The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the most loyal dog breeds and is very distinct, as you will notice with the ridge of hair running down the spine.


Looking for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies?

Find Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders in the United States. Be sure to check references and consider adoption from a rescue league.



The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed is one of the dog breeds that is said to have a typical temperament. They are strong, canny, brave, and very independent...


Taking Care of Your Rhodesian Ridgeback



Because of their short, sleek coats, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very easy to care for. Our dogs are indoor/outdoor dogs and we bathe them every 10 days or so. We use an oatmeal based shampoo which you can buy at any pet store. Items you will need before you begin to bathe your dog are:

Two (2),five gallon water pails
One (1) plastic jug to pour water on dog’s coat
Dog oatmeal based shampoo (there are a number available including for sensitive skin types).
Several old towels

As our dogs are large, we bathe our dogs outside. I start by filling the two gallon water pails 3/4’s full with hot water and then carry the pails outside. Use a garden hose to fill the two pails “full” with water. The water temperature should be warm, not hot.

Make sure you have your “old” clothes on, then bring your dog on a leash to the bathing area. To free my hands, I drop the leash on the ground, hold it with one foot so both my hands are free. Then I start pouring warm water on the dog’s coat, then pour some shampoo on the dogs back, and then start lathering the shampoo all over the dog’s coat. We especially like the idea of bathing our dogs regularly as it is an opportunity to examine the dog’s entire body. Should a lump or scratch appear which may cause an infection, we can be aware of the problem and care for it immediately. Rinsing the soap off thoroughly is very important! Towel dry and very importantly use a soft brush to groom the dog’s coat. Their coats are not dense and you could cause harm to the skin if a coarse brush is used.



Trimming dog nails can be quite a challenge. We trim our puppy’s nails at an early age but have noticed that the older the dogs become the less excited they get about toenail trimming. Toenail trimming works much better if there are two people available to handle the dog. We usually provide “treats” as a decoy, one person trims the nails and the other person provides the treats.

There are several types of nail cutters available on the market. We use the crimp-style. When trimming nails be careful not to go “in” too deep into the nail and sensitive nerve. Just trim the edge of the nail. How often you trim your dog’s nails will depend on whether your dog spends most of his/her time on hard surfaces or soft ground. Nail trimming may need to be done as often as weekly or your dog may needed it as infrequently as monthly. A good gauge of proper length is the dog’s nail ends should not touch the ground when they are standing.



With our younger puppies, we use a doggy tooth brush and toothpaste to clean their teeth. These products are available at pet stores or your veterinarian. If you start cleaning the puppy’s teeth early, they will get use to the routine. Clean puppy teeth every other day or so. For our grown dogs we visit our meat market regularly for doggy “knuckle” type bones that have lots of marrow to gnaw on. The bones are a wonderful way to clean dog teeth. We always pick up the small leftover bones and throw them away after the dogs are done with the bones. Our veterinary clinic regularly offers “dog teeth cleaning”.



Because of their hanging ears, Ridgebacks can develop yeast/fungal infections. Their ears need to be cleaned and checked regularly. I use 1 part water to 1 part apple cider vinegar mixture. Using a hemostat clamp on the swab, I dip it in the vinegar mixture. The hemostat clamp allows you to get down into the ear and clean the crevices. Don’t go too far down into the ear.



There are many flea/tick control products on the market these days. which can be purchased from your veterinarian or veterinarian dog catalogues. I like the once a month topical treatments, such as Frontline. In order to control flea problems we suggest:

Wash dog blankets once a week in HOT water.
Vacuum the house regularly; throw the used vacuum bag away when vacuuming is complete.
Treat yard every 3-6 months - spray or dusting.
Have a fenced yard to keep “outside” dogs or cats OUT of your yard.

Contact your veterinarian to determine if heartworm treatment is necessary for your dog in the area where you live. Our dog’s coats ALWAYS shine and we attribute that to the regular grooming the dogs receive and to the dog nutrition which we use which is marketed as providing a “healthy radiance”. We routinely do internal parasite evaluations on our dogs which I also attribute to them looking so healthy.







Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies & Breeders

Find US based ridgeback breeders. Please be sure to review all references on any potential breeder.