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Re: Re: ride dogs

Title: Re: ride dogs
----- Original Message -----
From: Tara Wheeler
I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback pup (seven months old now) who I'm training to go on conditioning rides and to stay tied up in camp during events.

He's wonderful.  Very good around horses.  Tireless at the trot, which I'm having to restrict him on, as I want his joints to mature fully before we do more than a 3 mile around the pasture jaunt.  Just a big, goofy, happy to be here pup.  Who manages to scare the be-jesus out of guys at stop lights and gas stations.

I can't reccomend 'em enough.  I did research into all the large dog breeds and kept coming up time and time again with hip problems in most of them once they got about five years old.  

The RR's kept testing clear.  Everyone who had a RR said they were like the Energizer Bunny; they keep going and going and going even up into their late teens.

They were bred to hunt lions in the brush in South Africa.  They take the heat, the rough terrain and long distances in stride.
****This is interesting, not my experiences with RR at all.  I have had two, and both were big couch potatoes that disliked going jogging or with the horses.  I always liked the breed, and they were bred to run and hunt with horses.  Both of mine would go to the front of the  house and ask to come in when I went out to  hitch up!!!
My first one was a rescued show champ and had excellent conformatoin.  MY second, a female was daughter of one of the top sires in the country, and a bitch also well bred.  Both parents had OFA excellent hips.  It was a bad litter, out of 7 pups, 5 died immediately, mine had no ridge, and her littermate had two crowns.  Mine ended up with significant hip dysplasia, diagnosed at a little over a year.  The littermate  had a nasty disposition and bit her owner in the face.
I truly encourage anyone with a big breed to limit exercise the entire first year, and possible until 18 months, and don't think of conditioning or long rides until AFTER you take a look at those hips on xray.
I did like the appearance of the breed and disposition.  But they just did not want to do the things I liked to do!
Karen  (now dealing with a Cattledog that is an excelllent trail and jogging dog and keeps heeling my horses-any tips on how to break this bad habit?)


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