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Ridge pics of Tonka

As requested by House Blend reader Medaka, here are pics of Tonka’s ridge.

Day two is going well so far. Kate and I will be going out on short trips to get him used to being left in the house. This will make it easier when we go back to work on Monday.

He sits very nicely when you offer him a treat, and this AM we noticed Tonka and Bailey already sitting on the couch together snoozing. It was sweet. Sorry no picture of that; we’ll have to catch that another time. Here is more information on Ridgebacks.

Breed Characteristics (from the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States):

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a native of South Africa. The breed’s long history dates back to early in the 16th century when the first European men explored the interior on the Cape of Good Hope and found with the Hottentot tribes a domesticated dog with the hair on his spine being turned forward. This is the condition which we now refer to as the “ridge.”

…The Rhodesian Ridgeback has the advantage of having keen sight, and a good nose for scent. Due to the wide-open terrain of the southern African veldt, coupled with the habits of the game to be hunted and the techniques required to hunt such game in that terrain, the Ridgeback was developed as a silent trailer, characteristic of its sighthound ancestry. When the terrain becomes more varied, where baying is desirable to keep track of the hunting pack (such as in areas of the United States where these dogs have been used), supplementation with baying hounds (more typical of scent hounds) has been done.

Possessing many of the characteristics generally associated with hounds, the Ridgeback has a quiet, gentle temperament, rarely barking. While able to enjoy lazing around in a patch of sun, or in front of a winter fireplace, a Ridgeback can be instantly alert if a stranger should appear or he is in pursuit of legitimate prey. Where he gave the impression of a big, lazy, slow-moving animal, the Ridgeback can be a threatening presence as a watchdog. Developed not only to hunt, but also as a family protector, his affectionate disposition makes him a trustworthy companion for a small child. He is easily trained, being, more than many hounds, of above-average tractability.

The breed standard calls for males to be around 85 lbs/27′ high at the shoulder; Tonka is 125 lbs, and over 30″; the foster dad said Tonka is from a California breeder, and that out there, they are breeding them larger than standard. This, of course, is probably an attempt to make the dog even more imposing-looking. This is ludicrous and wrong-headed of breeders to cultivate this. The dog’s temperament is not to be vicious, and it’s dangerous to do that to this breed, given its strength.

I’ve yet to have a Ridgeback that’s been an alpha dog; though the foster mom has two females and she said they are definitely counter-surfers and more assertive (a prey-drive, more prone to want to escape) than the males. My first dog Addison, I had when my backyard had no fence. He never ran off when I left him out there. Red was even more reserved; he didn’t want to be outside if it was cold, hot, or wet if he didn’t have to. He loved the comforts of A/C and the couch more than getting mussed, lol.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding