Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Profile

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Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed Profile Powered By Docstoc
					Description: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, agile, and muscular dog. The dog
measures 25 to 27 inches and the bitch 2 inches less. Depending on sex, this dog will
weigh between 65 and 90 pounds. The Rhodesian Ridgeback has immense stamina,
and can run for miles without tiring. The coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a glossy
wheaten to red in color, and is marked by the distinctive ridge running down the back
from just behind the shoulders. The ears are pendent and of a medium size. This dog
can live for 10 to 12 years. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also known as the Lion Dog,
the Ridgeback, and the African Lion Hound.

History: When European settlers went to South Africa in the 18th century, they
naturally brought their dogs with them. Mastiffs, pointers, and greyhounds were
among the dogs that made the journey. The Europeans soon became aware of a
half-feral dog kept by the local Hottentots, which had a reputation for physical
toughness. Breeding their European stock to the local dog, which had a ridge down its
back, produced the Rhodesian Ridgeback. These tough dogs soon found good service
in guarding farms and houses and also in hunting lions and other game.

Temperament: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is totally dedicated to its family and will
protect them with its life. This dog is loyal and needs to be in the company of its
human friends. Because they can be somewhat energetic when playing, it is probably
better to keep very small children away from them. The dog would not intentionally
harm the child, but might knock a child down by accident. The Rhodesian Ridgeback
is reserved with strangers, but does not automatically act with aggression towards
them. It should be socialized with other family pets while it is still young.

Health Issues: The most serious health problem with the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a
condition known as dermoid sinus. To make the explanation simple, a tube (sinus)
sometimes insinuates itself around the spine. This can sometimes be corrected
surgically, but in many cases it cannot. An abscess can form and cause great pain to
the animal. The Rhodesian Ridgeback can also suffer from hip dyplasia, although this
is not a common complaint in this dog. Watch out for bloat, as well, and take the dog
to the veterinarian at the first sign of this serious condition.

Grooming: The short coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback does not require intensive
grooming. A good brushing every week or so will keep it in top condition. The ears
are not as prone to infections as in some other breeds, but they should be checked
periodically to make sure they are clean and dry.

Living Conditions: Although the Rhodesian Ridgeback is an active dog with great
stamina, it is fairly quiet indoors and is suitable for apartment living if exercised
enough. Regardless of where this dog lives, it needs a great amount of exercise every
day to maintain its physical and mental health. This dog will happily run along with
your bicycle, and is probably best suited to individuals or families that indulge in
outdoor sports.