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As a responsible stud dog owner, I am a member of a breeding association affiliated with the FCI and the VDH, the Club for the Preservation of the Hounds of Southern Africa e.V. Club E.L.S.A


This begins with the mating of the parents.

Health: free from HD/ED/OCD/ Thyroid, and heart disease.

Strength of character: a clear head with a certain amount of nerves of steel and a great head with an expressive face

General Appearance
The Rhodesian Ridgeback should be a well-balanced, strong, muscular, agile and active dog, symmetrical in profile and extremely persistent at a moderate pace. Emphasis is placed on agility, elegance and functional health without any tendency towards massiveness. The special feature of the breed is the dorsal crest (ridge), which is caused by the fact that the hair grows in the opposite direction to that on the rest of the body. The dorsal crest is the heraldic sign of the breed. The crest of the back must be clearly defined, symmetrical and narrowing towards the hips. It must begin just behind the shoulders and extend to the hips. The dorsal crest must have only two whorls (crowns) that have the same shape and are opposite to each other. The lower edges of the vertebrae must not go beyond the upper third of the dorsal crest. A good average value for the width of the back crest is 5 cm

behavior / nature
Dignified, intelligent, reserved with strangers but showing no signs of aggressiveness or shyness. 


head / cranium / skull 
Should be of medium length (width between ears, distances from occipital crest to forehead, from forehead to tip of nose should be equal), flat and wide between ears; in a relaxed posture no wrinkles on the head.


forehead heel
The forehead should be fairly well marked: the profile should not be in a straight line from the occiput to the tip of the nose.


facial skull / nose
The nose should be black or brown. A black nose should go with dark eyes, a brown nose with amber eyes.


The muzzle should be long, deep and strong. 


The flews should be tight and close to the jaws. 


Strong jaws, with a perfect and complete scissor bite. This means that the upper incisors closely overlap the lower incisors and are perpendicular to the jaw. The teeth must be well developed, especially the canines or canines.


No cheeks. 



Should be set moderately wide apart, round, clear and sparkling with intelligent expression. Their color should harmonize with the coat color. 



Should be set on fairly high, of medium size, quite broad at base, tapering to a rounded point. They should be worn close to the head. 



Should be fairly long, strong and without loose throat skin. 


torso / back 




Strong, muscular and slightly arched. 


rib cage 

Should not be too wide, but very deep and roomy; the lowest point of the sternum should be at the level of the elbow point.



Should be visible when viewed from the side. 



Moderately arched, never barrel-shaped.  



Strong at the base, gradually becoming thinner towards the tip of the tail, not coarse. Of moderate length, set neither too high nor too low, carried slightly curved but never ringed. 


Limbs / Forequarters  

Forelegs should be perfectly straight, strong and well boned, elbows close to body. When viewed from the side, the front leg should be wider than when viewed from the front. Strong pastern joints, forefoot slightly inclined.    



The shoulders should be clearly defined, sloping, and muscular, great speed  to guess.   



round and closed, with well arched toes.    



The muscles in the hindquarters should be lean, the knees well bent, the pasterns short.   


gait / movement  

With good space coverage, free and active.  


fur / hair  

Should be short and dense, smooth and shiny in appearance, but not woolly or silky.   



Light wheat colored to red wheat colored. A little white on chest and toes is permissible, extensive white hair here, on belly or above toes undesirable. A dark muzzle and dark ears are permissible. Too much black hair throughout the coat is extremely undesirable.    



The desired shoulder heights are:  

Males: 63 cm (25) to 69 cm (27)  Bitches: 61 cm (24) to 66 cm (26)  


Males:       36.5 kg (80 lbs) Bitches: 32.0 kg (70 lbs)  



Any deviation from the foregoing points should be considered a fault, the severity of which should be in exact proportion to the degree of its deviation.   


Males should have two apparently normally developed testicles fully immersed in the scrotum.


The breed portrait of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a late maturing dog and only fully developed physically and mentally at the age of two to three years, but can learn for a very long time.

In recent decades, it has also become increasingly popular in Germany.

Here, too, I can only recommend only buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback if the breeder is a member of the DZRR and thus the VDH.

Empathy and a lot of love are the supreme law, starting with the upbringing of puppies.

You have to be willing to accept this dog as a partner. Then you will be amazed at what skills this dog is capable of. He seems to have a sixth sense for danger.

Training using conventional methods, possibly under duress, carries the risk that the dog will refuse to perform at all. He's never man-sharp!

Out of love for its master, the RR also performs at its best when hunting, but it will never poach or hunt "on its own initiative". This should be clear to everyone before you consider buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

The RR is a family dog. He urgently needs close contact with the family in order not to wither socially and to know who he is there for and who he can protect.

Breeding began in Germany in 1973.

These Ridgebacks were registered in the DSaZB (German Collective Breeding Book) at the VDH and were able to prove a long line of ancestors.

Today the breed is widespread and enjoys great popularity.

Breeding is carried out by responsible breeders who, among other things, have joined forces in the German Breeders' Association (DZRR) and are strictly committed to preserving the originality of this valuable dog and thus a wonderful companion for humans.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback as a family dog

Is the Rhodesian Rigeback a breed that loves children?

First of all, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a very good family dog. But tolerance in dealing with small children is not innate in any dog, but must first be acquired through handling and getting used to it.

Here you, dear dog lover, are challenged in two ways. On the one hand, you must give your puppy and young dog sufficient opportunity to interact with your children, and on the other hand, you must teach your children how to handle the dogs responsibly.

A dog, no matter how cute and cuddly it is, is not a toy that can be cuddled without limits. Careful supervision by adults helps here. Especially in the case of small children, the dog must be protected from the children's sometimes rough urge to explore.

With older children it is often the case that they want to dominate and show off the dog. As long as this happens in the game and your dog gets a treat from the child from time to time, there is nothing wrong with that. But it becomes critical when the child demands serious obedience from the dog. The Rhodesian Rigeback is a dog with a very high social intelligence. He is well aware that children are human young animals that are not authorized to issue instructions to him – the adult dog. If you, as the leader of the pack, do not train the "human cub" to behave sensibly, the dog will take over this task


A faithful companion

The Ridgeback is a large and athletic dog with a high level of intellect.

Tasks that do not challenge him or do not see any sense in them, there is a risk that the clever four-legged friend will lose interest and do nothing. The owner has to be able to live with that.

Some representatives of the breed are also extremely afraid of water and freeze in winter. Due to the lack of an undercoat, the Ridgeback needs a coat in harsh winters.

The dogs love to romp extensively in the snow or sand.

Due to their sporty stature, the dogs are suitable for many sports.

Due to the rapid growth, the health of the joints must be taken into account when choosing a sport. If the dog is fully grown and the joints are free of HD, sports such as agility, canicross, bikejoring or similar are no problem for the Ridgeback.  


The sixth Sense

There are many clichés about the Ridgeback. One of them, the infamous canine sixth sense, has a core of truth. Ridgebacks have a keen sense of danger, assess them independently and react independently. Not always right, but they react. That instinct saved your life when you were hunting big game. Overall, they tend to be cautious dogs that tend to be wary of new people and strangers. Once trust has been gained, a loyal friend will stand by you. He also reacts to small emotions and gives comfort with his empathetic nature. Anyone who comes to terms with the peculiarities of the breed benefits from a great friend in all situations.

origin of the breed

The existence of dogs with a dorsal stripe has been documented for a long time.

Already in tales of the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, dogs with a strange formation of hair on their backs are described and can be recognized in numerous illustrations.

The first written mention was found in the reports of Portuguese travelers to Africa in 1480, who described a "small" (50 cm), ugly "hyena-like" dog with a strange hair formation on its back, with the hair sloping forward, as the only pet of the Aborigines described. They also found these dogs to be extremely loyal and useful.

Other reliable sources, reports and illustrations point to the South African dogs of the Hottentots, which were characterized by a ridge, as early as 1505.

The white settlers who reached the Cape in the 17th century also reported the native dogs with their crested backs and admired their courage in the face of predators.

They quickly realized that these dogs, under the environmental conditions there, were far superior to the dogs they had brought with them from Europe. So they took over these "Hottentot dogs" and used them for their own interests.

In the middle of the 19th century, a South African dog emerged from interbreeding with the dogs brought from Europe, which was similar in toughness and endurance to the original Hottentot dogs, but much larger. These dogs were mostly solid red or brindle and many of them had a ridge! The white settlers used these dogs for hunting, but also as guards on their farms.

The 1857 work by David Livingstone ("Missionary Travels in South Africa") depicts a hunting scene, in the foreground of which a dog with a distinct ridge can be seen.

At that time, there was no “breeding” in the modern sense; the utility value of the dogs alone determined their appearance.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed is as young as the origin of the breed identifier, the Ridge.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also called "lion dog" because it was used to hunt lions in its homeland.

The task of the dogs hunting in the pack was to track down the lion, confront it and use diversionary maneuvers such as circling and sham attacks to prevent it from escaping until the hunter was there and could kill the lion. Never have these dogs fought with lions. Those who were not fast and agile enough to avoid the cat's attacks fell victim to natural selection.

This extremely effective selection determined not only the appearance of the dog, but also its essential character traits, which have been preserved to this day.

In 1879 the missionary Charles Helm brought two Ridgehounds from Swellendam from the Cape to southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, where the farmer and well-known big game hunter Cornelius van Rooyen became aware of these dogs.

He used these dogs for hunting and was impressed by their special skills.

He crossed two of them with Great Danes and various hunting dogs of European origin. Many other hunters also wanted to own such dogs and the "breeding" took on ever greater proportions.

Unfortunately, it was never exactly documented which breeds were crossed into the Ridgehounds, probably Bloodhound, Pointer and Retriever.

By 1900 in Rhodesia, the crested dogs were widely known as "lion dogs" or "van Royen dogs".

The first systematic breeding was carried out by Francis Richard Barnes in Bulawayo (SW Rhodesia) from 1915 under the kennel name "Eskdale".

In 1922, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club was also founded in Bulawayo through Barnes' initiative.

That same year, Barnes collaborated with C.H. Edmonds and B.W. Durham established the first breed standard for the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

The model for this standard was largely that of the Dalmatian of the time.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed was recognized by the Kennel Union South Africa (KUSA) in 1924 and was the only recognized South African dog breed until a few years ago.

In 1974, exactly 50 years after the breed was recognized, the first litter with proven pedigree was born in Germany (breeder Anne Müller, Helves        Source: 

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