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Desiree's Response about Ridgeback Training Part 2

Desiree's Response about Ridgeback Training Part 2

Desiree's Response about Ridgeback Training

Desiree and Sophie the SAR dog at 11 months of age.


<  Sophie at 11 months of age. Sophie and Desiree enjoy backpacking in the mountains. NOTE: You can never begin training too early, but as you can see, Sophie's backpack isn't very heavy. Dogs should not carry much weight until physically mature at 14 to 18 months of age. © photo by Desiree's Husband

Desiree: What you said confirms a lot of what I had already suspected/discovered working with Sophie. Sounds like both our dogs are pretty typical for Ridgebacks.

I got Sophie at eight weeks from the pound, where she was left despite the fact that she's purebred, simply because she is ridgeless and not worth anything monetarily. And she is BY FAR the most difficult dog I have ever had anything to do with, but she's a great dog.

We also have a lab mix and a poodle, and there are clear training differences between the three. The lab, Hank, was pretty intelligent and highly trainable until he hit 6 months old and then turned brain-dead, where I fully expect him to stay until he's 18 months to 2 years, when he should turn back into a great dog. If you can penetrate his thick skull when he's distracted, his obedience is excellent. The poodle, Touli, is smart and highly trainable. He is eager to please and eager to perform and has a good attention span. He is, however, very fond of getting his way and has a tendency to be needy and demanding. He firmly believes he can charm his way out of trouble (although he hasn't really had much success to back up this theory) and into doing whatever he wants. He will ignore you if he thinks he can, but if you insist, he'll comply. Hank is distracted and actually doesn't hear you; Touli is usually pretending he can't hear you.

Sophie, on the other hand, has no interest in being a good dog (although she hates getting in trouble.) and needs to understand WHY she must do whatever you told her to do. If she doesn't want to do it, you'd better be pretty persuasive. She doesn't bother with pretenses of deafness; she just shoots you a "go to hell" look and does whatever she wants. Then you have to go get her and make her mind you. However, she is by far the most intelligent of the three. I just found out yesterday that I haven't been forgetting to shut doors....Sophie can turn doorknobs. She also understands English quite fluently. It's just that she doesn't use that IQ to follow instructions. She uses her IQ to figure out how NOT to follow instructions. She is a willing worker and, as you noted with Ebbey, responds well to positive training but poorly to force.

Introduction Read This BEFORE Getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback.                                            A thumbnail photo showing Sophie the 4 month old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy. Desiree's Response about Sophie Part 2

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Playing the search dog, Ebbey has a leading role in the eerie action thriller Search Dog's Raven. Her character is paramount, because the key to unlocking the film's unique twist turns out to be the 'Search Dog's...Raven.

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