Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Shed?

By Coty Perry

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large dogs that are often very intelligent, confident, and relaxed. They are natural-born hunters and make loyal companions. They have a ridge of hair growing in the opposite direction on their backs, which gives away their name. 

The hair that grows in reverse on their back does shed, but not a considerable amount. Grooming your Rhodesian Ridgeback should be simple, as they are a low-shedding breed. This breed might be a good fit for you if you suffer from allergies.

Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Shed?

A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a pure breed with minimal shedding. Your pup definitely will shed, but minimally when compared to other breeds. If your Rhodesian Ridgeback is outdoors often, he might be more prone to seasonal shedding. 

If he is kept most of the time indoors, there will be little shedding. Brushing a Rhodesian Ridgeback once a week should be enough to remove loose hair and keep his coat well groomed. To get your pup accustomed to regular brushing, you should begin brushing him as a puppy. Once he grows older, he will use his weekly brushings to remove loose hair.

Your Rhodesian Ridgeback sheds are the same reason as other breeds shed – it is natural. Their damaged or old hair falls off when it is no longer healthy. Your Rhodesian Ridgeback will likely develop a thicker coat in the fall to prepare for winter, especially if he spends some time outdoors. 

If you notice excessive shedding in your Rhodesian Ridgeback, it could be due to the following reasons.

Medical Conditions

Multiple medical conditions can lead to excessive shedding in your pup. Some common medical conditions include:

  • Food allergies
  • External parasites
  • Pregnancy
  • Sunburn
  • Immune disease
  • Liver, thyroid, kidney, or adrenal disease
  • Bacterial or fungal infections

If you believe a medical condition is causing your Rhodesian Ridgeback to shed excessively, contact your dog’s vet immediately. The vet will be able to evaluate the issue and give proper treatment.


If your Rhodesian Ridgeback is overly stressed, you might notice that he sheds more often. Your pup might be stressed for many reasons, like separation anxiety, their environment, or they could be afraid of a person. You can tell if your Rhodesian Ridgeback is stressed if he growls, whines, paces, or shakes. 

If you feel that your dog is stressed, discuss the situation with your vet to help determine the cause of stress. The vet might prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help your Rhodesian Ridgeback feel more comfortable, reducing excessive shedding.


Your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s diet can significantly affect shedding. You might notice excessive hair loss if your Rhodesian Ridgeback does not eat a high-quality diet. A high-quality diet can help provide them with the proper nutrition while avoiding fillers or other ingredients that can cause food sensitivities or allergies. 

Some typical dog food allergens include dairy, wheat, gluten, beef, and chicken. If you believe he is allergic to some common ingredients, try a high-quality dry food. Before switching your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s food, contact his vet to discuss these changes.

Final Thoughts

Minimal shedding in your Rhodesian Ridgeback is normal. You can expect light shedding, but shedding can be reduced if you brush your Rhodesian Ridgeback at least once a week. 

If you believe your Rhodesian Ridgeback is shedding excessively, it could be due to his diet, medical conditions, or stress. Always contact your dog’s vet if you feel concerned about his shedding or other factors that can be contributing to it.

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.