The Attraction and High Maintenance of the Rhodesian Ridgeback
Inducted into the American Kennel Club in 1955, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is an elegant and sleek dog originally bread for hunting and guarding. They are best known for the hair which grows in the opposite direction along the spine. Traditionally, they are a golden brown or reddish color. However, you also often see a black Ridgeback or other variation due to mixed breeding with other canines. The ancestry of the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be traced back to European settlers breeding their own dogs with those of the African Khoikhoi people in the late 1800s, which is where the ridge along the back had originated.
1. Quick and Agile – The Rhodesian Ridgeback’s sleek but muscular frame provides great agility and a near unmatched speed for canines on a dead run. This agility allows for a great companion when hunting larger game. Well known for being able to keep a lion at bay while the hunter makes the kill, these canines have been used to hunt a variety of animals using fast hit-and-run tactics to wear down the prey.
2. Mischievous – While the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a loyal companion, this particular breed of canine can require high care maintenance. They rely on constant supervision and consistency in routines. Deviation from these routines usually ends with the Ridgeback getting itself into trouble often. Without proper care, supervision, and routine, it can be common to find your home in complete disarray even after the shortest of trips. In essence, they can act like a rambunctious teenager with a severe case of ADHD.
3. Eating Disorder – Within all of the breed’s beauty, this canine has a common flaw. The Rhodesian Ridgeback usually has a severe eating disorder. A strict regimen of feeding is needed otherwise the canine can become obese quite easily. Maintaining the proper weight can be a delicate balance of feeding times. Otherwise, the Ridgeback will gorge itself by eating non-stop.
4. Velvet Glove – Being a fairly intelligent canine, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be very sensitive to rough handling. Discipline needs to be held in light regards. They respond extremely well to positive reinforcement and rewards for good deeds, but can become shut off if faced with harsh actions of discipline.
5. Active – Families who are athletic would make a perfect match for the Rhodesian Ridgeback. They are built to run and love to do so. Whether it is jogging around the neighborhood or hiking along the trails, the breed enjoys to be mobile. They are happiest when they have a wide range of mobility and can become frustrated if they are chained up with little room to move. This can be detrimental to their social development and could show signs of aggression if not properly integrated, like most other dogs.
6. Strong Willed – The strong will of a Rhodesian Ridgeback can become quite frustrating to a novice dog owner. What works for one breed may not work with this one. They tend to be “thick-headed” when trying to train for simple tasks. However, this doesn’t mean that they are unable to be trained. On the contrary, their intelligence can make them easily trainable if you are using the right tactics.
While there may be better breeds of dog that can fit your specific family dynamic, the Rhodesian Ridgeback can be a loyal and protective addition. As long as you are able to adapt to their high-maintenance and specific training methods, this animal can prove to be worth the time you invest. They are a loving breed and can be a faithful friend.
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.