Friday, September 14, 2012

Young Rhodesian Ridgeback

This little girl needs to run free in a safe area

This young and very fit Rhodesian Ridgeback was out with her person on a long and lovely walk around a local lake. Seeing her triggered a distant but vivid memory of the first time I encountered this powerful and beautiful breed. 

It was on a visit to the Blue Mountains in Jamaica. One night we drove to a large estate to have dinner at an enormous manor house. The front of the house had large columns and a man stood at the entrance waiting to greet us. Beside him were two large Rhodesian Ridgebacks. When the dogs saw us approach their posture became tense and they began to bark ferociously. The man commanded them to be quiet and immediately they obeyed. When I asked what kind of dogs they were, he said, "Ridgebacks, guard dogs, good dogs."

True to her breed, this girl was a bit concerned when she first saw me ― Ridgebacks are reserved and on guard around strangers. Once her person said I was okay, she relaxed and kept stopping to wait for me! The traits that distinguish her breed sweet, intelligent and people loving were very much in evidence. It was a pleasure to have her company.

About Rhodesian Ridgebacks: These dogs have great stamina and require a lot of exercise every day. They enjoy walking or jogging and absolutely need time off leash, so it's important to exercise them where they can safely run free. They respond well to training but need an assertive, experienced owner. Above all, like most dogs, Ridgebacks need companionship. If you are someone who works away from home most of the day (four hours or more), you do not have the right lifestyle for a dog, especially a Ridgeback.

You can still enjoy having dogs in your life by volunteering to walk them on weekends at a local shelter or going walking where dog people go.  

To learn more about Rhodesian Ridgebacks, visit the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States.

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