Species group: Hound Group dogs
Other name(s): RR; African Lion Dog; African Lion Hound
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was the classic multi-purpose hound of the European settlers in southern Africa. The dog needed to guard children, livestock, and property, as well as to assist in the pursuit, hunting, and retrieval of game. And they needed to do it all in a land of temperature extremes that hosted an abundance of insect pests. As a result, this breed has an impressive mix of talents, including the ability to hunt both by sight and by scent. Active, muscular, and confident, this dog could easily intimidate the inexperienced or fragile owner. This is a choice for assertive, athletic owners who know how to channel the so-called African Lion Dog's energy.
The name hints at its history. Developed in Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe), the Ridgeback sports a distinct “comet” of reverse-growing hair down the center of the spine that came from an African dog breed of the Khoikhoi tribe. Impressive as it looks, the dog didn't actually hunt down lions, although Ridgeback packs kept them at bay while their people hunted.
Appearance / health:
The Ridgeback is balanced, longer than he is tall, yet symmetrical; strong with visible musculature and athletic. His most outstanding feature and that from which part of his name derives is the “comet” shaped ridge on his back which begins with two identical whorls of hair (also called “crowns”), which are located directly behind the shoulders and runs to a narrowing point between the end of the ribcage and the hipbones. The hair this ridge lies in the opposite direction to the rest of his coat. His chest, though deep, is not particularly wide. He is of obvious heavy bone structure; his tapering tail curves slightly upward and is fairly long.
His skull is flat and broad between the ears; eyes are alert, intelligent, round, set moderately well apart and should be colored to match his coat coloration; his muzzle is long and his jaw powerful; his nose should be similar to the eyes in keeping with the coat coloration and should be colored black, brown or liver; ears are medium-sized, set high with a wide base and taper to a rounded point. It is preferable that those with black noses have dark eyes and brown or livered color nosed Rhodesians should have amber eyes.
Grooming requirements are minimal for the Rhodesian. A good brushing with a firm-bristled brush once a week is sufficient as the breed is a light, but year-round, shedder.
Like any large and athletic breed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs to exercise regularly. The dog makes a perfect jogging partner as it loves to run and can go great distances without tiring.
Health issues among the Rhodesian Ridgeback include:
And, to a lesser extent:
Dermoid Sinus does not involve the sinuses in the nose, as one guess by the name. It is a tube-like growth that generally occurs along the line of the spine between the base of the skull and the start of the tail and is most easily and understandably described as a hollow tube-like growth beneath the skin which drains - thus the use of the word “sinus” in the name of the malady. The condition of Dermoid Sinus is present at birth and can be detected by a Veterinarian’s examination of the puppy along the midline of the puppy’s back. Failure to remove the growth will result in eventual abscess, causing extreme pain and even death. It is considered highly unethical for anyone to breed a Rhodesian that has had a Dermoid Sinus or even a history of Dermoid Sinus in its line. Be advised that some cases of Dermoid Sinus are inoperable and the puppy with the condition must be euthanized.
In considering the purchase of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, it is advisable that one request full disclosure of the breeder’s stock, particularly that of medical history in the parent lines.
* It should be noted that these skeletal maladies occur with some lines of the Rhodesians and with less frequency than they occur in many other large breed dogs. The well-informed puppy purchaser will ask the breeder for OFA certifications in all cases.
Behavior / temperament:
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an excellent family dog if properly trained and socialized from an early age. They are known for having a mind of their own; they are intelligent enough to easily out-think some owners. This is one of the breeds where extensive training and early socialization if imperative. Their training must be done with an eye toward not only the intelligence, but the potential strength, of the adult Rhodesian.
There is never a need to train the Rhodesian to be a guard dog; this is one of the main functions for which they were bred. Your focus on training should be one of establishing your position as Alpha and one who can set the limits and maintain them – always utilizing training methods that are consistent and unvaryingly uniform. Neither children nor adults should ever tease the Rhodesian; this will lead to later behavioral issues and, possibly, to later aggression.
The Rhodesian is never recommended to the novice owner or to someone who cannot take the firm hand this beautiful, intelligent breed requires. If you are one of those who enjoys treating your canine companion as another human being in the house or if your personality tends to run toward the more gentle, meek side, most would recommended you do not obtain a Rhodesian as the dog will likely become impossible for you to handle.
The Rhodesian responds best to training methods that are unfailingly consistent and uniform, but to rewards and praises that appeal to his sense of adventure. Try to train your Rhodesian by rote methods typically utilized in standard training classes and you will bore her beyond any interest in learning.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is rated high in intelligence, medium in obedience, and high in problem solving skills.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a barker, despite her ability to be alert at all times.
strong prey drive, selfconfident dog, Good watchdogs, fast learners, protection instinct
dominant dogs, head strong breed, domineering personality, food stealers, adult strangers.They
independent nature, deep bark, natural hunting instinct, minumum washing, high pain threshold
Everyday with our Ridgeback, Brody, is a new adventure, both fun and challenging. I have owned dogs since I was a child, they have always been an integral part of my life, but I can honestly say that our Ridgeback is the first dog I've ever encountered that oftentimes eerily resembles a human being in temperament and mannerisms. Our dog is the typical, in some ways, and many other times, he is prone to bouts of brooding. He is sweet, affectionate, and so full of life, but can fray many nerves when he chooses to be stubborn and grumpy. His intelligence is both a blessing and a curse, as he possesses an understanding that far surpasses that of most dogs; for instance, if we are packing to leave on a trip, he always knows exactly what is happening, and throws what can best be described as a temper tantrum, following us from room to room, whining and purposely trying to get in our way for the purposes of slowing us down, all because he does not want to be left behind.
He is the quintessential family dog, he must always be with us, he craves affection, and when he doesn't receive what he feels is enough love to fill his "quota" for the day, he will react with vehement annoyance, often with whining that progresses into actual howling (which is truly a sight to behold). Out of the puppy stage now, caring for him can often feel like caring for a toddler, and yet even the worst moments with him feel so fleeting because he brings such joy to our lives. He is such a character, and I would caution anyone looking to own a Ridgeback that they are very stubborn and crave a dominant personality to guide their behavior. But with the right discipline, there are few dog breeds better than a Ridgeback: they are loyal, protective, and extremely loving..
From brodywhisperer Jun 11 2015 12:16PM
The way your dog's body was meant to be fed
There are so many misconceptions about raw feeding and I hope to quickly properly educate you so making an opinion for yourself is easier. I am a certified nutritionist for dogs and cats and the moment I finished my education I knew I needed to make better choices for my own personal dogs in regards to how I fed them. There are pros and cons to any feeding method so I cannot say it's going to be easy to know exactly what choices to make. The doubtful mind always says no, so anyone unfamiliar with anything is always hesitant. I see that a lot with other professionals in the field, specifically veterinarians. I am fortunate to have an integrative veterinarian who 100% supports this feeding method. Lets talk about the pros as there are many. There is no possible way to dispute that a dog's (especially cats) digestive system and teeth are designed for a diet of animal tissue, they are carnivores. Having jagged teeth throughout their mouth and a very short digestive tract, their bodies are not equipped to properly process plant material. Think of a cow's or sheep's flat teeth, made for grinding plants, and their 4 chambered stomachs, made to digest and assimilate nutrients from plants. They are herbivores. Feeding a diet of dry dog food, which is very heavy in plant based ingredients of many varieties,synthetic vitamins, and taste additives reeks havoc on their entire body systems over time. Some say feeding raw is expensive and time consuming. I'm part of a group with thousands and thousands of raw feeders around the world and we completely disagree. If you can follow a simple recipe you can make raw food for your pet. Learning how to shop for ingredients on sale and making relationships with local butchers is all you need to make it affordable. I feed two dogs raw cheaper than I wold purchasing an average quality dry food. It CAN be done if your pet's lifetime of health is important to you. There are so many support systems out there for this approach, it truly couldn't be any easier. The shelf life of raw food is far longer than that of dry food. Did you know that the nutrients and quality of dry food diminishes with the passing of each day? My dog's food is kept in a deep freezer and put in the refrigerator for thawing each night, ready for the next day. Freezing locks in all nutrients and can be kept for years without spoiling. Does your dog suffer from chronic conditions like ear infections and skin issues? Did you ever think it could be food related? Well let me tell you that it is. I have assisted with completely eradicating a host of chronic health issues in dogs and cats with diet alone. To most recently include a chihuahua with disc disease and no use of his hind legs. He now climbs steps and runs. He is 12 years old. No other therapy than a raw diet, regular massage, and one veterinary acupuncture visit. Let's talk about the cons. Now, most freeze dried and premade raw can be expensive for the amount you get. Feeding freeze dried is mostly for convenience. I use it when I need convenience like a weekend camping trip. I enjoy making my dog's food. There a lot of satisfaction in it for me. There is so much talk about bacteria like salmonella and e.coli when someone references raw food. Can it be present in raw food? Of course! But, did you know that your dry food can and does have the same bacteria? Dry and canned pet food recalls are a very common for bacteria. I have 100% control over the ingredients, processing, and storing of my pets raw food. Proper handling and sourcing of raw ingredients can and does deeply diminish the probability of bacteria. What about parasites? Again, yes of course raw materials can have parasites. As can dry and canned mass produced pet food. And again, the proper handling and sourcing of these ingredients remove this concern. (As a note: I have been raw feeding for over 5 years and NOT ONE of my dogs or clients have been treated for parasites or bacterial issues) Proper formulation can be a con to raw feeding. Honestly, its ridiculously easy. But without the proper ratio of ingredients you can cause issues. Companies make you think it is hard. They want to make you buy their product. It's a marketing scheme that works and unfortunately affects our pets negatively. I hope this review can shed light into the seemingly scary world of raw feeding. Educate yourselves and don't be afraid to jump in head first. Your pet's health and quality of life will be all the proof you need to know this is without a doubt the best decision you have ever made. .
From Megan S 54 days ago
Back Harnesses Safe but Ineffective
Working with the neurology department at UF Small Animal Hospital, I saw many dogs who had suffered back injury while being walked on standard buckle collars with leads, especially Flexi leads. Most prone to this sort of injury were "long" dogs like dachshunds, corgis and basset hounds. These dogs are often prey motivated, the sort of dog nothing can stop once they're after a squirrel. Unfortunately what often does stop these dogs is a pull to the neck at full speed. The result can be catastrophic back injuries.
I consider back clip harnesses generally ineffective at controlling pulling behavior. They were originally designed for dogs to pull loads and enable the dog to pull as hard as he can quite comfortably. However, if you have a dog who has suffered back trouble before, or if he belongs to a breed prone to back problems, I advise a back harness along with positive reinforcement training to reduce unwanted pulling behavior. Do not attempt to use the harness to control behavior. Rather, use it to hold on to your dog while you use visual and audio cues and positive reinforcement, especially potent smelling treats, to get his attention when he is pulling against his harness.
Ideally, watch for potential distractions and get his attention to reward him before he notices the distraction. After awhile, when your terrier sees a squirrel, he might just look to you for a treat! If he doesn't, and decides that he's going to get that squirrel no matter what, you can rest assured that when he throws his weight into the harness he won't be throwing out his back. .
From Coral 238 days ago
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