Thursday, April 29, 2010
If you look at a map that is up-to-date, you will not find a country called Rhodesia on it. And that is because Rhodesia is now two different countries named Zambia and Zimbabwe. These countries are kind of in the southeast part of Africa. They changed their names when they became independent countries, but the Rhodesian Ridgeback did not change its name, which is probably just as well, because it is hard to keep track of names that are always changing.
There are some other names for this breed, including Van Rooyen's Lion Dogs, African Lion Hound, and African Lion Dog. These dogs were good at hunting lions because they were brave and tough, and also they were smart enough not to get eaten by crocodiles or bitten by snakes. The way they hunted lions was that they were sent out in a pack, and when they found a lion, they kept it cornered and busy until the hunters could come and shoot the lion.
In 1924, Ridgies got their very own breed standard, and they were registered with the South African Kennel Club. By 1928, they were being shown in Great Britain. But they didn't get registered by the AKC until 1955. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are in the Hound Group, just like basenjis are.
You might be interested to know that there are at least three other dog breeds that have ridges of fur on their backs. These breeds are the Phu quoc ridgeback dog of Vietnam, the Thai Ridgeback, and the Combai of Tamilnadu, India.