Rhodesian Ridgeback Adoption Tips And Advice - The Pets and Love

Adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback is not something that should be undertaken lightly. Rescue dogs, just like any dog can live for twenty years or more. They are a long-term commitment that may have additional needs since they have come from a rescue.  

Adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback is not something that should be undertaken lightly. Rescue dogs, just like any dog can live for twenty years or more. They are a long-term commitment that may have additional needs since they have come from a rescue.

You may also find adopting a puppy overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, it is also fun and exciting and a great thing to do. If you are considering rescuing a Rhodesian Ridgeback here are a few tips.

Ten Great Tips For Those Considering Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue

1 Gather Supplies

Before you bring home an adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback, you will need to make sure you have all the supplies you need. These include items to make them feel safe and comfortable and also essential equipment such as:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Collar and leash
  • Bed and blankets
  • Toys suitable for their age
  • Puppy pads for toilet training
  • Grooming essentials (brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers)
  • Appropriate food and treats
  • Crate and/or playpen

2 Prepare Your Home

It’s always a smart idea to ready your home before you bring your adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback home. Walk through your house and put away any items that may be harmful to your new dog or that you don’t want them to chew.

You should also prepare the rest of the family for your Rhodesian Ridgebacks arrival by discussing things like who will be feeding them, training them, and walking them.

If other animals are in the home, be sure that they have had their shots and that they are up to date. Give cats a designated dog-free area that they can retreat to when the addition of your new dog gets too much. This may sound a little over the top but everyone’s safety is paramount and, after all, Rhodesian Ridgebacks do have a prey drive that may cause them to pursue your cat.

3 Assign A Safe Space For Your Rhodesian Ridgeback

Just as you would for any existing pets you will need to assign a safe space for your adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback to go to. This could be a crate or a room closed off with a pet gate just as long as it is a place they’ll feel safe. You should visit them in their safe space but keep other pets, children, and family members out.

4 Plan How And When To Bring Them Home

If at all possible, it would be ideal if you can arrange for a few days off work when you bring your adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback home. If this is not possible, a weekend would do. Do not, however, pick a time when you are about to take a large vacation from work as this could be detrimental to your dog’s introduction to your home. Why? Because your Rhodesian Ridgeback may get too used to you being around leading to them suffering from separation anxiety when you have to go back.

You should also, if you can, arrange for someone else to drive when you pick up your Rhodesian Ridgeback so that you can comfort them, should they need it, on the way home. You should also make sure that you drive your new addition to the family straight home so as not to distract them.

5 Show Your Adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback Around Your Home

Keeping them on a leash take your new Rhodesian Ridgeback around your home and let him explore and sniff. Show him his food, his bed, his toys, and let him know what areas are off limits. Do this by using short commands such as ‘no’ and ‘leave it’.

6 Explore The Yard On A Leash

A newly adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback should be allowed plenty of time and space to sniff out their new external surroundings. If you’ve designated a potty space in your yard for your new adopted pooch to leave them to it and reward with a treat when they use it successfully.

7 Introduce The Family

It is recommended that you bring family members one at a time into the yard to introduce them to your new family member. Keep other dogs on leashes so that you can supervise interactions and avoid any problems. Keep in mind that too heavy an introduction could push your existing dog into becoming territorial.

You should also restrain other family members especially children from kissing or hugging your newly adopted Rhodesian Ridgeback. They should, however, be free to give treats and be sniffed by your new addition.

8 Switch To New Food Brands Slowly

If you can, you should incorporate some of the food that the rescue center was feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback in with the new food you will be feeding. Over time you can then slowly lessen it until you are left with just the new diet. This should be done in order to avoid digestion issues which can result from too quick a dietary change.

9 Begin Training Right Away

Whilst older rescue dogs may have already been trained in their previous homes it doesn’t mean they won’t need any in yours. Rules may have changed such as being allowed on the couch or not as the case may be and your Rhodesian Ridgeback rescue will need to learn this.

Also, although adult dogs, again, will usually have been housebroken they may require a little further training. If you plan to use a crate, you will also need to introduce them to that. Do this by leaving them in it for short periods with a toy.

10 Get Your New Addition Checked By A Vet

It may not be the first thing on your mind in all the excitement of bringing your new pet home but you should really take them to the vets within a week. This isn’t because the chances are that they are ill, but rather just to make sure. Your vet will perform a health check and check that vaccinations are up to date.

Five Further Tips If You Have Adopted An Abused Or Neglected Rhodesian Ridgeback

Before rescuing an abused or neglected Rhodesian Ridgeback you need to understand that the road ahead with them will not always be easy. You may know that the dog in question is now safe and sound but they will take time to learn this. Abused rescue dogs will be dealing with emotional trauma from their past and you will need to help them with that.

1 Be Patient

The world can be a very overwhelming place for a neglected or abused dog. And because of this, you will need to introduce them to new things very gradually. Take this at a pace your dog is comfortable with and don’t rush them or make them feel cornered.

2 Make Them Feel Safe And Secure

Perhaps surprisingly, considering your rescued Rhodesian Ridgeback may have come from a crate in a puppy farm, a crate is a great way to make them feel safe. Fill it with blankets and toys and leave the door open so they can come and go from it freely.

You also do not want to be making any loud noises or making sudden movements as this may frighten them. Gradually introduce them to louder noises and new experiences to keep them feeling secure. Spend lots of time with them, but not too much, as you may cause them to start suffering from separation anxiety.

3 Don’t Discipline Your New Addition

An abused or neglected dog will not understand that punishment is related to bad behavior. Rather, they will more than likely just become afraid of you, and you definitely do not want that. Instead, you should just ignore bad behavior and reward when they obey you. This may prove frustrating but in the long run, you will reap the rewards.

4 Be Prepared For The Possibility Of Health Problems

This is especially true of dogs that may have come from puppy mills. Often they will suffer from medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, deafness, eye problems, and parasites. Care required could be life long and prove to be costly.

5 Having More Than One Dog May Help Your Rescue Dog Adjust

Simply put, having another dog in the home will encourage your rescue Rhodesian Ridgeback to behave like a ‘normal’ dog. The other dog will serve as a friendly role model and show your rescue dog the ropes.

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