A breeder should assume a much more important role than whelping a litter of pups. A reputable breeder should be a great resource and a helpful mentor – a breeder to whom you can approach with questions or concerns throughout the life of your dog.
Its not over statement to say that the most important consideration when searching for a Rhodesian Ridegeback breeder is how serious they are about health screening the dogs they breed.
You might think of a healthy Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy as being one that gets a clean bill of health from a licensed vet. While this is a good thing, did you know that the majority of problems cannot be forecasted nor can they be detected in a young puppy? Most serious issues are found much later in a puppy’s life. Thus, there is only one way to reduce or prevent possible health issues in puppies, and that is by performing health screenings on the sire and dam of a prospective puppy. Health testing is mandatory when considering a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy.
Of course it is impossible for a breeder to make an absolute guarantee that your dog will never be effected with a health issue, but potential problems should be greatly mitigated by performing health testing on the sire and dam of your Ridgeback puppy.
At minimum, a breeder should a.) perform health screenings b.) require in writing that all pet-quality puppies be spayed and neutered; c.) request health updates on the pup at regular intervals, and d.) request immediate notification if a health concern (or any other concern) presents itself.
Lets take a look at some of the health concerns of our breed.