Canine Breed Menu

Lion Dog

Lion Dog

Lion Dog
Breed Organization
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States
Native Country
South Africa
Other Names
Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ridgeback, African Lion Hound
Life Expectancy
Approximately Approximately 10-12 Years
Litter Size
7-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Hounds
Breed Appearance
The Ridgeback represents a strong, muscular and active hound, symmetrical and balanced in outline. A mature Ridgeback is a handsome, upstanding and athletic dog, capable of great endurance with a fair (good) amount of speed. Of even, dignified temperament, the Ridgeback is devoted and affectionate to his master, reserved with strangers. The peculiarity of this breed is the ridge on the back. The ridge must be regarded as the characteristic feature of the breed.

Breed Description
Head: Of good length. Flat, fairly broad skull. Pronounced stop. Long, powerful muzzle. Strong jaws. Well-joined lips. Nose black or brown, depending on coat color.
Ears: Set on fairly high, medium in size with rounded tips, carried close to the head.
Eyes: Round, matching coat color.
Body: Powerful. Strong neck without dewlap. Chest not too broad, well let-down, and ample. Moderately well-sprung ribs. Strong, muscular loin. Crest on the back, running from behind the shoulders to the hips, formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat. Powerful back.
Tail: Thick at the base, tapering toward the tip. Carried in a loose upward curve.
Hair: Short, dense, smooth, neither wooly nor silky.
Coat: Pale wheaten to reddish-fawn. Head, trunk, legs, and tail must be the same color. Minimal white markings on the chest and toes is allowed.
Size: Dog: 63.5 to 68.5 cm. (25-27 in).Bitch: 61 to 66 cm. (24-26 in).
Weight: Approx. 35 kg (77 lb).

This South African dog was named for the ridge of hairs on his back. He is thought to be descended from a dog once used by the Hottentots and crossed with dogs imported by the first colonists from Europe in the seventeenth century, particularly mastiffs and the Bloodhound. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed by the Boers, and the standard for the breed was set in 1922 in the former Rhodesia. He is highly prized in the United States and Canada, where he hunts bear. The breed is very rare in France, where a Rhodesian Ridgeback club was founded in 1989.

Hardy, solid, very fast, and courageous, this dog with great endurance and a keen nose hunts wild beasts (such as lion). Working in a pack, he can bring down large cats. Not friendly toward strangers, he makes a reliable dissuasive watchdog. He is aggressive toward other dogs. He is calm, barks rarely, and can be an affectionate pet. He needs rigorous training.

Lion Dogs are a hardy breed, able to withstand dramatic changes of temperature, however they are susceptible to hip dysplasia, dermoid sinus, and cysts. Also prone to mast cell tumors.

He is not suited to city life. He needs lots of exercise. He is resistant to heat and cold and can tolerate a lack of water or food. He should be brushed twice a week.

Hunting dog, watchdog, police dog, companion dog.

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