Rhodesian Ridgeback – What Blake Learned (aka the Wiki dump).

These dogs are used to hunt lions and Mark Lee thinks you should own one, so by request he asked Blake to study these animals (not in person, idiot, on the innernets).

Why Rhodesian? – Because they were first bred in Bulawayo, Rhodesia.  (What – you didn’t know that Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe?)

Why Ridgeback? – Because the hair on their spine that runs in the opposite direction of the rest of their fur forms a ridge… on their back…

What are they known for? – Besides the unique hair, these guys were used in the hunting of lions.  They didn’t really hunt the lions, but created a distraction for their owners to shoot a lion while it was tired and wasn’t looking.  (Here’s why you can’t trust Wiki – the line on Wikipedia does not have a citation… stupid dorks.)

Temperament? – American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the dog as “people dogs”, “trustworthy with children”, and “likes to be where you are”.  Wiki describes them as “loyal and intelligent”, “strong-willed”, and “penchant for mischief, though lovingly”.  They were bred for hunting and guarding and are “reserved” around strangers.

Are they cute? – 24 to 27 inches tall; 70 to 85 lbs.  You ain’t putting this one in your purse.

Shed? – Again, we quote AKC “due to their short coats Ridgebacks shed very little and require only weekly brushing.”  I used to hate brushing my dog, but she had hair and didn’t shed…  I’m a huge fan of the no-shed.

What do I have to look out for? – According to Wiki, hip dysplasia and dermoid sinus are the major health concerns in these breeds.  They live up to an average age of 11 years.

Verdict? – They look cool, sound nice, and need exercise.  Again, I prefer no-shed but will definitely keep these on my radar for inevitable dog purchase in the next 20 years.  Here are some pics and a video from Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101: Rhodesian Ridgeback” to sway you:

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