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Ridgeback FAQ’s

If you’re curious about the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed and/or are considering one for a pet, this page will answer some of the many common questions people ask.

Q How are the Ridgeback relationships with children, pets? Are they good at protecting?

A The Ridgeback breed is said to be great when they are around children. However, as with any other dog it is not recommended for them to be left along with them without adult supervision because they could unintentionally hurt the child. Furthermore, the younger puppies have jaws that are said to be as powerful as the ones German Shepard’s have and their teeth are frequently compared to surgical scalpels. So, since they are larger than the average puppy but still have the same amount and energy as a normal puppy it is possible for them to accidentally knock over small children.

Ridgeback are one of the dogs who love being around other canine friends. However, it is not suggested to keep them around more than several male dogs. Additionally, if they are raised around cats they will be friendly with them as well. But, when unfamiliar dogs or cats come around they will go into their protective mode. Not to mention the fact that they are good at being watchdogs for families and the only person who will be able to control them is the owner.

QAre Ridgebacks noisy or obtain any other bad habits?

A Usually the only time a Ridgeback is going to bark is if they have a good reason to be barking. However, they are athletic so you will want to make sure that you have a fence that they cannot jump because they have no problem getting over many fences that have been classified as high. Additionally, they love to swim so if you have a pool you may become annoyed with finding them always in it having a swim. Also, they usually do not dig holes but if they are left outside during the summer season they have been known to dig large pits to avoid the heat. Not to mention the fact if they become bored they will be tempted to start roaming around which is how many Ridgebacks usually die – automobile accidents.

When Ridgebacks are puppies you will want to make sure that you have plenty of things for them to chew and play on or they will be very destructive due to the fact that they are teething. Additionally, it may be a good idea to have a crate in place to make sure that they mind their manners when you are not able to supervise them.

QAre Ridgebacks House Dogs?

AThe best thing about having a Ridgeback is the fact that they love to keep themselves clean and do not shed a lot. However, since they do have a short, dense coat you can expect a small amount of shedding. But, if you keep them in the home year round you will see that they experience less shedding than those who are keep outside. Not to mention the fact that you do not have to worry about them drooling unless they are hungry. Furthermore, when it comes to house training people usually note that they are easy for the most part. However, it is suggested to teach them furniture is not a place for them when they are puppies or you will not be able to break them out of the habit of taking over the furniture. Also, you will want to keep in mind that when they are puppies by simply wagging their tail by a table they can clean off its entire contents.

Many people recommend that all Ridgebacks get some sort of training when they are puppies so they will understand that they should not put their paws on the table or jump on them at all. This is because this breed is known for going after unattended food. But, if they are taught when they are younger not to do so and are treated as part of the family you will find they turn out to be one of the best companions when compared to any of the other dog breeds.

Q Is there anything that should be known about their eating habits?

AMajority of the Ridgebacks have excellent appetites. The only bad comment that their owners make is that they do a bit of drooling while watching you fix their food. However, since they love to eat so much it is very important that the owners watch how much they eat as well as their appetites to insure that they do not become obese. Additionally, owners have found that they need to keep the food locked away because Ridgebacks have no problem at all when it comes to them helping themselves. Furthermore, after they have eaten they will plead and beg but it is important that you keep their health in mind.

Q What is a good amount of exercise for Ridgebacks?

ARidgebacks are still dogs so they are still going to need to exercise. However, a daily walk about in the yard or a walk to the park each week is more than enough for them. But, if you have time to help them exercise more that is always great as well.

Q Are Ridgebacks considered to be hyper?

A When Ridgebacks are young it is not uncommon for them to be classified as both energetic and hyper. However, as they become older they do become calmer and laid back. Some people refer to them as the dozing kings. Furthermore, many Ridgeback owners have said that when a mature Ridgeback is happy you will notice that they are running out in an open field or they are sleeping. Overall, they are great pets and they do really well when they are growing up with other pets and children.

QWhy do they have a ridge on their backs?

A The Rhodesian Ridgebacks have ancestors who are natives of South Africa and have ridges growing backwards on their backs. Then, when they were breed with native ridged dog they ridge was created. Furthermore, it is said that the dogs who have the ridges on their backs are great hunters.

Q Where did the ridge come from?

ATo be honest no one to date has been able to figure out where the ridge came from. However, there is the theory that it came from the Asians. Furthermore, there is talk that the Rhodesian Ridgebacks and the Thai Ridgebacks are relatives of the Phu Quco due to the fact that they both have ridges and dermoid sinus.

QIs it true that they are used as lion hunters?

AThis is something that is absolutely true. When they were first brought to Rhodesia they were great for hunters because they were easily established as excellent hunting dogs and were even able to hunt lions. As a matter of fact to date they are the only dog breed that is able to keep a lion alive while the hunter arrived. Additionally, they served other purposes as well such as guarding farmer’s homes and herds.

Q Are Ridgebacks great at general hunting as well?

A If you live in the United States no. However, the Ridgeback has been used when it comes to hunting bobcats, mountain lines, bear, wild boar, coyotes, and more in both the Unites States, Mexico, and Canada. But, they do not kill they prey instead they just keep them cornered until the hunter arrives. When someone takes a Ridgeback hunting in hopes up hunting deer or fox they must gave a bell around their neck so they can be found easily. However, when they are hunting animals that are more vocally active no bell is needed. But, what many hunters are finding out is that a lot of the states in the United States have stopped allowing hunting dogs so Ridgebacks are now serving the purpose of being family dogs. They do like chasing squirrels and rabbits, however, which can be great when it comes to keeping the family entertained.

Q Contacting a breeder?

AWhen you first make contact with the breeder you should expect for them to ask you different things about yourself and your background. The answers that you give them are what are going to help them determine which puppy would be the best match for you and your family. Additionally, they are also going to be interested in why you particularly want a Ridgeback. Some people want them for companions while others want them because they are interested in using them to win shows and other competitions. The breeder is more than likely going to have the puppies classified in two groups – pets and show. All of the puppies may not be able to be show dogs because of some minor underlying factor. However, they will still be great pets because only the breeder and the Ridgeback leader would be the ones making these distinctions.

Q What should I expect when picking up my Ridgeback?

AWhen you arrive to pick up your puppy he or she will come with a puppy packet. This packet will be combined with a ton of things such as contracts, health certificates and records, AKC, or blue slips. Some breeders even go the extra mile of providing you with the first few days of food and water. Also, they may have medications available as samples that the puppy will need such as heart worm prevention medication. If you have had the puppy micro chipped you will also be receiving that information as well. Furthermore, you will receive a spay/neuter clause if you are purchasing the Ridgeback as a companion.

Overall, it is important that you read and discuss the contract that is in place before leaving with the dog. This insures that you have a clear understanding about anything you may have felt uncomfortable about. Obviously, if there is something that does just not sit right with you there is no obligation for you to purchase the dog. is not associated with the American Kennel Club® | Home | Find A Breeder | Privacy | Terms | Contact