Puppies capture our imaginations and touch the deepest affections, but if we dont think about it rationally, this can often put us in a position of vulnerability.
Many people have purchased puppies from Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders without considering that they may not be making the right choice. All too frequently a disaster looms a few short years down the path, when a now grown puppy exhibits unrecoverable health issues, or temperament problems. Health, temperament, and lack of familiarity with the Ridgebacks inherent instincts can present challenges starting at adolescence. Many unforeseen problems can come to one who doesn’t take the time to become acquainted with these issues. There is much more to the process than to merely find a puppy that we can fall in love with, and as hard as it seems, we should take great care to gain an understanding as to what we should look for in a breeder.
For any breeder, performing health screenings is an important part of the breeding process. In general, reputable breeders do not want to breed affected animals that have a very high likelihood of passing a disorder on to their offspring. This is why they perform health screenings. If you are looking for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies for sale from reputable Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders, extensive heatlh testing of the parents is a given. At a minimum you should ask the breeder for evidence of a certification of hips and elbows from the appropriate veterinary registry. It is also suggested that thyroid, eyes and DM be accomplished. Don’t settle for the “word” of the breeder. Get the evidence.
Temperament of individual Rhodesian Ridgebacks also varies from breeder to breeder. The standard for the breed is helpful, but is merely a guide. Some Ridgebacks can exhibit ADD, while others have a very stable temperament. This last attribute is dictated in the AKC/CKC standard, however not every breeder looks at this issue as closely as others.
Instinct is probably the easiest to understand because there are scads of publications that speak of it. You should be aware that a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy may not demonstrate the hunting instinct when a baby, but make no mistake – it is a dormant trait that will assuredly come to the surface later on. Although the standard classifies them as sight hounds, yet their history isn’t so decisive. They have been categorized as everything from a working dog to a hunting dog, and at various points in their history, they have been considered scent hounds, only to be re-categorized back into the sight hound group.
What does this all mean? As it has been said, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is “the most eccentric, intelligent and mystifying breed one may ever be acquainted with”. If you can accept the out of the ordinary, the occasional mischievousness, and the almost exuberant independence, then this dog is for you. However, take great pains to locate a breeder of quality, and be willing to pay for it. You will never regret obtaining a quality puppy from a great breeder.