The Rhodesian Ridgeback, or African Lion Dog, is an amazing breed that was bred for certain purposes - hunting for large cats. The dog itself is large, but not giant, it has a beautiful appearance and outstanding physical strength. Such a South African dog is able to engage in a fight with a lion, and at the same time at home it becomes an affectionate and complaisant companion. What should future owners know about representatives of this unique species?
Origin of breed
The birthplace of ridge is Rhodesia (the modern name of Zimbabwe), a state located in the southern part of the African continent. It is believed that these dogs were the result of crossing several types of dogs - wild and domestic.
A distinctive breed feature of ridgebacks is the ridge, that is, a thin strip of wool along the spine, starts from the withers, and ends in the tail area. Such a characteristic feature was also observed in wild dogs that lived on the territory of Ancient Egypt as early as the 3rd millennium BC.
The British were first engaged in breeding during the British colonization of Africa. Then, several individuals were exported from the territory of Ethiopia to Rhodesia and serious work was carried out here. Representatives of the native breed were knitted with mastiffs, some varieties of terriers, bloodhounds. Dog blood and greyhound were mixed.
The first representatives of the breed appeared at the South Rhodesian show in 1922, then the first standard was adopted.
Description of the breed Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has excellent external data - it is a well-built, muscular dog, showing with all its appearance that jokes with it are bad. However, the ridge has a rather calm disposition and a balanced temperament.
When evaluating individuals at exhibitions, judges evaluate the size of the animal, but a more important aspect is its proportionality. Gender is noticeable - the females have a more elongated body, and they look more elegant.
Male growth does not exceed 69 cm, bitches - 66 cm, maximum weight , regardless of gender, no more than 32 kg. The following description of dogs of this breed is indicated in the standard:
- The head is very symmetrical, with a wide skull and moderately round, almost flat forehead, on which folds of skin appear when the dog is concentrated.
- Stop (transition from the frontal region to the back of the nose) is clearly visible when viewed from the side of the dog. Muzzle with well-developed, prominent cheekbones, the area under the eyes is moderately filled.
- The lips are thin, neat, completely cover the teeth, do not sag and do not form fleshy folds in the corners.
- The jaws are powerful, with a full set of teeth closing in a scissor bite, a strong grip.
- The nose is well developed, rounded, mobile. Its shade depends on the color of the iris - in dogs with deep brown eyes, the black lobe is black, with yellow-brown - brown.
- Eyes - set wide, oval. When the pet takes a concentrated look, folds in the form of eyebrows form above the eyes. The fabric of the eyelids is dense, the iris is brown - from light to deep dark tones.
- The ears are large, thin, with rounded ends, they fit snugly to the head. In a calm state, they touch their cheeks, if the dog is concentrated or interested, they turn forward.
- The body is well muscled, lean, harmoniously folded, the format is rectangular.
- The neck is medium, oval in cross section, covered with well-developed muscles.
- The sternum is moderately wide, descends to the elbows, the keel bone is well developed. Ribs with a moderate bend, springy, but not round.
- The withers are clearly visible, the line of the spine descends from the neck to the croup.
- The back is average in length and width, with developed muscles, goes into a harmoniously curved, strong lower back. Croup sloping, smoothly passes into the base of the tail.
- Extremities of Ridgebacks with well-developed skeleton, joints and muscles. Delivered widely and in parallel. Shoulder blades of decent width, pulled back. Shoulders with sloping, wide range of motion. The elbows are pressed against the body, but they are not tilted to the outside or the inside. The rear ones are better muscled than the front ones, but they do not look heavy, their ligaments and tendons are more powerful and flexible, so the dog can quickly develop speed and move for a long time, keeping it. When the dog takes the stance, his limbs are slightly pulled back, behind the line of the croup. The areas between the fingers are well protected with wool.
- The tail is thickened in the base area, toward the end it is narrowing, evenly covered with short hair. Most often carried low or located between the hind limbs, but allowed to stand higher than the back line. The tip goes up, if it bends towards the spine, then this is referred to as vice.
Quality and coat colors
The coat of a Rhodesian ridgeback is short, of equal length in all parts of the body, but on the muzzle it is slightly shorter. It is dense, shiny, fits perfectly to the body, does not fluff. The standard allows the color of the coat of any brownish, red or reddish-yellow hue.
Dogs with dark chocolate, golden, straw, red-copper, light chestnut hair are found. Looks beautiful burgundy wool, mahogany. Allowed to have a dark mask and some hairs or white marks on the chest and legs.
The peculiarity of these dogs, which they inherited from wild ancestors, is a ridge ridge, consisting of a coat of wool growing in the opposite direction. It is located on the back, so often dogs are photographed so that the ridge is visible.
The standard has some requirements for the crest:
- at the base of the ridge, “corollas” should be symmetrical;
- the length of the “corollas” should not exceed 1/3 of the entire length of the crest;
- the width of the ridge, at the base or at least half the length, should be approximately 5 cm.
Characteristics of the character and character of the Rhodesian
If we compare these exotic dogs with other representatives of the canine world, then their character is something between a hound and a guard breed. Such a pet is strongly attached to the family, very devoted to her, usually good, friendly relations are formed between people and the dog. Experienced dog breeders, having taken the ridge into the house, do not even think about choosing a dog of a different breed as pets.
Among the potters, these dogs have the highest territoriality and the greatest watchdog qualities. In addition, they are very distrustful of strangers and very vigilant, which makes them excellent watchmen. With competent socialization, a dog rarely shows aggression towards a person, but an ill-mannered ridge can be a real threat.
If most of the hounds do not have a protective instinct, then in South African dogs it is developed and quite well, so they can be used for guard duty. Even an untrained dog is capable of asking “hot” attackers, and even if they offended members of his family, he will fight not for life, but for death.
Children and the Rhodesian Ridgeback are a great, fun and restless company. The pet will be happy to participate in different games and perfectly finds a common language with younger households. But during the communication of the dog with the baby it is worth watching carefully, the pet inadvertently can drop or step on the baby. But this is not a sign of aggression, but only the cost of power and activity of the dog.
Ridgeback is neutral towards his brethren, especially to dogs of the opposite sex. Some individuals are most often males, the most territorial or dominant, in which case they will protect their territory from any invasion. Such behavior requires control, since during the conflict the ridge usually comes out victorious, severely wounding the enemy.
If relations with these dogs can be quite good, these dogs do not perceive other animals as tolerantly. Most individuals have strong hunter instincts, in which case the dog will pursue everything that more or less resembles prey. With early socialization, the ridge is able to get along with a cat, but only if they were raised together.
How to educate and train an exotic hunter?
The Rhodesian is a serious animal, requiring education, training and socialization. If you do this immediately, as the puppy crossed the threshold of the house, then there will not be any special problems. But still it is desirable that the owner had experience in the maintenance and training of hunting dogs.
Ridgeback can be very stubborn. In order for him to completely obey, the owner must become a leader for him, a leader with unquestioned authority. If the pet respects the owner, he will try to please him. During training, aggression should not come from a person - a scream, a sharp jerking, assault will embitter the dog, and since such a dog is very vindictive, he will definitely take revenge in the future.
The ridge is very smart, he grasps the teams almost on the fly and clearly executes them. Although only the owner will ideally obey, he will guard and protect the rest of the family from external dangers. It is necessary to educate and train a puppy constantly, and not from time to time. The owner will need patience, attentiveness, respect for the student. Only then will the dog grow into a controlled animal, balanced and adequate.
Care and health features
Ridgeback does not need difficult care, most of all, the owner must ensure that his pet receives the necessary load. To do this, you should walk with the pet twice a day, having the opportunity to lower the dog from the leash - to run, to frolic. Ridgeback is not inclined to shoots, but he can jerk past a passing animal.
Care for the coat is simple - it is combed every 3-4 weeks using a brush with a natural pile. If the dog is dirty, then it can be wiped with a damp cloth. Ridges are rarely bathed, mainly by necessity. Dog claws grow quickly, they should be trimmed regularly using a special nail clipper.
The weakest point of the dogs of this breed is the ears, they are checked after each walking and cleaned once a day. Otherwise, the dog can very quickly develop an inflammatory process with subsequent complications. Ridges often have dry skin, often on the elbows. Usually they are lubricated with cream - for hands or for children.
Vaccination and deworming are standard procedures that must be followed without fail.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not considered to be particularly painful breeds, but there are a number of pathologies that dogs suffer most often:
- dysplasia of large joints;
- myelopathy of a degenerative form;
- dermoid sinus;
- deafness of an inborn nature;
- inversion of the eyelids;
In addition, ridge can develop obesity, ear infections and allergic reactions.
Diet and Feeding
Proper nutrition is one of the important conditions for a healthy, long life four-legged pet. The owners of the Rhodesian Ridgeback have a choice - feed the dog with natural food and prepared dry food. Both options have both supporters and opponents.
With natural feeding, people encounter some difficulties, for example, it is difficult to independently create a balanced diet, especially when it comes to a growing body. The dog should receive all the necessary components, and in a certain proportion.
If the owner is not afraid of difficulties and has free time to cook, he should know that the main product in the diet of any dog is meat. It can be given raw, previously scalded with boiling water. In addition, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, boiled offal and sea fish are included in the diet. There is debate about whether ridge needs porridge, but it is allowed to feed it with a dish of rice, buckwheat.
Today, breeders and most owners are inclined towards the option of feeding the animal dry food. The main thing is to choose a quality product suitable for large, active breeds. In this case, you can diversify your pet's menu with canned rations.
Ridgeback - agile, freedom-loving, he requires time and attention from the owner. It is best to live in such an energetic, large dog in a country house with a spacious house area.
Experts recommend not taking risks - the area should be surrounded by a high, strong fence. In the summer, the pet can live or spend most of the time on the street, in winter weather it is advisable to run it into the house.
Such a pet can be kept in an apartment, but only if the dog has the opportunity to develop harmoniously. The owner will have a long walk with a four-legged companion. He also faces a difficult task - to find a safe place in the city where the dog can be lowered from the leash. If the dog does not spend excess energy, then he can become a destroyer of housing.
Photo of the Rhodesian Ridgeback
Video about Rhodesian Ridgeback
It is advisable to acquire a puppy of such a serious breed from people familiar with their specifics. It is best to contact a certified nursery or experienced breeders. Only in this case you can buy a healthy puppy with a pedigree and a stable psyche.
The cost of the offspring of this breed varies, depending on the class:
- a puppy of a pet class, suitable as a pet and excluded from breeding, costs about 20,000-25,000 rubles;
- the baby of the brid-class is good in everything, but does not reach the champion of the exhibitions, its price varies between 30,000-45,000 rubles;
- show-class pet - a vivid representative of the breed, the data of which are as close as possible to the standard, will cost 50,000-70000 rubles.
Kennels breeding this breed, where you can buy a purebred puppy:
- Dayonga, Moscow http://deyonga.ru/kontakty/;
- Regions Star, Moscow http://www.ridgesstar.ru/spesivykh-anna
- "Maanhaar Primo-Creatus" Kiev http://maanhaar.com/en/contact-us/.
Rhodesian Ridgeback is a handsome handsome man, attentive, watchful. He will be a great guard and protector. But it is worth remembering that once such a dog hunted lions and has a very cool disposition. If you do not deal with the dog, then the owner may encounter some not too pleasant features of the ridge character.