Welcome to

Hobby breeders dedicated

to the preservation of the

Rhodesian Ridgeback.

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Our Philosophy

Maureen acquired her first Rhodesian Ridgeback in 1989.  Her name was Cheebah, and she became Kimani’s Bad and Beautiful, UD, multiple all-breed High in Trial as well as the #1 Obedience Ridgeback in the USA for three years. It was here that her love for the Rhodesian blossomed, and she has not been without one since.


Maureen first started in purebred dogs in 1984 with a Golden Retriever named Cooper. This family pet opened the gateways to her childhood fascination with canines and changed her life forever.  Cooper went on to earn his AKC UD, Canadian CDX and was halfway through his OTCH before an injury retired him, earning multiple HIT and High Combined status along the way.  Through advanced obedience competition training, Maureen learned much about the language of canines, further spurring her interest in understanding behavior as well as training techniques and modalities.  Along the way Maureen offered up her services to rescue organizations, helping to house and train shelter or abandoned dogs until they found new homes.  The culmination of this hard work, education and experience became integral to the backbone of Lyonnese Kennels in foundation puppy rearing, training and socialization, and conformation and performance events.


Over the years Maureen has been involved in the training and showing of many Ridgebacks to their Championships, Grand Championships and beyond in Conformation.  She actively participates in Lure Coursing events for fun and Dual Champion status.  Along the way she owner-handled the 2006 RRCUS National Specialty Best in Show Winning bitch and co-owned the 2007 RRCUS National Specialty Best in Show winning dog.  Both these top winning Ridebacks were sired by her stud dog, Mozambique, DC Kimani’s Flexible Flyer, SC TDI ROM, who lived his life with her.


Lyonnese Rhodesian Ridgebacks was first used as a prefix in 2012 and started to take off in 2015 when Bango, Silver GCH Lyonnese Master’s Blend by Kimani, earned the 2015 RRCUS National Specialty Best of Opposite and #1 Stud Dog Winner, and went on to earn a Group First, Multiple Group Placements and Top Ten status nationwide. This National Specialty also awarded top honors to a sister- brother team earning Best in Specialty Junior Sweeps and Best of Opposite Junior Sweeps, who were also bred, born, reared, and trained by the Lyonnese family.  This sister-brother team were later known as Best in Field Winning DC GCH Lyonnese Jewel of the Congo, SC ROM (Katanga) and Silver GCH Lyonnese Ignite the Light (Bodhi) the Westminster BOB winner in 2020, and Top 20 Ridgeback for multiple years.  Lyonnese Kennels was on the map!


Maureen has bred, co-bred, whelped, raised, owned, co-owned and selected many Ridgebacks for the show ring, performance events, and for family companions, occurring over multiple decades.  Along the way, this includes multiple National Specialty top winners, Specialty Winners, Dual Champions, Best in Field Winner, and most recently a Versatility Excellent titled bitch (Choo) and Versatility dog (Mason).  Notably, in the show ring, Lyonnese Kennels has produced the #1 Ridgeback and #5 Hound (Samburu), #6 Ridgeback (Thatcher) and #13 Ridgeback (Brody) for 2021, earning multiple BIS, BISS and RBIS titles to their credit! Our dogs have consistently placed in top ten and top twenty over multiple years.


Maureen has judged multiple RRCUS Supported Sweepstake shows and has been a respected member of the National Breed Club (RRCUS) for many years.  She is an AKC Breeder of Merit and Bred with H.E.A.R.T. participant and continues to breed for health, temperament, and conformation excellence.


She officially established Lyonnese Kennels in 2003 where she continues her shared passion and love for the Rhodesian Ridgeback.  The voluminous accomplishments of Lyonnese Kennels would not be possible without the immense and continued contribution of the treasured Lyonnese team.


Breeder-Owner-Handler-AKC Judge


Theresa has been involved in the sport of dogs since 1990 where she first handled a Golden Retriever for her mother-in-law. She was introduced to the Rhodesian Ridgeback in 1992 and it was instant love. Since then, she has handled multiple breeds, from many different groups, and has honed her handling skills to become very competitive in the show ring.


She has owned, handled and championed multiple Ridgebacks as well as co-owned multiple Top Ten, Westminster and RRCUS National Specialty Best in Show winners. She has handled many Ridgebacks to top awards, including: Owner-Handler and All-Breed Group Placements, RRCUS National Specialty: Best of Opposite Sex, Winners Dog, multiple Awards of Merit and Stud Dog Winners and Placers, Junior Sweepstakes BOS, Veteran Sweepstakes BOS, and multiple class placements. As a co-breeder, with Maureen, she has also handled and championed generations of Ridgebacks.


Theresa currently owns and shows several Ridgebacks. She has competed at the Master level in Agility and has also earned titles in conformation, coursing, dock diving, hunting, agility, rally and obedience.


Professionally, Theresa is a successful and well-known Publisher and Designer. In 1995, she founded the Ridgeback Register magazine which she owned and published for nearly 25-years. This multiple award-winning publication was known for eye-catching design, stunning photography and quality journalism. This publication afforded Theresa the opportunity to visit and interview some of the breeds most noted and historical figures.


She is the past Owner, Publisher and Art Director for Sighthound Review and Modern Molosser magazines. Currently, she is a the Art Director/Senior Designer for Whippet Review magazine and a professional graphic artist and talented dog photographer who creates high-quality advertisements for breeders, owners, handlers and multiple breed publications.


Theresa prides herself on breed research, pedigree knowledge and continued canine anatomy studies.  She has attended multiple breed specialties, including seminars focusing on breed standards, health and genetics as well as form and function. She has judged multiple RRCUS Supported and Regional Specialty Shows as well as judging the conformation portion of the Triathlon event at the 2021 RCCUS National Specialty. Theresa is an AKC approved Rhodesian Ridgeback judge and is currently working on additional hounds.


Proudly serving four-years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, Theresa is married with three adult children, one of which is active in Ridgebacks.


She is a member of many organizations, including the Princeton Dog Training Club (PDTC), Plainfield Kennel Club (PKC), American Pointer Club (APC) as well as the Dog Writers Association of America and the Alliance of Pure Breed Dog Writers. She is also a past Board of Director for the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States and the current Corresponding Secretary for PDTC.




Debbie has been a dog enthusiast since she was a child growing up with various mixed breeds.  Her first AKC registered purebred dogs were German Shorthair Pointers. She fell in love with the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed after seeing one in a grooming shop in the late 90’s. She knew someday she would own this majestic breed.


In the spring of 2004, she purchased her first Ridgeback, Tosha, as a family pet.  She instantly fell in love with the breed and acquired a companion male, Tebow, in 2006.  In 2010, Debbie obtained Zulu, which would become her first show dog, (GCH Kushinda’s Edge Of Glory).  Maureen showed Zulu to his AKC Championship and soon became a trusted mentor. Debbie and Zulu then pursued his Grand Championship and along the way were awarded several Best of Breed, Best of Opposite and Select wins.  Through instruction and education with Maureen and others, Debbie became a competitive owner-handler.


Debbie’s first show bitch was Satara, now GCH Kimani’s Set in Gold, whom she co-owns with Maureen.  Satara was Reserve Winners Bitch at the 2012 National Specialty under respected breeder-Judge Barbara Ruppert, at the tender age of 6 months.  She followed this with a major win at Ocala the next day, soon to be followed by Winner’s Bitch at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York in 2013.  Satara has only improved with age completing an AKC Grand Championship with Debbie in 2015. At the 2019 RRCUS National Specialty they continued their successful partnership by being awarded 1st place in her class for Veteran’s Sweepstakes, 2nd place in her regular Veteran’s class and a placement in Brood Bitch Class with two of her get from her final litter.


Debbie has continued to develop her showing/handling skills One of her most notable early wins was being awarded Best In Junior Sweeps at the 2015 RRCUS National Specialty piloting a Lyonnese bitch of Maureen’s named Katanga, now BIF DC GCH Lyonnese Jewel of the Congo, SC.


In 2018, Debbie whelped and reared (bred and co-owned with Maureen) Satara’s final litter which produced, Sukari, CH Lyonnese Confection In Gold, TKN and two males: Thatcher, a Bronze GCH, BISS, Group Winner and Multiple Group Placer and #6 (Breed) in 2021. Samburu, a Platinum GCH, Multiple Best in Show and Multiple Reserve Best in Show winner, BISS and the #1 Ridgeback (Breed & Group) and #5 Hound for 2021. Sukari was bred, trained and owner handled to her AKC Championship by Debbie and they are now halfway in their pursuit of Sukari’s AKC Grand Championship, earning along the way Best of Breed, Best of Opposite, Select and multiple Best of Breed Owner Handler wins. Debbie and Sukari also earned an Award of Merit at the historic and prestigious Morris & Essex Kennel Club in 2021.


Over the last 10 years and as a part of Lyonnese Ridgebacks, Debbie has shown, bred, co-bred and whelped multiple litters. She has found a passion for increasing her knowledge in canine nutrition and holistic practices. As a natural competitor, Debbie enjoys being in the ring and turning out a well-groomed and conditioned dog.


Debbie is proud to be a breeder with Lyonnese as well as a current member of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, the Morris & Essex Kennel Club and the Central New Jersey Hound Association.

Other active members of the Lyonnese Team:

Meghan Sheehan

Owner of

Ronan & Kindu

Breeder of

Tully & Keeva

New Jersey

Harland Atkinson

Owner of

Azuri & Johari

New Jersey

George & Susan Ohanesian

Owners of

Chip and Bodhi

New Jersey

Laurie Odgers

Owner of Livee

and Bek


Cindy Ianiro

Owner of Brody

 and Axl

New Jersey

Sean & Samantha Lyons

Owners of Crash

New Jersey

Carl Bloksberg

Owner of Mason

New Jersey

Jennifer Hakeem

Owner of Choo


Michele Hartmann

Owner of Senga


Channe Coles & Angela O’Neil

Owner of Thatcher




Established Lyonnese Rhodesian Ridgebacks in 2003

We are hobby breeders dedicated to the preservation of the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Sound in body, mind and health – Upstanding, athletic and the ultimate companion animal.


Our guiding principle focuses on preservation of Rhodesian Ridgeback breed type, as stated in our breed standard, with the dual objective of soundness in conformation, temperament, and health, per the following:


  1. Minimum: Final OFA screening of Hips and Elbows on all breeding stock over 2 years of age; OFA Prelims under 2 years of age.
  2. No females shall be bred under 2 years of age, regardless of screening, nor bred beyond 7 years of age.
  3. In addition, Lyonnese Kennels will pursue to achieve the following additional health screenings on all breeding stock, as possible:  OFA/MSU Thyroid, OFA Cardiac, OFA CAER (eyes), DM and EOAD.
  4. Lyonnese Stud Dog contracts shall be initiated and honored for all breeding as follows: (a) the breeder is outside of Lyonnese Kennels, or (b) the breeder is within Lyonnese Kennels and does not co-own the stud dog.
  5. All Lyonnese puppies will be sold on contract, with an option of returning said dog throughout their lifetime.  Should this occur, Lyonnese Kennels will support and assist in the rehoming of displaced dogs by utilizing all available resources, including rescue.
  6. Lyonnese Kennels will strive to produce dogs that excel in conformation, performance, and special training skills, never losing sight that many will be companion animals first.
  7. Lyonnese Kennels will endeavor to be a valued member of the Ridgeback community, and a committed advocate for our beloved breed.