Many recognize Rhodesian Ridgebacks for their unmistakable physical appearance. As stated by their name, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have become well known for the distinct ridge on their back. But in reality, what Rhodesian Ridgebacks should be really known for is the fact that they are one of the few dog breeds that are essentially the perfect mix of a hard working dog and loving family companion.

As a brief overview of this dog's lineage, Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred in Africa. South African Hottentot tribal hunting dogs were crossbred with European bred dogs such as Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Pointers, and Greyhounds. Incidentally, during the 18th century, Boer farmers expressed a need for guardian dogs that were tough enough to brave the wilds of Africa. In order to cater to this need, several dog owners conducted selective breeding of well domesticated European breeds with some of the toughest Hottentot dogs. As a result, the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed was born. By the time the 19th century rolled around, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have become quite a common breed in South Africa. In fact, towards the late 80s, a pack of these dogs were brought to Rhodesia to help hunt lions. Due to their success, the dog breed earned the name "African Lion Hound."

Though Rhodesian Ridgebacks spent decades as trained lion hunters, today they have learned to adapt as loving companions. Dogs of this breed generally display a calm disposition. Ridgebacks do well with other pets and children as well for as long as they are introduced at a young age. Another striking characteristic of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the fact that they are extremely intelligent. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are even known to open gates and cabinets to sneak away treats, especially when they are left alone.

Perhaps the only potential problem to be encountered by Rhodesian Ridgeback owners is the fact that dogs of this breed tend to cling on to their old habits. Due to their protective nature, Rhodesian Ridgebacks may tend to be quite hostile towards strangers. However, as long as Rhodesian Ridgebacks are socialized well at an early age, this shouldn't be a problem at all.
Overall, the Rhodesian Ridgeback would make a great addition to any home. Since their coat is easy to manage, dogs of this breed are low maintenance. Bear in mind that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are naturally intelligent and hardworking dog breeds, all you need to do is guide your Ridgeback through proper socialization practices and there should be no problem at all.

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Camille Goldin, narrates the characteristics of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Visit to learn about Dog breed characteristics, history and other details.