What a Rescued Ridgeback Deserves
- A home where EVERYONE gives the dog an opportunity to live up to its potential as a great companion. A few of the rescued Ridgebacks come from good, loving homes that had to give them up because of major, life-changing events. Most, however, have lived difficult lives or have lost someone they loved very much. In either case, they often go through an adjustment period when they join a new home, which can be difficult for the both dog and its new owners. Patience is a necessity during this transition period.
- Owners who are committed to the dog's needs -- exercise, obedience training, socialization, understanding, patience and plenty of "quality" time. Sometimes, this means you will have to re-arrange your work or other schedules to attend the dog's needs, or arrange for someone else to do this for you. If you work 9, 10, or more hours each day away from home, then this might not be the best time for you to have a dog -- regardless of how much you love dogs.
- A comfortable dog crate. What is a crate? A crate is a specially-made wire or plastic enclosure. It has multiple uses that are beneficial to both you and your dog -- safe housing during transport or while you are away from home, an effective means for housetraining, sleeping quarters, feeding area, etc. What a crate is not -- a crate is not cruel. It is not a means of punishment. Moreover, it is not a doghouse in the yard. To the dog, a crate is his "room" -- a place where the dog can retire to sleep or eat or feel secure.
- A fence, if you have a yard, or a secure, fenced area, such as a dog park, kennel, etc. Normally, a minimum five foot/1.5 metre high fence is necessary to contain a Ridgeback (although, some Ridgebacks have been known to jump over higher fences!).
- Regular exercise. This does not mean simply putting the dog out in the back yard. It means your commitment to a regular schedule of walks, runs, playing with other dogs, and playing with you! Not only will this interaction help to strengthen the bond between you and your rescued Ridgeback, it will help to make a happy, healthy, well-socialized dog!
What a Rescued Ridgeback Is Not
- A dog is not for the entertainment of your children. Rescued Ridgebacks are rarely less than a year or two old, and rarely have perfect temperaments or manners. While most Ridgebacks love children, you must keep in mind that they are large dogs and can accidentally and unintentionally knock down very young children while playing.
- A rescue dog is not a cheap alternative to a well-bred, purebred dog. There are many expenses to consider, including adoption fees and initial veterinary care, as well as the ongoing care of the dog (training, feeding, healthcare, etc.)
- A rescue dog is not an animal that you can expect to behave like it has lived with you all its life. Rescued dogs frequently experience some level of separation anxiety, which can sometimes be severe, or were "disposed of" by their former owners because of destructive behaviours, lack of socialization, or lack of obedience training. They often require large amounts of attention and patience to help them adjust to their new home and family. NOTE FOR CAT OWNERS: Ridgebacks are often not good with cats.
Links To RRCUS Approved Rescues