We will assume that you before you start to communicate with the breeder have studied the breed well, done exhaustive research, met some Ridgebacks and their owners and asked them everything what interest you and that you know approximately what awaits you in your future life with your Ridgeback.
Once you have prepared yourself and are ready for the challenges of this wonderful breed, you can start thinking about whether you want a female or a male.
We are experienced breeders and we will suggest you is it for you better choice a male or female for you depending on a puppy temperament as well.
Ridgebacks are powerful strong athlete dogs.
When we speak of the differences that may really exist between male and female Ridgebacks, it must be understood that these are all generalities, excatly like with human.
While a male or female may be more likely to possess a certain characteristic or behavioral trait, this does not mean these generalities apply on every dog.
This is why its so important to evaluate puppies dispositons accurately and carefully.
We evaluate every puppy and make a record of individual personalities through observation and later with Volhard's aptitude test to confirm what we already know.
Based on that we make a decision what puppy will best fit a particular lifestyle.
The personality differences that may between individual dogs have a much wider margin than that which might exist between the sexes.
Already in puppy age the power is present. Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are like small machines
ARE THEY FROM A SAME PLANET,
OR LIKE HUMAN FROM VENUS AND MARS?
Males can be more dominant, territorial, and easily distracted than female dogs.
They are bigger and stronger and more muscular than females.
But, also tend to be more demanding of attention, affectionate and focused on human beings than female dogs. Females are generally are more independent and inconsistent in their focus on their human companions, but not in every case.
Females can be every bit as loving but after gaining their owners affections awhile, they may prefer to go off on their own. They have thein own business to do.
This doesn’t mean that females aren’t affectionate, but they seem to be more “choosey” with their moments of cuddles and kisses and might be more reserved, similar how the cats act.
Just imagine how it is in the nature.
Females are the ones that go to hunt and bring the food, and males are just resting, going around and protect the pack when they have to. This tells a lot about male and female attitudes.
Males are "simple", comparing to females which are bit complicated especially when they are in the heat.
This occurs twice a year for two to three weeks when the dominance and territorial behaviour can also be seen in females.
Because of the heat you will have periods when you will have to be careful when walking your bitch.
It is better to walk her in areas where there are not many dogs.
Males are going to smell the bitch and they will try to hop on your girl, especially when the heat is in its zenith. Any unneutered male dog will be boisterous and persistent, at best, and accidental mating is always a possibility.
Nothing can stop hungry or the horny one.
These are two main instincts of animals. It is all about to eat and mate. And yes..."the heat" periods are much more hard for male owners. If you have a bitch, you just go away from other dogs and are a bit more careful, but male owners will have males that sing, do not eat and are pretty crazy if they smell the lady with perfume somewhere around.
If your male dog is not neutered, you need to make sure he has an area to exercise in that he can’t escape from – especially if there are female dogs on heat nearby.
Bitches also have often false pregnancies after heats and this is why we wrote that you will have hormon storms from time to time. Males leave more urin marks around, when they walk than females, but in the heat, bitch is marking with urine much more. She is leaving the invitation cards everywhere so the pretty guys may find her easier. It is her instinct, she wants to be mated.
When it comes to trainability, there are mixed opinions.
Some say that females are easier to train because they mature earlier, are smarter, and don’t get as easily distracted as males.
On the other hand, males desire to please their owners significantly more than females, which sets them up to learn and obey commands more willingly especially when they know they will get a treat.
They are more dependent on their owners, will require more guidance, direction, and are more attentive to their owners in general life.
An example of this difference could be a female’s ability to remain completely focused on herself and what she’s doing throughout the day. In contrast, a male will typically be right by your side, perhaps even following you around, wanting to know what you are doing.
Males are "attention whores" :)
They have a tendency to remain like goofy, playful kids their whole lives.
On dogshows, males dominate more because they are more attractive. They show off more, they cooperate better with handlers, they are easier to be stacked, and mostly they win over females for the BOB titles (Best of breed) title because they are more attractive.
Ridgebacks play hard. People sometimes think it is a fight
Male Ridgebacks are easier to raise for first time owners.
The females can be more challenging because they are more aware of pack “hierarchy” and in many cases are a little smarter; meaning, they can problem-solve without much input from their owners as well they will do things without much input from their owners ;)
Male dogs don’t have much parental instinct, and so they tend to view children as potential playmates rather than strangely shaped puppies!
This can make things a little boisterous at times, and it’s important that young children don’t become intimidated, giving the dog the idea that’s it’s a rung or two above them on the pack ladder. This varies a lot from breed to breed, however, and some male dogs can be every bit as loving and protective of children as a maternal she-dog.
Both male and female ridgebacks make excellent watchdogs and have a protective nature
that will make any family feel safe. .
Males in puberty could become a bit arrogant but this is just a period and if you train them and lead them properly and correct the behaviour, the arrogance will fade away.
With bitches it is a bit different. While maturing they become more arrogant in some way and they are more resentful and vindictive.
When two males fight, they fight for the state....ego is pumping with lot of noise around.
Evidence suggests that male dogs are more likely to posture, threaten and challenge as part of social ordering behavior. However, this is often a show that doesn’t result in an attack. Fights between two male dogs are often ritualistic and cause little harm. And yes, males can easily forget that there was a fight comparing to females which will save the file.
Females have a stronger tendency to enforce their dominance in the social hierarchy.
They want to finish the job - they want to get rid of their opponent.
In the fight they are much more hard than males and female fights are typically more damaging.
Although personalities can vary, it’s nearly always the males that grow to be bigger,
stronger, and more powerful and are significantly larger than females..
This is certainly an important factor to consider when choosing which sex
will be appropriate for you and your family.
The average range for MALE ridgebacks:
Height: (65-69 cm)
Weight: (40-47 kg)
The average range for FEMALE ridgebacks:
Height: (60-66 cm)
Weight: (31-39 kg)
Males will usually continue to pack on muscle until around 2,5 years old, with most females stopping by around 18 months.
So both male and female have pros and cons.
These pros and cons are not general because every dog is an individual, has own perosnality and spirit, and on the end the most important thing is to purchase the dog from responsible breeder.
Responsible breeder will never combine & mate agressive or unstable, unsecure dogs, so this character will not end up in progeny and in your home!So ih you have a stabile dog, it will be easy to juggle with these differencies no matter you will end with male or female on your sofa!
Lot of details we see already in puppy age, and we always suggest owners which puppy is best for them depending on an experience and their lifestlye.
For us the most important is the "perfect match"
with the owner no matter if is it male or female Ridgeback.
Apart from the fact that they are short coated larger dogs with a cool feature running down their back (note: approximately 5% of RRs are ridgeless), how much do you really know about the breed?
Please take your time and LEARN about the breed (beyond its physical attributes)
BEFORE you decide you want an RR.
Did you know that RRs were bred to work (in a pack) independently of man?
Working independently of man has resulted in a breed that is an independent thinker that is programmed to achieve its goals, not yours.
Do you know why you should care about this trivia?
You should care because it affects how you train your dog and should mitigate your expectations and understanding about the breed. If you put dog breed personality on a circular scale, if you think of where you would put breeds like Golden Retrievers or German Shepherd dogs (or any other breed that was designed to work closely with man), find the point on the opposite side of the scale (diametrically opposed) and that it where the RR would be found.
When you are working with/training RRs there has to be something “in it” for them or they will simply shut down ... this is one of the reasons that punishment /negative training does not work well for this breed.
RRs are master manipulators (it goes back to the concept of them pleasing themselves), be it about food (more on that below), getting on the furniture, getting their toenails done (oh the drama) or simply walking nicely on lead.
Put the time in and work with your dog .... there is no shortcut with this breed.
This is NOT a breed that you bring home and forget ... they are NOT a short haired Golden retriever that you can bring home, do very little and still end up with a nice social family pet.
This breed requires LIFELONG work and socialization.
Ignore your RR at your own peril as you may come home one day to a house that is destroyed or (even worse), a dog that has become fearful and phobic of things it does not know - this includes having their toenails done!!!!!!!
Sadly in ~ 25 years of ridgeback rescue, I have seen too many ridgebacks that were inadequately trained and socialized that became fear biters.
Here is the deal with fear biters, once a RR has figured out that it can stop whatever it doesnt like or make the person/animal that it doesnt like go away by putting its mouth on someone or something, it WILL do it again.
Trust me when I tell you that there are few things scarier than a fear aggressive ridgeback wanting to stop something it doesnt like ... remember my comment about the breed wanting to please itself, not you.
RRs are a very physical breed and are nasty little vampires as baby puppies that will bite any and everything that comes close to their mouths ... while most puppies (any breed) will do some biting, RR puppies are biters on steroids. This is the #1 complaint of all new puppy owners.
They WILL bite you and your children ... they will also body slam you and your family - especially young children who run and scream around the puppy.
This is why many RR experienced owners and breeders will caution against getting a puppy when you have toddlers and younger children in the home.
With time and consistent training, this too will pass .....
BUT .... you have to live through /survive the first few months of a RR puppy life.
RRs (most) are prey driven hounds.
Apart from being an interesting fact, do you know why you should care?
First ... while there are going to be people who tell you that they have dogs in an unfenced backyard or use e-fencing and that they take their dogs on wonderful off leash walks, the reality is that they are the exception, not the rule.
The vast majority of RRs will not respect an unfenced yard and/or an e-fence and will chase any and everything that runs. The thrill of the chase applies equally to off leash walks - most RRs should NOT be trusted off leash in an area that is not completely secure.
This is also not a breed that should be walked by children .... while I occasionally see pictures of children on the end of a leash of a RR, the breed is too strong and the prey drive is too high in most dogs to make this safe ... I dont care how well leash trained your dog is.
Food ... the master manipulator can go one of two ways: you have have a “I am starving” RR that will eat until it explodes or the I dont want that food, give me something else picky eater.
RRs are supposed to be lean athletic hounds - they are not supposed to have the outline of a lab. There are waaaaaay too many people that have obese RRs that are in denial.
Hopefully these musings will help set your expectations about the breed ... there is one thing that I didnt mention, to lovers of the breed, RRs are like potato chips or peanuts, one is never enough!!!
By Carole Bradley-Kennedy (as posted for RRCUS)
HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR BREEDER IS RESPONSIBLE!?
Every day new kennels are showing up but it seems people go into breeding for fun or profit and we find this very dangerous for our loving breed as well for the future owners.
Lot of these new breeders just do breeding exam with their dog according to the law, without any health test, and some sell puppies without Pedigree.
As a result, the puppies bred by such a breeders are more likely to suffer from common, preventable, infectious diseases and/or painful or chronic inherited conditions.
They may also have shorter lifespans.
Breeding is not a joke.
Reputable breeders have one goal: To produce healthy, and physically and behaviorally stable dogs that meet the standard – the written description of the breed.
But still, breeders can’t control everything that happens with puppies. Nature can be cruel, and sometimes unforeseen health issues develop in the most carefully contemplated breeding.
What breeders can do is ensure that the dogs in their breeding programs are as healthy as possible.
If you are buying a Rhodesian Ridgeback, inform yourself about available kennels in your country and buy a puppy from the reputable breeder.
Don't call first phone number when you see there is an AD for the litter on some website or social media where litters can be advertised.
When buying a dog, think about the fact that this dog is going to be your company for the next decade.
Do not buy from a breeder who does not ask you questions about whether your lifestyle and home are suitable for their puppy. A good breeder will want to ensure their puppy is going to a good home and they will have waiting lists and questionnaires for future owners!
Responsible breeders will do everything to protect the breed as well the future owners.
When choosing a breeder, it's important to be able to recognize the warning signs that they do not care about the health and welfare of your future dog.
Do not trust a breeder who says you can take a puppy from the first meeting.
The breeder should be asking you to visit multiple times, and there always has to be a buying procedure.
Buy a dog with the Pedigree!
(about why is the Pedigree important- you may find article on our Blog. Take your time and read it!)
Ask the breeder if is a member of HKS and FCI.
There are also many questions you should ask the breeder in order to find out is the breeder responsible:
How old are the puppies?
If the breeder let you to visit puppies in age younger than 3 weeks, this breeder is not responsible.
May I see the mother of the litter and the Sire if possible?
You won’t always be able to visit the puppy with its dad but it is essential that you see it with its mum. Mum has to be in good condition, healthy and looking good. You should also ask and look after her character. If possible, ask also to meet the father of the litter.
How old is the mother and how many litters did she have?
The mother must not have been mated before 24 months of age. In our kennel our bitches have maximum 2 litters in their life so bitch may recover and get back into balance after babies.
May I see the litter?
You will be able to see whether they are all of similar size, character and health. You can also see how they interact with other dogs and you.
What social experiences have the puppies had so far?
Responsible breeders ensure that every puppy has had interaction with people, situations and their puppy siblings before they are ready to be sold. They may also have begun to teach them simple commands and socialize puppies with sounds, materials, animals, shapes, machines etc.
Do you have a diet sheet or feeding plan for puppies to take away?
Responsible breeders keep a diet sheet that you can take home with you, letting you know when to feed them and how much.
When am I allowed to take the puppy home?
Responsible breeders will not allow you to take a puppy home before 8 weeks. Puppies should be dewormed and vaccinated twice. You will manage the third vaccination at your vet, and before that you should keep your puppy in quarantine upon takeover. A responsible breeder will follow if you have vaccinated your puppy!
Do you have the health certificates of the parents of the litter?
By checking for health certificates, you’ll be able to see if there are any common problems that you might need to look out for.
You should ask for the x-ray results rated by the Veterinary University of Zagreb and genetic tests on the hereditary diseases.
In Croatia only x/ray of the hips is required by the law but this is definitely not enough.
In 21 century we are able to control much more, as elbows, shoulders, spine and we can control hereditary diseases like epilepsy, degerenative myleopathy, heamophilia, EOAD, etc....
Is the puppy registered at the Kennel club (HKS)?
The breeder should have registered the puppies with the Kennel Club and be able to provide a certificate to state that they are, indeed, pedigree. If the application is still pending, it might be worth asking to see the certificate of the mum and dad.
Are you able to get references from any previous puppy buyers?
You might be able to contact previous buyers and visit their dogs. This way you can get a second opinion about the breeder and discuss openly whether their dog is everything they hoped for.
Will there be a contract of sale?
All reputable breeders should provide you with a contract of sale. This will state the responsibilities of both you and the owner and as well as an official document for your records.
Tell me everything about your dogs bloodline!
Ask if the breeder has information about the breed line. For example, ask how long most dogs in the breed line have lived and what they typically die from. Responsible breeder know everything about their line and dogs in the Pedigree.
Do you offer support?
Top breeders are passionate about their puppies and adamant about finding them the best homes. In fact, they usually want to interview you more than you want to interview them. Many want to track the lives of their puppies and are willing to answer questions and help you navigate small issues as you raise the dog.
What do you provide with the puppy?
Responsible breeder should provide the following:
Take-over document of the puppy
FCI Pedigree of a puppy
Europasspot / The dog’s International vaccination card
Copies of parents documents and certificates (pedigree, health certificates, genetic tests, Champion certificates)
Information about whole the litter, its development, and possible problems which occurred in the litter
Information about the parents and the litters which they come from, and possible problems which occurred with them or in the litter they come from
Puppy aptitude test result of your puppy
Breed standard of Rhodesian Ridgeback
Information about following vaccinations and parasite disposal of the puppy
Information about the puppy’s training and nutrition, with the menu and the schedule of feeding
Can the puppy be returned to a breeder if any problems?
A responsible breeder will take back and rehome a puppy should there be any problems, and this will be also written in the contract.
If you’d like to breed from the puppy once they are old enough – will there be any breeding restrictions in the contract?
Some breeders will place restrictions on whether the puppy will be able to be bred from because they care about their bloodline.
It’s always best to check before signing a contract.
May I see how the puppies are kept?
The breeder should want to show you where the dogs are kept, where they sleep and where the puppies were born
You should be able to see the whelping box, comfortable bedding, food and clean water.
The breeder should have a safe and clean home for all their dogs – both puppies and mum.
Responsible breeder will never keep a puppies on slippery floors and will always protect puppies from stairs etc.
What is the price of a puppy?
Prices at the responsible breeders are much higher from breeders that breed just for fun or for profit.
Tell me more about the breed!
Do not buy from a breeder who appears to have poor knowledge about the breed. A responsible breeder will ask you and test you how much do you know about the breed and are you well informed.
May I ask to show me championship certificates and achievements of your dogs?
Responsible and reputable breeders have a dogshow history with dogs from the line.
Dogs used in breeding are mostly champions or candidates for championships. The purpose of dog shows is to obtain independent judgment from a number of qualified judges that a dog is a good representative of the breed, as measured by the written breed standard.
And one more important detail!
A responsible breeder will never let you to choose the puppy!
A responsible breeder is focused on making a perfect match (puppy + owner), not making a sale.
When buying a puppy, prepare yourself!
The responsible breeder will ask questions and ask you again, maybe you will feel tortured a bit :P, but you can also ask back these questions!
If your breeder gives poor answers to all these questions we wrote,
just SKIP that breeder!