The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large dog breed originally bred in Southern Africa. Its forebears can be traced to the semi-domesticated ridged hunting and guardian dogs of the Khoikhoi. These were interbred with European dogs by the early colonists of the Cape Colony for assisting in the hunting of lions.
The original breed standard was drafted by F.R. Barnes, in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in 1922, and approved by the South African Kennel Union in 1927. The Rhodesian Ridgeback at present is the only registered breed indigenous to mainland Southern Africa. The breed displays characteristics of a sighthound, scent hound and mastiff.