Rhodesian Ridgeback is presently the only registered breed indigenous to
Africa. Its forbears can
traced to the Cape Colony of southern Africa where they
crossed with the early pioneers’ dogs and the
hunting dogs. Hunting mainly in groups of two or three, the
Rhodesian Ridgeback, or Lion Dog, was to track game, especially lion,
and with great
it at bay until the arrival of the hunter. The original standard, which
drafted by F.R.Barnes, in
Rhodesia, in 1922, was based on that of the
Dalmatian and was approved by the South African
Union in 1926.
Rhodesian Ridgeback should represent a well balanced, strong, muscular, agile
active dog, symmetrical
outline, and capable of great endurance with a fair amount of
speed. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and
with no tendency towards
massiveness. The peculiarity of the breed is the ridge on the back, which is
hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The ridge is
the escutcheon of
The ridge must be clearly defined, symmetrical and tapering towards the
haunch. It must start
behind the shoulders and continue to the hip (haunches)
bones. The ridge must contain only two
identical and opposite each other. The
lower edges of the crowns must not extend further down the
than one-third of its
length. A good average width of the ridge is 5 cm (2 ins).
intelligent, aloof with strangers, but showing no aggression or shyness.
be of a fair length (width of head between ears, distance from occiput to stop,
stop to end of nose, should
equal), the skull flat and broad between the ears and the
head should be free from wrinkles when in repose.
stop should be reasonably well defined and not in one straight line from the
to the occipital bone.
nose should be black or brown. A black nose should be accompanied by dark eyes,
a brown nose by amber
muzzle should be long, deep and powerful.
lips should be clean, closely fitting the jaws.
strong, with a perfect and complete scissor bite, i. e., the upper teeth
overlapping the lower teeth and
square to the jaws. The teeth must be well developed,
especially the canines or holders.
should be clean.
be moderately well apart, round bright and sparkling, with intelligent
with the colour of the coat.
be set rather high, of medium size, rather wide at base, and gradually
to a rounded point. They
be carried close to the head.
be fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.
muscular and slightly arched, powerful.
not be too wide but very deep and capacious and brisket should reach to the
be visible when viewed from the side.
well sprung, never rounded like barrel-hoops.
be strong at the root and gradually tapering towards the end, free from
It should be of
length. It should not be inserted too high nor too low, and should
be carried with a slight curve
forelegs should be perfectly straight, strong and well boned, with the elbows
the body. When
from the side, the forelegs should be wider than when viewed from
the front. Pasterns should be strong
shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular, denoting speed.
feet should be compact and round, with well arched toes, and tough elastic
protected by hair between
toes and pads.
the hind legs the muscles should be clean, well defined, good turn of stifle
hocks well let down.
forward, free and active.
should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, but neither woolly
wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and toes is permissible,
but excessive white hairs here,
belly, or above toes is undesirable. A dark muzzle
and ears permissible. Excessive black hairs throughout
coat are highly undesirable.
desirable heights are:
Dogs: 63 cm (25 ins) to 69 cm (27 ins)
Bitches: 61 cm (24 ins) to 66 cm (26 ins)
desirable weights are:
Dogs: 36,5 kg (80 lbs)
Bitches: 32 kg (70 lbs)
departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the
with which the fault
be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into