The name Rhodesian Ridgeback has a dignified air to it, and these hounds live up to the label. The breed was born in southern Africa, where the dogs of European colonists were crossed with semi-domesticated hunting dogs used by the indigenous Khoikhoi. The name comes from both the first breed standard developed in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and the distinctive “ridge” of fur that runs down the spine, growing in the opposite direction of the rest of the coat.
Standing at 24-27 inches tall, they’re strong and athletic with a muscular build. They require lots of exercise and love to run, so they make great buddies for jogging or hiking. These natural athletes also love participating in canine sports including agility, obedience and tracking. They have a strong drive to chase and wander, so make sure to keep your Rhodesian Ridgeback on a leash unless they’re in an enclosed area. That drive extends to food—they love to climb and will “counter surf” for leftovers. They can be strong willed and stubborn, so a lot of patience and firmness is needed when training your puppy. Because of their strong personalities, the Rhodesian Ridgeback isn’t recommended for first-time dog owners. These sweet tough guys are devoted and affectionate to their owners, but they tend to be more aloof toward strangers. They aren’t big barkers, but their guarding instinct means they’ll alert you if something is amiss.
Daily kibble serving
Rhodesian Ridgebacks love to eat, but don’t let them clean you out of kibble—or your food. Puppies need to eat more than adult dogs, but by the time your Rhodesian Ridgeback is one year old, they should be eating 3-5 cups of kibble either in one serving or two smaller meals, depending on their preferences and nutritional needs. Like many dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks love people food and will get in the bad habit of begging for table scraps if you aren’t strict about sticking to a feeding schedule. Stick to high-quality dog food where meat and fish are the main ingredients.