This article is from the Rhodesian Ridgebacks Breed FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Gordon) with numerous contributions by others.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback, sometimes referred to as the African Lion
Hound, is a native of South Africa. Ridgebacks are sturdy,
low-maintenance, short-haired dogs, bred by Boer farmers for two
purposes: hunting lions and staying home with the family while other
members of the household were out hunting or farming. The breed is a
very good people dog, bonding well to a family if introduced into the
family in the first 4-5 years of the dog's life. Ridgebacks are
usually quite gentle with their family and with people their masters
introduce to them but are great watchdogs if people they don't know
appear or sounds they don't understand occur around their home.
Ridgebacks are very smart, responsive, and trainable. They can easily
master the basics of good canine citizenship: down, stay, come, no
jump, quiet. They are, like many hounds, independent thinkers. This
means that they are not traditionally seen competing for advanced
obedience titles (though some Ridgebacks each year DO get their UD
titles). Because they are large and intelligent, some obedience
training is necessary to keep them under control and avoid their
becoming a nuisance.