Ridgebacks of a Different Stripe

Today, Ridgebacks are all the same color – various shades of wheaten, which is, of course, the color of wheat, from pale flaxen to a rich, ripe red. But eighty years ago, when the Rhodesian Ridgeback was still a rarity outside its native African, brindle dogs were common, as were fawn dogs that sported great, big white socks.

This 1935 short was filmed in England, where brindle dogs were exported in some number. In this news clip, they are being walked on the estate grounds by a kennel girl.


A site visitor named Susanne was kind enough to share this with us, noting it is based on the research of Linda Costa: “These are the first Ridgebacks imported to the UK. They came out of Kenya from the Wallers, then imported to the UK by Mrs. Foljambe who did a great deal of promotion for the breed, including showing them for the first time in the UK at Crystal Palace in 1927 … This video was shot at Osberton, the Foljambes’ estate in the UK, and the lady with the dogs is the kennel maid who oversaw their breeding operations. By the time this video was made Mrs. Foljambe had died; her husband continued breeding into the 1940s.”

Today, the brindle pattern has disappeared, never to return: In order to produce a brindle, one of the parents has to be brindle, and those dogs waded out of the Ridgeback gene pool many, many generations ago.