Breeders Information


Rhodesian Ridgeback- information for breeders

The intention of this page is to supply resources to other breeders, or those interested in the breed. Please feel free to reproduce or link to any articles I or others may have written, but please acknowledge the source.I have tried to provide information on issues found in the breed through articles and links. There are 2 links at the bottom of the pages for pedigree research. For those interested in genetic analysis I use Breedmate to calculate the co-efficient of inbreeding and to generate pedigrees.

Last updated March 2017


Subject and link Source Comments

General information

Review and discussion of the breed standard Written by Vicki May 2005
Ridge gene and dermoid sinus Hillbertz article from Nature Genetics, review of this below Genetics of ridge and dermoid sinus
Comments on the Ridgeback gene Distillation of the recent scientific work done on the inheritance of the ridge Written by Prof Clayton Heathcock in Feb 2008, reproduced with permission
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Victoria Newsletter, Aug/Sept 1988 Written by Vicki, updated June 2010
Papers from Dr M Christine Zink From World Congress 2012
Breeding and Whelping Lowchen site with lots of links Some links not working but useful information on ethical breeding
Paper by Orit Nevo on the structure of the Ridgeback From World Congress 2012
Genetic resources From US working dogs A lot of references and links for book purchases
History of the Ridgeback in Australia Written with JN Murray Published in Ridgeback Register 2009

Inherited conditions

Rhodesian Ridgeback Register 2009 Written by Vicki- Updated 2009.


Genetic screen now available

A new entry in 2012- reported in some lines in Europe and USA

Subject also discussed at the World Congress 2012

NEW Genetic test availability

Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Victoria Newsletter, Oct/Nov 1991

Written by Vicki, updated November 2002. Inheritance of various heart murmurs is still under investigation.

Dysplasia From BVA site- this is the scheme used in Australia Good information on hip and elbow dysplasia. As of 2016 breed average is similar to Australian figures.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals site (USA). The OFA provides the primary scoring method for hips/elbows in the US Excellent information on a number of genetic diseases. US results here
RR Club of the USA website  
Dermoid sinus- description, diagnosis and treatment From online veterinary journal Good overview of this condtion
Sebaceous adenitis Inflammatory skin disease High incidence in RRs reported at the OFA website in the USA
Hypothyroidism From RRcUS Article which shows a 9% incidence in US Ridgebacks tested
Bloat- what is it? Internet site with lots of links General information on bloat
Latest information from Purdue University A definitive source of information on this condition
Unusual Ridgeback colours From Monika Pehrs excellent website Photos and links to information about unusual colouring
Degenerative myelopathy Link to Canine Genetic Diseases website- Canine version of Multiple Sclerosis Genetic marker now available, best interpreted as a guide to another possible issue.
SLO- Symmetrical Lupoid Onchodystrophy US web site with information this disease of the nail bed Has been seen occasional in Australian RR lines
Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME) Genetic screeening is now available for sudden onset juvenile epilepsy

NEW Rare in Australia (I hope)

Rhodesian Ridgeback Inherited Arrhythmia (RRIVA) Genetic test for juvenile abnormal heart beats NEW- has anyone seen this?
Wobblers syndrome Veterinary report Reported in Ridgebacks
Subarachnoid cysts Veterinary report Has been seen in Ridgebacks and can be confused with Wobblers Syndrome
Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae Czech study. This condition can lead to pain and paralysis of the rear end. NEW 2017. I have been told this can be seen during hip dysplasia screening, something to watch for.

Health surveys

RR Club of the USA A very impressive data collection of conditions found in US Ridgebacks- our figures may vary slightly
National Rhodesian Club of Australia Health Survey Health and Genetics issues in Australian ridgebacks, 2006  
UK Ridgeback Health Survey Published August 2006. New study underway  
Genetic diversity recommendations Canadian veterinary journal Research into the link between inbreeding and longevity amongst other things


Inbreeding, Australian COI Analysis The result of a number of years of collecting pedigrees. 10 generation pedigree analysis of 23,253 Australian Ridgebacks Written by Vicki June 2008, published in Rhodesian Ridgeback Register May 2009.
Inbreeding and pedigree dog breeds Written by Malcolm Willis, BSc, PhD A balanced view of inbreeding from one of the best canine geneticists
Canine diversity project Mainly articles by John Armstrong- professor of genetics and biology Good articles, some data and lots of links

Pedigree analysis

RR Pedigree search- European site Monika Pehr's excellent pedigree site Best site for Australian RRs. Now contains my Australian database with more photos being added. Find your pedigree here!
Pedigree On-line Search Tool- POST US based pedigree site Best for US dogs