Is a Rhodesian Ridgeback Suitable for Apartment Living?

Updated on: Jun 12, 2018
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Is a Rhodesian Ridgeback Suitable for Apartment Living?

If you live in a small apartment but want to get Rhodesian Ridgeback you may wonder, is Rhodesian Ridgeback good for apartment?  There is a bunch of questions you have to consider before buying Rhodesian Ridgeback. For example, it's critical for apartment dogs, to not shed a lot.

If you live in a small apartment but want to get Rhodesian Ridgeback you may wonder, is Rhodesian Ridgeback good for apartment especially for small?  There is a bunch of questions you have to consider before buying Rhodesian Ridgeback. For example, it’s critical for apartment dogs, to not shed a lot. Also, the dog should not stink and be hypoallergenic. It can be active outside but at the same time stay calm and courteous in your flat. It’s energy level and noisiness should not bother you or your neighbors.  If you have visitors the dog should not react too excitedly, jump or bark to them. Another word it has to be friendly towards others, whether it’s your friends, neighbors, or kids.

In short, Rhodesian Ridgeback is a good dog for living in apartment. Shedding is not apparent because of the short wool. This breed does not stink at all if you do the bath regularly. Its energy level allows to keep it indoors. It’s not barkless but it doesn’t bark without a reason. The size of this breed is 25–27 inches (63–69 cm) for an adult male dog and it’s quite huge. But for my experience, it’s not a problem at all. Adult Ridgeback is really calm and friendly for your visitors. The only problem is that this breed is not hypoallergenic and can disturb those who have an allergy. 

So let’s consider this questions more carefully.

Do Rhodesian ridgeback shed?

To understand is Rhodesian Ridgeback good for apartment, we need to consider dogs shedding intensity.

It’s a myth that Rhodesian Ridgeback does not shed at all. Many breeders say that to attract new buyers and clients. In reality, this breed shed twice a year. But the shedding is minimal and not intensive. Moreover, the coat is short so it’s not apparent on the floor. One interesting fact is that the dogs kept in apartment shed a little during all year. At the same time, those who live outdoors will shed twice a year.

Using my simple tips you could avoid having the wool on your furniture, carpet or floor and decrease shading intensity itself. But please note, it’s not possible to stop shading completely because it’s a physiological process.

  • Brush the dog coat few times per week.
  • Vacuum the house every day.
  • Give your dog a high-quality food.
  • Add olive oil or flaxseed oil to your dog’s food.
  • Do the baths regularly for your dog.

Is Rhodesian ridgeback hypoallergenic?

It’s really important to know whether the dog is hypoallergenic before keeping it in your house. This is one more argument to understand is Rhodesian Ridgeback good for apartment.

A simple answer is no. This breed is not hypoallergenic but it’s close being almost hypoallergenic. As I said before, the coat is very short, so It would be easy to clean the house and bath the dog as well. This way you could avoid the allergy appearance.

The only thing which irritated my skin was the dog’s saliva. But the good news is that this breed does not drool at all, except the time before feeding or you would allow him to lick yourself. I would say it’s one of the cleanest dogs breeds which I’ve ever seen.

Here is my personal advice to you to avoid allergy reaction.

  • Vacuum the house every day.
  • Wash the floor every day.
  • Use air cleaner. This will decrease the number of suspended particles in the air that comes from your dog.
  • Do not allow your dog to lie on your beg. Dog’s coat on your bed can cause the allergy reaction or at least skin irritation like it was in my case. I couldn’t sleep until I changed my bedding. Using this tip, you may avoid any skin irritation.

Do Rhodesian ridgeback have an odor?

No, it doesn’t. Rhodesian Ridgeback is very clean breed and does not odor if you do the bath regularly. It’s recommended to bath the dog once a month to avoid bad smelling.

Here are some tips to keep your dog clean and avoid any bad odor.

  • Bath regularly. Without this activity, any dog would eventually have a bad odor.
  • Grooming. This include cleaning dog’s ears, brush him every day and clean his teeth.
  • Decreasing Flatulence. Use healthy and high-quality food.
  • Clean your dogs’ belongings and bedding. Do this as often as possible.

How active are the Rhodesian Ridgebacks?

How active are the Rhodesian Ridgebacks?

They are quite active with a high energy level and stamina. They are suitable for living in the apartment with the appropriate amount of exercises.  To keep a good physical and mental health of this dog, you need to exercise it every day. For many people who do some sports especially run every day, it should not be a big problem.

Running every day is very beneficial for you and for your dog. Having the dog is a good motivation for you to exercise. Bicycling is another way for you to exercise your dog.

There are a bunch of games which you can play with your Ridgeback to exercise him. Some games you can play even in your apartment when, for example, it’s raining outside.

There are plenty of games you can play with your dog. For example:

  • Find the treats. This game helps to make your Ridgeback tired mentally and physically.
  • Shell game. It’s a problem-solving game where your pet should find the cup with the treat among two other cups while you’re shuffling them.
  • Teach the dog put his toys into the container.
  • Make your Ridgeback work for the food. There are a lot of food dispenser toys exist for this purpose.
  • Find the toy game.
  • Teach the dog new tricks.
  • Which hand game. The dog should guest in which hand you’ve hidden the treat.
  • Hide and seek game. This game requires two persons. Someone who would hide and someone who would take the dog away while another is hiding. Alternatively, you can teach your dog to stay in the same place.
  • Play with liker toy. This toy looks very simple. It’s basically cord attached to the ball.
  • Play with Pooler toy.
  • Train dog’s obedience.

How much noise do Rhodesian Ridgebacks produce?

From my own experience, Ridgebacks are very clever dogs and don’t bark without any reason. You won’t have your neighbors angry for your dog because of barking or howling at night. But notice, sometimes Ridgebacks snore at night which can distract you from sleep. But for my personal opinion and experience, this issue is not critical as they don’t snore very often.

Is their size good for a small apartment?

The adult Ridgeback must walk or run about 4 miles each day. But if it comes to a small apartment they appear as very calm and silent dogs.

Are they friendly and tolerant of visitors?

If it comes to protection and safety, Ridgebacks are capable of doing that. They have enough bravery, size, and strength to protect you from unwanted guests.

This breed tends to just stay and stare at the new visitor when he comes to your flat or house and see how will you react to this guest.

Even if your friends or relatives visit the house, the dog will be careful at first to make sure, there is not any danger from them.

Furniture and your footwear

It’s so disappointing when you come home and see that your shoes are completely destroyed by your dog.

I was quite disappointed when my dog gnawed the shoes a few times. But as I read there are reasons why dogs chew on shoes. These reasons include:

Cutting Teeth

Chewing almost everything help puppies to reduce the pain they have from cutting adult teeth. Also being infants, they don’t know any restrictions and limits. It’s reasonable to teach and train them what is an appropriate thing to chew and what is not.

But don’t expect that only training itself will stop from chewing. You have to remember that puppies will chew until they have their adult teeth grown up.

Boredom and Anxiety

If your dog is bored it’s quite likely that he will spend his energy chewing your shoes or gnawing the furniture.

The solution is to provide your dog with the toys he can chew.


The smell is very important for dogs and the smell of your shoes represent your personality for the dog. So chewing the shoes may be very pleasant for the dog and can recall him his owner.


Of course, you can not chew your shoes without any attention and maybe that’s what your dog wants from you. Attention can be the reason why the dog is doing something bad.

The solution for this is to use crate or cage to punish the dog. Do not play with the dog after he has chewed your shoes.


Keeping Rhodesian Ridgeback in your house, especially in a small apartment has its own pros and cons. But in general, it has more advantages than disadvantages.

Their minimal shedding, the absence of odor and barking only if it’s needed make Rhodesian Ridgeback almost the perfect dog for an apartment.