The Rhodesian Ridgeback

Examples of Ridges.

Image via Wikipedia

We’ve had a few of these super cute dogs come in to the hospital for various reasons. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is in the hound group according the American Kennel Club. They are also known as the African Lion Hound as they were bred as protectors and hunters. The most interesting feature of this dog is the strip of fur along the spine that grows in sz the opposite direction of the rest of the fur. The ridge is caused by a mutation that studies suggest is autosomal dominant (which basically means you only need one copy of the allele in the set to make the trait visible).

In my experience, they’re pretty obedient, laid back dogs but don’t really pay too much attention to strangers. They can have several health issues including the following:

“The Ridgeback ranks number six in terms of most affected breeds for thyroid problems recorded by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals” (#3).

With good care, the Ridgeback can live 10-12 years. They do require a good amount of exercise to avoid boredom and subsequent behavioral issues.



  1. AKC
  2. Wikipedia – Ridgeback ridge genetics
  3. Wikipedia – Ridgeback health

VMCAS Deadline Countdown: 18 days

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