Reputable Rhodesian Ridgeback Breeders

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For our purposes, the following suggestions assume that the reader has become aquainted with the breed and an attempt to ascertain the credibility of the breeder is being ascertained. It's best to become aware of the general characteristics of the breed prior to contacting a Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder or vsiting breeders of Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies. It is very time consuming to elaborate on the various aspects of a dog breed and therefore, it's not reasonable to expect a breeder to teach you the basics  when there is so much information available. For example, generalities such as life expectancy, size, and general temperament are all easily discoverable online. In fact this web site has the official Ridgeback Standard which is an excellent source for you to become familiar with.

By becoming aquainted with the breed through the various sources that are available, you will be better equipped to ask intelligent questions and weed-out any questionable Rhodesian Ridgeaback breeders from consideration.

As a prospective purchaser of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, you should be very interested in the health of your new puppy. Although no-one can guarantee that a puppy will never have an issue, possible problems are greatly mitigated by the health testing of Sire and Dam. At a minimum for Rhodesian Ridgebacks, you should expect health testing of Hips and Elbows for Dysplasia. It is easy to confirm OFA testing since the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals makes all records for such testing available to the public online. All that is needed is the AKC registration numbers of the sire and dam, and anyone can see this information for themselves. PENN is another type of testing but is not considered as a viable test when compared to OFA testing. For one thing, only hips can be checked using this method and it is important to make certain that the elbows are also tested.

The OFA also keeps records for Thyroid and CERF testing. CERF testing is a test for hereditary degenerative diseases of the eyes. Ridgebacks do not have a statistically high incidence of eye problems, or thyroid problems. However, a few breeders of Rhodesian Ridgeback pups have had these issues in the past and this caused undue concern to the point it is probably overdone. Nevertheless, testing is not detrimental and merely adds another safety factor to the breeding decision.

Another important aspect to your buying decision should be the temperament of your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. The standard provides a general guideline, stating that mature adults should never show aggression, are loyal to the family, good with other animals if introduced at an early age, and reserved with strangers. This is considered "proper" temperament for the breed as a whole, however this doesn't necessarily hold true if breeding procedures are haphazard, or if very little research has been done prior to the breeding, or if the dogs being bred are sub-standard to begin with. Temperament is much harder to ascertain by a potential puppy buyer. However there is an almost foolproof way of knowing whether or not you have a good chance of a puppy growing up with a good dispostion. This test is done by measuring the Sire and Dam against the Rhodesian Ridgeback standard. The only way this test can be performed, is in the show ring by qualified, unbiased judges.

The standard is a guideline that is primarily utilized by a judge in the show ring. It is used as a measurement to determine the proper type of dog under scrutiny. This includes such things as proper bone structure, muscle tone, how the dog moves, and even temperament. All of these important characteristics are judged by people with multiple years of training and experience. If a Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder is breeding AKC champions, you can be much more confident that the overall quality of the dog - from health, to proper structure, and even the temperament is what it is supposed to be.

AKC dog showing has become so strict in past years that it is highly unlikely that a poor breeder could make it very far. Once any sort of impropriety is discovered, a breeder can lose standing and quicky become ostrasized by his/her peers, the parent club and even the AKC if the foul is egregious enough. If it is found that a breeder is not doing proper health testing, has poor conditons for their animals, breeds merely for profit, and a plethora of other violations, they could lose standing permanently.

People that are showing their dogs in AKC sanctioned events are the safest people from which to obtain a puppy, regardless of the breed. The surprising fact is that their puppies are generally not much more money, and the health and quality surpasses those that do not show their dogs. By social/political nature of the dog showing community, the natural outcome creates fertile ground for reputable Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders.

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A video showing the hunting instincts of the Rhodesian Ridgeback