*The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed indigenous to Southern Africa. Its European forebears can be traced to the early pioneers of the Cape Colony of southern Africa, who crossed their dogs with the semi-domesticated, ridged hunting dogs of the Khoisan people (referred to by the colonists as "Hottentots").
*The Chow Chow, or Chow, is a breed of dog that originated in China, where it is referred to as Songshi Quan, which literally means "puffy-lion dog." It is believed that the Chow is one of the native dogs used as the model for the Foo dog, the traditional stone guardians found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces.
*In the earlier parts of its history, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has also been known as Van Rooyen's Lion Dogs, the African Lion Hound or African Lion Dog - "Simba Inja" in Ndebele, "Shumba Imbwa" in Shona - because of their abililty to harass a lion and keep it at bay while awaiting their master to make the kill.
*Today the Chow is most commonly kept as a companion dog. Their keen sense of proprietorship over their homes paired with a sometimes disconcertingly serious approach to strangers can be off-putting to those unfamiliar with the breed. However, displays of timidity and aggression are uncharacteristic of well-bred and well-socialized specimens.
*Ridgebacks are loyal and intelligent. They are however, aloof to strangers. This is not to be confused with agression: A Ridgeback of proper temperament will be more inclined to ignore a stranger than to challenge him. Ridgebacks are strong-willed and smart, and may seem to have a penchant for mischief, though lovingly.
*Research DNA analysis confirms that the Chow is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. From what records survive, some historians believe that the Chow was the dog described as accompanying the Mongolian armies as they invaded south into China as well as west into Europe and southwest into the Middle East during the 12th century.
*It is likely that the Great Dane and the Deerhound contributed to the Ridgeback gene pool along the way.