The Challenges of puppyhood

I get a large volume of calls from people who are generally impressed about what they have read, and heard about the demeanor of the Rhodesian Ridgeback.  In fact, I hear many a testimony from people that have actually had an occasion to meet and interact with one of these dogs and both groups of people – those who have studied the breed and those who have met one of these specimens, all come away with a similar impression: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an amazing dog.

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.

Its really necessary to put forth that bit of information ahead of time, because having a puppy, and particularly one as intelligent as this breed, does have its challenges.

Its likely to go well when you first bring your new aquisition home, 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 blessing could convert to a challenge at some point very soon. 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 may  cause you to think you have been duped.  You may even begin to think your puppy is retarded, or aggressive, or maybe even – deaf. What is odd about this specimen, is the fact that it isnt an issue with all puppies. Some have reported of not the slightest inclination of their puppy ever painting such a picture. However, its best to be prepared, because surprise, as they say, is an excellent advantage in war.

I have heard a variety of comments and expressions of consternation that Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy owners feel who may be effected with these issues 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 their owners might want them to take.

There’s really only one way to describe them: Trouble.

Frankly, there will be many times you feel like things will never change – and I can tell you, many 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 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.

During this period, there will be times that you could forget something crucial. – 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.