This article is from the Rhodesian Ridgebacks Breed FAQ, by email@example.com (Richard Gordon) with numerous contributions by others.
The Ridgeback represents a strong, muscular and active dog,
symmetrical and balanced in outline. A mature Ridgeback is a handsome,
upstanding and athletic dog, capable of great endurance with a fair
(good) amount of speed. Of even, dignified temperament, the Ridgeback
is devoted and affectionate to his master, reserved with strangers.
The peculiarity of this breed is the ridge on the back. The ridge must
be regarded as the characteristic feature of the breed.
SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE
A mature Ridgeback should be symmetrical in outline, slightly
longer than tall but well balanced. Dogs - 25 to 27 inches in
height; Bitches - 24 to 26 inches in height. Desirable weight:
Dogs - 85 pounds; Bitches - 70 pounds.
Should be of fair length, the skull flat and rather broad
between the ears and should be free from wrinkles when in
repose. The stop should be reasonable well defined.
Should be moderately well apart and should be round, bright and
sparkling with intelligent expression, their color harmonizing
with the color of the dog.
Should be long, deep and powerful. The lips clean, closely
fitting the jaws.
Should be black, brown or liver, in keeping with the color of
the dog. No other colored nose is permissible. A black nose
should be accompanied by dark eyes, a brown or liver nose with
Jaws level and strong with well-developed teeth, especially the
canines or holders. Scissors bite preferred.
NECK, TOPLINE, BODY
The neck should be fairly strong and free from throatiness. The
chest should not be too wide, but very deep and capacious, ribs
moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel hoops (which
would indicate want of speed). The back is powerful and firm
with strong loins which are muscular and slightly arched. The
tail should be strong at the insertion and generally tapering
towards the end, free from coarseness. It should not be
inserted too high or too low and should be carried with a
slight curve upwards, never curled or gay.
The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular, denoting
speed. Elbows close to the body. The forelegs should be
perfectly straight, strong, and heavy in bone. The feet should
be compact with well-arched toes, round, tough, elastic pads,
protected by hair between the toes and pads. Dewclaws may be
In the hind legs, the muscles should be clean, well defined and
hocks well down. Feet as in front.
Should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance but
neither wooly nor silky.
Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and
toes permissible but excessive white there, on the belly or
above the toes is undesirable.
The hallmark of this breed is the ridge on the back which is
formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction to the
rest of the coat. The ridge must be regarded as the
characteristic feature of the breed. The ridge should be
clearly defined, tapering and symmetrical. It should start
immediately behind the shoulders and continue to a point
between the prominence of the hips and should contain two
identical crowns (whorls) directly opposite each other. The
lower edge of the crowns (whorls) should not extend further
down the ridge than one third of the ridge.
At the trot, the back is held level and the stride is
efficient, long, free and unrestricted. Reach and drive
expressing a perfect balance between power and elegance.
At the chase, the Ridgeback demonstrates great coursing ability
Dignified and even tempered. Reserved with strangers.
SCALE OF POINTS
General appearance, size, symmetry and balance 20
Legs and Feet 15
Neck and Shoulders 10
Body, Back, Chest, and Loin 10
Coat and Color 5
Approved by The American Kennel Club and effective September 30, 1992
American Kennel Club
Canadian Kennel Club
Kennel Club of Great Britain
Kennel Union of Southern Africa