Rhodesian Ridgebacks, used in packs, are excellent at hunting lions with hunters on horseback so they are sometimes known as "African Lion Hound".
They are a large, muscular hound with a flat, triangular head and, sometimes, a black tongue. Their short, smooth coat comes in shades of wheaten and red but their most noticeable feature is the ridge of hairs that grow the wrong way along their back.
They originate from Zimbabwe where they worked as a retriever and guard dog but in Rhodesia they found a new use as a hunter of big game. An excellent hunter, they are loyal, protective and surprisingly calm in the home. They are trainable and will be good natured and well behaved if allowed sufficient opportunity to exercise. They are normally good with children although may be a little boisterous for small children and they can be wary of strangers. They also need to be trained to get along with other animals. They have a lot of energy and stamina and need plenty of opportunity to exercise. They can withstand extremes of temperature.
The smooth, short hair is easy to groom. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally very hardy but can be prone to hip dysplasia, dermoid sinus, cysts and mast cell tumours.