Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed of large hunting dog, characterized by a ridge of hair growing along the spine in a direction opposite to that of the rest of the coat. The ridgeback was bred in South Africa by Afrikaner farmers as a big-game hunter and guard dog. It represents a combination of several imported breeds, including the Great Dane, mastiff, greyhound, and bloodhound, with Rhodesian varieties capable of withstanding extremes of heat and cold. Introduced into the United States in 1950, the Rhodesian ridgeback was recognized as a standard breed in 1955. The dog has a strong, muscular body and a broad head with high-set ears and a long muzzle. The short, sleek coat varies in color from light to red wheaten. The adult Rhodesian ridgeback weighs from 29 to 34 kg (65 to 75 lb) and averages about 66 cm (about 26 in) high at the shoulder.