Canis lupus familiaris – Rhodesian Ridgeback

Family : Canidae

Text © Pietro Paolo Condò – Giudice Enci-fci


English translation by Mario Beltramini


The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a typical ridge on its back © Mazza

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a typical ridge on its back © Mazza

It descends from the old dog of the Hottentots (employed by the settlers for hunting and for the defence), later on crossed with Pointer, Deerhound, Greyhound and Bull terrier for originating the Steekbaa (Boer dog), also characterized by the ridge on the back.

The selection of the present breed was completed during the XIX century with the input of Collie and Airedale blood.

It is a well balanced dog, strong and muscled, but not heavy, agile, fast and resistant, characterized by a ridge on the back formed by hair growing in opposite direction to that of the body and which is typical of the breed.

It has a wide and flat skull between the ears, long and powerful muzzle, well defined stop, black or brown truffle, round eyes, with an intelligent expression and with colour harmonic with the colour of the coat, medium sized ears carried adherent to the head.

The neck is long and without dewlap, the back is powerful and the thorax deep.

The tail, strong at the junction and thinner at the tip, is carried with a slight curve turned upward, but never rolled.

The forelimbs must be well perpendicular, strong and with a good bony framework, the hind limbs are with a well defined musculature and well angled knee.

The movement is loose and agile.

The hair is short and thick, of smooth and brilliant appearance, never woolly or silky; the colour goes from the light wheaten to the red wheaten, some white is admitted on the chest and the toes.
The ridge on the back must be well marked, symmetric and tapered.

The optimal height in the males is of 63-69 cm (with a weight of about 36 kg), in the females is 61-66 (with a weight about 32 kg).


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