A large and muscular dog, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was not only developed as a hunter but also as a family protector. The breed can be light wheaten to red wheaten and are sleek and glossy in appearance. Originally bred to hunt lions the breed is also known as the African Lion Hound.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are intelligent animals. They respond well to positive, fair, consistent training, keeping in mind that positive does not mean permissive. Because of this intelligence, an untrained Ridgeback can become a nuisance. Trained, he is a pleasure as a companion, a hunting partner, a show dog, or performance competitor. Because of his inate ability to protect his family, a Ridgeback should not be trained as a guard dog. Rather, the natural protective qualities should be supplemented with elementary obedience training.
A Rhodesian Ridgeback is loving, loyal, smart, clean and easy to maintain. He is good with other animals and children. Raising a good family member requires energy and patience. There are no shortcuts. It takes time to properly raise a puppy and mold a young dog into a respected family member.
Ridgebacks are "people" dogs. They like to be where you are and, if you allow it, they'll crawl into your bed, onto your sofa or favorite chair and your lap. You have to decide what is acceptable behavior and train them accordingly at a very early age. Behaviors that are cute as a puppy may not be so funny when your Ridgeback is grown up and weighs 70-85 pounds.
Because of his short coat, Ridgebacks shed very little. Once a week brushing, occasional baths, ear cleaning and nail trimming are all that is needed to keep him well groomed, clean and odor-free.