The origin and history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed
Rhodesian Ridgebacks come from Africa, and their main characteristics are inherited from distant ancestors, whose history goes back thousands of years. But the breed itself arose not so long ago and was officially recognized in the 20s of the 20th century.
In the photo: Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a descendant of the Hottentot - a creature loyal to people who possessed the body of a jackal and was different from other canine hair comb on the back. These dogs helped to hunt large animals.
There is a legend about how ridgebacks got a ridge (crest on the back). Once upon a time, animals could talk among themselves and help each other. For example, the snake saw and heard poorly, but could feel the vibration and was distinguished by courage. The dog took on the responsibility of warning the snake about the appearance of other animals if it climbed onto a tree to bask in the sun.
The dog heard, saw, felt danger and walked perfectly, but was not as brave as a snake, especially when meeting a lion.
Once a lion went up to a tree and saw a snake and a dog resting. He growled so loudly that the snake fell onto the dog’s back. And the place where the snake falls is still visible on the backs of the ridgebacks: the head of the snake forms the ridge’s crown, and there are curls in place of the snake’s eyes. The snake conveyed her courage to the dog, and since then the dogs with the ridge on their backs are not afraid even of a lion.
How did the ridge really come about? There is no exact answer to this question.There is a version that this is a random mutation enshrined in breeding.
Dogs with a crest on their backs were described by the Englishman Tiel in 1505. And in 1874, Charles Helm, a missionary, brought 2 comb dogs to Rhodesia. The hunters became interested in unusual creatures, and Cornelis Van Royen had been breeding them for 35 years. Therefore, for some time, comb dogs were called "Van Royen dogs." Soon, unusual dogs became famous as "lion dogs", that is, suitable for hunting lions.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the breed was called ridgeback, and in 1922 the first club of Rhodesian ridgeback lovers was founded. F.R. Barnes created the first breed standard, and in 1926 the standard was approved by the South African Cynological Union.
Ridge is present not only in Rhodesian Ridgeback, but also in Thai, however these dogs differ in appearance. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a cross between indigenous hunter dogs with cultivated breeds (usually dog-like) introduced by colonists into South Africa.
The aim of the breeding was to create a not too big, but at the same time hardy and speedy dog - "jack of all trades". Molossoids conveyed to Rhodesian Ridgebacks fearlessness and ferocity, strength and distrust of strangers, hounds - viscosity, indefatigability and anger towards the beast, Gottenot dogs - the ability to adapt to difficult conditions and swiftness.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks preserved in South Africa are mainly working dogs that prey on leopards.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks first came out of South Africa in 1928. They arrived in Great Britain.
It turned out that in addition to hunting qualities, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also endowed with the abilities of an excellent watchman, who is not inclined to bark in vain, but perfectly understands who is friend and who is enemy, and at the same time he gets along well with children. Ridgeback combines work potential with intelligence and courtesy.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are currently quite popular all over the world.