Often a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is acquired without ever realizing the problems that will ensue later in the dogs life. Proper skeletal formation and other things, such as health testing of sire and dam, as well as all of the ancestors will make all the difference in the world when it comes to the dogs health in later years. Many are the tale of those that received dogs from questionable sources, that later turned out to bring heartbreak to a family due to some hip, elbow or other health problem.
So how do you know who to get a puppy from? What questions do you ask?
The most reliable breeders are going to be those that are actively involved and impassioned for the breed. Usually they are going to be involved in showing their dogs or are involved in some other form of competition. In fact, the best breeders might appear to be a little “anal” about the whole affair. Now this may seem odd to you, but rest assured – this is the kind of breeder you want to get a puppy from.
They might seem to be a little invasive, asking questions about where the dog will stay during the day. Will it be a family member? They may harp on how important socialization is. They will brag about their dogs, and talk about their little quirks. You will sense that the individual loves the breed and loves what they are doing. Their passion and insistence at proper care will be obvious. Be patient, and listen.
One other thing of note. A well bred Rhodesian Ridgeback will probably not be easy to come by. If you do not make a commitment early, you will likely not get a dog. It is best to find a breeder who is announcing that a litter is coming up in a few months, and if you feel comfortable then make a commitment to him/her. It is rare that reputable breeders have puppies unspoken for that are more than a couple of weeks old. The dogs of better breeders are often spoken for before the litter is born!
We haven’t spoken of the other nuances, such as temperament and the complications of health testing. This is for another article. The main thing to remember is to locate a breeder that fits the profile we have laid out, and you cannot go wrong. The best advice we can give when looking for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies is to find a reputable breeder. It is their job to know everything that you don’t.