Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs were bred in Africa as lion hunters and home protectors.
Their expert skills in hunting only came as an addition to their beautiful appearance.
At first, this breed was known as the African Lion Dog.
Over the years things have significantly changed.
Today, Rhodesian dogs can no longer be found stalking lions on the vast savannahs. They’ve upgraded to enjoying time with their human servants.
Because your dog won’t remain at his puppy size, it’s important to consider the adult size of any breed you might want to bring into your home.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are considered to be large-sized dogs.
While this dog breed isn’t the biggest one out there, they still need a fair amount of space to enjoy life to the fullest.
If you provide enough for your Ridgeback, his formidable and strong-willed nature will bring out sincere loyalty and fondness for his human.
They are strong and muscular hounds, with symmetrical outlines and balanced posture.
A Ridgeback’s body is longer rather than tall but that feature gives it a tough-looking stand.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Weight
An adult Rhodesian Ridgeback male can weigh anywhere between 80-91 lbs (36-41 kg) and their female counterparts reach 63-74 lbs (29-34 kg).
While your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy grows, you will need to assess his or her weight every once in a while so you can keep track of their healthy development.
Measuring the dog’s weight should never be discontinued and even adults should be weighed every once in a while.
There can be a significant difference between litters so the growth interval is spaced out to allow most puppies to fall under the category.
If your pup or adult Ridgeback is under- or overweight, consult your vet and get a second opinion if necessary.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Size Comparison
A Rhodesian Ridgeback’s height ranges from 24-27 inches (61-69cm) and comparable lean and short-coated dog breeds include the Viszla (56-61cm), Dalmatian (56-61cm), Weimaraner (59-67cm), and the Doberman (61-72cm).
Don’t compare your Ridgeback pup with other breeds though as every dog breed has slightly different ranges.
You should focus on comparing your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s puppy size to that of other littermates and the previous puppies from the same parents.
If your puppy falls below the average size and weight for his age, in most cases there is no need for concern.
Some dogs are natural late-bloomers and can catch up with their littermates and even surpass their size in a matter of weeks.
Significant height and weight fluctuations over a longer period can suggest that the puppy is suffering from some health problem.
When the numbers stated on the growth chart are alarmingly far from the dog’s actual state, you should have him checked by a vet.
Dogs that are too small may have been suffering a health crisis for some time and are particularly more vulnerable to other diseases because of their size too.
What if it’s the other way around – When your puppy is larger than average?
Same as with underweight pups, heavier individuals are perfectly normal as long as their body condition doesn’t look chubby and it’s proportional.
All in all, look for a healthy size-weight ratio!
Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy is Underweight
If your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is underweight, you should look into it but most of the time, slight underweight just indicates late development and shouldn’t be overcompensated.
There is no doubt that the first thing that provides healthy and proper growth is good nutrition.
You should always feed your puppy high-quality food (personally, I’ve switched my Rottie pup to a raw diet relatively early on).
When there is a lack of the right nutrients, the puppy will fail to meet the developmental milestones.
Inspect the ingredients of the food you are giving your pup and consult your veterinarian when choosing dog food if unsure.
Another common reason for failing to gain weight in puppies is infestation with intestinal parasites such as hookworms and roundworms.
If your puppy has them, the parasites are getting the best of the ingested food.
Many veterinarians are vigilant about deworming young puppies, whereas I personally prefer testing for worms regularly and treating as required. But it’s important to do something to rule worms out.
Anytime you think this might be the reason you should play it safe and have your dog’s feces examined by a vet.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Growth Chart
The growth chart provides height and weight estimates for male and female Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies for the most important growth stages until they reach adulthood.
You can always use the chart for comparison; just remember that the numbers presented serve only as a guide and not as a standard rule.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Growth Stages
From birth up until 2 weeks of age, the muscles of baby Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very weak.
It will be very hard for them to move during the first growth stage.
They will mostly spend their time sleeping and feeding on a lot of milk to gain the necessary strength.
Puppies are unable to hear and see until the 3rd week and need a lot of their mother’s attention and heat.
When they open their eyes and hearing starts to develop, the Rhodesian puppy will make the most of it.
The muscles can already hold their bodies enough to stand and move around.
Once they start exploring there is no stopping. Navigating the surroundings and muscle coordination are drastically improving until the 12th week of age.
At 1 month of age, a healthy Rhodesian Ridgeback is expected to weigh between 5-9 lbs (2-4 kg) and be 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). The height of a 12-week-old Ridgeback puppy is 9-11 inches (23-28 cm).
This is the period when they gain weight very fast.
The next stage when the growth slows down a bit is between 4 months and 9 months of age.
All puppies chew on anything they can find because they are trying to replace their baby teeth with permanent teeth.
Females start this growing stage with 33-38 lbs (15-17 kg) and finish with 55-63 lbs (25-29 kg), while males go from 38-41 lbs (17-19 kg) to 63-72 lbs (29-33 kg) during these 5 months of physical development.
At 4 months of age, the puppies are expected to be 12-15 inches (30-38 cm) and gain additional 10 inches (25 cm) by the 9th month.
After that, the growth rate significantly decreases.
The dogs don’t add too much height and rather obtain a wider, slightly more muscular appearance.
Between 10 months of age and 18 months, some puppies might experience growth spurts.
This is a condition in large and giant dog breed that’s not harmful or permanent but can inflict temporary pain and discomfort in young dogs.
The monthly weight addition in both male and female Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies is 0.5 to 1 kg from the beginning of the last growth stage until adulthood.
Female puppies weigh 58-66 lbs (26-30 kg) and males weigh 66-74 lbs (30-34 kg) at 10 months of age.
Their height can be anywhere between 23-25 inches (58-64 cm) which is pretty close to the size of a full-grown Rhodesian Ridgeback.
By 12 months of age, both males and females can gain an additional inch (2.5 cm) in height but there’s no guarantee.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Size at 6 Months
At 6 months of age, a male Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is expected to weigh between 52 and 58 lbs (24-26 kg). Female Rhodesians at this age can have between 46 and 50 lbs (21 and 23 kg) of body weight.
Half-year-old young adults usually achieve 17-19 inches (43-48 cm) of shoulder height.
They gain additional 1-1.5 inches (2.5-4 cm) in height for the next 4-5 months which is a lot less noticeable compared to the monthly size gains before.
It’s only been 6 months and the puppy is already quite big.
Although that means there’s more of him to love it also means that like any other large breed, your Ridgeback will be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.
There are different degrees according to the severity and only certified individuals can rate the dogs.
Veterinarians recommend that the first x-rays for these musculoskeletal conditions should be done exactly at half a year of age (if there is reason for concern).
If there are signs of dysplasia and your vet needs to reevaluate the hips/elbows or if you just want to get an x-ray for the first time, the best time is around the time when bone growth has finished which is approximately 1 1/2 years of age.
At What Age Does a Rhodesian Ridgeback Stop Growing?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks stop growing at around 18 months of age. There is a chance for additional muscle and fat build for the next few months.
Full-grown Rhodesian Ridgeback males usually reach 25-27 inches (62-69 cm) shoulder height and females grow approximately 24-26 inches (61-66 cm) tall.
The pathway a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog takes during development can be a lot different than other dogs within the same breed.
Genetics is a very important growth factor in these puppies.
Their biological predisposition for certain physical traits will eventually determine the final size.Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.