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question about rhodesian ridgebacks...UPDATE ORIGINAL POST

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  • #41
    Originally posted by mp View Post
    In the 15 years we had him, our border collie never chased a thing -- not squirrels, not rabbits, not cats, nothing. And he had plenty of opportunities. He just didn't care about that. He lived to herd, which is what he'd do with the livestock, but he never chased anything.

    To answer your question: Yes, there are breeds with a weak to non-existent prey drive, and IME border collies are one of them.
    In my limited experience with Border Collies, three different dogs. All three killed cats and chickens, and chased horses regularly. All three belonged to different owners or farms. I guess it's all relative right?
    Things happen for a reason...so when I reach over and smack you upside the head, just remember...you gave me a reason!

    Comment


    • #42
      To the OP:
      Several of my parents puppies went to homes on farms with horses, chickens, cats, etc. One went to the manager of a large TB farm, he was well socialized around the horses and never bothered them. Another family who got a puppy from us, has had Ridgebacks for years around their chickens, cats, and horses. The biggest thing is to socialize and train the puppy properly from the beginning. If you get an older dog, find one that would be most likely fit in at your farm.

      If you are serious about a Ridgeback, talk to a breeder or a person who has had more than a couple dogs. I hate when people generalize about a breed based on a very limited number of dogs.

      Good luck!
      Things happen for a reason...so when I reach over and smack you upside the head, just remember...you gave me a reason!

      Comment


      • #43
        I've had "more than a couple dogs" and one cannot help but generalize -we do this every day. For example, people who assume that those who don't agree with them just don't know enough.

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

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by blairasb View Post

          Terriers are going to hunt vermin and leave them at your feet whether you like it or not. .

          Sorry, this is just the best quote ever. IF my old terrier could be fast enough to catch the squirrel, yes, he would be proud and bring it to my feet.

          As for a rhodesian on a farm, I have known two (lived together) and were fine with the horses. However, they were old and very well trained. Not sure how they were as puppies.

          Comment


          • #45
            The woman who bred our newest pup - 1/2 Rhodesian Ridgeback - 1/2 South African Boerboel, has a purebred male (my baby daddy), a purebred Boerboel (mommy) and she kept three of the 1/2 bred cross male puppies. She also has a flock of approx. 30 free ranging geese, ducks and chickens, horses/foals as well as several cats and a TINY chihuahua...all alive and well!! I believe that if you start when the pups are young and establish a serious "NO/quit/leave it" that any dog can be taught to respect other species. We had a pure Boerboel and now the RR/BB pup and she is taught to stay out of the paddocks without my presence and knows darn well that she doesn't get to chase ANYTHING ELSE on the farm except another "willing" dog...we also have a young Boxer. Those two run and rough play like nuts, but cause no harm to any other animals and we have cats, horses, mini donkeys and an old dog. If "NO" doesn't get respect, one of the best tools available is a shock collar. From a 3/4 mile position I am able to nip ANY misbehavior in the bud. Used as a training tool, not a punishment I think it is a great invention!
            www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
              I've had "more than a couple dogs" and one cannot help but generalize -we do this every day. For example, people who assume that those who don't agree with them just don't know enough.Paula

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                I've had "more than a couple dogs" and one cannot help but generalize -we do this every day. For example, people who assume that those who don't agree with them just don't know enough.

                Paula
                Please tell me where in my post did I specifically say you?
                Things happen for a reason...so when I reach over and smack you upside the head, just remember...you gave me a reason!

                Comment


                • #48
                  I was very surprised by some of the responses. I have two ridgies and IME they are good farm dogs. I suppose as a breed they do have some prey drive, but they are very smart and willing and easily trainable, all you have to do is tell them to leave something alone and they will, end of story. We have horses, sheep, chickens, cats, guinea pigs, etc. and the ridgies are fine around them. I've locked my ridgies into a stall with setting hens in it before, no problem. The ridgies help me lamb (mainly they eat placentas) but they are very respectful of the ewes and newborn lambs. Our ridgies also have free access to our chickens and that has never been an issue either.

                  I didn't even think twice when my bottle lamb moved onto the porch with them. Although I think the dogs' feelings were hurt that I was giving the little usurper warm bottles of MILK twice a day and they weren't getting any. I think they were struggling to figure out what on earth the pushy little thing had done to deserve such a treat! Ridgies are highly food motivated, you can teach them pretty much anything if you have 30 seconds and a piece of bacon.
                  www.plainfieldfarmky.com

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    There really isn't anything in the breed description from this website (that I find to be fairly accurate) that indicates they wouldn't be a good farm dog other than the usual lots of exercise and experienced hand.

                    http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/rhodesianridgeback.htm

                    The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in Zimbabwe and worked as a hunting dog and as a retriever, took care of children, and guarded property. It descended from crosses between ridgebacked dogs who were imported by Boer settlers in the 16th and 17th centuries that were originally kept by native tribes in South Africa along with breeds such as the Khoikhoi dog, Mastiff, Deerhound and possibly the Great Dane. Its standard, fixed in Rhodesia, dates from 1922. Reverend Helm introduced two Ridgebacks into Rhodesia in 1877. Big game hunters soon discovered, that if used in packs they were excellent in hunting lions on horseback, hence the breed's other name, the "African Lion Hound". The dogs did well in the African heat of the day and the damp, cold nights. The breed was imported to the United States in 1950. The Rhodesian Ridgeback was recognized by the AKC in 1955.



                    A fine hunter, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is ferocious in the hunt, but in the home it is a calm, gentle, obedient, good dog. Good-natured, but some do not do well with small children because they may play too roughly and knock them down. They are intelligent, skillful and straight-forward dogs that are loyal to the family. They are brave and vigilant. Can be reserved toward strangers, socialize well. They possess considerable stamina and without enough mental and physical exercise they can become high strung and unmanageable. This breed needs a firm, confident, consistent pack leader who can provide rules the dog must follow and limits to what it can and cannot do. Meek and/or passive owners, or owners who treat the dog like a human rather than a canine will have a hard time controlling this breed and may also cause them to become combative with other dogs. When given what they need as the canine animal they will be excellent companion dogs, but are not recommended for most people, as most do not have the time nor energy to put into them. Ridgeback's react best to an extremely consistent and firm but calm approach to training. They are intelligent and learn quickly, but will be stubborn and willful if they are stronger-minded than the humans. Training should be gentle, but firm and should start young while the dog is still small enough to manage. They are also very good watch dogs, but not suggested for guard dogs. They are very protective of owners. This has to be addressed during their early training. This breed can be more destructive than a Lab if not given enough exercise and is not convinced the humans are his authority figure. Do not overfeed this breed. Provided this dog meets cats and other pets when it is young, any potential problem will be prevented. Ridgebacks make excellent jogging companions.

                    http://kodaridgebacks.com/breed_info/temperament
                    http://www.rrcus.org/club/breedinfo/RRFAQ.htm
                    these folks raise RR, goats and alpacas...http://fragglerockfarm.net/rhodesian.htm
                    these guys too...http://www.laidbacklionhounds.net/products.html

                    In fact, searching for Rhodesian Ridgeback and farm brings up a whole lot of them living happily on farms with kids...

                    This RR obviously didn't know that she's a viscious sight hound killer-she nursed and raised a rejected runt piglet as her own. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...pting-own.html
                    Last edited by cowboymom; Sep. 29, 2012, 09:58 PM.
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I think this is a good summation!! My Ridgeback/Boerboel is extremely "tough" when playing with the Boxer - no holds barred, NO body parts sacred... but I have noticed that she is very gentle when playing with humans - adult and children. She and the Boxer are both very food driven and our commands are well received and obeyed if there is a kernel of dog food given when they arrive at my feet. I think MOST dogs are as good or bad as their owners/training. The smart ones do tend to be a bit more willful because they believe THEY know best. When they respect their owner they are miles better than a dummy who can't think for himself. And FWIW...the breeders/owners of dogs in S. Africa cut their dogs no slack...one mistake they are culled. I've read that if a Boerboel (a Mastiff type farm dog derived from RR genes) growls at a child he is euthanized, immediately. It is my opinion that a "trained" Ridgeback is an excellent farm dog candidate.
                      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by RedRyderKy View Post
                        In my limited experience with Border Collies, three different dogs. All three killed cats and chickens, and chased horses regularly. All three belonged to different owners or farms. I guess it's all relative right?
                        Yes. It has a lot to do with to whom the dogs are related.

                        Our dog was working stock bred from one of the most successful breeders and handlers in the US. His grandsire was a Sheepdog Finals champion. We didn't have to train him not to chase anything. He just didn't do it. We never trained him to play fetch, either, but he would drive you crazy with the game all the same. He focused on what he did best. And running down small furry animals or chasing big ones was not his game.

                        A lot has to do with the breeding.
                        __________________________
                        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                        the best day in ten years,
                        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Quote:




                          Originally Posted by RedRyderKy

                          In my limited experience with Border Collies, three different dogs. All three killed cats and chickens, and chased horses regularly. All three belonged to different owners or farms. I guess it's all relative right?
                          /quote
                          Yes. It has a lot to do with to whom the dogs are related.

                          Our dog was working stock bred from one of the most successful breeders and handlers in the US. His grandsire was a Sheepdog Finals champion. We didn't have to train him not to chase anything. He just didn't do it. We never trained him to play fetch, either, but he would drive you crazy with the game all the same. He focused on what he did best. And running down small furry animals or chasing big ones was not his game.

                          A lot has to do with the breeding.
                          the recent popularity of the border collie for "Sport" has been very bad for the breed. Wasn't that long ago that any border collie that killed anything would have been culled on the spot. Chase and nip, ok, that just means the owner is an idiot and needs to do some remedial training, but herding dogs aren't supposed to ever kill anything.
                          Nowadays though many people will breed aggressive killer BCs just because they run fast in flyball.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                            From Blairasb My policy with dogs is don't get a dog that is bred for a specific purpose if you don't want them to behave as if they were bred for that purpose.

                            In a nutshell. Don't set a dog up like that. I mean why get a particular breed with particular traits and hope the traits don't manifest in your dog? Look, I've been all ridgebacks all the time for a very long while. I've had my own, fostered, volunteered, done lure coursing (where they chase a plastic bag rabbit on a motorized zipline, etc.) they are awesome dogs. I would not put one in that situation and cross my fingers. It's not fair to the dog, to you, or to your livestock.

                            The idea that you could convince a ridgeback puppy not to chase/kill your livestock when it is grown is wrong. You could no more do that than convince a border collie puppy not to herd. It's instinct. You may be able to find some kind of adult with no instinct, but that's a stretch. Just get another kind of dog.

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/5296733...in/photostream

                            Paula
                            I never understood why people choose on breeds that will most likely not fit in their lifestyles. I love Boxers. Grew up with them. When it came time for me to get my very own dog, I was living on a farm with horses, clients coming and going, other dogs, chickens, cats, a rabbit so I knew a herding group breed would be best. While I have seen Boxers live on farms and do just fantastic, I knew I'd have to be mindful they can be territorial, have prey drive and love people so much they may be too annoying! I ended up with a Sheltie (and later an Aussie) and both fit well in our environment.

                            edited to add...I don't mean to breed stereotype, and I agree it's not always a fair assessment because there are always exceptions. I've known rotties and pit bulls who have done extremely well in farm situations, and I knew of a boarder collie who killed small animals and another dog on a farm where he lived his whole life. There is no hard fast rule, but seems easier to pick a breed who has been bred for certain characteristics that work in your lifestyle, than not.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              I have a Ridgeback that we got as a puppy from a rescue group and she was raised initially with cows. I use the term 'rescue' loosely because when we got her, she was on 60 acres with a pond and a ton of other Ridgebacks. We took her to an apartment! But she adjusted well and aside from eating everything (and still eating everything) she could get teeth on she was a good puppy.

                              They are high energy dogs, and dead hard sleepers. Very stubborn (MADDIE FOR GODS' SAKE GET OFF THE BED!) but good snugglers. I always say she's a pretty dog but like most pretty things not too smart. I truly don't think it's a lack of smarts, it's a lack of wanting to hear you if its something they don't want to hear!

                              She grew up at the barn and while she'd LOVE to chase her a squirrel and play with my cat, she's NEVER bothered my horse. In fact, she's very in to Chance. Chance on the other hand is not into her. She's great on trail rides. She'll hang outside the ring and let me ride, wait for us to be finished and follow us back down. She's the best barn dog ever. Gets on well with other dogs. If other dogs start fights with her, she pins them down and waits for them to chill and then lets them back up.

                              I would highly recommend the breed from my personal experience for a barn dog IF you're willing to do the training. They are very owner-centric so they don't wander off too far once they attach to their owners as well.

                              but I've also owned a rottweiller myself and my parents have had numerous ones as well. they've all been good with the horses. They'll chase them when lunging if you don't stop them though!

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Equino View Post
                                edited to add...I don't mean to breed stereotype ... I knew of a boarder collie who killed small animals and another dog on a farm where he lived his whole life. There is no hard fast rule, but seems easier to pick a breed who has been bred for certain characteristics that work in your lifestyle, than not.
                                Exactly. Our dog was out with my husband on the farm for 4+ hours a day. Because he had an outlet for his herding instinct and his energy, he was a lot of fun to be around. Smart and energetic, but not nuts.

                                I can't count the number of people I discouraged from getting a BC because they didn't have the facilities to do what would be right for an active working dog. And that's what you have to do with dogs bred for a specific purpose -- or any dog, for that matter. Make sure you can give them the environment in which they can thrive. And they will repay 1,000-fold.

                                Ignore those needs and the dog pays the price.
                                __________________________
                                "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                the best day in ten years,
                                you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Equino View Post
                                  I never understood why people choose on breeds that will most likely not fit in their lifestyles. I love Boxers. Grew up with them. When it came time for me to get my very own dog, I was living on a farm with horses, clients coming and going, other dogs, chickens, cats, a rabbit so I knew a herding group breed would be best. While I have seen Boxers live on farms and do just fantastic, I knew I'd have to be mindful they can be territorial, have prey drive and love people so much they may be too annoying! I ended up with a Sheltie (and later an Aussie) and both fit well in our environment.

                                  edited to add...I don't mean to breed stereotype, and I agree it's not always a fair assessment because there are always exceptions. I've known rotties and pit bulls who have done extremely well in farm situations, and I knew of a boarder collie who killed small animals and another dog on a farm where he lived his whole life. There is no hard fast rule, but seems easier to pick a breed who has been bred for certain characteristics that work in your lifestyle, than not.
                                  See I think you chose the WRONG breed. If you don't have anything that needs to be herded you shouldn't have gotten a herding dog.

                                  Some dogs, including RR's and BMC's, have historically been bred to be FARM dogs which means they protect the farm and can be trusted around the critters and kids and can help out with hunting. Farm dog is in the RR breed history.

                                  Things like chasing chickens or chasing a lunging horse I don't write up as breed specific, that's dog behavior if they don't know any better. Dogs chase stuff. Some dogs are hard-wired to REALLY chase stuff. There's a difference.
                                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    mine is the best farm dog (horses, dogs and cats). He does have a high prey drive. Anything that will run from him is fair game (except horses.. he couldn't care less about them. Nootka liked to walk around with her nose on his back.). I can call him off easy except for freaking squirrels for some reason.

                                    Turtles drive him CRAZY..lol. He has never had enough time to devote to the demise of one though
                                    Draumr Hesta Farm
                                    "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                                    Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                      See I think you chose the WRONG breed. If you don't have anything that needs to be herded you shouldn't have gotten a herding dog.
                                      I agree. IME herding dogs are the WORST farm dogs, they pester everything and they just can't stop. I love some of the herding breeds, but would never consider one for a farm dog. I've seen some awesome ones that are great for obedience and that are fantastic working dogs, but hanging quietly out around the farm being well behaved and leaving stock alone...not so much.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                                        I agree. IME herding dogs are the WORST farm dogs, they pester everything and they just can't stop. I love some of the herding breeds, but would never consider one for a farm dog. I've seen some awesome ones that are great for obedience and that are fantastic working dogs, but hanging quietly out around the farm being well behaved and leaving stock alone...not so much.
                                        I think that, like any breed, herding breeds just require specific training to be suitable as a farm dog. They are generally bidabble and friendly, so in that regard they can be a good choice. Breeding matters quite a lot here, IMO... a high-drive dog who is from intense working lines would obviously be a less appropriate choice.

                                        One of the best farm dogs I've ever seen is a Leonberger who belongs to the therapeutic riding facility where I teach. The facility is for kids with developmental disabilities, as well as behavioral and emotional challenges. The dog is HUGE, but is an absolute gem with the kids and animals alike... from what I understand, this is characteristic of the breed.

                                        Being long, the Leonberger coat might present a bit of a problem for some, but the one I know is kept clipped and it is not an issue.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                          See I think you chose the WRONG breed. If you don't have anything that needs to be herded you shouldn't have gotten a herding dog.
                                          Nope, I do not agree at all. I train my dogs, we compete in agility and they have their "jobs" around the farm that also keeps them busy. They love to help me bring the chickens in at night and the Sheltie believes his reason for living is to keep the geese out of the pastures and on the pond. The Aussie thinks he helps me "drive" the horses in at night. Both are easy to be around, mind their own business and couch potatoes in the house BECAUSE they can get their work out during the day.

                                          My point is, why get a breed that was bred to have characteristics that wouldn't be the easiest in your living environment? Especially if you don't have the tools or time to properly train them? Obviously a BC that chases the horses all day is a dangerous dog to have at the farm, but who's to blame, the breed or the handler? However, a pit bull that attacks horses or strange dogs that wander on the property, that is still bad ownership but not as out of characteristic of the breed than say an Aussie. That is all I am getting at. There are always exceptions to the rule, I know rotties and pits who were/are wonderful in the barn, never cause a problem, and I also knew an Aussie who chased the horses and bit strange men.

                                          I guess all in all, it really does depend what you want your dog to be like. I wanted an agility partner that would like to do some herding, something that would alert me to strangers and be comfortable around the animals without being everyone's best buddy. I knew a BC would be too high drive for what I had the time for. So, for my wants, my dogs fulfilled and then some.

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