Back when Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia, the European colonists in Africa faced a daunting landscape filled with wondrous and dangerous animals unlike anything they'd seen before. Naturally, they wanted to get right down to the business of hunting those animals and mounting their heads on walls. But the dogs they brought along with them were used to chasing things like foxes and deer, not big game. So they crossed their collection of various pooches with the half-wild Khoikhoi dogs kept by the local Hottentots, and the result was the Rhodesian ridgeback, also known as the African lion hound.
With a name like that, it's no wonder they strut around like arrogant pricks.
True to their name, these dogs were used to hunt lions. Not by sniffing them out or pointing in their general direction, but by actually chasing down fully grown Mufasas and bringing them to bay while their masters rode in on horseback for the kill.
Walter Weber, via National Geographic
Not so philosophically stoic about the "Circle of Life" when it's your ass on the line.
Described by some as the Navy Seals of dog breeds, ridgebacks are immune to insect bites and are able to keep up with a hunter on horseback for 30 miles. While they're perfectly suited for the harsh terrain of the African plains, they've also shown to be excellent home companions. If they don't get enough exercise, however, they've been known to treat the inside of their owners' homes like actual Navy Seals treat San Diego tourist bars.
Which is to say, they come to party.
You may be wondering why these dogs are called "ridgebacks." This refers to the odd strip of raised fur that runs down their back, made up of hair that decided to grow in the opposite direction of all the other follicles.
"Ignore Rex; he's just going through his punk phase."
It's just a mutation, caused by putting so many different kinds of dogs into the genetic bouillabaisse. But what better mutation for a lion-hunting dog than a kickass mohawk? Unless, of course, it were born with one squinty eye and little anchors on its biceps or something.
E. Reid Ross is a columnist at Man Cave Daily, and the proud father of a brand new baby Twitter account that you can coo at here. Dominik is an aspiring writer and musician from Prague, Czech Republic. You can follow him on Facebook while listening to some stuff from his band.
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