The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a very distinct looking dog with their ridge down their backs. They are highly prized in their native Zimbabwe for being superb watchdogs, but over the years these handsome dogs have become popular in other parts of the world including here in the UK thanks to their striking looks and loyal, kind natures. The Rhodesian Ridgeback, or African Lion Dog is among one of the most popular hound breeds in the UK and for good reason because they make wonderful family pets and loyal companions to share a home with the added bonus being they are known to be good around children.
It was during the 16th and 17th Centuries that Dutch and German settlers travelled from Europe to South Africa and they took a variety of dogs with them which included Great Danes, Mastiffs, Greyhounds, Salukis and Bloodhounds. Over time, these dogs were crossed with the native Hottentot 'ridged' dog and their offspring were the forefathers of the modern Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Ridgebacks were bred to be tough with enough courage to hunt down lions and to protect owners in the harsh bushland terrains of Rhodesia. They inherited the distinctive ridge down their backs from the native Hottentot dog. The story has it that a missionary in the late 1800's loaned two dogs to a big game hunter in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and the hunter was so impressed with the dogs that he decided to breed a pack of Ridgebacks of his own. It was not long before the Ridgeback became the dog of choice for lion hunters throughout the land thanks to their courage and bravery on hunting expeditions. Pretty soon their fame spread throughout the world. The first Ridgeback club was formed in Africa in 1922 when a breed standard was drawn up which remain to this day.
Today, Ridgebacks are a popular choice as both companion dogs and family pets not only here in the UK, but elsewhere in the world thanks to their handsome looks and loyal, kind natures.