The Ridgeback is a large dog breed originally from Southern Africa where they were used to help in the hunting of lions. This is one of the primary reasons why the Ridgeback is know for its bravery amongst large dog breeds. The Ridgeback's most distinguishing feature is the ridge that runs along its back where the hair grows in the opposite direction to the rest of their coat. This ridge is usually around 2 inches (5 cm) in width. This originated from the dog used by the Hottentot African dog, which had a very similar ridge on its back.