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Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Breed

Aliases: Ridgeback, Lion Dog, and the African Lion Hound

Life Span: 9-15 years of age, with an average of 12 years.
Litter Size: 7 to 8 puppies
Group: The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed of dog belongs to the hound group (Group 2), and is placed in position 56 of the AKC breed listing. The family it is best known for are the Sighthound, Scenthound, and Southern (sight).
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NZKC
Color: solid colors of blue, black, red/fawn, or beige for show. also brindle and white for non-show.
Hair Length: Short
Size: Extra Large
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 25 to 27 inches in height at the withers
Male Weight: about 85 pounds but it is known that some males reach up to 160 pounds,
Female Height: 24 to 26 inches in height
Female Weight: 70 pounds
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Rhodesian Ridgeback ranks #15 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #15  2155  15.4%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The number one major health concern for the Rhodesian Ridgeback is dermoid sinus, with a minor concern as hip dysplasia. Dermoid Sinus in the Rhodesian Ridgeback is also called dermoid cyst, hair cyst, and African cyst. The Dermoid Sinus is similar to Spina Bifida in humans, and is a congenital condition that is present at birth, located on the midline of the neck, back, and tail along the spinal column. The abscess will form and resulting swelling will rupture the puppy's skin, which is not only painful but can be life threatening.

Puppies who have this disease are usually put to sleep, or if surgery is performed before they go to their new homes, they will be sold as pet stock only, not allowed to be sold as breeding material. The Dermoid sinuses are not similar in their makeup, which sometimes makes them impossible to find and remove, or see how far into the spine area they may go. Puppies who are not able to be fixed with surgery, need to be put to sleep.