eight weeks of age.

You would also want to avoid purchasing a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy online. These puppies often come from mass-breeding operations, known as “puppy mills,” where they are kept in poor conditions and not given proper care. Puppies from these places are more likely to have health and behavioral problems later in life.

Not sure where to look? The AKC Marketplace is always a good place to start your search, as all the breeders listed there must adhere to AKC’s high standards. You can also ask your veterinarian, friends, or family members for recommendations. The average price for a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy from a reputable breeder is around $2,000, and expect to pay up to $4,000 for a show-quality Ridgeback.

Adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback From a Rescue or Shelter

Buying from a breeder is not the only way to get a Ridgeback. You can also adopt one from a rescue or shelter. This is usually cheaper than buying from a breeder, and you’ll be giving the shelter dog in need of a loving home.

Many beautiful Ridgebacks are waiting to be adopted. And that’s not because they’re bad dogs, but because many people purchase Rhodesian Ridgebacks without fully understanding what they’re getting into and end up surrendering them when they realize the breed’s energy and exercise needs are too much for them to handle.

There are also other reasons many Ridgebacks were given up by their previous owners, like moving to a new home where pets are not allowed, relocating abroad for work, not having enough time to care for them, or in financial difficulties. Whatever the reason it may be, they all deserve a second chance!

When adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback, ensure to visit the shelter or rescue group a few times and spend some time with the dog you’re interested in before taking them home. It’s also important to ask the staff about the dog’s background, personality, and health history. And if possible, take the dog out for a short walk to see how they react in different environments. This will give you a better idea of whether or not they would be a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

The adoption fee for a Rhodesian Ridgeback from a shelter or rescue is typically around $300 to $500 but can be higher or lower depending on the dog’s lineage, age, and health. Can’t find one near you? Try the Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue, Inc. or the Ridgeback Rescue of the United States.

Fun Facts About Rhodesian Ridgebacks That You Probably Don't Know

  1. Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred in Africa to hunt big game, including the king of the jungle!
  2. Ridgies are also excellent guardians and will protect their families without hesitation.
  3. Rhodesian Ridgebacks can keep pace with some of the fastest breeds when running in full stride.
  4. Sellers who tell you “the pup hasn’t got a ridge yet and will develop one as the pup grows older” are not true! Ridgebacks who were born ridgeless will never have a ridge! And that’s due to a genetic fault.
  5. Ridgebacks are one of the dog breeds that rarely bark unless they feel it’s necessary. So if they do, you better take notice!
  6. A Ridgeback named Raina has an inseparable bond with an African Cheetah named Ruuxa. They were raised together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and are best friends!