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The Ridgeback represents a strong, muscular and active dog, symmetrical
and balanced in outline. A mature Ridgeback is a handsome, upstanding and
athletic dog, capable of great endurance with a fair (good) amount of speed.
Of even, dignified temperament, the Ridgeback is devoted and affectionate
to his master, reserved with strangers.
The peculiarity of this breed is the ridge on the back. The ridge must be
regarded as the characteristic feature of the breed.

A mature Ridgeback should be symmetrical in outline, slightly longer than
tall but well balanced. Dogs - 25 to 27 inches in height;
Bitches - 24 to 26 inches in height.
Desirable weight: Dogs - 85 pounds; Bitches - 70 pounds.

Should be of fair length, the skull flat and rather broad between the ears and
should be free from wrinkles when in repose.
The stop should be reasonable well defined.

Should be moderately well apart and should be round, bright and sparkling with
intelligent expression, their color harmonizing with the color of the dog.

Should be long, deep and powerful. The lips clean, closely fitting the jaws.

Should be black, brown or liver, in keeping with the color of the dog.
No other colored nose is permissible. A black nose should be accompanied by dark eyes,
a brown or liver nose with amber eyes.

Jaws level and strong with well-developed teeth, especially the canines
or holders. Scissors bite preferred.

The neck should be fairly strong and free from throatiness.

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 is powerful and firm with strong loins which are muscular and slightly arched.
The tail should be strong at the insertion and generally tapering towards the end,
free from coarseness. It should not be inserted too high or too low and should be carried
with a slight curve upwards, never curled or gay.

The shoulders should be sloping, clean and muscular, denoting speed.
Elbows close to the body. The forelegs should be perfectly straight, strong, and heavy in bone.
The feet should be compact with well-arched toes, round, tough, elastic pads,
protected by hair between the toes and pads. Dewclaws may be removed.

In the hind legs, the muscles should be clean, well defined an hocks well down.
Feet as in front.

Should be short and dense, sleek and glossy in appearance but neither wooly nor silky.

Light wheaten to red wheaten. A little white on the chest and toes permissible
but excessive white there, on the belly or above the toes is undesirable.

The hallmark 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.
The ridge must be regarded as the characteristic feature of the breed.
The ridge should be clearly defined, tapering and symmetrical.
It should start immediately behind the shoulders and continue to a point between the prominence
of the hips and should contain two identical crowns (whorls) directly opposite each other.
The lower edge of the crowns (whorls) should not extend further down the ridge than one
third of the ridge.

At the trot, the back is held level and the stride is efficient, long, free
and unrestricted. Reach and drive expressing a perfect balance between power and elegance.

At the chase, the Ridgeback demonstrates great coursing ability and endurance.

Dignified and even tempered. Reserved with strangers.

General appearance, size, symmetry and balance 20
Ridge 20
Head 15
Legs and Feet 15
Neck and Shoulders 10
Body, Back, Chest, and Loin 10
Coat and Color 5
Tail 5


Approved by
The American Kennel Club and effective September 30, 1992

Recognized by
American Kennel Club
Canadian Kennel Club
Kennel Club of Great Britain
Kennel Union of Southern Africa