Vergeleken met andere rassen is de Rhodesian Ridgeback excentriek.  De volwassen hond is onafhankelijk, straalt rust uit en kan gereserveerd zijn tegenover vreemden.  Ook laat hij een zekere vorm van arrogantie en zelfverzekerdheid zien.  De jonge Rhodesian Ridgeback overschaduwt de volwassen hond voor wat betreft zijn karakteristieke gedrag met al zijn ondeugd, koppigheid en overdrevenheid.  In de eerste maanden van zijn jeugdige onschuld is het van belang dat men rustig maar vastberaden zijn dominantie over de jonge hond laat gelden.


A Rhodesian Ridgeback is special regarding to imprinting. He’s very good at associating things and is very curious towards anything around him, both positive and negative things. Acting consequently and not patronizing him is very important in this phase of his life. An honest approach, where the dog is treated as a dog and not humanized is crucial for his behavior during the rest of his life. It is a dog who matures late. Dogs are only fully mentally developed at the age of two and a half. Bitches are a bit sooner mentally in balance. Dogs are of then better guards and bitches are better at hunting.


His own will, determination and sense of self-esteem results in the fact that the Rhodesian Ridgeback can’t easily be forced to subordination. The method currently popular with trainers “Flatten” is therefore not a good help in raising a Ridgeback. The attitude of this dog isn’t that of a slave but of a partner and that is exactly how he should be treated. Lack of contact, harshness and mental strain can cause for permanent confusion. The only way to get a Ridgeback to function well and get respect from his bases on mutual trust and a good and consequent education. Not everybody is capable to give a Rhodesian Ridgeback the correct education, it demands a lot of energy and being consequent over and over again. As a housemate and friend, the Ridgeback will show loyalty and dedication towards this housemates and will look for one individual to treat as his leader.


It is very important that within your family one person can take the Alfa position. A person who is consequent and looks after the dog is chosen one. Often this is, of course, mummy dear. The Ridgeback is an excellent bodyguard and guard dog. He considers your property as his own and will defend it. He doesn’t bark unnecessarily, only to warn you for danger or possible intruders. A characteristic behavior, linked to a lazy looking lifestyle is typical for a Ridgeback. Signals of watchfulness can be recognized in the raising of an eyebrow or the lifting up of a head, while yawning and stretching. Children are tolerated in different ways, from indifference to affection. However, the Ridgeback will have to be treated respectfully and not as a toy.

High irritation threshold

Eventually even a Ridgeback, who has a very high irritation threshold, won’t accept this. Being lazy by nature, he won’t waste energy to reach his goal. He will often be content when he can use his time to take a nap, preferably in the burning sun or close to a hot stove and lying in the weirdest positions. This can be considered the opposite of the description of an energetic and dynamic Ridgeback. For his physical exercise and fitness, long walks and jogs alongside a bike are no luxury. The owner has to be active as well, the Ridgeback will follow his lead. It’s not a dog who will run circles like a fool while his owner is taking it easy.

Hunting and Watchdog

As said before, the Rhodesian Ridgeback won’t pick a fight without any provocation, he will avoid conflicts if possible. When this isn’t possible, showing his dominance is often enough to gain respect. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally a hunting and guarding dog. He has a sharp eyesight and an excellent nose. He’s open to new impressions and has a sixth sense for danger, as seen more often ten in wild animals. This is probably thanks to the hunters of wild animals who carried out an extremely strict selection. A lot of characteristics are embedded in the Ridgeback’s genetic material. He is intelligent and dedicated without hiding his affection.

In short, a loyal and loving housemate and friend to whoever treats him fairly, who is capable and prepared to do extraordinary things under extreme circumstances.