is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life,
his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last
beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion"
Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, handsome, muscular dog. Its name describes
its most unique characteristic, a clearly defined symmetrical ridge
running the length of its spine, formed by hair that grows in the opposite
direction from the rest of its coat. The Ridgeback was bred in South
Africa by African farmers as a big-game hunter and guard dog. It represents
a combination of several imported breeds, including the Great Dane,
Mastiff, Greyhound, and Bloodhound, with Rhodesian varieties capable
of withstanding extremes of heat and cold. The dog has a strong, muscular
body and a broad head with high-set ears and a long muzzle. The short,
sleek coat varies in colour from light to red wheaten. The adult Ridgeback
weighs from 32 to 36.5 kg (70 to 80 lb) with an average height of about
66 cm (about 26 in) at the shoulder.
Rhodesian Ridgeback has both excellent eyesight and a good nose. Possessing
many of the characteristics generally associated with hounds, the Ridgeback
has a quiet, gentle temperament and rarely barks for no reason. While
able to enjoy lazing around in a patch of sun or in front of a winter
fireplace, a Ridgeback can be instantly alert if a stranger should appear
or if he is in pursuit of legitimate prey. While he gives the impression
of a big, lazy, slow-moving animal, the Ridgeback can be an imposing
presence as a watchdog. Developed not only to hunt, but also as a family
protector, his affectionate disposition makes him a good family dog.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are intelligent, confident dogs that are loyal
to their family, and have something of a mind of their own. They are
brave, vigilant, reserved towards strangers, and possess considerable
stamina. They learn quickly, but they are also strong-willed and a bit
stubborn. Training should be gentle and start young while the dog is
still small enough to manage. Because of his intelligence, an untrained
Ridgeback can become a nuisance. Trained, he is an excellent companion,
a sporting partner, a show dog or obedience competitor. Due to his innate
ability to protect his family, a Ridgeback should not be trained as
a guard dog. Rather, the natural protective qualities should be supplemented
with an extremely consistent and sound approach to training.
a dog to become a good family member requires energy, dedication and
patience. There are no short cuts. It takes time to properly raise a
puppy and mould a young dog into a pleasurable loyal companion.
training your Rhodesian Ridgeback,
try to think like your dog: Be consistent in everything you do!
Rhodesian Ridgeback FCI-Standard N° 146
Standard supplied by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa and the Zimbabwe
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used to hunt game in many parts of
the world, but is especially prized as watch-dog and family pet.
Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
Section 3 Related breeds.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is presently the only registered breed indigenous
to southern Africa. Its forbears can be traced to the Cape Colony of
Southern Africa, where they crossed with the early pioneer's dogs and
the semi-domesticated, ridged Hottentot hunting dogs. Hunting mainly
in groups of two or three, the original function of the Rhodesian Ridgeback
or Lion dog was to track game, especially lion, and, with great agility,
keep it at bay until the arrival of the hunter. The original standard,
which was drafted by F.R.Barnes, in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, in 1922, was
based on that of the Dalmatian and was approved by the South African
Kennel Union in 1926.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback should represent a well balanced, strong, muscular,
agile and active dog, symmetrical in outline, and capable of great endurance
with a fair amount of speed. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and
soundness with no tendency towards massiveness. The peculiarity of the
breed is the ridge on the back, which is formed by the hair growing
in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The ridge is the
escutcheon of the breed. The ridge must be clearly defined, symmetrical
and tapering towards the haunch. It must start immediately behind the
shoulders and continue to the hip (haunches) bones. The ridge must contain
only two crowns, identical and opposite each other. The lower edges
of the crowns must not extend further down the ridge than one-third
of its length. A good average width of the ridge is 5cm (2").
Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers, but showing no aggression
Should be of a fair length (width of head between ears, distance from
occiput to stop, stop to end of nose, should be equal), flat and broad
between the ears; the head should be free from wrinkles when in repose.
The stop should be reasonably well defined and not in one straight line
from the nose to the occipital bone.
The nose should be black or brown. A black nose should be accompanied
by dark eyes, a brown nose by amber eyes.
The muzzle should be long, deep and powerful.
The lips should be clean, closely fitting the jaws.
Jaws strong, with a perfect and complete scissor bite, i.e.
the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to
the jaws. The teeth must be well developed, especially the canines or
Cheeks should be clean.
Should be moderately well apart, round, bright and sparkling, with intelligent
expression, their colour harmonising with the colour of the coat.
Should be set rather high, of medium size, rather wide at base,
and gradually tapering to a rounded point. They should be carried close
to the head.
Should be fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.
Strong, muscular and slightly arched.
Should not be too wide, but very deep and capacious; the brisket
should reach to the elbow. Forechest should be visible when viewed from
the side. Ribs moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel-hoops.
Should be strong at the root and gradually tapering towards
the end, free form coarseness. It should be of moderate length. It should
not be attached too high nor too low, and should be carried with a slight
curve upwards, never curled.
The forelegs should be perfectly straight, strong and well
boned, with the elbows close to the body. When viewed from the side,
the forelegs should be wider than viewed from the front.
The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular.
Should be strong with light spring.
In the hind legs the muscles should be clean and well defined.
Good turn of stifle.
Strong, well let down.
The feet should be compact and round, with well arched toes
and tough, elastic pads, protected by hair between the toes. and pads.
/ MOVEMENT :
Straight forward, free and active.
Should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance,
but neither woolly nor silky.
Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and
toes is permissible, but excessive white hairs here, on belly, or above
toes is undesirable. A dark muzzle and ears permissible. Excessive black
hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable.
AND WEIGHT :
Height at withers : Dogs : 63-69 cm (25" -27").
Bitches : 61-66 cm (24" -26").
Weight : Dogs : 36,5 kg (80 lbs).
Bitches : 32 kg (70 lbs).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered
a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded
should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.