FREE SHIPPING OVER $25 • FREE FEDEX 2-DAY PRIORITY SHIPPING OVER $50 (USA Only)

Rhodesian Ridgeback Back Story

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Back Story

Much more than just a dog with an interesting cowlick, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has a history intertwined with the British colonization of Africa. 

The Rhodesian Ridgeback traces his lineage back to a blending of local hunting dogs in South Africa and European imports. The early British settlers of the Cape Colony (some say it was in Southern Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe) in South Africa crossed their dogs with the local hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi which had the distinctive ridge.  

The Boer farmers used the dogs they had brought with them from Holland and the UK; Great Danes, Greyhounds, Bloodhounds, Mastiffs to cross with the local ridge backed hunting dogs. 

They continued to finesse the early Rhodesian Ridgeback to be an all-around hunting dog, guard dog, and family friend. These dogs also had to be able to withstand the heat and survive droughts.

Then it was discovered these dogs were able to hunt lions and keep them at bay until the hunters caught up. This opened up a whole new aspect to the Ridgeback's usefulness to the colonists.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was called a variety of names; Van Rooyen’s Lion Dog, the African Lion Hound or African Lion Dog—Simba Inja in Ndebele, Shumba Imbwa in Shona in honor of its lion hunting prowess. 

Note: While I personally do not condone hunting lions, I felt it would be disingenuous to not acknowledge the basis of this regal breed's origin. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback history

All About That Ridge

The Rhodesian Ridgeback’s distinguishing feature is the ridge of hair along its back, running in the opposite direction to the rest of its coat. It consists of a fan-like area formed by two whorls of hair (called “crowns”) and tapers from immediately behind the shoulders down to the level of the hips. The ridge is usually about 2 inches (5 cm) in width at its widest point.
It is believed to originate from the dog used by the original African dog population, which had a similar ridge. The first depiction of a Ridgeback is a wall painting describing the life of the Boers, housed in South Africa in the Voortrekker Monument. From Wikipedia.

 





Leave a comment

Comments are read and pondered prior to approval.


Also in The Blissful Dog News

canine hierachy of needs
Canine Hierarchy of Needs

Dogs have an innate self-confidence most humans would love to be able to tap into. But even the most confident canine yearns to be all they can be...

View full article →

How To Clean Bulldog Faces or Any Flat-Faced Dog Face
How To Clean Bulldog Faces or Any Flat-Faced Dog Face

Your flat-faced dog is undoubtably adorable. That squishy face with the endearing wrinkles and that short, snuffly nose is too cute for words. You have to give them a quick snuggle and kiss on the nose and then...What is that smell? Kinda funky, with a whiff of a sweetish smell. Ugh, what IS that?

View full article →

What Dog Breed Are You?
Discover Your Inner Dog QUIZ

View full article →