ALL ABOUT LIVING WITH RHODESIAN RIDGEBACKS
– [Announcer] Dogumentary
TV, producing the best
breed documentaries on YouTube.
– Hi, my name’s Tayler and this is Millie,
she’s my Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Ridgebacks are an extremely
loyal and loving active breed
and I’m going to tell
you all about my life
living with a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
She’s about two and a
half, this is actually
my first Rhodesian
Ridgeback, I grew up with
whippets and greyhounds so
I’m used to the sight hound.
She is obviously my
pet but I do, you know,
confirmation with her, I do lure coursing,
I do a lot of different events
and things like that with her.
So she’s a working dog but, you know,
she’s also my, my fur kid.
The breed originated in South Africa
in what was then Rhodesia.
Originally they came
from an indigenous breed
that was then mixed in with other breeds
such as mastiffs, greyhounds, Great Danes.
So back in the 1800s the Hottentots
actually used them to hunt
big game, such as lions.
A lot of people think that they would
take down the lions, which is not true,
they would use them in large packs to keep
the lions at bay until
the hunter got there.
The most distinct part about the
Ridgeback is the ridge, obviously.
If you look at any
Ridgeback, you’ll notice
that distinct marking and it’s hair
that grows in the opposite direction.
And at the very top they
should have two crowns,
which are those little
swirls that you see.
And that’s what the
standard has for the ridge.
Now you can also have
a Ridgeback that’s born
without a ridge or with multiple crowns
and they’re not show-able but, you know,
there’s different variations of it.
And the history of that is when they would
send the dogs out in packs to hunt,
the ones that would return
were the ridged dogs.
So they would breed
those and that’s kind of
become the signature
trademark of the breed.
Ridgebacks are great
pets, they’re, you know,
really good if you have a
family, they’re great with kids,
they’re really good with other
dogs and they’re super loyal,
they’re really, really
sensitive and cuddly.
If you want a dog that’s going to curl up
on the couch with you like this,
they’re a great breed for you.
They’re also very stubborn, so they’re
definitely not for the novice dog owner.
You definitely have to be, you know,
a strong personality
because they’re so smart
and they have such strong
that they’ll definitely outsmart you.
But that’s something that
I love about the breed,
they’re incredibly easy to teach.
They’re really sensitive,
they love attention,
they love to be with you.
They’re definitely an inside breed.
They love to get outside
and have, you know,
their hour or two hours
of exercise every day,
but for the most part
they’re total couch potatoes
and they just love to
be with their people.
Yeah, so a typical day for me,
I wake up probably around
seven and I feed her.
And she usually will sleep
on the couch or in the bed,
she likes to sleep under the covers.
So, especially during the winter time,
I like to bundle her up while I’m
getting ready for work,
she’s very spoiled.
But I take her to work with me
and I work in a dog friendly office,
so it’s really nice,
she can just hang out.
And she will sleep most of
the day, there’s other dogs
in the office that she likes to play with.
After work I usually take
her to Fiesta Island,
which is a dog park in San Diego
and I let her run off leash.
She loves playing with other dogs
so I make sure to either
do that or to bike her.
Because I like to lure course her,
I try to bike her at
least three times a week
just to keep her endurance up.
And it’s a really great easy way to
exercise her and to get exercise myself.
So that’s what a typical
day with her looks like.
Initially I was attracted to Ridgebacks,
as I mentioned I came from sight hounds
and I grew up doing dog
shows with my whippets
and I always loved the sight
hound group, the hound group.
And obviously they’re very striking,
they’re beautiful, they have, you know,
a really a strength about them
and I think that really drew me to them.
The first Ridgeback that
I met, he was so sweet,
he came up to me and
put his head in my lap
and he just wanted to be pet.
And I think I loved how
affectionate they were
and it’s great to have
a dog that, you know,
you have such a special bond with,
they definitely bond with that one person.
And, you know, I wanted a big dog that
I could take hiking and that I could do
a lot of outdoor activities with
and this was just the
perfect breed for me.
Genetically the breed is
built for, you know, hunting,
they’re built for performance.
Me, personally, I make sure to
feed her a high protein diet,
I make sure to exercise
her at least an hour a day.
Off leash is the best because they can
really, you know, go full speed and
she likes to play with other dogs.
So I lure course her and show her,
so I have to keep her
in really good shape.
I have to feed her a healthy diet
and I have to make sure that, you know,
she gets the proper amount of exercise
and that keeps them
mentally happy as well.
Lure coursing is a great activity
because it really
activates their prey drive.
They’re bred to hunt,
so that, that activity
of what they feel is chasing a rabbit
is really, really exciting for them.
The first time I did lure
coursing with her I saw
a whole different side of her,
she was completely insane.
And it’s really cool to see them
do what they’re bred
to do, and sight hounds
enjoy lure coursing because they all have
that same mentality of chasing prey.
And it’s really important
to allow them to do
what they were bred to do because it,
it engages all those parts of their brain
that keep them happy
and healthy and excited.
So if you’re looking for a Ridgeback,
the best type of person would
probably be someone active.
You definitely have to be strong,
they’re powerful dogs, so if
you’re, you know, elderly,
they might not be the best dog for you,
they could easily pull you over.
They’re really great for families,
definitely someone who
is, you know, outdoorsy,
someone who’s willing to put
in the time to train the dog
and to spend time with
them and socialize them.
They’re definitely a good apartment dog,
as long as you have the time to
take them out and exercise them every day.
They don’t need a lot of space normally,
they spend most of the
day on the couch sleeping.
In terms of living spaces,
they’re a pretty versatile breed.
So I live in a pretty small
home with a small yard,
but I take her out at least
once a day, for off leash play.
If you have a house with
a large yard that’s great,
they do need to go out
and exercise every day,
but I think for the most part
they sleep most of the day.
So if you have an apartment
and as long as you can
exercise them, they can
pretty much live anywhere.
They’re really easy as far as maintenance,
so they don’t shed a
lot, they don’t drool,
they’re not very messy dogs.
So I feel like I can keep my house clean
really easily and, lucky for me,
she wasn’t much of a chewer as a puppy.
So I, you know, obviously
puppy proofed the house
when I got her but I can
pretty much, you know,
live my life how I want to
and they’re really adaptable.
Ridgebacks are definitely not a dog that
you can leave outside
all day, not only is it,
you know, not good for
them to not have, you know,
human contact but I think, you know,
if they were left outside,
they have the ability
to jump really high fences
and escape, so it’s not safe.
They’re also a bit of a rare
breed so you run the risk
of someone breaking into
your yard and stealing them,
so I never leave her outdoors unattended.
They also don’t really
enjoy being left outside,
they like to come in and
be with their people.
So, you know, like any dog, they enjoy
their outdoor time for exercise,
but she’s always indoors with me.
If I have to leave her at home for
any period of time,
she’s just in the house.
I think if you have a young
dog it’s really important
to teach them to be in a crate as well,
for their own safety
and just to, you know,
prevent any sort of separation anxiety,
to teach them to have their own space.
So definitely not a dog that you would
want to leave unattended outside.
When I first got her, as probably many
puppy owners would say, she was initially
not allowed on the bed and that changed.
For probably the first year she slept
in a crate at night and that really helped
with, you know, potty training and when
I would have to leave her
at home to run errands
I knew that I would come home to
a house that wasn’t destroyed.
But I always allowed her on the furniture.
Honestly, I purchased
furniture that I knew
couldn’t be ruined by the dog because
she loves to be up here with me.
And, as far as rules, she’s, you know,
I don’t promote begging, I
don’t feed her from the table.
She’s not allowed in the
kitchen while I cook,
she’s not allowed to jump up on
the counter tops, things like that.
So, with this breed, you just
have to be really consistent.
If you want rules and boundaries
you have to enforce
them a hundred percent,
because they won’t understand if you
let them do things half the time
and then other times you don’t.
And when you have your dog indoors
with you all the time,
you can really create
that special bond with them and make sure
that they understand you
and what the rules are.
Especially for a breed like this who has
such a strong personality,
you want to create
that bond with them so
that they respect you
and they understand what you want.
And it just creates an overall
with you and your dog,
they’re happier and they’re healthier.
Millie, what are you doing?
Whether you do raw or you feed kibble,
it’s important to do a high quality food
that doesn’t have a lot of additives
or grains and things like that
to just make sure that they
get what they really need
and not too much of what they don’t.
She’s pretty friendly for the most part,
the breed’s a bit reserved with strangers.
She will definitely alert
me if there is someone here.
If there is someone
that comes into my yard
without my permission,
I probably wouldn’t want
to be that person, but
she can definitely tell
the difference between someone
that’s invited and not.
So I really try to enforce
with her not to jump on people.
If it’s somebody that I’ve invited over
I don’t want her barking too much,
but I do like that she
will bark if someone
knocks on the door or comes in the yard,
because it makes me feel safe.
When she was a puppy, when
people would come over
I would definitely tell them,
if she tries to jump on you
to just ignore her, to turn around,
that’s the easiest way to teach them.
Now she’s pretty well
behaved, I don’t really have
any specific rules for
people that come over
because she is a friendly dog.
But I definitely tell people, you know,
don’t let her eat off your plate,
or don’t feed her anything from the table
just because I want to
keep that respect level
from, you know, when I’m eating,
you don’t get to steal food from me.
There’s not too many drawbacks
of having her in the house.
They are super clean, they don’t drool,
they don’t shed too much.
I’ve noticed with her at
least that she doesn’t
really like to be destructive at all,
like I never really had an issue with her
tearing anything up, even as a puppy.
They are very respectful and clean,
so I think, if you’re someone like me
that likes to have a clean house
and you like to have
your house looking nice,
they’re a perfect breed to have.
They’re really quiet, too, they don’t bark
unless there’s, you know,
someone at the door,
they’re not a dog that’s
going to sit there
and bark at any noise that they hear.
So they’re a really easygoing breed,
sometimes you don’t even
notice they’re in the room.
Typically they are a
breed that gets along well
with other dogs and other people.
We actually have a big group
of Ridgebacks in the area
where we like to meet a few times a week
at the dog beach and let them play.
I think just with any dog,
as long as you socialize them
with other dogs and other
people at a young age,
that they will be really
good with other dogs.
She loves to go to the dog beach
and she loves to play with other dogs,
I think that’s where she
gets the best exercise
is playing and wrestling with other dogs.
So, it’s, you know, great
to have two I think or more.
I feel like they’re a dog that you could
have five and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Yeah, I mean if you’re looking
for a Rhodesian Ridgeback
I think if you’re someone
who likes to hike,
you like to be outdoors,
who has the time to spend with the dog
to train them, to be with them.
I don’t think they’d be ideal for someone
that works nine to five and someone
who would leave the dog
alone for most of the day,
they need a lot of human
contact and socialization.
She actually comes to
work with me every day,
so I’m lucky to be able
to have her in my office.
Just like any breed, it’s really important
that you socialize them
and spend time with them.
So I think, you know, as
long as you have the time
to spend with them and you’re, you know,
interested in doing activities
and engaging them mentally and physically,
that they’d be a good breed for you.