Rhodesian Ridgeback Price: How Much Does A Puppy Cost?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the most popular African dog breeds that has been imported into the United States.

Also known as the African Lion Hound, this formidable hunter was strong enough to fend off lions while still being a companion to its owner and family.

Today, it is less likely to go after lions and more likely to be a threat to intruders.

The many good qualities of this breed have drawn people to it.

Aside from the Rhodesian Ridgeback price, you should have an idea of the many costs that go into purchasing a puppy and owning this dog breed.

While there are other breeds more expensive than the Ridgeback, it isn’t cheap.

Finding the right place to get a healthy Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is also important.

Because this breed has gained a little popularity, it is easy to find.

However, if you end up with a poorly bred pooch, you would be frustrated in the long run.

We will cover these concerns and more in the following sections.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Price

Similar to other dog breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has no universal price.

Purchasing from a good breeder is usually expensive, even though there’s a growing number of breeders in the United States.

Expect to spend a lot on the initial cost of purchase. If you would rather not, then go for adoption.

Given all we know, here are the average price ranges to keep in mind when planning the initial Rhodesian Ridgeback cost:

Puppy Price (Shopping)$1,700 to $2,500
Service Dog (Shopping)$30,000 to $50,000
Adoption$300 to $500

We’re assuming you’re looking for a standard puppy, so the first price range should guide your budget.

Getting from a breeder is different from adopting from a rescue, and several factors can influence the price of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

Some of these factors are:

  • Location
  • Pedigree
  • Age of the dog
  • Health status
  • Socialization and training

How Much Does a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Cost?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Sitting on Grass
Photo: Animal Info / Getty Images

The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy price ranges between $1,700 and $2,500 when you purchase from a breeder.

Finding a reputable breeder is important. You will stumble upon many price options, some cheaper than the range we mentioned.

However, be wary of any breeder who offers you a puppy at a very cheap price.

As a general rule, if the puppy price is anything lower than $1,500, do not buy. We also don’t recommend puppy mills and backyard breeders. 

The worst-case scenario would be people giving dogs away for free.

These dogs are either stolen or with serious health issues, situations you would not want to be into. 

A good breeder should be able to answer any questions and concerns you have regarding health, environment, dietary options, and behavior.

He/she should be willing to let you visit and see where the puppies are being bred.

Some reputable breeders would even have questions to ask you in return. 

Adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback from a Rescue Shelter is Cheaper

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Standing on Road
Photo: volofin / Getty Images

Adoption is a cheaper and more trustworthy option than shopping.

It also has a moral advantage as you would be offering an abandoned Ridgeback a home.

With the ever-rising canine population in the United States and other countries, adoption is gaining influence.

To adopt a Rhodesian Ridgeback from a rescue shelter, you’d need to budget around $300 to $500 for the adoption fee. The adopted dog might be a puppy, adult, or senior.

There are some benefits and downsides to adopting.

Besides the lower cost and moral value, rescue shelters are often more trustworthy in giving information.

Older dogs can sometimes be calmer and more stable than puppies. 

Nonetheless, dogs in rescue shelters might have been abandoned for many reasons.

A badly trained Ridgeback can develop aggression as a behavioral trait, so you’d need to watch out for that.

Some were also abused or have special needs that you should make provisions for. 

7 Factors That Influence the Price of the African Lion Hound

African Lion Hound Puppy Standing in the Wood
Photo: madcorona / Getty Images

As we mentioned in a previous section, there are some factors that breeders and even rescue shelters look into while fixing the price.

To understand their choices, we shall highlight some of the important factors and explain each.

1. Lineage/Bloodline

Winning bloodlines have the benefit of having the best genes and health, as they are used for show and are bred following set standards.

These dogs are bred to produce puppies that would be in high demand.

Purchasing one of these pups costs more than getting a pet pup, so unless you need one for a show, it’s best to get the pet-quality pooches.

2. Age

Not surprisingly, younger dogs cost more than older ones.

This isn’t because puppies are better than adult Ridgebacks, but they require more care and commitment than older ones.

Puppies are also like ‘clean states’, which allows you to have a fresh bond with them.

However, if you want to save cost, consider adopting a full-grown Rhodesian Ridgeback or even a senior.

Some rescue shelters may not attach any fee for senior dogs. 

3. Certificates and Other Documentation

While certificates don’t necessarily mean the breeder is reputable, many good ones have health warranties and other certificates that prove that the puppies are healthy and that they are experts at their jobs.

The certificate also proves that the puppies have been registered with the AKC or other popular kennel clubs.

It is safer to get your Rhodesian pup from a certified breeder, but it costs more. 

4. Coat Color

All recognized dog breeds have coat standards, and for the Rhodesian Ridgeback, there are only three recognized colors, which includes:

  • Light Wheaten
  • Red Wheaten
  • Wheaten

Each of the color variants can come with a black or brown nose.

Every other color is considered a deviation from the norm, so Ridgebacks of other colors are usually cheaper.

Some breeders offer black Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but you should be careful.

These breeders often focus on appearance, even at the expense of health.

5. Location

Your location and the breeder’s home can significantly influence the cost of getting a Ridgeback.

Some breeders offer shipping services, which would mean extra payment from your side.

It would also cost more for you to go visit the breeder’s home.

Fortunately, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a rare breed.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a breeder or rescue shelter close to your neighborhood. 

6. Gender

This doesn’t have much influence on the initial budget, but it would become a major factor when you want to neuter or spay your pooch.

Spaying is a more expensive procedure than neutering.

If the breeder is selling an already spayed and neutered Ridgeback, the female will cost more than the male. 

7. Health

The last major factor we’d look at is the health of the puppy or adult being sold or rescued.

Cheaper puppies on sale tend to have health issues than the costlier ones. The same applies to adoption.

If you want to rescue a Ridgeback with health issues, it might come at no cost. 

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Expensive to Own?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Relaxing on Dog Bed
Photo: JovasPhoto / Getty Images

In a nutshell, yes, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is costly to own.

For one, the Rhodesian Ridgeback price can go from $1,700 to $2,500 when shopping, and even adoption has a fee a bit higher than some other known breeds.

Service dogs cost higher with their price range falling between $30,000 and $50,000.

Besides the initial cost, there are some other expenses you will make throughout the lifespan of the Ridgeback.

Some of them would come at the onset, others are long-term payments.

Most of them are needs that you can’t do away with.


The Ridgeback needs a high-quality meal of either dry kibble or raw food. This is a big and energetic breed, so the food size and nutrients must fit.

Protein is the major nutrient you need, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback would need around 3 cups of food a day.

Bear in mind that 30 pounds of kibble often contains 120 cups in total. 

10 Best Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgebacks


For a stubborn and aloof dog breed, training and socialization are mandatory.

You should also start early so your puppy can be shaped to have good manners. Even adopted dogs should be taught at least basic obedience.

These smart dogs need a lot of mental stimulation and interesting activities to make them co-operate.

Complete Guide To Training Your Puppy


The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a low grooming need, so you wouldn’t need to spend a high amount taking care of its coat and other body parts.

Simple brushing is enough, and a professional groomer is not required, except if you can’t handle sensitive areas like cutting the nails.

Health Insurance

During the average Rhodesian Ridgeback lifespan, it is prone to many diseases, even if it was well-bred.

Having pet insurance in place will help reduce the burden of any unforeseen circumstance that would require immediate vet treatment.

Dog Dental Insurance: An Ultimate Guide

Medical Fees

Getting a Ridgeback from a good breeder will help reduce the chances of you spending a high amount on medical treatment.

But you’d still need space on your budget for regular vet check-ups. Vaccination also falls under medical fees.


These items are crucial for your dog’s well-being.

Most of them are under initial purchases, and you won’t need to have them on your monthly budget unless they should be replaced.

They include dog toys, beds, leash, collar, harness, bowls, and bed.

Initial Cost of Rhodesian Ridgeback Ownership

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Playing with Dog ToyRhodesian Ridgeback Puppies Playing with Dog Toy
Photo: ncn18 / Getty Images

Now that we know the different needs that would require further payments, let’s look into the prices of the initial items and services that are necessary for the dog’s good survival 

Items/Services Price
ID Tag$12 to $36
Microchip$45 to $55
Nail clipper$8 to $10
Spaying/neutering$100 to $200
Puppy shots$100 to $165
First vet checkup$45 to $50
Brush $8 to $12
Leash and harness$20 to $50
Bed$30 to $40
Bowl $15
Puppy training class $200 to $500
Crate$60 to $100
Dental cleaning$100 to $300
Total$790 to $1,390

Monthly Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost of Ownership

These costs are more recurrent and would need to be part of your monthly expenses.

They all contribute to the dog’s overall health and well-being. 

Feeding$75 to $100
Grooming$10 to $20
Medical fees$20 to $100
Pet insurance$10 to $100
Environmental cost$15 to $20
Entertainment$20 to $30
Training$80 to $120
Total $230 to $490 

How to Reduce Expenses

If the cost of purchasing and owning this breed seems daunting, don’ fret.

There are some ways you can reduce costs and still enjoy the pleasures of pet parenting.

Sometimes, it would require getting the job done yourself, but it is worth it in the long run. 

Here are some tips to reduce your expenses:

  • Opt for adoption: As we mentioned earlier, one advantage of adopting is its lower cost when compared to quality shopping. Plus, you’d be doing society a favor, anyway.
  • Do not hire a professional groomer: Since this breed has low grooming need, hiring a groomer is not unnecessary. Learn how to cover up the basics, including ear cleaning and nail trimming. 
  • Undertake training on your own: In addition to grooming by yourself, handle training without the help of a professional trainer. This requires some level of pet parenting experience.
  • Don’t neglect monthly checkups: Dog health problems are known to drain owners’ wallets. Medical bills are one of the top reasons people abandon dogs in rescue shelters as they find themselves unable to foot the bill.

    While you ensure that the dog you buy/adopt is healthy, do not miss regular checkups to maintain the health. Also, be observant to pick up symptoms. 
  • Make pet insurance a priority: Adding pet insurance policies to regular checkups would help you foot medical bills that may pop up without notice. You never know when your Ridgeback could get injured or eat something it shouldn’t have.
  • Go for high-quality products: Buying cheaper items may seem more economical, but they tend to not last long. Plus, your dog would prefer quality for its well-being. 
  • Buy in bulk: Aside from getting discounts, bulk buying is cheaper than purchasing single units in the long run.

Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Right for You?

Everything you now know on the Rhodesian Ridgeback’s price would make no difference if the breed doesn’t fit your lifestyle and environment.

Do not just be convinced from pictures or stories (“It is from Africa? It can fight lions?”).

If you get a Ridgeback without being equipped for it, you’d end up frustrated. 

The ideal owner of the Rhodesian Ridgeback should be experienced and creative, firm but polite, and willing to exercise daily.

This bread can thrive in any environment but must be physically and mentally challenged.

If you can handle a stubborn dog and give it enough exercise, then the Rhodesian Ridgeback is right for you.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Good Family Pets?

Where to Adopt or Find Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies for Sale

To make the first steps easier for you, here are some sites you can shop for or adopt a Ridgeback.

It is important to note that these are suggestions and not endorsements. Do your own research and apply due diligence before closing any deal.

Some places you can find Ridgebacks for sale are:

Some animal shelters and rescues, where you can adopt a Ridgeback include:

Related Questions

Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Lying Down Outdoors
Photo by JodaFoto / Getty Images

What should I look for when buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy you want to buy should, first and foremost, be a healthy one.

Good health is essential for a household pet. Other factors like the ridge marking, its behavior, and diet should be considered too.

How long do Rhodesian Ridgebacks live?

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a fairly long life span of up to 12 years and would stay healthy with proper care.

Closing Thoughts

It takes a lot to buy and maintain a dog, and the Ridgeback is not an exception.

As it keeps increasing in popularity, so does the cost of purchase.

Responsible pet parenting also entails that you keep in mind every other expense you need to make for your pet’s benefit.

Of course, there are many ways you can cut down the cost. Once you’re sure this breed is right for you, draw your budgets.

10 Popular Rhodesian Ridgeback Mixes (w/ Pictures)

Featured Image: Mirrorimage-NL / Canva

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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