Breed Profile

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Centuries ago, when the first white people arrived in South Africa, they found that the Hottentots at the Cape were using dogs of the Ridgeback type for hunting purposes. The peculiar ridge of hair, running parallel to the spine and in reverse to the rest of the coat, at once distinguished it from other breeds. During the 19th Century big game hunting flourished in Southern Africa, particularly in the area north of the Limpopo River, later to become known as Rhodesia (after its founder Cecil John Rhodes).

Hunters were quick to realise the value and importance of good hunting dogs. In choosing dogs to fill this role, it was natural that they turned to a native breed - the Ridgeback - a dog that had, for generations, proved such a boon to the African Hottentot with his primitive weapons of the chase. The origin of the breed is not definitely known, but the most generally accepted 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.

From such a breeding one would expect just such characteristics as the Ridgeback so markedly shows - speed, power, courage, fidelity, and in addition, a remarkable skill in tackling wild animals. Unfortunately for the breed, the name Lion Dog became popular because several big game hunters found them by far the best for lion hunting, and this led many to assume that the dogs were the actual killers of lions, although no dog would have stood a chance in a fight with a lion. Ridgebacks would harass the lion by constant feint attacks until it was held in sheer bewilderment, giving the hunter a shot at close range. With the advent of long range rifles, hunters dispensed with the use of dogs so the Ridgeback has had to turn to its other vocation, that of guard dog.


Rhodesian Ridgebacks live from between 10 to 12 years of age.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a delightful nature, being a faithful one-man or family dog. It is very affectionate and likes to lean on you, lie at your feet or sit on your lap if permitted. It is extremely loyal to those it loves. Although not an aggressive dog, the Ridgeback is distinctly reserved with strangers and usually objects to people making the first advances to it. It is placid and easy going, putting up with endless torment from children, as well as being highly intelligent and quick to learn. Happy to participate fully in family activities, the Ridgeback is equally content to laze around all day if there is nothing better to do. An excellent guard dog, it has a deep bark to warn intruders to keep away. Friendship, once given, is for life.


It is compatible with other domestic animals, but needs training regarding livestock.


This is a fast growing dog that should not be overfed or over exercised as a puppy, as this puts too much stress on developing bones.

Please take note:
Remember that this breed is part of the hound fraternity and likes to chase. Secure fencing and gates are needed.


If you have decided that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the dog for you and you realise that this dog can be stubborn and so needs firm but fair discpline, contact one of the groups listed below:

Recommended Breeders

Breeder NameKennelState 
Cyndy Burton Starridge QLD Contact
Rebecca Lamb Shakuru SA Contact
Vicki Page Cedarrose NSW Contact
Kellie Mooney sweetrij QLD Contact
Sue Temlett Nkazimlo NSW Contact
Glenda Baldock Terjon NSW Contact
Dawn Redman Shelridge Kennels NSW Contact
Sarah Burn Gemridge QLD Contact
Sue Cameron-Codognotto Ozrhode VIC Contact
Leigh McVilly Amashutu VIC Contact
Kerrie Lambley Kenjala QLD Contact
B Scalf Tielmari QLD Contact
Cheryl Currie Caprivi SA Contact
Lisa Tew Akiiki VIC Contact
Peter Cattach Homerij QLD Contact
Chelsea Bird Azincourt NSW Contact
Kumaran Kandiah Ngoma WA Contact
Rochelle Spencer Zimbaby NSW Contact
Sarah Wheatley Adbesare QLD Contact
Patricia Gonzalez seablueridge QLD Contact
Sharron Taylor Usakose QLD Contact
Patrice Johansen Jomeja QLD Contact
cindy filosa Marindy TAS Contact
Meg Gateley Valleyfront VIC Contact
Linda Costa Sarula QLD Contact
Sandra Taylor Santasi WA Contact
Jan Baker Magombe NSW Contact
Julie David Sashabelle QLD Contact
Leslie Fejer Marmatia QLD Contact
Vicki Moritz Ujamaa VIC Contact
Amanda Gardner Kalypsy WA Contact
Renee Davies Rhodepark NSW Contact
Susan Carige Asrij QLD Contact
Dale Blinco Riginal QLD Contact
Denise Mitchell Valeighunter QLD Contact
Emma Friedland Elangeni NSW Contact
Dave Wardlaw-Kelly Lionsbane TAS Contact
Jessica Southgate Shangoridge VIC Contact
Marie Hall Ashridj WA Contact
Joanne Thompson Kuvutia NSW Contact
Addam Barter Juzrival NSW Contact
Nicole Dwyer OldNarwonah NSW Contact
Paul Kelly Sajanak QLD Contact
Terry Mankowski Indigo Park Rhodesian Ridgebacks QLD Contact

*** We have vetted and approved these independent breeders as meeting, at the time, our criteria for the reliable breeding, feeding, care and sale of suitable quality puppies of this breed. This does not mean that other breeders do not meet these criteria or are not otherwise suitable suppliers. Nor can our vetting and approval guarantee the quality of a breeder or puppy or that you will be happy with them. We disclaim any liability for the quality, acts or omissions of these breeders or their puppies and our approval of breeders is not a substitute for you making all appropriate enquiries and checks (including veterinary checks) before choosing a specific breeder or puppy.

Canine Clubs

Australian Capital Territory: New South Wales:
Dogs ACT
(ACT Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 815
Dickson, ACT 2602
Tel: 02 6241 4404
Fax: 02 6241 1129
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs NSW
(Royal New South Wales Canine Council Ltd)
PO Box 632
St Marys, NSW 1790
Tel: 02 9834 3022
Fax: 02 9834 3872
(Details current as of 10/10/2013)
Northern Terrority : Queensland:
Dogs NT
(North Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 37521
Winnellie, NT 0821
Tel: 08 8984 3570
Fax: 08 8984 3409
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Queensland
(Canine Control Council (Queensland))
PO Box 495
Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006
Tel: 07 3252 2661
Fax: 07 3252 3864
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
South Australia : Tasmania :
Dogs SA
(South Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 844
Prospect East, SA 5082
Tel: 08 8349 4797
Fax: 08 8262 5751
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Tasmania
(Tasmanian Canine Association Inc)
The Rothman Building
PO Box 116
Glenorchy, Tas 7010
Tel: 03 6272 9443
Fax: 03 6273 0844
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Victoria: Western Australia:
Dogs Victoria
(Victorian Canine Association)
Locked Bag K9
Cranbourne, Vic 3977
Tel: 03 9788 2500
Fax: 03 9788 2599
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs West
(Canine Association of Western Australia Inc)
Cnr Warton & Ranford Rds,
Southern River, WA, 6110
Tel: 08 9455 1188
Fax: 08 9455 1190
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)



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