How To Train A Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

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puppy training, ridgeback training

Training A Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

I love Rhodesian Ridgebacks they are such large and powerful dogs.

However, they aren’t easy to own.

But, there are a lot of people like me, who don’t necessarily want a dog that is easy to own.

We like dogs who are independent, intelligent, and always ready to exercise and work!

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were developed in Rhodesia which is now known as Zimbabwe, early colonies crossed their dogs with ridged hunting dogs of the Khoikhoi.

These dogs are well known for keeping Lions at bay for their masters, gaining them the name “African Lion Dog”.

So, as you can imagine, training one of these majestic dogs will be challenging and should begin right away.

Socialization is Critical

When it comes to puppy training, it is important when you first bring your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy home to set up a socialization schedule.

puppy training, ridgeback trainingI like to make sure I am literally scheduling outings to make sure that my puppy is acclimated to all the things that might be in his environment.

It is important to start young so that you can ensure a positive experience with things that will be in your dog’s life later.

Puppies are pliable and form generalizations easier than do adult dogs.

But, this can be good and bad!

If your puppy has a bad experience it can also affect how he feels about certain things for life (or at least it will make changing his mind extremely difficult).

So this makes you responsible for making sure that experiences are positive.

Socialize him with people and children that you know and trust.

Start early by making him sit to be petted or treated!  Now is the time, not when he is 80 pounds.

Expose him to kind and gentle dogs.

Do not allow him to bully other dogs or be bullied.  If negative interactions start you must bring it to an end.

Some puppies learn to bully early and puppies that are bullied can become defensive and later aggressive with other dogs.


Manners should start the moment your puppy enters your home.

Don’t allow him to get away with things you wouldn’t allow an 80 pound dog to get away with in your home.

Jumping up, biting, digging and barking are not cute behaviors at any age.

Be sure and reward good behavior; lying down, sitting, chewing appropriate things should all be praised and welcomed.

Let your puppy KNOW when he chooses a good behavior and acknowledge him so that he can choose good behaviors instead of resorting to bad behavior to get interaction from you!

Want To Teach Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Manners?

Access my step-by-step collection of tutorial videos specifically guiding you through how to teach your dog how to have better Guest Manners here.

Click here to access my Training Dog’s Guest Manners program


Redirect Bad Behavior

puppy training, ridgeback training

Redirect bad behavior immediately.

Don’t allow bad behavior and bad habits to take hold.

If he grabs the wrong item to chew, exchange it.

If he puts his teeth on you give him a time out, and/or give him something appropriate to do and an appropriate way to interact with you!


Potty Training Your Ridgeback

Crates are essential!

Start crate training early by playing crate games and feeding your puppy in his crate, both of these things will help your puppy understand that his crate is a safe and happy place to be!

Also be sure that you are also crate training while you are home.  If you only crate him when you leave for long periods, crate fears can set in!

Remember puppies need to be taken outside every two hours in the beginning.

Also after naps, eating or drinking, and after exercise!

It is up to you to get your puppy outside for the first several weeks.

Once you have established a schedule, you may begin to teach your puppy to ring a bell to go outside.

However, just like babies cannot be potty trained, puppies often have to learn to gain control of their bladder and bowels as well.

Be patient!

But be proactive, if you are not you will create bad habits that will make potty training a nightmare!

Other Rhodesian Ridgeback Tips

puppy training, ridgeback training

These dogs need exercise!

If you are a couch potato, DO NOT get one!

If you are a marathon runner and you want a running partner, this is your breed!

Once he is grown and full size, look into weight pulling, these guys love using their athletic ability to pull weight and put on muscle!

If you aren’t going to take your dog hunting, these dogs love to lure course!

Find an activity that you both love doing!

And, remember these dogs are big and often known for being aloof.

Don’t force sociability on a dog that doesn’t want it, but continue socialization through obedience.

Meaning, my dogs go everywhere with me and are expected to sit or down stay when asked, they can socialize with people and other dogs without touching or play!

Obedience will make an unruly dog into a cherished companion.


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