About the Breed

Rhodesian Ridgeback

African male lion

African liondog

Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Standard FCI No. 146 / VI.3

Country of origin:

South Africa. Pattern provided by the Kennel Club of South Africa and Zimbabwe Kennel Club.


In many regions of the world Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used as a hunting dog. Above all, however, is valued as a guard dog and family pet.


Group 6 Scent hounds and related breeds. Section 3: breeds.

General Appearance:

Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog harmoniously built, strong, muscular, skilful and active, with a harmonious silhouette, very strong and fast. The main emphasis in his appearance is located on agility, elegance and soundness, without any signs of gravity. A characteristic feature of the breed is the ridge on the back formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction than the rest of the coat. This ridge – ridge – is a hallmark of the breed. It is clear, symmetrical and tapering towards the rump. Should start immediately behind the shoulders and pull up to the hip tumors. The ridge must contain only two crowns, identical and opposite each back edge should not go beyond 1/3 of the total length of the ridge. A good average width of the ridge is 5 cm.

Behaviour / character:

Dog proud, intelligent. Keeps aloof with strangers, but not aggressive or fearful.

Head, skull:

Skull: should be long (the width of the skull between the ears and the distance from occiput to stop and from stop to tip of nose should be equal). Flat, broad between the ears. When the dog is relaxed, the head should see the wrinkles.

Stop: it should be clear, but not too pronounced.


Nose: black or brown. If the eyes are dark, the nose must be black, amber eyes – it must be brown.

Muzzle: Long, deep and strong.

Lips: The lips line is clearly marked, his lips firmly against your jaw.

Jaws / Teeth: Jaws strong, perfect scissor bite, dentition, upper teeth closely overlapping the lower incisors; teeth and set square to the jaws. Teeth well developed – especially canines.

Cheeks: well carved.

Eyes: moderately well apart, round, bright and sparkling, with intelligent expression. Their color harmonizing with the color of the coat.

Ears: set rather high, of medium size, rather wide at the base. Gradually taper, and the end is slightly rounded. Worn flat on the head.


fairly long, strong, without dewlap.


Back: Strong.

Loins: Strong, muscular and slightly arched.

Chest: Not too broad, but deep and capacious. The lower line of the elbow.

Forechest: enhanced.

Ribs moderately well sprung, never barrel.

Tail: Strong at the base, tapering towards the end, thick, medium length. It should not be set neither too high nor too low. Carried slightly curved upwards, but never curled.


Forelegs: perfectly straight, strong, with good bone. Elbows close to your chest. Seen in profile, are wider than viewed from the front. Metacarpal strong and slightly sloping.


oblique, clean and muscular, betraying speed.


compact rounded with arched toes and strong flexible pads. Paws are protected by hair growing between the toes and pads.


muscles well carved and clearly defined; well angulated stifles, hocks strong metatarsal quite short.


The limb movement are carried out in parallel, walk free and energetic.


Hair: Short, dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, but never woolly nor silky.

Colour: from light wheaten to red-fawn. A little white on chest and toes, but excessive white hairs on the abdomen and above toes is undesirable. A dark muzzle and ears are permissible. Black hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable.

Height and weight:

Desirable height at withers:

Dogs: 63 – 69 cm (25 – 27 inches),

Bitches: 61 – 66 cm (24 – 26 inches);

Desirable weight:

Dogs: 36.5 kg (80 pounds English)

females: 32 kg (70 lb English).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault decreasing score depending on their severity.

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully placed in the scrotum


South Africa. Breed history dates back to the very distant past, the traces lead to the original dogs wandering tribes of the Hottentots hunting and herding. The first vague mention of „African dog with a stripe on the back,” come from the fifteenth century. The settlers and missionaries arrived in the Cape 200 years later and somewhat more accurately described Hottentots hounds that were distinguished by great courage and exceptional ugliness.

Rhodesia were used to hunt lions. Herd surrounded the victim and did not give to break through a pack of waiting for the hunters. In Poland there Rhodesia in agility. In the United States in coursing.


Rhodesian is a very intelligent dog, very active, needs a lot of traffic. Brave difficult to subordination, independent. You need a lot of patience to teach obedience Rhodesia. Rhodesia need to educate consistently and firmly but without aggression. Dogs are wary of strangers. They learn quickly so they can quickly bored with repetition exercises. It has a very strong territorial instinct. Rhodezjan society needs most families, so I do not like without her long stay in the garden or isolation. Can all the time go after the owner, even to the bathroom. The need to move in Rhohezjanów is so big that you need to find at least an hour a day for a walk and a safe place because young RR lowered the leash chasing all heedless of the danger and obstacles to its hunting instinct is so strong that your cry for nothing passes will pretended to be deaf, running for his subject. You can easily jump the fence if something will interest him. Some say they do not like water, is not always so our RR love the water and swimming. RR for short coat without undercoat is not suitable to live outside. He likes the heat. RR does not like loneliness, left for a long time can do bad temper. RR is a very strong dog so you have to be careful with small children (perhaps accidentally fall over child). RR maintenance costs are not small a fairly large adult dog eats approx. 1 kg of meat per day, come to the cost of vaccination, exhibitions, toys and accessories.


RR is a relatively healthy dog, but there are hereditary diseases hip dysplasia mandatory testing for breeding and elbow, dermoid sinus (sinus leathery), rarely thyroid disease, heart disease. It is therefore important to examine the dogs in this direction, and for breeding only use healthy individuals, of course, not all studies are mandatory, but it would be good to do them in order to exclude in the culture.