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Rhodesian ridgeback...

(25 Posts)
AnnaBeginsToChange Sat 02-Mar-13 22:26:47

When our beloved old border collie passes away, we are considering getting a RR puppy; well, we're just starting to research it a bit more.

I know thier history and in theory they should make disastrous pets but does anyone here have any experience of owning them? M

We live rurally and have horses. How much of a problem is their hunting drive? Do they 'potter' while you get on with things or are they likely to pick up a scent and be gone? Would one accompany me on rides?!

Our DCs are 5 and 2, and used to animals. We'd probably get a puppy. How are they generally with (respectful) children? And importantly, we have a cat. If they cannot be trusted with cats then we wouldn't consider it.

Answers to these or general experiences would be really appreciated.

foolonthehill Sat 02-Mar-13 22:40:26

Had friends with one. Lovely dog, very loyal, very intelligent, ver, very time consuming.
Seemed quite similar in needs and temperament to a Weimerana...bouncy and somewhat hard to cope with for small children but loyal and very trainable once they've had their high exercise needs seen to. Would imagine that going on long horse rides would be a great thing for them. I guess also that the hunting breeding might come through more in some than others but they were bred to hunt with people not on their own like sight hounds...can';t see why that would be a huge problem so long as you put the time into training them

SizzleSazz Sat 02-Mar-13 22:41:59

My friend got one recently with a 5YO DC and a cat. All smitten smile

tallulah Sat 02-Mar-13 22:44:54

We had a Ridgeback. She was ridiculously soppy but very attached to DH. (Think squeezing between us on the settee attached) He could take her out off lead and she would be fine - I don't think she ever just ran off.

We had a baby after getting the dog and she really wasn't happy. They are fine with kids but are very big and can knock them over accidentally so I personally wouldn't have one with a 2 yo.

We also had cats and they were very mean to her. Much clawing and spitting. But she never retaliated.

They need a lot of space and a lot of attention, but sounds like you are in the right position to have one. Ours was a lovely dog but not really suitable for where we lived and our situation. We had to rehome ours (to someone with horses and fields) because DH really wasn't giving her the attention she needed, and it was him she wanted, not me.

AnnaBeginsToChange Sun 03-Mar-13 14:51:08

Thanks all. Anyone else? You don't see any around, why is that? They can't be much less suitable than the many huskies, Akitas and shar pais that I see around!

I'd need to meet some and get to know them a bit better first anyway.

Spoonful Sun 03-Mar-13 14:58:22

They need exercise, and training. Then they are a delight.
The only problem, I think, is they are so big their tails are right at small child head whacking height when wagging.

But that's the same as all other similarly sized breeds.

miggy Sun 03-Mar-13 16:50:02

I think temperament varies a lot, I have met some that are like rotties quite aloof and you wouldn't want to upset them, also some that are the most lively calm affectionate family dogs.
Much better than husky etc in relation to prey drive and running off, much more trainable.
Sslighter smaller but perhaps a more dependable temperament would be a vizla.
If I were getting a ridgeback I would choose very carefully and base my decision upon the parents

ZuluWarrior Sun 03-Mar-13 16:56:27

We have 2. We also have a 4 year old and a nearly 2 year old. The dogs were here first. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how they are with the kids- we have had absolutely no problems. They have put up with all normal toddler rough housing and have been brilliant.
They are very soppy. Agree that they need a firm hand taken with them when they're small so there's no pulling on the lead etc but they're great now and I'll happily walk along a main road with them, a pram and a toddler on a bike.
They will run after deer and it's hard to get them back.
My boy in particular will happily come a 14 mile run with me- and is great company.
Fire away if you have any other questions!

ZuluWarrior Sun 03-Mar-13 16:57:45

Sorry- should clarify that the 4 year old and nearly 2 year olds are humans! The Ridgies are about 7 now.

needastrongone Sun 03-Mar-13 17:04:08

Our friends have one called Norman, he is 5 and they are experienced owners, their DC were around 6 and 4 when they got him. My friend would say he's a super family friendly dog that has taken a firm hand and a lot of work to make him a super dog but that hard work has been worth it 100 times over.

AnnaBeginsToChange Sun 03-Mar-13 17:44:14

Brilliant, thanks for the info. I've had a vizsla but only from age 5, not puppyhood. I didn't realise they were similar, that's lovely! She ranged quite far and hunted but always came back to the whistle. Really great with visiting children. Are their exercise requirements similar?

Would a RR be happy to wait for a walk on the odd (manic) morning or do they need a good run first thing, regardless? Are they quite adaptable to fitting in around family life? Our bc is great in that respect but has been with us since he was 1 so used to it!

ZuluWarrior Sun 03-Mar-13 17:57:16

Ours needed quite a lot of exercise for the first year or so but have settled right down and are happy (and slim, fit) with fairly little now. They get about 2 miles a day, with a big run about once a week. And always in the evening.

Ours have adapted brilliantly to family life. They are quite bouncy though so I tend to put them out in the run if other folk are round as I don't think many appreciate the enthusiasm!

binger Thu 07-Mar-13 18:16:28

3 live up road from me, they are so calm and gorgeous. One of them is puppy to the female, the owners show them too. I have a mad cocker and the RR s just look at her as though she's mad when she runs around them trying to get them to play.

AnnaBeginsToChange Mon 11-Mar-13 13:28:13

Right, I've done some research, found some potential breeders who look good. I plan to go to one or two RR shows, speak to owners a bit more and get advice on breeders. Never one to rush into anything smile

My next question is simple: what are the impacts I might not have thought of, with having a large breed? I'm thinking the commitment seems bigger somehow, as you surely can't take them everywhere with you and they're harder to get a friend/family member to board for you.

What are the reactions of other parents? I'd hate for people to start refusing play dates etc because of a large dog. Any experiences of the pitfalls of owning a large breed (not so much cost, that's a separate issue) appreciated. Thanks

CointreauVersial Mon 11-Mar-13 13:34:36

We had one when I was a child, but he wasn't a particularly big example of his breed.

He was pretty laid back and had a "free range" existence - would wander around the village, visit my grandparent's house to steal the Jack Russell's food, then pop back to my dad's office to kip in his basket.

His predecessor sadly died as a puppy - a sort of "cot death" - was found dead in his basket one morning. sad I don't know if that's an issue with the breed or just a random thing, though.

CointreauVersial Mon 11-Mar-13 13:35:16

Oh, and he farted a lot!

Wewereherefirst Mon 11-Mar-13 13:44:07

We had a rescue RR, he was beautiful, daft and soft to us. Stood at 6ft on hind legs. He wouldn't come on call unless you had food grin and most people don't like them off lead. He needed lots of walks and he craved company all the time- he was destructive when alone for a few hours, they're true pack animals.

But you get great amounts of affection from them, they love people and the limelight.

You need a big house as they need so much space, both inside and out. They really do dislike the cold (and ours hated water).

Another negative in my experience is the amount of time spent with vets, the ridge is a spinal defect and affects spine, hips and legs. Ours was arthritic at 4/5yrs old and suffered greatly at the end of his life, even though we had his care sorted swiftly.

He was 11/12 ( no idea as to real age as he was a rescue) and that's very old for a ridgeback.

I miss the dafty, he was a great friend.

Wewereherefirst Mon 11-Mar-13 13:45:05

Oh gosh, the wind! It was horrific, the filthy looks he shot us when he broke wind were hilarious!

AnnaBeginsToChange Mon 11-Mar-13 14:21:47

Thanks, that's useful. I've started a new thread as I think there might be lots I hadn't thought of now!

JemimaPuddle Mon 11-Mar-13 14:47:51

I have also posted on your other thread but really wanted to post the positives!
Will run forever but if they're not on they are asleep. They only do on or off.
Not keen on rain - mine just will not go out in the rain not even for a wee in the garden. He has gone nearly 24 hours until I literally pushed him out of the back door.
Need a fair amount of exercise but nowhere near as much as my friends Viszlas or collies.
Quite clever, mine have both responded really well to clicker training.
Mine are 9 & 6 months and I would never have another breed smile

AnnaBeginsToChange Tue 12-Mar-13 14:14:41

Do their prey drives vary, do you think? Some info says its so strong they must usually be kept on lead, will follow prey miles, deaf to recalls etc. that would be a no from me.

Others say they are great companions out and about, jogging, riding, cycling etc.

AnnaBeginsToChange Wed 13-Mar-13 13:39:10

Just bumping this for the RR experts.

JemimaPuddle Wed 13-Mar-13 14:57:40

I can only speak from my experience but the prey drive varies. My old girl (who I lost last year) would chase & once caught a rabbit. My boy couldn't even be arsed getting off the sofa when he saw a magpie come in and pinch some of his tea!
I've run with mine and intend to do so with the silly puppy when she's old enough. I know all the RRs I've had would have loved going along riding.

AnnaBeginsToChange Wed 13-Mar-13 19:48:07

grin thanks for replying. Are they related?

Baiji Sat 16-Mar-13 16:19:35

I think i read something about spinal problems? The 'ridge' on the back is caused by a genetic mutation of the spine which can cause deformity?

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