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Preparing for your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy
Love Your Ridgeback

"Frequently Asked Questions"

We thought you might like to read some common questions others ask us.

Feel free to email: diana@loveyourridgeback.com for additional information about puppies and dogs.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies for sale in Washington, Oregon, California
Love Your Ridgeback

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks good around children?

No child should be left unsupervised around any dog, especially if the dog hasn't been socialized with children, and especially a large breed of dog like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Some Ridgebacks who have not been socialized around children can become nervous with their sudden movements, loud hollerings, and a child's natural behavior of running, chasing, and wanting to be chased.
Ridgeback's are a large breed of dog, and when they are full grown, their strong beautiful tails are about face level to a little two year old child. A happy, tail wagging, excited Rhodesian Ridgeback can easily smack a two year olds face by accident with that happy wagging tail, which is not such a happy experience for the two year old child. Untrained and happy Ridgeback puppies can jump up and knock an unsuspecting little kid down very easily. A running puppy or a full grown Ridgeback either one, can knock down a child by accidentally bumping into them. Ridgebacks are big, strong and beautiful animals, but they need properly trained and well socialized to make that perfect child loving fit into your family.
Ridgeback puppies are really a lot like human babies and little children in many ways. They have to listen repetitiously and usually for a long time before they can talk, understand and do the things you ask of them. Puppies have to learn our language, just like little American babies need to learn the English language. A Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy does not understand the word "sit" until someone shows he or she how to sit at the same time they say "sit". You may have to show and help your new Ridgeback puppy many, many times, but eventually they will understand what you want them to do and what you do not want them to do.
A ridgeback at full grown is considered to have the mentality of a 3 to 4 year old human child. Mentally, puppies are like sponges in that they soak everything up. When they are properly raised, they will approach almost anything, even children, without a preconceived notion in their head.
The bond between a child and a dog can be very fulfilling and special. Not only does a Ridgeback provide an endless supply of love, companionship, and affection, he or she can also serve as a friend and a teacher, showing a child what it means to have a great responsibility, to know the meaning of obligations, to have loyalty, and have nurturing skills.
Many studies have shown that children who grow up with pets tend to have a higher self-esteem and better social skills in their lives, but this can only happen when everyone in the household are involved, spending lots of time with their Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and making sure the proper training is happening for not only their new Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, but also all the humans in this family pack need to be on the same training page.
Love Your Ridgeback

Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks shed?

Plain and simple: Yes. They are short haired dogs and have no undercoat, so shedding is less noticeable. For less shedding you need to brush your ridgeback for about 10-15 minutes once or twice a week or better yet daily. We like the hard rubber curry or a Kong ZoomGroom to get the loose hair, dander, dirt and flaky skin off of them and of course they think they're getting a good scratching. When you take a damp cloth over them afterward, it makes their coats look nice. If you use a high powered hair blow dryer after their bath, it will blow out a lot of excess hair.

Are Ridgebacks hard to train?

A beginner obedience class with your Ridgeback puppy is a must. You will need to find out who the trainers are in your area, what their training methods are, what his/her principles are, that type of thing. Many times you can find out about puppy training facilities by talking to people you know who own dogs. An all-breed kennel club or obedience club is usually a great place to start. Stay away from places specializing in guard dog training, Schutzhund, or attack dog training. When you meet other people at dog parks and other places who have an obedient, well mannered dog, it is time to ask them what obedience classes they are taking and learn where they go, what they are taught, what their observations are, and what their opinions are of their particular trainers, etc...
Taking obedience classes doesn't mean there is nothing more to do. You must reinforce everything you learn at class and all other polite behavior training with your puppy continually many times daily while you are at home and everywhere you go with your little pooch.
Decide early in your puppy's life what it is you want your puppy to do and not to do. By six months of age you are going to expect to have your puppy fully potty trained, sit, not jump up on people, walk politely on a leash, lay down, bed, kennel, stay off of the furniture and beds, several words, and maybe even a few tricks. If you accomplish all of that prior to six months of age, stretch your right hand over your left shoulder , pat yourself on the back, smile big, and keep reinforcing everything. You are doing fabulous!
Training starts immediately with your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. Animal behaviorists, veterinarians, canine trainers and experts agree that obedience training is absolutely essential to the long-term success of the relationship between you and your dog. Proper training provides parameters for acceptable behavior and helps to ensure the safety of your precious puppy, as well as the safety of others coming in contact with your dog. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with-they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide proper training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality of life for them.
Love Your Ridgeback
"Companionship and Friends"
We love our dogs and do everything in our power to keep them happy, be the healthiest possible, live their ultimate, longest life span, and keep their immune systems totally strengthened. To do this: we use superior, all natural, tried and proven vitamins! Because it is somewhat difficult to know the food you are feeding your loved one is a complete, balanced and healthy diet for each individual puppy and dog, we highly recommend supplementing your canine friend with the same superior, all natural, human-grade vitamins that we use. These have been formulated by a team of concerned veterinarians, physicians, pharmacists and nutritional scientists and are manufactured in an FDA human-grade facility. We feed these superior vitamins for the love, health and longevity of our precious friends! They will soon become your beloved dog's favorite daily treat. It is their favorite, daily treat! Here is a link to check them out.
Love Your Ridgeback

Is the Ridgeback the right Dog for my family?

Here are some things to consider before making your decision to add a Rhodesian Ridgeback to your family. Many times people will see a Rhodesian Ridgeback and fall in love with it’s regal looks, never considering that one of these gorgeous Ridgebacks may be totally unsuitable for their lifestyle. You may not have the proper facilities or you may not realize how much exercise and companionship a Rhodesian Ridgeback requires. You may need to develop your ability to train and control a large breed dog before embarking upon such a tail wagging adventure.
Buying anything on impulse is not a good idea, and buying a dog on impulse can be a total tragedy. You must do your doggie homework and educate yourself about this "life-of-the-dog" commitment first, before your final decision is made to acquire one of these magnificent animals, making certain that you have carefully considered all that the Ridgeback has to offer you and what demands a Rhodesian Ridgeback will have on your time, your space, your resources, and your energy.
Ridgebacks are not to be considered a Golden Retriever or a Labrador with a short coat of hair. These dogs are hunting dogs and they require a lot of positive training. Most of them are not going to dote over your every glance and word. If not properly trained, some of them can be oblivious to being called, hard-headed, and disobedient. Ridgebacks are definitely not the dog for everyone.
Ridgebacks are not a trophy to decorate your home or yard with. They are living, feeling creatures who need be treated as a loving and loyal member of your pack family. You should think of them as a new addition to your family and plan for them as you would plan for a new child. Any dog ownership requires your responsibility and companionship.
Love Your Ridgeback

Are Ridgebacks Noisy Dogs? Chewers? Barkers?

Normally Ridgebacks are not yapping dogs at all. They tend to bark only when there is something worthwhile to bark at, so if they bark, you'll want to go check it out. Although we could most likely find cases where a lonely and neglected dog of any breed, including a Ridgeback who has been ostracized to the back yard 24/7 and has fallen into a bad habit of barking out of sheer boredom, loneliness, and a lack of training and companionship.
It is very natural for dogs and children to put things into their mouths. It feels good to them. Dogs are just doing what comes natural when they eat, drink and even play with their mouths. Our job is to help them learn the proper way to entertain themselves and understand what is acceptable and not acceptable to place their mouths on and/or chew on.
When going through those puppy teething periods, as youngsters to about 4-1/2 months and sometimes again when they are about 8 to 10 months old, most Ridgebacks can be quite destructive in their chewing if not provided with things that you want them to chew on, such as safe and fun toys, Multipet Nuts for Knots-Rope Ball, various hard plastic Kongs, raw knuckles from the butcher, sterilized beef bones, those really hard Nylabones or Gumabones for the smaller mouths, the Nylabone Double Action Dental Chew is fun for puppies and the jagged part of it helps to clean a little tarter off the teeth, flossies, and other favorite puppy chews.
Just as you would place a human baby into a playpen, crate training your puppy can be an essential part of your training program and can have many uses, including keeping an unsupervised, adolescent Ridgeback contained with their own personal chews while you are unable to babysit them temporarily.
Love Your Ridgeback

How much exercise does a Rhodesian Ridgeback need?

Ridgebacks easily adapt to the lifestyle of their family, love to do whatever things you do and look forward daily to participating in all of your activities. Like any large breed of dog, Ridgebacks need daily exercise just like humans do, so a few long trips to the park per week and some daily action in the back yard or park should be sufficient for a Ridgeback to stay healthy, although the more physical activities you include your dog in, like daily walks/runs/jogs, the better for both of you. It has been said that "If you are overweight, you are not exercising your Ridgeback enough."
Humans and Ridgebacks both need exercise for emotional, mental and physical vitality. When you have two active dogs, they will stimulate each others brains and burn lots of energy playing, running and messing around with each other, in addition to having activities with you.
Love Your Ridgeback

How long do Ridgebacks live?

11 to 14 years is a good average life span for a Rhodesian Ridgeback, although many Ridgebacks live up to 16 years. A vigilant Ridgeback owner makes sure their Rhodesian Ridgeback gets plenty of daily exercise, sleeps on a good comfortable bed, watches out for unusual lumps or behaviors in their dog, makes sure their Ridgeback is eating a healthy diet and is not overweight, always has fresh water for their sweetheart, participates in good dental hygiene practices with their dog, and uses common sense in assessing their Ridgeback daily, just like any parent would watch after their beloved child. These things all attribute to a long, happy, and healthy life for your Rhodesian Ridgeback. Your dog will depend on you for love, protection, and care for a long time, so being a dog owner is a great responsibility and requires a very serious "Life-of-the-Dog" commitment from you and your family.
Love Your Ridgeback

Do Ridgebacks get along with cats?

Friendship is generally up to your cat. Ridgebacks like cats, when they are raised with them. They usually love all animals who live in the family pack with them and many cats also enjoy a Ridgebacks company once they realize the Ridgeback is a part of the family. Many older Ridgebacks who have never been exposed to a cat, might think a quick chase of the feline is a fun activity.
Love Your Ridgeback

How big do Ridgebacks get?

Ridgeback puppies do not stay little very long, so you'll want to take some pictures so you'll remember what they looked like when they were little. Most Rhodesian Ridgebacks reach their adult height of 24 - 27 inches at the withers/shoulders and almost their adult weight (65 to 80 pounds for females and 90 to 100+ pounds for males) by the time they are 14 months old! After that they will simply start to beef out and become more solid or filled out.
Participating with your puppy in lots of activities, fun walks, hiking up and down hills, and scheduling proper exercise will further along the development of your puppy's muscles, build their chests, and be oodles of fun for the both of you.
Love Your Ridgeback
Below is a short list of questions you must be able to answer yes to, if you are serious about getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.

Does everyone in your house support your decision to acquire a Ridgeback Puppy?


Do you have time to take your dog for a 45 minute walk everyday? Your younger puppy for a couple of shorter walks everyday?


Do you have time for obedience classes and more obedience classes with major follow up training sessions daily at home and everywhere you take your puppydog?


Are you prepared for adequate socialization excursions with your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy?


Are you ready and prepared to potty train and crate train your new puppy?