PG 66 TOP DOG
Originally bred to take down lions, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is now a popular family dog.
BY CHRISTIANN PRIYANKA
no, it’s not a dinosaur. It’s the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Previouly referred to as the African Lion Hound, this dog can be identified by the signature "ridge" on its spine. The ridge is formed from two whorls that grow against each other, making the hair protrude like a fin on the spine of the canine.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was initially bred by Boer farmers in South Africa who needed a dog that could withstand the extreme African temperatures and terrain, survive with little water, protect land and be a guardian to the family. These dogs were also used to keep lions at bay in the African Plains.
By crossing canines from Europe like the Great Dane, Mastiff, Greyhound and Bloodhound with a half-wild dog kept by the pastoral Khoikhoi people, the farmers created the Rhodesian Ridgeback—a breed with a distinctive ridge down its spine, starting from behind its shoulders and running all the way between the rise of its hips.
Although initially bred to be a hunting hound, these pooches rarely bark. They will, however, if they sense a potential threat. They are fiercely loyal and protective of their families, and love affection. They tend to be wary of strangers and will even put themselves between their paw-rent and the unknown person to protect them.
These pooches are also very
independent and intelligent. Therefore, they need toys that will help to stimulate their minds. Because of their hunting roots, they have a high prey drive, meaning that they are likely to give chase to small animals or strays. However, these pups do very well with other dogs and cats that they are socialised with.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback loves to run and play, and needs at least half an hour of daily exercise to keep it mentally stimulated and healthy. This breed is generally healthy, but it’s essential that they come from a reputable breeder who breeds dogs above the age of two. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are susceptible to elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, dermoid sinus, bloating and in rare cases, degenerative myelopathy. They are known counter surfers and will eat anything edible in sight, so food has to be kept out of reach or they may become susceptible to obesity.
Their fur is short, shiny and odour-free. However, their nails need to be trimmed regularly and their teeth brushed at least once a week.
While this is a beautiful dog, they are unsuitable for first-time or timid owners and families with toddlers.
FAST FACTS • Size Large; 32 to 29kg. • Colours Light wheaten to red wheaten; some have a black muzzle, ears and eyes. • Grooming frequency Moderate; weekly brushing of fur. • Exercise High energy level; needs daily walks of at least 30...
ALL FOR PAWS CLASSIC RABBIT PLUSH TOY This brown rabbit plushie doesn’t just look real, it also has a squeaker. Using this toy to play fetch with your pooch will satisfy his natural hunter instincts. Available at kohepets.com.
SOLID GOLD SEAMEAL NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT FOR DOGS & CATS Maintain your pup's overall health with SeaMeal, a kelp-based supplement that aids digestion and improves skin and coat health. Seaweed contains essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and...