Rhodesian Ridgeback

Other names : African Lion Hound, Lion dog

Photo: adult dog of Rhodesian Ridgeback breed
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Life expectancy

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a life expectancy of between 10 and 12 years




Adult size

Female Between 24 and 26 in
Male Between 25 and 27 in

Adult weight

Female Between 71 and 79 lb
Male Between 71 and 79 lb
Coat colour
Red Sand
Type of coat
Eye colour

Purchase price

The Rhodesian Ridgeback costs between £780 and £1100

Good to know

More details about the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback: Origins and history

His origins remain a real mystery, but it would seem that he is a descendant of dogs native to the Cape Colony, present-day South Africa, crossed with pariah dogs and other ridgeback hunting dogs. He was bred by the the local Khoikhoi people. There are only two places on earth that have dogs sporting the ‘ridgeback’ so typical of the Rhodesian Ridgeback: South Africa and the region of ancient Siam. It is highly likely that the breed had spread to those two regions at the same time as the slave trade. Legend has it that the characteristic ridgeback is a mark left by a lion’s claws, since it was originally used for hunting lions. The FCI officially recognised the breed in 1955.

FCI classification of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

  • Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds

  • Section 3 : Related breeds

Training a Rhodesian Ridgeback

The African Lion Hound, as he is also commonly called, is not easy to educate, because his intelligence is both his biggest quality and vice. Nothing escapes him and he will sniff out his master’s slightest weakness or incoherence and use it against him. 

What’s more- since he attains maturity relatively late (at around 2 years of age)- consistency, patience, diligence and perseverance are of utmost importance. 

To obtain optimal results, training must be initiated very early on with the Rhodesian Ridgeback pup, and be continuous throughout his life: with a dog of this mould, nothing is ever completely mastered. 

Foolproof complicity between master and dog is necessary to achieve a good cooperation, and violence or brutality will not be accepted in any shape or form by this sensitive dog.

Rhodesian Ridgeback: Purchase price

The price of a Rhodesian Ridgeback varies depending on its origins, age, and gender. You have to count an average of £1100  for dogs registered at the Kennel Club. 

With regards to the monthly budget required to meet the needs of a dog of this size, you have to estimate an average of £45 per month.

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