There was a time in Africa when European colonists took to hunting lions (the Kings of the jungle). Initially the breeds of dogs they had kept were used to hunting deer and fox but not subjects of this size and strength. With some mixing of breeds eventually they came up with what is known today as the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
These dogs weren’t used so much to track but more to be a distraction or menace whilst the hunter delivered the fatal shot to this majestic cat.
Though the mere thought of trophy hunting makes us feel ill, we do marvel at the beauty of this breed of dog that proved an excellent companion, extremely fit and was less susceptible to insect bites, which made him so suitable to that environment.
One common trait that identifies the R.R. is the strip of raised fur or tiny mohawk which runs down his back. It’s merely a mutation but of no big consequence. He is also commonly known as an African Lion Hound and some of the purebreds don’t possess this trait.
A few things have changed. Rhodesia is now called Zimbabwe, there are less people seeking to place a lion’s head on their wall and ‘Ridgies’ are better known as couch potatoes. We have had some wonderful Ridgies attend Daycare. As they a suited to guarding they can be standoffish when it comes to strangers. They don’t usually bark a lot but are more likely to place themselves between you and the perceived threat.
As with all breeds, socialization from an early age is vital. His gorgeous tan golden short coat is sensational and doesn’t shed much. Just so you know… this breed really loves his tucker and may not have an ‘off’ switch even once his tummy has been filled.
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)