The Legend of the lion dogs

by CFF and JaStaRidge


An independent film for the preservation of the lion dogs, the unique Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

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EUR 1’385

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The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

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14 days to go

Together we will save the special characteristics of these dogs.

With this film we are fighting against the ultimately destructive, overly narrow breed standard, which still kills non-conforming dogs today. For the shared responsibility of dog breeding with a future. It is about the survival of the lion dogs on a sound basis in terms of health and character with an expanded gene pool.

Contribute, support our film! We are shooting in 4K cine format with a professional team and equipment - in Germany, France and (if possible) in South Africa and the USA. Our film will be shown in selected cinemas and as a stream in 2025. You will see an independent cinema film production, not beholden to any Rhodesian Ridgeback club/dog association - by Christoph Felder and Jasmin Stark.

Jasmin: «The renowned Filmmaker Christoph Felder and I got to know each other through the dogs. In countless conversations about our Ridgebacks, Christoph became curious and wanted to know more and more about the Ridgeback scene, clubs, problems and the people around the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The fascination turned into a need for more. We couldn’t find an informative, exciting film… He asked if I would like to record all the aspects of the Rhodesian Ridgeback in a film together, to explain them and to ensure that the Ridgeback doesn’t end up like the German Shepherd, for example, which was overbred, or the pugs, whose breeding and people’s visual demands have been their undoing. Now we spent many hours planning what should be included in a feature film documentary: the origin of course, where do lion dogs come from, what did people think when the Ridgeback was created, how did the breed develop over the years, what is the Ridgeback like today, what are its peculiarities, what is the nature of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, what diseases has breeding brought with it, what happens behind the scenes, behind closed doors, what role do the clubs play, what measures are there to protect the breed. We want to open eyes and give breeders, dog owners, clubs and interested parties an insight that they have not had before. I have always loved dogs, but as a city child with working parents, having my own dog was unfortunately not possible. When I was taken in in 2006 by a family with years of breeding experience who bred in a very family-like manner and with a lot of closeness to their dogs, I felt a little like Mowgli from The Jungle Book. I finished my teaching degree, devoted myself solely to dogs, attended many seminars, sat down with biologists and nutrition experts and immersed myself in the world of healthy nutrition and animal care and began to have pet food and accessories made myself. I dealt with dog communication, body language training and became a trainer and behavior therapist.

Since 2009 I have been looking after breeders of all breeds, accompanying births, supporting matings. I sense what needs or problems the dogs have and I hope that the viewers of the film can take something away from my many experiences and my care of now 6000 breeders and their puppy families that will make it easier for them to deal with their dogs and understand them, but also that a jolt goes through society - what can be done to keep our dogs (and not just the Rhodesian Ridgeback) healthy and as the loving companions they can be.»

The legend of the lion dogs, a fascinating legacy

Their story - spectacular and unique, a fight for survival in the wilderness How a breed standard endangers their survival. Doomed without Ridge. What we have to do for your health and why we have to rethink. Between wild nature and cozy home - an unique relationship at eye level.

Why are you so fascinated by this dog?

What does it actually mean to keep a breed healthy? «My research and knowledge from 20 years with these dogs are things that you can experience in this film and nowhere else on the Internet or anywhere else,» says dog expert Stephanie Müller.

It’s about animal-loving Ridgeback crazy people. But it’s also about this torture breeding story, This problem, which is always - without thinking about it - continues to be associated with the Ridgeback. Stephanie: «We’ll clear this up, we’ll clean it up, we’ll explain to you exactly why, why, why.» You will be fascinated. When you come out of this film your heart will be filled with Rhodesian Ridgeback love, with passion. Above all, it’s about a friendship that goes so deep that we completely put this typical dog and master thinking aside. You’ll come out of this movie and you’ll think, wow, that this is even possible. I have a friend, but a friend for life and I have achieved this friendship by giving everyone their space. I can live with dogs in a completely different way than what we are always told. A dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, will take you exactly that way.