Finding a Reputable Breeder

When searching for a family companion Rhodesian Ridgeback, it is recommended that only dogs from reputable breeders are considered to ensure a dog of proper type, health and temperament. Responsible and reputable breeders are improving their chosen breed by selecting only the "best of the best" in their breeding program.  They should  be striving to breed dogs as close to that ideal of perfection as possible. The way this is done is by seeking independent opinions in the show ring by qualified judges. Rhodesian Ridgbacks should never be bred without conformation ring or performance venue lineage. Beware of inexperienced or backyard type breeders that have only a couple of champions in the lineage. Nearly every ancestor in the breed should have championship blood, otherwise such claims are merely to sell a puppy.

Reputable breeders will NOT sell their pups through someone else no questions asked.  Be prepared to be screened carefully, to assure your suitability for owning their breed.  A good Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder will ask you questions regarding your lifestyle, your experience with dogs, your knowledge in caring for them etc. At the same time, they are more than willing to answer any potential questions you may have about caring for your dog, training, and veterinary care.

Knowledge of the breed

Good breeders are the best repositories of knowledge about a breed.  Ethical breeders are quite knowledgeable about their breed, perform pedigree research and understand the genetic characteristics inherent in the dam and sire's bloodlines. A reputable Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder is constantly striving to produce better dogs with each eneration, and their selection of dogs used for breeding is are the result of years of study and a thorough knowledge of the breed.  It is typical for them to be active in their local and/or national breedclub, and they take advantage of the on-going education and support provided by the network of knowledgeable breeders in the club.


Responsible breeders are very proud of the pedigrees of their dogs and may have this posted on the website, especially for a planned litter.  They'll be very careful to closely study Ridgeback pedigrees to make the best possible match.  Be sure to ask about the pedigrees of the breeder's dogs, and the planned litter. You must also be wary of the "irresponsible breeding practices" of breeders, who couple any two Rhodesian Ridgebacks together without consideration to their pedigrees, hips, eyes, temperament, and genetic disposition.  

Personality and temperament

A reputable breeder works very closely with their dogs, so that they know the personality and temperament of each one.  Responsible breeders also base their breeding decisions in part on their dogs' temperament and personality, not only on looks or the fact that they are purebred.  They have determined what kind of personality the dog has and will offer advice and training suggestions to help the dog become a good member of the family. Good breeders know their pups well and can match families with the pup having the desired personality traits.  They want to make sure the temperament of the pups matches the personality and lifestyle of the family.

Health Testing

Puppy buyers should inquire carefully about health issues affecting dogs in the breeder’s pedigree and what health testing has been done.  All reputable breeders do genetic testing of parent dogs to avoid passing on problems. Don't think that just because you want a "pet" that it's parents don't need to have had all the testing for genetic faults common in the breed.  Be very leery of anyone that tells you that all that health testing, showing and training is not necessary since they are breeding "just pets".  Beware of breeders who scoff at health testing, saying their line is problem free.  Responsible Ridgeback breeders will ensure healthy lineage by doing the proper genetic testing to ensure that the parents of their puppies are healthy.

Health Guarantees

I is very important to ask the breeder whether or not they provide written guarantees against hereditary diseases.  You should expect a written sales contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties and and that lists any guarantees.  Well repected breeders usually offer guarantees of this soundness in their sales contracts.  There are tremendous variations in these guarantees, but they should at the very least: a) set forth a period of time during which the buyer may take the puppy or dog to his own veterinarian for inspection; b) specify what recourse the buyer has if that inspection should determine an illness or any defect of which the buyer was not forewarned.  Dogs bought at most pet stores and through newspaper ads usually offer no such guarantees.


Reputable Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders are people who produce dogs with a firm commitment to preserving the health of the breed and a realistic knowledge of everything that is involved in breeding dogs. They never breed without careful consideration of the outcome.  Look for breeders that are happy to share any information about their puppies, about their puppy's parents, their kennel practices and who enjoy sharing their knowledge. Good breeders are more than willing to answer any potential questions you may have about caring for your dog, training, and veterinary care. They are concerned for the welfare of their puppies and screen potential buyers carefully -something that can't be done when the pup simply goes to the highest bidder. Responsible Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders should be available for the lifetime of the pup to provide advice, to stand by written guarantees, and to provide a home for the pup at any time during its life if need be.