Firedance - Training Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Firedance - Training Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Things to Know

Part of the reason that your pup is so good is that he is well socialized with dogs and kids. But he won't stay that way! During the first six months of his life it is vital that the process is on going. If you get behind it is very difficult to catch up. Playing with your puppy in the house and yard are good forms of exercise and provide an excellent opportunity for training but he needs novel stimulus.

Social Exercise

One of the best ways to socialize and exercise your pup is to find a friend with a pup or dog of the same size for back yard play. But he needs more! Many Veterinarians recommend that because parvo virus is transmitted by contact with infected fecal material, you limit the pup's exposure to parks and public play areas until he has had all his shots, and we strongly agree. One trick we use is the high class mall. It has small children, old men with hats and mustaches, and big lady's pushing walkers for your pup to greet. It has every thing you need and has no dog poop like the local street or park.

If you are a runner or a big hiking fan, you may be tempted to over exert your young pup. Before he is 5 months old, we recommend that you not run your pup more than a quarter mile at a time. Before 7 months and not more than 1 miles; before one year of age not more than 2 miles. Daily exercise in moderation is best. A well conditioned 18 month pup can jog 5 miles in good weather. Until then, the best exercise is playing with other dogs of similar size.

Mental Training

Playing with your dog exercises the body but don't forget the mind! The best way to condition your new puppy is through training games like chase, fetch and tug of war. To prevent problems with biting direct the pup's rambunctious behavior toward objects.

Feeding Time

Feeding your Ridgeback puppy is possibly the single most important thing that you do for him. You have his attention, teach him something. It can be, not only a time to see that your pup gets the best nourishment for his body but is definitely one of the best times to feed his mind.

By nature, as a predator, your pup is very tuned into the routine that ends in his getting position of the "big prize" the food bowl. He will automatically assume that whatever he does preceding access to the food, is the cause of the access, so you might as well be aware that you are strongly rewarding that behavior. Instead of relinquishing the bowl as he jumps on you or the counter, or barks because you are too slow, you might start a routine that rewards a behavior you like.

Most people teach their pup to sit and wait before diving on the bowl and that is a great place to start (they are so proud) but the dog is now five years old and ... that's it?! As your pup matures and learns the basics ad new behaviors to the pre-feed routine. By the time my pups are six months old they may be asked to "come", "sit", "down" and "go to your bed", before the bowl hits the ground.

After they are six months old they can do it all after the bowl is on the ground, awaiting permission to eat. If you study the method called clicker training, by the time your dog is ten months old he can be able to do that and also much, much more. Clicker trained dogs are a joy to live with.

Crate Training

For our pups, training starts with the crate. (Buy the way, of the hundreds of dogs delivered to me over the years by worn out owners, with the last ditch effort and a large check, ninety nine percent of them are not crate trained, and it's where we start.) We all have busy lives and it is very important to teach a puppy to be comfortable with being alone. Even if you're "the best parent" now and can be with your pup all the time, the day will come that this is not possible and you will wish you had taught him to be comfortable with being alone while he was young. The easiest way to do this is den training with a crate and it has a variety of other benefits. Training with the clicker method is one of the best ways to give your dog "attention" and can be done with sessions as short as one or two minutes with great effectiveness.