About Us

Lionsbane Kennels Lionsbane is a small kennel based in Hobart, on the island of Tasmania in Australia. Lionsbane Kennels were established in 2000 by Rohan and Alexandra McElwee who produced two quality litters under the Lionsbane prefix in the early 2000's from foundation stud RUBISS Aust Ch Zimbalooba Orion's Bow and dam Aust Ch Usakose Thunder n'Litning. Their progeny included BIS, BISS Aust Ch Lionsbane He's the Boss ROM, known and loved by many as 'Kimba' (dec). See below for more details on Kimba. In February 2018, the Lionsbane prefix was transferred to David Wardlaw-Kelly, Kimba's owner.

David and Lisa are breed enthusiasts who have owned, loved and shown Ridgebacks since the 1980's, titling their own five Ridgebacks over a thirty-year period and closely following the breed's development in Australia and overseas. Litters are expected to be few and far between. People with an interest in purchasing a Lionsbane puppy are encouraged to contact David on 0402 211 799. A very limited number of straws of frozen semen from Kimba are left – these are tightly held but enquiries are welcome.

Our next litter is likely to be late 2020. We already have a waiting list but you are welcome to enquire.Please note Lionsbane puppies are available to approved homes only. Please expect a few friendly questions and a puppy buyer questionnaire to help us work out whether a ridgeback would be a good match for you.

Our dogs past and present

BIS, BISS Aust Ch Lionsbane He's the Boss ROM 'Kimba'

Our beloved Kimba was a once in a lifetime dog. He is the standard bearer of the Lionsbane name. Kimba died at the age of 13 in 2014 after a wonderful life as a loyal family companion. Kimba had a stellar show career, mostly handled by owner David Wardlaw-Kelly but we were also very privileged to have him handled to some of his best wins by Emma Marshall who is one of the top handlers in Australia and the United States.

Kimba was awarded best in Specialty Show at the 2004 Rhodesian Ridgeback Club National Specialty Show, from over 200 outstanding ridgebacks.  Kimba went on to win many awards, including Best in Show all breeds and multiple Best in Group all breeds including multiple Royal Hobart and Launceston shows. As well as his conformation and movement, it was perhaps Kimba's stable and friendly temperament that most attracted breeders to use him and he sired multiple champions and grand champions both in Australia and overseas. Kimba can be found in the pedigrees of dozens of beautiful and highly awarded dogs and bitches of outstanding temperament around the world.

All of our overseas and interstate AI breedings have been made possible by Graeme Wright of Canine Breeding Solutions, whose professional service we are very grateful for. Kimba has achieved a place on the Register of Merit for dogs that have sired over 12 champions, which is why he has ROM after his name. Below are just a few of Kimba’s children and grand-children. We pay tribute to all the visionary breeders who used him and the loving owners of his descendants. There are many more who we haven’t listed here – if you have a Kimba puppy or grand-puppy you would like us to feature please let us know!


Kimba's Progeny


Grand Champion HodariRafiki Sinbad (Sinbad) shown by owner Wayne Wilson
Grand Champion HodariRafiki Aus Pride (Marina) handled by owner Wayne Wilson
BIS Grand Ch Kysaridge Alia Caesar RN AD JD, SD, bred, owned and handled by Helen Mosslar
CIB SEUCH NUCH FINCH NORDUCH EECH SEVCH NVCH LP1 RLDN RLDF SEW-10 NORDW-10 Tarujen Uyaya Kadamo "Yaya" (Yaya) bred by Anne Sassi and shown by owner Karin Furst


Our current dogs


Aust Ch Marindy Devil in Disguise 

Laika is the mother of our 2018 litter. Born in northern Tasmania at Marindy Kennels on 27 January 2015, Laika is a sound and stable bitch true to the working Ridgeback type. Laika has had a limited show career including Class in Show and Class in Group awards.
She has an outstanding temperament and lovely personality as well as excellent movement. 


Australian Champion Marindy Nothing Compares AI

Sire: Ch Lionsbane He's the Boss ROM

Dam: Marindy Lil Less Conversation

Born  23 September 2017, Kiff is the most loving,gentle ridgeback, and so willing to please. There isn't a bad bone in Kiff's body! He was house trained from the moment we brought him home and was very polite and quick to pick up on the house rules. Now a mature dog, Kiff's temperament is rock solid and he is a superb example of the breed easily attaining his championship in the show ring. He is a large red wheaten dog, at the top of the breed standard in size at 27 inches and 50kg. 

Top Right: Kiff in foreground, Laika behind

Bottom Right: Kiff with Mojo the cat

 Below: Kiff 6 months - babysitting his half siblings

Sire: Huntingridge Wild at Heart

Dam: Marindy SQ Mehkena

Below: informal shots of Kiff at almost 3 years Tasmania 2020

 Below: Kiff at six months

Kiff has performed well in conformation shows in 2018, winning several Best of Breed awards and Class in groups often under international judges to easily gain his Australian Champion title.  What is more pleasing is that Kiff's temperament has turned out to be so loving and stable. Kiff is officially the kindest dog in the world. We can walk him off lead confidently: he is friendly with all humans and dogs and often attracts an admiring crown.

KiffJunior in Group, Huon and Channel Kennel Club (AM) Show: November 2018: Dave and Kiff with Spanish judge Mr A Garach Domech.

Kiff - Junior in group: Royal Hobart Show, October 2018: Judge Mr Yuji Yatake (Japan)



Born 2 March 2018

Dam: Aust Champ Marindy Devil in Disguise 'Laika'                                       Sire: Aust Champ Lionsbane He's the Boss 'Kimba

Six healthy puppies: three males and three females, all with good ridges and no defects detected at this time. All puppies are wormed, vaccinated, micro-chipped and registered (Limited Register - unless by agreement) and come with a vet health check and puppy pack and lifetime support and advice. Some pups available to approved homes - genuine enquiries welcome. Call Dave on 61 (0) 402 211 799 

Puppies 1 week old

Puppies 3.5 weeks old


Above:Blue girl ridge, side, head 3.5 weeks

Above: Pink Girl, ridge, side, head 3.5 weeks                                                                   Above: Silver boy ridge, side head 3.5 weeks

Above:Purple Girl ridge, side, head 3.5 weeks

Above:Yellow boy ridge, side, face 3.5 weeks

Above:Blue boy ridge, side, head 3.5 weeks

These puppies are magic at 4.5 weeks! Love love love them!

Babies nearly 8 weeks old and full of beans 


Lionsbane 2018 puppies around four months:

Above in order: Blue girl (Sassi) Blue boy(Hugh) Orange/red boy (Raff) Pink girl (Ruby) Purple girl (Kura) and Silver boy (Rooi)

Lionsbane 2018 litter update

Blue girl: Princess Sassi lives in Western Australia with her devoted owner Chantelle. She enjoys Chantelle's constant companionship and many trips to the beach and to visit friends and family. Sassi turned to be a stunner - and just as loving, inquisitive and full of energy as we suspected - luckily she found the perfect home where there is a good balance of love and clear rules!