Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed

 
 

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Size

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Energy Level

Dog Energy Level

Trainability

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Characteristics

Physical Characteristics:
Height: 23-26”
Weight: 55-85 lbs.
Energy Level: High
Colors:
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Rhodesian Ridgeback in the following colors:

  • Wheaten
  • Light Wheaten
  • Red Wheaten
Health & Longevity: 10-12 years
Breeders screen for the following conditions:

  • Hip/Elbow Dysplasia
  • Eye Disorders
  • Hypothyroidism

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also susceptible to Dermoid Sinus, a tubular skin defect caused by incomplete separation of the skin and the nervous system during embryonic development. Seriousness of the condition varies from showing no clinical signs to causing serious neurologic abnormalities.


Temperament & Train-ability

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed in Africa, a result of crossing European dogs with local African dogs that had the distinctive ridge on their backs. They were used as hunters of big game and guardians of the home. While most hounds favor hunting by either scent or sight, the Ridgeback uses both senses equally. Confident and independent, they are the most territorial of the hounds, thereby typically aloof with strangers. Not surprisingly, they make good watchdogs. Puppies are quite active and exuberant, but mature to be calm and quiet in the home. Some Rhodesians are tolerant of children, but are usually too rambunctious for toddlers. Just as your dog will need careful socialization to learn appropriate behavior around children, your children must be taught how to properly interact with your Ridgeback. Never allow children to sit on, attempt to ride or pull ears, etc. Children should be taught how to recognize when a dog needs a break and give them space.

Rhodesians need considerable exercise and stimulation; a minimum of an hour each day. Because they bore easily, destructive behaviors can set in if their needs are not being met. They can be “too much dog” for novice owners, and timid people are not likely to be happy living with a Ridgeback. This breed will not tolerate being left alone for long periods; bad behaviors will certainly result. Like other breeds developed for hunting large game, Rhodesians are known for being aggressive with other animals, especially of the same sex. People wanting to frequent dog parks should not consider this breed. Some have lived successfully with the family cat they were raised with, but many are predatory; this is an athletic hunter with high prey drive, so one should always keep their Ridgeback leashed. A high, secure fence is needed; underground fencing should not be relied upon to contain a Rhodesian. They can be great hiking and jogging companions, but wait until growth is over (around 24 months) to avoid causing joint damage.

Rhodesians require early and ongoing socialization to balance their natural territorial traits. This is an independent, intelligent breed that is easily bored. Positive reinforcement methods are recommended, as they do not respond well to rough treatment. He likes to do things his own way, which a talented trainer can make use of. They experience the most success in sports that play to their strengths, such as agility, tracking, and lure coursing. Traditional obedience will be fraught with challenges and frustration.

Grooming

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a short, smooth coat which is beneficial for owners because this coat type does not get dirty very easily. Their smooth coat makes it difficult for them to track in a mess. You do not need to bathe your Rhodesian Ridgeback frequently. Most of the time, a simple wipe down with a warm, damp cloth will let you clean up your dog. Only bathe your dog when they are really dirty. Remember to brush your dog on a weekly basis. Use a soft bristle or a curry brush. Following this schedule will contribute to minimal shedding around your home. Remember to keep ears clean and dry. Carefully wipe around the edges, but do not stick anything directly into your dog’s ears, as doing so can risk damaging them. Toenails will need to be trimmed approximately once a month. If you can hear your pup’s nails clicking on the surface when they walk, it’s time for a trim. As well, brush your dog’s teeth regularly to avoid infection and bacteria from building up.

Diet

You can expect a typical Rhodesian to eat approximately 2 ¾ to 4 ½ cups of dry dog food daily. This amount should be split between two or three meals. Do not leave a constant supply of food out, as this can lead to overeating and harm your dog. Remember that every dog is different, and depending on factors such as age and activity level, the amount of food you feed your dog may be different. It is important to seek advice from a vet on how much you should feed your dog.
 

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Cost

Average prices of Rhodesian Ridgebacks can range anywhere from $600 – $1,200. This is just the starting point of your expenses, since you also have to consider the many costs of ownership. Some of these costs include food, supplies, toys, and medical expenses. Rescuing a Rhodesian Ridgeback is another option that will help keep the initial costs on the lower end. Adoption fees can range from $150-500, depending on your location and what is included with the fee.






Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Average prices of Rhodesian Ridgebacks can range anywhere from $600 – $1,200. This is just the starting point of your expenses, since you also have to consider the many costs of ownership. Some of these costs include food, supplies, toys, and medical expenses. Rescuing a Rhodesian Ridgeback is another option that will help keep the initial costs on the lower end. Adoption feeds can range from $150-500, depending on your location and what is included with the fee.

 

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