Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Southern Africa.

PATRONAGE

:
FCI
Kennel Union of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
10.12.1996.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used to hunt game in many parts of the world, but is especially prized as watch-dog and family pet.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 6Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 3Related breeds
Without working trial

KC
Hound
UKC
Sighthound/Pariah

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is presently the only registered breed indigenous to southern Africa. Its forbears can be traced to the Cape Colony of Southern Africa, where they crossed with the early pioneer’s dogs and the semi-domesticated, ridged Hottentot hunting dogs. Hunting mainly in groups of two or three, the original function of the Rhodesian Ridgeback or Lion dog was to track game, especially lion, and, with great agility, keep it at bay until the arrival of the hunter.
The original standard, which was drafted by F.R.Barnes, in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, in 1922, was based on that of the Dalmatian and was approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1926.
UKC
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is the only registered breed of dog that is indigenous to Southern Africa. Its ancestors trace to the Cape Colony, where they were crossed with the early pioneer’s dogs and the semi-domesticated ridged Hottentots hunting dogs. The original function of the breed was to hunt in packs of two or three, tracking game, especially lion, and keeping it at bay until the hunters arrived. Today, while the Rhodesian Ridgeback is still used to hunt game in many parts of the world, it is especially prized as a watch dog and companion. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1980.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
The Rhodesian Ridgeback should represent a well balanced, strong, muscular, agile and active dog, symmetrical in outline, and capable of great endurance with a fair amount of speed. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and soundness with no tendency towards massiveness. The peculiarity of the breed is the ridge on the back, which is formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The ridge is the escutcheon of the breed. The ridge must be clearly defined, symmetrical and tapering towards the haunch. It must start immediately behind the shoulders and continue to the hip (haunches) bones. The ridge must contain only two crowns, identical and opposite each other. The lower edges of the crowns must not extend further down the ridge than one-third of its length. A good average width of the ridge is 5cm (2”).
KC
Handsome, strong, muscular and active dog, symmetrical in outline, capable of great endurance with fair amount of speed. Mature dog is handsome and upstanding.
UKC
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a symmetrical, well balanced, strong dog, yet it must be active and agile, and have no tendency towards massiveness. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and soundness. The distinctive characteristic peculiar to the breed is a ridge on the back that is formed by the hair growing in an opposite direction from the rest of the coat. The ridge is clearly defined, tapering and symmetrical. It begins immediately behind the shoulders and continues to a point located between the prominences of the hips. It should contain two identical crowns opposite each other, the lower edges of which do not extend farther down the ridge than one-third of the length of the ridge. A good average width of the ridge is two inches.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
KC
A distinctive feature is the ridge on the back formed by hair growing in opposite direction to the remainder of coat. Ridge clearly defined, tapering and symmetrical, starting immediately behind shoulders and continuing to haunch, and containing two identical crowns only, opposite each other, lower edges of crowns not extending further down ridge than one-third of its length. Up to 5 cm (2 ins) is a good average for width of ridge.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers, but showing no aggression or shyness.
KC
Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers but showing no aggression or shyness.
UKC
Intelligent and dignified, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be aloof with strangers, but is never shy or aggressive.

HEAD

:
KC
Of fair length, skull flat, rather broad between ears, free from wrinkles when in repose. Stop reasonably well defined. Nose black or brown in keeping with colour of dog. Black nose accompanied by dark eyes, brown nose by amber eyes. Muzzle long, deep and powerful. Lips clean and close fitting.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Should be of a hair length (width of head between ears, distance from occiput to stop, stop to end of nose, should be equal), flat and broad between the ears; the head should be free from wrinkles when in repose.
UKC
The skull is of fair length. The width of the skull between the ears, the length of the skull, and the length of the muzzle should all be equal. The skull is flat between the ears, and free of wrinkles when the dog is in repose. The stop is reasonably well defined.

Stop

:
FCI
The stop should be reasonably well defined and not in one straight line from the nose to the occipital bone.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
The nose should be black or brown. A black nose should be accompanied by dark eyes, a brown nose by amber eyes.
UKC
The nose has black or brown pigment, in harmony with the color of the dog. No other colored noses are acceptable.

Muzzle

:
FCI
The muzzle should be long, deep and powerful.
KC
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Well developed teeth, especially canines.
UKC
The muzzle is long, deep and powerful, with close fitting lips. The cheeks are clean.

Lips

:
FCI
The lips should be clean, closely fitting the jaws.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws strong, with a perfect and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. The teeth must be well developed, especially the canines or holders.
UKC
A full complement of strong, well-developed, white teeth meet in a scissors bite. The canine teeth are especially well developed.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Cheeks should be clean.

Eyes

:
FCI
Should be moderately well apart, round, bright and sparkling, with intelligent expression, their colour harmonising with the colour of the coat.
KC
Set moderately well apart, round, bright and sparkling with intelligent expression, colour harmonising with coat colour.
UKC
The round eyes are set moderately well apart. They are bright, sparkling and have an intelligent expression. Eye color is in harmony with that of the color of the dog. A black nosed dog has dark eyes; a brown-nosed dog has amber eyes.

Ears

:
FCI
Should be set rather high, of medium size, rather wide at base, and gradually tapering to a rounded point. They should be carried close to the head.
KC
Set rather high, medium size, rather wide at base, gradually tapering to a rounded point. Carried close to head.
UKC
The medium-sized ears are set rather high and carried close to the head. They are rather wide at the base and taper to a rounded point.

NECK

:
FCI
Should be fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.
KC
Fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.
UKC
The neck is fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.

BODY

:
KC
Chest not too wide, very deep and capacious; ribs moderately well sprung, never barrel-ribbed. Back powerful; loins strong, muscular and slightly arched.
UKC
The chest is very deep and capacious, but not too wide. The brisket reaches to the elbow. There should be a visible forechest when the dog is viewed from the side. The back is powerful, and the ribs are moderately well sprung, never barrel shaped. The loin is strong, muscular and slightly arched.

Back

:
FCI
Powerful.

Loin

:
FCI
Strong, muscular and slightly arched.

Chest

:
FCI
Should not be too wide, but very deep and capacious; the brisket should reach to the elbow. Forechest should be visible when viewed from the side. Ribs moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel-hoops.

TAIL

:
FCI
Should be strong at the root and gradually tapering towards the end, free form coarseness. It should be of moderate length. It should not be attached too high nor too low, and should be carried with a slight curve upwards, never curled.
KC
Strong at root, not inserted high or low, tapering towards end, free from coarseness. Carried with a slight curve upwards, never curled.
UKC
The tail is strong at the root and tapers gradually toward the tip. It is free from coarseness. It is carried with a slight upward curve.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
The forelegs should be perfectly straight, strong and well boned, with the elbows close to the body. When viewed from the side, the forelegs should be wider than viewed from the front.
KC
Shoulders sloping, clean and muscular. Forelegs perfectly straight, strong, heavy in bone; elbows close to body.
UKC
The sloping shoulders are clean and muscular

Shoulder

:
FCI
The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The heavily boned, strong forelegs are perfectly straight. The elbows are close to the body. The pasterns have a slight spring.

Pastern

:
FCI
Should be strong with light spring.

FEET

:
KC
Compact, well arched toes, round, tough, elastic pads, protected by hair between toes and pads.
UKC
The round, compact feet have well-arched toes and tough, elastic pads. The feet are protected by hair between the toes and the pads.

Forefeet

:
FCI
The feet should be compact and round, with well arched toes and tough, elastic pads, protected by hair between the toes and pads.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
In the hind legs the muscles should be clean and well defined.
KC
Muscles clean, well defined; good turn of stifle; hocks well let down.

Stifle

:
FCI
Good turn of stifle.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The muscles in the hind legs are clean and well defined. There is a good turn of stifle, and the hocks are strong and well let down.

Hock

:
FCI
Strong, well let down.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Straight forward, free and active.
KC
Straight forward, free and active.
UKC
Movement is straightforward, free and active.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, but neither woolly nor silky.
KC
Short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, but neither woolly nor silky.
UKC
The short, dense coat is sleek and glossy. It is never woolly or silky.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and toes is permissible, but excessive white hairs here, on belly, or above toes is undesirable. A dark muzzle and ears permissible. Excessive black hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable.
KC
Light wheaten to red wheaten. Head, body, legs and tail of uniform colour. Little white on chest and toes permissible, but excessive white hairs here, on belly or above paws undesirable. Dark muzzle and ears permissible.
UKC
Acceptable colors include the range from light wheaten to red wheaten. Dark muzzles and ears are acceptable. Excessive black hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable. A small amount of white on the chest and on the toes is acceptable, but any other white is undesirable.

SIZE

:
KC
Dogs: 63 cms (25 ins) desirable minimum height at withers; 69 cms (27 ins) desirable maximum height at withers; bitches: 61 cms (24 ins) desirable minimum height at withers, 66 cms (26 ins) desirable maximum height at withers.
UKC
The height ranges for mature dogs are: males, 25 to 27 inches; females, 24 to 26 inches. The approximate weights for mature dogs are: males, 80 pounds; females, 70 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Dogs 63-69 cm (25” -27”).
Bitches 61-66 cm (24” -26”).

Weight

:
FCI

Dogs 36,5 kg (80 lbs).
Bitches 32 kg (70 lbs).

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Muzzle: Heavy head; round skull; short, snipey muzzle; bulging cheeks.
Tail: Curled tail; set too high or too low.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Lack of a ridge. Albinism.
Appearance: Lack of a ridge.
Color: Albinism.

other

:
FCI
Origin (details): Standard supplied by the Kennel Union of Southern Africa and the Zimbabwe Kennel Club.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.