As Ridgeback breeders we prefer not to sell to people who don’t have any expercience with dogs whatsoever. However with patience and love a lot can be reached.
The Ridgeback is a dominant, intelligent, sometimes stubborn but simultaneously sensitive dog. It needs a strict, but in the same time soft hand while being educated.
He can be very obedient but he is a partner rather than a slave. Ridgebacks are very clever dogs, they learn quickly. Also they will try and find out if you really mean it.
With positive training methods, you can achieve a lot with it.
The Ridgeback is a hunting dog that needs a lot of exercise. If he does not get enough exercise, he will become bored and misbehave. Chewed pieces of furniture or shoes are a good example of this.
Outside it is an active dog, who also likes to chase game, inside it is quiet and often even lazy. He likes a warm, comfortable environment. Outside in a kennel, it will waste away.
It is a real family dog. When a loving relationship exists between owner and dog, it is a very loyal dog and, if necessary, it will literally give its life for its family.
Like said before, the Ridgeback is an active dog that needs to cover ground, but because it is a truly versatile dog, many different activities can be practiced with it. For example: agility, tracking and scent training, canicross and brainwork games.
Usually the first question “will it be a dog or a bitch” forms a subject for debate. A dog is irrefutable stronger and larger then a bitch, but also most often the more impressive representative of the breed. Opinions vary on the affection. In our experience a dog is more affectionate, although a bitch loves to be caressed, she’s more independent. When a dog is allowed to roam freely outside it is inclined to go and visit the the neighbouring bitches when they are in season. It needs a stronger approach then a bitch, otherwise it will take over the dominant position in your household.
When you have small children we usually prefer a bitch because they are somewhat sweeter then a dog.
This leads automatically to the much asked question: “are they good with children?”.
There are several breeds one wouldn’t advice with children. The Ridgeback isn’t one of them, but it all depends, as with all suitable breeds, not on the upbringing of the dog, but on the education of the children! Don’t wake a sleeping dog, not too wild a game, no lifting on the front legs, no poking in the eyes and think of al the other ways a young dogs life can be made unpleasant.
The Ridgeback can be trained to be left alone for a couple of hours, but never for a complete workweek. It loves coming with you to the workplace though.
The Ridgeback is a good watchdog. The farmers in Rhodesia had them, besides for hunting big game, in twosomes or threesomes as farmdogs.
Until the age of 9-12 months you can’t take them for long walks. It is better to take them 5 times a day for 15 minutes then one hour only.
Don’t let them walk the stairs regularly before the age of 1- 1 ½ years: that causes too much stress on the bones and ligaments. In your garden they can walk and play freely, when they get tired they will find their place to sleep.