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Description of the breed Rhodesian Ridgeback


The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a late-maturing breed which is fully physically and mentally developed at the age of two to three years. Therefor he is very long teachable. In the last decades much more people in Germany like the Rhodesian Ridgeback. We can only recommend buying a puppy from a VDH-organised breeder, like breeders of the DZRR.

You will need a lot of empathy and love to train a RR, starting in the puppy-age. You have to be ready to accept this dog as a partner. If you do this you will be surprised which skills your dog will show you. It seems like he has a sixth sense for dangers.

A training with conventional methods - possibly under compulsion - involves the danger of completely refusal to work. He is never human-aggressive! The RR performs highly in case of hunting, but just only out of love to his master. He will never poach or hunt on one's own. This should be clear in your mind before buying a RHodesian Ridgeback.

The RR is a family dog. He needs close connection to his family to prevent social atrophy and to know who is there.

In 1973 the aimed breeding started in Germany.

Today this breed is very common and enjoys great popularity worldwide.

The basis of breeding are responsible-minded breeders who are consolidated i.a. in the German Breederassociation e.V. (DZRR) and who are anxious to keep the originality of these precious dogs.

Does the Rhodesian Ridgeback number among to children-loving breeds?

Noticed beforehand: In principle a Rhodesian Ridgeback is a great family dog. But tolerance in dealing with little children does not run in blood of every dog. It needs to be acquired through contact and habituation.

Now you are asked on two counts: On the one hand you have to give your puppy and younger dog the opportunity to pay attention to children, on the other hand you have to teach your children a responsible contact with dogs.

A dog, as sweet and cuddly he is, is no toy which can be cuddled all day long. Careful supervision of adults is very important. Especially in contact with clumsy infants the dog has to be protected.

Often older children want to dominate and show a dog. As long as it is a game and your dog gets a treat from time to time there are no objections to it. You should be sceptical if your children really wants to drill your dog. A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog with a high social intelligence. He definitely senses that children are human youngs and so they are not authorized to issue directives.

The existencce of dogs with a ridge is known for a long time.

Already in stories of the old Egyptians dogs with a curious formation on the back were described and shown on numerous images.

The first written mentions were found in reports of Portuguese in 1480. They characterized a small and ugly dog who looked like hyenas with a curious hair formation on their back. These dogs seemed to be very faithful and useful for the African natives.

Other authentic information point out that 1505 the Hottentotten already owned south african dogs which were charaterized with a ridge.

When white settlers aquired the Cape of Africa in the 17th century they reported about these dogs of the natives with the ridge. They also marveled at their courage in front of predators. Very quickly they noticed that these dogs gained advantage over the European dogs.

In the middle of the 19th century a new dog was breeded in Europa: a south african dog, similar to the "original-dogs", tough, persistent but much bigger. Most of these dogs were monochrome red or brindled and with a ridge! The dogs saw use in hunting or guarding farms.

A breeding in our modern way did not exist at that time. The form of the dog was defined by is practical value.

As old as the ridge is, as young is the breed Rhodesian Ridgeback.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback is also known as the "African Lion Hunter" because in his native he was used for hounting of lions. The dogs task entail tracing and apprehending lions as a pack. With the help of distractions they hindered escaping until the hunter arrived. Never ever these dogs had direct fights with lions. Who wasn't fast enough became a sacrifice of natural selection. This effective selection is responsible for the exterior and the features as we know today.

In 1879 missionary Charles Helm took two ridge-dogs out of Swellendam to south-Rhodesian (today Simbabwe). There the farmer Cornelius van Rooyen took notice of these dogs. He used the dogs for hunting and was very impressed with their skills. He mixed them with Great Dane and other european gun dogs. Also other hunters wanted to own ones and so the "breeding" became bigger.

Unfortunately no one really knows which breeds were mixed in - probably Bloodhound, Pointer and Retriever.

At 1900 the dogs were known as "Lion-Dogs" or "van-Royen-Dogs" in Rhodesien. In 1915 Francis Richard Barnes enforced the first planned breeding in southwest-Rhodesian.

Also in 1922 the "Rhodesian Ridgeback Club" was found in Bulawayo on the initiative of Barnes. In the very same year the first breed standard was drafted by Barnes, C.H. Edmonds and B.W. Durham. Models was the breed standard of Dalmatian.

In 1924 the breed „Rhodesian Ridgeback“ went recognized by Kennel Union South Africa (KUSA) and is - until today - the only admitted breed out of South Africa.

1974, exactly 50 years after recognition the first litter was born in Germany, breeder Anne Müller, Helves.



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