Ridgebacks are "people" dogs. They love to be where you are, and if you allow it, they will crawl into your bed, onto your sofa or up into your favorite chair and your lap. Ridgebacks will normally weight between 75 to 110 lbs. They also LOVE water. In a hot summer day, you will see your Ridgeback lazing around in the baby pool. Splashing it up. They are very rarely fussy eaters. They love the snack that YOU are eating. I like to call the Ridgeback, "The Bottomless Pit". I have also found that most ridgebacks have a very sweet tooth. *Never give chocolate to an animal*! This can be fatal. However, they love to munch down on marshmallows. In fact, I've trained a few of mine with marshmallows.
We recommend free feeding your Ridgeback. Get an 8lb Feeder and if the food is always available then they will never over eat. If they are fed on a schedule then they tend to eat their food without chewing it and tend to act like they are always hungry. You don't ever want to over feed your Ridgeback either. It is not healthy for a Rhodesian Ridgeback to get too fat. This excess weight can promote hip dysplasia. I'd also recommend not leaving your family dinner on the table unattended while a Ridgeback is in the house. STAND WARNED!!! YUM YUM!! They are known COUNTER SURFERS too! :)
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a very refined and dignified animal. Affectionate and loving, true and loyal. They are very family oriented and must be well socialized from birth with people and other breed types and or other animal types. They will crawl up in your lap, bed, and couch and since they are a thinking breed NEVER forgetting, firm discipline is a MUST from the start. Now, are they for everyone? That seems to be the question. The answer is Yes, and No.
Let's talk about the Yes: If you are able to well socialize and spend the proper quality time into your Ridgeback, the rewards that you will reap in love and affection are just priceless. They are huggers and lovers by true nature. They are leaner's and some are lickers. Some are always happy and others are aloof with strangers. But mostly when a stranger approaches and you are present, your RR should always follow your lead and when mom and dad say's it's OK, it's OK! RR's are geared toward pleasing their masters and are a protective breed and should NEVER show aggression with humans. It is rarely that they are ever dog aggressive with their own kind. Ridgebacks are family and children dogs and love children and when raised with small children and properly disciplined and knows it's boundaries in behavior, will add a wonderful lifetime companion and bring you years of love and affection.
Now the NO! If you do not have the time to spend with a dog, PLEASE do the dog a favor and get a pet fish. Ridgebacks are like humans, they need interaction with people to live. If you cannot provide that type of lifestyle for them, this will cause great depression and sadness. They are like children, if you don't have the time to be a parent, don't have children. You MUST be dedicated to spending quality time and caring time with your RR. As the old saying goes, Your dog is what you make it! The RR has a phenomenal basis to start with in having a wonderful temperament, adding to that awesome quality of breed in loving care and interaction is the ultimate goal in owning this terrific breed. Something to think about before you decide.