FCI-Standard N° 146 / 10.12.1996 / GB
Standard supplied by the
Kennel Union of Southern Africa and the Zimbabwe
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID
STANDARD : 10.12.1996.
UTILIZATION : The Rhodesian Ridgeback is
still used to hunt game in many parts of the
world, but is especially prized as watch-dog and
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :
Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds. The Rhodesian
Ridgeback is presently the only registered breed
indigenous to southern Africa. Its
forbears can be traced to the Cape Colony of
Southern Africa, where they crossed with the
early pioneer’s dogs and the semi-domesticated,
ridged Hottentot hunting dogs. 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 the hunter.
Section 3 Related breeds.
HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
The original standard, which
was drafted by F.R.Barnes, in Bulawayo, Rhodesia,
in 1922, was based on that of the Dalmatian and
was approved by the South African Kennel Union
Rhodesian Ridgeback should represent a well
balanced, strong, muscular, agile and active dog,
symmetrical in outline, and capable of great
endurance with a fair amount of speed. The
emphasis is on agility, elegance and soundness
with no tendency towards massiveness. The
peculiarity of the 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 is the escutcheon of the breed.
The ridge must be clearly defined, symmetrical
and tapering towards the haunch. It must
start immediately behind the shoulders and
continue to the hip (haunches) bones. The
ridge must contain only two crowns, identical
and opposite each other. The lower edges
of the crowns must not extend further down the
ridge than one-third of its length. A good
average width of the ridge is 5cm (2”).
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT :
Dignified, intelligent, aloof with strangers,
but showing no aggression or shyness.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Should be of a
hair length (width of head between ears,
distance from occiput to stop, stop to end of
nose, should be equal), flat and broad between
the ears; the head should be free from wrinkles
when in repose.
Stop : The stop should be
reasonably well defined and not in one straight
line from the nose to the occipital bone.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : The nose should be
black or brown. A black nose should be
accompanied by dark eyes, a brown nose by amber
Muzzle : The muzzle should be long,
deep and powerful.
Lips : The lips should be
clean, closely fitting the jaws.
Jaws strong, with a perfect and complete scissor
bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping
the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
The teeth must be well developed, especially the
canines or holders.
Cheeks : Cheeks should be
Eyes : Should be moderately well
apart, round, bright and sparkling, with
intelligent expression, their colour harmonising
with the colour of the coat.
Should be set rather high, of medium size,
rather wide at base, and gradually tapering to a
rounded point. They should be carried
close to the head.
NECK : Should be fairly long, strong and free
Back : Powerful.
Loins: Strong, muscular and slightly arched.
Chest : Should not be too wide, but very deep
and capacious; the brisket should reach to the
elbow. Forechest should be visible
when viewed from the side. Ribs moderately
well sprung, never rounded like barrel-hoops.
TAIL : Should be strong at the root and
gradually tapering towards the end, free form
coarseness. It should be of moderate
length. It should not be attached too high
nor too low, and should be carried with a slight
curve upwards, never curled.
FOREQUARTERS : The forelegs should be
perfectly straight, strong and well boned, with
the elbows close to the body. When viewed
from the side, the forelegs should be wider than
viewed from the front.
Shoulders : The
shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular.
Pastern : Should be strong with light spring.
HINDQUARTERS : In the hind legs the muscles
should be clean and well defined.
Good turn of stifle.
Hock : Strong, well let
FEET : The feet should be compact and round,
with well arched toes and tough, elastic pads,
protected by hair between the toes and pads.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
Straight forward, free and active.
HAIR : Should be short and dense, sleek and
glossy in appearance, but neither woolly nor
COLOUR : Light wheaten to red wheaten.
A little white on the chest and toes is
permissible, but excessive white hairs here, on
belly, or above toes is undesirable. A
dark muzzle and ears permissible.
Excessive black hairs throughout the coat are
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at withers : Dogs : 63-69 cm (25” -27”).
Bitches : 61-66 cm (24” -26”).
Weight : Dogs
: 36,5 kg (80 lbs).
Bitches : 32
kg (70 lbs).
FAULTS : Any departure from
the foregoing points should be considered a
fault and the seriousness with which the fault
should be regarded should be in exact proportion
to its degree and its effect upon the health and
welfare of the dog.
Any dog clearly showing physical or
behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two
apparently normal testicles fully descended into