Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known to be loyal and intelligent. They are typically somewhat aloof to strangers; this is not to be confused with aggression, a Rhodesian Ridgeback with a good temperament will not attack a stranger for no reason. They require consistent training and correct socialization; they are often not the best choice for inexperienced dog owners. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are strong-willed and confident dogs. They are protective of their owners and families; if trained well, they can be excellent guard dogs.
Despite Rhodesian Ridgebacks being extremely athletic and sometimes imposing, they do have a sensitive side. Francis R. Barnes, who wrote the first standard in 1922, acknowledged that, “rough treatment … should never be administered to these dogs, especially when they are young. They go to pieces with handling of that kind.” The Rhodesian Ridgeback accepts correction as long as it is fair and justified, and as long as it comes from someone the dog knows and trusts