The Rhodesian Ridgeback (aka African Lion Dog or Rhodesian Lion Dog) are indigenous to South Africa where they were used in packs to hunt antelope, buffalo, leopards and lions.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback gets its name from a characteristic ridge running down its back, where the stiff hair grows in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat. This trait is carried on a dominant gene which means the ridge is seen in nearly all Rhodesian Ridgebacks.


  • Strong
  • Courageous
  • Intelligent
  • Trustworthy
  • Loyal

Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament & Size

They are extremely loyal to their owners, but distinctly wary of strangers. The combination of these and their deep bark makes them excellent guard dogs.

The Ridgeback’s coat is short, dense, sleek and glossy.

The make great pets but care is needed with young dogs as they can be too boisterous for children.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Life Span & Health Problems

Average life span of 11 – 12 years.

Common Illnesses include;

  • Hip/Elbow Dysplasia – Genetic conditions that cause abnormal development of the elbow and hip joints in young dogs. This can lead to early onset degenerative joint disease.
  • Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid gland) Seen in middle aged dogs, common signs include obesity, lethargy, skin and ear infections.
  • Dermoid Sinus – A opening from the spinal cord opening onto the skin. They are detected at birth and are prone to becoming infected.
  • Entropion  – Excess eyelid tissue causing the eyelashes to turn inward and rub against the surface of the eye resulting in corneal ulceration.
  • Cataracts  – Clouding of the lens causing blurred vision to blindness.
  • Bloat (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, GDV) – Twisting of the stomach resulting in rapid swelling of the abdomen causing pain and eventual death if not treated.

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