Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Lyzelle, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Anyone have any grapevine or personal experience with them? They've been on my short list for a while, but the hound part of it always threw me for a loop.

    Met one on our way home a few weeks ago at a rest stop, and the bitch was DARLING. I LOVED her, and she was just a bit smaller than Zander, which is easily to my knee. Talked to the owners a bit, and they sort of gave me everything I had read, including the good breeder/bad breeder bit. She was a greyface, but she was very polite (even when Zander was getting antsy and wanted to play).

    After they put her goggles on and packed her in the motorcycle, I had a huge sigh and realized I had just reached one of my life goals: I MET A RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK! Woot! And in the middle of Montana no less. :D

    So now that I've actually met one I'm a bit more interested in them. This old girl didn't give me a houndy weird feel at all, sort of in the same way Catahoula's don't.

    (Although I learned that Catahoula's aren't hounds anyway, they are curs, hopefully you get my point).
     
  2. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    Matt V in MO breeds & hunts ridgebacks. his are very versatile acting as birddogs one day, hog baydogs the next & coondogs that night. he has also had some of his pups working cattle. Matt and I discussed it and HE stated they were curs not hounds. he says they are vary protective of his wife & kids. oh yeah, several dogs from his breeding are show champions on top of being good solid working dogs.
    when I get around to buying a ridgeback it'll be something from his breeding.
     
  3. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    A good friend of mine (and the president of the local ferret rescue) has one :) She's a sweetheart. Wonderful with the ferrets, wonderful with the kids, and so well behaved. When we have a booth at the local pet events, she comes and hangs out with us. She also goes to the barn my friend owns and hangs out there during the day
     
  4. Tortilla

    Tortilla Blonde Raccoon

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    We have one at work and I love her. :) She's not suuuuper friendly which I like. She's perfectly lovely but not up in your face, you know? And that's the kind of dog I like.

    And she's so pretty. :D
     
  5. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    [​IMG]

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    Warning: I'm pretty biased here.

    I have a 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Malyk. I got him about 8-9 months ago, and since then, have fallen head over heels for the breed. I have met around 10-15.

    As with any breed of dog, I can not stress how important it is to go to a GOOD breeder. In all honesty, this is a dog that has a very delicate temperament. It's not hard to mess up and it's not hard to do the wrong thing. They are smart as a whip, and catch on very quickly to anything you teach them...which means whatever you do, good or bad, will leave a lasting impression. Very sensitive temperaments.

    That said, I've also encountered few breeds that are as hard headed as a Rhodesian Ridgeback. They are definitely "hound-y" in the way that they can be extremely independent, but still love you with all their little hearts. They get very attached to their owners. Not quite a velcro dog, but they have a typical sight hound temperament when it comes to their "masters". For example, Malyk likes and will kiss all over strangers that I welcome into the house because he knows I welcomed them in. If I don't welcome them in, he isn't like that. He is aloof. Out in public, he is aloof. He is GREAT with strangers, not aggressive (unless they are threatening), but he won't get super excited when we pass a group a people or a person if you know what I mean. He is pretty typical of a RR. He isn't aggressive, but he IS guardy, how they are supposed to be. He will flare up and low-growl if someone is approaching me threateningly. He's actually saved me from a pretty scary encounter. He has a pretty good sense with who is threatening and who is not. He does NOT like strange men handling him, that is one thing that may be peculiar about Malyk in particular. If it's a woman, it's fine, but if I hand his collar/leash to a strange man he will start to stress. He is spectacular with kids. Not too pushy, not too playful, just curious with them. I don't think he would tolerate them pulling or prodding him though. He's never been in that situation for me to know. However it is said that an RR who grows up with children will love children. Socialization for this bred is extremely important. When I got Malyk, he had never met a cat and I had to socialize him with cats. He still can't be left with them unsupervised. His prey drive isn't extremely high, but it is moderate, and I haven't met a whole lot of Rhodesian Ridgebacks who didn't have dominance problems when it came to other dogs. As far as around the house attitude..he lounges. Lol. He's a great dog.

    So all in all, they're not too too hound-y, but I definitely wouldn't say that they don't behave that way...because they definitely do. They guard well, are good with anything they are socialized with, and very trainable if done correctly. I wouldn't recommend a whole lot of correction with this breed unless protection training...because they are so sensitive, but they are also hard headed. If you want a dog that will love all people, then this might not be the breed for you. They are exactly what the breed standard calls for (In most cases) and that is aloof. They will wander off if not on leash...lol. I guarantee you that. Moderate prey drive, absolutely no odor... Not too high energy, but they definitely need exercise.

    I could go on and on, but I highly recommend this breed to anyone who is experienced with dogs. I definitely plan to get one from a good breeder, and show and sport. So glad that I got Malyk.

    Hope I helped, lol.
     
  6. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    I can't edit my post, but I meant to add that he definitely comes to me in public...like, at the dog park when we used to go, he would always come check on me while he was running around. He has always brought me things he has killed as well. Very sight hound when it comes towards his temperament towards me and other people.

    He is 86 lbs, too, and I've been told he is on the small side. I'm not sure of the validity in that.
     
  7. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Then being bad off leash defibitely isn't a gaurentwe. All the omes I've been aeound, my friends being the most often, are amazing offleash ;) like, omg won't leave your side amazing. It all depends on training style, really. The only real hound trait my friends has, is she'll hoover up food. It has proven useful with the babies in the house LOL
     
  8. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    I don't mean bad off leash as in will take off...Malyk stays next to me off leash. I suppose I worded that badly...but it is recommended to have a fence they can't penetrate because RR's are known to wander. Like, if I just stood there in an open field with mine, he wouldn't stay by me. He would begin to wander if I didn't call for him. They catch a trail and don't come back. Lol.
     
  9. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    That's interesting to know, about the cur part, I mean. I think I saw his site while surfing through breeders.

    That's how this girl was too. Just lovely, a major sweetheart. Not overly friendly or anything before we "met" her, but afterwards she was plenty happy to be loved on.

    Thank you for the info! That's interesting, because all the qualities you described I wouldn't find houndy. Although, they sound perfect for what I'm looking for. Zander is skittish, independent, shy, and in no way, shape, or form trustworthy off leash. So it would be nice to move up to something that won't be so anxious to deal with in the future. I love Zander, he is my heart dog to the end. But he gives me heart attacks far too often. Lol.

    I've really always wanted something more easy to train and intelligent, but without giving up loyalty. We are military, so you sort of never know what hours or schedule we're going to have to get used to, or when DH is going to be gone. Zander is about as useless as wet paper when it comes to feeling safe. He won't even bark. Just creep away.

    Offleash would be fantastic, it really would. I dream of the day...lol.
     
  10. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up!
     
  11. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    based on a lot of personal experience, THIS is typical cur temperament (except for being delicate, likewise NONE of Matt's stock has ever been called delicate). however, based entirely on what i've been told by brit lurchermen & american wolfers, it is NOTHING like typical european sighthound temperament. this combined with the way they work cattle AND the way they hunt is why Matt says they are curs. after his description which is very similar to yours I agree. Matt has hunted w/ catahoulas & BMCs as well, so he has a pretty good idea of what he's saying when he says they are curs.
     
  12. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Yah, the dog im sprcifically talkig about is a barn dog. As in, she goes to the barn and does her thing and never wanders. Heck, she sometimes is left at the barn when her owner has thongs to do at home
     
  13. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Sounds like the exception, not the rule. It's good she doesn't wander, though.
     
  14. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Again, it is more than one ;)

    The whole point was, you really can't gaurentee something like that :p
     
  15. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I know a few Ridgebacks and love them. I only know based on what I've seen in my interactions with them and based on the few weeks I've dog-sat them here and there, but from what I have seen, I've loved.

    The two male Ridgies I know live together and were my first encounters with the breed. The older one is very aloof and independent and really only has eyes for his mom and his kid, but he is good about obliging others who would like to give him some attention. You can tell he's just appeasing you, though. The other boy is a complete love with everybody. He too obviously adores his family beyond anybody else, but he also really enjoys the company of other people too. Everytime I'm around him I have to watch out for that tongue of his, haha. He likes to give sneak attack kisses. And those tails sure do hurt when they're wagging and hit you!

    Neither of the boys is DA but they aren't overly into other dogs either. The one can be a little iffy with other males that he does not live with, but that didn't happen until he was severely attacked by a huge dog while out on a walk. So it's more of a lack of confidence thing now I think, as prior to that, he was perfectly content with all dogs.

    Neither one is what I would call high energy. They seriously sleep all day and night. With that said though, they're up and ready to go at the drop of a hat if you indicate that it's time to go do something fun.

    They are quite independent minded and aren't as eager to learn or to do as they're told as your typical working/herding/sporting breed, but they're not as hard headed as I expected either once they know/respect you and know what is expected of them. The only other houndy type dog I have to compare them to are the Dachshunds I had, and compared to them, these Ridgebacks are a breeze. Their owner has really had no issues with them as far as training whatsoever, but they are simply companions and aren't involved in any competitive venues of any kind. They are the sweetest dogs. One of my favourite things about them is just how into their owners they seem to be, and how sweet and loving they are, but at the same time are not needy and velcro to an extreme. They're good about cuddling and being affectionate but will give you your space as well.

    These particular dogs are good off leash, but are only allowed off leash in fenced parks and areas. They are very prey driven and their owner has never risked taking them somewhere that they could get into danger should they one day decide not to obey their recall. One of them ran out of the house on their dog walker/friend once and would not come back for anything. He chased after something and ran and ran until his paws were bleeding.

    The female I know, OTOH, is a nutcase. She has major anxiety, can be very rough with other dogs, is terrible off leash, and basically runs her household. I think for her it's a big combination of owners who really didn't know what they were getting into as well as coming from a terrible breeder. As with any breed, making sure you've chosen a truly good breeder is very important. Ridgebacks seem riddled with bad breeders.

    That's my limited experience with the breed and three dogs that I've been around a lot over the last 8 years, but it is just three dogs. Based on the two boys though, I'd have a RR in a heartbeat if ever I want a substantially sized dog again. I absolutely love what I've seen of them.
     
  16. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    I've met about 6-7 that I've gotten to know pretty well, and out of them, 2 are super mellow. chill, good offleash old soul kind of dogs (Chuma, the ferret rescue prez dog, is one of those) and the others, while smart, well-trained and incredible dogs, are more high-drive, and not trusted in most offleash areas.
     
  17. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    My aunt had a ridgie. He was the quintessential good old farm dog.

    He roamed the farm and never wandered (it was a huge spread though, about 40 acres and that was surrounded by miles of apple orchards). He never bothered the stock. It really upset him if the chickens fought, so he'd rush in and break up the fight. He alerted us to coyotes and neighbor dogs in the fields with our stock. He hung out with us kids all day and played soccer with us. I never really saw him hunt anything, but he was kind of old. She inherited him when her dad died. He grew up in town as an old man's dog.
     
  18. momto8

    momto8 New Member

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    I have met several at LC events and puppies too. I love them, all that i've met are really sweet friendly dogs, with awesome drive on the field. they are on my list to own one day.
     
  19. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I've met a handful, and used to house sit regularly for one male. He was a very, very cool dog, and the breed is one of my favorites of the larger breeds. Although it does seem they are quite varied in temperament going by this thread.

    The one I knew was definitely not "friendly". He was completely aloof with anyone but 'his' people out in public, and would never have sought out attention. He probably would have sat politely if told while someone greeted him, but he'd prefer not to. After the first time or two I house-sat him, he was definitely more warm to me - not that he would ever be all over me, but he'd seek out a spot near me to lay down, and would tolerate me loving on him a bit and playing with his ears with good nature.

    I would *not* have wanted to enter the house with him inside it if he didn't know me. I think he did in fact have a bite record from someone doing that at one point before I knew him. He was very protective of the house. I'm not sure how much it carried over to the owners outside the home.

    He was always off leash, but these people had a huge, huge property (100+ acres I'd guess) on the side of a mountain. He was good about coming into the house when I'd call him, and would stay nearby when I hiked the trails there.

    I know another woman locally who is a professional trainer and has several. I made a comment to her once about how I'd kind of wanted, but was concerned about their off leash skills since I hike a lot, and concerned about the protective issues, since I don't desire dogs who will be protective. She pretty much poo-poo'd my concerns about off leash - her dogs are very highly titled in obedience. But when I said I didn't like the protective instincts, she agreed they could be pretty intense.
     
  20. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    One of the boys I hunted with had one (though it was a pet...not a very focused individual and although he was drivey he tended to get distracted on hunts). He also had a poor track record with other dogs, and in fact he and Bailey got into it once (B was distinctly at a disadvantage...RRs are powerful, tough dogs).

    I like him well enough though. From a hunting perspective I wouldn't necessarily seek them out, but they are interesting. The boy's dog was very into him and aloof with others (but never unfriendly and tended to be quite gentle with children). To be honest, I really liked his personality a lot but from what I understand he was difficult to train and wasn't typically allowed to roam as he would range a little too far. He had a very soft disposition (sensitive to being yelled at etc) but was still extremely stubborn/into his own thing. He was very hardy too.
     

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