Rhodesian Ridgeback Grooming

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are phenomenal dogs: their strength, beauty and speed can easily match their personality, loyalty and amicability if they are raised, trained and socialized properly. They can be great show dogs too, but they are very expensive — especially those that come from champion bloodlines (which is common, as Ridgeback breeders are extremely devoted to this breed). There is not much that you can do regarding hair styling, and the whorls (formally called a "crown") on their ridge cannot be added or modified. If you are simply seeking one of these extraordinary dogs for home life (and perhaps hunting), then grooming is very easy, basic and standard: keep the ears clean, brush the teeth, trim the nails, brush the coat at least once a week and — especially for Ridgebacks that hunt — be very careful when searching for ticks and fleas (and check for them often).

Rhodesian Ridgeback Coat Care

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a rugged, versatile and adaptable dog whose short hair is easy to manage. They were developed centuries ago to withstand the freezing cold and searing heat within a 24-hour cycle that is typical of the South African desert, and just as their short hair should not fool you into thinking that they may get sunburned or easily cold, so too should you not think that that short coat doesn't need frequent brushing. Not only does it help keep your Ridgeback's coat shiny and free of debris and parasites (especially if he hunts with you), it helps in bonding — and that is significant when it comes to managing this dog's hunting instincts. They are moderate shedders, and weekly brushings with a good slicker brush or a grooming mitt will help keep the hair from getting on and in your clothes, furniture and vents. Bathe your Rhodesian Ridgeback only when necessary.

Getting Out Tangles

The Rhodesian Ridgeback coat rarely tangles, and doesn't shed too much either. If owners use a de-shedding tool like a Furminator, Ridgeback dogs will shed even less--but be careful, because the tools often remove healthy hairs along with the dead ones.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Styling & Haircuts

As the Rhodesian Ridgeback has a very short, tight and coarse coat (which was developed centuries ago for the primary purpose of dissuading fleas and other parasites as well as to make eradication of such bugs easy), there is basically nothing that can be done to style the hair. While the whorls on the ridge — located at the front end — is significant (for dog shows, a Rhodesian Ridgeback may have only two symmetrical whorls; one or more than two is an immediate disqualification), these whorls cannot be created.