As a RR breeder, I’ll admit it, that having a litter of puppies is a beautiful & rewarding experience. It’s also a lot of very hard work if you are conscientious with putting everything you have into producing the very best dogs possible.
With litters often being large in number, making sure all survive is a 24/7 job keeping vigil for the first month of their lives. Making sure a fatigued mother doesn’t inadvertently roll over and crush one, along with making sure each individual gets a chance to feed from her every few hours. I choose to sleep alongside the whelping den for the first month or so to assure no mishaps ever occur.
As briefly mentioned above they often produce very large litters. My own recent litters have ranged between 13 and 17 pups in size – so in reality we can be looking at raising 3 litters in one go!
Thats three times the work with the pups and three times the work with checking out potential people with which to place them! As a responsible pedigree breeder, I am responsible for these dogs even when they leave my care. I am on call for advice and assistance when ever needed.
I want no dog produced from my litters to end up in a rescue shelter as the owners couldn’t manage. Should an owners circumstance ever change and the dog needs rehoming – I will take back that responsibility – it’s all part of the contract signed between breeder and new owners.
Being a professional breeder I have the infrastructure around me to support me and the dogs I produce. I have a highly successful website that appears on page one of Google, thereby attracting plenty of high calibre enquiries. This is complimented with a similar Facebook page, along with strong connections with other prominent ridgeback breeders. One such breeder, mentor & friend being Jackie Ellis (Zejak RR’s) who has been breeding Ridgebacks for around 30 years. Jackie provided my original Ridgeback Nala, along with now supplying studs when needed from her expansive bloodlines.
It was the Male ridgeback that I first saw and drew me to the breed, however I have never owned one. The key to breeding quality lines is through having the flexibility to chop and change male lines, always looking for the best animal to compliment a given bitch. When a Sire has done his job, he can also be problematic keeping onsite with other dogs being in season.
Under no circumstances should two young dogs be bought with the intention of breeding. This isn’t an arranged marriage, this is considered mating initiated when both dogs have passed all health tests and are of the correct temperaments.
Between myself and Jackie there is a combined Ridgeback knowledge of 45 years – thats 45 years of investment in love, time and money. Selective breeding bringing further refinement to already stunning dogs. Occasionally bringing in new bloodlines from abroad we seek to elevate our dogs to being some of the best available in the UK.
Nothing…. if you are raising a common dog, but EVERYTHING if talking Ridegbacks!
Raising High End Pedigree Ridgebacks involves close genetic knowledge of both Sire (Father) & Dam (Mother) of the litter. Either or both can carry the genes for producing at least three specific problematic conditions.
- Dermoid Sinus – s a tubular skin defect caused by incomplete separation of the skin and the nervous system during embryonic development. The sinus can be found at any point along the back or neck, but most commonly affects the neck or upper spine. Often described as a mild form of SPINA BIFIDA – this is hereditary and requires a medical operation to resolve.
Dogs carrying this should never be bred from knowingly.
- Ridgeless – if one or both parents carry ridge less, they can pass this on to their subsequent litter. Numbers affected can range from a couple to most of the litter.
- JME – JME is a specific form of epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes seizures.
These conditions have all been screened for within our breeding programs. Bloods are taken for screening to ensure as far as we can, that we only breed from the best available to us.
You may think that it’s just breeders keeping a closed shop, and being over protective, but to be honest – there are a number of reasons.
Firstly – being true to the breed and only wanting the very best dogs going forward to reproduce, knowing that all health checks and standards have been met. Endorsements will only be lifted if the necessary hip/elbow scores have been achieved, along with any other KC endorsed health checks.
Secondly – Would the market support another litter / breeder without these dogs having difficulty in being placed with the appropriate forever homes? Would some of them as a result end up in the hands of rescue organisations? Having an assured network within which to find homes takes time to create whether it be through the show world or through individual online presence. having large circle of friends who like dogs or placing an advert in the paper doesn’t quite cut it I’m afraid!
Lastly, and quite probably the one that I hold dear, is the fact that the pedigree dog you have as a pet, has had generations of selective breeding, with foreign bloodlines being incorporated in order to give you the very best. This time, knowledge and dedication has been someones profession and often their life’s work – it’s not something to be taken for granted.
This level of professionalism is seldom found outside the professional dog breeding world. We seek to breed according to temperament, and aesthetics, balanced with self funded science based genetic testing.
All of this and more is incorporated when looking for a professionally bred Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy. It’s not something to be taken up lightly or upon a whim.
We pride ourselves in the knowledge that all our pups find successful forever homes, with the respect and bond between dog and owner being equally valued.