How Big do Rhodesian Ridgebacks get? Images included. - The Pets and Love

American Kennel Club state in their breed standard that a Rhodesian Ridgeback should weigh in at 85 lbs (38kg) for a male, and 70 lbs (32kg) for a female. Height wise females should be 24 to 26 inches and males slightly taller at 25 to 27 inches.

Big Rhodesian Ridgeback. How Big do Rhodesian Ridgebacks get?

There is no doubting that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong and muscular, large hound. They are also symmetrical and well balanced in outline and carry themselves well. They are slightly longer than they are tall which makes for an all-round well-balanced dog.

When it comes to how big a Rhodesian Ridgeback is and how much they should weigh the accepted guidelines have been laid by the American Kennel Club. They state in their breed standard that a Rhodesian Ridgeback should weigh in at 85 lbs (38kg) for a male, and 70 lbs (32kg) for a female. Height wise females should be 24 to 26 inches and males slightly taller at 25 to 27 inches.

The truth is, however, that it is not common for all Rhodesian Ridgebacks to fall within these guidelines. Some may be smaller and weigh a little more, whilst some may be taller and weigh a little less. There is no actual perfect weight or perfect height for any dog.

Rather, you should be looking for your Rhodesian Ridgeback to be fit, healthy, and thriving well. There is no perfect weight for this, nor is there a perfect height. As long as your Rhodesian Ridgeback is not obese or emaciated they are more than likely perfectly fine. If you are at all worried about your Rhodesian Ridgebacks weight or size, you should contact your vet.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Hard To Control With Such Weight?

Rhodesian  Ridgeback running

There is absolutely no doubt that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large and powerful breed that certainly could be hard to control. However, with the right training and the right equipment to help you, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be a breeze to handle.

There is debate surrounding whether a Rhodesian Ridgeback is best walked on a harness or wearing a collar. Collars can cause this breed difficulty in breathing when they pull. However, as already stated with the right training they should not do this.

Harnesses, on the other hand, give this already powerful breed more pulling power through their chests. This can mean they are more difficult to control on them. Again, however, with the right training, this might not be the case. Our advice would be to invest in both and see what suits your Rhodesian Ridgeback best.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Dangerous Because Of Their Size?

Potentially any dog could be dangerous if not trained and controlled properly. However, the Rhodesian Ridgeback with its great size and power has the potential to cause more damage. They are not, however, by nature a dangerous dog that is likely to cause harm.

It does need to be said that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are naturally protective dogs that will posture in defense of the ones they love. For this reason, it is incredibly important that your Rhodesian Ridgeback is subjected to lots of socialization and training to keep this under control.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not known to attack people, in fact, they are an incredibly friendly and loving dog with those they know. However, subjecting them to training in guarding could heighten this instinct and lead them to behave aggressively. For this reason, guard training should never be given to a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Aside from people, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a huge prey drive that will incline them to potentially chase livestock, neighborhood cats, and perhaps small dogs. This, of course, is genetic for this breed who for centuries was used as a hunting dog in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. Here, the Rhodesian Ridgeback protected their homesteads and owners from wild pigs, monkeys, and even the mighty lion.

Whilst this prey drive is normal, it should not be encouraged in a home environment. Rather, your Rhodesian Ridgeback should undergo training to socialize them with other animals they would normally see as prey. In some cases, however, this may not be possible and your Rhodesian Ridgeback may need to be kept on a leash at all times in public.

Is A Rhodesian Ridgeback Too Big For A Flat?

Rhodesian Ridgeback laying on the bed inside apartment.

The answer to this potentially rests on a few different factors such as how big exactly the flat is, and how much room there is for your Rhodesian Ridgeback to move around comfortably. They are a big dog and they do need room to move, wag their tails, and have their excitable moments.

Despite this, the Rhodesian Ridgeback does tend to be calm in the home and so can live in a flat quite happily and without a problem. You will, however, need a large couch so your Rhodesian Ridgeback can curl up next to you, or if you’ll allow it on your knee.

It is worth mentioning that not all apartment blocks allow pets, especially large dogs. So always check on the situation in the one you live in before adding a Rhodesian Ridgeback to your family.

Pros And Cons Of The Large Breed Rhodesian Ridgeback

I’m sure we are not telling you anything new when we say that by choosing the Rhodesian Ridgeback you are picking a mighty large dog. However, what you may not know are the pros and cons of this choice. So, here are just a few for you to consider.

Pros Of A Large Breed Dog

  • Large dogs have more of them to love – This one really speaks for itself, and believe me when I say, as a large dog owner myself, that nothing beats a cuddle from these huge hairy bundles of joy.
  • Large dogs are excellent watchdogs – Large dogs, especially the Rhodesian Ridgeback who was bred for this very purpose, make really excellent protectors. This is mainly due to their intimidating size, but also their posturing when warning people off.
  • Large dogs are fabulous with kids – Whilst there is no rhyme and reason to it large dogs are far more laid back and accepting of children than smaller dogs. They do not seem to mind at all when they are clambered over, bumped into, and even, in some cases, ridden.
  • Large dogs have great endurance – Whether it is down to the large dog’s genetic need to please or just their larger size, big dogs like the Rhodesian Ridgeback love to walk, run, and play for long periods of this time. They have boundless energy and are always willing to burn it with you.

Cons Of A Large Breed Dog

  • Large breeds tend to cost more – From puppies to food, to health care, and toys, large breeds cost more to keep. This is not rocket science and is pure and simply down to their larger size.
  • Large breeds are not always travel friendly – Whether you plan to take your Rhodesian Ridgeback on a plane, train, bus, or in the care they take up a lot of room. This means that travel with them is not always easy due to space and also cost.
  • Large breeds don’t tend to live as long as smaller breeds – This is due to the fact that genetically large dogs age faster than small breeds. For example, at five years of age large dogs are classed as middle-aged, whereas smaller dogs do not reach this stage of life until aged ten.

Health Considerations When Choosing A Large Breed Dog

Just as some breeds are more prone to certain illnesses than others, so are large breeds compared to small. This does not mean that your Rhodesian Ridgeback will necessarily suffer from them, but you will need to take them into consideration.

  • Hip Dysplasia – This is where the hip joint does not fit correctly or may even not be connected at all. This is a hugely painful medical condition for your dog and may surgery to correct. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are genetically prone to this condition.
  • Elbow Dysplasia – Just like hip dysplasia but occurring in the elbow. Again this is a painful condition which may require surgery to correct.
  • Panosteitis – Commonly known as pano this condition is a type of bone inflammation that is often found in growing large breed dogs. It usually appears before your dog is one-year-old with symptoms including sudden pain and lameness.
  • Bloat / Torsion – Bloat is a condition where the stomach fills with air and torsion where the stomach flips over on itself. These conditions are more common in deeper chested large breeds.
  • Arthritis – It is probable that this condition is more prevalent in larger dogs due to their propensity to also suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. Aging faster than smaller dogs is also another factor that can make arthritis come on sooner.

Other Large Dog Breeds To Consider

  • Akita
  • Bloodhound
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Border Collie
  • Dalmatian
  • German Shepherd
  • Komondor
  • Rottweiler
  • Great Dane (Extra large)
  • Irish Wolfhound (Extra large)
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