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  1. #1
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    Default Tell me more about Rhodesian Ridgebacks

    I've read several times that RR were "Great" dogs, but aweful puppies. Please tell me why....specifically!! A woman is offering me a pick of the litter - still a long time away - of a Rhodesian Ridgeback/South African Boerboel (sister of my beloved Ambush) pup. We loved everything about Ambush except when cancer killed him at 19 months. We have the ultimate home situation for most any dog. We're home 24 hrs./day on an 80 acre horse farm, lots of attention and training and well trained, "role model" dogs of assorted sizes. I just don't want to get a "problem" puppy!! Even as a gift!! Thanks.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  2. #2
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    They will challenge you. They will ignore you. They will be slow to learn some things (the ones you want) and insanely quick to learn others (the ones you don't.) They crave consistency in handling more than any other dog I've ever seen, and will struggle if the rules are not EXACTLY the same ALL the time--across all members of the household. They really want to belong to one person, and may only listen to that one person they've chosen. I'd say it's going to be tougher to raise one in a multi dog household, because you are going to have to spend a lot of one on one time with the dog to ensure that it bonds to a person and not another dog.

    This is what I tell horse people--if you can take a rank stud colt and turn him into a nice, solid citizen horse, you can handle a Ridgeback puppy.

    That said, some are easier than others, but I don't think I'd ever call any Ridgeback easy to raise. They really do turn into wonderful, amazing adult dogs (but it may take awhile--one of mine didn't even get close until she was three.) I don't think I'll ever have anything but Ridgebacks...all of the frustration when they're wee is worth it to me



  3. #3
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscreeksh View Post
    I've read several times that RR were "Great" dogs, but aweful puppies. Please tell me why....specifically!! A woman is offering me a pick of the litter - still a long time away - of a Rhodesian Ridgeback/South African Boerboel (sister of my beloved Ambush) pup. We loved everything about Ambush except when cancer killed him at 19 months. We have the ultimate home situation for most any dog. We're home 24 hrs./day on an 80 acre horse farm, lots of attention and training and well trained, "role model" dogs of assorted sizes. I just don't want to get a "problem" puppy!! Even as a gift!! Thanks.
    In our dog club, there is a couple that had two of those.
    Wonderful dogs, but not the easiest to live with, very demanding, independent dogs.
    If you like that in your dogs, you will be fine.
    They trained theirs to be top in the nation, in their breed, in agility for some years, so they can be trained.
    While absolutely in love with their rhodesians, now they have a golden and can't believe the difference, much easier to live with and train.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 15, 2008
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    I have only had this breed for 20 years. ALOT depends on the bloodlines. My first ridgeback was a very difficult puppy but grew up to be the sweetest dog I have ever owned. I find them very easy to train and very obedient. Since my other breed is dachshunds, this is why I consider ridgebacks easy to live with and train . They are clean and want to please (unlike the dachshunds as far as wanting to please)..... I cannot imagine not having one on the property. But we do not call them "Laid Back ridebacks" for nothing. My dachshunds are the alert dogs and then if my ridgeback thinks it is worth the effort, he will get involved.

    As far as this "mix", I cannot address the other half of this "breeding".....
    We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!



  5. #5
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    Feb. 22, 2010
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    Guess I don't understand the OP? It sounds like you are talking about a puppy that is 1/2 Ridgeback and 1/2 Boerboel?

    So it isn't a purebred Ridgeback and won't behave as one.

    Why are the people who own these dogs going to do this breeding? What is their goal?

    Boerboel's and RR are totally different dogs, I'm not sure what the point of breeding them would be?
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  6. #6
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    Mar. 9, 2004
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    LOL... I don't think I've ever used the words "Rhodesian Ridgeback" and "Very obedient" in the same sentence and I've owned them for the last 25 years.

    They are GREAT dogs if trained right, can be difficult if you're not up to the task. I agree that they tend to be one person dogs and can be very stubborn. They're not as bright as say...a German Shepherd or a Border collie, but they're fairly intelligent dogs and consistency is key. They can be willful and need to know always that you are in charge. If you can get that straightened out when they're puppies you should be just fine. If not...get used to a lot of "La la la..can't hear you!!!!"
    Now for the great things about them...they can go from being super active to regular couch potato's, mine have always been quiet and laid back in the house, but lots of fun outside. I work...and I can leave them in the house, they basically nap all day and I've never had a destructive one. They love to run and play, but do not expect them ever to FETCH a ball. " Seriously..you want me to do WHAT?! " Mine have always gotten along well with other dogs and tolerated strangers well, though they are not overly friendly like Goldens and Labs. They do tend to pick their favorite person in the house and selectively hear the rest of the humans, but I'm embarrassed to admit I kind of like that. I like being "the one'. They have wonderful short coats and manage to stay pretty clean, I wish I could say the same for my German Shepherd. The ones I've owned have been good farm dogs too, I don't need to worry about horse or chicken chasing.

    In regards to the people getting a Golden Retriever after their Ridgie...I think of Ridgies as the antithesis to a Golden.. I can't understand why anyone who had a Ridgie would want one or vice versa. Goldens are the poster child for doggie PDA and Ridgies are the reserved, lets not hold hands in public types.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  7. #7
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    Mar. 25, 2011
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    I've had ridgebacks for a bit longer than a decade. Yoshi is my last (current). I love the breed; they're smart, independent, versatile, athletic, and gorgeous. I didn't find puppy rearing especially difficult, but I'm one of those who enjoys puppy rearing. I'll have to tell you though that as a rescue volunteer they do seem to get surrendered about 18 months of age. They are not labs or shepherds; they are not really motivated to do your bidding.

    The way I describe them is this way: your ridgeback is talking to you and then says, "One moment, there's a rabbit scratching his left ear about 2 miles south about 3/4 of a way up the mountain. BRB."

    I love the breed.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  8. #8
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    They are very beautiful dogs and graceful when running or just sitting there.



  9. #9
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    To answer Pcostx. The woman is from South Africa and apparently the RR/BB cross is a very popular farm dog in that area. She said her family "always" had that one for themselves. She brought her older RR with her when she came to this country and wants an offspring of his. Her family and friends will "absorb" all of the puppies, so not lacking for homes. I was lead to believe through my readings that the RR was a very athletic dog and I would guess the point would be to lighten and "liven up" the heavier BB. I have read that the RR is one of the contributing breeds that make up the Boerboel. To me the cross is like crossing a TB with a draft or WB, but again, just a guess.
    Our short 19 months with a pure Boerboel was very positive. Our BB was very smart, minded very well and promptly. He was a very good citizen with other pets, horses, farm animals, children and "welcomed" visitors. Considering our traumatic loss of Ambush at only 19 months from osteochrondro sarcoma, I have reservations about another purebred Boerboel. I was just seeking more info on the RR contribution. Ambush was a "shadow" dog...never more than a short distance away...I like that!! I've dealt with a Great Pyr for almost 7 years and love him to death, but do NOT want another "free spirited", independent critter again. Our other dogs are a SMART, Border Collie/Jack Russell, a Pappillon/Doxie (best little farm dog alive and VERY close) and now a lovely, flashy brindle Boxer pup who minds well, is very smart and stays close or comes quickly with one call. We have 80 acres and I don't want to be tracking down a wanderer. Thanks for the input.
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  10. #10
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    Feb. 22, 2010
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    Cancer has always been common in Boerboels. Typically this is going to be Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), Lymphoma and Hemangiosarcoma (splenic cancer). These are also common in mastiffs in the states. These are common cancers seen in the giant breed dogs.

    The best way to help get rid of these is to stop breeding dogs that have it in their lines.

    My heart dog was a cross breed but I would NEVER even consider recreating that mix just so I could have another one!

    Mixing two breeds is a crap shoot, you have no idea what you will end up with.
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  11. #11
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    One of my best friends has a Rhodesian/Mastiff mix. He is a really sweet, goofy dog. He is a little stubborn and will ignore you but he will eventually learn if you don't give up on him. The dog is the opposite of my Lab but I like him because he's just a sweet, big goofy guy!



  12. #12
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    Just offhand, I would guess that a ridgeback/ boerboel cross could possibly be a pretty nasty creature if the wrong traits from each parent mix together- what is the intent here? what traits are they trying to end up with?
    You take a huge, powerful guarding dog and add in the mentality of a ridgeback ("what's in it for me?") and well, who knows.
    Hands-down the scariest dog I have ever met was an enormous mastiff-akita cross, had the independence of the akita in that enormous body = you'd better hope he wanted to do what you wanted him to do.



  13. #13
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    My first dog was a ridgeback and she was fantastic. Maybe it's the breeding. I got Wendy from a breeder by the name of Jay Hyman who lived in Maryland. That was many years ago. My Wendy was an easy puppy who was raised with my infant daughter first in an apartment and then in a house with small yard. Wendy went well on a leash but also walked alongside the stroller without the leash. In hindsight, maybe Wendy was doing what she was bred to do: protect the child? She never ran off & always came when called. No fleas, no worms, no allergies, did not destroy toys, furniture, shoes. lol. Did not fetch!

    Always gentle & easy going until I became pregnant with 2nd daughter at which point she wouldn't allow the mail carrier or ups or fed-ex people to hand me packages. After the baby was born when my mom -- who Wendy knew well -- picked the baby up, Wendy stood quietly between her and the front door. No growl or threat but it was clear that Wendy didn't want grandma to take the baby out of the house. It awas then that Wendy began checking on both girls during the night. I'd hear her softly pad up the stairs from the basement where she slept, visit both bedrooms, and then go back downstairs. When my then-husband began to get abusive, well, it only happened once. Wendy tolerated the drinking but not abuse. Eventually, I left w the two daughters &. Wendy. For a while we lived in an apartment in a not so nice neighborhood. I knew we were safe with Wendy and she handled it well. Oh, she even recognized the pedophile neighbor before the police did. If he was close, if we passed him, if he was at the playground, there was the lowest rumble kind of growl and thenWendy would just quietly stand between the creep and me or my daughters.

    I, too, have heard negative comments about ridgebacks but think it must be the breeding.
    Last edited by twhs; Mar. 15, 2012 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Correcting for meaning in last paragraph



  14. #14
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    I'm going to speculate that it's cultural. In some countries ridgebacks are used as people eaters (like in the Caribbean) and so they can have a reputation like the pitbull has here (as dangerous). LOL! The few Black Africans I've ever met with my ridgebacks were very very leery of them. Generalizing of course. It goes to show it's not about the breed, but its purpose and its reputation.

    I love them.
    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  15. #15
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    I have seen several badly and indiscriminately bred Ridgebacks that have been aggressive or fear biters as adults. I've met plenty of people who are leery of mine because of bad experiences with poorly-bred dogs.

    While it's important to breed for good temperaments in ALL breeds, I think it is especially important to do so in Ridgebacks, and that some very negative temperament traits can pop out very easily and quickly if temperament is not carefully studied in the sire and dam. This is NOT a breed that can be "backyard bred" without consequence.

    I get my dogs from Oakhurst. Barbara Rupert has been breeding forever and is one of the grand dames of the breed in the US. The puppies have been challenging (although NOT badly tempered--BIG difference) and, as adults, are wonderful, responsive, loyal dogs that generally don't put a foot wrong. But they do take a significant amount of work to get there



  16. #16
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    Couldn't agree more Simkie. I've owned five, two female, three male. Three of them came from New England breeders, one originally came from a breeder in TX (I'm her third and LAST home), and the last is an obviously poorly bred RR that I got at a shelter two years ago at the age of four. Guess which one has behavioral issues and is fear aggressive? Breeding is everything..
    I do have to add though....that my gorgeous, wonderful, "MISS him every single day, "heart dog" that I got from one of the top RR breeders in the country died before his 8th birthday from Lymphoma, which I've since found out is prevalent in this particular breeders dogs. So in his case, his quality breeding was a double edged sword.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 22, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    Just offhand, I would guess that a ridgeback/ boerboel cross could possibly be a pretty nasty creature if the wrong traits from each parent mix together- what is the intent here? what traits are they trying to end up with?
    You take a huge, powerful guarding dog and add in the mentality of a ridgeback ("what's in it for me?") and well, who knows.
    Hands-down the scariest dog I have ever met was an enormous mastiff-akita cross, had the independence of the akita in that enormous body = you'd better hope he wanted to do what you wanted him to do.
    AMEN!

    I would think the cross could end up producing 100 lb. + dogs with brawn, attitude, an independent streak and an 'oh yea, why don't you try to make me' attitude.

    From what I've read the RR may have had SOME small role in the creation of the Boerboel but the breed history on the RR Club website http://www.rrcus.org/club/breedinfo/history.htm, has no mention of the Boerboel having anything to do with the Ridgeback breed.

    Because Mastiff's may have been one of 6+ breeds used in the 16th and 17th centuries to create a type of dog that eventually became the RR, does not mean that the modern day RR is anything like a Molossor breed. Far from it, the Ridgeback of today is very much a hound!

    RR have their share of genetic issues, I would make darn sure that anyone breeding their RR had done whatever they could to make sure their dog was NOT affected by any of the issues listed here (cut and pasted from the RR Club of America website):

    "Do Ridgebacks have any genetic problems?

    Yes. The dermoid sinus, hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid problems and cataracts are the most common. It’s very important to verify that a puppy’s parents have been checked for these abnormalities. If they have, the breeder will be able to show you Othopedic Foundation for Animals certifications ("OFA"). (OFA numbers are also listed on the AKC registration papers, if the puppy's parents were screened.) The breeder should also be able to show you the paperwork for Canine Eye Registration Foundation ("CERF") and reports showing the results of thyroid and/or heart screenings. Read more on the dermoid sinus elsewhere on this site".

    Molosser breeds have their own set of health problems, which would need to be addressed as well.

    To me this mating sounds like a disaster. The fact that ONE person wants a RR/Boerboel cross is a rather selfish reason to produce a litter of pups that may not even be suitable as pets for 99% of the population.

    Besides the OP and the breeder, who else is going to want one of the 8+ puppies that are born?
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  18. #18
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    Only thing I'd add, Pcostx, is that you can check OFA etc status online. No need to depend on the breeder to supply:

    www.offa.org

    They make it very easy to look up the results and even see trending across siblings. For example:

    http://www.offa.org/display.html?appnum=1355918#animal



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    Only thing I'd add, Pcostx, is that you can check OFA etc status online. No need to depend on the breeder to supply:

    www.offa.org

    They make it very easy to look up the results and even see trending across siblings. For example:

    http://www.offa.org/display.html?appnum=1355918#animal
    Yes, I know. It is good to let everyone else know this as well

    Thank you!
    Proud Native Texan!
    owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!



  20. #20
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    I hope you realize what an incredibly tough and demanding dog a Boerbel is and how intimidating they can be to their owners much less strangers. Unless you are a very experienced dog owner you might want to rethink it. Boerbels make the average breed in the US look like sissies. I know of a woman experienced in them..If you PM me I can give you her phone number and you guys can chat before you agree to take on this puppy. There is nothing wrong with any breed, but there is alot wrong with certain breeds in circumsances not right for them.



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