Rhodesian Ridgeback

Breed History / Description

The breed was originally developed as a scent hound in South Africa to track a variety of game. When the breed was taken to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) it was used largely for tracking lions, fast on the scent, athletic in tracking and courageous in holding the lions at bay until the hunters arrived. The breed takes its name from a ridge of hair growing in the reverse direction along its spine. His ancestry is linked to the ancient dogs of the Hottentots which possessed this same feature. Canine folklore suggested that a well-marked ridge was a sign of courage.


A distinctive feature is the ridge on the back formed by hair growing in opposite direction to the remainder of coat. Ridge clearly defined, tapering and symmetrical, starting immediately behind shoulders and continuing to haunch, and containing two identical crowns only, opposite each other, lower edges of crowns not extending further down ridge than one-third of its length. Up to 5 cm (2 ins) is a good average for width of ridge. 


Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers but showing no aggression or shyness.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

Haircuts Photos from our Members