Purpose

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In its home continent, the mighty Africa, Rhodesian Ridgeback has distinguished itself as a hunting dog for use on a wide variety of game ranging from lions, leopards, jackals, baboons to antelope, which they are capable of tracking and hunting trough their speed. Ridgebacks have evolved into a silent hunting dog, with a specific technique which demands courage and endurance. Hunting in a pack of dog they could detect lions, single out an animal and surround it. Taking turns they would hit the lion each time from a different side, evading lions paws or jaws with great speed and agility. In such a manner they would keep the lion pinned down until their master, the hunter arrived, allowing him to take a shot from with safety. Only a courageous, agile and fast dog could survive such a game, and only the best did.
Their main purpose was the guarding of native villages and their masters live stock from predators. Only later on have they evolved into a dependable dogs, appropriate to be companions and watch dogs on large properties. They also toke on the role of guard dogs in South African diamond mines.
Outside its native land, these dogs were often used for hunting purposes, most often as blood hounds, rarely to hunt wild boars. Interestingly, in Australia these dogs are being used to successfully hunt down live wild goats in order to scientifically study them. And in Tasmania they are being used to hunt Cangaroos, which have bred out of control.
When Rhodesian Ridgebacks were introduced to Europe, they were immediately being used for a wide variety of roles and purposes. Ridgeback is quickly valued as a house dog, companion dog, watch dog for personal protection. In some countries Ridgebacks are used as police tracking dogs. And in Canada they are also being used as dogs to aide blind people. They are also very successful in agility and since they are fast runners, they are also used as track dogs.