Rhodesian Ridgeback: A Complete Guide

Are you looking for a dog that considers chasing cats as a waste of time because he can actually chase lions? Do you need a dog that is suited for your active lifestyle?

Do you need a fearless family protector? The Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as the African lion dog could be your ideal choice.

Sure, all dogs can chase cats, but what about when a dog can chase really big cats such as lions or panthers? Yeah, this breed has indeed been used in the past for hunting lions in Africa.

But today, this is a breed that people with a fast pace lifestyle usually choose.

Not only that the Rhodesian Ridgeback can keep up with your athletic lifestyle, but you will have to get into better shape to actually keep up with him.

However, finding a puppy of this breed that is first of all completely healthy and doesn’t come with any hidden health or behavioral issues, is more complicated than you think.

Luckily for you, our in-depth guide is focused on giving you an insight into the breed and taking proper care of your dog, from its puppy moths to the old age.

You will also learn how to find a high-quality puppy, and what to expect from living with an African lion hunter. So, without further ado, we present to you the Rhodesian Ridgeback!

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies – Before You Buy…

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are perfect home protectors.

Before actually buying the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, there are some things you first need to get familiar with.

For example, does the price suit you? And, can you find a breeder that won’t just rip you off and sell you a low-quality pup?

You also need to know if living with a puppy of this breed is something you are ready for. But first, let’s see if the price tag suits your budget.

What price are the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies?

The price range for a Rhodesian Ridgeback goes from $1000 to $3K. Sure, you will probably find “breeders” that offer puppies for a lot less.

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In this case, you can forget about any health issues reassurance and your dog will probably have problems with development as the time goes.

Therefore, we always recommend deciding first if you need a companion or a dog that will win medals and trophies at dog shows.

Once you know that, you can find the price that suits your budget.

But, it is always better to opt for quality over the price, because this is not a car or some other thing you buy, this is a living being that will become a member of your family, and having a healthy puppy with great DNA and behavioral heritage is imperative.

How to find reputable Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders?

Finding a reputable breeder doesn’t have to be complicated if you know what to pay attention to and which questions to ask.

Here is a list of DO’s and DON’Ts when it comes to finding a reputable breeder:

DO:

  • Do ask the breeder to tell you everything about this breed.
  • Do ask for the medical history of both the pup and the parents, as well as health tests clearances for both the parents.
  • Do ask the breeder about his opinion on does this breed actually suit your lifestyle.
  • Do ask to see and interact with the pup’s parents.

DON’T:

  • Don’t buy a puppy from a pet store because they get their puppies from puppy mills.
  • Don’t buy a puppy from a breeder that doesn’t seem interested in the breed and doesn’t know much about it.
  • Don’t buy a puppy if you don’t have an insight into the medical history of both parents and the puppy.
  • Don’t buy puppies online, especially if there’s the option of home delivery!
  • Don’t buy puppies from a breeder that has more than 2 or 3 litters at the same time.

If you follow these guidelines, you will have a much greater chance of walking away with a healthy puppy with great genetic material and behavioral traits that will suit both your personality and your lifestyle.

3 Little-known facts about the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies

Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a great choice for people who like to ride bikes.

Before welcoming a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy into your home, you need to find out if you are actually ready to deal with everything that comes with it.

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Therefore, here are some little-known fact about these pups.

  • They have a strong will

Even while they are still just pups, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a strong will and can be stubborn.

This can turn out to be a problem if you don’t start the training as soon as possible, and if you are not consistent.

  • They are great with older kids, but not so much with toddlers

They are very tolerant when it comes to kids.

With older kids, you won’t have a problem, but, when it comes to toddlers, the size of the dog and its strength can be too much for small kids and he can hurt them unintentionally.

  • They can be tough on other animals

If you already have other pets when the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy arrives home, he will get used to them and will get along just fine when he grows up.

However, the same can’t be said for other animals outside your household. They can be pretty aggressive with the animals they don’t know, despite the training and socialization.

Physical Traits of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy can be trained to be your perfect pet.

In this section, you get to find out how big the Rhodesian Ridgeback is, and how long can you expect him to be your faithful companion.

How big is a full-grown Rhodesian Ridgeback?

The average size range of full-grown Rhodesian male goes from 25 to 27 inches, while the weight range goes from 80 pounds, and can even go up to 90 pounds.

The females are smaller and lighter, and their size goes from 25 to 27 inches, while their weight goes around 70 pounds on average.

What is the life expectancy of the Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Like all big dog breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback lifespan is around a decade. You can expect some 10 to 12 years of happy memories and plenty of family album photos.

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Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

These athletic, dignified dogs come with a deep look that goes right through you. They originate from Africa, where they were bred and used for tracking and holding down lions.

Nowadays, they aren’t much of a hunter’s dog, but more of a loyal family companion.

While they are young, they will have huge amounts of energy.

As they grow and as you train with them, their personality softens out and they become calm, pulled back dogs that are just keeping an eye on everything and everyone.

However, if you don’t have experience with big dogs, this might not be the right breed for you.

They demand real dedication and time to be properly trained, but once you are there, you will see how the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be an excellent choice for families.

With their own human family, these dogs will be calm and easy going. But, they tend to be suspicious of people outside of your home, and early socialization is a must with this breed.

Also, you need to make him realize that people who enter your home while you are around, are friends and that he needs to relax in such moments.

Furthermore, since they were bred to hunt big cats, small cats are not on their blacklist. Well, at least the one he grew up with.

The other cats, such as your neighbor’s cat, will constantly be in trouble if it happens to find itself in your yard.

Another thing you should be aware of is the fact that this breed is famous for destructive chewing. They will chew on the furniture, cables, shoes, and pretty much everything they find if they are left alone for

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has his own will and he will challenge your role as the Alpha leader of the family.

In order to let him know that you are the boss here, you need to train him firmly and you need to be consistent.

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Once he recognizes you as the leader, he will happily follow your lead and do his best to protect your family and your home.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Diet

All dogs need high-quality food to properly develop and not suffer from illnesses. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is no different and he needs a nutrient-rich diet.

In this case, you should avoid cheap food as it won’t be enough for him, and his immune system might become weak.

One of the best diet choices for this breed includes a healthy amount of protein, which can be found in meat.

Also, adding some Omega 3 fatty acids is never a bad idea, especially for keeping their heart healthy.

How much Exercise does a Rhodesian Ridgeback need?

In order to keep their health and even mellow out their “dark side,” the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs plenty of hard exercises.

Considering that this breed comes from Africa, taking him on long walks combined with demanding exercises when it’s hot outside, won’t be a problem for your dog.

You will need to walk him at least two or three times each day, and the best possible way to provide enough energy burning is taking the dog out when you plan to ride a bike.

Of course, as your dog gets older, he will need less and less exercise, but he will need to go out each day even in his “senior years”.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a perfect companion for hiking or camping.

He will happily follow you on your outdoor adventures, and also be a great watch dog when you are sleeping in your tent.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback Health and Conditions

The good thing about this breed is that it doesn’t suffer from any too serious health issues and is generally considered healthy.

However, there are certain health problems you need to be aware of. For example, this breed can suffer from the elbow and hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism.

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Also, in some cases, dermoid sinuses and deafness can occur.

This is why you need to ask the breeder for parents’ health test clearances, and to regularly take your dog for vet checkups.

My final thoughts on the Rhodesian Ridgeback

We have reached the end of our Rhodesian Ridgeback guide.

Have you formed the final opinion on this breed? Can you see yourself living with a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Still can’t?

Well, here is a short summary of everything we discussed today so that you are sure that the choice you make is the right one.

This is one athletic breed created in Africa for hunting purposes.

They are really good long-distance runners and are a great choice for people who like to ride bikes or do regular jogging.

Thanks to their alertness, they are also perfect home protectors and will keep you safe from anything and anyone with unbelievable ferociousness.

However, their strong mind also makes them hard to train and you need to invest plenty of time, effort, and patience if you want a well-mannered family dog.

One thing is sure, if your Rhodesian Ridgeback gets proper training right from the start, instead of hunting lions, he will gladly relax with you on the sofa after a long and energy burning biking or running session.

Thank you for reading our Rhodesian Ridgeback in-depth guide and we hope that now you have a much better understanding of this breed and why finding a high-quality puppy is so important.

Also, if you think that more people should get familiar with this fascinating breed, feel free to share this guide on social media.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

4
Cost to Buy
8.5
Cuteness Level
8
Family Safety
8
Friendliness
7
Health Concerns
6
Life Span
3.5
Exercise Required
6
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.4 / 10

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