Showsight Presents The Rhodesian Ridgeback

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q&A

over angulated rears that stretch well beyond point of hip and reach that extends beyond tip of nose. Exagger- ated forechest adds nothing to the breed. However the breed length remains slightly longer than tall (majority of length should be rib, not loin) so the correct moving dogs that aren’t as “impressive” as those described are being left behind in the show ring on many occasions. Judges please pay attention to my next statement: Bigger is NOT better in this breed—it’s just dead in the (lion hunting) field. Those who do not know an 80-pound RR from a 125-pound RR please stop judging this breed until you figure it out. 24" bitches and 25" dogs are correct for this breed; over 28" dogs, and even bitches, are not! (And now that I’ve alienated both breeders and judges, I’ll move on.) 4. Do you feel the Ridgeback should have a racier more sighthound like build or a more solid Mastiff-like build? Neither. The most misunderstood part of our breed standard states the dog should be heavy in bone in the foreleg. What both breeders and judges apparently do not get is that the amount of bone in the RR must match what the dog is supposed to weigh. This is an athletic breed, capable of great endurance with a fair amount of speed—that describes neither sighthound nor Mastiff. The most correct RR in a dog show ring may well be the last to catch the eye because the breed standard does not describe a flashy dog, including having a minimum of white markings. The beauty of Ridgebacks is found in balance, well laid back shoulders with matching rear and effortless, near single tracking movement on a well-con- ditioned dog. Great Ridgebacks combine elegance and power both standing and moving but are not impressive in their size and weight. 5. Do you see Ridgebacks as sighthounds, big game hunters, or utilitarian farm dogs? If scent hound had been added my answer would be “D. All of the above”. As is, it would be the last two, because they are both. Ridgebacks excel at lure coursing when they have correct size and structure, and conform to the breed standard. From a more practical perspective think of the Ridgeback in these terms: the larger the dog, the more target interference it presents to the hunter attempting a shot at the lion. The heavier the dog, the longer it takes to start, stop, turn, accelerate and deceler- ate. The heavier, larger dog consumes more calories per mile. In a situation where mere milliseconds separated a live dog from a dead one, there is no reason imaginable to prefer the larger dog. 6. Is there anything Ridgeback handlers do you wish they would not? The list is endless (just kidding!). Throwing bait in the ring is a safety hazard, especially when handlers throw it out of the ring. It really isn’t necessary to call out your dog’s call name when starting to move it using a voice loud enough to be heard three rings away. Speed kills and it doesn’t mask the movement faults. 7. Name a dog not currently being shown that exempli- fies your ideal type.

I’ll break another cardi- nal rule here and discuss a dog I own, but did not breed. He hasn’t lived at my house for several years, having retired to a farm in Mary- land where

John Arvin and Ch Ruvanda’s Lone Star Legacy SC hRq3

he excelled at killing ground- hogs, a couple of deer, and sadly—the new owner’s barn cat when, for some reason, the cat decided to come in the house. He’ll be 12 in January 2016. His name is “Bowie”, CH Ruvanda’s Lone Star Legacy SC HRQ3. The breeder sent some photos of a six or seven week old litter and asked my opinion of the photos. My response was would she be willing to send the actual dog to New Jersey? He did not disappoint. In the classes I owner-handled him to majors at RR entries of 207 and 101—both satellite shows to national specialties. He was awarded High Score in Bay at the hunting evalu- ation (using live game) held just before the 2007 national specialty show. As for a discussion of his type, I simply suggest that the reader obtain a copy of the RR breed standard and compare it to the photo. Since the ridge isn’t visible in the photo I’ll be honest and let the reader know it was shorter than ideal by about an inch, the crowns were directly opposite each other as required and I once commented to a writer that I wished it was wider (but it tapered as described in the standard and width is not mentioned in the US standard). He was wicketed (obvi- ously not inside the ring) at 26" and weighed approxi- mately 82 pounds at the time this photo was taken. Take a look at the photo; the dog reeks of balance. Every line flows smoothly from head to tail both topline and under- line. Ears of moderate size and set high on the head, correct bone for his size and weight. Take special note of the feet because that’s as good as you will ever see. A pleasing head to finish off the picture. In the field he had the quickest acceleration I’ve ever seen. In addition he could turn (or stop) on a dime and give back change. He sired all the dogs listed in my highlights with the excep- tion of Woody plus a two time RRCUS National Specialty Agility Trial winner and two other offspring who have won ASFA Region 8 or 9 Invitational Lure Coursing Bests of Breed (and Best in Regional in one case) and several more Best in Field (BIF) winners at coursing trials. 8. Anything else you’d like to add? Correct temperament is aloof to strangers. While a Ridgeback must possess enough self-assurance to not slink about the ring; neither should they be the hound equivalent of a sporting dog—forever up! Contact: Ridgebacks@mysticrrs.com

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