Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large and powerful dogs who are very energetic and athletic. They are also called “Simba Ninja” in Ndebele, “Shumba imbwa” in Shona. Both are African languages and the words mean Lion dogs.
Can a Rhodesian Ridgeback kill a lion? No, a single Rhodesian Ridgeback is no match to the strength and speed of a Lion and cannot kill one.
Let us look at the details of both of them so you can have an idea of how small Rhodesian Ridgeback is compared to a lion.
Rhodesian Ridgeback vs Lion – Facts
|Average Height||24 to 27 inches||40 inches|
|Average Weight||85 pounds||400 to 420 pounds (male)|
280 to 300 pounds (female)
|Bite force||224 psi||650 psi|
|Speed||20 mph||50 mph|
So why Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known as Lion killers?
While I researched this, it confused me as well on why the Internet is buzzed with the stories of Rhodesian Ridgebacks known as lion hunting dogs. Here is what I found out that will help you understand the reasons.
They are large, powerful, agile, athletic, and courageous dogs that were used in Africa in Lion hunting expeditions. Always, a pack of Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs was used to corner the Lion, and then a hunter would shoot him down.
With their courage, intelligence, strength, and agility, they became quite useful with South African Boer farmers in hunting large animals like Lions and hence started to be known as African Lion hounds.
Can Rhodesian Ridgeback hunt?
Ohh yes, they are large dogs with a strong muscular body having a high prey drive.
This means that on the farm they may chase and hunt small animals like squirrels and rabbits. Whereas at the home in the yard, they may chase small pets like cats if they are not bred along with them.
They have got the strength and speed to be used in hunting expeditions. In fact, they come in our list of Fastest dogs in the world. So these African lion dogs can chase the prey with their speed.
They have another ace in their sleeve, their excellent scent tracking ability, that aids them while hunting. They don’t leave the prey and track it for long distances.
Are they good as guard dogs?
These dogs are highly loyal and protective. They make excellent guard dogs. They are not aggressive and most often would scare the intruder with a large dominating presence.
It is important that they are trained and socialized well for their safety and avoiding any risks to neighbors.
They should not be given any guard training as they are naturally protective of the family and territorial. Guard training may make them aggressive. Instead, they should be trained to obey your commands.
A pro tip – Rhodesian Ridgeback don’t bark much but if they bark, they might be alerting you of a danger that they have perceived.
Are Rhodesian Ridgeback good as family dogs?
Rhodesian Ridgeback came to Britain in the 1920s and to the USA in the 1950s. They were bred here as family dogs for their elegant and noble looks.
They are loving, affectionate and do well as companion dogs.
They are quite tolerant of children as well. Though as they are large dogs we would suggest children be with them under adult supervision only. And it is best if children are told how to respect them.
These dogs are good with other pets if they have been bred together. They may not show the same affection to other small animals. They do need early socialization with both humans and animals to make them a well-rounded dog.
These energetic dogs require a couple of 20 minutes walk daily and a yard where they can play.
Being large and athletic, they are not recommended for apartment living.
Here is an ebook that has detailed and practical information on Rhodesian Ridgeback that you can possibly look for.
About Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks were developed in the 16th century by crossing a local hunting dog of the Khoikhoi tribe with European dogs like Great Danes, Mastiffs, Greyhounds, and Bloodhounds.
You can easily identify a Rhodesian Ridgeback with a characteristic ridge that covers his spine. This is a line of hair on the spine that goes in the opposite direction to the coat.
These African dogs come in wheaten color. Their short and shiny coat is fairly easy to groom and they have low maintenance requirements.
If you are planning to own one of these marvelous dogs, do check out the rescue center first. As often people don’t know about what is needed from them when they make him their pet.
We hope now you know the answer to our original query on “Can a Rhodesian Ridgeback kill a lion?” and you are also aware of his strengths that made him useful in Lion hunting expeditions.
Now it is time to hear from you. If you have known or own this elegant and noble dog, do share your story in the comments below.