"Rhodesian Ridgeback" (Lion Dogs) are unsurpassed for hunting and veld work. Ever faithful and loyal to their owners, highly intelligent and reliable guards." (1). This was published as an advertisement in the Durban and Coast Kennel Club Show Catalogue in 1926, by one of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Pioneers, Mr. Francis Barnes. The uniqueness of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the ridge on the back. In the early 1900′ , Cornelius Van Rooyen, noticed that puppies with "ridged backs" were better at hunting, were fearless and brave and had remarkable endurance. They were particularly good at baying lions.
Mr. Barnes and Mr. Van Rooyen were good friends and were instrumental in standardizing the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed in 1922 and the Rhodesian Ridgeback (LionDog) was founded. The Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed standard was accepted by the South African Kennel Union in 1926. Our Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not used for hunting but the statement about being highly intelligent, loyal and faithful companions and reliable guards, is still true.
On our property of 5,5 acres the occasional rabbit and guinea fowl still stimulate their hunting instinct but our Ridgies are kept mainly as guard dogs and companions. We purchased our first Rhodesian Ridgeback in 1995 and have enjoyed the breed ever since. A good temperament is of utmost importance. We breed occasionally and try our best to breed healthy pups with sound temperaments meeting the requirements of the breed standard.
The Louw family moved to a plot (5,5 acres) in 1995 and we realised that we needed good watch dogs and bought our first 2 ridgebacks. The plot is situated in Gauteng, South Africa, very close to the O.R. International Airport.
Koos is an industrial psychologist and works mostly from home and Adoreé is a registered Occupational Therapist, currently working at a school in Kempton Park. We have 3 children, Christa, Susan and Deon, now grown up ,but they were very involved with the dogs while still in the home.
The first litter was such an enriching and lovely experience that we decided to breed on a more regular basis. We breed with Rhodesian Ridgebacks because we love the breed and enjoy the pups. Puppies are occasionally available to approved homes.
Danntrig is registered with the Kennel Union of South Africa (KUSA) and we are paid up members of KUSA.
Although South African in origin, and being South Africa’s National dog, the name Rhodesian Ridgeback’s is an acknowledgement to those early Rhodesians who recognised the value of the dog, at that stage called “Lion Dog” or “Lion Hound” , developed a breed standard and persuaded KUSA to register it as a breed in 1924, thus ensuring its survival for us.
Its forebears can be traced to beginning of the Cape Colony of Southern Africa, and the pioneers’ expansion northwards. They are the result of breeding between the early pioneers’ dogs and the semi-domesticated, ridged, Hottentot hunting dogs, aided by a process of natural selection over a period of over 2 centuries before being recognised and registered as a breed.
Hunting mainly in groups of two or three, the original function of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, or Lion Dog, was to track game, especially lion, and with great agility, keep it at bay until the arrival of a hunter. (This characteristic is still evident today in the way they “attack” – Ridgebacks will not hold on when biting the way other dogs do in attack training, but will dart in and out for continuous quick bites, as holding on to their prey in the early days could be fatal.) Strong, muscular and active, they are capable of great endurance with a fair amount of speed. The breed is unique in that it has a ridge of hair running down the centre of the back.
A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a loyal family pet, courageous and a good guard. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a highly intelligent dog with the most beautiful and lovable facial expressions, as well as a good problem solver who will quickly figure out what to do to get what it wants, and are known to open doors with great skill.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not noisy by nature and the will only bark when there is something that needs to be investigated. Aloof with strangers, he will not attack unless provoked in defence of his own. If you welcome a stranger into your home, they will willingly accept your estimation and respond accordingly. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a pack dog and he and his loving human family will become a pack. The pack instinct is so strong the they will do anything to protect it if threatened or if they sense and observe a situation as being a possible threat, whether it is to chase off the cattle or any other animals coming too close to you, or warding off anybody, whether they are familiar or unfamiliar to them.
They make great family pets, and are reliable companions to children of all ages. This adaptable breed, happy to be a one-man dog or member of the family, loves its creature comforts, and is quick to find the best spot in the house – be it your bed, settee or just the floor beside you – they can be the biggest lap dogs known to man. They are noted to be very sensitive to their owner’s feelings, making them very easy to train, at heart they are “people pleasers” and will thrive on getting their owners approval.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not an excessive hair shedder, and has a short dense, sleek coat which is easy to maintain with an occasional brush or wipe with a damp towel. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of a few dogs that display a cat like behaviour in the sense that it washes itself by licking itself clean, and is as such a very clean dog. It is a very private dog as far as its daily toilet routine is concerned, and will most often select a spot where it will do its business in private.
Because of their clean nature a puppy being brought up lovingly is very easy to house train, as they prefer not to dirty their living quarters. Once you have your happy, healthy puppy at home, ensure it gets an adequate diet that will meet its demand. Care must however be taken on how much you feed them, as they will devour any food and can become overweight, which is not acceptable as it can impair its development. (Puppy food for large breeds is a must. As it initially grows very rapidly, and will keep on growing although at a slower rate from 1 year onwards; it grows until the age of almost 2 years, it should not be subjected to too much exercise at too early an age, and should only really start to run long distances from 8 months onwards.
An adult Ridgeback however needs exercise to maintain both its mental health and its athletic, muscular build, and if not, it is likely to become frustrated and destructive. In contrast with the terrier types, they are not active all day, but thoroughly enjoy their “happy hour” of fun and exercise with the family. Obedience training and puppy socializing will ensure you have a dog that is a pleasure to live with and take everywhere.
Being a member of the hound group, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has an intelligent and independent spirit. With a life expectancy of 12 years a Rhodesian Ridgeback will be your very loyal friend, (but not your slave), very single minded and sometimes stubborn, always making your life richer and more fun.