When a Rhodesian Ridgeback comes into your home and becomes family, there is joy in the outgoing and boisterous nature of these cute pups.
They are excellent companions, easy to train, and they exhibit attractive traits like being clean dogs with short hair and little shedding.
With a gentle temperament, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be a brilliant addition to families with children.
They are well-known for having low barking tendencies, and for their sleek coats and astute athleticism.
Since they begin as small puppies without names, you may find yourself asking the question, when are Rhodesian Ridgebacks fully grown?
Fast and Steady Growth
When Rhodesian Ridgebacks are about two months old, they may weigh around two pounds. By about 6 months of age, they can be between 40 and 45 pounds.
They achieve their full adult weight and height when they’re around 14 months old.
Once they are fully grown, the only changes you might notice are things like a slight filling out in their appearance.
As adults, males will generally be about 26 inches in height (determined by measuring at their shoulder) and they will usually weigh between 80 and 90 pounds.
A fully grown female will be about 25 inches tall and can weigh between 60 and 75 pounds.
Males are generally a bit taller and heavier than females within this breed.
Rhodesian Ridgeback owners are delighted to find that their dogs’ fast growth naturally comes with abounding energy and is accompanied by a delightful demeanor as well.
Growing Rhodesian Ridgebacks Need a Healthy Diet and Exercise
For optimal healthy growth, Rhodesian Ridgebacks need a well-balanced diet, one that is rich in meat-based protein.
Grain-free dog food or food that is low in grains are the best options for feeding this energetic breed.
A dog that is not very active can get by on about 1,300 calories a day, while more active pups need around 1,600 calories.
Very active dogs may need as much as 2,500 calories a day.
Due to the very athletic nature and muscular, sinewy build of Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, they require regular exercise.
They do best in homes with a spacious yard for them to run. They can also be excellent companions for owners who enjoy walking and jogging for exercise.
Chances are that a Rhodesian Ridgeback owner will tire before their dog does!
The Most Distinctive Features of Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Rhodesian Ridgebacks can range in color from light tan or pale wheat color to a red wheat color, and in some rare cases, they can have a pure black coat.
Their coat is not too thick and they generally have little shedding and little odor.
Some mild brushing may be necessary or might be enjoyed by individual dogs.
One very positive thing about their sleek, short-haired coat is that it helps them to avoid common canine pests like ticks.
The short-haired coat also makes them able to withstand high temperatures in the daytime and cold temperatures at night.
Their muzzles are long and have a well-defined stopping point.
Their eyes are normally brown and their nose can be brown, black, or liver color, depending on their coat color.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a broad head, and it is flat between their ears. They can sometimes have a small patch of white hair.
Their chest is deep, with front legs that are straight and strong.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a tail that is wider at the base while tapering to a point at the end of the tail.
The African Lion Hound
This dog breed is sometimes affectionately referred to as an African Lion Hound. The breed originated in the southernmost parts of Africa.
Their ancestry dates back to the 16th century when they were ridged hunting dogs of a southwestern region known as Khoikhoi.
Eventually, they were cross-bred by colonists in the Cape area of Southern Africa with European hunting dogs, to evolve into the unique breed they are today.
An Interesting Feature of the Coat of a Rhodesian Ridgeback
One of the most distinctive features of a Rhodesian Ridgebacks’ hair pattern is the ridge of hair that runs along its back in the direction opposite from the rest of its coat.
Attentive observers will notice that this ridge starts just behind the dog’s shoulders and extends all the way to the area right before their hips.
There are also two interesting whorls of hair that run opposite each other near the beginning section of the dog’s ridge of hair.
These are some of the most distinctive qualities looked for by judges and desired by those who choose to show their clever Rhodesian Ridgebacks at dog shows.
A Sweet Personality that is Beloved by Owners
Even though Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred and trained to be assistants in hunting large game like lions, today many owners love them for their endearing personalities, dedication, and devotion to owners and their families.
These dogs enjoy being companions to the people who love them.
They get along well with children, especially when they are raised together with them.
Most Rhodesian Ridgebacks have floppy ears and gentle nature.
They also have low barking tendencies, which can be attractive to owners living in neighborhoods where barking can be an issue.
Ridgebacks can get along well with other dogs, although two or more males living together can present some challenges.
They can also get along well with cats, especially when they are raised alongside them. They can be reserved around strangers until they get to know them.
Some Training and Established Boundaries are Needed
Rhodesian Ridgebacks usually require some training to help temper some of their seemingly boundless energy. This is especially true of puppies.
They need to be taught preferably at a young age that you are the pack leader and that what you say must be followed.
Since these dogs tend to be food motivated, healthy treats can be a good way to get exactly the behavior you want from Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Behavioral problems like tugging on the leash, unwanted aggression, excited jumping, and excessive barking can all be tempered with high-quality behavioral training.
Dogs that are this sturdy and muscular, and that grow to be as big as Rhodesian Ridgebacks do, need that extra bit of training to bring out their best behavior and to enhance their most desirable qualities.
An Average Lifespan for a Larger Dog Breed
Rhodesian Ridgebacks can live between 10 and 14 years of age, with an average lifespan of about 13 years. This is on par with other larger dog breeds.
Feeding them a high-quality, meat-based diet along with providing plenty of exercise and good veterinary care can help to ensure a happy and healthy lifespan for Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.
Regular exercise is critical to keep these dogs from feeling stressed and to help encourage positive behavior.
Owners who enjoy active lifestyles including walking and hiking are an ideal match to successfully care for and raise healthy, well-adjusted Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
With the gentle and amiable personalities these dogs have, they get along well with a wide variety of owners and families.
You may ultimately find Rhodesian Ridgebacks to be some of the most affectionate and loyal dogs anyone can own.