The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the only registered breed native to South Africa. Their ancestors can be traced back to South Africa's Cape Colony, where they interbred with pioneer dogs and the Hottentot semi-domesticated crested dogs. Hunting mainly in groups of 2 or 3, the original function of the Rhodesian Ridgeback or “Lion Dog” was to locate game, especially the lion, and, with great agility, guard it at a distance until the hunter arrived.
Country of Origin: South Africa.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: It should represent a well-balanced, strong, muscular, agile and active dog, with a symmetrical silhouette, high endurance capacity and high speed potential. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and firmness, with no tendency to be heavy. The peculiarity of the breed is the crest on the back that is formed by the hairs that grow in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The crest is a distinctive mark of the breed. It should be clearly defined and symmetrical and taper gradually towards the croup. It begins to form immediately behind the shoulders and continues to the hips. The crest must have two identical and opposite crowns between them. The edges of the crest should not extend low more than a third of its length. The width of the crest can reach 5 cm.
BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT: Reveals dignity, intelligence, is reserved with strangers, without showing aggression or shyness.
skull : Of good length (the width of the head between the ears, the distance from the occiput to the stop, from the stop to the end of the nose must be equal), flat and wide between the ears; without showing wrinkles when at rest.
Stop : Fairly well defined and not in a straight line from nose to occipital bone.
Truffle: Black or brown in color. A black truffle dog may be accompanied by dark eyes and a brown truffle dog by amber colored eyes.
Snout: Long, deep and powerful.
Lips: Well adjusted to the jaws.
Jaws and Teeth: Strong jaws, with a perfect and complete scissor bite. The teeth should be well developed, especially the canines.
Cheeks: They must be flat.
Eyes: Moderately set apart, round, shiny, intelligent expression. The eye color harmonizes with the coat color.
Ears : Set high, of medium size, quite wide at the base and tapering off gradually to a rounded tip; carried close to the head.
NECK : Of good length, strong and without dewlap.
Loin: Strong, muscular and slightly arched.
chest : Not very wide, but very deep and with a lot of capacity; should reach your elbows. The forechest should be visible when viewed in profile. Ribs moderately sprung, never rounded, barrel-shaped.
TAIL: Strong at the root and gradually tapering towards the tip without being coarse. Of moderate length. It should be set neither too high nor too low and should be carried with a slight upward curve, never curled.
PREVIOUS : They must be perfectly straight, strong and of good bone, with the elbows well adjusted to the body. Viewed in profile, the forelegs should be wider than when viewed from the front.
Shoulders : Oblique, well-shaped and muscular.
Pastern: Strong, with slight elasticity.
HINDQUARTERS : They must have sculpted and well-defined muscles.
Hocks: Strong and well let down.
Knees : Well angled.
Paws : Compact and round, with well-arched and flexible digits, elastic plantar pads, protected by hairs that grow between the toes and pads.
DRIVE : Straight forward, fluent and energetic.
By : The coat should be short and dense, with a smooth and shiny appearance, without being wooly or silky.
From pale wheat to red wheat. A small white patch on the chest and fingers is permissible, but excess white hair in these areas, on the chest, belly or above the carpals or tarsi is undesirable. It is assumed that the muzzle and ears are black. Excessive black hair on the coat on the rest of the body is highly undesirable.
SIZE : Males: 63 cm - 69 cm. Females: 61 cm - 66 cm
Any deviation from the terms of this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.
• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.
• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.
• Males must have both testicles, of normal appearance, well let down and accommodated in the scrotum.
• Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with typical breed conformation should be used for breeding.