An Expansion On The Standard Of The Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Standard is the Blueprint of the breed. First & Foremost the dog has to look as though he could do the job he was bred for. Type, Balance, Movement, Temperament all must come into this, when considering the dog as a whole.

There are many variations of the shape, length, width of the ridge.
As we all know, correct ridges with crowns set opposite each other are quite possible to have and we should aim to show nothing less. The hair on the ridge should be short, in keeping with the rest of the coat. Hair at the top , i.e. the box and crowns may stand slightly erect , also at the bottom of the ridge where the last quarter of an inch meets.

General Appearance
Keep in mind here that the RR should be likened to the long distance runner. In hard condition and not overweight.

Head & Skull
A Dog must have a masculine head with out looking "mastiffy"
Bitches should have a feminine look to the head, without being snipey.
They are not required to have excessive cheek, i.e. like the Staffordshire Terrier.
Width of skull between the ears should be equal to the length from occiput to stop and from the stop to nose.

Nose Colour
Black or Brown is equally correct. Brown is usually referred to as Liver.
A liver nosed dog must have matching pigment, i.e. eye rims, lips, all nails must be liver.
The eyes are much lighter in a liver nosed dog, they should be amber in colour - but should never be lighter than the coat colour. A true liver will not have any black hairs through the coat.

Must be ROUND, any other shape is not typical of the breed. Nor should they bulge or be sunken in.

Tips should reach mid-way between the eyes and nostrils when pulled forward.
They should "frame" the face. Fine whippet type ears that fold back or fly out to the side are to be considered a fault.
They should be carried close to the head & can be a shaded darker than coat colour, but never black.
Some RR's will "wing" their ears on the move, this is acceptable.

Our standard calls for a level and strong jaw. bite is not mentioned.
Scissor & level bite are acceptable. Just as over or under shot is a serious fault, so too is lack of underjaw.

Length of neck enables the RR to easily put his head down without propping to scent & grasp small game.
Length of neck also gives balance to a running hound.
A neck too short or too long are both incorrect.
The throat should be "dry" loose skin under the neck is undesirable.

Galloping hounds need well laid back shoulders to absorb shock. Upright shoulders can in turn cause a loaded shoulder, out at elbow, pounding, all of which in turn leads to extra wear and tear on the joints. Pasterns should show slight slope with spring.
Pasterns that are too short will not give spring, pasterns too long can be weak and/or loose.

Deep brisket reaching to the elbow is required for heart and lung room. Barrel ribs would interfere with front movement.
Spring of ribs should be behind the elbow giving an elongated oval shape. Arch over the loin denotes strength of lion. A dog that is too short in loin may tend to have a restricted gait.
Underline should show a good depth of chest with good tuck up, corresponding with arch over the loin for strength & speed.

Beware of over angulation. A moderate turn of stile is required, as is a well developed second thigh.
Cow hocks are highly undesirable.

A good foot is MOST important. Without the correct feet an RR cannot do the job he was bred for.
No paw, No Dog

Must reach at least to the hock. A happy, confident, excited RR will at in most situations carry his tail at on a level with his back. Gay tails are undesirable.
Some RR's will Stack with their tail between their legs. An RR that carries his tail between his legs at all times is either fearful or shy.

The short coat required permits loss of body heat, lessens flea/tick infestation, dries quickly and cannot become entangled with burrs, etc.
A long coat is most undesirable and can also give a "feathered" appearance to the dog.

Wheaten, light wheaten to red wheaten, when you look closely at the coat you will see that each hair is "banded" with at least 3 shades. RR's can have lighter shadings on their necks, behind their shoulders, necks, backs of legs.
Not to be tan or mahogany red. Black throughout the coat is highly undesirable.

Straight foward, ground covering movement. Single tracking when trotting, with balance and even stride. Side on movement should show the front foot, when extended forward, to be in a perpendicular line with the nose. More often than not a correctly moving RR will drop his head in line with his body. Any deviation from single tracking is incorrect.
Correct movement will show reach & drive.

Weight & Size
As we don't weigh or measure, we see in the ring many different sizes.
Any dog under or over should be frowned apon. Smaller dogs will lack the required length of leg & pace required, while the larger/taller animal would never stand up to the rigours of a days hunting.

Alas cannot always be discerned in the show ring.
BUT there is no justification for Judges to place or Breeders to breed from a Ridgeback that shows any signs of undesirable temperament.
A Ridgeback with a temperament problem is mentally unsound.

"One does not go to a dog show to determine which is the best dog, but, which dog the judge prefers"
Quote from Winifred Chadwick


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