The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed developed in the Southern Africa region. Its forebears can be traced to the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi, which were crossed with European dogs by the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa. The original breed standard was drafted by F. R. Barnes, in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1922, who named the breed the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The standard was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1927.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has also previously been known as Van Rooyen’s lion dog or the African Lion Hound or African Lion Dog—simba inja in Ndebele, shumba imbwa in Shona—because of its ability to keep a lion at bay while awaiting its master’s arrival to make the kill.
The Khoikhoi people who lived in the Cape Peninsula when the Dutch began trading with the area during the mid 17th century, had a hunting dog which was described as ugly, but noted for its ferocity when acting as a guard dog. This dog measured approximately 18 inches (46 cm) at the withers, with a lean but muscular frame. The ears have been described both as erect and hanging, but the most distinctive feature was the length of hair often growing in the reverse direction along its back. Within 53 years of Dutch colonisation in Southern Africa and the origins of the wagon-trekking boers later known as Afrikaners, who converted vast stretches of wild veld into farmland, hunted for meat and defended their cattle herds, staff, and homesteads from lion, the Europeans were using these local dogs themselves.
By the 1860s, European colonisers had also imported a variety of mainly European dog breeds to this area of Africa, including such dedicated hunting dogs as Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, and terriers. Genetic analysis indicates that there has been admixture between the Great Dane and the Ridgeback, indicating the Dane’s major contribution. These breeds were bred with the indigenous African dogs, including the dog of the Khoikhoi people, which resulted in the Boer hunting dogs, generically called names such as boerhund (Boer hound) in Dutch then its descendant language of Afrikaans, which are the chief forerunners to the modern Rhodesian Ridgeback.” Other breeds came from Arabian traders around the Horn of Africa and with Asian immigrants, particularly into the Cape Colony, and jackal coursing introduced from British India brought lurchers from England and Ireland and the borzoi or Russian wolfhound, and before the era of standardised modern breeds, several breeds may have more rarely contributed to Rhodesian Ridgeback genetics.
Here’s a video from Dogumenary TV posted to YouTube on 13 Jul 2018.
About the Overview Video
Here’s the video description from Dogumentary TV on YouTube:
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a legendary hunting dog. I have been honored to feature many powerful working breeds, from the Cane Corso, Rottweiler, Bully Kutta, Presa Canario, and many others, none are any better looking than or harder working than Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
In this video I feature the Ridgebacks from Adili Ridgebacks. Adili is a top producer of Ridgeback in the United States, Tammy Lynch has won many prestigious award including best in breed at Westminster Dog show.
Beneath the Ridgeback’s trademark ridge is a whole lot of hound: Ridgebacks are fast and powerful athletes who can weigh between 70 and 85 pounds, and oftentimes more. They come in only one color – wheaten – which spans every shade seen in a wheat field, from pale flaxen to the burnished red of a maturing crop. Ridgebacks also have two nose colors: black and the less commonly seen brown.
The formidable Ridgeback can be strong willed, independent, and sometimes domineering. Ridgebacks must be guided with a firm but fair hand from puppyhood. They are faithful friends, protective of their loved ones and meltingly affectionate with those whom they trust. Still, a Ridgeback can be too much hound for the novice dog owner.
Living With Rhodesian Ridgebacks Video
Click on any photo for a larger gallery view.