THE RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK is a dog of formidable power, dedication and courage. He claims an ancient heritage, yet is of relatively recent lineage in terms of standardization of the breed.
Today's Ridgeback is descendent from a variety of breeds which were crossed by settlers of South Africa and Rhodesia with the native dogs of the Hottentot tribe. The ridge became his identifying mark.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback survived in various forms through the years because of his superb hunting ability. In addition to trailing and tracking large animals, he was also used to hold his quarry at bay. He was the protector of game wardens, farm families and hunters throughout South Central Africa, where the breed developed into its present form.
From its origin in Africa, the Ridgeback has lost none of its abilities as a hunter and guardian and he continues to be an excellent companion. The Ridgeback is a devoted family dog, totally loyal to his master. He is rather aloof and undemonstrative towards strangers.
This is the Rhodesian Ridgeback, a dog of incorruptible, independent character, who takes his responsibilities of companionship, protection and family dedication to heart. He never forgets love and understanding, nor does he lightly forgive harsh treatment. He is a dog of noble bearing, whose physical attributes should reflect his role as guardian, companion and hunter.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback comes in only one color—light wheaten to red wheaten, as described in the standard. Beware of disreputable breeders who market non-standard colors—including black-and-tan, brindle, and blue—as "rare" or "exotic." They are neither of those things. Instead, these non-standard colors are incorrect for the breed and should never be bred for, nor awarded in the show ring.