Rhodesian Ridgeback vs Huntaway - Breed Comparison

Rhodesian Ridgeback is originated from Zimbabwe but Huntaway is originated from New Zealand. Both Rhodesian Ridgeback and Huntaway are having almost same height. Both Rhodesian Ridgeback and Huntaway are having almost same weight. Both Rhodesian Ridgeback and Huntaway has same life span. Rhodesian Ridgeback may have more litter size than Huntaway. Both Rhodesian Ridgeback and Huntaway requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Herding dogs
Origin:
Zimbabwe
New Zealand
Height Male:
61 - 69 cm
24 - 28 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
61 - 69 cm
24 - 28 inches
52 - 62 cm
20 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
27 - 41 kg
59 - 91 pounds
25 - 46 kg
55 - 102 pounds
Weight Female:
27 - 41 kg
59 - 91 pounds
20 - 35 kg
44 - 78 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 14 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
7 - 10
5 - 7
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
African Lion Dog
New Zealand Huntaway, New Zealand Sheepdog
Colors Available:
wheaten, tan, Fawn
commonly black and tan, tricolour, variable
Coat:
Short, smooth, glossy
smooth or rough
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Playful, Responsive, Sweet
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

rhodesian ridgebackKnown as the African Lion Dog, the courageous Rhodesian Ridgeback hails from Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

He was bred essentially to be a hunter as well as a home guardian. These dogs were crossed with European dogs, with the original breed standard being drafted by F.R. Barnes By the 1860s, European colonisers had imported certain European dog breeds to the area such as Greyhound, Terriers, Bloodhounds as well as other breeds. These were mixed with the indigenous African dogs.

The Ridgeback Club was also founded. It was in 1955 that the American Kennel Club recognized the dog as a member of the Hound group.

The Huntaway or New Zealand Huntaway is a herding dog that originated in the New Zealand sheep country. Their main purpose is to drive sheep and they are not an old breed. They were developed late in the 19th century for their working skills. The only real criteria was that they were black and tan. A dog must win a trial in order to be placed in the New Zealand Sheep Dog Trial Association studbook. They drive sheep mainly through their deep, loud voice.

In the New Zealand high country there was a need for a working dog with stamina, agility and intelligence to work the sheep as a drover (herder). The dog had to be able to handle rough, steep land and work with very large groups of sheep. The sheer area of land that the sheep graze and the dog would have to cover, demanded that this dog have stamina and strength to cover large pasture land and work for days if necessary. Before this the shepherds had used British sheepdogs but they preferred dogs that barked while working. So they bred the British Sheepdogs with Collies, Border Collies, Labrador, Rottweiler, Doberman and other barking sheepdogs to create the Huntaway. In addition to the bark, they bred for stamina and size.

They were participating in field trails in 1870 and ads for them were seen in newspapers by 1884. They became a separate breed in the 20th century. Today they are spreading around the world and are becoming very popular. It is not recommended that they be kept as pets however, since they are true working dogs.

Description

rhodesian ridgeback puppyPerhaps the most noticeable thing with this large, handsome formidable looking dog is the ridge of hair that runs along his back and gives him his name. The rest of the coat is short and smooth and can be a reddish tan color or wheaten shade.

He is a slender, athletic dog with an alert, intelligent face. The ears of the dog are floppy and carried close to the head, being broad and then narrowing to a rounded ear. The tail is long,broad at the base and tapers. He is a large dog that stands at between 61 and 69cm and weighs between 29 and 41kg.

Temperament:

In spite of his athletic build, he isn’t an overly active dog like many other breeds but will require a walk ever day as well as ball- and rope games.

He is a quiet, gentle dog, strong and confident, while also being strong willed and independent. He is tolerant around children, but isn’t the kind of dog that relishes being around little kids who try to climb over him.

He is smart and can be easily trained. Training and socialization turn him into an awesome pet.

The Huntaway is a large dog with a deep chest and a black and tan coat. They are strong, big and muscular with voices to match. They herd, head, work the sheep in pastures and force them into pens. They are bred to have that big authoritative, deep bark. They do not yap. Their bodies are well proportioned but longer than high. They have well - padded feet and a deep chest for stamina, along with strong legs and body that allows them to run fast and change directions at will.

The tail of a Huntaway if long, while their heads are shaped like blocks while the muzzle is long and the nose is black. They have dark, round eyes and long ears. An unusually attractive dog, they have dense fur with fringe on the tail and chest. There is characteristics a very large variety in the in the way the breed looks from one dog to the next. Thus they do not participate in confirmation events, as the standard is based on working characteristics rather than appearance guidelines. They are more a “class” than a “breed”.

Health Problems

rhodesian ridgeback dogRhodesian Ridgebacks are generally healthy, robust dogs, but like with all breeds, they can also have their share of some of the common dog illnesses there are.

If you’re buying a puppy, make sure it comes from a good breeder.

Hip Dysplasia:

This is a hereditary disease which can become worse because of environmental factors such as rapid growth. The thighbone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint.

It is sad when you see such a strong dog succumbing to hip dysplasia as it can cause a lot of pain and also make your dog lame. Arthritis can also occur.

Bloat:

For such a life threatening illness with a dog, it is wise to familiarize yourself with an emergency vet in your area. A dog with bloat needs to be rushed to the vet as soon as possible.

That is why it is better to feed your pet smaller meals daily rather than one big meal. Bloat is an ailment where there is rapid accumulation of gas in the stomach.

Dogs with deep chests are at a greater risk of bloat. Typical symptoms of bloat include restlessness, a swollen, hard stomach and trying to vomit.

Canine bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus is a killer with dogs, with the gas accumulation causing the stomach to twist.

The Huntaway is a pretty healthy breed, developed as it was from the sheepdogs and collies. They still face some inherited issues such as:

  • Hip dysplasia – can cause lameness and arthritis
  • Cancer of bone – life threatening
  • Ear Infections – long eared dogs are prone to infections
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IIIA (MPS IIIA) – rare metabolic issue can cause neurological problems.
  • Dilated Caridomyopathy (DCM) – enlarged heart can cause heart failure

Caring The Pet

Grooming:

rhodesian ridgeback puppiesThe Rhodesian Ridgeback only sheds a little so you can keep him looking good with a brush twice a week.The shiny coat can be maintained by wiping him down with a damp cloth. Look out for any unusual lumps you might find.

He has floppy ears so during your grooming session check inside his ears and make sure they aren’t red. You can suspect an ear infection when you see your Ridgeback shaking his head or scratching his ears.

Check inside your Ridgeback’s mouth too as dogs can’t tell you when they’ve got a rotten tooth that is causing terrible pain and also poisoning their entire system.

Trim his nails too if they don’t wear down naturally.

Diet:

Your large Rhodesian Ridgeback will need good food from you if you want to have less visits to the vet because of illness.

If you have a puppy feed him 4 bowls of food a day, but once your dog is one year of age he can have two bowls of food. Two bowls are better than one as with one bowl, your dog becomes ravenous and gobble his food down. This can lead to bloat.

It is always convenient to feed him one of the top quality commercially manufactured dog foods but he will also need some tasty home-made food too. Boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots are a healthy choice for your pet – plain and simple dog food, just like dogs want.

They don’t want exotic, spicy foods that humans eat as it upsets their stomach. Chop this home-made food up ad put it into his dry kibble twice a week for a treat. Also try to give him a bit of raw meat occasionally. Never leave him without a constant source of fresh, cool water.

Feeding the Puppy

If you are not using your Huntaway to herd, then feed a medium formula not a high protein, high calorie formula. Feed 3-4 times a day and 1-2 cups.

Feeding the adult

3 cups per day feeding twice a day high quality medium calorie food.

Points for Good Health

Exceptional stamina

Games and Exercises

This herding breed has a great need of mental and physical stimulation. They were born to herd and to do so over vast tracts of land in challenging conditions. They need to be challenged. They need daily exercise at a very high level. A Run them every day or take them on a couple of long walks. They will excel in field trials, Barnhunt, agility and rescue. They love to learn.

Characteristics

rhodesian ridgeback dogsYour Ridgeback is a dignified dog who is devoted to his human family, being aloof around strangers.

He is a territorial dog and takes his job as guard dog seriously. He is confident and independent, and with his good looks, his loyalty and devotion, he is guaranteed to make you a most splendid pet and companion.

Children friendliness

They are very good with children and love to play with them.

Special talents

Stamina, speed and independence

Adaptability

Not really. Don’t do well in small spaces. Better off in the country.

Learning ability

Very intelligent, quick learner, loves learning new things.

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