Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Information and Buying advice

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Quick Rhodesian Ridgeback Facts

Average Size of Adult
Large (4/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Hound (2/8)
No (2/2)

Why Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies are great

The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is a very popular dog in the UK, which does not come as a surprise. They are known to be great family dogs and have a distinct appearance, in the ridged back and handsomeness. They are very friendly and loyal, any who have them are fortunate and are sure to have a wonderful companion. Also known as ‘African Lion Hounds’, they are extremely courageous and intelligent, but the intellect must be correctly handled. The quiet, gentle demeanour makes them very appealing for some. Some highlights:
  1. Watchdogs: Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are fantastic watchdogs, they may protect owners if they feel like their safety is at threat, but they generally keep their distance.
  2. Coats: Their coat does not shed a lot and is cheap to maintain.
  3. Family Pets: They are very friendly and accommodating, they are known to be good with children.
  4. Activity: Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are extremely good for any owners or families that enjoy activity – these dogs have a huge amount of energy.
  5. Drooling: The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy does not tend to drool much at all.

Things to consider when looking at Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies for Sale

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are very intelligent but must learn their place in their family. They can easily think themselves to be the leader of the pack otherwise. It is not advised that any trainers who are new to ownership go to this breed as their first. It is better to have this breed raised by people who are familiar with the breed and their needs. The breed is better suited to a house with a garden, to an apartment. Some downsides to the Rhodesian Ridgeback:
  1. Boredom: They can get bored more easily than other dogs – this can result in them being destructive and loud.
  2. Prey Drive: Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies have a very high prey drive. This is embedded in their mentality.
  3. Socialisation: Although good with families, they do require early socialisation for the best results.
  4. Headstrong: Although intelligent, they can be quite strong-willed. This can make training difficult for the wrong hands.
  5. Wanderlust: These Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies can easily leave you behind when off their lead there is anything that catches their interest.

History of Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies

The Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred to protect owners from lions and difficult terrain in Rhodesia – through being brave and resilient. After being bred from dog breeds taken from Europe and a native breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy became a singled-out breed among lion hunters. However, they are seen today as fantastic companions with their aesthetically pleasing appearance and wonderful personalities.  


How big is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

A fully-grown male Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is 63-69cm at the withers. A fully-grown female Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is 61-66cm at the withers.  

How heavy is a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

A male Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy averages at 36kg fully-grown. A female Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy averages at 32kg fully-grown.  

What Colour is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

The Kennel Club asserts that the breed has a uniform colour, being light wheaten or red wheaten. Darker colour around the muzzle and ears is also recognised.  


Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies make good guard dogs?

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies make for fantastic watchdogs as they are rather wary of strangers. Unlikely to attack strangers, they prefer to keep a distance and make plenty of sound.  

Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies bark a lot?

This breed is not much of a barker, apart from in the case of a stranger on their territory. Do bear in mind that boredom can bring barking out.  

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies easy to train?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is very intelligent but can be quite headstrong. Positive reinforcement and patience are key, the breed does not respond well to rushing or harshness. Consistent training while accommodating the dog’s idiosyncrasies is advised.  

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies playful?

These dogs are extremely playful but can be quite boisterous. As such, it is advised that most of the playtime is done outside a confined space. This protects from accidental damage or injury.  

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies good with children?

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are great with children, but early socialisation is very helpful. The children being old enough to know how to behave with dogs is optimal.  

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies good with other pets?

They can generally get along with other dogs, especially with early socialization. Bear in mind the extremely high prey drive to remember that smaller pets are more at risk if they are not socialized from an early age.  

Can I leave a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Alone?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy can learn to be left alone for a while. However, do remember than they can become bored a little easily, so separation anxiety is less of a worry than boredom is.  

Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies like water?

Most Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies love to swim. They like water best on hot days. However, be sure to exercise caution around more dangerous bodies of water that the dog may require assistance getting out of.  


How long do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies live?

On average, a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy can live 10-12 years.  

How much exercise does a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy need?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy requires in excess of 2 hours of exercise a day, including a fair amount of said exercise being vigorous. Meeting these helps them to be at their happiest and most obedient. Be sure not to over-exercise these dogs while they are still growing.  

What are Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Common health issues?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy has around an average number of health issues or risks. If you are planning on owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, ensure that you familiarise yourself with the following:
  • Bloat
  • Canine Epilepsy
  • Congenital Deafness
  • Dermoid Sinus
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Juvenile Myclonic Epilepsy


How much space do I need for a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is better suited to a property with a garden. Ideally, that will be at least medium sized. This will allow the dog to let loose a little and use up some of that energy. This helps tackle both the issue of boredom and the exercise requirements.  

What should I feed my Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

Divided into two meals, the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy when fully grown shall require between 2.75 cups and 4.4 cups of high-quality food. This depends on size and activity.  

How much grooming do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies need?

Weekly brushing and wiping should suffice for these dogs, due to their low-maintenance coat.  

Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies shed?

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies that live indoors shall shed very little. Living outside can see a heavier shed.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: With a price that is rather variable, it will cost an average of £1000 for a well-bred Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. Other costs (Vet, Food etc): On average, food and insurance will cost £100-130 a month.  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy, seeing the puppy with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy buying advice:
  1. Please bear in mind the exercise requirements for this dog to be at its happiest. If there is not enough time in the day to exercise the dog well, they will not be as happy.
  2. Especially due to their popularity, ensure that they are being bought from a reputable breeder.
  3. Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies can be prone to a skin disorder called Dermoid Sinus. Consequently, it is ideal to ensure that the puppy has been examined by breeders before sold.

Other reading, Adopting Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.ridgebackrescue.co.uk/ https://www.hillspet.co.uk/dog-care/dog-breeds/rhodesian-ridgeback https://www.purina.co.uk/dogs/dog-breeds/library/rhodesian-ridgeback https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/rhodesian-ridgeback#/slide/1 https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=1026