Rhodesian Ridgebacks for trail rider?
I am interested in hearing about Rhodesian Ridgebacks, particularly if anyone has experience bringing them on long trail/endurance rides. I am not prepared to get a dog for a while, but I'm thinking that this breed might be good for me to have as a personal guard dog and companion for rides. I'm mainly wondering if they can be taught to follow safely behind a horse. Thanks!
Well, I feel that firstly you need to know that any dog trained for personal protection is not a pet. They are a liability. If they bite someone you did not intend them to, you will be in very serious trouble, and this can even happen if the dog attacked someone you meant for it too. Personal protection dogs have even been known to attack their handlers if they feel they're being threatened because they are taught to protect themselves as well.
Any dog trained for legit protection needs years of professional training and experienced handling.
But if you're looking for a watch dog and something that may turn strange people off from you, they're likely to get the job done. They can be a pretty intimidating dog.
As for endurance, yes they definitely have that. They definitely have the energy level and physical ability to go along on trail ride. Being a hound, they may have a tenancy to wander though, so teaching them recall would very key. But I would say if you socialize one with horses properly they'd do fine.
Thanks for your reply. I guess I ought to rephrase "personal guard dog" to "companion/watch dog capable of looking the part of a guard dog." I wouldn't try to attack train a dog, I'm not capable of that. I would just well socialize it, spend a lot of time with it, and obedience train it, and hope that it would know what to do should a really bad situation come up. Does that sound better? :)
Do you know if they can be socialized and trusted around cats? My littlest sister came up to me the other day and pleaded for me to not get a ridgeback because she heard that they'll kill cats. Can they be trained/socialized out of this?
Yes xD I have a feeling that most people who say that want a protection/guard dog mean that but you never know.
As far as cats go, it's up the individual dog really, but with proper introductions, it can work. Huskies have a very high prey drive but mine will let the cats sleep on top of her.
Ooh, I've always wondered this as well. I looooooooove Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I'm sure they could definitely keep up with you, but you'd have to make sure both horse and dog were familiar with each other and comfortable traveling together. Also, if you get a puppy, you can usually teach them to at least be comfortable around a cat. If you were really worried about it, you could always keep them separate whenever you're not around to supervise. It really depends on the dog.
This is the mane issue with any done with the 'Dopey dog bump' or 'smart bump'. I was raised with dobermans, best dog ever, but we had one named red who was off. The shape of the skull of dobermans and ridgebacks can cause the brain out the brain stem, Making them crazy and not in a good way (the skull where the bump is is thicker and can leave little to no room for the brain). So when getting a dog like that look at the breeding and head shape BEFORE you buy. A more permanent bump is NOT a breed standard for both breeds, so Do research. Otherwise they are good dogs :) always wanted one after seeing and riding with my friends.
Red one of out dobbys was the only dog that has ever bitten me. He was a red doberman and was WAY off. Blaze his niece and a black doberman was my partner in crime growing up lol. Red = Large Bump Blaze = minimal to no bump.
I have a half Ridgeback, half who knows what? He was a rescue case and the best birthday present I've ever received. Anytime I leave the house, he is right on my heels and eager to do whatever I please. He rarely wanders off on the trails, but if he does he'll come right back, no questions asked. When I work the horses in an arena type setting, he lays down in the shade nearby and the moment I start to leave, he is right beside me again. When I am out riding, he has been known to protect me from coyotes, hogs, and even the neighbor's crazy testosterone-driven stallion. Grown men have stopped and questioned whether to walk up to the house when they see him (:rofl:), yet toddlers have sat on him for "pony rides." His only flaw? He is terrified of loud noises - gunshots, thunder, etc., and will cower at my side seeking comfort. He is the perfect dog in my book. :wink: I definitely want another at some point.
BarrelBunny, your dog is gorgeous!! He sounds like such a good boy, too. I would love a dog like that. You're lucky to have such a loyal companion. :D
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