Ridgeback Q & A

Is the Rhodesian Ridgeback Intelligent?

Some people mistake the Ridgeback’s headstrong independence for a lack of intelligence, but he is, indeed, a very clever dog who is sensitive to his owner’s moods & emotions.

Are Ridgebacks good with children?

Some are and some are not. A lot depends upon the kind of relationship developed by the parents and the example set by them. Youngsters can be taught to be gentle with dogs, and told that a dog’s only defense is biting. In any case, very small children should NEVER be left alone with a dog, no matter how good they are with each other. An indepth article on this topic can be found here.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks good with other dogs?

Yes! One of the original functions of the Rhodesian Ridgebacks was to hunt lions, and they did this by hunting in packs; they were bred to get along with other dogs.

Can Ridgebacks live in the same house with a cat?

Yes. When the cat stops running, the dog will stop chasing. If the cat still has its claws, the dog will quickly learn to respect it. If the cat has been declawed, it will take a bit longer. But since Ridgebacks are territorial, he will still chase cats who are not part of his household.

faqs2Must this breed have a fenced in yard & be kept on lead, when out of this yard?

A fenced yard is good, and a leash & collar is a must! A Ridgeback LOVES to run! His great speed & pure joy of running are exciting to watch, but can sometimes lead to trouble for the unwary owner. The sight of something interesting, such as a cat, a squirrel or another dog, could have him off and away, with no thought of traffic or other danger.

The owner of a Ridgeback must understand and be prepared for this trait to avoid possible tragedy. Basic obedience training will help establish a bond of love & respect between the Ridgeback and his owner, but it is not a substitute for common sense. The best way to protect a Ridgeback from harm is to exercise it on a leash or within a well-fenced or protected area.

How high must my fence be?

Of sufficient height to keep him from jumping over the fence. A Ridgeback can easily clear a 4 foot fence & has even been seen jumping a 5 foot fence, without a running start! However, if not left in your yard for long periods of time, and becoming bored, he should not attempt to jump over the fence. Boredom does create “escape artists!”

Can I leave a Rhodesian Ridgeback in my fenced in yard, all day?

If you leave your Ridgeback in your fenced in yard all day, by himself, we promise that one or all of the following things will occur:

  1. He will “howl his head off” for you to come out to be with him or for you to let him in the house to be with you (this will make you quite unpopular with your neighbors).
  2. He will tear down the siding on your house or ruin your back door by scratching to come in the house to be with you!
  3. He will dig holes all over your yard, because he is bored.
  4. He will jump over or dig under the fence and escape & get killed by the first car that drives down the street. If you live on a country road that has little traffic, it only takes ONE car! (This breed is really stupid about streets & automobiles.  Because of this, autos are among the primary reasons of death to a Ridgeback!)

And even if none of the above ever happens (unlikely), your dog will not train itself or housebreak itself or socialize itself if kept in your yard all day!

Can I chain him up, outside, if I do not have a fenced in back yard?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Not even for five minutes! This is one of the easiest way to ruin a dog’s temperament!

Can he live in the yard, in a dog house?

This dog only does well as a house pet. See all of the above.

faqs1Can the Rhodesian Ridgeback live in a city apartment?

This breed adapts well to city life & apartment living because of their relaxed disposition. The adult dog enjoys lounging in front of the fireplace or curled up at your side. He is an affectionate dog who wants to be in the company of his owner. He does require exercise & a puppy requires more exercise than a grown dog. Again, A TIRED PUPPY IS A GOOD PUPPY!

How much exercise does an adult Rhodesian Ridgeback need?

A good long walk on lead is always good. If you are lucky enough to live near a park with a protected area where you can turn him loose for a while — great!

Ideally, a city dog needs several walks a day and occasional hard exercise, where he can stretch his legs, running off-lead, in a protected area and after he has completed basic obedience training and will come to you when he is called. Remember, this breed has been clocked at 30 miles an hour!