“The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an all-purpose “Renaissance hound” whose hallmark is the ridge, or stripe of backward-growing hair, on his back. Though the breed was made famous in its native Africa for its skill at tracking and baying – but never, ever killing – lions, today Ridgebacks are cherished family dogs whose owners must be prepared to deal with their independence and strong prey drive,” AKC.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as the Lion Dog or African Lion Hound, is another South Africa dog breed and was bred in South Africa by European settlers. When the European Boer settlers arrived in S.A during the 16th and 17th centuries, powerful dog breeds accompanied them. These included the Mastiff, Great Dane, Bloodhound, as well as smaller dog breeds like the Greyhound, Staghound, Pointer, and other dog breeds.
Settlers felt that they needed a dog breed that would flourish in all weather conditions be it hot or cold temperatures, could trek through the rough bush (veld), and even dogs that enjoyed the water. These dogs had to be able to continue their duties as guard and hunting dogs. The settlers then bred their European dog breeds with the nativeHottentot tribal hunting dogs (these dogs had a ridge of hair growing in the opposite direction on the upper part of their backs), and they came up with the perfect “lion dog”- dogs that could hunt with both sight and scent!