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Spotlight On The Rhodesian Ridgeback

August 1, 2021

Are you a fan of Ontario Tech? As you may know, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the official mascot for many of the school’s sports teams. Hunter the Ridgeback may not be the most famous Ontarian out there, but he’s one of our favorites! The Rhodesian Ridgeback is actually quite an interesting dog … and a very good boy! A Brampton, ON vet discusses the breed in this article.


The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in South Africa, and was originally used to hunt lions. Fido’s forebears were hunting and guard dogs for the Khoikhoi, who lived in the Cape Peninsula region. The Khoikhoi’s loyal pups were crossed with pooches brought over by the Europeans, creating the breed we know and love today. The breed standard, as we know it today, was written in 1922 by a man named Francis R. Barnes.


As the name suggests, the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s most distinctive trait is his ridged back. The term ‘ridge’ actually refers to Fido’s fur: he has a line of hair on his spine that goes in the opposite direction as the rest of his coat. Speaking of coats, these pooches all have what are called wheaten coats, which are short and smooth. Their colors do not vary much: in order to meet the standard, their fur should be reddish. The Rhodesian Ridgeback’s nose must also be black or liver colored.


Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very strong and smart pups, which is why they made such impressive hunters and guard dogs. They can be wary of strangers, but are rarely aggressive. Like other pooches, proper socialization and training are very important for them. It’s worth pointing out the Rhodesian Ridgeback is extremely sensitive, and should always be treated very kindly. Positive motivation, such as treats, praise, and petting, is absolutely crucial. These loyal, lovable dogs can make wonderful family pets. They’re not particularly loud, so if Fido is barking, you may need to investigate.


Like any other breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to developing a few specific problems. In this case, hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, and dermatoid sinus are common issues. It’s also important to give Fido a high-quality food, and make sure he stays active. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your furry friend’s health or care? Contact us, your local Brampton, ON animal clinic, today!