Rhodesian Ridgeback HISTORY

Key dates of Rhodesian Ridgeback evolution.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback story began in Africa

First mention of ridged dogs


Cornelius van Rooyen and his family

Charles Daniel Helm

Breeds used by van Rooyen

Weltevreden farm and map around

Cornelius Johannes van Rooyen (Nellis)

Charles Robert Edmonds

Francis Richard Barnes

B. W. Durham

People and numbers of dogs registered to each kennel - 1924-1939

1924 - 1928 The first RR registration and RR Club begining

The first RR standard 1925

Ridgebacks with a strong influence on the breed

First registrations and championships in diferent countries

BLACK and BROWN noses

History of Rhodesian Ridgeback in Slovakia

The Rhodesian Ridgeback STORY BEGAN IN AFRICA

The domestic dog and the other Canine - wolves, wild dogs, foxes, jackals appear to have invaded Africa about 4 to 5 milion years ago, where man was evolving on the hight plains from Ethiopia south.
Canis familiaris,
the domestic dog probably descended only from the wolves, because jackals have an extra two chromosomes.

4000 –B.C. Drop eared hounds were shown in Egyptian murals, one of which may have had a ridge.
The first drawing of domesic breeds appeared in Egyptian art about 7000 years ago. They show prick eared hounds resembling the basenji and Pahraoh and Ibizian Hounds. Later drawing show hanging eared hounds similar to the Afgan Hound, Saluki, Slughi and Rhodesian Ridgeback. These "greyhound types" are believed to have originatedin Ethiopia and were taken north to Egypt and then to Europe and Asia. The early Egyptian hounds are believed to be the ancestors of most modern breeds. A heavier dog, now know as the molossian dog, was shown in Assyrian art about 1000 B.C.. This and the heavier UPEgyptian type are assumed to have produced the massive modern breeds.

1487 - First settlers who launded at the harbour, on the place where is Cape town today, came from Portugal. They were also first no African people who sow the ridged dogs of Hotentots. Portuguese stayed at that place till 1510, when Hottentots killed them because of a soldier who took one of Hottentots as a hostage. So the man and dog was no disturbed by anyone till 1591, when an English man called Lancaster launded at the port Table Bay and continued with bussines relations. In 1648 launded at port Table Bay people from Holand and they established the Cape town.

This was the first sight of Cape town, when the setlers came.

1719- A.D. First mention of ridged dogs owned by the Khoikhoi (Hottentots) near Cape town described by Kolben in Hawley. He wrote: There is also another kind of domesticated dog which was in the country in the beginning and which the Hotentots -(Khoikhois), besides employing them for hunting also use for protection, and of which dogs Europeans at the present time make constant use.
They have a small head and very sharp muzzle. The coat is ash grey.. The ears are erect and sharp. For the rest they have much incommon with other dogs, being as tractable as the European dogs. They are practicularly faithful when their masters are in danger from lions, wolfs- hyenas... and for this reason they are valued and sought after the Europeans as well as by the Hottentots. When the Europeans had recognized the hunting and protective instincts of the Khoikhoi dog, they started using them and crossing with various European breeds. Thouse dogs where expected to perform these tasks with a minimum of food, water and veterinary attention. They did so in wide extremes of temperature, about -5 to +35 degrees C, on uneven, hard- packed or rocky terrain, covered in places by thorny or burry ground cover, frequented by poisonous snakes and parasitic or poisonous insects. No dog could survive without the qualities af hardiness endurance and agility.
African wide dogs
Hottentot - See Khoikhoi
Khoikhoi - A nomadic people, who inhabited south-western South Africa, at the time 17th century European settlers landed at the Cape. South African whites have always referred to the Khoikhoi as Hottentots. Khoikhoi means "men of men". The majority of the remaining Khoikhoi now live in the southern part of Namibia.
Afrikaans - Afrikaans, or Cape Dutch, principally evolved from the dialects spoken by mid-17th-century Dutch settlers and their slaves in South Africa. It has been heavily influenced by the languages of Malay slaves, English, French, and German settlers and local Africans. Spoken as a mother tongue language by 60 % of the white population of South Africa as well as by most of the coloured population (mixed race). Its importance in the New South Africa is uncertain. But it is one of the 11 official languages acknowledged under the new constitution.
The ridge is a mutation, and we will never know when it first occured. It is a feature which has been unworthy of note throughout history by many srtists and writers, who we know saw ridged dog.
The first proof of the existence of ridged dogs was a written reference near Cape town in 1719 A.D. The reference was to the ridged Khoikhoi dogs, used by their owners and the European settlers to protect villages, cattle and sheep. However, ridged dogs have appeared in two other locales. In 1898 three Slughis were taken from North Africa, probably Algeria, to Holand. Two of the dogs had ridges. The other locale where ridged dogs have been recorded is the island of Phu Quoc in the Gulf of Thailand, between the Malay Peninsula and Viet Nam.UP
Since that time various cynologists speculated as to whether the Pu Quoc dogs were taken to Africa, whether Khoikhoi dogs were taken to Phu Quoc , or whether the ridge mutated in both places indenpendently. All three alternatives are possible, but the argument for African origin is greatly strengthened by the Slughi with ridges, and seems much the most probable.

Khoikhois and ridged dog

1797 - Under this text is a beautiful drawing of a ridged dog whose owner was a pastor Cooper Williams.
This picture was printed in a J. Whebel book, where he wrote about breeds on two pages. This picture comes from a painting owned by Powell Snell from Glostershir.
Everyone can see a very similar signs of this dog from 18 century, with Ridgeback we know today.

Lion Dog of18 century

1858- Livingstone drawing of ridged Khoikhoi dog published.

Cornelius van Rooyen
- Cornelius van Rooyen born at Uitenhage, Cape providence, 5 November.

1863- Baldwin drawing of ridged European dog published.

Ridged European dog by Baldwin 1858
(pict: ©The definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback- drawing A RIDGED EUROPEAN DOG Source: Baldwin, 1858.)

1868- The van Rooyen family moved by ox wagon to Zeerust, Transvaal.

1872- Cornelius may have visited Lee´s Farm, Mangwe. UP

1874- He started hunting and continued to do so troughout Zimbabwe almost every winter for the
next 41 years. During the summers he ranched,farmed and herded his stock to water and grass, living most of the time in ox wagons..

1875- He moved to Tati - Botswana which served as his base for 19 years.

1875- Charles Helm moved to Hope Foundation near Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

1879- Van Rooyen was merried to Maria Margaretta Vermaak by Charles Helm at Hope Foundation.

Charles Daniel Helm

The Reverend Charles Daniel Helm was born in 1844 and died in 1915. We don't even know whether he was a dog-lover or not, but history records that he was the man who brought two dogs to his mission at Hope Fountain near what is now Bulawayo, which is in the far south-west corner of Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), and these two bitches were to become the foundation of what we refer to today as the Rhodesian Ridgeback. by S H Stewart

1879- Helm brought two dogs to Hope Foundation from the Kimberley area, the land of the Khoikhoi. These dogs probably did not have ridges themselves, but when breed to van Rooyen´s existing pack produced them. The Helms dogs were larger than the ridged dogs common in the 1940s and 1950s. They were courageous, but had insufficient speed and scenting power, hunting mostly by sight.

1879 – Cornelius used the Helm dogs for the first time. He breed and used ridged dogs for the next 35 years.

After Van Rooyen "Nellis" had some dogs after Helms dogs, he had a great purpose to have a ridged dogs which could acompained him and help him to hunt or guard and protect animals and people.
First he used Pointers with the Khoikhoi crosses to improve speed and scenting power. Unsatisfied, he then used Airedales. Acording to Mrs Wilde , nee van Rooyen, her father´s dogs were the colour of Irish Terriers. Given the large numbers of Fox Terriers in the region, they also may have been used, although probably not by Nellis because they were too small for his purposes. Certainly terriers of some sort were used at some point, given the well developed teeth of all Ridgebacks and instinctive ratting ability of some. Still not satisfied, van Rooyen then used Collies and finally got what he wanted- ridged dogs with courage, speed, endurabce, scenting power, agility, cunning and instinctive hatred and respect of lions. As Halmi put it, the Collie crosses "could cold track... run like the wind, and to their ancestors´intelligence had been added a subtle new cunning at rounding up grazing animals. They retained the Hottentot (Khoikhoi dogs´) instinct for hunting toghether in a silent pack." According to Wellings, Cornelius Jr. stated, that the best dog his father ever had was out of a Collie bitch.
It seems that the principal crosses used with the Khoikhoi dogs were Greyhound, Bulldog and Pointer. But it´s known from Selous that in 1885 Nellis had a deerhound- like dog- in the other words a large, rough-coated Greyhound. The data also suports statements, that Nellis used Airedale and Irish Terriers and Collies. He also used the terriers and buldogs -breeds which we know are certainly part of the Ridgeback gene pool.One might infer that Fox Terriers and Boarhounds (Great Danes) were also used at this time, but there is not direct evidence, that van Rooyen used those breeds.
Van Rooyen ´s criteria in breeding dogs were very simple:
A good dog was one which survived.- a bad one was one which did not.

Of the good ones, some would have stood out for their antagonism and courage to face lions and their speed, endurance agility and cunning in harrying them. By and large, the Khoikhoi dog crosses produced both ridges and hatred for lions. Whatever deliberate breeding program Nellis undertook to build on those features, performance came first - apperance, except as it influenced performance - a pooor second. His selection would have been based on and second to natural selectioon.
The breeds used by van Rooyen for breeding had some desirable and undesirable features.UP

The KHOIKHOI DOGS yielded ridges and willingnes to state with certainty their disadvantages, but they probably included small size, long coat and prick ears.

The GREYHOUND produced the nearly ideal body type. Its fine muzzle and semi-prick ears were undesirable.

The BULLDOG added substance and bitting power. Unfotunately its type added features which today´s Ridgebacks breeders are still trying to eliminate - short muzzels, lack of height, soft toplines, broad chests, excessive white, lack of rear angulation and crooked foreleg line viewed from the front.
old type of Buldog

The POINTER introduced good scenting ability, drop ears, brown noses, generaly good body type, symetry and movement. Disadvantage were excessive white, lack of hight and perhaps a preoccupation with birds not lions.

The IRISH TERRIER provided the ideal coat colour for camouflage, tenacity and bitting power. However its lack of size, rough coat, short upper arm and excessive boldness were disadvantages.

The AIREDALE TERRIER yielded the same good and bad points as the Irish Terrier. It was however a little taller.

The COLLIE added good body type, speed, endurance, agility and slashing and herding abilities. Like the terriers, its rough coat and semi- prick eares were undesirable.

The DEERHOUND yielded the eminently desirable features of the Greyhound plus additional size. Disadvantages were fine muzzle, semi-prick ears and long coat.

Those eight breeds then, according to all the available evidence, made van Rooyen´s dogs and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Thus, like all recognized breeds, it was and is the product of natural and human selection which yielded features desirable for specific purpose in a specific environment.

1881- He acted as emissary between Lobengula and Paul Kruger.

1893- He guided patrols at Bulawayo during the Matabele War.

1893- Van Rooyen family moved from Tati to farm called Weltevreden near Mangwe Zimbabwe.

1894- The  farm called Weltevreden was 8 miles Southeast of Mangwe and about 30 miles southeast of the present ltown of Plumtree.

1896- He comanded Mangwe Laager duringthe Matabele Rebellion.

photo: Nellis Van Rooyen c.1900 Source: Marula
(pict: ©The definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback -photo: Nellis Van Rooyen c.1900 Source: Marula)

1905- Within a year or two of this date acquired a farm named Van Rooyen´s Rest
at Plumtree in Zimbabwe and moved there..

1909- Van Rooyen started collecting live animals in area now bounded by Wankie Game Reserve, Zimbabwe and continue to do so for the next five years.
He lived the rest of the year at Plumtree...

1910- First fictional reference „Prester John“ published to ridged dog.
ABOUT "PRESTER JOHN" © The John Buchan Society 2004

1912- The word „Ridgeback“ appeared in print for the first time.

1914- First ridged dog may have been taken to U.K.

1915- Helm and van Rooyen died. Van Rooyen died on January 20 and was buried in Plumtree cemetary.



There are of course many adjectives, which may be used to describe any person. Some appropriateto van Rooyen are: hunter, guide, wagon master, army scout, frontiman, expert horseman, rancher, explorer, collector of live wild animals, blacksmith, harness maker, veterinarian, transport rider, trader, wheelanimals, blacksmith, harness maker, veterinarian, transport rider, trader, wheelwright, carpenter, expert shot, modest, well liked, naturalist, multilingual, husband, father and breeder of a new breed dog.
He lived in a triling time in which the European powers divided up Africa. He knew some of the notable figures of his of any time - Lobengula Kruger, Grey, Randolf Churchill,
Dr.Jim and "the colossus" Rhodes
He earned a living for 41 years in that most dangerous of occupattions, African hunting. He preceded the settlers, hunting and hearding in rough triangle from Pretoria to Victoria Falls to Umtali. He nursed his horses, cattle and dogs through outbreaks of horse sickness, sleeping sickness, redwater, rinderpest, anthrax, glanders, distemper, rabies and biliary fever. He nursed himself and his friendsand family throghmalaria, yellow fever, and all the "normal" communicable diseases. He survived drought, flash floods, locusts, snake bites, and attacks by wild animals and Matabele. He lost both herds and children. He travelled almost entirely on horseback and by ox wagon in as harsh and unforgiving a land as exists outside the pure deserts or high arctic. He spent a lifetime with animalsboth domestic and wild - his life and livehood depended on his knowledge of their habits and behaviour - and with the most expert naturalists and hunters of all, the bushmen. Other European hunters may have known as much- none knew more. And throughout his wanderings, for as much as 35 years, his horses and cattle were protected by the ridged dogs he selectively breed and field trained end tested, primarily for their ability to challenge and harry lions, but also for their ability to track, bay and herd the wide variety of animals he both shot and captured. A map showing the locations of his bases and farms over the years is shown under. He is still the only man on the African continent credited with developing a new, internationally recognized breed of dog.

(pict: ©The definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback -photo: Cornelius Johannes (Nellis) Van Rooyen c.1885 Source: Travel p.184 + map showing the locations, his farms and bases of van Rooyen life) UP

Charles Robert Edmonds. He was a veterinarian from England. He arrived in Bulawayo about 1900 and served as goverment veterinarian there for many years. He knew Van Rooyen and knew and took an interest in his dogs. Thus, when interest was shown in 1922 in obtaining official recognition for the breed, Edmond was well qualified to comment and more than willing to do so. In the February 7- 1923 edition of the Farmer´s weekly , he published an article he called " A Valuable hunting Breed of Unknown Origin: Strong Characteristics". This article contains what appears to be the first attempt by anyone to propose a written standard for the breed. Because Edmond knew the breed well, what he wrote makes for interesting reading.
(pict: ©The definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback -photo:

A TYPICAL YEAR OLD LION DOG c. 1923 C.R. Edmonds, Farmer´s Weekly, February 7, 1923)
A TYPICAL YEAR OLD LION DOG c. 1923Height - 24 inches at the shoulder
Weight - 60 lb
Colour - Tawny, fawn or brindle
Coat - short and hard
Tail - Longish and thick, free from feather and carried low
(Note: two breeders have advised the writer that considerable difficulty is experienced in the tail as at times varying lengths of tail occur in the same litter, some being only six to seven inches long like a docked dog, others with a kink like a Bulldog and others with long tails as described. I would ascribe this to the possible introduction of foreign blood at some time.)
Head - Rather broad, cheek muscles well developed. In shape resembles the old style of Bull Terrier
Muzzle - somewhat pointed
Ears - Low set
Eyes - Yellow, intelligent, with a bold, somewhat savage expression

Edmonds thus confirms van Rooyen´s statement in
1912 about bobbet tails. His specification of yellow eyes indicates perhaps either influence of the Khoikhoi dogs or the infusion of liver Pointers already noted. The height and weight he suggests indicate lean, agile animal. The coat and colour are, as Edmonds no doubt knew, ideal for camouflage and performance in the thorn and insect infested countrysideof Zimbabwe. Only the low set ears are suprising in view of the dog used at that time, although low set ears would be less prone to being ripped by tooth, claw, talon or thorn.
While Edmonds, so far as we know, was the first to propose a standard, another man would eventually write the standard which would become internationally accepted. His name was Francis Richard Barnes.

F.R. BarnesBarnes was born in the United Kingdom in 1875. He settled in Salisbury in mid-1890s. He helped to found the Salisbury Kennel Club soon thereafter, and was its secretary from 1898 to 1900. In 1902 he returned like Edmonds, to England where he married Isobelle Muncaster. Afterward he came back to Salisbury. He imported and breed Pointers, and judged at the first Salisbury K.C. show. He moved to Bulawayo about 1900, and thus was probably not a founding member of the Bulawayo Kennel Club which was formed in October 1909. However he soon became involved in the organization. In july 1910 he judged breeds but terriers, foxhounds and watchdogs at the first show put on by the BKC, and that year helped to found the Bulawayo Horticultural Society. In February 1911 he was elected to the roll off and on for several years.
In 1912 the farm Eskdale, near Figtree, which had been claimed by William Henry on Murch 14, 1896, two years after van Rooyen claimed Weltevreden, which was offered for sale. It is assumed that Barnes bought it, because by early 1913 he was farming at Figtree. The farm would remain in the family for decades, although Barnes may have maintained a residence in Bulawayo at various times. He continued to be active in the Bulawayo Kennel Club, even though Eskdale was 30-odd miles (50km) from Bulawayo. At the 1916 show he entered a smooth Fox Terrier and his wife Bulldog. Later that year he advertised a reward for the return of a lost Fox Terrier. At about this time, his interest in dogs was focusing on van Rooyen ´s ridged lion dogs.
Whether or not he knew van Rooyen is unclear, but in 1915 he acquired his first ridged dog DingoEscdale Dingo, from Mr. C. Graham Stacey, who had obtained his stock from van Rooyen. Dingo thus joined Helm´s Lorna and Powder and van Rooyen´s FLAMand PISTOL as the first dogs whose names we know. Presumably Barnes was impressed with Dingo, because he obtained two more ridged dogs, Eskdale Connie from Bob Dickson and Eskdale Judy from Langham O´Keefe.
Thus Barnes obtained his first ridged dogs within weeks or months of van Rooyen ´s death. Whether Nellis breed Dingo or other two is uncertain, but he asseredly breed some of their ancestors.
Barnes continued to farm at Eskdale, to show dogs in Bulawayo and use his ridged dogs on the farm to protect his herds. Like the other ranchers of the time, he benefited from the high beef prices generated by the world war and the boomUP which followed it as soldiers returned to Zimbabwe and new, monied settlers arrived almost daily.
By the early 1920s, Barnes must have been a little torn in his interet in dogs. On the one hand, he was a serious ´fancier of purebreds, demonstrated by his involvement with the first two kennel clubs in the country over the preceding 24 years. On the other hand, he owned a number of outstanding ranch and hunting dogs which were mongrels by the definition of any recognized registry organization, and thus could not be shown, but which had common behaviour traits and at least one common physical trait - the ridge. Then as now there were two points of view about dog shows and, by and large, two tapes of dog fanciers - those who show and who believe that, in the long run, the best dogs win, and those who don´t show and believe that field performance is the only important criterion for excellence.
Both views have merit, a fact Barnes was sensible enough to realize. By 1922 he was ready to try to do what was necessary to preserve the breed and enable it to be shown - that is, to write a standard and get it accepted by the South Africa Kennnel Union- SAKU- now th Kennel Union of Southern Africa. Besides Edmonds, the man who provided the most help was Mr. B. W. Durham.

Durham like Barnes, was a show dog fancier. He lived in Salisbury, and was active in the kennel club and its shows there. He visited Bulawayo on busines several times in 1910 and 1911, and no doubt was a friend of Barnes. He judged at the Bulawayo Kennel Club show in 1913, and entered Bulldogs in that show and each show threafter for several years. He was a succesful exhibitor. His dogs, under the prefix ´Duneline´won several Bests In Show. He later went to become, at one point, the only Zimbabwean to be licenced as an all-breed judge by the SAKU.
Here, then, was a man who knew dogs and their history. He also knew standards, how they were interpreted by fanciers and judges, and some of the pitfalls involved in phrasing them. Next to Barnes, he would have the most influential role in the process undertaken to standardize the breed and get it officialy recognized.

- Francis Richard Barnes aquired his first ridged dogs.

1922 - No ridgebacks recorded at the BKC show (Bulawayo Kennel Club)
1923- 31.July First Ridgebacks entered a show ring. J. Willing´s and M. Vigne´s Lion Dogs were entered a show ring. J. Willing´s and M. Vigne´s Lion Dogs were entered in an unofficial children´s class at the BKC show.

1924 - 2 August- Mrs. R. Dickson and Messrs Barnes, Gillespie and Stacey entered lion dogs in an exhibition only class at BKC show.

1924- 18 september SAKU -( South African Kennel Union)- first two lion dogs registered. They were from Kimberley, South Africa



L. Herring








M.J.S. Vigne







Lion´s Den


F.R. Barnes









Lady Rodwell




Between Rivers

















C.G. Stacey




Leo Kop



















Vernon Brisley and his VIKING´s
(pict: ©The Definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback -photo from Hutchingnston´s Dog Encyklopedia 1935

1924 -29 December: Barnes wrote to the SAKU to find out the procedure for club afiliation and dog registration.

1925- 15 January- the SAKU secretary replied.

1925 - 5 February- Barnes wrote to the SAKU that " a club has been formed in Bulawayo to promote interests, and encourage the breeding to a standard of the Rhodesian Lion Dog. " The letter was on 1 page of stationery stamped " The Rhodesian Ridgeback (Lion Dog) Club."

1925 - 20 February: the SAKU secretary replied after further correspondence "that the comittee extremly regrets that it is not in a position at present to recognize such a club or breed: nothing is really known of this dog nor of its breeding and your own letter on the matter, might I add, does not throw much light on the question of the breed the dog."

1925- 2 July: Twenty four Rhodesian lion Dogs exhibited in Bulawayo dog show.

1925- 10 July: 18 Ridgebacks were exhibited at the Salisbury KC show.

1925- 27 November- the SAKU registered the first Rhodesian Lion Dog.

1925- 12 & 20 December - Barnes wrote to SAKU requesting recognition

Mapandora of Avondale and T Kedie- Law (AVONDALE KENNEL)
1926 - 4 February - Barnes repeated his request.

1926 - 15 February - the SAKU secretary replied "my committee has agreed to your affiliation and to the alternation in our classification of Rhodesian Lion Dogs to Rhodesian Ridgeback (Lion Dogs).

1926- 16 March - Rhodesian Ridgeback (Lion Dog), its Club and Standard recognized by South Africa Kennel Union, and Barnes registered six dogs with SAKU.

1926- 26 April - Dickson registered the first Rhodesian Ridgeback (Lion Dogs)

1926 - 27 July- 6 & 13 August - Ridgebacks entered in BKC, Gwelo and SKC shows.

(pict: ©The Definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback- photo from Hutchingnston´s Dog Encyklopedia- MAPANDORA OF AVONDALE & Mr. T KEDIE-LAW- "AVONDALE KENNEL")

1926- (aprox) First Ridgebacks taken to South Africa, Kenya and U.K.


1927- July/August, Ridgebacks entered at BKC and SKC shows.

1928- 28 June -Name of breed changed to Rhodesian Ridgeback - SAKU registered the first Rhodesian Ridgeback..

1928- First Ridgeback championship completed in Zimbabwe.



There are some of dogs, which have strong influence on the breed. They are below with hte approximate year they were being used for breeding and the number of dogs they produced whose names appear on modern pedigrees, the best measure avaliable of lasting influence.
VIKING ROGER - 1931 - 8
VIKING TOWSER - 1929 - 5
JOCK OF THE TOWN - 1928 - 4
JOCK OF EALING - 1928 - 4

VIKING QUEEN - 1930 - 5
VIKING LADY - 1928 - 4
SHAMA -1937 - 4

(pict: ©The Definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback-photo from Hutchingnston´s Dog Encyklopedia- Mrs J.PLAYER with LOBENGULA & JUNO, ridgebacks, she imported to U.K.- 1932)

(pict: ©The Definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback-photo from Hutchingnston´s Dog Encyklopedia-

- First Ridgeback championship completed in South Africa.

1947- First record of Ridgebacks in Canada Canada and the U.S.

1948- First record of ridged dogs in Potrugal and Holland.

1948- First Ridgebacks registered in Canada.

1951- First Ridgeback champion finished in Canada.

1951- First Ridgeback champion finished in U.K.

1952- First Ridgeback completed C.D. in Canada

1955- Ridgeback recognized by American Kennel Club.

1956- First Ridgeback champion finished in U.S.

1958- First Ridgeback completed C.D. in U.S

1966- First Ridgeback taken to Australia.

1970- First Ridgebacks taken to New Zeland UP

The text and some of photos comes from a very special book about the breed
Rhodesian Ridgeback

©The Definitive Rhodesian Ridgeback by David H. Helgesen (2nd Edition - Revised)
Copies of this book are available from the publisher P.O.Box 106, Whonock, B.C., Canada VOM ISO.
All rights reserved.


BLACK and BROWN noses
There is alowed to breed black and also brown called also as a "liver"nose Ridgebacks.
It is good to have a liver in the lines from time to time, to clean out coat color. If is the breed kept, dark red to dark red, it could start to get smutty black through the coat - a liver gives clarity to coats, cleans out the black, and gives them a beautiful uniformity of color.
Ch Guardsman of Kimbida

On this picture in my opinion is the very hundsome brown nosed Rhodesian Ridgeback
Champion Guardsman Of Kimbida - breeder & owner: Barbara Throckmorton & Ida Poore.

Guardsman and his son Rutan had a big influence on American type of Ridgeback.
There were of course more RRs which gave the basic to American type of RRs, but I choose this two RR boys, because I think, they are beautiful examples.
Ch Rutan Mpezi Rafiki of Gera
Champion Rutan Mpezi Rafiki of Gera - breeder & owner: Ruth Blazej

There were of course many more Ridgebacks which gave the basic to USA type of RR. Here are some of first USA kennels: Redhouse, Lamarde Perro, Rollings, Kimani, Kwetu, Calico Ridge, Kimbida, Batoka.
For more informations click here RRCUS to find out more about American RRs.

: I read somwhere, that is good to have in a dog pedigree a liver ancesstor.
I am thankful to Sue C. to make it clear for me.
If you have any other experiences I´ll be delightfull if you contact me. Thank you :o)


In 1987 where imported by Mvdr.Beatrice Izáková first Rhodesian Ridgeback- Merigals Elanda. At that time the Slovak(SK) and Czech republic (CZ) where one country called Czechoslovakia - CSFR. So, the breed was established by the year 1987, when two Rhodesian Ridgebacks where imported : Amy Red Waysaide born 27. 01. 1987 from Zambia
and Merigals Elanda born
02. 06. 1987 from Switzerland. Later there was imported more Ridgebacks Shingi Menystones, Peacock Rose ...
Today is Slovakia and Czech divided in two countries, but in spite of that we have still close to each other, also in Rhodesian ridgeback breeding.

Amy Red Wayside

Merigals Elanda

Shingi Menystones

First registered Ridgeback in Slovakia was AFRA z Africké Savany.
First registered kennel was ZO ZÁMOCKÉHO PARKU - owner Mr Hutár J. 
First registered litter was in 1991.
RR Breeders Club of Slovakia SKCHR was established 19.8.1994

SKCHR associate the breeds of Rhodesian Ridgeback and Thai Ridgeback.

This webpage was created by MK - Luanda kennel UP
All rights reserved © MK.

MK: I wish this page could bring knowledge to many people, who are interested in this beautiful breed. I hope, it gives you enough information. I am thankfull to Petra K., that she lend me such a special and great book THE DEFINITIVE RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK by David H.Helgesen.
I spent a lots of time to create this page of RR History. I would like to say thank you to my family, because they had a lot of patience with me - especialy my husband Tom :o)
©MK- February 2005