Over a hundred years ago, a renowned big game hunter hunted in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with his pack of dogs. His name was Cornelis van Rooijen and his pack of hunting dogs consisted of very diverse crossbreeding products of common popular European breeds at the time.
In the pack were specimens that ranged in appearance and size from smaller dogs to terriers. A great diversity in color was present, but one-colored yellow and red, as well as brindle dogs you saw most. Through strict selection, Van Rooijen managed to obtain a hunting dog that was particularly suitable for hunting under harsh conditions.
A dog that is not very sensitive to the abundant parasites, a dog that requires little care, one that does not require excessive food, one that can go long without water, one that hunts both by sight and by nose, one one who can guard the camp or farm, one who can walk quite fast, is agile and has the necessary muscle strength, one who has great stamina.
He managed to breed such a dog and was therefore highly respected by other hunters. Many bought the dogs from him or combined them with his.
On his farm in Plumtree there were always interested people who were very impressed by the bond Cornelis had with his dogs. Cornelis looked beyond the breeds that the farmers and English brought to Africa. He also crossed with African dogs and mongrels. Some of them were provided with a crest on the back, a so-called dorsal crest or ridge, which passed on this mutation to the offspring. There are several versions from just as many authors and researchers where this mutation first occurred. Initially, the Hottentots' dog was mentioned, which resembled a jackal and was provided with a back comb. This was later disproved, these dogs would have come with Bantus from East Africa. Not the Hottentot dog, but the African greyhound "Nguni" is said to be responsible for passing on the ridge in Van Rooijen's hunting dog population. The Van Rooijen dogs were known at that time as; lion dog, farmer dog, Van Rooijen dog, reef back, crest back and beard. It can be said that Cornelis van Rooijen has made a great effort to breed that working dog suitable for the African climate, which we now know as the Rhodesian Ridgback. A dog that does not excel in any field, but can function in all. He is fast, but not the fastest. He is strong, but there are stronger races. This way you can highlight a number of properties.
One thing is certain: it is a normal dog without exaggeration, without bells and whistles, just “sound”.
Source: on animals, the Rhodesian Ridgeback