Saturday, June 3, 2017

Training Tips for a Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed that was first developed in South Africa for the purpose of lion hunting and guarding property. This breed has a reputation for being energetic, protective and courageous. As a responsible dog owner, it is vital that you train your Rhodesian Ridgeback to respond to your commands. This is a large dog that can be difficult to control if it does not trust and respect you as its pack leader.

Start Early

    Begin training your Rhodesian Ridgeback at a young age. Eight weeks of age is the ideal age to begin training and socialization as this shows the puppy what you expect of it from the very beginning. Training your Ridgeback while it is young will also enable you to control it effectively by the time it reaches its adult size. Enroll your puppy in obedience training classes, as this will give the dog the opportunity to meet lots of other people and dogs. This will help to prevent the Rhodesian Ridgeback from becoming wary or aggressive towards strangers when it becomes an adult.

Positive Reinforcement

    Use positive reinforcement to effectively train your Rhodesian Ridgeback to follow your commands. Praise your dog for practicing the desired behavior by giving it plenty of verbal praise and a special treat, such as a small piece of cheese or chicken. Do not attempt to calm your dog with a soothing tone of voice when it is exhibiting undesirable behaviors as this will act as positive reinforcement being given at the wrong time. This can hinder the progress of the training.

Pack Leader

    Encourage the Rhodesian Ridgeback to take you seriously and follow your commands by showing the dog that you are its pack leader. This will make this independent, confident breed much easier to control. Make the dog sit and wait before giving food or affection. Do not allow the dog to sleep on your bed or jump up on the furniture. Maintain a calm, confident attitude when in the company of your dog.


    Take your Rhodesian Ridgeback on a long, brisk walk every day to help it to drain its excess energy. The breed has a high stamina, which can cause it to become destructive and hyperactive if it is not exercised enough. Lack of exercise can also lead the dog to develop bad habits, such as excessive barking. A Rhodesian Ridgeback that received adequate exercise will be less likely to display bad behaviors and will be less active within the home. Always walk slightly in front of your Rhodesian Ridgeback to show it that you are in charge.

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