If you are getting a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy, you are in for a treat! This versatile, devoted and highly intelligent hunting-guard dog will make a great addition to your family. In this guide, we will be discussing their temperament, size and pretty much everything else you need to know about raising the ridgeback.
Characteristics and facts
- The Ridgeback is an African dog that was bred for hunting
- Often known as the African Lion Hound or the Rhodesian ridgeback lion, this breed has a unique characteristic feature: a ridge along the back where the hair grows in the opposite direction from the rest of the coat.
- Their color varies from wheat, light to reddish brown.
- This dog breed is fast becoming a favorite of Americans. They are clean, never noisy or quarrelsome and they love kids.
- Rhodesian ridgeback size and weight: Their weight lies between 65 and 75 pounds and height between 24 to 27 inches at shoulder.
Where to find a Rhodesian Ridgeback
It is always better to adopt than to buy but if you are looking for a young pet to compete in shows, then a Ridgeback breeder is your best bet. One of the best resources for finding your Rhodesian ridgeback puppy is the official website of the Ridgeback Club of USA. Here you can get a list of genuine Rhodesian ridgeback breeders near you. This is a highly uncommon breed, so it might not be easy finding one. If you are considering Rhodesian ridgeback rescue as a pet, you can go in for local or national Ridgeback rescue groups. A rescue dog might be older and may need a home because of job change, divorce or other reasons. Contact reputable Rhodesian ridgeback breeders to see whether they know any retired show dogs.
Reputable breeders could charge anywhere between $1700 to $3400 for a ridgeback since they have spent a lot of money in screening their hips and bones as well as the eyes. Some pups also sell for $400 to $600. Anything less than this price could indicate issues and you might end up paying more in vet bills.
What to look out for
Always ensure that your Ridgeback puppy has a well formed ridge. A ridge-less puppy will still make a great pet but in case you are thinking of entering him in shows, you need to ensure that the ridges are present. Also avoid puppies that have dermoid sinuses – this is a common condition present since birth in this breed. Have a veterinarian screen the puppy before you buy.
When you buy your pet from a reputable breeder, chances are that s/he has been raised in a warm clean environment with other dogs. This can help prevent many temperament problems. This is a good-natured, highly intelligent, and independent dog with a sense of humor. European settlers had developed this breed with the view of making them as guard dogs as well as companions. It is a very loyal breed and will protect its family fiercely. Your pet will need moderate levels of activity every day and a firm, patient and experienced dog owner/trainer. Training can be wrought with challenges since this breed is very independent thinking. Do not leave your adult ridgeback with small animals-it has a high prey drive.
All dogs shed and the Ridgeback is no different. In general though, Rhodesian ridgeback shedding is a lot less compared to many other breeds. Like the Weimaraner, this breed sheds all year round. Thankfully, their hair won’t stick too much to your clothing and furniture and a light dusting is all you need to keep things clean. Grooming should not be too much of a problem; bathe your pet twice a month and brush or comb his coat every few days to keep it shiny and clean.
Premium dog food sold at the pet stores or vet clinics can meet your Ridgeback’s nutritional needs. It is best to buy one month’s supply so that the food remains fresh. Also buy from busy pet stores having their inventory constantly turned over.
Whether you purchase a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy or an adult dog, you can expect a loving loyal and protective pet. Make sure you train him from his puppy years so that he becomes obedient and docile. We hope this brief guide helps you.