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Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Good with Kids? History, Tips & FAQ

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

girl playing with rhodesian ridgeback dog in the field

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Good with Kids? History, Tips & FAQ

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are loyal, intelligent, and loving. They also make good companions and excellent watchdogs. However, when looking for a dog that makes a great pet for a child, you may be concerned that the Ridgeback isn’t the ideal pet.

Is this a good breed for children? The answer to this question is more complicated than a simple yes or no. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for being excellent pets and getting along great with children, but there are several factors you need to consider before making a final decision. We’ll break everything down for you so you’ll know if the Rhodesian Ridgeback is right for your home.

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Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Get Along Well with Kids?

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are normally tolerant, patient, and affectionate with kids. They love to play with children, but every dog is an individual and has its own personality and aggression issues, and there are things you need to know to determine if this dog is a good fit for your children. We’ll look at a few of those factors in the section below.

rhodesian ridgeback dog standing on grass
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock

History and Genetics

A dog’s history plays an essential role in how well they get along with children. It’s important to remember that though every breed has a generalized temperament, you must also consider the individual dog and its personality.

The genetics of your Rhodesian Ridgeback will play a role in how patient it is with your children, but so will the dog’s life experiences. Ridgebacks were bred to hunt lions and protect their owners and homes, and they already have a strong prey drive. If you’re considering giving an older Rhodesian Ridgeback a forever home, you need to find out what type of environment the dog is coming from. For example, if the dog came from a home where it felt threatened by children in its previous home, it might not be the best fit for a home with children.

The Breeder

If you’re adopting a puppy, you should talk to the breeder about the history of the dog’s parents. The bloodline of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy you adopt will tell a lot about how well the dog does with kids. It’s also vital to request vaccination records and health history to ensure your adopting a healthy canine. If you socialize and train a puppy from an early age to get along with children, they’ll become lifelong friends of your kids.

rhodesian ridgeback puppies walking on green grass
Image By: Hanna Dymytrova-kaihila, Shutterstock

Personality and Temperament

Your dog’s temperament and personality will also play a huge role in how well it gets along with children. While Rhodesian Ridgebacks are usually loving, affectionate, quiet, and have a gentle temperament, they require intensive training to behave around small children. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed has a five out of five-star rating for getting along with children, so that’s a good sign.

The Children

How a dog gets along with children is also determined by how the kids behave. Children and dogs don’t always get along in the beginning. You need to teach your children how to handle and get along with your Rhodesian Ridgeback, just as you’ll train and socialize the dog to get along and be patient with the children. These are just a few factors that you need to consider when it comes to figuring out if a Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog would be the right choice for you and your family. While they are affectionate and loving dogs, they are individuals, so you need to determine what that particular dog is like and how well the dog will fit into your family.

boy playing with rhodesian ridgeback dog at the beach
Image By: olgagorovenko, Shutterstock

How to Make Sure Your Rhodesian Ridgeback is Well-Behaved

If you’re wondering how to ensure your Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog is well-behaved with the kids, we’ll give you a few tips below.

  • Provide positive experiences for your pup
  • Expose your dog to several people, other dogs, and locations when they’re young
  • Start training your dog as soon as possible
  • Ensure your pup gets plenty of exercise. Adults need at least an hour.
  • Be firm, consistent, and loving, but let your dog know that you’re the boss
  • Make sure your dog has a protein-filled, well-balanced diet
  • Make sure your pup is mentally stimulated with puzzle toys and plenty of play sessions with you
  • Make sure that someone is home with your dog most of the time since they will become bored and destructive if left alone for a long time

These are a few of the things you can do to keep your Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog happy, content, and well-behaved. If you feel the dog has behavioral issues, it’s best to talk to your vet and see if they can recommend a good trainer or behavioral specialist.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know your Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog is good with children, we’ll answer a few other common questions about the breed in our FAQ section.

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs Good with Other Dogs?

If your Rhodesian Ridgeback is well-trained and properly socialized, they can be great with other dogs. However, they require consistent training and guidance from their pet owners. If the breed isn’t trained and socialized correctly, they have been known to be aggressive with other dogs.

rhodesian ridgeback dog standing in the meadow
Image By: Dunhill, Shutterstock

Are Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs Good with Cats?

This breed is not known for getting along well with cats. They are pretty nonchalant around felines, but if they haven’t been trained to get along with them, they can become aggressive.

Do Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs Make Good Guard Dogs?

Yes, these dogs make great guards and are one of the greatest in the world today. They are very protective and will fight to protect their family and property if they have to.

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Final Thoughts

As you can see, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog breed is an affectionate, loyal pet that makes a great companion and an excellent watchdog. However, while they are known to be a loving breed, every dog is different, so you need to consider the factors we discussed before deciding to give a Rhodesian Ridgeback a forever home with your family. Socializing and training a Ridgeback puppy is much easier than dealing with an adult, and adult Ridgebacks are better suited to experienced owners with older children.


Featured Image Credit: GillianVann, Shutterstock

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