What dog breed is very friendly, loyal, and affectionate yet, has the tenacity and endurance to keep up with a horse for up to 30 miles and still have the bravery to corner a lion?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as the African Lion Hound, has a noble history originating in Zimbabwe as a defender of livestock and as a lion hunting hound. This breed was known to easily keep up with horses for hours during a hunt and were also known as being fearless in their hunting and defending.
While there are not many lions in the U.S. to hunt or defend against, owning this remarkable breed is nonetheless still rewarding and quite enjoyable. The Ridgeback, in spite of its ability to hunt and defend, is quite friendly as a family pet and loves to romp and play with children. Like nearly any other dog, early socialization is necessary to avoid aggressive behavior as adults.
The Rhodie is a great family protector as it is very loyal to its family and is by nature a little suspicious of strangers. They also may be a bit aggressive to an unknown dog and they do love to chase cats – they are after all lion hounds. A cat to them is just Simba Jr. who needs to be brought to bay. Regardless of these tendencies, many Ridgeback owners have by positive training been able to teach their Lion Hound to accept the feline member of the family.
Ridgebacks are very intelligent and will respond well to positive training. They have a sensitive side and will become shy and possibly aggressive if trained with rough treatment. They are very agile and fast and have been quite good at agility and racing events. In addition to lions, Ridgebacks have been trained to hunt upland game birds, track wounded animals, and hunt bears and hogs.
Another notable positive to having a Rhodie as a pet is it barks very little. They are independent, and, although they love companionship, are happy at times to just to remain a bit aloof.
The coat of the Ridgeback is short and glossy requiring very little maintenance. A well bred dog of this breed is usually not susceptible to many diseases or ailments unlike some other more vulnerable breeds.
By now you can see that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is an exceptional choice for a family pet and dedicated companion. Perhaps you too can join the growing number of delighted Ridgeback owners!