On this page you can find announcements about upcoming litters. Information is provided by the club breeders that prescribe to advertise their ridgebacks on our “Breeders List” page.
How do you find a reputable breeder?
I’m sure that you want your beautiful new family member to be strong, healthy and come from a breeder who truly cares about the welfare of our beloved breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback. But how do you find a reputable breeder of Pure Bred puppies, which does not necessarily mean well bred. It certainly pays to do your homework and ask the breeder as many questions about the breed as you need to. A reputable breeder has nothing to hide and will be happy to answer all of your questions and point you in the direction of more information, or other breeders who may be able to help you. Here are some vital tips:
A Responsible breeder will …
- Breed to improve the breed and often aim to keep a puppy from the litter to go on with. They usually don’t repeat the same mating over and over, but take time to carefully choose a suitable sire that is health tested, mentally sound and one that and will complement their bitch according to the Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Standard. Ask your breeder when was their last litter, why are they doing this breeding, how old is the bitch, how many litters has she had, and who the sire is. If they don’t happen to have an up-coming litter, who, or where, can they refer you to?
- Be registered with the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council). In South Australia, from July 1 2018, ALL breeders and sellers who breed dogs and cats for sale (pure bred or not) must register with the Dog and Cat Management Board as a “Breeder”. But do not confuse a “Dog & Cat Management Board Registered Breeder” with a “Registered ANKC Breeder” of pure bred, pedigree, health tested dogs. There is a BIG difference. Ensure you ONLY buy a puppy from a Registered ANKC Breeder (the body responsible for pure bred canine affairs in Australia).
- Be actively involved in supporting the breed by being a member of The Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of SA and by showing that their dogs adhere to RRCSA breed conformation. All members of the RRCSA must abide by a strict Code of Ethics, as set out by the club. There is a page on this website describing our Code and we welcome you to view it. The RRCSA is here to educate and protect the breed and we welcome any enquiries. Dog showing is seen as a way of helping to understand the good, and not so good, qualities of our dogs. This in turn helps us to understand the RR Breed Standard and to breed better Ridgebacks.
- Microchip, vaccinate, regularly worm and ANKC Register their puppies. Many breeders are also now helping to protect the breed by selling their puppies already sterilised (tubal ligation for females and vasectomy for males). This is totally different to de-sexing (the ovaries and gonads remain), and it does not cause the potential health problems associated with early “de-sexing”.
- Regularly check the litter for Dermoid Sinus (DS). DS is neural tube defect that occasionally occurs in Rhodesian Ridgebacks (and RR crosses). It is detectable at birth, but not easily. Good breeders pass their detection technique down to other breeders and will offer to check other breeder’s litters. Many vets aren’t experienced in diagnosing DS and they can easily be missed (even, occasionally, by very experienced breeders). Most breeders will euthanize affected puppies at birth, due to the traumatic and potentially fatal progression of the disease. If you buy a puppy with a DS it will generally require surgery in the future to remove it. The healing process can be as traumatic as the operation itself and will be very expensive. Please ensure many experienced breeders have checked your puppy.
- Stand by and support you for the life of your puppy. Will the breeder take the dog back years down the track in the event of an unforeseen problem? Has the breeder been around for long? Most reputable breeders have many, many years’ experience in the breed, around 15, 20 or even 30 years. And if they don’t have the years of experience, they are actively involved in the breed and are able to draw on breed mentors that help with advice and other things like checking over litters for Dermoid Sinus.
- Health test ALL dogs in their breeding program. Caring breeders health test to PREVENT issues, not because they HAVE issues. Your breeder should be able to explain these tests and the reasons behind them. All of the tests below receive an official certificate. Your breeder should welcome your viewing their health results from dogs in their breeding program BEFORE you purchase a puppy. New puppy owners should also receive copies of these health testing reports from BOTH parents when they pick up their puppy.
Hip and elbow scoring: X-rays are taken and submitted to specialist radiographers for a “score”. The lower the score, the better the hips and elbows. The breed average for hips in Ridgebacks is a total of around 5 (left and right hip combined), so a parent’s score should be around that figure, or lower. With elbows, the score is out of a total of 3 on each elbow. A zero score on each elbow is perfect, 3 is as bad as it gets. You only want a puppy from parents with good scores. Hip and elbow testing will not guarantee that your puppy won’t develop hip or elbow dysplasia, but it will reduce the chances of developing it.
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): An awful debilitating disease that can be avoided with a simple DNA test of both parents. Affected dogs should never be used for breeding and a carrier should never be bred to another carrier. It is a slowly progressive neurological disorder where the myelin sheath around the spinal cord is destroyed, eventually resulting in paralysis.
Heart testing: Many RR breeders are now heart screening their breeding stock for congenital or acquired heart disease before they breed from them in the attempt to identify and reduce the prevalence of some heart abnormalities. This testing is done by a specialist cardiologist (not a regular veterinarian) and a certificate is issued to the owner.
Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME): A relatively new disease, and so far, rare in Australia, for which a DNA test has recently become available. This has given us the knowledge to only breed with clear parents, or make sure carriers aren’t bred with other carriers. It is an inherited disease. Symptoms include frequent myoclonic jerks or twitches, especially when the dogs are sleeping or resting. Most affected dogs will also develop more severe generalized and tonic clonic seizures.