|Rhodesian Ridgeback (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Anyone with a dog in their home will understand how canines like to nip, chew and bite -- ridgebacks are no exception. While the ridgeback is not necessarily a dangerous dog, they can be a bit aloof towards strangers and can also be a bit stubborn without the proper dog training.
When should I teach my dog? Training a Rhodesian Ridgeback when they are young is most ideal. Ridgeback pups are still eager to learn and enjoy socializing with others. Younger dogs have a greater tendency to "bite" when they're teething. It goes away when they age, but you would also still have to be patient when your older dog starts to bite or show improper behavior. What can you do to prevent them from biting?
1. Use toys. You may find yourself picking up destroyed objects from your house with their chewing. To keep this from happening, make sure you give them enough chew toys to play with. This keeps them happy and entertained, thus lessens the need to be destructive.
2. Socialize them. Rhodesian Ridgebacks also have a strong pack instinct, so regular play with family members and other pets is recommended. Socializing your ridgeback goes beyond getting them familiarized with traffic or noises. Letting them play with other dogs allows them to understand that it is not acceptable to bite at will.
3. Do not punish. Excessive punishment, kicking or slapping a Rhodesian Ridgeback will not do you any good. There is rarely any difficulty with training this breed since they are very intelligent and loyal to their master. Ignoring them if they did something wrong would already be a good indicator of punishment. Unlike other sporting dogs, the Ridgeback may not put up with aggression by the owner --- it responds more to positive reinforcement and rewards.
4. Show them who's boss. Although the Ridgeback may be a great family dog, part of their temperament would be it having less of a servitude nature compared to other dogs. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a greater tendency of treating you as their equal rather than their master if you're not conscious.
5. Be consistent. Once you start dog training, you must make sure that everyone in the house provides consistent commands. All the members of the family should have the exact same orders as well as hand signals so as not to confuse them.
6. Be preventive. Do not wait for the threat of your Ridgeback to bite before you begin dog training them. A lot of dog owners nowadays just go through the motions and wait for someone to get bitten before they start researching and preparing. Do not let this happen to you. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal, loving and great family dogs, it's all just a matter of putting their protective instincts to good use and stop them from biting!