I hear quite a lot from people who are generally impressed about what they have read, and heard about the demeanor of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Without exception, the comments I hear about the breed – whether from people that have actually had a chance to meet and interact with one of these dogs, or have just read a little about them, or heard something about them from someone else; It seems the impression of the breed is the same. Everyone wants to know more about the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
As people learn more about the breed, many decide that it is the breed they desire for their own, and there is usually a little apprehension up until a puppy is finally acquired. It’s natural to be a little apprehensive, and I think all puppy owners will agree, that there is something different in the air when they bring a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy home for the first time. They instinctively know that there is something different about this regal canine, unlike any other dog they have ever experienced, and they somehow know that this puppy is going to change their perspective of dogs permanently.
The first time you bring a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy home – and in fact the moment you see your well bred Ridgeback puppy of proper type, you are going to immediately fall in love with him. They are simply gorgeous in every sense of the word, and your heart will no longer be yours.
I felt it was necessary to put forth that bit of information ahead of time, because what I am about reveal at this point would likely have a negative impact on your future consideration for making a commitment to this breed.
Its likely to go well at first, and your expectations of the work required to get your puppy housebroken will be met with satisfaction – they are very clean about themselves, and if trained properly, they learn quickly that the home is not the place to relieve themselves. This is a blessing indeed.
But that’s the last blessing you will get for a long, long time.
At about 4 months of age, the comparison you will be begin to make between the fine dogs you have met or heard about, and the one you are presently sharing your abode with, will most likely cause you to think you have been duped.Â You may even begin to think your puppy is retarded, or aggressive, or maybe even – deaf.
I have heard all of these comments and many other expressions of consternation that Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy owners feel as they progress with their dog through-out puppyhood. They chew valuable belongings, they bite too hard while playing, they don’t come when called, they tug on the lead, They bark back at you when you scold them, and in general are oblivious to any direction you want them to take.
There’s really only one way to describe them: BAD.
Frankly, there will be many times you feel like giving up – and I can tell you, all Ridgeback puppy owners have been in the same boat.
But there is one thing you should know. This puppy will change – and once the metamorphosis is complete, you will be horrified that you considered for a moment that you thought you had made a mistake in acquiring him.
Patience – it is you who may be rewarded with a new virtue that you never had, and a dog that you’ll never want to be without. I can tell you that this puppy-monster will not always be so, and when he matures he will so deeply impress you that you will never want another breed of dog again.
It is a strange thing indeed, that a puppy that has absolutely no resemblance to any of the Ridgebacks you have met or heard about, will actually become the very thing that attracted you to them in the first place – but he will. You just have to wait. And more importantly – and I cannot stress this enough – do not forget that deep down inside that puppy is a sensitivity that is being developed – by you. This is the most important aspect to keep in mind during the challenge of raising a Ridgeback puppy.