Rhodesian Ridgeback Info & Rhodesian Ridgeback Breeders
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed developed in Southern Africa. Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa, who crossed their dogs with the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi.
In the earlier parts of its history, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has also been known as Van Rooyen's Lion Dog, 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 to make the kill.
The original breed standard was drafted by F.R. Barnes, in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1922. Based on that of the Dalmatian, the standard was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1927.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal, intelligent, and somewhat aloof to strangers. This is not to be confused with aggression; a Ridgeback of proper temperament will be more inclined to ignore, rather than challenge, a stranger. This breed requires positive, reward-based training, good socialization and consistency; it is often not the best choice for inexperienced dog owners. Ridgebacks are strong-willed, intelligent, and many seem to have a penchant for mischief, though loving. They are protective of their owners and families. If trained well, they can be excellent guard dogs. Like any dog, they can become aggressive when they are not socialised properly.
Despite their athletic, sometimes imposing, exterior, the Ridgeback has a sensitive side. Francis R. Barnes, who wrote the first standard in 1922, acknowledged that "rough treatment ... should never be administered to these dogs, especially when they are young. They go to pieces with handling of that kind."