How Fast Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Run?

Many dog owners enjoy showing their animals and/or engaging in outdoor athletic activities with their chosen pet.

Some dog breeds are better for running, hunting, and other outdoor pursuits than many of the smaller canine breeds.

More running enthusiasts are choosing dog breeds that would make good running partners.

Some individuals interested in these activities ask the question: “Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks fast at running?”

How Fast Can a Purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback Really Run?

As a larger dog breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is able to sprint and maintain speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

This is an extraordinary run speed not seen in most other dog species that also are terrific as a family pet.

There are some Rhodesian dogs that may be called a Rhodesian Ridgeback but do not have the telltale “ridge” on their back, and these dogs may not be as fast when they run.

Where Do the Back/Spine Ridges Come from Anyways?

The ridges seen in Rhodesian Ridgebacks are an inherited genetic trait that is dominant.

This means that the dog only needs to have one parent pass on the gene to also display the sharp and spiny ridges felt on their spines.

Does It Matter to Running Speed if a Rhodesian Dog Doesn’t Have Ridges?

If a prospective Rhodesian Ridgeback owner wants to enter their dog in dog shows, then the person should always ensure that the ridges are present before taking the dog home.

That way, the dog can surely keep up when the owner is engaged in sports like running, bicycling, and other pursuits.

When Planning to Show Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Concerns

To show animals during competitions, the dog must meet certain standards for their breed.

In the case of the Rhodesians, those ridges must be present in order to participate in the higher dog shows.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks good running partners?

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Good Running Partners?

Yes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks make good running partners if you are interested in jogging.

Unlike other dog breeds, a Rhodesian Ridgeback may just be getting started after hiking 10 miles with its beloved owner.

These dogs make excellent hiking companions, and their protective nature is a plus if they are well socialized before going out.

This is very different from going for a fast run with a Chihuahua, for example, you won’t get nearly as far!

African History of Rhodesian Ridgebacks with Regards to Hunting Ability

It has been a longstanding tradition in Africa that Rhodesian and other African hunters picked Rhodesian Ridgebacks native to South African locales.

This is because of their prowess in hunting which included the ability to run at high rates of speed in various terrains.

Where the African Lion Hound Got Its Nickname

These dogs were nicknamed the “African Lion Hound” due to the history of using these dogs to hunt down wild lions.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a cross between the ridged Khoikhoi dog originally from South African nations.

English settlers, specifically, the Boers, that moved to African colonies bred their hunting dogs with the ridged breed to reproduce a leaner, faster, and better hunting dog.

What Dog Breeds Were Bred to Create the Rhodesian Ridgeback?

The dogs used for breeding were usually Terriers or Greyhounds, and these bred dogs retained the natural resistance to local pests and an intuitive sense that helped them navigate African country.

Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Require Special Training to Run Fast or Hunt?

While this dog breed tends to have the ability to run and hunt from birth, these dogs have a somewhat stubborn, highly intelligent, and independent nature.

Dog owners wanting a well-behaved dog to hunt or run with should begin obedience training while the dog is still in the puppy stage using only positive methods.

This dog breed will require a lot of time and attention from their owners. These dogs can get bored quickly, and this can result in destructive types of behavior.

Also, these dogs have an innate ability to identify and go after prey, so these dogs will require very secure containment when outdoors or in unfamiliar environments.

Never Use Harsh or Negative Behavioral Training with This Breed

It is crucial to note that negative and punishing types of behavioral training techniques usually backfire when used on this particular breed.

These dogs should begin active socialization skills with both people and other pet animals at a young age.

Since these dogs are fast, fearless, and enjoy the hunt, it takes a firm hand to teach these dogs to only run after prey when commanded to do so by their owner.

In the wild, these dogs are independent and relatively quiet when in pursuit of their prey.

Some hunters and dog owners use bells on the dog collar when first initiating training in an outdoor park or wooded area.

These Dogs Require Daily Exercise Sessions to Prevent Boredom

This dog breed can be fun to play with due to their affectionate and impressive amounts of enthusiasm and stamina.

The drawback is that when an owner doesn’t have the time to take this dog outside for at least 30 minutes and recommended 60-minute vigorous exercise sessions, they will resort to amusing themselves inside often destroying things in the process.

Can Rhodesian Ridgebacks Be Kept as Outdoor Hunting Dogs?

These loyal yet sensitive dogs prefer the company of their owners inside. This is not a breed that should always be kept outside.

The breed has a shorter coat, and will not tolerate extreme temperatures for long.

It is best to keep these dogs inside where they want to be, but get these dogs outside and give them plenty of attention to keep them happy and content.

These dogs may bark if left alone for long periods.

How Long Will This Dog Run When Outside?

These animals are well-known for their endurance even in hot temperatures while still keeping pace alongside their running or bicycling owners.

Some say that these dogs can keep up with a running horse.

Final Thoughts

Rhodesian Ridgebacks make wonderful pet companions for owners that have the experience and time to train them right.

The breed’s exceptional athletic prowess makes them ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.


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