Dogs: Rhodesian Ridgeback

The ultimate hunting dog?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed resulted from crosses between the Khoikhoi dog (a breed kept by the South African Hottentots tribe), Mastiff, Deerhound, and other unknown breeds of dogs.  Bred to be the ultimate hunting dog by Dutch, Huguenot, and German settlers to southern Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries, Ridgebacks are equally at home flushing birds, tracking wounded game, pulling down large antelope, or hunting lions. Ridgebacks also make excellent guard dogs, are extremely loyal companions, and can easily handle Africa’s dramatic temperature fluctuations. They can go in excess of 24 hours without water and their short hair helps them to avoid tick infestation.  The dog’s namesake comes from a long line of hair along the spine that grows backward from the rest, resulting in a “ridge.” 

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Association in 1992.

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