The Rhodesian Ridgeback It is a muscular African origin dog breed, large, extremely agile and fast (You can reach 65 km/h), mainly used for hunting, Guard and company. It belongs to the Group 6 of the FCI.
As it is the case with many breeds, the history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, also be shrouded in a veil of mystery. Only in two points of the Earth, there are dogs that have this characteristic Crest. A point is South Africa and another is Siam (It was a Kingdom located in the center of Southeast Asia, It comprised the territories of what today is Thailand, Cambodia and Laos).
But the race scholars defend history of these dogs originated in the 16th century, When arriving in South Africa's European settlers, they came in contact with the local aborigines (The Hottentots, disparagingly called “Khoikhoi” by European settlers, that means stuttering, alluding to the sound that produced their language).
This tribe, He often is accompanied by a type of wild dog so (to which, also, they gave by khoikhoi name) He had, as a main feature, a strip of hair shaped spearhead, on the back, It grew in contrary sense to the rest of the fur, forming a ridge that characterized (origin of the name “Ridgeback”, that means Crest Ridge).
It was a tough dog hunted with Aboriginal people in the African steppe and tending their livestock at night. Due to the nature of the dams and the harshness of the environment, this rustic dog was able to cope with drastic changes in temperature between the hot day and temperatures below freezing at night, they survived without losing their energy until a couple of days without water and food if needed.
He had short hair to not be devoured live by major ticks. Was extremely well adapted, resistant, Silent Hunter, rarely ladraba, It was very brave and loyal so was highly valued by their owners.
To reach the first European settlers in South Africa, they began their safaris hunting carrying brought dogs from Europe, Mastiffs, Hounds, Terrier and the great Dane, but none had the value, the agility and resistance to try to get closer to the fearsome African lion, or resist the climatic inclemencies of this aggressive environment.
To cross these European dogs with dog, medium-sized and pointed ears of native, They noted that young improved characteristics of the crested dog but they just unfailingly inherited his temper those which retained the crest.
Notable European Hunter Cornelius Van Rooyen realized this and continued breeding and selecting his hunting dogs on the basis of the presence of the crest, because they were those who possessed courage, courage, resistance and a higher skill in hunting.
Although in the literature sometimes found it difficult to agree on European dogs were provided features to cross with the indigenous khoi-khoi crested, It is estimated that these races was that most influence may have had in obtaining the Rhodesian Ridgeback, so which is known today:
The Khoi-khoi, brought Ridge, the courage and the ability to deal with the Lions. Some of the disadvantages were its small size, its erect ears and long coat.
The English Greyhound (or Greyhound ), It brought about the ideal body shape. Its fine snout and its slightly erect ears were not desirable.
The Bulldog, added substance and power in the bite. Unfortunately, such added features, that is even today tries to eliminate; short snouts, small height, incorrect dorsal lines, chest breadth, excessive white, lack of arched front legs seen from the front and rear angulation.
The Irish Terrier, It provided the ideal color of the fur for camouflage, tenacity and power bite. The disadvantages, lack of height, long hair, short humerus and too daring.
The Airedale Terrier, It provided the same good and bad points to the Irish Terrier, but improved the height.
The Collie, added good body, speed, resistance, agility and herding instinct. The disadvantages, long hair and erect ears.
The Scottish Hound (or Deerhound ), provided good body and height, but they were not desirable, the mantle of long hair, semi-erguidas ears and the thin snout.
The Pointer, introduced a good instinct for hunting, I improve the problem of the ears, Brown nose, good body, symmetry and movement. The disadvantages, too white, lack of height, and at times more interest than birds by Lions.
The Great Dane (Great Dane), improved - definitely- the problem of the height, features the short hair and dark snout.
Were thus different dogs, But what always excelled was that only those who retained the crest were daring when it comes to hunting and continued maintaining the characteristic face feline mas grande, the African lion.
In addition, his short hair allowed to identify more easily when had some sort of parasite (ticks and leeches), they were highly resistant to climatic variations, high temperatures during the day and casualties at night.
It could run with the Gallop of a horse by 30 miles (15 km approx.) non-stop, and I could also spend at least 3 days with little food and water.
These qualities coupled with his temperament, courage, intelligence and unconditional loyalty by his master (It is capable of giving life for this) Rhodesian Ridgeback made a single dog and that any Hunter wanted to have in your Pack. Due to this demand began to seek more dogs with these features.
And in 1922 they began working on Rhodesia, in the Bulawayo Kennel Club Show in formulating the standard of the breed, then achieve the recognition of the S. A. Kennel Union.
The breed standard indicates that males should be between 63 and 68 cm to the height of the cross, weighing between 36 and 41 kg, and the slightly smaller females, of 61 to 66 cm. of height and a weight of between 29 and 34 kg.
Its weight varies between 30 and 39 kg, its pelage is short, dense, smooth and shiny, without being woolly or silky.
It has, as a feature, a crest on your spine, formed by hairs that grow in opposite direction to the rest of the fur.
The Ridge must be clearly defined and symmetrical, closer to the hip. Must start immediately behind the shoulders and continue until the bones of the hip (rump).
The Ridge must only have two crowns, identical and opposite. The length of the Crown shall not exceed to 1/3 the total length of the ridge or ridge. A good average of the width of the same is of 5 cm..
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog's good presence, strong, muscular, Agile and active, symmetrical appearance, balanced and well balanced.
An adult Ridgeback is a beautiful dog, well planted and Atlético, able to travel long distances with a proper speed. It emphasizes their agility, elegance and strength without the massive trend.
The legs front are straight and strong, heavy bones, What makes it an extremely hardy animal.
The breed standard accepts the colors ranging from pale wheat Red.
The color of the snout It can be black or brown. It supports a small white spot on chest and toes of the front or rear legs.
The South African hunters discovered that the Ridgeback, in Pack, they were very effective against the Lions, originating as well a second name for this race: “the African lion Hunter”.
Rhodesian Ridgeback adapts perfectly to the environment of the African steppes. It can withstand high temperatures, as well as the cold of the night.
It´s resistant to insect bites and can remain without food and water more than 24 hours.
Character and skills
He is very smart. Absolutely loyal and inseparable from its owner and family environment partner. Patient with children (Although, because of his size and strength, indicated that they should be monitored during their games) and never aggressive.
According to a popular legend, the crest of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the brand of the blow of a lion.
It is reserved with strangers. It is common to confuse its crest with the idea that the dog is Bristly, This often misinterpret her attitude.
In general, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog lively, Alegre, playful and very brave.
Let us not forget that he was selected for the Lions hunting. Since its inception its mission was to discover the lion with his barking and deceptive movements, as you amagues and leaks would attract its prey until it is in the sights of the gun of the Hunter.
The race is almost unknown in Spain, and in the rest of Europe, This leads to be very difficult to get a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.
- Otros nombres: Perro crestado rodesiano / African Lion Dog / African Lion Hound / Perro Crestado de Rhodesia / Rhodesiano.
- Group 6 / Section 3 – Related breeds.
Dogs breeds: Rhodesian Ridgeback