Gilberts' K-9 Seminars News & Review
Copyright (c) 2005-2008 Gilberts' K-9 Seminars
RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK PIONEERS, By Linda Costa
BOOK REVIEW, By E. M. Gilbert Jr.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Pioneers, by Linda Costa, covers the early history of the breed in what was then called Rhodesia. This is not your standard breed book, it is a history of how the breed developed and who the early breeders were. It is also a history of the country and times of the breed’s development. The hardships endured by the people and how the dogs were used. The breed was basically developed in what at the time was known as Southern Rhodesia. It covers the influence of European breeds upon the local African stock. Some of the early lion hunts were recorded by the early hunters. One passage that is particularly telling states in part: “At one moment, the dogs perceiving his eyes (the lions) thus engaged, had advanced close to his feet, and seemed as if they would actually seize hold of him: but they paid dearly for this impudence, for without discomposing the majestic and steady attitude in which he stood fixed, he merely moved his paw, and at the next instant, I beheld two (dogs) lying dead …”. 
When reviewing the photos of the early dogs and comparing them to the dogs of today illustrates how far the breed has progressed. This writer is amazed at how some of the traits have been bred out of the Rhodesian Ridgeback we see in the ring today. The Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders throughout the world have done a fantastic job in eliminating certain traits and producing a consistent type. This reviewer and AKC judge considers the Rhodesian Ridgeback to be the most consistent breed, and highest quality breed in the AKC Hound Group.
This book is a must buy, but more than that it is a must read book for anyone who has had, does have, or will have a Rhodesian Ridgeback – and that holds true for any one who desires to judge the breed, or who judges the breed. The effort the author went through in gathering material and writing this book is mind boggling. This is not only historically accurate about the dogs and the country, but is an excellent text for any College course on the history of Southern Rhodesia. Yet its writing style is so readable. Contact the author Linda Costa via E-mail at: sarula@kantara.com.au for information on ordering the book. You can visit her web site at: http://www.kantara.com.au. The book is a hard cover quality book that after you read and digest it, you can use it for a coffee table book. It will generate conversation – particularly with your dog friends. Her research is impeccable. The photos are priceless. When you read this book remember that it is a testament to those fine people who are part of the history of the Rhodesian Ridgeback and as Linda says: “Remember them well.”

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