Ridgebacks are from Southern Africa. They have been developed by crossing lots of breeds, mainly gundogs, terriers, hounds, bullmastiff types and there are indigenous African hunting dogs in the mix too! The ridgeback is not an attacking breed; it is bred to track game then keep it at bay and also to be a loyal companion. They are not guard dogs as such, but will keep a very watchful and protective eye on the family they love.

Ridgebacks are bred for endurance, stamina, should be light on their feet and extremely agile.  Being a hunting breed they are developed to think for themselves, they will chase anything that runs away, which could cause problems.  It is important that time is made available to give them the amount of good exercise they need. Without the stimulation of a daily run, you may find you have a very bored hound on your hands, and a bored ridgeback can be a destructive ridgeback.

These dogs are big, strong in mind and body. If your ridgeback does not respect your authority you may be faced with a problem! Earning a Ridgeback's respect should be a first priority. They can test you to the limits, so you must be prepared to out think your dog. Never, ever lose your temper, they are not servants and although they are more trainable than most hound breeds, you won't ever get the instant submission you see in working or gundog breeds, like the collie or Labrador.  Once you have gained a Rhodesian Ridgeback's respect you will have a life long devoted and entertaining companion.

With strangers ridgebacks can be standoffish.  Even after a proper introduction a friendship cannot be rushed, but once given, it is rarely forgotten.  Natural suspicion should not be confused with nervousness. They are playful, love to romp, chase anybody and anything that joins in, they can play very rough, shoulder barging is a speciality.  This can be off-putting to other dog owners who may think your dog is aggressive when all he wants to do is play.