Please keep it on mind that it is very important to be careful with puppy exercise and activities!
At the age of around 9 weeks you will bring your puppy home. In upcoming period you will really have to be very careful during puppy's growth because their bones do not even touch yet.
In this period puppies are totally sweet but also very vulnerable.
Early Age Exercise
It is very important not to have your puppy jar or stress their limbs until the bones have joined.
Activities that can damage your puppy’s limbs are:
climbing stairs, jumping down from heights greater than themselves, falling down stairs, jumping on sofa, jumping off sofa, running uphill and downhill and even rough play with a larger dog. If you have stairs at home, carry your puppy when going up or down the stairs as long as you can carry their weight.
When you do not restrict their exercise you risk a lot!
But when you are letting puppy jump up and down off the sofa or bed, take them for long walks/hikes, letting them run uphill or especially downhill you are damaging their joints.
If you have tiles or slippery floors, have on mind that puppy is damaging joints if scrambles without traction!
So, keep it really easy while they're still little puppies.
One radiologist said very wise advice:
Take 5 minute walk per month of puppy age.
So, if your puppy is 3 months old, walks should not be longer than 15 minutes or if your pupp is 6 months old, 30 minute walks are just fine. Later you may increase the length of your walks. Doing so, you will not over exercise your pupp.
After the age of 16 weeks you can gradually increase exercise until by about 12 month of age when your dog will be ready for normal adult exercise of 2-5km or more each day.
Once grown you will have the rest of their life to spend playing in higher impact exercise.
Then it will come the time when you will be free to hike, to take long walks and your dog can play like crazy with other dogs.
But still, bicycle is still NO GO!
Rhodesians are slow growing breed and they grow till the age of 2 years, so till their 2nd year they should not run after you riding a bike.
When they will be ready for bike exercise, please have on mind that you have to start gradually to increase exercise (starting with length of 0,5km - 1 km, after one week 1-2km etc).
Your dog should trot and not gallop when going after you on bicycle.
Even the ball will probably NOT be point of interest to your Ridgeback, below you can read what does "ball chasing" to our dogs.
It is really hard to decide which season is more beautiful because they all bring special beauty and vibe into our and our dogs life. After cold winter, we all get totally crazy and spend more time in nature to charge our batteries. Most of us know that we have protect our dogs against the ticks and the diseases they might bring to our RR's but except ticks (about which we will write special topic), there is more danger what our favourite season brings.
The Pine Caterpillars
This is a huge danger on Croatian coast and where else Pine trees grow and you should be alerted from the February till April when these caterpillars are becoming active and go out from their nests on the trees down to the ground.
They move on the ground in columns and are very dangerous for dogs because they have developed defense against predators. These are their hairs which in contact with the skin, cause strong local irritation, which is presumed not to be related to immune mechanisms, but to be a poisonous substance they contain.
In addition, their hair is also a strong allergen, so sensitive dogs (and humans!) can cause very strong allergic reactions and even an anaphylactic reaction.
The reaction can also be caused by a dead not just a live caterpillar.
The caterpillars are actually cute and represent a unique sight for our dog!
A little hairy animal walks on the floor and just lures dog to a little sniffing and pushing with his nose.
They also reportedly have a sweet smell that makes dogs try to eat it.
However, on contact, there is a sudden swelling of the muzzle, the eyes are closed, the whole head of the dog begins to itch terribly, and sometimes the reaction is so strong that the dogs even vomit. The tongue may swell so much that it is no longer possible to close the muzzle in a few minutes, and necrosis of the tongue may occur and parts of the tongue may fall off.
In such cases, veterinary intervention is urgently needed because there is a risk of swelling of the pharynx and airway obstruction.
In the spring when snakes come out of their holes and they are extremely active, you should keep an eye on your dogs.
Do not let them move freely on the rocks, forests and tall grass where these two deadly poisonous animals that live in our areas - Riđovka and Poskok - could be found.
Poisonous plants from our environment
Dogs often, especially puppies like to bite and pick plants they come across either in the house or in their environment. Be careful not to bite or chew on parts of plants that are poisonous as this can be fatal for them! Try removing those plants or fencing until the puppy grows up!
Common symptoms of plant poisoning
• Pronounced salivation and drooling
• Irritation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and lips
• Respiratory disorders
• Uncoordinated movement
• Excitement - irritability
• Loss of appetite
• Different forms of epi attacks
• Loss of consciousness and coma
Usually we hear from people: " We do not need papers (pedigree), we have no plans for attending dog shows!" This is so wrong! Pedigree is so much more!
Unfortunately, lot of people are not educated enough and have no idea what the pedigree is.
Pedigree is not a "piece of paper" needed for attending dog shows, pedigree is much, much more and people who plan to buy a puppy should really buy a puppy with a pedigree.
The pedigree can be obtained by any dog bred in the Republic of Croatia that is registered in the Croatian Pedigree Book.
The pedigree must be marked by the International (FCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale) and Croatian Kennel Club (HKS - Croatian Kennel Club) and has to contain data for the registration of the dog and three even four generations of ancestors.
In Croatia it is valid only when certified by the seal of the HKS, the signature of the head of the pedigree book of the HKS and when it has one of the types of marking the dog - microchip number.
When you have all of these, you can be sure you have pure breed dog!
But still, choose your breeder carefully - just because you're buying a pedigree dog, it doesn't mean also that the person you're buying from is a responsible breeder.
Responsible breeders do genetic testing of their dogs, x-ray rated by the Veterinary University and breed only with healthy and stabile dogs from the healthy bloodlines which have passed breeding exams and are pure representatives of the breed.
When buying a puppy, ask your breeder to show you all health test documents and champion certificates!!!
On the breeding exam, only those individuals that meet the breed standards (anatomy and the character) can obtain a breeding permit. For breeding exam dogs have to be over one year of age, and if they meet all the conditions prescribed by the above regulations, they receive a breeding permit and can be used for breeding. There are lot of regulations which breeders have to fulfill and this is why having a "pedigree dog" is so important.
After the puppies have been officially checked by the "Head of breeding" (HKS), the litter must be registered no earlier than six and no later than twelve weeks.
The pedigree is sent or given to the new owner within that period.
So don't fall for stories like "I didn't write them yet, but if you will ever need a pedigree, you can ask the Kennel club to gain it."
After the period of twelve weeks you will not be able to acquire it!
Buy your dog only at the breeders registered at the Croatian kennel club (HKS)!
Kennels registered only at the Ministry of Agriculture is
Ministry of Agriculture legitimizes the activity of breeding pets intended for sale without a pedigree. Namely, according to the new Animal Protection Act (Narodne novine 102/17 and 32/19), it can also be "the owner of three or more females of animals of the same species" who do not have to have a pedigree or passed a breeding examination.
The law in this case allows "backyard breeding!"
Backyard breeding is the practice of mating dogs with very little planning, preparation, and care for the future progenies.
Backyard breeders are often considered unethical dog breeders with profit-obsessed motivations.
They may let dogs reproduce freely without knowledge of their family histories (health and behavioral). They pay little or no attention to genetic health issues in both the parents and the puppies. They often charge less money for the puppies than a responsible breeder, but still more money than they should
(no one should pay for puppies that were bred carelessly).
And indeed this law, only seemingly "regulates" the breeding of pets intended for sale in Article 54.
Breeders registrated only at the Ministry of Agriculture are not under control, their dogs are not genetically checked, x-rayed, they do not know anything about bloodlines, hereditary diseases, they are not attending breeding exams, etc. They probably do not have proper conditions for having puppies, their bitches are usualy birth machines. They just mate and sell dogs and this is very dangerous.
It is dangerous for the breed and also for the future owners.
Price should never be the tipping point when buying a puppy.
Responsible breeders have higher prices. If you see advertisement with a pretty low price, think twice!
If so, you are bound to turn a blind eye for a lower price tag, often completely unconsciously. This is what backyard breeders rely on to thrive: people accepting the unacceptable.
These dogs may seem less expensive, but in the long run, you may end up paying more for these dogs when health issues develop. In many cases, these dogs suffer because of health issues and these breeders will not take their puppies back if something goes wrong.