ARE THEY GOOD WITH CHILDREN?
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is placid, easygoing and quite tolerant of children – BUT supervision is advised of both the dog and child, especially those under 5 years old. As a rule children should treat dogs with respect, ie. no teasing or tormenting.
HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
We suggest you contact individual breeders, as the price of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy varies from breeder to breeder.
ARE THEY EASY TO TRAIN?
Ridgebacks are an intelligent breed and will learn quickly, but like many hounds may become bored, as they are independent thinkers. They are a large breed and obedience training, along with animal and human socialisation is to be encouraged. If you are looking for a breed to be successful at obedience trials Rhodesian Ridgebacks may not be the breed for you.
ARE THEY GOOD GUARD DOGS?
They are excellent guard dogs and their deep sounding bark will deter most intruders. Training and socialisation will make your dog confident and able to guard in a more socially acceptable manner. Guarding instincts may take 18 months to 2 years to develop. Ridgebacks need to be taught the limits of acceptable guarding practices, as over aggression has no part in our breed.
ARE THEY GOOD COMPANIONS?
The best. Ready to participate in any activity you choose, be it a five Km. hike or just lazing around.
ARE THEY DESTRUCTIVE?
This depends on the dog, whether they are a teething puppy or a bored individual. Daily quality time with your Ridgeback will help prevent destructive behaviour.
ARE THEY GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS?
Yes, provided they are socialised and introduced correctly and with care. It is very important to socialise your dog with other people and dogs.
HOW ARE THEY WITH LIVESTOCK?
All dogs, no matter what the breed, will chase if something runs. If you live in a rural area, you should be aware that Ridgebacks have a natural hunting instinct and you need to supervise your dog accordingly.
ARE THEY GOOD WITH CATS?
They can be good with cats if brought up with them but are still effective defending their territory from strays.
WHAT IS THEIR LIFE EXPECTANCY?
Average age is around 10 years, but they have been known to live to 14.
HOW MUCH DO THEY EAT AND COST TO FEED?
An average adult will cost about S15 a week to feed The amount they eat greatly varies with age, the amount of exercise and their environment. This needs to be discussed with the breeder on purchase of a pup.
HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO THEY NEED?
A good run each day is considered desirable for your older puppy (9 months) and adult. The size of your yard needs to be considered when determining the amount of exercise to keep your dog both mentally and physically fit. Excessive exercise for puppies should be avoided. They should be allowed to exercise through play at their own pace or on short walks.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A PUPPY?
This requires more thought than most people realise. First make sure that this breed suits your needs and will fit into your home and family. Learn as much as you can from people who have owned Ridgebacks. When it comes to choosing, look for a pup that is alert and active, with a healthy coat and clear eyes.
Desexing your puppy will often encourage stronger bonding with the family as they are less concerned about finding a mate in life. It is safe to desex any time from 6 months of age. Some prefer to allow males to develop their masculinity and desex at about 12 months.
It is assumed that anyone wishing to purchase a Ridgeback would have already given some thought to secure fencing. Ridgebacks are not prone to jump. Those that are can clear upwards of 1.5m, however, a fence of this height is usually adequate.
ARE THERE OLDER DOGS AVAILABLE?
At times older dogs do become available. If you meet an older Ridgeback and hit it off, with some patience once the new house rules are learnt, you will never know you missed puppyhood together.
HAS YOUR BREEDING STOCK BEEN X-RAYED FOR HIP DISPLASIA AND ARE THE SCORES ACCEPTABLE LEVELS?
The breed average is 8, however, breeders may use stock with a slightly higher score as there are other factors they take into account when choosing their breeding animals.
DOES THE BREEDER KNOW ABOUT DERMOID SINUS?
This is a congenital defect and experienced people should check all puppies for this more than once before going to their new home. If the breeder knows nothing about it, then beware. A sinus puppy can prove a costly and painful experience for all concerned.
CODE OF ETHICS
All breeders are registered pedigreed Rhodesian Ridgebacks and must belong to the South Australian Canine Association and adhere to its Code of Ethics (pdf). The Club also has a set of Guidelines which expand on this code and relates to our breed and its care and welfare. This may be obtained from the Breed Information Officer.