Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Made Easy

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are a great pet for those who want the intelligent and strong-willed types. Originally known for being hunting dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was discovered in Africa. However, in the past few years, this breed has become known for being a family dog for their intelligence and loyalty. Just like other dogs, they are known for being energetic dogs and must be exercised regularly so that they will calm down when indoors. With proper activity and exercise, this breed will become calm and well-mannered especially indoors.

First-time owners are discouraged from getting Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies as they are quite difficult to train. However, for those who are experienced, taking care of Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies will be a treat especially for those who enjoy an active   lifestyle. It is also suitable for families who are already familiar with caring for dogs especially for the medium to large sized ones.

This breed can withstand high temperatures. During the summer, this breeds energy level will not waver. Since they are originally from Africa, they can withstand this kind of weather because their bodies have been built for the heat. They are very athletic and can accompany joggers and bikers. However, as the years go by, this breed might lie low in running and would just prefer to walk. But while they are young, the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy will have an awful lot of energy to spare.

When you train your puppy, you should be firm with him or her. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a dominant trait that could lead them to do as they wish. But of course, that doesnt work for most dog owners. If you want your Rhodesian Ridgeback to grow up well mannered, it would take some time for you as they need to get to know you as a leader first before friend. But once you have established your authority over them, you will truly experience their allegiance. Especially if you’re a hunter, the Rhodesian Ridgeback proves to be a very efficient pet especially in hunting small game and tracking animals. Families can also take this breed to camps and other outdoor activities.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are calm and well-mannered in the presence of their owners. However, when a stranger or another animal is present, their dominant traits come out. While your Rhodesian Ridgeback is still a puppy, you should let him socialize with people and pets so that they will know that these creatures arent enemies. This is important because this breed really has an aggressive streak.

They are also known to be chewers. If you’ll let them stay inside the house, make sure that you have your furniture protected or covered, especially when they are left alone. Some Rhodesian Ridgebacks are left outdoors but if you want them to stay indoors, then you need to make sure that they are kept from destroying the furniture.

Despite these things, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is still worth caring for. Their loyalty is irreplaceable and they are indeed very good companions. 

About Rhodesian Ridgebacks

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a big and muscular hound. It has a broad head that is flat somewhere between the ears. The Rhodesian Ridgebacks muzzle is long and deep but with a defined stop. The dogs nose can be either black or brown, which can depend on the dogs coat. Its round eyes can have a brown color depending on the dogs shade. It has medium sized ears that are set high and drops down, wide at the base but tapering a bit to a point. The chest of the Rhodesian Ridgebacks is deep. Its front legs are very straight and strong. Its tail is fairly long and thicker at the base. The tail tapers to a point and curving upward slightly. Its short but dense coat has a defined symmetrical ridge of hair growth that is in opposite direction somewhere down the middle of its back. The coat colors of the Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be light wheaten or shades of red, but sometimes with a few white on the dogs chest and toes.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) categorizes dogs into 7 groups:

  • herding
  • hound
  • non-sporting
  • sporting
  • terrier
  • toy
  • working


1)      The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a fine hunter, as it is very ferocious in the hunt. However, in homes it can be calm, obedient, gentle and good dog.

2)      This breed is relatively good-natured, however, they are not suited with small children because these dogs may play a bit too rough and knock the children down.

3)      These dogs are intelligent, skillful and very loyal to the owner and his family. They are also brave and vigilant.

4)      Although they can socialize well, these dogs can be reserved toward strangers. They naturally possess a strong stamina. As such, they need enough mental and physical exercise so they will not become high strung and a bit unmanageable.

5)      This dog breed needs a confident and consistent pack leader that can provide rules to the dog. Rules like the dog must follow and the limits to what the dog can and cannot do.

6)      Meek and passive dog owners will have difficulty controlling this dog breed and may also cause these dogs to be a bit combative with other dogs.

7)      When these dogs are given what they naturally need, they can prove to be exceptional companion dogs. However, they are not highly recommended for many people, as most people do not have the energy or time to put into them.

8)      The Rhodesian Ridgebacks react best to a consistent, firm and calm approach to training. These dogs are very intelligent and can learn quickly. However, they can be willful and stubborn if they think they are stronger-minded than their owners.

9)      Training of this dog breed should be gentle, but firm. Also, training should start while the dog is young and small enough to manage.

10)   They can be very good watch dogs, however, it is not suggested that they be made guard dogs.

11)   These dogs can be very loving and protective of its owners.

12)   This dog breed can be quite more destructive than the Labradors if not given adequate exercise and is not convinced that his owner is his authority figure.

Rhodesian Ridgeback History

The Rhodesian Ridgebacks came from Zimbabwe and is used as a hunting dog and also as a retriever. This dog took care of children of owners and also guarded property. It originated from the cross breeding of ridgebacked dogs that were brought by Boer settlers to Africa during the 16th and 17th centuries. These dogs were originally kept by South African tribes along with other dog breeds such as the Great Dane, Mastiff, Khoikhoi dog and Deerhound. In 1877, Reverend Helm brought two Ridgebacks to Rhodesia. Eventually, big game hunters found out that if the dogs are used in packs they can be excellent in the hunting of lions on horseback. As such the Rhodesian Ridgeback got its alternate name of “African Lion Hound”. The dogs were able to adapt well in the hot African weather in the day as well as in the damp but cold nights. In 1950, the breed was brought to the United States. Then in 1955, the AKC recognized the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Grooming and Health Problems

The smooth and short-haired coat Rhodesian Ridgebacks are quite easy to groom. Just brush the breed with a bristle brush and you may shampoo the dog only when necessary. It is an average shedder. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hardy breed. It has the capacity to withstand dramatic temperature changes of temperature. However, this dog is susceptible to cysts, hip dysplasia and dermoid sinus.

Living Conditions, Exercise and Life Expectancy

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be ok in an apartment for as long as the dog can get enough exercise. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors, but they can be active outdoors and do best with a big space like a yard. The Rhodesian Ridgebacks have great stamina for action. The dogs need long daily brisk walks or jogs. This dog needs plenty of time to run, preferably without the leash in a relatively safe area. Also, if this dog is allowed to become bored and is not walked, they have a tendency to become destructive and may start displaying some behavioral problems. The Rhodesian Ridgebacks have an average life expectancy of about 10-12 years.