General appearance

The Rhodesian Ridgeback should be a harmoniously built, strong, (dry) muscled, agile (limber) and active dog, showing a symmetrical silhouette (balanced) and capable of great stamina with decent speed. The emphasis is on agility, elegance and soundness, certainly not leaning towards massiveness. The peculiarity of the breed is the ridge on the back, which is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. The ridge is the characteristic feature of the breed.

The ridge should be clearly defined and symmetrical in shape, tapering towards the hips. It should start directly behind the shoulders and continue to the hip bones. The ridge should only contain two crowns that are equal and facing each other. The lower edges of the crowns should not extend beyond one third of the ridge. A good average width of the ridge is 5 cm.

Behavior and character

Dignity, intelligent, aloof with strangers, but without showing aggressiveness or shyness.


  • SKull: The head should be fairly long (the width of the head between the ears, the distance from the occiput to the stop and the distance from the stop to the tip of the nose should be equal) and be flat and wide between the ears; the head should be free of wrinkles at rest.
  • Stop: The stop should be fairly clearly marked. The skull line should not be a straight line from the nose to the occiput.
  • muzzle part: Nose: The nose should be black or brown. A black nose should go with dark eyes, a brown nose can go with amber eyes.
  • muzzle: De voorsnuit behoort lang, diep en krachtig te zijn.
  • lips: The lips should be shapely (dry) and close well to the jaws.
  • jaws/teeth: Jaws strong with a perfect and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper incisors are without space in front of the lower incisors and set square to the jaws. The teeth should be well developed, especially the canines.
  • cheeks: Cheeks should be dry (no baking).
  • eyes: Should be moderately spaced, round, bright and with a lively and shrewd expression, the color should match the color of the coat.
  • Oren: Behoren tamelijk hoog te zijn aangezet, middelmatig groot en vrij breed bij de basis te zijn en geleidelijk smaller uit te lopen in een ronde punt. Ze moeten dicht tegen het hoofd gedragen worden.
  • Neck: Quite long, strong and free of dewlap.


  • Back: Powerful
  • loins: Strong, muscular and slightly arched.
  • Chest: Should not be too wide, but very deep and spacious; the chest should reach to the elbow. The forechest should be visible from the side. Ribs moderately sprung, but never round like a hoop.
  • Tail: Should be firm at the root and gradually rejuvenate the tip; free from coarseness. It should be of normal length (reaching to the heel). It should be set neither too high nor too low and should be carried with a slight upward curve, but never curled.
  • Limbs: The forelegs should be perfectly straight; powerful and well boned with elbows close to the body. Seen from the side, the forelegs should be wider than when viewed from the front.
  • Shoulders: Shoulders should be sloping, dry and muscular.
  • Front metatarsus: Metatarsal should be strong, with light wrist spring.
  • Hindquarters: The muscles in the hind legs should be dry and clearly visible.
  • Knee joint: Good knee angulation.
  • Heels: Powerful low heel.
  • Feet: Feet should be compact and round, with well arched toes and strong, elastic soles, protected by hair between the toes and soles.
  • Gait / Movement: Straight forward, free and active.


  • Hair: Should be short and dense, smooth and shiny in appearance, but never woolly or silky.
  • Color: Licht tot rood tarwekleurig, iets wit aan borst en tenen is toegestaan, maar overmatig wit op borst, buik en boven de tenen is ongewenst. Een donkere voorsnuit en oren zijn toegestaan. Overmatig verdeelde zwarte haren in de vacht zijn zeer ongewenst.
  • Size and Weight: Height at the withers: males 63-69 cm, bitches 61-66 cm
  • Weight: males 36.5 kg, bitches 32 kg.
  • Faults: Any departure from the foregoing breed points should be regarded as a fault and the assessment of the seriousness of the fault should be commensurate with the extent of the fault and its effect on the health and welfare of the dog. Any dog ​​showing obvious physical or behavioral abnormalities must be disqualified.

Note: Male animals should have two normally developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Breed group 6. Country of origin: South Africa For the Netherlands: Rhodesian Ridgeback Club Netherlands.