The dog world is blessed with many wonderful breeds, from the tiny Chihuahua to the giant Mastiff. However, dog lovers in search of a unique personality and an equally unique look may want to look a bit further a field for their new canine companion. For many years discerning dog owners have been charmed by the beautiful and highly intelligent Rhodesian Ridgeback, and this wonderful breed certainly makes an impact wherever it goes.
As the name implies, the Rhodesian Ridgeback originally hails from Africa, although its origins lie in the country of South Africa and not Rhodesia. This unique breed was originally bred as a hunting dog, and it often accompanied big game hunters as they sought at their quarry. In fact, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is also known as the African Lion Hound, no doubt a tribute to its big game hunting heritage.
The ridge for which the Rhodesian Ridgeback is named is a product of its wild heritage, and one of the most prominent features of the breed. For hundreds of years, European immigrants living in Rhodesia, the country known today as Zimbabwe, had crossed their own dogs with the native dogs the region. These native dogs featured a prominent ridge along their back, and they passed that distinct feature on to their crossbred offspring.
Of course these early Rhodesian Ridgebacks were valued for far more than their unusual coats. The natives of this wild land needed dogs that could perform multiple duties, from hunting and herding to protecting the property of their masters.
In addition, those early dog owners needed dogs that were easy to keep and that required little in the way of grooming. They found all that and more in the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the modern breed continues to exhibit all of these highly desirable qualities.
These days many Rhodesian Ridgebacks continue their lives as top quality hunting dogs. Although fewer may hunt lions and other big game these days, they also excel at retrieving and flushing out smaller game. Sportsmen from around the world continue to value this unique breed for its intelligence, its loyalty and its natural hunting ability.
These same qualities make the Rhodesian Ridgeback a superior watchdog, and the breed is known for its fierce loyalty to its family. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are highly intelligent, loyal and affectionate, and they make wonderful pets for active families. They make wonderful running, jogging and hiking companions as well, and they have amazing stamina.
On the downside, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be a stubborn breed, and it is important to properly train and socialize them as puppies. Those dog lovers considering buying a puppy should keep in mind that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very large dogs, and it is important for the dog owner to establish themselves as pack leader right from the start.
The appearance of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is regal and elegant, and the breed seems to know just how handsome it is. The most prominent feature of the breed, of course, is the ridge of hair on its back. This ridge, for which the breed is named, runs the opposite direction from the rest of the short coat.
Of course there is much more to the Rhodesian Ridgeback than mere beauty, and these wonderful dogs make wonderful companions. They are also the perfect canine companions for those seeking a low maintenance dog. The short coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback means that its grooming needs are minimal. For the most part all these dogs need is an occasional brushing with a dense wire brush or a relaxing rubdown with a smooth cloth. This type of grooming will help to bring out the natural oils in the coat and help keep these beautiful dogs looking their best.
So if you are looking for a unique and beautiful canine companion, you may want to consider bringing a Rhodesian Ridgeback into your life. When you welcome one of these lovely dogs into your home and your heart you can enjoy many years of loyalty, companionship and protection. From the wilds of Africa to the heart of the biggest city, these wonderful dogs bring a wealth of history, a natural hunting ability and a regal charm to their surroundings.