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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback - dog photos

Description

Centuries ago, in South Africa, they found that the Hottentots at the Cape were using Rhodesian Ridgeback type dogs for hunting purposes and with its peculiar ridge of hair, running parallel to the spine and in reverse to the rest of the coat, this distinguished it from other breeds. During the nineteenth century big game hunting flourished and hunters were quick to realise the value and importance of good hunting dogs; it was only natural that they turned to an indigenous breed, the Ridgeback. The origin of the breed is a bit vague, but the view seems to be that it is the result of crossing the Cuban Bloodhound with the Hottentot hunting dog. The latter supplying the characteristic ridge. With the advent of long range rifles, hunters dispensed with the use of dogs so the Rhodesian Ridgeback turned to its other vocation that of guard dog, a duty which they perform equally well.

 

Temperament

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is very affectionate, has a delightful nature and is a faithful one man or family dog and his friendship, once given, is for life.  He loves nothing more than to lean on you, lie on your feet or sit on your lap if permitted.  He is placid, easy going, extremely loyal and puts up with endless torment from children.  He does display a distinct offhandedness with strangers and can be quite disinterested in anyone outside his chosen circle.  Apart from being highly intelligent and quick to learn he is more than happy to fully participate in family activities, but at the same time is equally content to laze around all day if there is nothing better to do. The Ridgeback is an excellent guard dog and coupled with his deep bark will warn intruders to keep away from his property.
 

Appearance

Height:   61-69cm (24-27in)

Weight:  32-36.5kg (70-75lb)

Group: Hounds

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.

 

Grooming

Even though like most dogs the Rhodesian Ridgeback enjoys getting brushed it will be something that can be done quite infrequently. If they are inside the house, the occasional bath will be appreciated, although as a short haired breed they are naturally a very clean breed.  As this is a fast growing dog it should not be overfed or over exercised as a puppy, as this would put too much stress on their developing bones.

 

Life Expectancy

10-12 Years

 

Health Concerns

This breed enjoys particularly good health especially if purchased from a reputable breeder, where these breeders have ensured that your puppy does not have a dermoid sinus (a thin tube usually found along the midline of the dog and going down through the tissue toward the spine which can become infected.). They will also have screened the parents of your puppy for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia - both only rarely seen in the breed.

 

 

 

Suitability

Because of some of their characteristic traits, the Ridgeback may not ideally suit everyone as they are independent and stubborn if given an order when it would prefer to be doing something else you will probably not get instant results.  If you want the rewarding companionship of a dog that has spirit and considers itself your equal rather than your slave, you need look no further. They love a daily walk, prefer homes in which there is other canine company and are extremely tolerant of children, however not so well suited to older folk, who may have trouble handling a boisterous puppy.   It is also good to remember that this breed is part of the hound fraternity and likes to chase. Secure fencing and gates are highly recommended.

 

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Hounds

Hounds: these dogs hunt by sniffing the ground to pick up and then follow a scent, calling and barking all the while.  Dogs of this type include Bloodhound, Coonhound and Whippet to mention a few.

 

 

 

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