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question about rhodesian ridgebacks...UPDATE ORIGINAL POST

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  • #61
    Bee Honey
    IME herding dogs are the WORST farm dogs, they pester everything and they just can't stop.
    I laughed at that, as herding breeds were developed specifically FOR farm work. That said, of course there are those people who live on farms and don't want to train their dog, so the dog gets to behave inappropriately.

    Cowboymom
    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 should not have gotten the 4 dogs I've got now then. I've got a Cattle Dog, and 3 Corgis. Not a one of them has ever seen sheep and have no herding experience with other livestock either.

    Lazy Palomino Hunter
    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.
    just exactly this. Any dog needs to be trained for self control and directed where and how to expend their excess energy. Breeding really does matter, as those high drive dogs are going to need a higher level of training and they will probably need refresher courses periodically. If I were ever to get a RR (unlikely as they are a large breed and I want to go smaller as I get older), it would be trained with specific tasks in mind and to a level that would make it a good citizen.

    Comment


    • #62
      Bee Honey

      Quote:



      IME herding dogs are the WORST farm dogs, they pester everything and they just can't stop.
      /quote
      I laughed at that, as herding breeds were developed specifically FOR farm work. That said, of course there are those people who live on farms and don't want to train their dog, so the dog gets to behave inappropriately.
      this, of course, boils down to what you mean when you say "farm dog". Many people, when they say "farm dog", mean a dog who lives outside on the farm and doesn't do much of anything except hang out, and yes, herding dogs make TERRIBLE farm dogs if that is your definition of a farm dog.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by wendy View Post
        this, of course, boils down to what you mean when you say "farm dog". Many people, when they say "farm dog", mean a dog who lives outside on the farm and doesn't do much of anything except hang out, and yes, herding dogs make TERRIBLE farm dogs if that is your definition of a farm dog.
        ohhh ... I get it now. I was trying to figure out how dogs that were bred to be around livestock would make "terrible" farm dogs.

        Different definition altogether from what I want.
        __________________________
        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
        the best day in ten years,
        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

        Comment


        • #64
          Love your post, Equino. You get it.

          And because your dogs are trained, they know "you herd when I tell you to herd, and not UNLESS I tell you to."

          And because you do Agility, they have an outlet for the energy, focus & drive that may not be fulfilled by only getting to herd once a day or so (when the chickens are brought in).

          That's how it's done, folks. "Herding breeds make terrible farm dogs"? They ARE farm dogs. But yes, as Bee Honey said, in many people's experience, the untrained dogs with no outlet have problems. But herding breeds should be and can be the very best farm dogs of all.

          Love this:

          Originally posted by Equino View Post
          ...the Sheltie believes his reason for living is to keep the geese out of the pastures and on the pond.
          That's exactly what Shelties were for. It IS his reason for being. They're not herders like Border Collies or like German Shepherd Dogs (which have two utterly different types of herding jobs). Shelties were crofters dogs and their job was just that: to stay around the farm (croft) and drive away the sheep and whatever when they'd try to get into the gardens.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by wendy View Post
            this, of course, boils down to what you mean when you say "farm dog". Many people, when they say "farm dog", mean a dog who lives outside on the farm and doesn't do much of anything except hang out, and yes, herding dogs make TERRIBLE farm dogs if that is your definition of a farm dog.
            You are correct Wendy, it was not specified what "farm dog" meant.

            Comment


            • #66
              In my world, that's the difference between a stock dog and a farm dog. Farm dogs hang out. Stock dogs work stock.

              I've seen and heard of so many cow dogs that were constantly in trouble or causing trouble b/c they not only weren't trained but they didn't have a JOB.

              Equino you may have done the right thing with your herding dogs (as came out in your later post) but my point is that so many people think farm=aussie or heeler or corgi and they aren't necessarily a good farm dog.

              A border collie that chases the horses until they colic is just as harmful as any other dog.

              Several people pounced on the OP for choosing the wrong breed for a farm but I think that was misinformation; RR's fall under the same heading of "with proper training" and "from a reputable breeder" that any other breed of dog does.

              I don't think it was fair to fuss at her for being interested in having an RR in her situation ("WHY must people choose the WRONG WRONG BREED??") when many other people have them very successfully.
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

              Comment


              • #67
                We've got another RR at our barn too, been there since she was a pup. She's also a great barn dog. Well trained, hangs out in the ring with the owner while teaching lessons, NEVER chases the horses. I just don't see them as horse chasers. Smaller vermin yes, but not horses.

                I do highly suggest them as barn dogs. Like I mentioned, mine is the best barn dog ever. And when she's ready to go, she just goes and sits patiently at the car door.

                I think ANY dog can be a good barn dog with proper training. And in a lot of ways the way we train our horses is very similar to how we train our dogs.

                If you do decide on a Ridgeback, we want to see pictures!!!

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                  In my world, that's the difference between a stock dog and a farm dog. Farm dogs hang out. Stock dogs work stock.

                  I've seen and heard of so many cow dogs that were constantly in trouble or causing trouble b/c they not only weren't trained but they didn't have a JOB.

                  Equino you may have done the right thing with your herding dogs (as came out in your later post) but my point is that so many people think farm=aussie or heeler or corgi and they aren't necessarily a good farm dog.

                  A border collie that chases the horses until they colic is just as harmful as any other dog.

                  Several people pounced on the OP for choosing the wrong breed for a farm but I think that was misinformation; RR's fall under the same heading of "with proper training" and "from a reputable breeder" that any other breed of dog does.

                  I don't think it was fair to fuss at her for being interested in having an RR in her situation ("WHY must people choose the WRONG WRONG BREED??") when many other people have them very successfully.
                  I'd like to clarify my point/thinking further...yes, it is very true an untrained dog of ANY breed can be very dangerous in any situation. A BC that is not properly worked to have an outlet for their high drive and energy is just waiting for disaster. At the same time, properly training and adjusting a herding dog to the lifestyle of your farm is easier than trying to train a pit or rottie or RR into the same role. I know some breeds are definitely goingt to have a higher prey drive or energy levels, I totally understand that. But to say taking in a RR would be the same as a Aussie is really off. If we are talking "farm dog" as in same lazy, laid back animal who just lays around the farm, that is certainly a very different topic. If we are talking about a breed that will be good around livestock, maybe a bit wary of strangers, but overall accepting of other animals and people, well, that is what most of the herding group breeds are supposed to be about.

                  Looking at the herding group-Shelties, Aussies, Collies, Corgis, Beardies, Finnish Lapphund are amongst those with the drive to work and have a job, but for the most part not very high drive and intensity of other breeds that in poor hands could be bad, like BC, German Shephards, Belgians or Cattle Dogs.

                  And like I said, there are always exceptions to the rule where some "aggressive" breeds do just fine on a farm and where herding group dogs are a big risk on a farm.

                  All in all, OP is welcome to get a RR and would be smart to start training the dog to fit her lifestyle as soon as possible and not expect it to automatically fit right in. I only knew one in a barn setting and he was fine around the horses and was good about not wandering off, but he was dog aggressive and iffy with some people (mostly men), so his owner was not allowed to bring him to the barn.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I think it is important to remember that different people have widely different tastes and preferences when it comes to dog breeds. Personally I have found the ridgies to be excellent farm dogs. My understanding is that they were specifically bred for this task. They will hunt if you ask them to, they will even herd (a little) if you ask them to, and they are typically gentle and unobtrusive around stock. I have had various breeds of dogs my entire life, and the ridgies are by far the best all-around well behaved farm dogs I've encountered. As far as training to be good farm dogs, one of them didn't set foot on a farm until she was two, and both learned some basic obedience as puppies (sit, stay, down, "leave it"). I did zero training with regard to the sheep or chickens, they automatically left them alone.

                    I would recommend talking to people who actually own or breed whatever type of dog you are interested in before making your decision as to what type of dog to get.
                    www.plainfieldfarmky.com

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Bee Honey
                      Quote:
                      "IME herding dogs are the WORST farm dogs, they pester everything and they just can't stop."

                      I have had four BC's and none had any interest in chasing cats, wildlife, or horses. In fact in the recent Skunkagedon at our house, when a skunk came in the fenced back yard, the cattle dog and the Labrador were sprayed but both the border collies unscathed and innocently hanging out far from the ruckus.

                      I also have a cattle dog. Although he is interested in the horses and the cats, he has not been difficult to train that they are off limits. He has brought me a ground hog he dispatched and the skunk was a new experience. But he obviously learned a lesson cause he was no where near the skunk when I found them all. He has turned out to be a fabulous all around dog.

                      The lab is a different kettle of fish -- we inherited her so I don't take responsibility but she is the one that pesters everyone and everything-- found her with the skunk cornered and still barking and barking and barking at it. She makes the border collies look laid back -- never seen a dog with so much energy that is so hard (for me impossible) to channel.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by cbv View Post
                        Bee Honey
                        Quote:
                        "
                        The lab is a different kettle of fish -- we inherited her so I don't take responsibility but she is the one that pesters everyone and everything-- found her with the skunk cornered and still barking and barking and barking at it. She makes the border collies look laid back -- never seen a dog with so much energy that is so hard (for me impossible) to channel.
                        Isn't it great that different dog breeds just FIT with different people? I have Ridgebacks and a German Shepherd (all EXCELLENT farm dogs), and I'm always amused at the threads that act like those breeds of dogs are such a handful. Dogs are just like kids, they need boundaries & consistency, if you can't do that...then you shouldn't have any dog. Some breeds of dogs are definitely more idiot proof than others. But..back to my original thought, lol....I don't understand WHY when labs are supposed to be such wonderful all around dogs, I"d NEVER want to own one. I don't like 'em...never met one that I would want to own myself. I've met some that were mostly tolerable to me, but many more that I couldn't wait to get away from.
                        "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I like my BO's RR's but I would never own one. Way too high energy, they tend not to listen too well, and they play HARD. I admire from afar.

                          Beautiful dogs, though.

                          I have a border collie basset hound cross, and I couldn't imagine a lovelier personality than she has. It was a genetic shake of the dice, but she managed to get the best of both of those breeds. Happy, loyal, friendly, only lays down and won't move when she's really upset (that would be the basset part, just collapse in a heap and don't move, maybe she won't have to go to the groomer). She's 15 now and I am sad she won't live forever.

                          I also have had great luck with GSD/collie crosses. I have had two, one currently, and they were/are the nicest dogs.

                          But again, mutts are not that predicable in terms of what you might get.

                          I have been around a few labs and I absolutely would not own one. Too much barking, and the one I knew well was an absolute annoying thief of a dog that chewed and ate everything.

                          I have always like Dobies but never owned one. My husband thinks they are too serious. =)

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Kwill View Post
                            I like my BO's RR's but I would never own one. Way too high energy, they tend not to listen too well, and they play HARD. I admire from afar.

                            Beautiful dogs, though.

                            I
                            That same dog will then come in the house and sleep on the couch or bed all day like a couch potato. I like that they have the ability to turn their switches to "off". Mine listen to me, hubby and kids just fine, they don't listen to anyone else one little bit.
                            "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by chism View Post
                              Isn't it great that different dog breeds just FIT with different people? I have Ridgebacks and a German Shepherd (all EXCELLENT farm dogs), and I'm always amused at the threads that act like those breeds of dogs are such a handful. .
                              It is -- I know that my border collies are not everyone's cup of tea -- they just fit our life style at this time. Have had Great Danes, and loved them dearly, but wouldn't want one today. Also had a borzoi -- really different temperament -- but another one no one would suggest as a farm dog but she was fine. Again, hell on ground hogs but lived with cats, horses, and even a variety of smaller farm animals with no problem.

                              When we were thinking about getting the cattle dog I came on here and got lots of negative feedback. He has turned into the best dog we have ever had. But due to the negative stereotype I often wonder if mine is an exception, though the few others I have known have seemed more like him than not.

                              But the lab definitely does not fit our life, and none of the tools in my dog training toolbox, for what it is worth, seem work on her. I am actually considering spending the equivalent of a month's training board for a horse on sending the lab to a trainer in our area that specializes in training labs for competition field trials. When I talked to him about her he sounded like he knew exactly what I was talking about and how to deal with it.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                I think a lot of the negative or cautionary comments about ANY breed are assuming that people have no clue what they're doing when it comes to socializing and training a dog. Perhaps that's unfair, but I think that MOST dog owners out there really don't have a clue, can't be consistent and aren't interested in putting the time into training their dogs. How many threads have we had here about troublesome loose dogs where the owners don't care?

                                If you are dedicated to making your dog a nice critter to be around and either know how to do that through experience or are willing to spend some significant time learning how to do so, then really, you'll probably have success with just about any breed. It's important to consider what the dog was bred to do and how that will fit in with your lifestyle and the job at hand, but a lot of the comments about "how difficult" a breed is to train can probably be taken with a grain of salt, IF you know what you're doing.

                                But a dog like a Ridgeback, or a Border Collie, or whatever other "tough" breed mentioned in this thread will likely NOT be suitable for a novice or uninterested owner. Some breeds are more tolerant of being ignored and untrained and allowed to do their own thing, and it seems to me that dogs that are closer to their "working" roots are some of the worst if in that sort of situation.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by cbv View Post
                                  When we were thinking about getting the cattle dog I came on here and got lots of negative feedback. He has turned into the best dog we have ever had. But due to the negative stereotype I often wonder if mine is an exception, though the few others I have known have seemed more like him than not.
                                  probably he is not an exception, but more likely the temperament of a herding breed suits you. I may have given negative feed back on the ACD's as they really can be a handful, even for people who do train. Mine is a wierd combination of soft as butter and tough to the point of stupid. However, she can nearly read my mind and learns things at the speed of light. It does take a particular kind of person to live with one.

                                  I also, am not a lover of Labradors as I find them perpetual teenagers and goofy ones at that. Makes it really hard for me to train them. If you really want to train the dog yourself, do try clicker training as Labs usually are Food Hounds as well.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                    I think a lot of the negative or cautionary comments about ANY breed are assuming that people have no clue what they're doing when it comes to socializing and training a dog. Perhaps that's unfair, but I think that MOST dog owners out there really don't have a clue, can't be consistent and aren't interested in putting the time into training their dogs.
                                    this exactly. It was what I said in the beginning of this thread. RR are probably self training dogs....but they might not self train the way a Lab would.

                                    ALL dogs need direction and training, even nice ones.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      OP, I wonder where you are now about thoughts of whether you think a RR might be suitable for your situation.

                                      You have heard a number of perspectives on the breed. I am pleased to hear about some who are great farm dogs, as I have said some are, they do run the gamut as far as temperament. I have known some just as couch-potato, mild mannered, or even shy as you have mentioned the one you have known and liked is. However, I just did not want you to assume they were all like that or that that was the typical temperament of the breed, and you should not base your decision upon knowing that one animal.

                                      I do think that one can get valuable information about the temperament of a breed from other than exclusively the owners of that breed. Sometimes owners have based their opinion upon just their own dogs or a limited numbers of dogs who may or may not be typical or representative of that breed. I think it is good to talk to owners, breeders, vets, judges, trainers, rescue organizations, behaviorists, and everyone about a breed, all can offer valuable information.

                                      That is why a forum such as this can be very useful, you will get a range of opinions.

                                      Here is what the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the US, which is the parent club of the AKC, has to say about theirr temperament. Sometimes the parent clubs are a bit "romantic" and rosey about how they describe a breed, but on the other hand, they do not want their breed to go to situations that will not work out for the dog:

                                      (I've edited out a lot, you can read the full account on the RRCUS website)

                                      And I do want to say, I do admire the breed, they are so athletic and strong, and I have known some with remarkable characters.

                                      From the RRCUS website:




                                      Many times people see a breed of dog and fall in love with it’s looks, never considering that that breed may be totally unsuitable for their lifestyle, their facilities or their ability to train and control it. All they know is they’ve got to have one! Buying a dog on impulse is always a bad idea! As with buying anything, YOU must educate yourself first: find out what the breed is truly like, visit in the home of several people who have that breed and find out what problems they have encountered. Learn to ask the correct questions, not only about the positive aspects of a breed but the negative, too. And learn what questions to ask of the litter owners...think of it as finding out what the "warranty" covers and the "features" of the item.

                                      Ridgebacks are not Labradors or Golden Retrievers in short coats. They are hunting dogs and have a high prey drive. Translation: They are quite independent -- they don’t fawn over your every word, they can be oblivious to being called and require a lot of positive motivation to train them in traditional obedience. Many people are just not prepared for the stubbornness and hard-headedness in this breed.

                                      Any dog ownership requires responsibility. Dogs are not something to decorate your home or yard, they are living, feeling creatures who should be treated as members of your family. This is especially true of Ridgebacks. They must be made to feel as part of your "pack", i.e., your family, or they will strike out on their own. You should think of them as a new addition to your family and plan for them as you would a new child.
                                      Planning for Your Ridgeback is Essential


                                      Ridgebacks need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. You'll need to set aside playtime and time for training. Young puppies need a lot of socialization to be good companions. A weekly obedience training class and daily practice is a must for your Ridgeback to become a welcome member of the community!

                                      If this seems like too much for you and your family's schedule, then perhaps this is not the right time to get a Ridgeback.
                                      Your Ridgeback Will Need Protection

                                      Ridgebacks naturally want to hunt and have no sense of cars or yard when they go after a squirrel, rabbit or cat. A fenced yard is important for your dog's safety. Once a Ridgeback starts after a squirrel or rabbit, nothing short of a six foot wall or fence may stop them. Ridgebacks at play are very energetic* - they need* lots of space, can knock down children and adults when they are roughhousing. . Take the time to research a breed you are interested in....visit in the homes of breeders or individuals who own that breed buy on impulse who most often find they can't live with Ridgeback and decide the dog has to go...this is not fair to the dog! Often it’s these irresponsible owners who further burden rescue with having to take in the dog and rehabilitate it.

                                      Again, take the time to read up on the Ridgeback, talk with several knowledgeable owners, check the Internet and try to visit in the home of several breeders. Try to go to some shows and talk with exhibitors, but most of all observe, observe, observe!
                                      !
                                      The Drawbacks:

                                      As puppies they have surgical -- knife sharp teeth and the jaw power of a Doberman Pinscher...they should never be allowed to play roughly with humans of any age. They can do major damage to coffee tables, shoes and anything else they can find to chomp on. Crate training is a must to protect home furnishings while you are not at home. As juveniles, if left unattended, they can cause your house to self-destruct...at least, it may appear that way! If left in the yard, they will find things to chew on that you may not even know you own until it ceases working. A bored Ridgeback is a major disaster waiting to happen.
                                      They are capable of digging ranch-sized holes, biting the limbs off shrubs and ripping up small trees People who love to garden must contend with the fact that their backyards will belong to the dog!
                                      They are not fussy eaters and have cast-iron stomachs - and you thought this was a good thing -- NOT! It also means they will attempt to eat anything that doesn't eat them first. They are master counter-surfers...nothing is spared and they are fast. Ridgeback owners have a tendency to overfeed their dogs, causing gas - not the most pleasant aspect of dog ownership. Remember, a Ridgeback always thinks it’s hungry! You have to feed on schedule and stick to your plan.
                                      Ridgebacks are "people" dogs, which means they should be treated as family and not made to live solely alone in the yard, otherwise, you wind up with a big, powerful, pushy creature of your making! An adult RIDGEBACK can clear a five foot fence if they want to. A bored dog is going to look for something to do, even if that means outside your yard. No one wants to live next door to someone who lets their dog out to eliminate on the neighbors’ yard, whose dog gets out and kills cats or scares the walkers, joggers and bike riders.
                                      Ridgebacks grow to be big dogs and must attended obedience classes with you so he won't become a "bad apple" and make an ugly impression of the breed on anyone. Learning to walk on a loose lead at an early age is essential – nobody should be drug around by a big dog.
                                      Ridgebacks are intelligent…this too, has been said -- what is means is they are fully capable of training you before you can train them. They are quite clever and can be willfully disobedient. The earlier the obedience classes the better. We can’t say this enough - A bored Ridgeback can be quite destructive and may develop bad habits of chewing, escaping crate and fencing, barking out of boredom and generally making a pest of themselves. It is essential that you have the time to put in with them, which can be as simple as having them in the house with you when you are home or spending time making sure they get a good amount of exercise…whether outside hiking, training, running or walking with them in safe areas.
                                      Ridgebacks must be introduced to cats and even so, may be aggressive towards strange felines.
                                      Before you get a Ridgeback, please consider the adult size of a Ridgeback and whether you and your family members will be able to properly keep the dog and to train the dog to be a great companion and a good canine citizen.

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                                      • #79
                                        Excellent point about a person's expectations of a "good farm dog" differing!

                                        Also, the RR family I knew intimately over a number of generations and many years and many individual dogs, some from literally whelping til death, were not poorly bred animals, they were responsibly bred, AKC champions (some), obedience titled, owned by very dog savvy folks. They walked here daily, some lived here for a time too. I knew them for several generations, and also knew other RRs from similar as well as different lines.

                                        I also worked on the RRCUS Health Survey years ago, and was impressed by the general health and vigor of the breed. I am also a retired animal behavior consultant, and treated quite a number of RR for various behavior problems. I do feel I have a pretty good knowledge of the breed, the spectrum of temperament, and base my opinion on knowledge of more than a few individuals.

                                        Again, I am happy to hear of RRs living peacefully on farms with livestock, and not surprised at all, I just wanted to clarify that such is not always the case, and it is not always as easy with some RRs as with others. It is just good to know what you may be having to deal with.

                                        Sometimes with any dog, you can do all the right things, and still have problems. That is certainly not unique to RRs! But it may be helpful to understand the potential issues.

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #80
                                          Update on original post!

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