The Breed

The Breed Standard

The Ridgeback is 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.

A mature Ridgeback should be symmetrical in outline, slightly longer than tall but well balanced. Dogs–25 to 27 inches in height; Bitches–24 to 26 inches in height. Desirable weight: Dogs–85 pounds; Bitches–70 pounds.

For a full explanation of the Breed Standard, please refer to: * the RRCUS website: or   * the AKC website:

Is a Ridgeback Right For Me???

On many occasions, people see a dog and fall in love with their appearance, without regard for temperament, breed characteristics and needs.  The first step in becoming a great owner is to educate yourself on the breed prior to committing to a new family member.   Ridgebacks are hunting dogs with a high prey drive. They are independent dogs and do not dote on your every word.  They are not a Labrador or Golden Retriever!!!!   Positive motivation is the only successful way to train a Ridgeback in traditional obedience.

Training is a must if you are to have a well socialized Ridgeback that is a pleasure to be around.  We recommend and encourage that each owner work towards earning their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title on each of our puppies.  For information on CGC training and requirements, please visit the AKC website:

Many would describe the Ridgeback as stubborn and aloof.   In saying that, Ridgebacks are intelligent dogs, who ultimately desire to please their owners and be recognized and treated as part of “the pack”, ie your family. They take their protective role seriously and in return thrive on lots of love and attention.  A bored and/or ignored Ridgeback is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Ridgebacks do not stay small for very long.  They grow quickly in the first few months of their lives.  Make sure you familiarize yourself with what a fully grown Ridgeback looks like before making your final decision.  It is also likely that your 80 pound Ridgeback will behave like a lap dog – they love to snuggle and be close.

They are energetic, strong, powerful dogs who need plenty of space to run.  Exercise is a must for a happy and healthy Ridgeback.  A fenced yard is a necessity to keep your Ridgeback safe.

Ridgebacks rarely bark – if they do, you should always “check it out”.  They are relatively easy to house train and crate train.  Consistency is the key.  Don’t ever let your Ridgeback up on furniture or beds unless you are OK with it on an ongoing basis.  Once they are allowed to do it once, that is the end!!!

The average life span of a Ridgeback is 10-12 years.

Owning a Ridgeback is not a decision you should make lightly.  If you think that a Ridgeback is right for you, please contact us at  We will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the breed.