Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a member of the ‘Hound’ breed group. The Hound group include breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or sight. They require a substantial amount of exercise and are considered to be aloof but trustworthy dogs.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks need grooming once a week to keep their short coats in top condition. They are loyal, protective dogs that will need to be socialised at a young age with any other family pets, but will settle well into family life with more experienced owners.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Elbow dysplasia - elbow joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Dermoid sinus – a tubular skin defect commonly found along the midline of the back caused by an incomplete separation of the skin and nervous system.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
- Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
- Panosteitis – a painful, inflammatory bone disease.
- Cataracts – opacity of the lens of the eye – giving a ‘cloudy’ appearance.
- Entropion – inward turning eyelids.
- Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are powerful, strong dogs with high energy levels that will need over 2 hours of exercise daily. They have a strong instinct to hunt and explore so bear this in mind when training, as even basic training – and especially recall – will not always be easy. To learn more about reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for a Rhodesian Ridgeback are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Rhodesian Ridgeback with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Rhodesian Ridgebacks that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Rhodesian Ridgeback with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.