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Rhodesian Ridgeback


The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in South Africa, but is credited to Rhodesian breeders who developed and protected the purity of the breed. When the breed was first registered with KUSA - the Kennel Union of Southern Africa - Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. 

Afrikaans folk sometimes call the breed rifrug or rifrugge. 


Mother ridgeback with her young

Early history of dogs

Ridgebacks have a ridge of hair along the top of their backs that seems to grow in the wrong direction. They are short-coated. Sometimes a ridgeback is born with no ridge. These puppies should not be bred from as they don't conform to the breed standard. They make lovely pets though!


A Rhodesian Ridgeback needs a big garden and lots of exercise. Remember puppies grow quickly! Ridgebacks are hounds and like to hunt. They have been used to hunt lion and have been called, "Lion Dogs."  A hound will go hunting by himself and disappear, so a strong, high fence is a must. Training is essential as this is a large, strong  dog. 

Colour: light wheaten or red wheaten, sometimes with a touch of white on the feet or chest.

Height: dogs 63 - 69 cms at shoulder, bitches 62 - 66 cms.

Ridgeback standing tall

dog with a clear ridge along the back


Luma Zuma belongs to Mr & Mrs J Hennings. Notice the ridge along the back.


A sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy

Ridgeback puppy  

Ridgebacks don't find many lions to hunt nowadays, so it's important that they get enough exercise and go for long runs so they stay in peak condition.

Lions used to roam the land in Bible times. Samson could have done with a ridgeback dog to kill the lion he met, but God gave him the strength to kill it with his bare hands. Do you know what happened next? Guess the meaning of Samson's riddle, "Out of the eater came forth meat, Out of the strong came something sweet." 

Answer: A swarm of bees made honey inside the carcass.

Judges 14, 5 - 18

A litter of Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies

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