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Rhodesian ridgeback

Rhodesian ridgeback characteristics, temperament and  training

Rhodesian ridgebacks are canines that are well known for their bravery and willingness to face confrontation by the most terrifying of opponents.

This is probably the most important characteristic of the animal when it used to be regularly employed in the hunting of Lions in its native Africa. Apparently, the technique it used to employ was to distract the lion or even cheetah while they wait for their master to make the kill.

These dogs have a proud and glorious history which also has recorded them as being present around 4,000 BC through artifacts of pharaohs tombs with their images carved onto the sarcophagus. The domestication of the animal is most likely to have been performed by the Hottentot tribe in Africa.

The animals are rather large and very muscular and probably the most distinctive feature of the hound is a clearly symmetrical ridge running the length of its back, with some hair growing in opposite directions to the rest of its coat. The color of the coat may be ether red wheat or light wheat and some dogs may even have prominent markings along the chest or even toes, while the fur usually has a glossy finish.

The dogs are very highly regarded for their immense loyalty as well as obedience, but are known to act very aloof when dealing with strangers. The Rhodesian ridgeback temperament is very positive as well as a very social one. Their high intelligence coupled with their excitable nature could lead them to becoming a little mischievous at times. They are known to be extremely protective about their owners as well as family members.

The best Rhodesian ridgeback training techniques require the trainer to appreciate the animal's sensitive side and avoid using any harsh punishments. It is essential that the canine be trained by a string willed individual as, if the dog believes the trainer has lower determination that itself, it could start to take the reins and assume itself to be the leader. This could lead to a number of other character flaws in the dog including over protectiveness, jealousy and disobedience. It will willingly accept correction as long as it is being received from an individual it is close to and trusts.

To maintain a conformation to certain regulations of the breed, the Kennel Clubs normally cull Rhodesian ridgeback puppies if they do not have any ridging present on their backs. Some of the more contemporary breeders, though, prefer to sterilize the animal and allow it to mature, but prevent it from fathering any litters or participating in any dog shows.

  Submitted on October 28, 2009  

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