Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks bark a lot? - The Pets and Love

This is not to say that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a noisy, barks all the time, drive you mad kind of breed either. Rather, it is more likely that they will bark to alert you of something unusual or to tell you that they are bored. They are certainly not a yappy breed and because of this suitable for most living environments as they are unlikely to disturb your neighbors.

The truth is the vast majority of dogs will bark from time to time and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is no different. They are not a silent, never speaks breed of a dog, and if you want one of those, then you will want to consider other breeds.

This is not to say that the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a noisy, barks all the time, drive you mad kind of breed either. Rather, it is more likely that they will bark to alert you of something unusual or to tell you that they are bored. They are certainly not a yappy breed and because of this suitable for most living environments as they are unlikely to disturb your neighbors.

Why Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Bark?

Barking, growling, whining, and howling are all a dogs natural means of communication. It is the way that they converse with each other and us, even if we don’t understand what they are saying.

This, lack of understanding, makes it important that we learn what they are trying to say so we can respond appropriately. Things they may be saying or reasons they are barking include:

  • They want to induce play
  • They are disciplining their young
  • They are warning you of danger
  • They are threatening an intruder
  • They are curious about something

It should be noted that none of these reasons your Rhodesian Ridgeback may be barking should result in barking being excessive. Barking should be short-lived and specific to the occasion. Annoying barking is not done for any of the above reasons, it is due to something else.

Problem Barking In The Rhodesian Ridgeback

Problem barking is most likely to develop for two reasons; companionship or reward. However, your Rhodesian Ridgeback may also bark for the following reasons:

1 Genetics

Some breeds are just plain and simply more prone to barking than others. However, all breeds, given the right or wrong circumstances can exhibit excessive barking behavior. Breeds that bark a lot include the Beagle, Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Schnauzer, Cairn Terrier, and West Highland Terrier.

Without being ‘breedist’ you may have noticed that the above list consists of purely small breeds. For some reason, perhaps their slight size, small breeds seem to feel the need to bark more than larger breeds.

This theory is backed up by the fact that larger more imposing breeds rarely bark at all. This includes the Mastiff, Bernese Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Newfoundland, and Bull Mastiff.

2 Physical Need

Barking can be simply your dog making a request of you to accommodate one of its needs. These needs could include that they want to play, are hungry, too warm, too cold, or perhaps that they are thirsty.

Physical needs are the most common cause for a Rhodesian Ridgeback becoming a problem barker. For example, if you do not give a Rhodesian Ridgeback enough exercise they will have a huge amount of pent up energy. This energy is then released in the form of problem barking.

3 Emotional Need

Emotional needs barking will usually be the result of your Rhodesian Ridgeback being bored, excited, anxious, or afraid. This barking is your dog’s way of requesting your attention or showing you they are frustrated. It is a need for social and /or mental stimulation and the only way to stop it is to fulfill the need.

4 Environment

When dogs bark due to their environment, it is usually because they are suffering from improper confinement, restrictive tethering, being locked in a pen alone too long, or lack of proper shelter. These can all easily cause excessive barking.

Additionally, the environmental barking may also be caused by cues such as other dogs barking, passing cars, sirens, storms, and other strange noises.

Solutions For Excessive Barking Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Once you have determined the cause of excessive barking, you will need to address it quickly and firmly. You need to nip it in the bud, so to speak. Doing so is reasonably easy providing you follow certain rules.

Firstly, you will need to recognize that both negative and positive reinforcement should be used to correct this behavior. If your Rhodesian Ridgeback barks use an appropriate correction and make sure you correct whilst barking is occurring.

Please note negative reinforcement does not mean shouting, hitting, or reacting angrily to your dog. Rhodesian Ridgebacks do not respond well to this type of correction. Rather, you should respond firmly but fairly in a consistent way.

Secondly, you should not reinforce barking behavior by giving into your Rhodesian Ridgebacks demands for attention. Rather, you should reward your dog’s behavior only when they are quiet and well behaved.

Finally, the following are some ways to address the excessive barking of your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

  1. Ensure that your dog’s physical needs are met. Play with them regularly, keep them warm or cool, ensure they have clean water and that they are getting enough food.
  2. Do not leave your dog alone any longer than you really need to. Dogs are pack animals and naturally social. Acceptable lengths of absence will vary from dog to dog and how bad their separation anxiety is. Guidelines, however, would be no longer than a few hours.
  3. If your Rhodesian Ridgeback lives outdoors you will need to increase the levels of activity they are exposed to. Providing chew toys, bones etcetera can help them from becoming bored. If you can, you may also want to consider providing them with a second dog, a companion for them when you cannot be there.
  4. Turn on a radio or TV at a lowish level. This will cover outside noises that may start them excessively barking and also keep them company.
  5. Placing your hand gently around your dog’s muzzle and saying ‘quiet’ or ‘no’ quietly can stop your dog from continuing barking and deter them from barking again. However, be sure not to hurt your dog whilst doing this and monitor your Rhodesian Ridgebacks reaction carefully. They are not a breed that generally reacts well to physical recrimination so this may be better only used as a last resort.
  6. Enroll your Rhodesian Ridgeback and yourself into a training class. Well-trained dogs are very seldom problem barkers and you will also learn some great other stuff.

The Use Of Bark Collars

You may be wondering why the use of bark collars deserves its own section. Well, it’s because the use of them in their various forms can be controversial. Every dog owner will have their own opinions on the validity and ethics of their use, it can be a divisive topic.

For this reason, though we have included all the different types, we would like to say that we are not endorsing their use. Further research into any type of bark collar you consider using is recommended. This is so you can decide if they are ethical to use for yourself.

Citronella Collar – This bark collar releases a spray of citronella when your Rhodesian Ridgeback barks. Some dogs are more sensitive to this smell than others so results can vary.

Husher Collar – This is a muzzle type collar that applies resistance when your Rhodesian Ridgeback barks. Rest assured that your dog can still drink whilst wearing this collar but will tire when trying to consistently bark.

Ultrasonic Beeping Collar – This collar can be activated remotely or by your Rhodesian Ridgebacks barking. You should seek outside advice from your vet or a dog behavior specialist before attempting to use this type of collar.

Shock Collar – Again this collar can be activated remotely or by your dogs barking. It delivers a shock when your Rhodesian Ridgeback barks and should only be used under the supervision of a dog behavior professional or vet.

Vibrating Collar – This is a relatively new type of bark collar which vibrates against your dog’s neck when they bark. It is not painful in the slightest but can be frightening to more nervous dogs.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

As with any problem, the barking one is much easier to prevent than it is to cure. This is why of all the advice, suggestions, and solutions that have been offered here we would recommend a training class whilst your Rhodesian Ridgeback is a puppy.

Other Breeds You May Want To Consider That Also Rarely Bark

  • Whippet
  • Italian greyhound
  • Golden retriever
  • Borzoi
  • Saluki
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Basenji (Doesn’t bark at all)
  • Shiba Inu (Rarely barks at all)
Related posts