The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an all-purpose 'Renaissance hound whose hallmark is the ridge, or stripe of backward-growing hair, on his back. Though the breed was made famous in its native Africa for its skill at tracking and baying "but never, ever killing" lions, today Ridgebacks are cherished family dogs whose owners must be prepared to deal with their independence and strong prey drive. Beneath the Ridgeback's trademark ridge is a whole lot of hound Ridgebacks are fast and powerful athletes who can weigh between 70 and 85 pounds, and oftentimes more. They come in only one color ' wheaten, which spans every shade seen in a wheat field, from pale flaxen to the burnished red of a maturing crop. Ridgebacks also have two nose colors: black and the less commonly seen brown. The formidable Ridgeback can be strong willed, independent, and sometimes domineering. Ridgebacks must be guided with a firm but fair hand from puppyhood. They are faithful friends, protective of their loved ones and meltingly affectionate with those whom they trust. Still, a Ridgeback can be too much hound for the novice dog owner.