(AKC Hound Group)
Weight: Averages 75 pounds (male); averages 65 (female).
Availability: May take some effort to find.
UTILIZATION : The Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used to hunt game in many parts of the world, but is especially prized as watch-dog
and family pet.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Rhodesian Ridgeback is
presently the only registered breed indigenous to southern Africa. Its
forbears can be traced to the Cape Colony of Southern Africa, where
they crossed with the early pioneerâ€™s 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 of the Dalmatian and was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1926.
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. 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 5cm (2â€).
with strangers, but showing no aggression or shyness.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Should be of a hair 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 : The stop should be reasonably well defined and not in one
straight line from the nose to the occipital bone.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : The nose should be black or brown. A black nose should be
accompanied by dark eyes, a brown nose by amber eyes.
Muzzle : The muzzle should be long, deep and powerful.
Lips : The lips should be clean, closely fitting the jaws.
Jaws/Teeth : 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
Cheeks : 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.
NECK : Should be fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.
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
TAIL : Should be strong at the root and gradually tapering towards
the end, free form 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.
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.
Shoulders : The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular.
Pastern : Should be strong with light spring.
HINDQUARTERS : In the hind legs the muscles should be clean and
Stifle : Good turn of stifle.
Hock : Strong, well let down.
FEET : The feet should be compact and round, with well arched toes
and tough, elastic pads, protected by hair between the toes and pads.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Straight forward, free and active.
HAIR : Should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, but
neither woolly nor silky.
COLOR : 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.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at withers : Dogs : 63-69 cm (25â€ -27â€).
Bitches : 61-66 cm (24â€ -26â€).
Weight : Dogs : 36,5 kg (80 lbs).
Bitches : 32 kg (70 lbs).