The Rhodesian Ridgeback can live in an apartment if given sufficient long walks. They do best with a properly fenced in enclosure. This breed needs to be extensively socialized early if it is to get along with other pets and dogs. They may not get along with children, especially young nagging ones. As a rule, they are great watch dogs and very protective of their master and family. As a reminder, never leave a child unsupervised with a puppy or dog.

*Approximate Adult Size.

The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Rhodesian Ridgeback is 25 to 27 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 80 to 90 pounds. The female ranges from 24 to 26 inches to the withers and 65 to 75 pounds.

Special Health Considerations.

Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is no exception. They are considered to be a very hardy and healthy breed. Be on the lookout for sinus problems, cysts and Canine Hip Dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness). This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list.

She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a short, sleek, glossy and dense coat. This easy to care for coat should be brushed regularly. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat, avoid mats, help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with her.

Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet.

*Life Span.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback can live between 10 and 12 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback comes from Zimbabwe where they were used to hunt big game including lions. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1955.

  • Affectionate, Dignified, Even-Tempered
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 41 of 193
  • Height: 25-27 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
  • Weight: 85 pounds (male), 70 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: ~10 years
  • Group: Hound Group
RhodesianRidgeback (1)

Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States

THE RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK is a dog of formidable power, dedication and courage. He claims an ancient heritage, yet is of relatively recent lineage in terms of standardization of the breed.

Today’s Ridgeback is descendent from a variety of breeds which were crossed by settlers of South Africa and Rhodesia with the native dogs of the Hottentot tribe. The ridge became his identifying mark.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback survived in various forms through the years because of his superb hunting ability. In addition to trailing and tracking large animals, he was also used to hold his quarry at bay. He was the protector of game wardens, farm families and hunters throughout South Central Africa, where the breed developed into its present form.

From its origin in Africa, the Ridgeback has lost none of its abilities as a hunter and guardian and he continues to be an excellent companion. The Ridgeback is a devoted family dog, totally loyal to his master. He is rather aloof and undemonstrative towards strangers.

This is the Rhodesian Ridgeback, a dog of incorruptible, independent character, who takes his responsibilities of companionship, protection and family dedication to heart. He never forgets love and understanding, nor does he lightly forgive harsh treatment. He is a dog of noble bearing, whose physical attributes should reflect his role as guardian, companion and hunter.