If you are considering a Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy, then this would be a fun video to watch, as it gives you a general feel for the breed. Some of the information is inaccurate, however. For example – the video narrator states, that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is “immune from insect bites”. This is just not true, as my friend will attest after having her dog bitten by a brown recluse about 2 years ago. The wound still hasn’t healed. Additionally, Mosquitos love these dogs, as they do any mammal. Its advisable to Check for heart worm each year.
One benefit that I can personally attest to, is that their coats have a tendency to repel ticks and fleas. Many has the time been that I have been out in the field with my Ridgebacks, only to come home and find ticks on myself, and nothing on my dogs! In fact, in 15 years of breeding and hundreds of times in the field, I have found a single tick on one of my dogs only once, and I believe that was because the coat had been damaged in that area due to a small injury a few years prior, making it easier for the parasite to attach to the coat.
Another, slightly incorrect statement: the narrator states that the Ridgeback “requires” an hour of “vigorous” exercise every day. I would say that as long as you give them a couple of long walks of about 30-45 minutes, and an occasional visit to an off leash dog park, you’ll be fine. Now, there are some blood lines that require much more, so its important to ask your breeder what to expect. My dogs like to sprint around the property for a half hour or so, but do fine laying around by my desk while I am working. It just depends on the dog.
The narrator also says that the breed can “stand extreme temperature variations”. We have to be a little careful about statements like that. What sort of temperature variations are we talking about here, and how “extreme” is extreme? I would say that you would have to look at the temperature variations in Rhodesia, what is now Zimbabwe, to help with the answer to that question. If you take the time to investigate this claim, you will see that Zimbabwe has pretty normal temperature daytime temperature variation, from a seasonal standpoint. Temperature swings are not really extreme at all. My research showed about 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature differential during the summer and even less in the winter. Maximum winter temperatures were 54 degrees Fahrenheit and for summer, 100 degrees. That’s not much of an extreme. In fact, my dogs like temps right around 75 degrees, as far as I can tell. Where I live in the States, we can see -20 in the winter and 100 F in the summer. My Ridgebacks are all inside dogs in the extreme part of the seasons. I am not comfortable leaving them out below 40 degrees, or above 90. Besides, this breed is wonderful in the house, calm and stable – and great company too!
Another fable to watch out for is the one that says Ridgebacks can go long periods without water. I have no clue where that one came from. Don’t believe it. Give your Dog as much water as he wants during the day, and then for bladder control, remove water access at around 7PM each night. It works splendidly, and your Ridgeback wont be asking for 2AM potty breaks.
Other than these issues the video is great, and because the breeder chosen for the episode is a good one, you get to see the dogs general demeanor, and what they should look like – overall an great video, but be skeptical of the issues mentioned in this article.
Oh, and whatever you do in life, if at all possible, get a Ridgeback!