The Rhodesian Ridgeback was named after Rhodesia where they helped large game hunters. Also, the Ridgeback part of their name refers to the ridge of hair along its back running in the opposite direction to the rest of its coat. This ridge begins behind the shoulders and runs down its back to the hips and can be 2 inches wide at its widest point. This feature is thought to have come from the original African dog which has a similar ridge. This breed has also been known as the Van Rooyen’s Lion Dogs, the African Lion Hound and the African Lion Dog. Besides being an excellent hunter the Rhodie is also a great family protector. Coloring of their coat goes from light wheaten to red wheaten and they are always sleek and glossy. The AKC recognized the Rhodesian Ridgeback in the Hound Group in 1955. The average size of one of these large muscular dogs is 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulders with a weight of 70 to 85 pounds.
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