Rhodesian Ridgeback Care Made Easy

To help you best deal with Rhodesian Ridgeback care, it would help if you knew what to expect. For instance, like a lot of puppies, your little Rhodesian Ridgeback will cry when it wakes up in the middle of the night cold. After all, the little one was so used to the warmth and companionship it got out of the puppy pile and any place you put it need will pale in comparison to that, hence the crying. Not to mention that your little Rhodesian Ridgeback probably also needs to be pee. Don’t worry. Your dog will become more self-sufficient and independent as it grows so you’ll hear less and less of the cries in the night as the days pass.

Some other things you have to take note of about Rhodesian Ridgeback care include:

  • Like most hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very low maintenance. They next-to-nonexistent grooming requirements outside of the routine brushing once a week.
  • However, they are athletic, energetic dogs so Rhodesian Ridgebacks need a lot of exercise so Rhodesian Ridgeback care schedules should include activities like runs.
  • All dogs require proper crates when travelling. Rhodesian Ridgebacks like warmth and privacy so they do best in airplane crates for when they head out with you.
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a reputation for growing fast so be ready for that. Just how fast? An 8-week-old, 12-pound puppy can grow to 30 to 40 pounds in just four months and double that within four more months. And in order to keep up with the right growth rate, your Rhodesian Ridgeback needs to eat.
  • Come up with a feeding schedule. Not only will this ensure your Rhodesian Ridgeback is eating enough, it will also help prevent overeating and fussiness. If your dog doesn’t want to eat when given food, give it 15 minutes and then take away its bowl when it still won’t eat.
  • There are health conditions that the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed is prone to but you can protect your dog generally against sicknesses by ensuring complete vaccination. Your vet should have a vaccination schedule for you to follow but the most crucial period when your dog should get vaccinated is within its first four months.
  • Dogs are generally pack animals but Rhodesian Ridgebacks are particularly so because they are hounds. Rhodesian Ridgeback care should include socialization to ensure that your dog is able to interact well with everyone and you won’t have to worry about dominance and aggression.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Information

General Information on the Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed of dog that is ferocious in the wild but is a great pet when domesticated. It appeals to all pet owner types and is a great pet even when there is children around. It is a type of pet which can be loyal to its owner and will be protective of all of their owners interests.

Since this breed is can be agile in its natural habitat, this dog can be very active if given the right space to encourage it. This breed of dog can be a great running or walking companion, and will work just as great to complement its owners physical activities.

Although this dog has all of these good qualities, it can be a very wild and unruly dog if left untrained. It may learn to go against its owner if the owner does not have enough conviction to train and to discipline the dog. Other than that, you will find that this dog will be a great pet that you can take care of for years.


Male Ridgebacks will stand up to 27 inches, while female Rhodesian Ridgeback sizes will range from 24 to 26 inches. The weight of a male Ridgeback will be much heavier than its female counterparts, with a peak weight of 90 pounds compared to a females peak weight of 75 pounds.

Fur Care and Maintenance

The fur of a Rhodesian Ridgeback is quite short and is very smooth to the touch. Occasional bathing can help in maintaining the furs texture and color, and can help in preventing parasites such as lice from digging deep into the dogs skin.

Family Compatibility

Although it seems that this dog to appeal to all family types, it still needs to have an active rather than a passive owner most of the time. It doesnt have to be all of the members of the family, but it helps that all family members are aware of how to treat the dog well.


The lifestyle of this type of dog generally adapts to the lifestyle of its owner, but there are some qualities to the dog which are innately wild. Providing a space exclusively for the dogs use can help in adapting to this nature of this breed.

Life Expectancy and Health

A Rhodesian Ridgeback can live for up to twelve years, for as long as its diet and exercise is consistent. Aside from these aspects, this type of dog can also have complications which can be fatal to its health. A regular check-up with the veterinarian can help in improving the  quality of the dogs life.

Exercise and Well-Being

Its important to avoid overfeeding the dog and to maintain a healthy exercise regimen for this breed.

Training and Behavior Adjustment

A Ridgebacks training can be easy and may not really take a long time to finish. Since the ridgeback picks up easily and can be an obedient dog, its not that hard to carry on with training. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback Information

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a large breed of dog that could be fierce in hunting but very calm and gentle at home.  They have strong stamina and should be given sufficient mental and physical exercise or else they would get unmanageable. Passive owners or those that are very gentle and treat dogs as   family than pet have hard time training a Rhodesian Ridgeback because this breed only reacts best when approached firmly but calmly.  They tend to dominate their owners if they seem to  feel more authority.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are intelligent and skillful. They are good companions for athletic owners and they are excellent jogging companion.  They are also highly commendable watchdogs but not security dogs because they tend to be over protective which could be alarming for neighbors. They should be trained to socialized with other pets like cats so cat-dog-fight like problems will be prevented.

They can withstand sudden changes in the weather or the temperature around them. however they are prone to hip dysplasia (an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can lead to crippling lameness and painful arthritis of joints),  dermoid sinus (a skin defect caused by incomplete separation of the skin and the neural tube during embryonic development of the dog) and cysts.


The Rhodesian Ridgebacks have broad head that is flat between their ears, which are set high.  The colors of their noses depend on the color of their coats.  They have strong legs  and fairly long tails. Their coats are short and dense. The color of their coats may vary from light wheaten to shades of red or sometimes with a little white on the chest and toes.

A grown up Rhodesian Ridgeback is about 25 to 27 inches  or 63 to 69cm tall. Their bitches are about 24-26 inches or 61-66cm.  They could weight from 80 to 90 pounds  or 36 to 41kilo grams for grownups and 65 to 75 pounds  or 29-34 kilo grams for bitches.  They are expected to live for about a decade or more.

The owners of Rhodesian Ridgebacks have no problem grooming them.  They only need shampoo for their coat which could be fixed with a firm-bristled brush.    


They are not active indoors but could live in a small apartment as long as they get the exercise that   they need. They are very active outdoors, and they love running off the leash.   

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.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Care & Training

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog is perfect for families who love the great outdoors. It is also a great dog for hunting. Originating in South Africa, this rather long dog is known to be loyal and protective to the owners family. This dog breed is especially friendly with children although when excited, might get boisterous. Another good thing about this dog breed is that the Rhodesian Ridgeback dog is known to be quite quiet and controlled in the presence of strangers or other animals.

With their trademark ridge with a short and glossy coat, this breed is perfect for areas where the climate is warm. Usually, this dog breed requires a few hours of regular exercise preferably outdoors. The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog is fond of running and once the routine is broken, this breed might grow frustrated or unruly. If youre the type of owner who loves to run or jog, then maybe you can take your Rhodesian Ridgeback dog with you because they make great jogging buddies.

This dog is great whether youre living in a tropical or a temperate climate. While it prefers to do some activities outdoors, it still prefers to sleep at home. They are the type of dog that can live both indoors and outdoors. This makes them perfect for families, especially those with very young children. Unlike other dogs, caring for the Rhodesian Ridgeback is very simple. You only have to brush their short coat once in a while to remove the dead hair. They could also live up to 13 years.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog is a perfect choice for families. With their adaptable traits and with their low-maintenance physique, theyre easy to take care of. If you want your children to learn how to care for pets, then this breed will train them well. Despite the simplicity of the Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, many people appreciate the breeds characteristics. Since they are very mild-mannered yet competitive when it comes to hunting, you can be assured that your family and other people who will come to your home will be safe in the presence of this dog. Also, you dont have to worry about keeping this dog happy. Though he or she could get physical, they will be able to adjust well with changes in season or in location. They remain friendly and protective to their owners and are very easy to take care of.