Ridgeback: Characteristics, Temperament, Health, Care & Training

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Keywords: Ridgeback

What is Ridgeback?

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The Ridgeback dog is known by many names like South African ridgeback or African Lion Dog. The Ridgebacks are medium to large-sized dogs which are mostly used for hunting. Ridgebacks are known to be quite intelligent and obedient dogs that can be very loyal too if trained properly. Ridgeback is also considered to be a good companion dog because of its loyalty, playfulness, and love for human attention. Ridgebacks are having almost similar characteristics to other gun dogs but Ridgebacks are different in some aspects which makes them distinctive from other breeds.


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Ridgebacks have a well-built muscular body with a strong broad chest.

The head of this breed looks rectangular when viewed from the front but it has a curvy look when seen from top or down.

Ridgebacks have a beautiful black nose with well-proportioned eyes which often come in amber color or dark brown color. Ridgebacks have ears that are hanging down on either side of their head.


Ridgebacks are known to be pretty calm dogs, they are happy with whatever they have and they accept any sort of living conditions very easily. Ridgebacks can live in apartments as well as in large houses, Ridgebacks will adapt themselves according to the environment you provide for them. Ridgeback is not a very hyper kind of dog but Ridgeback loves their family members (humans) so much that Ridgeback needs lots of attention. Ridgeback is considered to be loving, gentle, and loyal dogs towards their human companions if trained properly. Ridgebacks love remaining active which means Ridgebacks need some amount of exercise every day otherwise Ridgebacks will start behaving naughty. Ridgeback can be a great companion dog for your family if you take Ridgeback as a pet and provide Ridgeback the following:

A Sturdy House, Ridgebacks are known to be pretty destructive dogs if they are not provided with enough space to roam around. Ridgebacks cannot bear small-sized houses so providing Ridgeback a sturdy house is essential.


This breed of dogs loves training but Ridgebacks need very patient trainers because Ridgeback takes some time to learn new things. You can consider hiring an experienced trainer who knows how to train Ridgebacks properly or you can try by yourself but remember, don’t show any kind of harshness while training Ridgeback because Ridgebacks are sensitive by nature. Ridgebacks can be trained for various activities including hunting, tracking, coursing, and lure chasing. Ridgeback can also serve as a good companion dog if you train Ridgeback to live in the same house with other pets too because Ridgeback is known to behave well towards cats and other small animals under proper training.

Health Care

Ridgebacks are generally healthy dogs but there are certain health problems which Ridgeback may get affected so it’s important that Ridgeback should visit the vet regularly for check-up purposes. Some common health problems of Ridgebacks include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, panosteitis, cancers, etc. Make sure Ridgeback has free access to water at all especially during hot weather conditions where Ridgeback will definitely need more water to stay hydrated. Ridgebacks are heavy eaters so do not feed Ridgeback leftovers because Ridgeback may gain weight which is another health problem Ridgeback may get affected by. Ridgebacks also love chewing things so make sure Ridgeback has enough chew toys available at home because Ridgebacks usually prefer chewy stuff over other things.


Since Ridgeback is an active dog there are certain grooming necessities for Ridgebacks too, try to brush your Ridgebacks two times a week if possible otherwise daily brushing is preferred. Try cleaning the eyes and ears of your Ridgebacks regularly with the help of a cotton ball or moist cloth, clean any shedding fur properly by using a rubber glove on the Ridgeback’s body. If Ridgeback is a long-haired Ridgeback then Ridgeback will need to be brushed almost every day because Ridgebacks shed their fur throughout their bodies during different seasons especially in summers and if Ridgeback is not groomed properly then you will find piles of falling fur everywhere in your house which may get extremely annoying for you.

Regardless, Ridgebacks are generally healthy dogs and Ridgeback’s lifespan is around 10 to 13 years on average. Ridgeback has a life expectancy of 10-13 years if Ridgeback has proper care and nutrition. Ridgebacks can be very affectionate towards their owners as well as loyal companions too so it’s better that we as humans should take Ridgebacks as our devoted friends forever.

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