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As far as dog breeds go, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has to be one of the most unique there is.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting a Rhodesian Ridgeback, the first thing you perhaps noticed (apart from its huge presence) was the very distinctive ‘ridge’ running down its back, all the way from its shoulders to its hips.
And while the famous ridge is undoubtedly a feature that makes the Rhodesian Ridgeback stand out in a crowd, there’s a great deal more to this breed than first meets the eye.
You see, although, by today’s breed standards, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is recognized as a member of the Hound Group. This description really doesn’t do this truly impressive beast the justice it deserves.
In fact, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was created back in 1922, in the country formerly known as Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), with the specific purpose of hunting lions in the African Savannah so they could be taken as prey by human huntsmen.
Needless to say, with such a mammoth task at hand, the Rhodesian Ridgeback had to be a remarkable specimen. One that was capable not only of sheer strength and power but of great stamina and speed also.
So, what exactly did it take to produce a breed with such phenomenal qualities?
To put it bluntly, it took quite a number of things – and when I say ‘things, what I really mean is dog breeds.
But as the old saying goes – don’t judge a book by its cover.
Because while the Rhodesian Ridgeback certainly looks every bit like the fearsome hunter it was designed to be, you might be surprised at what lies beneath that powerful exterior.
As any proud owner will be the first to tell you, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is, in fact, a ‘people’ dog in every sense of the word.
Quiet yet courageous, dignified yet strong-willed, this highly intelligent dog will always remain fiercely loyal to its beloved human pack.
But for anyone out there considering the Rhodesian Ridgeback as a possible new addition to their family, there is one big question that needs to be answered.
As a medium-large breed, how much do Rhodesian Ridgebacks shed?
Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Shed a Lot?
In short – no, they don’t. Although Rhodesian Ridgebacks are big dogs with a whole lot of coat, you’ll be pleased to hear that they shed surprisingly little compared to other dog breeds. Especially those with double coats.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a short, dense, smooth single coat. That means they are pretty low maintenance in both the shedding and grooming departments. But that’s not to say they don’t shed at all – they do.
And while your dog’s excess hair might be an unwanted inconvenience when it comes to cleaning your home and keeping your clothes hair-free, the shedding of your Ridgeback’s hair is super important in helping to maintain a healthy and happy coat.
For all dogs, shedding is one of the most important aspects of the hair growth cycle. When a dog sheds its hair, it does so in order to get rid of any dead or damaged hair and to make sure there’s ample room for new hair to grow.
Typically, a single-coated breed like the Ridgeback will shed a little hair on a regular basis. And while that means they are likely to shed all year round, the amount of hair they shed is likely to be relatively minor – and very much manageable.
How Can I Help my Rhodesian Ridgeback Shed Less?
Although Rhodesian Ridgebacks are naturally low shedders, there’s still a lot you can do to help minimize the amount that your dog sheds.
Here are our top five tips to help reduce shedding:
Food, Glorious Food
If you want to make sure your Ridgeback’s coat and general health are the best they can be, then a good diet is absolutely essential.
Your Ridgeback’s diet needs to be nutritionally well-balanced, and that means providing a high-quality dog food that contains meat or fish as its first and main ingredient along with those all-important fatty acids.
And if you really want to go that extra mile in providing the best diet for your Ridgeback, then you should look to purchase a dog food that promotes and supports a healthy coat and skin.
Treats also shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s diet. In fact, you can even get hold of treats nowadays that help to keep your dog’s coat soft, shiny and lustrous while minimizing shedding.
Make Brushing a Weekly Priority
All dog breeds benefit from regular brushing, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is no different.
As well as helping to stimulate new hair growth, a regular brushing schedule plays a crucial role in preventing the formation of knots, mats, and tangles.
If possible, try to set aside at least ten minutes every week to brush your Ridgeback’s coat. Just ten minutes of grooming every week will help to make sure that any damaged or dead hair is removed from your dog’s coat while giving it that healthy, shiny, glossy finish.
While we’re on the topic of brushing, you must do your research and invest in the best brush for Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
If you’d like to find out more about the best brush for Rhodesian Ridgebacks, click here to find out more!
Give your Ridgeback a Monthly Scrub in the Tub with a Shed Control Shampoo
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are extremely clean dogs that give off very little by way of smelly doggy odors. And while that’s undoubtedly good news for Ridgeback owners, it doesn’t mean you can get away without bathing your furry friend on a regular basis.
Bathing your Ridgeback once a month will help keep shedding to a minimum while allowing you to make sure your dog’s coat is thoroughly clean.
A high-quality shed control dog shampoo is an absolute must for your Ridgeback’s monthly scrub in the tub. We’ve created a high quality dog shampoo review article specifically for Rhodesian Ridgeback’s!
While bathing is an important part of your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s grooming routine, take care not to over-bathe your dog. Over bathing may result in increased shedding. But, it can also do further damage to the health of your dog by stripping away vital essential oils, leaving your dog’s coat and skin feeling excessively dry and lacking in moisture.
Make sure your Ridgeback is Getting Enough Daily Exercise
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are high-energy dogs that require lots of daily exercise.
To give you a better idea of how much exercise is enough for your Ridgeback, you should aim to provide your dog with at least two hours of exercise every day. This can be made a lot easier with a harness! Have a read of our best harnesses for Rhodesian Ridgebacks here.
You can mix and match your Ridgeback’s daily exercise activities – in fact, we’d encourage you to do so. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long walk with your family, off-lead play in the park, scent and puzzle games in the garden, or play fighting with the children in the living room. What matters is that you provide an adequate amount of daily exercise for your Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Look out for Unwanted Visitors
External parasites like fleas and ticks can cause all dog breeds a great deal of discomfort and harm. In fact, one of the most common indicators of a flea or tick infestation is hair loss, bald patches, and excessive shedding.
The good news is that there are lots of affordable treatments available to help prevent these nasty creatures from invading your dog’s coat and skin. Your vet will be able to provide you with information and advice about the best treatments for your Rhodesian Ridgeback.
So, How Much do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Shed?
When it comes to low shedding dog breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback certainly fits the bill. And while the Ridgeback is most definitely big in size and stature, the amount of hair that this short, single-coated dog breed sheds is thankfully relatively small.