The Original Standard of 1922
DESCRIPTION OF THE RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK (LION DOG).The
peculiarity of this breed is the ridge on the back, which is formed by
the hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat.
This ridge, which must be regarded as the escutcheon of the breed, is
broad behind the shoulders and tapers off towards the root of the tail.
It should be clearly defined and start immediately behind the shoulders
and continue up to or over the loin. In shape it resembles a fiddle
with the string towards the tail. A dog without a clearly defined ridge
is not recognized as belonging to this breed.
IN GENERAL APPEARANCE the
Ridgeback should represent a strong, muscular and active dog,
symmetrical in outline and capable of great endurance with a fair
amount of speed.
THE HEAD should be of fair
length, the skull flat and rather broad between the ears and should be
free from wrinkle. The stop should be defined and not in one straight
line from the nose to the occiput as required in a Bull Terrier.
THE MUZZLE should be long, deep
and powerful, jaws level and strong with well developed teeth,
especially the canines or holders. The lips clean, close fitting the
THE EYES should be moderately
well apart and should be round, bright and sparkling, with intelligent
expression, their colour harmonising with the colour of the dog.
THE EARS should be set on
rather high, of medium size, rather wide at the base and gradually
tapering to a rounded point. They should be carried close to the head.
THE NOSE should be black but a
lighter colour is admissible if it is in keeping with the colour of the
dog. A spotted nose is incorrect, but is not a disqualification.
THE NECK AND SHOULDERS. The
neck should be fairly long, strong and entirely free from throatiness.
The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular, denoting speed.
THE BODY,BACK, CHEST AND LOINS.
The chest should not be too wide, but very deep and capacious, ribs
moderately well sprung, never rounded like barrel hoops ( which would
indicate want of speed); the back powerful; and loins strong, muscular
and slightly arched.
LEGS AND FEET. The fore legs
should be perfectly straight, strong and heavy in bone, elbows close to
the body. Fore feet round, compact, with well arched toes, round tough
elastic pads, protected by hair between the toes and pads. In the hind
legs the muscles should be clean, though well defined and the hocks
well let down.
THE TAIL should not be too
strong; strong at the insertion but gradually tapering towards the end,
free from coarseness. It should not be inserted too low down, but
carried with a slight curve upwards and never curled. A short tail is a
blemish, but not a disqualification.
THE COAT should be short, hard, dense and fine, sleek and glossy in appearance, but neither woolly nor silky.
COLOURS. Brindles, fawns, sables, whole colours or mixed with white.
SIZE. Up to 28 inches.
WEIGHT. Up to 80 lbs.
Adopted by the South African Kennel Union (now the Kennel Union of Southern Africa) in 1924.
1931- height reduced from 28 inches for dogs and bitches to dogs (25-27"),bitches
1936-color description was changed to "Wheaten preferred, fawn permissible. (During the
1940's the current color description was selected.)
The AKC standard
The KUSA/FCI standard - in pdf form.