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Rhodesian Ridgeback: the African lion hunter

Rhodesian Ridgeback: el cazador de leones africano

Lobo Azul |

The Rhodesian Ridgeback , or Rhodesian crested , is one of the most beloved and well-known dogs throughout the world. Its story is, to say the least, interesting, attractive and exciting. Over the years this faithful companion has accompanied humanity in their work and together with them he has forged his calm and sweet character, which coexists with his innate tendency to protect.

  • Size : Giant.
  • Weight : approximately 40kg.
  • Hair type : Short.
  • Character : Affectionate and calm.
  • Health : Prone to dysplasia.
  • Life expectancy : 10 to 12 years.

Indeed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed of hunting and protective dog . Its history tells us about this and helps us understand, very clearly, why even today it is a reliable and friendly breed with the people who provide it with a home.

rhodesian crested

Join us and learn more about the Rhodesian Crested: its exciting history, its physical and behavioral qualities.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback, like any other breed of dog, has physical traits that distinguish it from others, but it also has a unique personality and way of living together.

The care of the Rhodesian Crested is also particular elements that may interest you, especially if you have thought about adopting one of these puppies.

History of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

How do breeds get their names? Generally, they obtain it because the first humans to spot them highlight some of their most striking physical characteristics. The case of the Rhodesian Ridgeback was no different. Its name, Rhodesian Crested, is a product of its physical qualities and its historical and geographical origin.

Being originally from the Republic of Rhodesia , located in Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback obtained the nickname 'crested' for the characteristic fur that grows around its spine, that is, what we commonly know as a crest .

Also known as the “ African lion hunter ,” the Rhodesian Ridgeback was first seen during the 16th century by European colonizers who entered the African continent. There they encountered Khoikhoi tribes, who already coexisted with the Rhodesian Crested.

Given the need of African inhabitants to protect their crops and property, they needed a protector adapted to abrupt changes in climate and prolonged droughts. This breed of dog was presented as the best option.

Years later, in Zimbabwe, a group of breeders from the region created the Rhodesian Ridgeback standard that survives to this day. These specimens were introduced in various parts of the world, mainly in the United States, in the early 1950s.

Physical Characteristics of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Although it may sound redundant, its distinctive feature is none other than its striking crest along its spine. However, there are other notable features. For example, the height of male specimens ranges between 60 and 70 cm high, corresponding to an approximate weight of 40 kilograms.

As for Rhodesian Ridgback females, they measure between 60 and 65 centimeters tall with a relative weight of approximately 32 kilos. Their fur usually varies between light colors similar to wheat and towards more reddish tones.

It is a breed that also stands out for its short coat. Being native to lands with high temperatures such as Africa, they could not have thick fur that would be bothersome. On the contrary, its coat is short and smooth, so the frequency and need for grooming of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is relatively low.

This does not mean that they do not require efficient and regular grooming. It just means that they don't tend to get excessively dirty or have the annoying problems of tangled fur. Additionally, this quality implies other care, since if we intend to take it to a very cold place it will be necessary to provide it with some type of shelter to help it withstand the weather.

Its snout is long, deep and extremely powerful, let's not forget that it is a hunting dog . As for its eyes, lively, round and bright, they are moderately spaced.

A final characteristic of the Rhodesian Ridgeback consists of its drooping ears and the particular way in which its crest begins at shoulder level. At this point you can see the presence of two symmetrical crowns that later join and end before the hip.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Health

Like other breeds, Rhodesian crested dogs have a tendency to certain specific diseases as a result of their particular physiognomy. Some of these are: elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, arthritis, etc.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks, with the wear and tear of the years and the lack of physical activity, become more prone to suffering from this type of diseases.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Personality

The Rhodesian Crested is a traditional hunting and protection dog . It is not an aggressive dog towards humans, on the contrary, it is an extremely sweet and calm breed. However, since their protective instinct is too strong, they must be trained in obedience to control this innate tendency.

He is a slightly tougher dog than traditional hounds and sometimes gives the impression of being a little lazy. The character of Rhodesian Cresteds should not be underestimated, but neither should one be afraid of the threatening appearance they can sometimes present.

It is a breed that must be trained and cared for by people who have experience in such tasks. Even so, these dogs are considered easy to train compared to other dog breeds. For this reason, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the favorites of families and professional trainers .

Rhodesian Ridgeback Coexistence

In line with what was said above, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed with a high level of coexistence. This means that they adapt easily to the human environment and tend to present few everyday problems or discomforts.

First of all, their need for attention and socialization is moderate. This means that he will not go too far with guests or household members in search of affection or fun. But this does not mean that they are distant dogs and hermits. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is somewhere in the middle where it is sociable but not excessively so.

On the other hand, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has a very low tendency toward behaviors that some people consider annoying or problematic. Some of these are: barking, drooling, snoring or digging.

Perhaps drooling and snoring are the least of the concerns, but on the other hand, it is very normal for the dog's excessive barking to be annoying to both the owners and the rest of the neighbors. Also the tendency to dig can be a big problem because, after all, it will be necessary to clean up the mess caused by our pets.

However, as we already mentioned, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is very unlikely to exhibit the aforementioned behaviors, so it will not be a problem for the family and the community in these aspects.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Care

Rhodesian Ridgeback Health Care

As we have said before, the Rhodesian Crested does not require constant bathing . However, it does require combing at least weekly to remove dead hair and thus keep its coat much healthier.

To avoid common diseases of the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed such as hip or elbow dysplasia, it is very important to keep its weight under control (around 40 kilos in males and 35 kilos in females) which has a direct relationship with its height. .

The Rhodesian Ridgeback must, therefore, maintain a balanced diet with the best quality feed to avoid being more prone to these ailments that occur with age. A balanced diet should be complemented with constant physical activity, so taking him for walks and playing in open places should be part of his daily or weekly routine.

Their teeth must be cared for weekly, to prevent them from losing their teeth at an early age. This is very useful, especially for when the Rhodesian Crested begins to age. This will be a preventive measure that our Rhodesian Ridgeback will greatly appreciate.

In addition, it must be said that it is highly recommended to make regular and periodic visits to the veterinarian in order to maintain the health of the Rhodesian Ridgeback at its maximum capacity.

Care regarding the behavior of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Another care that owners should take with Rhodesian Ridgebacks is to keep them on a leash in open places where there may be squirrels or cats. This is because due to their natural hunting instinct they can often cause terrible accidents and damage to other people's pets or other animals present on the street.

Although it is a docile and sweet puppy , it is important to avoid resorting to violence during its training, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hunting breed, which although it is very noble with humans, its trust should not be abused.

It is important to educate and warn family members and visitors to the home to be careful and respectful with the pet in order to reduce to a minimum any possibility of attack by the dog, given that they could do so if they feel harassed or cornered by strangers.

Finally, it is worth adding that this dog is ideal for open places, for houses located on the outskirts of the city or in rural areas. Due to their innate hunting instinct, as already mentioned, they can cause a lot of problems when walking around the city. The Rhodesian Ridgeback needs, by its nature, open places in which to run freely without posing a danger to others.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament

When talking about the temperament of the Rhodesian Ridgeback it is worth emphasizing their differences, especially when they have a controlled temperament. All this depends on their breeding and training.

There are, as can be imagined, behavioral differences between Rhodesian Cresteds, but most of them tend to have a fairly firm and reserved character. We had said that their need for attention is moderate and precisely, given that they are calm and docile animals , they generally do not seek conflict or excessive attention.

Their character is ideal to be guard dogs and only on very rare occasions can they be difficult to train. However, they are one of the favorite options for trainers already started in the practice, since Rhodesian Ridgebacks are extremely reliable and helpful animals.

A very important note is that the education of the Rhodesian Ridgeback must begin early, if this is not done in this way, its training could become a headache.

What to do if I want to adopt a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

If you want to acquire a Rhodesian Ridgeback, make sure you know the details of its behavior very precisely. If you consider that you will be able to handle this breed, you should also take into consideration the technical aspects to give it a pleasant and pleasant life.

Therefore, try to get him a large place where he can play daily and not feel confined. Also, for this reason, you must consider the resources that the dog will have to have fun, as well as your availability of time to train it from a puppy . Remember that the Rhodesian Ridgeback requires a lot of physical activity and early discipline for training.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback will also require a lot of care regarding its health: vaccinations, periodic visits to the veterinarian, grooming of nails and teeth. You must consider all of these factors before taking on the great responsibility of being their guardian and caregiver for the rest of their life.

We remind you that, like all dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback requires, above all, a home where it can receive love. This means that the commitment when acquiring it is extremely large and that therefore, you must comply with most of the aforementioned factors before making the firm decision to adopt a Rhodesian Crested .

The Rhodesian Ridgeback repays its caregivers with much joy and protection for its home. It is an unmatched dog in this regard, since it is the guard dog par excellence. If you liked their profile as a pet, one may be waiting to be adopted by you.

And remember that there are many other dog breeds that you can adopt, such as:

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