Ridgebacks have always had and still have a high level of tolerance, well developed survival instincts and possess very fast decision making abilities as well as a high readiness to co-operate with a partner, who has proven their competence. These dogs present themselves as reliable partners, fully integrated protectors of their families and they even prove their rights to exist as hunting companions. But as the truly big hunters, as which the Ridgebacks originated (and which they still are in incredible measures!) they only find very small parts of their former ways of living amongst our civilized surroundings - and truly big hunters or "alpha wolf-humans" have become very rare amongst ourselves as well!
Ridgebacks are companions that need close contact, ample exercise and find gratification with duties that can be mastered together with their "alpha" humans.
It is important that Ridgeback owners who would like to do their dogs justice, have adequate knowledge of Wolfs behaviourisms in order to understand and handle their dog correctly. Just like all large, strong dogs, Ridgebacks living in our lifestyles, require competent guidance and adequate supervision.
His character: The Rhodesian Ridgeback is almost aboriginal, very serious with specific chains of behaviour. They are even-tempered, well-balanced without an ounce of spitefulness Ð and never reacts blindly. Within the "pack", its family, this breed is friendly, cuddly and almost clingy. They are very territorial, watching over their yard, their house and their family without having any kind of training. This breed is however fully unsuitable for any kind of "sportive biting" affiliated with a guard dog training. The dog's love for the hunt lies in it's blood and should be geared sensibly.
The Ridgeback is very sensitive and does not bear to loud, hard and unfair treatment. When it comes to development and growth the Ridgeback matures slowly is however willing and able to learn for a long time. The Ridgeback is absolutely unsuitable for being kept in a kennel. The city centre is also not suitable for this breed as it is an almost unnatural habitat, where a Ridgeback with his unaltered behaviour would waste away in the long run. The consequences reach from diseases and troubled behaviour up to the proverb "shadow existence". So far the breed does not show an affinity to hereditary diseases. However, it should be pointed out that since 1924 the so called "Dermoid Sinus", a very rare defect that appears under skin, as well as a missing ridge lead to breeding disqualification. A well balanced diet for this breed consists of fresh food (meat, vegetables etc.) - based on experience ready made food is not digested very well and will in the long run lead to health damages.
It is a big responsibility for all, who keep and breed this race to offer growing puppies/youngsters the personal devotion and the natural surroundings which this excellent natured dog needs for its development and well-being. Not moulding the dog at an early age ends tragic for a Ridgeback as an atrophied young dog remains a caricature of what it actually is and it will never develop properly at a later stage. These nature dogs should neither be kept in a tiled sterile surrounding in which they are treated like precious dolls nor should they be put in sheds, stables or barns, aside the daily human life where they might just be watched via a video device.
It is however just as big a responsibility to place puppies of this primal breed in suitable homes. As much as a Ridgeback is good-natured, it is not a dog for first time dog owners due to its very special personality, distinct behaviour and sensitivity. It requires an owner who is experienced with dog behaviour.
The absurdity to include the Rhodesian Ridgeback in fighting dog discussions becomes obvious looking at the history of this dog and the characteristics its breed. Because of its deep-seated healthy instincts and particularly due to its carefulness and considerateness in regards to conflicts, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is totally unsuitable for any kind of usage in a so called "scene". A Rhodesian Ridgeback has never been bred towards aggression!
As one of the most interesting breeds which has been formed by humans and the wilderness, the Rhodesian Ridgeback came to be because of a special breed selection. In any case of doubt concerning these original bush hunters, it would prove a strong will not acquire such a dog!
"A Ridgeback isn't just another dog....It's a lifestyle"