Rhodesian Ridgebacks hail from the country in which they are named for. They have a unique look to them with their ridged, Mohawk-type spine and sleek, red fur. Their eyes are very expressive and sweet, which might tell you that this breed is a loyal breed, seeing that it appears to have a lot of love in its expression. And you would be correct. They are fiercely loyal, however, they are stubborn and bull-headed, which means that you will want to start your training with your puppy very early on. These were a breed, bred for hunting and protection in Africa and because of their inbred nature to hunt, they are pretty active dogs. This is a pretty common breed of dog, so you may be familiar with them. If you are considering purchasing this breed, first, read over what some special care tips for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies.
1. Proper equipment
It’s important that your home is properly set up for taking care of any puppy, and having the right equipment is important. For instance, a create for your puppy is one of the best things you can have waiting for him in his new home. A crate gives your puppy the feeling of a den-like atmosphere, which dogs like. They are den animals and it gives them a sense of security, as well as it works as a training mechanism to help control where your puppy is at all times when you can’t be right with him to monitor him. It also teaches your puppy how to hold his urine until he can go outside to potty where he is supposed to. One thing to keep in mind is to not leave food or water in his crate with him, as this can increase his needs to use the bathroom and he will have no where to go. Food and water dishes, proper puppy food, leashes, toys, and a nice, comfortable bed for him to relax in when he is out of his crate, are all recommended.
2. Have him checked at the veterinarian on schedule
Your breeder should give you a printed medical release, showing you all of the check-ups and shots that he has been given to-date, when you took over his care. The breeder should also inform you on the follow-up schedule of when all of his next round of puppy shots and checks are due. It’s a good idea to have a trusted veterinarian already lined up for your puppy’s care so that you are not scrambling trying to find one when you get your puppy home.
Your breeder should go over you just how to feed your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy; the feeding schedule they are on and what type of food he was eating while in their care. You should continue the same routine as the breeder’s, however, if you do plan to change his food, make sure it is a highly nutritious brand of food, and if you aren’t sure, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the different brands that are recommended for his breed, size and age. The higher the quality of food, the healthier and happier your puppy will be. Do not over feed your puppy as this breed has a tendency to want to inhale their food and can cause great tummy distress.
This is a moderately active breed of dog and will need proper exercise throughout the day. This breed should not be left to stay indoors without getting outside multiple times a day for walks or runs to keep their energy level tamed. If this breed gets too bored, it can show its boredom by way of mischievous behaviors. These are good dogs to take with you biking, jogging, or just walking, however, because this breed has the instinct to hunt, if left off a leash, it has the potential to take off, so keeping your puppy contained in your control is highly advised.
5. Leash train
One of the first things you want to do is to start leash training your puppy. The sooner you start working with your puppy to learn how to behave on a leash, the better walking or jogging companion he will be. There is nothing more frustrating than a dog, of any size, to be unruly on a leash. Keep in mind that this breed can be a bit bullheaded, so starting training early is critical because it will take time and patience, but he will learn.
6. Socialize your puppy
It is always important to socialize your new puppy to all the types of environments, situations, and people you plan to have your puppy around as a young pup and adult. The sooner you start socializing your dog, the better behaved he will be in these circumstances. Dog parks for other animals, children, the elderly, grooming, vet visits, car rides, all are important to get him accustomed to going to and being around them.
It’s important to keep your puppy groomed regularly. Although these are pretty low maintenance dogs, you will still want to make sure that his eyes are clear and clean, his ears are clean, his fur is neat and clean and his nails clipped as needed. There isn’t a whole lot to keeping this breed groomed as far as clippings, due to their naturally short hair, but you will want to wipe them down on a regular basis as well as bathe them as needed.
The more you know ahead of time when it comes time to bringing your new puppy home, the easier the transition will be for both you and your new puppy. If you still have questions, talk to your veterinarian about specific care tips for this particular breed.
Photo used with permission from www.ridgebackpuppies.com