The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog breed that originated in Southern Africa. They are known for the “ridge” along their back, which is formed by a narrow strip of fur that grows in the opposite direction from the rest of their coat. They were bred for their tracking and baying of lions as well as leopards, baboons, and more. Although they were built for tracking down lions and keeping them at bay, they were not used for killing them.
These dogs were valued hunting companions that could keep up all day with horse-mounted riders and then come home and protect the homestead from any intruder. Rhodesian Ridgebacks first showed up in the United States in the 1930s. The American Kennel Club recognized the Rhodesian Ridgeback in 1955 as part of the Hound Group. Now, Ridgebacks are still prized for their tracking abilities, but are also prized as family pets and companions who are cherished by their families.