Rhoedesian Ridgebacks??

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Dogs6, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    We've (Dad's) been talking about getting a Ridgeback recently. I have no idea why but since it's not going to be my dog I have very little say. Dad's always wanted one and since I'll be leaving in a few years Mum has decided that this might be a good time to get him one so that I'll be able to do a lot of the training (Yay!!). Mum and I are considering getting dad a Ridgeback. I'll be doing a lot of the training/ socialising but the dog will mainly belong to him. However since I have no experiance with the breed we're doing as much research as we can.

    What are they like to live with?

    What are their exercise requirements?

    Are they usually same sex aggressive?

    What about mental stimulation? Easy to train?

    I know they're a hound but can they be let offleash (with appropriate training obviously)??

    What health tests should be done on the parents as a minimum?

    What's their temperment like??

    I know some large dogs shouldn't be walked too much as puppies. Is the Ridgeback one of them?


    I'm sure as the thread goes on I'll have more questions but thses are just as general guide. This will be our first properly researched puppy and I'm determined to do this right.
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    The president of the FRSO has one, so I do have some experience being around them. HER ridgeback, Chuma, is very good offleash. She lives out in the boonies, and the dog knows to stay around the house/stay around her when they are out in the city. She is also a very good barn dog, and will often be left at the barn if her owner needs to go out without her.

    Chuma is very sweet, loves other dogs, is perfect with the baby, the cats, the ferrets, etc. Even though they are in the hound group, they do not tend to be very hound like.

    ETA: as far as training goes, Chuma is VERY well trained. I am not sure what it took to get her there... the owner is big on CM though
     
  3. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I used to house sit for one who I adored.

    He was a mature adult when I knew him, so I'm not sure about puppy exercise. They lived on a huge property on the side of the mountain, and he enjoyed a lot of off-leash freedom on the property, and long hikes. He was mellow enough to sit out a day if the weather was icky and not be a pest. I wouldn't expect to walk him in an area where he could hit traffic easily off leash, but he was good about sticking sort of close at all times.

    The biggest concern I would have as far as getting one for myself was his protective instinct. He would put on quite a show when people tried to get in the house, and I would not have been surprised if he backed it up given a reason. I was always very careful that he knew I was the one coming through the door before I opened it more than a crack.

    He definitely had issues with other male dogs, particularly intact males (he was neutered, but I don't know at what age). He lived very nicely with a female pit.

    I really liked his temperament. Very mellow and a bit stand-offish with people he didn't know, but every once in a while, when he didn't think anyone was paying attention, he'd be a complete goof. Totally my type of dog.

    A woman I know has had several highly titled obedience Ridgebacks. I think they are generally considered to be more easily trained than many of the hound breeds.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    My boss has a ridgeback who I'm around every day, plus three other regular day care ridgebacks. They are one of my top choices for breeds.


    What are they like to live with? - I'm not with one in a home environment on a regular basis...however, they're pretty easy to work with. They can be a bit stubborn, for sure, and a tad aloof with strangers. They sort of go from really serious to totally goofy, depending on what's called for.

    What are their exercise requirements? - they're energetic. Not as high strung as some herding breeds or anything...I'd compare them to a higher energy sporting breed, like a viszla or pointer, as far as needs go. They're not a breed that will do well with little exercise, but they're not non-stop go-go-go. They chill out once they're done romping.

    Are they usually same sex aggressive? - I have heard a little bit about DA in the breed, but generally, I don't think so. At least not as bad as breeds like dobermans, some mastiffs, etc. I'd probably ask a potential breeder how their dogs do with other dogs, though.

    What about mental stimulation? Easy to train? - yes, but they get bored with repetition, and like I said, can be stubborn. If it's not fun for them, they aren't just going to do it to please you, most of the time.

    I know they're a hound but can they be let offleash (with appropriate training obviously)?? - I've seen it done, and never seen one take off...I think it would depend on the dog. If it's fixating on things like squirrels and scents, I wouldn't chance it.

    What health tests should be done on the parents as a minimum? - hips and elbows...I've heard there can be thyroid and eye issues in the breed but not sure what tests are done.

    What's their temperment like?? - see above...they're goofy when they want to be, serious when they need to be, loyal as all hell. They're a bit shy or reserved with strangers, pretty doting to their families and friends.

    I know some large dogs shouldn't be walked too much as puppies. Is the Ridgeback one of them? - they are a breed I'd worry about repetitive exercise with. I wouldn't worry about walking too much, but jogging or serious heel work or something I would avoid until well over a year, as with all giant breeds.
     
  5. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    Thank you for your help!!

    Protective instinct isn't a bad point for us. Fudge and Tika have protective instinct and while I'm not sure if they would back it up, we're used to working round it so they are not put in a position to have to back it up.

    Same sex aggression and being able to be offleash are probably most important to us. We couldn't introduce another female to the house because of Tika. Same sex aggression outside of the household wouldn't matter as much but we don't want to crate and rotate although we would if we had to.

    The exercise is slightly worrying to me. I would have no problem giving that sort of exercise but my dad's more laid back. A lot of the exercise would be offleash and what I would be afraid off would be if the dog wouldn't be offleash for whatever reason would be that it wouldn't be given as much exercise as it needs. Do you think one walk a day plus some play time in the yard would be enough for a slightly more laid back dog?
     
  6. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Maybe, if the walk was long/stimulating enough (not just a 10 minute walk down the block). How big is the yard? Especially if the dog could play with other dogs, play fetch, etc. I think that would be good enough. The ridgeback puppies I know do have significantly higher puppy energy levels than the adults, too.
     
  7. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    We have half an acre as our yard and a usual walk for us is somewhere between 2-4 miles. Most of that is spent offleash although if the dog had to be kept onleash we could do that as well.


    ETA: As a puppy I would be there as well to ensure that it got enough exercise, socialisation and training. I was thinking more of an adult dog like when I move out. Sorry I should have clarified.
     
  8. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    if you get one w/ good prey drive have your dad get with some Irish lurchermen and try taking fox on the lamp. a ridgie is more of a cur than hound and they usually don't open on the track. they also work cattle & other rough stock very well if given the chance. mind you this applies primarily to real working stock but still shows up quite often in show dogs & BYB bred dogs. many often wind up in the shelter or rescue because the owners didn't realize the dog was going to kill the neighbors cat or try to herd the other neighbor's horses.
     
  9. Pasomystic

    Pasomystic Pasomystic

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    I have had four Ridgebacks and raised a litter. As young dogs, they are energetic and easily bored. After age 3, they settle into dogs willing to do what you do with just a walk a day for exercise. They leash train well, and I obedience train all of them in mixed company--socialize thoroughly, and I take mine to the dog park frequently to play with all breeds. As in any breed, some lines are more laid back than others. A very tall fence is required if the dog is not exercised enough--they can leap a 6 ft fence if young and bored and alone.
    My absolute favorite large breed--strong, healthy if from a good breeder, easy to groom with a hound glove, love children and can be trained to like any small animal or stranger you wish them to. Strong prey drive--running animals will be chased, so a very good recall is necessary to train from day one, to stop a chase before it begins. Once in full chase mode--they come back when they are done--must be stopped at the beginning, lol.
     
  10. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    A half acre to romp on and a 2-4 mile walk per day could definitely suffice for an adult ridgeback. A puppy might need a little more mental stimulation and engagement, but honestly it sounds like it would work well with your family.

    I wanted to do ridgeback foster really badly, but one would literally not be able to fit in my apartment =[
     
  11. Dogs6

    Dogs6 Plus One

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    We have a small JRT and two cats that like to play with the dogs. Would they have to be kept seperated at all times or could the Ridgeback be trusted with them (supervised of course)?

    Of and the jumping thing?? We already have 2 dogs like that so what's one more? :lol-sign:

    The more and more I read and discover about them the more they sound suited to our family. We still haven't definitely put down a deposit (we need to talk to the breeder more and meet more of his dogs) but it looks more and more like that's what we're going to do.
     
  12. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Like I said, we have 4 regular ridgebacks in daycare, and they all mix with the small dogs occasionally. That means they will ignore a 7 or 8 lb dog doing zoomies across a 60 ft room. I definitely won't speak for all ridgebacks, but there are certainly some who could be trusted. They don't seem to have the visually obsessiveness that other sighthounds like greys do.
     
  13. Pasomystic

    Pasomystic Pasomystic

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    As you can see from my sig--mine are trusted together. Caesar was 6 yrs old when I brought little Lyric home, and since then two of the cats have alao entered our lives--one as an adult afraid of dogs [ not anymore ] --he is good with them all. If one of the cats runs from him-he will chase it, but he will never attempt to use his mouth. I did have one female that killed birds--from robins to pheasants she thought them all good to eat--but our cat was her best friend. I have more control over my dogs than anyone else does--so if I am not home I do not assume my pets will be perfect, but once I know they are very attached, I do not worry.
     
  14. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    that's because ridgebacks are not sighthounds (regardless of what the AKC says).
     
  15. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I think it's great how you're researching the breed. They are one of my absolute favorites. (And I'm not usually a hound person, but these are quite different...I think easier to train) I think they need a good deal of exercise. I watched a show where this couple had several of them. They hiked and ran every day with their dogs over desert-like terrain. It seemed to really make them happy. Their heritage, where they came from made them great runners.

    My sister's friend had a Ridgeback. He was young and untrained....A LOT OF DOG. LOL. Let me tell you. They do need training and lots of socializing, of course.


    Their ancestory certainly included sighthounds, like Salukis and Greyhounds. There were Danes and Mastiffs, blood hounds and other breeds in their background as well, brought to Africa by Europeans. They mixed with a native dog that had a ridge like that. They hunt by their very keen eye sight AND their with their nose. So, I don't know how one can say that they are not sight hounds. They may not be ALL sighthound, but they do have them in their make-up. They certainly possess the characteristics generally associated with hounds.

    Anyhow, good luck. I can't wait to see pictures!
     
  16. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I don't really consider them a sighthound the way I consider greyhounds, lurchers, etc. to be a sighthound. Plenty of breeds have sighthounds in their makeup, but they aren't true sighthounds.
     
  17. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    bulldogXgrey were matched in the early days and went into the make up of pit bulldogs, doesn't make them a sighthound.
    based on general structure, personality and working style (both hunting & on livestock) ridgbacks would properly be classed a curdog like a black mouth or catahoula. this assessment is mutually agreed upon w/ Matt V who gives seminars to ridgeback clubs on training their dogs to hunt & work stock. he is also a member of the african ridgeback group and is very involved in the annual ridgeback rodeo events. you will have a hard time finding anyone more devoted to preserving the ridgeback as a working dog than he. AND Matt has himself said the same thing, the ridgeback is an african curdog. the akc called it a sighthound at the request of the parent club so the breed could compete for & receive coursing titles (probably because coursing titles don't requie one to crawl through a swamp in Jan like chasing a coon does).
    there is no clear record of their make up and for all we know they are a strait cross of the original british curs (which had bull & mastiff in them by that point) & the hottentot ridgebacked dog (but probably not).
     
  18. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    There are other modern breeds in them that have more recent additions of sight hound than ridgebacks do. Dobermans would be one. ;) There was DNA testing done on a bunch of dog breeds and it was found the ridgeback is of recent European descent, not an ancient African breed.

    I know Radar never behaved like a hound. He was basically like a farm cur. He was very safe around small animals except wild rats. He never even bothered pigeons or the dozens of feral barn cats. One of his pet peeves was the roosters fighting. He'd rush in to break up their squabbles. He also lived with a house chihuahua.
     
  19. grayada1

    grayada1 New Member

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    just wanted to give my input

    What are they like to live with? they are amazing dogs. love their family and want to be close. they arent a dog to be left out in the yard by themselves. even when i take henderson to a friends house with other dogs if i go inside he wants to be inside.

    What are their exercise requirements? they need to run, and it needs to be in a safe place. when they start running you cant stop them and they dont stop for anything. As an ADULT they dont need nearly the excercise of a sporting dog. Give them some space to run a couple times a week and they will be content to lay around the rest of the time. i read somewhere that describe them as loving to lay around when in the house, but in an open field they will run all day long.

    Are they usually same sex aggressive?i havent heard about this being a problem in the breed. i know henderson gets along with the majority of males he encounters. again proper socialization is key here, they are naturally aloof and if they arent allowed to meet alot of people early this can turn into a scary situation with how big and powerful they are

    What about mental stimulation? Easy to train?smart as can be, but as others have said they get bored. also they arent dogs that just do what you say just because. you can see them analyze everything you tell them to do and decide if its worth it or no...

    I know they're a hound but can they be let offleash (with appropriate training obviously)?? henderson is getting better and better with this. i dont have any concern he would run away, my only concern is that he would start running and run infront of a car.

    What health tests should be done on the parents as a minimum?

    What's their temperment like?? someone alread said it, but they are goofy dogs. it is amazing how fast they can go from goofy to serious though. they love their family and are weary of anyone new. they take a long time to get confortable with new people. one thing to note is they play extremely rough, although henderson is amazing with puppies and little dogs.

    I know some large dogs shouldn't be walked too much as puppies. Is the Ridgeback one of them? i wouldnt recommend walk a puppy RR as the main form of excercise. its important to start to teach them to walk on the leash nice, but i wouldnt want to push them. let them play to wear themselves out dont pull them around the neighborhood




    they are great dogs and i dont think ill ever be without one. ive meet alot since i got henderson and all of the ones that have people trying to do right by them are wonderful dogs. ive met some that are shy and scared and they can be scary, but its because they never get to meet people and other dogs and when they do they dont know what to do.


    henderson also lives with two cats. would i trust him alone with them no. but he has never hurt them and just wants to smell and lick them.
     
  20. grayada1

    grayada1 New Member

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    thanks for this pops. always wanted to know what you thought about RR. they have good eye sight, and are more visually alert than some coonhouds i know, but are no true sight hound. makes sense that they wanted that just for coursing. they sure dont look like the other coursing dogs!
     

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