F.C.I. Standaard No. 146./19.12.1989

General appearance

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 with of the ridge is 5cm (2ins).

Behaviour and Temperament

Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers, but showing no aggression of shyness.


Skull should be of a fair length (with of head between ears, distance form occiput to stop, stop to end of nose, should be equal), the skull flat and broad between the ears and the head should be free from wrinkles when in repose.

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

The nose should be black or brown. A black nose should be accompanied by dark eyes, a brown nose by amber eyes.

The muzzle should be long, deep and powerful.

The Eyes

Should be moderately well apart, round bright and sparkling, with intelligent expression, their colour harmonising with the colour of the coat.

The Ears

Should be set rather high, or medium size, rather wide at base, and gradually tapering to a rounded point.  They should be carried close to the head.

Lips and Cheeks

The lips should be clean, closely fitting the jaws. Mouth 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.

Cheeks should be clean.

The Neck

Should be fairly long, strong and free from throatiness.


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.  Pastems should be strong with slight spring.  Shoulders The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular, denoting speed.

The Body

Back Powerful.  Loins Strong, muscular and slightly arched, powerful.  Chest Should not be too wide but very deep and capacious and brisket should reach to the elbow.  Forechest Should be visible when viewed from the side.  Ribs Moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel-hoops.

The Hindguarters

In the hind legs the muscles should be clean, well defined, good turn of stifle and strong hacks well let down.

De voeten

De voeten dienen compact te zijn met goed geboden en aaneengesloten tenen. De voetzoolkussens dienen elastisch te zijn met beschermend haar tussen de tenen en voetzolen. De Rhodesian Ridgeback behoort de zogenaamde “katvoeten” te hebben.

The Tail

Should be strong at the root and gradually tapering towards the end, free from coarseness.  It should be of moderate length.  It should not be inserted too high nor too low, and should be carried with a slight curve upwards, never curled.

Gait / Movement

Straight forward, free and active.

The Coat

Hair should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance, but neither wooly nor silky.

The Color

Light wheaten to red wheaten.  A little white on the chest and toes is permissible, but excessive white hairs, on belly, or above toes is undesirable.  A dark muzzle and ears permissible.  Excessive black hairs throughout the coat are highly undesirable.

The Size

The desirable heights are: Dogs 63cm (25ins) to 69cm (27ins) Bitches 61cm(24ins) to 66cm (26ins).

Weight. The desirable weights are: Dogs 36,5kg (80lbs) Bitches 32kg (70lbs)


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with wich the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.


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