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Rhodesian Ridgeback

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Troy   

The Rhodesian Ridgeback

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=23 )

Group: Group 4 (Hounds)

History: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is presently the only registered breed indigenous to Southern Africa. Its forebears can be traced to Cape Colony of Southern Africa where they crossed with the early pioneers� dogs and the semi-domesticated, ridged Hottentot hunting dogs. Hunting mainly in groups of two or three, the original function of the Rhodesian Ridgeback or Lion dog was to track game, especially lion, and, with great agility, keep it at bay until the arrival of the hunter.

The original standard, which was drafted by F.R Barnes, in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, in 1922, was based on that on the Dalmatian and approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1926.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used to hunt game in many parts of the world, but especially prized as a watch-dog and family pet.

General Appearance: 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.

Characteristics: The ridge is the escutcheon of the breed. The ridge must be clearly defined, symmetrical and tapering towards the haunch. It must start immediately behind the shoulders and continue to the hip (haunches) bones. The ridge must contain only two crowns, identical and opposite each other. The lower edges of the crowns must not extend further down the ridge than one-third of its length. A good average width of the ridge is 5 cm (2ins).

Temperament: Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers, but showing no aggression or shyness.

Head And Skull: Cranial Region: Skull - Should be of a fair length (width of head between ears, distance from occiput to stop, stop to end of nose, should be equal), flat and broad between the ears; the head should be free from wrinkles when in repose.

Stop - Should be reasonably well defined and not in one straight line from the nose to the occipital bone.

Facial Region - Nose - Should be black or brown. A black nose should be accompanied by dark eyes, a brown nose by amber eyes.

Muzzle - Should be long, deep and powerful.

Lips - Should be clean, closely fitting the jaws.

Cheeks - Should be clean.

Eyes: Should be moderately well apart, round, bright and sparkling, with intelligent expression, their colour harmonising with the colour of the coat.

Ears: Should be set rather high, of medium size, rather wide at base and gradually tapering to a rounded point. They should be carried close to the head.

Mouth: Jaws strong with a perfect and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. The teeth must be well developed, especially the canines or holders.

Neck: Should be fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.

Forequarters: The forelegs should be perfectly straight, strong and well boned, with the elbows close to the body. When viewed from the side, the forelegs should be wider than viewed from the front. Pasterns should be strong with slight spring.

Shoulders - Should be sloping, clean and muscular, denoting speed.

Body: Back - Powerful.

Loins - Strong, muscular and slightly arched.

Chest - Should not be too wide, but very deep and capacious; the brisket should reach to the elbow.

Forechest - Should be visible when viewed from the side.

Ribs - Moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel-hoops.

Hindquarters: In the hind legs the muscles should be clean and well defined with good turn of stifle and strong hocks well let down.

Feet: Should be compact and round with well arched toes and tough, elastic pads, protected by hair between the toes and pads.

Tail: Should be strong at the root and gradually tapering towards the end, free from coarseness. It should be of moderate length. It should not be attached too high nor too low and should be carried with a slight curve upwards, never curled.

Gait/Movement: Straight forward, free and active.

Coat: Hair - Should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance but neither woolly nor silky.

Colour: Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and toes is permissible, but excessive white hairs here, on belly or above toes is undesirable. A dark muzzle and ears permissible. Excessive black hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable.

Sizes: The desirable heights are:

Dogs 63 cms (25 ins) to 69cms (27 ins)

Bitches 61cms (24 ins) to 66cms (26 ins)

Weight - The desirable weights are:

Dogs 36.5kgs (80 lbs)

Bitches 32 kgs (70 lbs)

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportions to its degree.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normally developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2nd time ridgeback owner.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Someone with more knowledge than me can answer this one.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Not very common.

4. What is the average lifespan?

10-12 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Depends on the dog, 1st ridgeback (very lazy, couch potato/lap dog), 2nd ridgeback (very playful, loves long walks/lap dog).

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

30 mins daily (2nd ridgeback, wouldn't worry if you missed a day & just have games in the backyard), 1st ridgeback (zoomies in the backyard was enough).

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Maybe, it was our first dog as a adult owner, had other dogs as kids.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Sometimes, they prefer to be with other animals & their owners (could not be an outside all the time dog).

9. How much grooming is required?

Very little, brush once a week.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Probably, whippy tail & zoomies could knock small children over, sometimes they are unaware of their size.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Dermoid sinus, hip/elbow problems.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

As above, research the breed, visit dogs shows, see breeders dogs.

Edited by ridgiemum

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Ellie1   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? Owned Ridgebacks for 10 years in South Africa

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Bred to help the hunters hunt lion in africa

3. How common is it in Australia?

Not very common.

4. What is the average lifespan?

10-12 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

I agree that it depends on the dog, had 2 bitches from the same litter and they were total opposites.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Quite a bit when they are young dogs, I would say at least a daily walk and some games in garden.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I had a very dominant girl that was hard to train, her sister was easier but compared to my new lab pup they do take longer to catch on to things. On a whole I would say not for the first time dog owner as they do tend to be very dominant and need a really firm hand.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

No, they need lots of attention and TLC, love being with their owners or with another dog.

9. How much grooming is required?

Very little

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Mine loved kids and are gentle, face licking is a must though!

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Not a breeder so cant really comment

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? Health of parents, what health checks have been done etc.

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Lab_Rat   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

After lots of research we got our first ridgeback in 1995.

We currently have our second one, who is 3 years old.

I have done a bit of showing, lots of "drooling" over others beautiful RR's.

Have not done any breeding - will leave that to the experts!

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were first developed in Southern Africa by early white settlers as a guard and hunting dog. European hunting dogs were crossed with the local Hottentot Hunting Dog to produce a dog that suited the local conditions.

Ridgebacks were never used to kill adult lions, but for keeping them at bay until the hunters arrived. However the ridgeback was used to hunt down smaller game.

They also proved to be an excellent family guard dog.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Not very common, although I think they are becoming more popular.

4. What is the average lifespan?

Usually 10-12 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Generally they are a family oriented dog, being extremely faithful and affectionate to that family. They can however be quite aloof, to the point of ignoring, with strangers.

They can be quite independent and stubborn dogs. Certainly an interesting dog to train, as they see no point in repeating things too often. They will probably play fetch for a short amount of time, before looking at you as if to say, 'you threw it, you get it!'

They are really fun dogs though, love doing what you are doing, be it lounging around doing nothing or going on a bush hike.

They definitely have their own personalties within the the breed too. Our first girl was a gentle regal, lady, our current one is a rough as guts tomboy who is very suspicious of anything strange. But she also has a great sense of humour and will play hidey and chasey with me.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Ours get between half to an hour each day, depending on weather or how busy we are. They probably wouldnt care if they didnt get exercise - especially in winter when they would much rather be on a nice wooly blanky in front of the fire!

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

If the "first time dog owner" had the right personality I would say yes. They need to know whos boss, without being harsh. Firm, fair handling with lots of praise.

I had only had experience with working dogs when I got my first ridgeback, so I think if someone has done all their homework and knows what kind of dog they are, go for it! We also had lots of support from our breeders, both times.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

I dont think so. I think they could become quite destructive and vocal if left alone alot. They love the company of their family!

9. How much grooming is required?

A weekly brush, more when they moult which is a couple of time a year.

Weekly ear cleaning and nail trimming.

They are quite clean dogs, and both mine tend to groom themselves after being out and about.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

They can definately be boofy if not used to children or infirm people. But they can also adapt quite well to being exposed to kids and the infirm. Some seem to "know" when they need to restrain themselves!

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Dermoid Sinus

Hip/Elbow Displaysia

Other Health problems can include bloat and osteosarcoma.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

You should be looking for a registered breeder who hip & elbow scores their dogs. The lower the score the better. The Australian Grade is from 0 - 6 for hips and 0 - 3 for elbows with 0 being the best. Average for hips seems to be about three (just going by results I have for ten dogs).

Your breeder should be able to match you to a suitable pup - not all temperaments are the same! No point having a quiet, introvert if you have four rowdy kids! Or a super active dog if you lead a more quiet life.

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1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

First time owner of 2 Ridgebacks.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

The foundation stock of the Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed by the first white settlers in South Africa to fill their specific needs for a serviceable hunting dog in the wild.

3. How common is it in Australia?

i find they are not so common but are becoming more popular specially in cross breeding.

4. What is the average lifespan?

10-12 years but are known to live up to 16 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

The main characteristic of a ridgeback that stands out for me is their loyalty and how alert they are to their surroundings. They rarely bark and when they do you know something is happening. Their an all round fun-loving, can be very independent and stubborn at times, intelligent and goofy at the same time, active but they can be quite mellow too. They thrive to be with their loved ones, they would much rather sit with the family and watch tv then be outside.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

I would say at least 30 mins a day and on weekends an 1 hour a day if you don't want a naughty ridgy. But ours would sometimes only get a run 3 times a week and once on the weekend in winter as they would much rather be inside in the warmth (and so would I haha)

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I am a first time owner of dogs and I got 2, a brother and sister at the same time. I had 2 8 week old ridgebacks running around and I can say I never had a real problem with them. Maybe because they had each other to keep themselves occupied. they are harder then some breeds but I think first time dog owners could cope with them IF it suits their lifestyle.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

I think it depends on the personality of the dog. Can't really answer this one.

9. How much grooming is required?

Once a week and a bath maybe once every 3 weeks, they aren't a smelly dog at all. But when they malt they need a brush at least 3 times a week I find but I hate the hair left everywhere and it just reduces the loss of hair.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Same as what other people have said.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Dermoid sinus, hip/elbow problems. Are the main ones.

Dermoid Sinus: A dermoid sinus is a cyst-like structure that lies below the skin along the back and is sometimes connected to the spine. A dermoid sinus develops when two defective genes are present together. It can only be removed by surgery some breeders do choose to put the dog to sleep.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Definitely a registered breeder who hip & elbow scores their dogs/bitches.

I also agree with Lab_Rat on getting the breeder to match you to a suitable pup. I have a quiet, introvert ridgy and a energetic, "doesn't care" type attitude ridgy. And there is a BIG difference in both their personalities and can see how this would affect both dog and family if they don't match.

Edited by Miss BeRidgierent

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1. What is my relationship with the breed? First time owner

2. Where and why was the breed first developed? South Africa, hunting dogs

3. How common is it in Australia? not really

4. What is the average lifespan? 10-12 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality? aloof, confident, stubborn, sooky with thier owners!

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult? 30 minutes daily, although she is very happy being a couch potatoe!

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with? no, due to how stubborn they can be and their strength

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods? no, they need human or canine interaction

9. How much grooming is required? weekly brush, wash every 6-8 weeks

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)? Sierra can be as she doesnt realise how big she is

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of? dermoid sinus, hip/elbow, bloat

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Parents should of had all applicable health testing done (hip and elbow scores), pups should be checked by a vet for dermoid sinus before leaving the breeder.

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Red Fox   

I wont answer all of the questions, just the ones that relate to me as I would only be repeating the other replies :thumbsup:

1. What is my relationship with the breed?

first time owner

3. How common is it in Australia?

I live in a large country town and have only come across one other in my town and two other 30 minutes drive from here so not very common. Although I have come across a few cross breeds.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Aloof with strangers, not an overly friendly breed but once you have a Ridgies trust they are a friend for life. Very soft and sooky with their owners though. Ridgebacks can also be very stubborn when they want to.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

I walk mine for 30-60 minutes per day plus time each day training and playing. The rest of the time you will find him on the couch!

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I'm a first time owner :D

Although they're generally not recommended for first time dog owners I think that if you do your research and know what you're in for you'll cope. Make sure that you take the time to meet a few different breeders and their dogs and really listen to what they have to say. Understanding the requirements before you commit to a puppy and being prepared means there are no nasty surprises later on down the track.

But if you want a dog that will be easy to train and dote on your evey word then get something else :thanks:

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Not really. Although they can be an independent breed they really need to be with their 'pack'.

9. How much grooming is required?

Very little. A brush once a week (or every few days if they're shedding), weekly ear cleaning and nail trimming and a bath every few months is enough.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

I would say yes, especially when they are puppies. An older dog may be okay.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Hip and elbow scores of parents. Pups should be checked for Dermoid Sinus (along with an overall health check from the breeders vet.)

Also ask about things like diet and excercise requirements, worming, vaccinations etc.

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1. What is my relationship with the breed?

first time owner

3. How common is it in Australia?

Fairly well known, but not 'popular'.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Love their family, not interested in strangers, smootchy lovely, stuborn, playful, relaxed.....whatever you make it with them ;)

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

our boy is only 6 months so can't answer this

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?>

I think you'd need to know what a 'leader' is and how to be that role.

"But if you want a dog that will be easy to train and dote on your evey word then get something else :thanks: "(I agree, if our boy isn't interested in something there is no way he'll do it -Stubborn - as the breed suggests)

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

N/A - we have 2 dogs (Different breeds).

9. How much grooming is required?

Just bath times as a minimum (once a month for example) and a rubber mit to get rid of the loose hair to get really fussy..

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Our boy chooses to sniff our niece (2 year old) and then walk away.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Hip and elbow scores of parents. Pups should be checked for Dermoid Sinus (along with an overall health check from the breeders vet.)

Also ask about things like diet and excercise requirements, worming, vaccinations etc. (I agree)

Just make sure your breeder is someone you feel comfortable with.....would you sell your puppy to them?

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Thank you for all your responses about what to look for in a breeder! This is going to be very helpful when I get my new puppy in a few months. Does anyone know any first time owner information specific to ridgebacks? Tendencies the puppies may have that others wouldn't?

Thanks again for all the help!

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