THE FIRST "J" TEAM - born 12th August 2008

 

 pictured here at 6 1/2 weeks

 

What makes a good breeder?

A good breeder will sometimes travel many miles to find the ideal mate, not just use the dog around the corner for convenience. Will not breed from a bitch more than once in a 12 month period. Only allow their bitch to have more than four litters in her lifetime or, no more than 33 puppies. Will not breed from a bitch which is less than two years of age or over eight years old. Ensure their dogs have a good quality of life, such as a balanced diet, proper housing, correct exercise, socialization and veterinary care whenever it is needed. Not sell a dog or puppy to a commercial wholesaler, pet shop or dealer. Not breed from a dog or bitch that is likely to pass on hereditary problems, such as Hip Dysplasia, Dermoid Sinus, MLS, NCCD and IGS.  Not breed from a dog that suffers from a poor character ie a nervous or aggressive temperament.

Enquire as to your suitability as an owner. Offer to take back the puppy should your circumstances change. Socialize the puppies while they are with them. Give help and advice about feeding. Be willing to help you with any other problems you may encounter. Worm the puppy and have it vaccinated if it is old enough, as well as offering insurance at the time of leaving the nest. Expect you to take the puppy to your own vet for a check up as soon as you get it home, so that you are satisfied that you have a healthy puppy. Not let the puppy leave the nest until it is at least 7 1/2 weeks old, preferably 8 weeks.

It is entirely up to you where you choose to buy your puppy. This information only wishes to help you make an informed choice. The following may help you make up your mind.

COST - Apart from the initial purchase price there will be other long term costs to consider: The weekly Food bill, Bedding, Cleaning, Insurance cover, Veterinary treatment and Kennel fees.

Remember:  the ridge a puppy is born with is going to remain the same for the rest of its life, it does not get longer, shorter, wider or more or less crowns! Read up on the breed so that you know what you are looking for. If the puppy is ridgeless it is never going to develop a ridge as it gets older and it is just as healthy as the rest. Be prepared to wait for the right puppy. Be prepared to say NO if you don’t like anything you see or hear. Too many people are breeding purely for money, and when this happens temperament often goes out of the window.

What is a well-socialized puppy and why do I need one?

There is an increasing awareness of how to avoid behavioural problems that lead to thousands of troublesome, fearful, dangerous and unwanted dogs which are abandoned or put to sleep each year. It involves the most fundamental aspect of a puppies upbringing, which is normally overlooked. You need, at the right age, to make sure puppies can relate to people and other dogs, animals and strange environments. Scientific research has shown that the important time in a puppy's life for socialization is in the period of 12 to 14 weeks. Puppies are often kept away from stimulation far too long. A puppy obtained from a chaotic, noisy family home is far less likely to be fearful of any situations, events and different people, to one that may have been reared in a barn or kennel. Watch the puppies when you go to visit, especially watch them in the company of adult dogs. A puppy that has grown up with a nervous or aggressive dog will learn these habits. For example: look for a litter where all of the pups are confident and content. See how well they respond to strangers like you and see how well they react to odd sounds or objects. Rattle some keys or drop some screwed up paper or even clap your hands. You should expect to see a mild response and a quick recovery: fearfulness and no reaction at all is not desirable.

The maxim, be ruled by your head and not by your heart is very important!

Your heart has to cope with years and years of dog ownership, which should be a pleasure and not a constant worry. Do not accept excuses about not seeing the bitch with her puppies, or about how they were involved in an "accident" which has left a lasting behavioural problem for instance – puppies should be able to get over these things.

Do not expect to take your puppy away from the nest before it is at least 7 weeks old at the very earliest, it is still learning its manners from its litter mates.

A WORD OF CAUTION TO PUPPY BUYERS

It has come to the notice of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Breed Clubs that some unscrupulous breeders are passing off Rhodesian Ridgebacks of incorrect colours, as "rare and correct" - please be careful. The correct colours allowed by the breed standard, as defined by The Kennel Club, are Light Wheaten to Red Wheaten and not colours such as black and tan (Doberman colouring) or brindle. Occasionally, due to a recessive gene, silver/grey, blue, black & tan or brindle coloured puppies are born. They should never be shown, never be used in a breeding programme and should be registered as "non standard" colours; their purchase price should reflect this. The Kennel Club recommends that these puppies should have their registration documents endorsed by the breeder accordingly.