The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in Rhodesia, (modern day Zimbabwe) South Africa and was actually given the name African Lion Dog/Hound as it was able to keep a lion at bay! It was soon realised that in packs, Ridgeback's could be used to hunt lions.
Ridgebacks are still common in Africa and are now used as guard dogs, taking advantage of the braveness and power of the breed.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback gained its unusual name because there is a patch of hair that stands up in the opposite direction and stretches from the shoulders to the hips.
Ridgebacks are generally good natured, calm, intelligent and loyal but are not good enough around young children as they tend to be too rough.